You Are the Answer Lady: March 2012
Q. I called my best friend's parents "Mr. and Mrs. Brown" while I was growing up, but now that I'm in my 40s it seems silly. Should I ask them if I can address them by their first names?
Call me old-fashioned but I was taught to respect your elders, so I would still go with "Mr. and Mrs. Brown."
I use "Mr. and Mrs." with some of my friends' parents, but recently one of them said, "Oh, that makes me feel so old! Just call me Bob." Most people would probably be grateful if you asked for their preference politely.
Do you stop calling your parents "Mom" and "Dad"? Respect is respect, no matter how old you are.
Faye Mohandespour Ridpath
I'm in my 50s and even though my oldest and dearest friend's mother insists that I call her Alice, I just cannot bring myself to do it.
Q. My coworker never covers up her coughs. It's gross but I can't think of a polite way to say something. Help!
Who cares about being polite -- she's hacking all over everyone! Just tell her to cover her mouth.
Esther White Hedberg
Or you could just say "Thanks for sharing!" when she coughs.
I like Hilda's suggestion. But seriously, you have every right to say something.
Lisa Moore Kneggs
At my office, handouts on cold prevention were given to all employees along with a short presentation at our department meeting. Could you suggest something like that to your boss? That way management is the "bad guy" (instead of you!).
Get her some lozenges and box of tissues and say, "I noticed you're coughing a lot. I thought these could help."
Q. My friend just started dating a man who cheated on his ex-wife (I know for sure), but she has no idea and is really into him. Do I tell her?
Give him a chance to tell her what happened. There's a reason she's his ex-wife -- maybe there's more to the story than his cheating.
Linda McCormack Nosal
Yes. It will save her a bigger hurt down the road. She may get mad but keeping a friend from getting burned by a cheating creep is more important.
Hell yes, tell her, or you'll just have to listen to all her drama later!
Say something but be careful -- we all know how women can stick their heads in the sand about the men they love.
No, you don't know both sides of the situation in his other relationship. But if he cheats on your friend, then I'd definitely speak up.
From top to bottom: Anna Preziosi, Tara Turner, Vicki Barich, Jenny Adkins.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, March 2012.