Short Answers: Family reunion — sans spouse


Dear Short Answers >> I finally convinced my husband to join me at a family reunion this spring in Vermont, where many of my current family members live.

One of my concessions was that we would stay in a hotel rather than with my brother. Unfortunately, my husband is also planning to eat out at restaurants rather than with my family and is probably thinking that we will go hiking and biking on our own.

I'm starting to think it would be better if I went alone and spent the weekend with family instead of "hiding out" with my husband. Although my whole family is looking forward to his being there. Should I encourage him to come and hope he changes his mind about "family time?" Or is he doing this intentionally so that I dis-invite him?

— Sister Sal

DEAR SAL >> Leave him home. He clearly doesn't want to play. Oh — and have a great time!

Office manners circa 2016

Dear Short Answers >> I recently started a new job at a tech firm and everything is going great except for one thing. The person I share an office with is in a wheelchair and needs a lot of additional help.

I completely understand that it takes him longer to do everyday tasks, like get coffee or go to the printer. But I feel like he treats me as if I was his personal assistant. He is constantly asking me to run little errands for him or do him a "favor."

In theory, I don't mind, but I have a job of my own and I don't want to screw it up by spending too much time helping him do his job. How do I manage this without seeming like I am prejudiced and heartless?

— Helping Mate

DEAR MATE >> If your company has an HR department, consult them. If not, discuss openly with your office mate — perhaps agreeing to do his errands once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Social accounting

Dear Short Answers >> I am a newly single woman with many friends who are couples. They often ask me out to dinner. I want to pay my own way, but I don't think it's fair to "split it" when there are two of them. Am I right?

— Jayne

DEAR J >> Do what is comfortable for you. Certainly no one could fault you for asking that the tab gets split two-thirds and one-third, but it doesn't feel graceful. Good friends know when they are "in the red" and figure out how to even the score. We would prefer that you split the tab evenly and assume that your friends will pick up the entire tab from time to time. But if that seems complicated to you, pay as you go.

Social accounting

Dear Short Answers >> I think my boyfriend is checking his texts while we are having sex. Does this mean he is cheating?

— Hold the Phone

DEAR HOLD >> Well, you certainly don't have his full attention. And if you think that it is cheating — it's cheating. But we think it is probably a simple case of smartphone addiction — worthy of a conversation, but check out your own phone manners before you fire the first shot.

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