Ask Domesticat: life questions

Every few months, I feel compelled to turn the mailbag over, shake it out a bit, and blow out the crumbs. Every now and then, a letter actually falls out. Most of the time, I forget to answer it; those that I actually remember to answer are rarely answered in anything resembling a straightforward fashion.

I won't sport with your intelligence any more - let's get to the mailbag.

Jay, of parts unknown, writes in response to my rice-rice-baby entry "Turn down the stereotype; we can't hear you":