Short Answers: Counter friends' kid photos with your own version


Dear Short Answers: I'm single and happy, which is great for me, but all my friends are married with small kids and this time of year I get those cards with a zillion pictures of the kids. It makes me feel like I can't play this game. What should I do? I used to just ignore it, but I would like to let them know that I am not pinning away for their lives.

— Smiling Sue

Dear Sue: How about sending them an accordion of snapshots of you doing all the things you have enjoyed this year that they have only dreamed of!

Keeping it light

Dear Short Answers: My senior director at work (to whom I report) is intelligent, personable, and well-respected. She often employs an incorrect word when speaking at meetings. For instance, when it is clear she means to say "semantics" she says "schematics" which are clearly different. She also says "Orientals" instead of "Asians." Looking for advice on the proper way to offer private feedback without creating any embarrassment for her. She would probably do the same for someone else.

— About the Boss

Dear ATB: Your intentions are good and that will be apparent. Find a moment to say "Hey, I think you were out of the office when they declared 'Oriental' politically incorrect — now we are supposed to say "Asian." And see how that goes. Perhaps share your own moment of incorrectness — for example "I said 'sex' for years until someone told me the 'correct term is gender.' Wait for another time for the semantics/schematics thing — "don't you mean semantics?" — it's NBD.

Reach out

and call someone

Dear Short Answers: My kids didn't even call on Christmas Day. What did I do wrong?

— Mom

Dear Mom: You did nothing wrong they did. On the other hand, if you really wanted to speak to them, is your dialing finger broken?

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