Dear Close Personal Friend Of Teri Garr,

My husband and I drive our kids to school, band practice, friends' houses, soccer games–you get the picture! I want my children to be busy with lots of activities, but I'm beginning to feel less like a mom and more like a chauffeur! What's the solution?

—Driving In Driscoll

Dear Driscoll,

Did you say Teri Garr? Teri just happens to be a close personal friend of mine! We met on the set of Short Time, which I had a small role in. We did a scene together on the first day of shooting and just instantly bonded. By the time the movie wrapped six weeks later, we were practically inseparable. Of course, I gave up my acting career shortly afterward to start Caryn Cosmetics, so I didn't see much of Teri for a while. But Teri and I still talk, and we're even in the same Pilates class. It was right after Short Time that Teri started dating John. Do you know John? Anyway, I told her, "Teri, I just know you're going to end up with John. You two are soulmates." Well, let's just say she took my advice, because they were married in 1993. It's too bad things didn't work out between them, but I really think the divorce made Teri a stronger person. It's amazing how much closer she's been with Molly ever since then. What? Molly, her daughter.

Dear Close Personal Friend Of Teri Garr,

Eight of the tenants living in the apartment next to mine are driving me crazy. I'd try to reason with them, but these particular tenants are parrots! These birdbrains squawk their heads off from dawn 'til dusk. I know my neighbor loves his fine feathered friends, but I'm about to tell my landlord that either they fly the coop or I do! What do you think?

—Bothered In Boise

Dear Bothered,

Teri's amazing. She's been a big star for so many years, but through it all, she's managed to remain the most down-to-Earth person you'll ever meet. You know how warm and genuine she is on the screen? That's the real her. You can't fake something like that. But there are other sides to Teri, too. When you get to know her like I have, you see that she's a very deep, multi-level person. But for all her wonderful qualities, she can really get down on herself sometimes. And that's where friends like me come in. I remember when she was doing Michael, she was completely stressed out. One afternoon, while shooting was on hiatus, we met for coffee, and I was like, "Teri, you need to do something for yourself, or you're going to go insane!" I finally convinced her to get out of the city for a few days to clear her head. She flew out to a spa in Taos and came back a whole new person. The next time I saw her, she thanked me for saving her career! Teri just needs a little sense of perspective every so often, and she's fine.

Dear Close Personal Friend Of Teri Garr,

My friend Roberta has the annoying habit of always phoning me during dinner. Meals are one of the few times my family gets a break from our hectic lives to just sit down and spend some Q.T. together. I want to tell Roberta, "Don't call me, I'll call you," but I'm afraid of hurting our friendship. How can I give her an "I'm busy" signal without being rude?

—Dining In Davenport

Dear Dining,

Don't tell anyone I told you, but Teri just turned 50. You certainly couldn't tell by looking at her, though: The woman is positively ageless! And while some so-called "older" actresses have trouble getting work in Hollywood, her career is still going strong. Did you see her on Friends? Hilarious. She also did ER. That's a good sign. And then there was Dumb & Dumber a few years back. Of course, if you ask her, she'll downplay that and try to talk about The Player instead, but that's Teri–ever the artistic snob! I'm just kidding, of course. I love Teri like a sister. She has such an eye for decorating, too. I just love her adorable beach house in–I guess I shouldn't say where it is. Of course, Teri and I don't see each other as much as we'd like, but every so often I'll give her a ring. We also walk our dogs at the same dog park, so I'll occasionally run into Teri and Barkley there. When was the last time I saw Teri? I think it was at the wrap party for A Simple Wish. I think she was also at that Everybody Loves Raymond 100th episode party. No, wait–that was Bonnie Hunt. Do you know Bonnie? You don't? Oh, she's fantastic!

Caryn Shore is a syndicated advice columnist whose column, Ask A Close Personal Friend Of Teri Garr, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.