Ask Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas is the expert behind "Ask Laskas", an advice column that appears each month in Reader's Digest.

Jeanne Marie Laskas is the expert behind “Ask Laskas”, an advice column that appears each month in Reader’s Digest. Questions about parents, partners or office politics? E-mail

Please note that we have the right to publish your letter or an edited version in all print and electronic media.

  • Your Comments

    • mark

      Carside Serenade

      I felt your solution fell short. I have the same problem with my wife. When
      I’m not in the mood to listen to her sing…these are the tricks I’ve used

      Put on classical music

      Put on the news..I tell her I’ve been out of touch for a few days.

      Put on sports

      I save up conversations that I want to talk about…hows work, something
      on the news, family stuff’

      when all rlse fails, pull the fuse to the radio

    • Confused

      i have a friend who i don’t know all that well who just recently started to block me in the hallway when i try to go to my next class. Is he flirting with me or is he messing with me and how do I react to his actions?

    • Myron Mendelow

      Dear Jeanne,
      Eco-friendly Emma is hen-pecking her husband for leaving the water running while shaving, etc. She probably doesn’t realize that water is her least expensive utility bill and the amount he ‘wastes’ is less than a drop in the oceans of the world. I wonder how much water runs and is wasted while she is lathering up to shampoo her hair in the shower.

    • Liz

      Dear Ms. Laskas,
      I am the mother of two grown children and 3 grandchildren. I enjoy taking pictures at family gatherings. These photos are never posted online, they’re for the family albums only. Every single time I bring my camera out and my son is present he starts in with “Mom, put it away!” “Son of a *$^#&”, etc, whether he’s the one being photographed or not. My daughter and grandchildren were here visiting from out of state and I really wanted to get a photo of my two children together. My son acted like an absolute jerk and the best I could get out of him was a scowl and an expletive. I’ve tried telling him that it means a lot to me to have photos of him with his sister and nieces but it doesn’t seem to matter. Seriously, I’m not asking him to cut off his arm for me, only to indulge me for a few snapshots at family gatherings and holidays. Am I asking to much?

    • California Girl

      Re “pooch problems” – I just recently had a similar situation with a friend who did ask if she could bring her pooch to visit but gave me no alternative except to say it was okay. I stressed on what to do with the dog! When she arrived, I excitedly led her and her dog to my side fenced yard where I had put out a water bowl and some dog toys. If you don’t have a fenced yard to do this, perhaps there is someplace that can be viewed from the house where you could put the same “utensils” but also include two long leads tied to something, noting in either instance a nice play area for the dogs while you visit. If you do this each time, perhaps your stepdaughter will get the hint that you don’t want the dogs in the house. However, if she eventually questions you on this, be honest with her, nicely, of course – after all, it is your house. If she insists on bringing them in or in inclement weather, have a place set up inside with pads for the dogs to lay on, surrounded by toys, and nicely suggest that she contain the dogs in that area. I repeat, it is your house, and not all people are “dog people”.

    • Elaine

      Re: the question from the maid of honor at her bf’s wedding, she actually gave her own best advice. “Keep (her) mouth shut.” What is in the past is done; if she is truly her best friend, she will not want to drop a negative thought into the mind of the happy bride. The problem is not the bride’s, it is not even the cousin with so much drama. The only one who has the problem is Miffed Maid. Best to let it go and get on with life. And let everyone else do the same.

    • Sandra

      This is a comment to the maid of honor in the June 2013 column: keep your mouth shut! Why bother the bride with this tediousness? If you’re reeling from the behavior of a drama queen, then you’re one, too!