Friday, August 17, 2012

Flash Friday

Who is he?
A very scary man with good hair and a vacant smile.

What is he doing?
Trying to beat the hope out of everyone around him with a green papaya and, possibly, a jelly roll.

Why is he doing it?
Because he's awesome at being rich.

When will he stop?
When Birnum Wood comes to Dunsinane.

How can we get rid of him?
If everyone kicks a rich person in the taint at a same-sex marriage ceremony and simultaneously cashes their Social Security and disability checks, then joins a labor union full of ethnic minorities that eat organic food, then, maybe, we'll get rid of him.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Her Boobs Are a Lie! A Lie I Say!

Dear Eve,

I have a really aggravating friend that I am ready to dump.  She has no idea who she really is.  She thinks she's smarter, funnier, more accomplished, skinnier and wait for it--says she has BIGGER BOOBS than she does.  She might be a c cup but she wears padded bras to make it look like DD's and brags about her chest.  WTF?  How weird is that?  We go out together all the time but I'm starting to hate being around her because she's so ridiculous. We all make jokes about her in front of her and she still doesn't get the hint. As smart as she thinks she is, you'd think that she'd know it and make some changes.

Should I put up with her crap (we do have history and she used to be cool) or is it time to move on from crazy?

Dear Aggravated,

One of the glorious advantages of being an adult is the ability to choose one's friends.  Exercise that right, now please, and end the friendship.  You don't have a nice thing to say about the poor girl so why keep pretending?  So you can show how cool you are by an exaggerated eye-roll when she mentions her MENSA membership?  or her Comedy Central "These are Double-D's" tour? or how she was able fit through her miniature dachshund's doggie door when she locked herself out because she's so thin? SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE AN EFFING WEINER DOG! you say to yourself as you're rolling on the floor convinced she's finally caused you to have a seizure (but really you're just a super-duper drama-llama). It's time to move forward and get into a mental space where you're not moved to apoplectic fits every time she opens her mouth.

Actually, all of you need to release Lil Tits back into the wild and stop using her as the group's punching bag.  She may keep you all from biting the ears off of each other, sure, but it's just not cool to be so mean.  Stop inviting her to go out with you, and if you happen to be in the same place at the same time, give her as little face time as possible.  In other words, give the friendship a peaceful death; don't shoot it in the face just to watch the blood splatter.

Then again, you could continue to be a major eye-rolling, passive-aggressive, snarky douchebag and make everyone hahaha at your cleverness when you publicly and painfully deride her.. Because that's what a good person does.  And doesn't everyone want to be a good person?

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Tale of Serious Woe

Dear Eve,

I used to be in a group of friends that had really low morals, for lack of a better description.  I had a great time, met my wife there, and since then we've grown apart from just about everyone.  We stay in touch with just a few on an acquaintance basis and that's cool with me.  They were a really smart, interesting crowd.

The problem is that one of these people, one of the most loved I should say is a very bad person.  Or I should say did a very bad thing to someone one time in the far past and I know about it.  It makes me furious when I hear people say how great this person is and hear them say I love you and tell them they're the greatest.  I want to tell everyone what this person did and have them shunned from society.  The problem is, it's a secret.  The "victim" doesn't know I know.  I don't even know who else might know.

I feel like I'm going insane every time I hear that asshole's name.  What can I do to make this right?

Dear Nice Man,

You seem nice, anyway.  To keep your friend's secret (can I call them a friend?) and go crazy over it for years is an amazing feat and a kindness that most people could not offer.  I'll thank you on their behalf.

Now what to do, what to do?  Of course, exploding the information all over the place would be terribly messy and hurtful to the person that you're protecting.  You also don't know who knows.  Maybe everyone already knows, has processed it and moved on.  You said it was a one-time thing.  Sometimes people make really bad mistakes and go on to be forgiven.  The victim, as well, might have moved on, making peace with the person, or just within themselves.  With this in mind, sharing this information with anyone for revenge is simply not an option.  You've been such a gentleman so far, don't screw it up now.

You can only make this right within yourself.  Which sucks.  There is going to be no glorious release of pent-up rage.  There will be no public metaphorical flogging or literal shunning.  This person will not be punished in front of your eyes.  Accept this, my darling, and move on probably with the help of a professional, or even your wife if she's a good listener and can keep a dangerous secret.  Let it all out.  Every injustice you've heard or witnessed, your worries and fears about both the victim and the abuser, your anger toward your own impotence.  Expunge it all, then you will have a foundation to start to forgive yourself because that is really where your anger lies.  Of course, you want justice, but that white-hot rage is really toward yourself for not protecting, stopping, doing something to make it not so.  This isn't logical, but it's true. You didn't say you witnessed the act, so you couldn't have physically stopped it, but people have a way of what-iffing their way to responsibility when someone they love is hurt:  What if I didn't go out that night?  What if I listened to them when they said they were scared?  What if I never introduced them?  I had a feeling, why didn't I do something?, etc.  We love to hurt ourselves with what-if's.  The fact is that it happened because the bad person did it.  Not you.  They chose their actions and you couldn't have stopped it because you weren't there.  Nothing else matters.  You had no physical way of knowing what was happening or keeping it from happening.  That's a fact.  Let go of your self-imposed responsibility; give yourself the gift of freedom and get it through therapy if you need to.

