I'm Just Say'n

Lifting Spirits

CarolynCarolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. E-mail Carolyn at [email protected].

Dear Carolyn,

This is a hard time of year for long-haul truckers. I want to reach out to all those guys and gals out there who are going to be away from home over Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. It’s tough — I’ve been there. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for how to make this a less lonely time.


Dear Jason,

Over the years, readers have been very generous with their holiday tips. You can take time to volunteer in a soup kitchen, reach out to your fellow truckers by greeting them in the truckstop, stay in touch with friends and family via phone and Internet. But mostly it’s a time when you have to reach down deep and get through it. I highly recommend preparing in advance.

Maybe load up on some good movies or books on CD to lighten the mood. Take care of your physical health by eating healthy and getting exercise. Evaluate your spiritual life and see if your burden can be eased by exploring your faith.

Mostly, be kind to yourself. It’s tough out there.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way since I can tell by your picture you are not a spring chicken. That’s OK. I’m not either. But I have a huge problem I thought you could help me with. How do you tell how old a woman actually is? This woman I like has more wrinkles and gray hair than I am used to. I’ve come out and asked her how old she is, but she jokes about how a woman never tells her age. Is there another way to tell?

Just wondering,


Dear George,

You mean like how a vet can tell how old a horse is by his teeth? Or how you can tell how old a tree is by counting the rings around the stump?

I have no idea what to suggest if you’ve already asked her. I don’t condone sneaking through her purse and checking her driver’s license. Absolutely you should not do that. I mean, I might do that, but I would not tell you to do it.

Good luck with it.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My son has just announced to our family that he’s gay. Frankly, I’m not surprised, and neither were my other children. We assured him of our continued support and love. However, my husband and his parents are devastated.

My husband refuses to speak to him and blames me for all of it. I’m not sure how to handle this. My son is sad but resigned to the fact that his dad is never going to accept him.

Please help me cope with this situation.


Dear Jenny,

First of all, your son took a big step by coming out to you and your family. He probably knew his dad would have a hard time, but he did it anyway. I think you are handling it well, and that’s all you can do right now.

There are some good books, articles and websites for parents of gay children. Some address religious opposition, and others relate scientific and medical research behind gender issues. There are stages you go through before reaching acceptance. Hopefully your husband will find his way to fully accepting your son’s life choices. He doesn’t have to agree with them, but no matter what, he’s still his son.

Good luck to all of you.

I’m just say’n.


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