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Heavy Meddle: Lightning Round Edition!

A bunch of brief responses to a bunch of brief questions and moral quandaries. (jmartinezsolera/flickr)
A bunch of brief responses to a bunch of brief questions and moral quandaries. (jmartinezsolera/flickr)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Howdy Meddleheads!

Every few months, I like to clean house here at Questionable Advice Headquarters, and that means looking over some of the letters I never bothered to answer, mostly because they were too short. I mean to rectify that this week.

If you want to send a letter (of whatever length, though more detailed is better) send away to advice@wbur.org.

Thanks,
Steve

Dear Steve,

How should you respond if a co-worker asks you out in front of a larger group of co-workers?

Signed,
Baffled Brenda

Dear BB,

If you like the guy enough to go on a date with him, say the following: “Are you asking me out on a date? Because it’s kind of awkward to be asked out on a date in front of our co-workers. Maybe you should ask me that question later, in a more private setting.”

If you do not like the guy enough to go on a date with him, say the following:

“No.”

You’re welcome,
Steve


Dear Steve,

Is it better to break up with someone — or to tell them you want to take a break if you aren’t sure if you want to end up with them in the long run?

Signed,
Ambivalent Adele

PHOTO

Dear Ambivalent,

My guess is that you don’t want to end up with this person in the long run, but want to keep the option available — like a safety school. That’s not fair to either one of you. A human being is not a safety school. A human being is a human being. Break up with him. Or her.

Courage!
Steve


Dear Steve,

My roommate is planning on having seven friends from college stay at our apartment this month. They are coming from all over the country and are not booking a hotel, but rather, will be sprawled out over our tiny three-bedroom apartment. Should I ask her to have them lodge elsewhere?

Signed,
No Vagrancy

Dear No Vagrancy,

Yes. I’d suggest they seek alternative lodging at Burning Man, where they will find many people of their weirdly-entitled, freeloading tribe.

Bitterly,
Steve


Dear Steve,

What do you do if your just-met-a-second-ago on-line date is rude to the waitperson?

Signed,
Aghast Alice

Dear Aghast,

Say to the waitperson, “I’m so sorry that my date was just rude to you! I met him on-line and had no idea he’d be such a blowhard in person. Obviously, he’s not going to be getting any sexual dessert from me.”

Ouch,
Steve


Dear Steve,

How do I say no to my in-laws after multiple invitations to attend a family party? We have absolutely nothing in common, are friendly enough with one another, but it’s really not necessary for my attendance.

Signed,
Determined to Demur

Dear DtD,

Hey, it’s a family party. Nobody’s attendance is “necessary.” You go to these things to make nice with your in-laws. If you can’t handle that, make some plausible excuse. But at a certain point, after enough excuses, they’re going to get that you don’t care for their company. So you’ve got to look forward to.

Is my bitterness showing again?

Love,
Steve


Dear Steve,

Is love really a battlefield?

Signed,
Heartsick

Dear Heartsick,

No. But hell is for children.

Yours,
Steve


Dear Steve,

I have had a recent spate of serial dating. I’m not sure if I am being too judgmental when I meet people, or if I am not being judgmental enough when it comes to deciding who I go on dates with.

Should I adopt a new strategy?

Signed,
Sick of First Dates

Dear Sick,

It sounds like you are being too judgmental — of yourself. But it also sounds like you’re getting tired of the serial dating merry go round. Get off for a while. It’s not going anywhere. Trust me.

Still bitter after all these years,
Steve

Okay folks, now it's your turn. Did I get it right, or muck it up? Let me know in the comments section. And please do send your own question along, the more detailed the better. Even if I don't have a helpful response, chances are someone in the comments section will. Send your dilemmas via email.

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