Dear Crabby

Dear Crabby is a crabby old baby-boomer that writes a weekly column answering questions in his own biased and humorous style. If you have a question you would like him to answer please send it to

You may find him in print, on Facebook at, and at

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He has his first book out which is a collection of his first year or writing.

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Dear Crabby,

My daughter is always trying to keep up with the latest trends and constantly wants new clothes! This is very costly. What do you suggest we do to change her habits?

Sincerely, Fashion Diva’s Mom

Dear Diva’s Mom,

I remember the battles of peer pressure and how a young person can be influenced this way and that. Personally, it was not an issue for me, but it was for some of my friends and for my own daughter. I remember my friend – we will call him Shuman to protect his true identity – wanted to get a tattoo when we were in the military together. I thought he was nuts, but he said all the guys were all doing it so he wanted to do it too. He went out and had this large, dominant-looking eagle tattooed right on his chest. He proudly showed it to everyone he could at the time. Nowadays, gravity and time have done their job and it resembles more of a plump chicken squatting on its nest than a majestic eagle. Oh well, I guess you live and learn. Peer pressure is a funny thing though. It comes on strong in those teenage years, hangs on a bit until your middle ages, then around my age it’s not really an issue. Of course, many of my peers are no longer alive either. As far as how to respond to this daughter of yours, there is no easy answer. When my daughter hit those young teen years, I was in a total quandary as to how to respond. She would come downstairs,

Dear Crabby,

I have been trying to get this girl in my class to talk to me for two weeks and she won’t. What can I do to get her to talk to me or to like me?

Sincerely, Struggling Romeo

Dear Struggling Romeo,

I see you have heard about the legendary past of young Crabby and my smooth talking days. Yes, I was quite the Pat Sejak in my younger years. I will tell you though son, once you get these women to start talking, there is no “off” button. Mrs. Crabby still thinks that I accidentally forget to turn on the hearing aids sometimes – if you know what I mean. One time she talked for 45 minutes straight about the colors of the plastic flowers in our garden. I actually fell asleep, which would have been fine if I wasn’t the one driving that day. Anyway, enough about that. I’m sure I’ll be answering those questions from you in another 20 years. As to how to get this gal to notice you and like you…well, let’s see. Have you tried asking her about herself a little? Girls love it when you ask them about their writing or their artwork. The other thing is to be there when they need you. The first time I caught Mrs. Crabby’s attention was when she sneezed on the bus and I ran three rows up with my handy “hanky” extended out to her…