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My daughter hasn't called me in 4 months. My mother died June 15, 2016. We didn't have any fights. She works hard but not on Saturday. We text a little. In a text I told her I don't want to call her because I know she is busy... she could call me when she wasn't busy. No calls. Do you have any suggestions? JD

Dear JD

First, I offer my sympathies on the loss of your mother. The loss of a parent is extraordinarily painful. Not only must one deal with the absence of a loved one, one tends to reassess their own life in contemplation of their own longevity.

Consequently, you are probably feeling a greater desire to bond with your daughter. That is both reasonable and fair. Although you may be under the impression that your daughter should understand your feelings, she may not. She also may be avoiding anticipated drama.

The harsh reality, JD is that you may be giving your daughter the impression that a phone call with you will be an emotional drain. The longer you two don’t talk, the worse it will be.

You are the mother! Quit pussyfooting around. If you want to talk to your child call her! This meek routine hasn’t been very effective, has it?

She’ll probably be relieved to end the uncomfortable stalemate.

Good luck to you.



I recently moved to New York City from the south. I was raised to be a gentleman and I've never had any complaints about my comportment until recently. I opened the door for a woman in my building and she reprimanded me for objectifying her. She thought that I was trying to see her backside. Is there a different cultural style that I am ignoring here? I'd like to fit in. Bo

Dear Bo

Welcome to the big city. You have encountered what local bird watchers like to refer to as a bitch.

Opening the door for women is a lovely thing to do. Few people who live in the hustle and bustle of big cities take the time to extend each other small courtesies anymore.

Disregard her rudeness and honor your fine upbringing.



My 13 yr old daughter is driving me insane. My husband and I decided to allow her to watch the debates. We didn't think that she'd be very interested but we wanted to teach her about our political process. Now we have a monster on our hands. She is obsessed with the election. She is also very argumentative about it, even though she doesn't really understand the issues. Last night, she wanted an extra dessert and when I said no, she stood up with her hands on her hips and said," My name is not Alicia Machado Don't you fat shame me, Mother!" I need advice. Irene

Dear Irene

This will all be over soon. By next Wednesday your daughter will probably find a new interest. Thirteen year old girls, thrive on challenging their mothers.

You don’t have a political problem. You have a teenager. If you think that she misunderstands issues, teach her. If she turns that sassy attitude on and mouths off at you, discipline her.

She’s testing you. She needs you to be a barometer for acceptable behavior. Nip that nonsense in the bud now and things will improve.


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The Scamper

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