Short Answers / You’re Right He’s Wrong


By Jeff Johnson And Paula Forman

Dear Short Answers:

For 20 years, my husband and I have argued about how much to tip waiters, taxi drivers, bell hops, etc. He thinks that tipping is foolish and unnecessary. I think it’s an important part of their compensation. So we’ve compromised, but usually at the very low end of what I think might be acceptable. So if a person gives us exceptionally good service, I often secretly add an extra amount. So far, he’s never caught me but I still feel guilty and a bit dishonest since we agreed on an amount and then I add to it. Should I finally fess up after all these years?



Penny Wise


Dear Penny:


Why tell him? He won’t change, but neither should you! Keep up the noble work.






Dear Short Answers:

If you sit next to a person on an airplane who has terribly bad breath (and refuses to stop talking to you), is it rude to tell them? Or are you being kind by helping them avoid an even more unpleasant encounter with somebody else?



It Was Really Bad



Dear Bad:

Your logic is flawless but we can’t imagine how it could be executed with kindness. Unless of course, your seatmate is your spouse.





Dear Short Answers:

How do I know when a relationship is really over?  I keep hoping that my boyfriend will realize what he lost and come back to me.  I’m just not sure how long I should keep the door open before I hook up with somebody else.



Still Love Him


Dear Still:

Well, we think you should wait longer than two weeks but after that … let your heart and mind be open to new possibilities.





Dear Short Answers:

How many dogs are too many?  My partner and I disagree.



Love Those Dogs


Dear Love

We tend to think that the number of dogs per household should not exceed the number of adults.  But we could be persuaded.





Dear Short Answers:

After a few drinks with some friends (very late one evening), I was walking back to my car when I ran into a good friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. I shouted “hello” but he didn’t hear me so I ran ahead to tap him on the shoulder. He turned around in surprise, stared at me and rushed away. I stood on the street bewildered until I realized that he had just exited a gay bar – even though he is straight and married. It suddenly dawned on me that he was embarrassed and certainly didn’t want anyone to know where he had been. I feel terrible because I have no intention of revealing his “secret” to anybody. Should I call him to tell him this so that he is reassured? What’s the best way to handle this?




Dear J:

Don’t mention it.  He won’t.





Dear Short Answers:

Why do girls like flowers so much?


A Guy


Dear Guy:

They just do. Which is why it is never a mistake to surprise your girlfriend, sister, mother, wife, daughter or auntie with an unexpected bouquet.



Life is complicated. “Short Answers” isn’t.



Send a question about whatever is bothering you to [email protected] or go to and a psychologist and sociologist will answer. A selection of the best questions will be printed every week in KonkLife.

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