My teenage son is a liar. He lies about almost everything. The other day he told me he lost his cellphone and that it was his friend's fault, when he actually dropped it in the toilet. Is it too much to get some truth out of him? -Exasperated Dad
Abby: As Judge Judy once said, “you can tell your teenager is lying because their lips are moving.” Teenagers lie, especially obnoxious, self-absorbed, grandiose, self-righteous, entitled feeling teenagers. Remind yourself this is most likely a passing phase and if you continue to set a good example yourself, by speaking the truth, they will also likely come around, eventually. While you are patiently waiting for this to happen, go for a walk, get a drink from your bowl. And ground him for a month.
Chopstick: Liar, liar pants on fire! Whenever he asks for something from now on, begin every answer with, “when I was your age...” and go into detail about how tough you had it (whether you had it tough or not), until he goes away or drops his request.
Dear Abby & Choppy,
My co-worker in the cubicle next to me endlessly, and loudly, talks on the phone to her friends. I can't get any work done. It's driving me crazy. I asked her nicely to lower her voice and out of spite she talks even louder now. Please help. -Angry Associate
Dear Angry A,
Abby: Angry dogs attract angry dogs. Happy dogs attract almost everyone. Be sure you ask nicely. Explain that you are doing a difficult assignment and you need full concentration. If your kindness is rebuffed, then ask your boss to talk to her boss. Or asked to be moved. If that doesn't work, buy earplugs.
Chopstick: Eat the most obnoxious food you can find. Sardines in garlic oil, extra ripe kimchi and raw onions for starters and discuss your latest doctor visit loudly and in great detail to whomever will listen until the offending person takes the hint, or quits.