Short Answers: Philosophical differences on life


Dear Short Answers >> On a lark, I went to a one-day seminar on "How to Be Happy." I didn't expect much, but it was life changing!

I realized for the first time that being happy is a personal decision — one that I have to make every day. Now when I wake up in the morning, I say to myself, "This is going to be a great day." It isn't always perfect, but it's way better than it used to be.

The problem is that I seem to have surrounded myself with people who wake up every day and say this is going to be a terrible day. Starting with my husband. I've tried to communicate some of my new philosophy to all of them, but they don't want to listen. I don't think this is good for me. Should I just start to eliminate them from my life? I'm not sure that I can do it any other way. Help!!!

— Slap Happy

DEAR SLAP >> We are delighted for you and your new insight; however, we do not share your missionary zeal. You have a right to expect others to be tolerant of your happiness and optimism but they are entitled to the same respect for their world view. If you must surround yourself only with true believers, so be it, but we would find that tiresome.

Fool me once ...

Dear Short Answers >> How many times do you let someone schedule a lunch date and then cancel at the last minute? I think once is acceptable, twice is rude and three times in a row means you clearly don't want to have lunch with me. Am I justified in simply ignoring future lunch invitations from this person?

— So Annoyed

DEAR ANNOYED >> We think your take on this is more than generous. After cancellation number 2, we would not offer another chance.


Dear Short Answers >> I'm still single after all these years. Nobody knows better than I do what the reasons are, but some of the women in my past were really special. I stay in touch with most of them.

I'm contemplating a reunion with one of them who is also still single. What is tempting is how nice it would be to settle into a relationship without all the boring "getting to know you" stuff — we can even tolerate each others family. But I am nervous. Because we know and care each about each other, if we meet up and there is no magic, we will be devastated. What should I do?

— Looking Back

DEAR LB >> You seem to understand the pros and cons of reunions — it's pretty binary. It either works — and there are a lot of wonderful stories out there — or it doesn't and you remember all too poignantly why it didn't. The good news is most people mellow a bit and understand that it hurts to get hurt. Good luck!

Dear Short Answers >> Is it possible to gain 15 pounds in a month?

— My Scale Is Lying

DEAR SCALE >> It is possible to gain 15 pounds, but definitely not recommended. Although we have heard of scales that lie, we think that it is unlikely.

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