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Personal Advice Column


Family Loan, Sleeping? Gossipers, and Feeling Guilty


Dear Mrs. Web,


My husband is ill and cannot work.  He has lost his disability and has not qualified for Social Security yet.  Although we were once comfortable, we are now on the edge of financial ruin.  Last year my sister offered us some money but we did not need it then.  I recently asked her to lend us $3000 to cover our taxes.  She has never responded.  My sister and her new husband, although frugal, are wealthy.  I do intend to pay her back.  I realize they have no legal obligation to help me, but do they have a moral obligation?  Should I confront her or let it drop?  Is it unreasonable to feel disappointed (she used to be very generous before she re-married) and angry?  Sadly, I've been giving her the cold shoulder -- I can't seem to help it.


It sounds like she cannot or will not help.  No, they do not have a moral obligation, although it would be nice.  Families that are close usually help each other out.  Those that are not close, do not.  Some people don't want money in the middle of their family relationships.  You have asked, if you wish, you can ask for a clear yes or no. Don’t give your sister the cold shoulder because she doesn’t give you what you want.  I know it is tough going; however, this is your sister and her marriage.  In these times of disconnect, some folks do not realize how important it is to support and help our family members when they fall on difficult days.  Face it; most everyone gets a turn at hard times. For some it is money, for others, deaths and other losses.





Dear Mrs. Web,


I am 20 years old and my boyfriend tells me that he loves me and we are perfect together.  We are both waiting until marriage for sex. Unfortunately, I often wake up because he is touching me inappropriately while I am sleeping.  I confront him about it and we end up fighting.  I don’t know what to do anymore.


 What are you doing in bed with your boyfriend?  Couples and beds equal sex. Expecting bodies not to respond is ridiculous.  Get out of his bed and grow up.  If you are both so perfect together, tie the knot, then you can do all sorts of “inappropriate” things together. 




Dear Mrs. Web,


I am an honest person who keeps the secrets that people tell me.   I have misjudged the character of certain people and told them some very personal things.  Now a lot of people know my secrets and I am embarrassed.  Who can I trust?


Sadly, gossip abounds.  Many people don’t even know that it’s hurtful to repeat secrets.  We live in a gossip-filled culture where everything is game for speculation.  Never tell anyone except your closest family or friend the information you don’t want others to hear.  George Washington once said, Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence.  True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the name.”  Smart man!





Dear Mrs. Web,


I know a guy a lot of people didn’t like.  Neither did I.  I was jealous of him.  He was recently killed in a fire.  I know it’s not my fault but I feel horrible because I didn’t like him…and now he is dead.  I feel so bad.


What happened was a tragedy, which happens both to the liked and the disliked.  Send a card to the family and then take stock of what you have learned.  What kind of individual do you want to be?  What kind of character do you want to build?  Jealousy is corrosive to the heart.





Wedding Demands, Dishonesty,

 Baby Shower


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am looking for impartial advice.  My fiancé and I are getting married next month.  We have a four-year old together.  My mother-in-law has always been good, not interfering, or manipulative.  Until now.  She is in charge of the rehearsal dinner and instead of having it catered, she decided to host a barbeque.  I was disappointed but agreed.  My fiancé and I gave her the list of the invitees and now she says that she has family in town, about six people, who she is including at the dinner.  She knows my feelings and is blatantly disregarding them.  I told her to forget about the dinner, I would host it myself in a restaurant.  Now she says that she will not be attending my dinner.  My fiancé and I agree that this OUR wedding and we should be able to have things the way WE want them.  She has no right to dictate to us.  I don’t want my mother in law to walk all over me.  I think I deserve an apology.

I DO think an apology is in order.  I think you should get off your prima-donna high-horse and along with your fiancé, beg your mother-in-law’s pardon for your rudeness.  Imagine telling the hosts whom they can invite.  This is not how honored guests behave.  Just because you are getting married does not mean that the world revolves around you.  Your mother-in-law is not walking all over you; she is getting out of your way. 


Dear Mrs. Web,

A former co-worker called and asked for a favor.  When he was with the company, he (ahem!) “borrowed” some old office equipment from storage.  He now wants me to return it for him.  What should I do?  Put it back?  Inform my boss? 

What will happen to you and to your job if you are caught with stolen merchandise on the premises?  This is your friend’s problem and he needs to deal with it.  Perhaps you can suggest that he sit down with the boss and offer to pay rent on the little-missed equipment. 

Dear Mrs. Web,

My best friend wants to be a singer and she is really good.  I 'm afraid that when we grow up, she might become famous and not remember me.  What do I do?

“When you grow up” is a long time ahead.  The future is not ours to know, so stay in the present, and enjoy your friend.  Perhaps you will become her manager.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My daughter lives out of town, and is expecting her first child.  We would like to give her a baby shower but she cannot attend.  How does one go about giving a baby shower without the mother-to -be present?

You wouldn’t give a birthday party without the birthday girl and you don’t give a baby shower without the mother-to-be.  The best you would be able to do is either import your daughter for the party, or send all the potential shower invitees birth announcements after the fact.



Dear Mrs. Web



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