Short Answers: Don't get mad, just work it out
Dear Short Answers >> I am a single woman in my late 50s who decided that my career was more important than getting married or raising a family. There are times when I regret this decision, but there's not a lot I can do about it now. The problem is that the younger people where I work are all obsessed with having kids (several of them are pregnant right now and several are "trying to get pregnant"). So, whenever a late night or weekend job needs to get done, I'm the one who has to do it because we can't possibly interfere with the personal life of a "mom." How do I convince the CEO this is simply reverse discrimination and we should all get treated the same whether we have kids or not?
— Feeling Abused
DEAR FA >> We think you should start with being pleasantly direct with your co-workers. Explain that "single" doesn't mean doormat and that you also have a personal life. Try to work out an equitable schedule for late nights/weekends without escalating it to the CEO. That's what grown-ups do.
$$$ and sense
Dear Short Answers >> A close friend of mine is very active in a local charity that has an annual big fund-raising drive. Every year, I have given a token amount just because he is my friend. This year, I decided that was silly because I really don't believe in their cause and it annoys me that he expects me to contribute to something I don't like. Unfortunately, he is now completely ignoring me and refuses to acknowledge my presence even when we are in the same room. Do you think I was right not to contribute? Or should I have given something purely in the interest of our friendship?
DEAR JOHN >> Contributions to charities that are important to our friends are to honor the commitment our friends have made. In general, it's a good idea — that's how not-for-profits float the boat.
What a drag it is, getting old
Dear Short Answers >> I am in my 60s and happy about everything in my life except one thing. I want to have some wild sex again before I die. I love my wife, but the sexual spark isn't there for either of us. We've talked about it and there are many other things that keep us together. I don't want an affair or a girlfriend. I just want some crazy sex and maybe feel like I'm 30 again. Would a prostitute be out of the question? And would I have to tell my wife?
DEAR RDP >> We understand the inclination. If that "package" was universally available, it is hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't go for it. However, we suspect that the fantasy is much, much better than any real option you are likely to encounter. A prostitute? If it's okay with you, it's okay with us. Tell your wife? That's your decision. Know this: getting old is difficult and doing it gracefully, without behaving badly or foolishly, is even harder.