Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dogs, babies, bah; what's the difference?
Dogs and babies: What should be done about someone who insists on referring to a dog as a person/child/baby when it is done without any indication that it's a joke? This person is fully aware that other people are expecting actual, real children, and don't like the equivalency the dog person is creating. Grin and bear it, or say, "Please stop equating your dog with this baby"?
Carolyn: Do you really want to be the one who puts a value on someone's attachment to his/her dog? Leave it alone. Be happy for anyone who feels love. Maybe this person's attachments/passions/values don't add up, in your opinion, but unless you're at the gangplank of the Ark and the rain is coming down, there's really nothing to be gained by prioritizing your affections over others'.
Simple solution for when career takes new path
Quitting: I have decided to leave my job to go into business for myself. Got the space all picked out, took care of leases and insurance. I have the support of my friends and family.
My issue is with my current employer. Prior to me, he went through six employees in two years, so it's a well-known fact that he can be mean (profanity, throwing things, etc.). But it's been swept under the rug for the last 10 years. I've worked for him for years and it has finally taken a toll.
There's a good possibility that when I tell him, he will fire me on the spot. He definitely believes in payback; he recently cut my hours by a third as punishment for something. Do I tell him he's a large part of the reason I'm leaving? Or do I bow out gracefully and say it's because I can no longer afford to work part time?
Carolyn: Long situation, short answer: Never burn a bridge. This was a great opportunity for you, you're excited for the new challenge, and you will remain grateful for what working for him has taught you. (About the merits of Kevlar Fridays.)
Couple's new focus on hobbies leaves wife unfulfilled
No baby, no cry: Husband and I had always planned on having kids till about a year ago, when he announced he was no longer interested. He wants to focus on our marriage, our careers and our two passions: travel and food/wine.
I get where he's coming from, and I didn't really see a choice, so I gave up on the baby thing. Husband was apologetic and tried to make it up to me with some pretty lavish trips and splurges, which wouldn't have been possible if we'd gotten pregnant instead . . . Anyway, now that our hobbies have gotten in the way of starting a family, I'm finding them utterly unfulfilling and self-indulgent, and I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life this way. But husband is as happy as ever and firmly dedicated to this choice. What should I do?
Carolyn: You know he "is as happy as ever and firmly dedicated to this choice" because you said plainly that you're no longer fulfilled by your shelter-mag way of life?
If that's not the case, then that's where you start — with the truth, although stated in kinder words than mine.