Short Answers: Should presents be returned?


Dear Short Answers >> My husband and I are getting separated after only six months of marriage. Is there a rule about returning wedding presents if the marriage lasts less than a year?

— Eve

DEAR EVE >> Sounds like you have more serious matters to attend to than wedding gifts. Yes, probably 21st century etiquette recommends that significant gifts be returned, but we would not concern ourselves with this unless someone demands a refund.

Get a dog

Dear Short Answers >> We just returned from a excellent week away only to find that the cat sitter lost one of our two cats and somehow left the other cat and our entire apartment infested with fleas! We paid her $200! I want to publicly humiliate her. My boyfriend thinks I am over-reacting. What do you think?

— Bitter and Raging

DEAR B&R >> Although we are not feline fanciers, we agree that your cat sitter is irresponsible and should have, at the very least, offered to refund your cash. Since she is obviously insensitive as well, perhaps you should ask her politely to give you your money back. And if that doesn't make you feel better, let us know and we will ponder next steps.

How much to sacrifice

Dear Short Answers >> Can you be happily married to someone you are not physically attracted to? If many other necessary ingredients for marital happiness are present in the relationship, can this problem be solved?

— Honestly Trying

DEAR HT >> This is tough. Physical attraction is bigger than sex. Physical attraction is what smooths over all the many indignities and irritations of life with another person. It is physical attraction that makes you smile, not rage, over the sights and smells and sounds of intimate life. Sex may come and go but physical attraction is what keeps you from killing one another. Can it be solved? In other cultures people learn to love and cherish one another over time. Daily kindnesses can alter initial chemistry. In our world in which the way out is through the door, there is much less support for problems like yours. But if you can figure it out, let us a know and we will build a statue of you.

Aging isn't for sissies

Dear Short Answers >> I find that more and more I am irritated by my elderly parent. I hate myself for feeling this way.

— Sad Offspring

DEAR SO >> Excuse yourself and be as kind as possible to your parent. These are tough times for both of you.

Wishful dreaming

Dear Short Answers >> Is there any way to sleep with my co-worker without losing my boyfriend in the process?

— Carole

DEAR CAROLE >> We don't know of an answer to your question that is not hurtful, self-destructive or dishonest. I guess you can pick which you'd rather be.

Absolutely no experience

Dear Short Answers >> How do I do abstinence?

— Really Serious

DEAR SERIOUS >> Sorry darling, we never tried it.

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