Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
I have a coworker who works herself to death and makes the rest of us — who work quite hard and aren’t clock watchers by any means — somehow feel inadequate. She doesn’t have much of a home life, and she is incessantly praised by management for her work ethic. She works weekends and stays every night until 8 or 9. But she’s always frazzled and miserable and doesn’t exactly spread cheer. Is it right for the bosses to celebrate this and sniff at the more grounded and rested staff?

Dear Miffed:
The boss can celebrate anything or anyone that pleases him. You and your co-workers are wasting your work time and your playtime by concerning yourself with any of this.


Dear Short Answers:
I have been happily married for two years. My wife does not know that I had a very active sexual life before I met her. I slept with a lot of women. We live in a small town and I am afraid that some of these women will tell her. Should I fess up now — or wait until something happens?
Worried Husband

Dear WH:
We see no reason to share old stories — past is past. If something “comes up,” smile and say “then was then.” And what makes you think she doesn’t already know?


Dear Short Answers:
My best friend’s husband died about five years ago after 35 years of marriage. My friend is doing fine and she has tremendous support from her kids and friends and church. The problem is that she never had an opinion of her own during 35 years of marriage and she still doesn’t. Everything she says is “I think Harvey would like it this way” or “I think Harvey would pick that restaurant.” It was sad at first but now I think it’s creepy, like Harvey is talking to her every day and telling her what to think. How do I make her understand that this is not normal and probably hurting herself when she needs to move on with her life?

Dear Concerned:
It seems clear to us that no one but you is having a problem. Harvey may be just as helpful to her now as he was when he was alive.


Dear Short Answers:
My daughter is almost 12 years old and I am beginning to wonder more and more that she might not be my child. My wife and I were having marital difficulties before my daughter was born and I think she might have cheated on me. My daughter doesn’t look at all like me (although she doesn’t look at all like the man I think my wife slept with, either). What do I do? I can’t get over this horrible feeling.
Doubting Dad

Dear DD:
She IS your daughter because you are raising her. The title “Dad” should be carried with all the pride and honor this enormous responsibility bestows. Concerning the biological details, so what? If you “knew” for a fact she was fathered by another, what would you do differently? Would you love her less? If your doubts are interfering with your relationship with your daughter and your wife, a paternity test is probably possible without their knowledge. But we hope that you can work your way through this and get back to the serious business of unconditional love for your girl. She deserves nothing less.


Dear Short Answers:
If your mother comes back from the beauty parlor with absurd purple hair — do you tell her? Or just hope that the next time it’s not such an embarrassing disaster?

Dear Judge:
Leave her alone. She knows everything you know … and more. She knows why she did it.

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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