Questionable Advice

Questionable Advice

My daughter has an upcoming birthday, and my husband won’t stop dropping hints about her gift. I’m trying to keep it a surprise, and he’s going to spoil it for her. But he’s having so much fun with it that I’d hate to ask him to stop. Is there a compromise here?

Susan

Hey, your husband has a right to have fun too, but he has to be told, Susan—told—that he’s taking a lot of the shine and glitter away from your daughter’s day by dropping hints about the upcoming surprise. That it’s her special day, not his, and it will be forever wrecked if she knows what the surprise is ahead of the surprise.

Should you kill spiders and other creepy-crawlies, or carry them out of the house? My boyfriend always relocates them, but I’m convinced they’ll just come back in!

—Loni

Wrong person to ask. We are a no-kill family. Lives are spared here. Creepy-crawlies are tossed into the basement during the winter months and out into the yard in the warm months. Every single creature on this planet is here for a purpose—yes, even us—and none of us has the right to kill anything alive. OK, except for a few exceptions: mosquitoes; anything that’s fixing to bite, poison, or sting us to oblivion; anything with large teeth swimming toward us in the ocean with lunch on its mind. Multiples of bugs in our beds or clothing must die, of course, and rodents get re-homed or given to zoos to feed the inmates. I do not pick up anything in my hands because I am unsure of their biting skills, but big plastic wine glasses with pieces of cardboard are in all our rooms so if pests come here, they are quickly escorted away with respect.

My mother is widowed and lives alone. She’s terrified of everything COVID-related. I’m relieved that she’s following guidelines and wearing a mask when necessary, but she’s so isolated. She never sees friends (even outdoors) or gets everything delivered. She is even scared of getting vaccinated. This extreme approach can’t be healthy, can it?

—Jeri

Well, everyone handles their terrors in their own way, and this approach is how your mother is handling hers. But what’s odd is that many of these people who are “so scared” of COVID ask people to run errands and do shopping for them. So, it’s OK for these obliging people to be at risk, but not your mother? Hmmm. There are great therapists out there who can help her on Zoom. Being cautious and prudent and smart about COVID is essential, but not wanting to be vaccinated? The one sort of cure for all this? What’s that all about? If she can be made to feel safe after being vaccinated, why then won’t she do it? Who gets to care for her when and if she catches the dreaded virus? Why and from what is she hiding, and is it fun for her? Therapy has all the answers.

I’m 28, and I have known my boyfriend for two years. When we met, he told me he was a year older than me. Now, after all this time, he has finally come clean that he is actually three years younger than me. It is not a huge deal, but it feels like a huge deal. Am I overreacting?

—Morgan

No, Morgan you’re not overreacting at all. It is a huge deal. When you’ve confronted him about this revelation, he probably said woosie things like, “Oh, I thought you wouldn’t go out with me if you knew I was younger, and I was sooo in love with you the minute I saw you.” Euw. Old saying: “If you always tell the truth you, never have to remember anything.” If he’s starting out the relationship with this lie and gets away with it, even if for a while, he’ll likely keep on enjoying being The Lyin’ King. Go shopping. Males being younger than females as potential mates in no big deal anymore, and there are good men out there who don’t lie.

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