Dear Abby: the PM turns advice columnist

Romantic problems, family issues or even gift-giving dilemmas? Mr. Harper’s got answers.

Actual recent questions to Dear Abby, as answered by Stephen Harper:

Dear Abby: The moment we got married a year ago, my husband started gaining weight and adopting horrible habits. If he hasn’t learned things like “garbage goes into the garbage can” or “aim for the bowl” by his age, is there any hope?—A Newlywed

Dear Newlywed: Listen, we all have our little quirks and idiosyncrasies. I for one like to wake up early and lay perfectly still in bed. Otherwise it makes things tricky for the people who dress me.

Dear Abby: An envelope was sent around seeking our mandatory contributions to give gifts to the leader of the office “to show our appreciation.” I was always taught one never “gifts up” the chain of command. Am I wrong? —Blackmailed

Dear Blackmailed: Or should I say, Dear JOHN BAIRD? That’s right, John—I know it’s you. I could tell from the card. Everyone else jotted down some nice words like “Thanks for everything” (Tony Clement) or “Why do you hate me?” (Diane Ablonczy). But you just signed your name, John. I bet you didn’t even chip in for the Snuggie.

Dear Abby: How do we know when it’s time to end a relationship and move on?—Kiki

Dear Kiki: Maybe this is just me, but I’d say “25 per cent in the latest EKOS poll” is a pretty good benchmark.

Dear Abby: I am a 19-year-old guy who doesn’t know what I want to do with my life. I know I’m still young, but nothing seems to interest me. I have thought of hundreds of careers—and I hate them all.—Hopeless

Dear Hopeless: Wow. This is exciting. I’ve been Prime Minister for four years and I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone who so clearly is “Senate material.” Lack of ambition, an excess of self-loathing, the ability to occupy space—you’ve got it all! Welcome to the upper chamber, Sen. Hopeless.

Dear Abby: At Christmas we invite my brother and his family to our home. Every year, my brother calls to ask what’s on the menu, then offers his opinion on what we should or shouldn’t serve. Last year he told me he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the meal because we weren’t serving one of the items he feels is “traditional” in our family. What should I do?—Offended In Pennsylvania

Dear Offended: You know what works for me? Every time I run into a bit of a problem or need a little space, I make one well-timed phone call to the Governor General of Canada and—poof!—problemo solved. Did it during the holidays in 2008. Did it again in 2009. Each time, my issues just sort of went away. I highly recommend giving her a call!

Dear Abby: I’m 18, and feel I have met the man of my dreams. My question is: do you think lovers can spend too much time together? Every minute, every hour and every day that we can spend together we do—and I love it. But I don’t want this to ruin our relationship.
—Confused in Mississauga, Ont.

Dear Confused: There’s nothing unusual here. One of the best things in life is waking up, turning over in bed and seeing my loved one. That’s what I call my reflection—“loved one.”

Dear Abby: How do you explain to a man how uncomfortable hot flashes are?—Hot Flash Hilda

Dear Hilda: Is this a prank? Hot flashes—as if those are real things! MacKay, you’re hilarious. How do you think up this stuff?

Dear Abby: I am 80, and “Doreen” is 72. When we started dating seven years ago, I “simply wanted to be her friend.” Now she just wants to be MY friend and date another man. Your observations, please.—Eddie

Dear Eddie: Listen, things change. I used to belittle my predecessor for meeting with rock stars like Bono to discuss international development. But now I shamelessly have myself photographed alongside celebrity musicians like Bryan Adams, Taylor Swift and that nice long-haired lady from Nickelback. Is that hypocritical? Maybe. But it’s a small price to pay for their backing vocals on my forthcoming album of Leo Sayer covers.

Dear Abby: Please settle a disagreement I’m having with my husband. In the song Jingle Bells, he insists the horse’s name is “Bob Tail.” I’m pretty sure it’s a description of the horse, as their tails used to be “bobbed,” or cut short. Please understand my husband is one of those guys who is “never wrong!”—Jingle Belle

Dear Jingle: Laureen?

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