I am very angry with you. Several weeks ago my husband, who is a senior civil servant advising government ministers, wrote to you in a depression about the pressure of his work, which is connected with the Retail Prices Index. I found your reply: "If it's all getting too much, don't bother checking up on beer and fish and chips up north. Just look at some bank statements and have a glance round the house to see what people buy." I was delighted to find my husband so relaxed until I discovered that the new RPI's "basket of goods" has replaced its studies of Birmingham with Knightsbridge and abandoned pints of mild in favour of school fees and aerobics classes. Have you any idea how irresponsible you have been?

Caroline, Knightsbridge

Uncle Ony: I hope the cost of counselling sessions is in the new " basket of goods" because it certainly should be.

Auntie Ag: Don't be such a fusspot. Nobody believes a word of government findings about anything, so what does it matter?

I have become obsessed with a beautiful married woman in our office who speaks with a slightly German accent which drives me crazy. Is there something perverted about my desires? I know there is no way for my passion to be requited, but what to do? Would a change of hairstyle help?

Rupert, Hackney

Uncle Ony: Interesting that you should associate a German accent with the question: "Am I perverted?" I don't think you will have to search far through your subconscious to find another interesting figure talking with a German accent. Yes, you see? Sigmund Freud. What you are experiencing, Rupert, is not a crush but a trigger reawakening a subconscious shame about your sexuality. It is vital that you seek analysis and uncover the significance of hairstyles in your psychosexuality.

Auntie Ag: Possibly, darling, but only if you grow your fringe over your eyes which could be a problem if you need to use the computer. You're not perverted, you're just a healthy young adult. Unfortunately there is no cure for crushes apart from getting a different one on someone else so turn your desk in the other direction and see if there's anyone with a nice voice who isn't married at the other end of the office.

It's my husband's 40th birthday soon. We're planning a meal in a restaurant and are hoping to ask our parents to babysit, but have realised both sets of parents are expecting to be invited. Is it insulting to ask them to babysit? It will be difficult to find a babysitter as all our friends will be there, and we really want a bit of carefree fun without worrying about looking after our parents.

Diana, Manchester

Uncle Ony: What you must do, Diana, is to write a Personal Mission statement and examine your maps. It seems clear to me that what your mission statement will show is a foolish wish to "turn back the clock". Is your "map" accurately describing the territory. I think not. Is it really so hard to find a babysitter? Once again, I think not. Only when you are able to accept your own mortality will the solution become clear.

Auntie Ag: Darling, start using your head. If one's own 40th birthday brings on a mid-life crisis, imagine the end-of-life panic attack the fortieth birthday of one's child induces. Don't ask them to play granny and babysit - it will be enough to make them want to shoot themselves. Fortunately, however, so will trying to dance to 1970s hits with "children" who are themselves grey. Simply turn everyone's neuroses to your advantage by explaining that you and your friends want to pretend to be 16 again, stay out late and get into trouble for snogging at the front gate. Suggest as a hilarious joke that you come and stay at their house to complete the fantasy or - hey - that they come and stay at yours. You might end up with a parent-free party and your babysitting done after all.

You are invited to send your problems to: Auntie Ag and Uncle Ony, Real Life, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. However, Auntie Ag and Uncle Ony regret that they are unable to enter into any personal correspondence

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