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What To Do If Your Friend Wants To Date Your Ex (And 2 Other Life Dilemmas)

A too-punctual partner and a very hairy situation: Lisa Kogan untangles it all.
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Dear Lisa, My friend ran into my ex-husband at Costco, and now she wants to know whether I’d be okay with her asking him out. We’ve been amicably divorced for almost three years2012-10-11-omaglogo.jpg, and I’m happily involved with somebody else. But the trust is, I do mind. I know I don’t have a leg to stand on, but I really don’t want them getting together. now what? — Gia, Toronto

Now, Gia, you take a deep breath. You appreciate the fact that your friend was up-front. You tell her the idea makes you surprisingly uncomfortable, but you’ll work to overcome that discomfort. And then you give your blessing. If you say no, you’ll be denying two decent people a shot at the kind of happiness you’ve been lucky enough to find for yourself. If you say yes and they end up clicking, you’re going to be just fine (though maybe not at first and probably not at Costco). You’ll be fine because you’ll know that you had a choice, and you chose generosity, compassion, and goodness. We weren’t put on this planet to be small, Gia. Our job is to be fantastic! And if that aches a bit—I promise you, it’s nothing more than a growing pain.

Dear Lisa, My husband is perpetually on time, and I’m always a little late. I keep pointing out that parties never start right on the dot, most doctors make you wait a good 20 minutes, and movies show an eternity of previews before the feature begins. It’s the only major argument we ever have, but we have it a lot. So, who’s right? —June, North Carolina

Dear June—though I’m guessing your real name is April but you’re running a couple of months behind—It isn’t about right or wrong (though, for the record, you’re wrong); this is a peacekeeping mission. They say that for a marriage to be happy, you need separate bathrooms. But I say the key to living resentment-free ever after is this: If your husband can’t seem to cut you some slack and you can’t manage to be punctual, let go of the anger, put an end to the stress, and simply agree to get where you’re going separately. When your host has run out of cocktail shrimp, the dermatologist has no time to fill your crinkly forehead with Botox, and you end up wandering the world completely clueless that the new Bourne movie is opening—well, that’s for you to deal with. Meantime, your husband can mingle, control his blood pressure, and enjoy his Milk Duds secure in the knowledge that both Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton have films coming out this Christmas.

Dear Lisa, My mother has lousy eyesight and long chin hairs. I don’t know how to tell her. Any ideas? —Laurel, Texas

Laurel, dear, This is yet another situation when a singing telegram just won’t cut it. Here’s the thing: Many are under the impression that women have babies in order to preboard planes. And sure, that’s a big part of it, but we also hope our girls will grow into the kind of people who offer humanitarian aid for any rogue facial hair. Be direct, but not so direct that you open with the words, “Listen up, Rapunzel.” Try instead, “You know, Mom, in certain light, I’m seeing a few stray chin hairs.” Note: The verb cornrow should be avoided at all costs. Present her with a magnifying mirror, tweezers, and, if need be, a stiff drink—then never speak of it again.

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