An old friend of mine got me a birthday present. now their birthday is coming up, but we don’t really have contact anymore. Am I obligated to them a gift?

JR: The last time I bought a friend a birthday gift (outside a shot at the bar), I was 12.  Adult birthday gifts are always optional.  So, unless your friend is 12 (which is strange), you’re in the clear.

JW: Yes, Mr. Scrooge.

JT: It’s completely up to you. My opinion? A silly inside joke along with a solid GIF on their Facebook timeline is the least you can do. You’re grown-ass adults, though, so it’s your decision.

I booked our family a vacation to the Black Hills, but my daughter says she would rather go on a weekend trip with her friends. How do I convince her to come spend time with her family?

JR: You explain to her that you too would rather be going on a vacation with your friends, but that isn’t an option. So she’d better get her fanny pack packed up and deal with it.

JW: Guilt her. Tell her if she doesn’t come with her family, she’s not going to get money or birthday presents until her part of the Black Hills trip is paid back. Threaten grounding, or if she’s too old for that, spread rumors to her friends that she’s disloyal. Can you tell I’m going to be a great parent?

JT: She’s a teenager. Just get through her dragging her heels, and bring something nostalgic you can bond about at the cabin. Kids these days can’t get over nostalgia. Why else would Zima come back? That is disgusting… but I will choke it down with Jolly Ranchers for said nostalgia.

I have been on a diet for a while now, and my grandma bakes me a ton of goodies every time I visit. How do I keep on track with my diet without making my grandma feel bad?

JR: Do you want that $10 bill in your next birthday card? Choke down those Fig Newtons.

JW: Dude, eat the sweets! You gotta keep Grandma happy. Plus, you know she’s going to put, like, 10 sticks of butter in those cookies!

JT: Unlike diet fads, grandmas do not come and go. Visit old grandma on cheat day and enjoy some baked goods.  You won’t regret it.

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