Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
My father has been in an assisted living facility for about three years. He lives far from here and I didn’t really visit him very often. Now of course I can’t visit because of the virus and I feel so extremely guilty.  I can come to visit if I go into quarantine for two weeks after I arrive and again for two weeks after our visit. That means I have to leave my family for over a month and could potentially put them all at risk. One day I want to jump on a plane and go visit my dad and the next I just want to hide under my bed. What should I do? This is driving me absolutely crazy.
Guilty and Stuck

Dear G&S:
Call and write as often as you can. Calls don’t need to be long or “important.” We have learned through our own experience as well as that of others that a few minutes on FaceTime (while you’re cooking dinner) on a frequent basis makes a bigger difference than you might think. 


Dear Short Answers:
I’ve just recently gotten out of a four-year relationship and went right into another one.  At first, I couldn’t be more happy with the guy, but now only a couple months in, I find us fighting over the dumbest things and he is driving me nuts.  He’s way too clingy, and I’ve already told him he needs to back off some and give me my “me time,” but it’s still pretty much the same.  I need some serious advice on what to do.  Thanks.
Very Confused!

Dear Confused:
Tell him very clearly that he is crowding you, be less available, and make some plans that do not include him.  Don’t know how you are managing all this activity during COVID but stay safe and be responsible!


Dear Short Answers:
I recently developed a crush on my best friend,  but got over it on my own time. Unfortunately, he found out, and now he’s avoiding me.  He told a mutual friend, “It’s not that he has a crush on me, it’s the way he projects it.”  I guess he means the way I stare at him sometimes.  Do you think we can get past this and be best friends again?  De-friended

Dear De:
Oh, everybody lighten up!  A soulful stare isn’t a crime in any place we know of.  As long as you aren’t making a pest of yourself, he should get over himself


Dear Short Answers:
How can I get my husband to dress up? He’s over 50 and still years ragged jeans and t-shirts with holes in them. Now that we actually might go out to dinner, the issue has come up again. His nicest shirts have permanent stains. I tried throwing the bad stuff out — but he was absolutely furious and refuses to wear what I buy for him. Is there any hope?
Wife of Aged Hippie

Dear Wife:
No, there isn’t any hope. Leave him alone and focus on what you love about him.  (And spend those clothing $$ on yourself.)

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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