Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman 


Dear Short Answers:
I have been out of work for almost 2 years. I am a 58-year old carpenter and now with so many people unemployed, I will probably never find that kind of job again. Luckily, I have a military pension so we won’t starve. My kids are grown and out of the house but my wife is driving me crazy. She insists that I learn new skills like computer programming so that I can get another job. I have no ability to learn that stuff. The class makes me feel really old and stupid. Can’t I just relax and spend my pension? How do I make her stop?
Don’t Want to Go

Dear Don’t:
Just say no. You’re not a kid anymore and you should do as you please. Tell her to join you and have some fun.


Dear Short Answers:
My boyfriend is quitting smoking and he’s unbearable to be around. He tries to quit every year at least and lasts about a month – a month I dread. He’s only on his 3rd day and already talking about how he isn’t motivated enough and I feel pretty certain he’ll start smoking again in a couple weeks. I’m not sure exactly what I’m asking except that I want him to succeed, but I also can’t stand how toxic he is when he’s quitting. Is there some secret for how to be a more patient and understanding girlfriend?
Witness to the pain

Dear Witness:
It is his deal. Stay out of it and stay out of his way. Read a book, take a long walk, watch a movie – all good ways to give him space.



Dear Short Answers:
A transgendered couple gets pregnant, which is no big deal — but here’s my issue. The female (really a male) wants to bond by breastfeeding with the baby but how can something like this feasibly happen? Apparently, some doctor created a synthetic hormone cocktail for her (him) to take so she (who’s really a he) can lactate — thus is able to breastfeed the baby. To me, this is highly unacceptable! What on earth is this baby drinking? A hormone mixture of who knows what! Do you think this is acceptable and should be allowed?
Disapproving Bystander

Dear DB:
We share your concern but no matter what we think or what you think, breastfeeding remains a private matter.


Dear Short Answers:
Is it okay to get married if you are not remotely interested in having sex with anybody at all – ever, ever, ever? I don’t think that my prospective husband believes me when I tell him this.
Virgin bride

Dear Bride:
Of course it’s okay if you both agree. But some folks enter into a relationship knowing that there are problems, and truly believe that love and kindness will change the other person. Our experience is that it rarely happens. Feel free to share our view with your fiancé.


Dear Short Answers:
Why is confidentiality so important to some people?

Dear Blabs:
Confidentiality is important because people like to control their own stories.

Life is complicated.  Short Answers isn’t. 

Send a question about whatever is bothering you to 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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