Ask Carolyn

  • Grandma’s nicknames rile mom

    Grandma’s nicknames rile mom

    Hi, Carolyn: My mother-in-law, “Linda,” has been calling my daughter Tootsie as a nickname since the day she was born. I have no idea where this nickname came from but it drives me crazy. I have asked her to call her by her given name so she is not confused as she grows older and

  • My boyfriend wears ladies’ lingerie

    My boyfriend wears ladies’ lingerie

    Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend is a very athletic, CrossFit, off-road-biking, jock kind of guy. He also sometimes likes to wear ladies’ lingerie, which is completely fine with me. The other day he was wearing a satiny bra under a T-shirt and a friend of ours happened to see the strap. The friend is kind of

  • Why is it all about the ring?

    Why is it all about the ring?

    Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend of three years always badgered me about getting married before our four-year anniversary. At first the arbitrary deadline annoyed me, but after living together for two years and working through the death of her mother, I really am taking the thought seriously. I’ve even started to save up for a ring.

  • We’d like to move back home

    We’d like to move back home

    Dear Carolyn: How do you figure out whether moving back “home” and blowing up your career in order to do so is the right thing to do? I realize you can’t answer this, but my husband and I are despondent living away from family lately and feel like we’re depriving our 2-year-old from being near

  • When FaceTime becomes an intrusion

    When FaceTime becomes an intrusion

    Dear Carolyn: My sister-in-law recently relocated to our area. We invited her to join us for our traditionally quiet New Year’s Eve celebration. About two hours before midnight, she pulled out her iPad and FaceTimed her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, and proceeded to talk for the next two hours or longer. Essentially three people were

  • Is honesty always the best policy?

    Is honesty always the best policy?

    Dear Carolyn: Is it ever OK to lie to someone? What if this person is a very persistent ex-boyfriend who is asking invasive personal questions? I just got busted for lying to him and know I shouldn’t have lied, but, frankly, the only way to get him out of the way was to lie. —

  • Managing Grandma’s holiday stress

    Managing Grandma’s holiday stress

    Dear Carolyn: I come from a large family, and my mother cares very much about having us all together for the holidays. My siblings and I and our partners and children usually make it happen, and we have fun together. The problem is that my mom is a constant negative force during and/or after nearly

  • What’s a mother to do?

    What’s a mother to do?

    Hi, Carolyn: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated. As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and pick up from school, take them to extracurricular activities, and be home more with them.