Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I make my timid husband ask for a longer haircut?

13 April 2019

9:00 AM

13 April 2019

9:00 AM

Q. We sent out email invitations to our drinks party and have had too many acceptances. The venue has said that due to fire regulations we will have to reduce numbers by 20 people. What should we do?
— T.L., Wantage, Oxon

A. Email again, explaining the issue and asking for 20 volunteers to identify themselves as willing to attend a second drinks party on another specified date. Say the first 20 to reply will win places. You will find you are inundated, since people of your age group don’t like crowded rooms as they can’t hear anything. All the deaf friends will come forward immediately and the problem will be sorted.

Q. I have recently married a non-confrontational man whose barber has been giving him the same over-severe short back and sides for 20 years. My husband would like the barber to go easier but says he is embarrassed to ask, as he has always pronounced himself highly satisfied. He plans to stick it out for the next five years until the man retires so as to spare his feelings. But what about my feelings?
— R.M., London W11


A. Let him continue to patronise this barber but during each appointment ring the salon and, in irritable tones, ask that your husband telephone you as soon as possible. This will allow him to use you, the new and demanding wife, as a proxy to request that the savage cuts be moderated.

Q. Three of my male friends are going on a golfing trip. There are two rooms available, a twin and a single. All three are married, two to women and one to a man. How should rooms be allocated?
— F.R., by email

A. There is no need to consider sexual orientation. Far more appropriate to ask who snores and let this dictate the division.

Q. A boy who bullied my son at school has included me in a round robin asking to sponsor him to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of a charity. I ignored the request because I didn’t see why I should sponsor this boy. I also had the feeling from his email that it was all about him, rather than about the charity, and I couldn’t help thinking why didn’t he save the airfare to Kenya and donate that sum to the charity in the first place. Now his mother has sent a follow-up round robin saying she would like everyone who ignored her son’s request to have a second look, as the charity he is trying to support is so amazing. What should I do?
— Name and address withheld

A. Give £10 now. If the nugatory sum is ever queried, explain that you would like to give more but you have so many requests each year that you can’t afford to. Moreover you have your own favourite charity to which you feel committed to donate any spare funds you might have available.

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