DEAR NATHAN: My husband wears a hairpiece. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look very real. Nearly every time we are in a public place, I notice somebody staring or laughing at it. I have talked to him about it only a couple of times, but each time he tells me how attached he is to it and how good it feels on his head. I want him to be happy, but I do not want him to be publicly ridiculed. Should I throw it away? — WIFE OF A MAN WITH A “SECRET”
DEAR WIFE OF A MAN WITH A “SECRET”: You are a very good wife. My wife would not care about my feelings in this situation. She would say something along the lines of “Take that stupid thing off your head. It looks like a cat crawled up there and died a slow but violent death.”
It seems the main issue here is this has become a source of comfort for you husband. He has become very attached to it and it is now his security hairpiece. Maybe you should try replacing it with a blanket. Of course then you would have to worry about people laughing at the man cuddling with a blanket in public.
The best choice would be to find a hat with a velvet interior. Nothing feels better than velvet, especially when compared to a stupid cheap rug.
DEAR NATHAN: I have a 12-year-old daughter who keeps telling me she knows Santa isn’t real. “Angela” is an only child, so we don’t have a younger child to worry about carrying on the tradition.
I keep telling her that I believe, and as long as she believes, Santa will come. Angela went so far this year to tell me that she won’t write a letter to Santa to prove her point. I guess I have a problem admitting to my daughter that her father and I haven’t been truthful all these years. I would love some advice on how to handle this. — I BELIEVE, IN NAVARRE, FLA.
DEAR I BELIEVE: This is a very tricky situation for most parents. Every parent spends years carefully cultivating a lie to their children. They insist that a fat man breaks into their house once a year and brings toys that, despite being handcrafted by elves, look exactly like something that could be bought from your local Toys R’ Us. Then, someday those children find out that their parents are the worst kind of liars. I believe this to be the cause of most strained parent-children relationships.
The key here is to get rid of the idea of Santa without telling your kid, “Hey! We have been lying to you for over a decade! Hahaha! That is so funny, isn’t it?!”
The tactic I plan on taking is this: when my children start to suspect something, I will simply tell them that Santa has had a terrible accident. It won’t be too hard to believe. He spends a lot of his time on roofs and he depends on livestock to propel him through the air. It was bound to happen at some point. Plus, I’ll get that pesky death conversation out of the way at the same time.
It’s always best to jam as many crushing, earth-shattering moments into the holidays as you can.
DEAR NATHAN: One of my neighbors insisted on giving me some handcrafted Christmas decorations that are hideous. I have never been big on decorating the outside of my home for the holidays, but when I do, I have my own that I like much better.
I know she expects me to display her items and will be all bent out of shape when she sees I haven’t. Is there a diplomatic way to avoid hurt feelings? — FLORIDA READER
DEAR FLORIDA READER: As far as I can tell, there is no diplomatic way to avoid hurting her feelings. As the spouse of a person who likes to make handcrafted goods, they do not want to hear that the thing they are making is maybe not so good. Any criticism makes them question everything they have done in their life and the next thing you know, you have a self-conscious crafter showing everything they do to you and pestering you for your opinion so as to validate all of their efforts.
The best idea is to lie. Tell them that Santa fell onto those decorations, crushing them into a million pieces. He spends a lot of his time on roofs and he depends on livestock to propel him through the air. He was bound to fall off of a roof onto decorations at some point.
If you’re lucky, you can also then explain death to your neighbor’s kid.
The holidays are a magical time.