Short Answers: Not every truth needs to be told

Dear Short Answers: I have a good friend who has had very serious medical problems over the past couple of years. I happen to know for a fact that she is over 65 and on Medicare. However, she has been telling people that she is only 63 and can't get health insurance. Consequently, she has raised a lot of money on GoFundMe for her supposed medical bills. Should I let other people know that she is not being honest and that they shouldn't waste their money on her? Or should I keep my mouth shut and let her fool people? I am concerned that her generous friends might contribute to more needy causes if they didn't waste their money on her.

— Suspicious

Dear S: Honestly, tell us again why this is your business?


Dear Short Answers: My daughter is graduating from college in June and she desperately wants to go to Europe for two months with a group of her friends. All of the other parents are paying for their kids to go (at least that's what my daughter tells me), but I don't feel good about spending that much money for a "vacation." Plus, I already made it clear to her that once she graduates, she is on her own (since her father and I paid for her college education). I think it would be a good experience for her and I know that "all the kids are doing it." But I don't know if those are good enough reasons. What do you think?

— Paid in Full

Dear Paid: We agree that a summer in Europe sounds grand! At any age! Why don't you and "dad" take the summer in Europe to reward yourself for having put your daughter through college? No? Can't afford it? Can't take the time off? Then neither can she. Not on your dime.


Dear Short Answers: I have a friend whose heart is in the right place, but only I seem to know it. He comes across as angry and argumentative with everyone — from waitresses to close friends. Should I tell him to knock it off?

— Sick of It

Dear Sick: We know folks like that. It is unlikely that your unsolicited testimonial will do anything but elicit more self-protective anger. Although your observation may be correct and even loving — our experience is that kind of behavior is often a well-fortified defense.


Dear Short Answers: How do you handle a screaming baby who is sitting two rows away from you on a cross-country airplane flight? And the mother refuses to even acknowledge that there is a problem? I called the flight attendant, who basically told me to mind my own business. I thought I was going to go crazy if that kid didn't stop screeching. What is the best thing to do?

— Head Aches!

Dear Head: You did the right thing. Next time, if the attendant refuses to address the problem, raise the ante: ask for her (his) name and threaten to report the incident.


Dear Short Answers: Why was Napoleon so popular?

— Josephine

Dear J: Some chicks are mad crazy for little guys.

Life is complicated. Short Answers isn't. Submit your questions anonymously on our website ( or email them to


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions