Short Answers

By Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson


Dear Short Answers:
When the virus started I decided to quarantine with my mother. Even
though she is 76, she is in great health and does fine on her own but I just wanted to make sure. Well, three months later I am going crazy!! She has become so dependent upon me to do everything for her I fear that she will not be able to live alone after this is all over. I can’t just walk out the door because she will be all alone but I need some space and she needs some independence. What do I do?

Dear D:
Sounds like you should have a talk with your mom. Tell her its time for you to leave, and ask how you can make the transition easier.


Dear Short Answers:
I moved here about 5 years ago from Atlanta. I was taught to dress nicely wherever I go.  But now that I live here, people tell me that I’m OVERDRESSED for everything. At first, I didn’t care what they said. But a couple of my friends have told me that it embarrasses them to be seen with me when they are wearing jeans and I am wearing a dress and stockings. Now that I am starting to back out in public again, what should I do? Do I just ignore it? Find new friends? Or dress down like the rest of the heathens in this town?
Fancy Pants

Dear Fancy Pants:
How about splitting the difference. The long-term fashion trend has been to dress down. But we don’t think that means being sloppy, getting naked, or uninteresting choices. Try experimenting with a slightly more casual look without letting go of your standards. Might be fun.


Dear Short Answers:
Being confined at home because of COVID-19 has made be worry more and more about who will take care of me when I can’t live on my own. I am in my 70’s and my daughter lives with me. She never married and has some mental problems. And she is getting harder and harder to live with. But if I kick her out of the house, who will take care of me when I need it? Please help me decide what to do.
Forward Thinker

Dear Forward:
These are two independent issues that should not be co-mingled. If you no longer want your daughter to live with you, then take steps to make that happen. Concerning your care as you age, 75 million of your cohorts are considering the same problem. There are many possible solutions — all better than indenturing a child for that purpose.


Dear Short Answers:
I am a night person. My good friends know this about me but new ones assume I’m up in the AM when they are. Sometimes they call early and wake me but I’m too embarrassed to tell them not to, and that I sleep late. Should I just accept that I’m on a different schedule or try to adjust to the rest of the world?
Out of Sync

Dear Out:
If you have been able to manage your life around your own internal clock, then goodonya! This is an accomplishment not an embarrassment.

Life is complicated.  Short Answers isn’t.

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