Short Answers: Waiter, there's a fly in my soup ...
Life is complicated. Short Answers isn't.
AGNOSTIC BY A HAIR
Dear Short Answers: What is the right thing to do if you find a hair in your food at a restaurant? Even if the food is cook ed so probably not harmful? I say just ignore it, but my girl friend freaks out and demands a refund. What do you think?
Dear SJW: We agree it is kind of gross. Just send the food back to the kitchen. No need for a meltdown. BAD KARMA
Dear Short Answers: I recently got engaged and am planning my wedding for May 2015. The guest list hasn't been determined and we don't really even know how many people we will invite. The other day, a co-worker asked me if I was going to invite her (which seemed rude and premature) and if I wasn't, would it be okay if she came and she would pay whatever the per-person cost would be for her and her boyfriend. I was a bit dumb-founded and kind of stammered "yes" because I didn't know what to say. Now I regret saying that and I'm not sure what to do. Do I have to officially "dis-invite" her or should I just ignore her when the invitations go out. And one more question -- isn't this a bit weird? Have you ever heard of such a thing?
-- What's Happening?
Dear What: We don't know how these things got so "transactional" but it needs to stop. It's weird and you should invite who you want to invite.
THE JOY OF GIVING
Dear Short Answers: It's that time of year, any ideas for a high school graduation present?
Dear Auntie: We pondered this all week. We dislike obligatory gifting because it is rarely appreciated -- yet there are occasions that seem to require something. In principle, if you know someone well, you will know what they would enjoy and if you don't know them well enough to know, we would love to just skip it. Having said that, we understand that is difficult, so how about a donation in honor of the graduate to the cause about which they care ? If they don't have one -- donate to your favorite.
NEW WIFE, NEW LIFE?
Dear Short Answers: I am dating a wonderful, under stand ing woman who I think could become my second wife. How many details of my previous marriage -- to an unstable, alcoholic wife, who I continue to have contact with regarding our kids, should I share with her?
-- Past Sins
Dear Past: Tell her the truth about your first marriage. It is part of who you are and will certainly have some impact on your relationship with her in the future. The wonderful and understanding woman you describe is likely to be grateful for your candor and a helpmate in dealing with issues that may arise concerning your kids and your ex.
SEX AND THE PITY
Dear Short Answers: What's the deal with celibate versus abstinent versus just plain old and not being able to get any?
-- Sincerely curious
Dear Sincere: The outcome is exactly the same -- the only difference is motivation.
Send your questions anonymously on our website (www. shortanswers.net) or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeff Johnson has worked as a psychologist for New York State, New York City and the federal government as well as teaching at the graduate level. He is a Williams College alumnus and lives in Pownal, Vt. Paula Forman has worked as a professional "trend spotter" with high-profile clients such as Procter & Gamble. More recently, she taught sociology in the New York City university system. She lives and writes in Hudson, N.Y.