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tipple threat

I’m dating someone who happens to be fairly healthy and active except every night this person drinks a few beers or a glass of wine (or two). I don’t think that this person is an alcoholic but I do wonder if there’s some kind of dependency with alcohol. Should I be worried?


Photographic Memory says: Not at all. A moderate amount of alcohol per day is actually good for you. The benefits of drinking red wine, especially, have been widely published as being good for your heart.

If they were getting drunk every night, then maybe I would worry. But a couple of beers or glasses of wine is fine.

The Sales Guy says: Well I think the operative word is “every.” This person drinks every day. From what you describe this person drinks modest quantities in front of you, do you think this person drinks during the day as well? Have you seen this person hammered or binge? If your concerned you might have to be more direct and sit and discuss this one-on-one. Dwelling on the what- ifs will just make you crazy. I say have the talk.

The Practical Cogitator says: Lighten up, Simon-Pure. Is he downing a six-pack every single night? Pounding a 40 on a daily basis? Are the bevs changing his personality? Is he drinking to excess? Or is he simply relaxing after a full day with a night-cap? Maybe you should just chill out and join him.

The Other Hand says: How do you know how much he’s drinking every night? You’re sitting there with him, aren’t you? Watching him. Counting his intake. Raising an eyebrow. Making an issue out of something that billions of people indulge in daily around the globe.

Did it ever occur to you that you are the very reason he is drinking every night? Nobody likes to be in a relationship where they constantly feel judged. If it’s something you simply can’t stand, why not jump ship now, before he realizes he can’t stand your up-tightness, and leaves you?

Ruthless says: Sounds more like an irritating habit (at least, irritating to you) than an actual “problem.” I mean, do you live around here? In Buffalo? Sorry, but a couple drinks a night is considered practically teetotalling in these parts. You’re living in one of the hardest-drinking cities in the country. Maybe the world. (No, I don’t have any statistics to back that up. But it’s gotta be true, right?) So as long as you’re fishing in this local pond, he’s probably about the driest fish you’re going to catch.

picking up the slacks

I have a coworker who wears pants that are too small and her underwear is constantly showing. Should I tell her?

Le Voyeur says: I’m going to need more information here. Like, where do you work, what does she look like, and what kind of underwear are we talking about? Don’t do anything until you write back with that info.

The Straight Skinny says: I’m assuming your relationship is not so close that you feel free to be critical, or you wouldn’t be asking us, right?

Unless you’re her boss, and unless her dress affects her job performance—say, for example, she’s a receptionist or interacts with customers—you absolutely should not say anything to her about her clothes. It’s none of your business.

If you are her boss, and her clothes present a problem, you should send a memo to the entire office about appropriate attire, so as not to single out one person.

the back stabber

I accidentally have come into possession of an email in which a colleague writes disparaging things about my job performance to my boss. (It was part of a chain of emails that someone else at work forwarded to me, I think unwittingly.) I believe these criticisms to be unjustified. Should I respond?

The Co-worker says: Respond to what, exactly? And to whom? Life in an office is a jungle filled with poisonous plants and animals, viscious insects that transmit deadly disease, and camouflaged predators waiting to pounce at any moment. What are you going to do? Request a meeting with Human Resources about this? Forget about it. HR been busy building up a dossier on you that would make your head spin. Seriously. You wouldn’t be able to handle the truth if you knew all the documented violations of the company handbook they’ve been gathering in that manila folder with your name on it. Are you going to fight that stuff, too?

If you’re a good worker, just keep up the good work. Don’t worry about small-minded chatterers who like to eat up work time sniping at coworkers. Good bosses know their employees, and also know not to be easily swayed by gossips under their charge.

Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Please send your questions for our panel of experts to

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