I'm a major fan of the Social Q's column in the New York Times. It's a little bit like "Dear Abby", but much funnier. The thing that sets it apart from most advice columns is that the author, Phillip Galanes, tends to write trite, sarcastic, and *sometimes* downright snarky replies instead of the overly courteous responses that most have come to expect from such columns. Social Q's was part of the impetus behind Five's decision to start its very own question section. That's right. Now, whenever you encounter a sticky situation that makes you question everything you thought you knew, just send us an email (at firstname.lastname@example.org) with the deets. We will post your questions with FIVE different perspectives on the matter!
In the interest of full disclosure:
1.The views expressed in answers will be those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the greater TD clan (I was coerced into writing that).
2. We promise not to be quite as cutting as Social Q's Phillip Galanes.
3. We promise that some of the advice will be way off base. But between 5 different--relatively well adjusted ladies--we promise you can expect to get something helpful from at least one of us...Right guys?
4. We promise to accept questions about children, dating, decorating, dogs, fashion, finances, food, health, nutrition, travel and what to do about awkward hugs from unwanted sources. We may not be experts, but that doesn't mean we won't have opinions!
5. Finally, we promise that Five's "Q's" will be highly entertaining...at least some of the time :)
Below are a two of my favorite social dilemmas from the past few of weeks. Enjoy!
*note: In the interest of concision, I've edited them down a little.
Boys in Tresses
We are Jewish but not religious. We have a 2-year-old son whose hair we are not going to cut until he is 3, which is traditional among very religious Jews. Strangers in restaurants often mistake him for a girl. Should we correct them?
You’ve thoroughly confused me on the religion front...but to answer your question, don't correct them. We don’t really care whether Goldilocks is a boy or a girl, as long as his screaming doesn’t ruin our dinner.
A Gift, Not My Idea
My sister is generous and loves giving gifts for every occasion: babies, birthdays, engagements. She asks all of us, her siblings, to contribute a certain amount; and if we feel it’s too steep, she tells us to contribute what we like, and she’ll cover the difference. I think this is a tremendous imposition. Any ideas?
Let me get this straight: Your sister shops for all the gifts and pays for them, and you feel put upon? Here’s an idea: Send her to my house.
Still, you make a fair point: whether and how to gift is your prerogative. So, if you don’t like this communal arrangement, try, “I appreciate all your shopping, Sis, but I’m going to start doing it for myself.”
Be careful, though. As Joni Mitchell sang (about paradise and parking lots): Sometimes, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
*questions and answers courtesy of Phillip Galanes at the NYT