Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a man I hadn’t seen in three years. He told me that his lovely wife had passed away and then asked if I were up for a visit. I always enjoyed his company and I naively assumed that a “visit” meant having a cup of coffee. But his next question was “Are you married? Seeing anyone?” I was actually shocked — although I shouldn’t have been. His wife had been dead about a month and I knew he was lonely but I couldn’t believe he was ready to get involved. Isn’t one month too early to start dating after losing your wife? Or do you think I have a neurotic resistance to getting involved?
Wary of widowers

Dear Wary:
Although we agree a month is a short time — you never know. Start off slow. All will be revealed in one or two dates if you keep your wits about you and your heart in low gear.


Dear Short Answers:
It seems to me that people have gotten careless about mask wearing and social distancing. I am worried. I don’t feel comfortable yelling at my friends but it is getting so I don’t want to be around them. What to do?

Dear Masked:
We have noticed that too. But ignore Public Health recommendations at your own peril, especially as it gets colder and more people go inside.


Dear Short Answers:
I have a lady who comes once a week to clean my house and I pay her an agreed upon hourly wage. Lately, she’s been having back problems and brings her daughter or husband to do the vacuuming and some of the heavier tasks which is fine by me since I don’t want her to hurt her back. The problem is what usually took her 3 hours to do, still takes 3 hours with the two of them working, and I end up paying double. She never asked me to pay double but I went ahead and paid since I thought this was a once or twice kind of situation. Lately, two of them come all the time. I don’t want to lose her — she’s a fabulous house cleaner. And frankly, her hourly rate is more than fair and my house has never been so clean. At this stage, I feel stuck with what I’ve been paying. Am I being taken?
Want to Be Fair

Dear Fair:
It sounds like you really are getting twice as much cleaning (“my house has never been so clean”) so now it’s about what you want and what you can afford. Talk with your housekeeper. There are many options from going back to your original arrangement, hiring her daughter/husband every other week for heavy stuff or agreeing to your current situation. The important thing is that you are clear about what you want and that she understands the agreement.


Dear Short Answers:
I am nearly overwhelmed by a feeling of foreboding — I hear scary music all the time. I don’t know why everyone isn’t terrified — climate change, Corona virus and Trump is the perfect storm! Why isn’t everyone terrified?

Dear Cat:
We believe everyone is terrified — but only some of us are able to say so.

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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