I don't have anything funny to say about this.  It breaks my heart.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flash Friday

Is my afternoon meeting going to go bad?
No.  Surprisingly, things are going to go your way for once. I'm so happy for you!  Just don't talk.

How many times am I going to have to tell my kids to stop before they do?
Just one more time.  But this time you're going to mean it, follow through with an appropriate consequence and then enforce it.

What's something interesting I can do for date night when we've been married so long?
Find a festival or concert within driving distance.  Make a boozy picnic dinner to have before you go in, and for-real talk for the first time in how long?  This time listen, please.

Who in the world keeps stealing my parking spot at work?  I've been parking there for 2 years!
Some nobody middle manager that has no soul.  Do you think they care that your space is sacred?  They don't because they are a minion of the devil.  That means they are bad.

When will I stop being anxious about all of family's troubles?
Soon, bebe.  You're going to get some help from the doctors you've been putting off calling. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you can't do something alone.  We all need support.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Introduce Her? I Hardly Know Her!

Dear Eve,

OK. Lets say I had lunch with a woman a few weeks ago and then spent more time again with her at dinner a few weeks later. No money changed hands. Alcohol, chloroform, and/or restraints were NOT involved! This is new to me.  I've not dated in the years since my divorce which was a long time ago.  I'm cautiously optimistic so my question is 

When should a new friend be introduced to the kids?

Dear Tramp,

Just kidding!  Good for you.  It's scary to jump back into the dating pool when your toes have been dry for so long and even more scary to be optimistic about a possible relationship.  But nothing makes me sing more then to see a sad, dead, barren heart suddenly alive like a hive of bees in a buckwheat field.  A man cannot live for his kids alone.  The heart wants a partner and this is a very good thing.

Now let's see.  Hmm. When to bring her around?  Not now for sure, unless your kids are old enough to meet you for a few drinks for the get-to-know-you. If that's the case, go for it.  Since it has been so long since you've even tried dating, I'm sure they'll be happy to see you give it a go.  It's sad to watch a parent be lonely.  If they're younger kids, hold off...for a while.  Wait until you are sure that you're in a healthy, monogamous relationship.  And for the record, there is nothing wrong with keeping secrets from your kids.  Having an adult relationship without their knowledge is not sneaking around, it's being responsible.  I say this because I'm tired of the whining, "I don't want to keep secrets from my kids because it will ruin our trust.  They deserve to know.  Whaahhh.."  Nice excuse to not be a grown-up.  

It's not time now, and it won't be for a while.  Take the excitement you feel and channel it into building a beautiful romance, or finding out that she's a bitch, just not for you, or, perhaps, that she's "the one."  Revel in the fact that you're excited about someone.  Feel scared and crazy and thankful that you've got a lot of chances to get it right and then take all of those chances.  You've only got one life, right?

Then again, you could say "To hell with everything!" and bring her on in and introduce her as your lady-friend.  It'll be like 1983 all over again.  I can see the polyester suit, her fluffy hair, the once hopeful, turned hopeless, look in her eye as she realizes that she's just another notch on your belt.  And then there are the kids in front of the tv eating cereal, watching your bedroom's revolving door as the same, hopeful-looking girls get schtupped, taken to San Diego for the weekend in your mid-life crisis convertible, then unceremoniously dumped in front of the apartment they share with 3 other stewardesses.  Your kids will learn a lot from this: women are to be used, are expendable, that men don't have feelings and relationships are about sex.  Of course, this is a little out there (who makes up this kind of shit? geez!), but the sentiment is there.  Even if it's just one lady, one time, it will make an impact.  Conversely, if you get crushed and give up, or continue to get crushed and don't make changes that's not good either.

Just be smart, put your kids before you own base needs, and everyone will be ok. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Love Me? Uh, No- Get Back to Work

Dear Eve,

I want my boss to like me and he doesn't.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he'd be happy if I didn't work for him at all.  It's my nature, though, to please people and it drives me crazy and makes me sad that this guy doesn't like me and I've not done anything wrong!  I'm not a perfect employee, but I'm also not a slacker and do my best.  When I don't make a deadline, I explain why.  My friends have told me that I explain too much because I'll give personal reasons, sometimes, as to why I something didn't go right, or just to try and get him to like me by knowing me a little better, kinda to let him see what makes me me.  I'm a likable girl!

Right now, I'm facing possible termination, a boss that can't even look me in the eye, and feeling like shit because I'm being rejected both professionally and personally.  Help me stop feeling this way, PLEASE!

Dear Sweetie,

You need a little gentle love today, yes?  Here it is:  It's lovely that you are so kind-hearted and want to connect to people; it's such an enviable trait to those of us with cold, black hearts.  If the worst case scenario comes to be, you will be okay because you are true to yourself and like who you are which puts you miles ahead of the unemployed who question what their purpose and place in the world is.  Perhaps finding a job that suits your passion to connect to people and is encouraged by management is an option you should consider.  That is not an inditement of your current behavior, more of an errant thought.  Well, that's a lie. It really is more of a strong suggestion.  Consider that fact that I'm always right while you think about it.

You need a little tough love, too, I'm afraid.  I'll start by saying that nice only goes so far.  You have to be smart, as well, especially in business.  Buck up and stop trying to win this jackhole over.  To what end anyway?  Not everyone likes you.  Some people might even think you're a raging asshole or fake or annoying or stupid.  HE'S NOT A NICE GUY AND DOES NOT LIKE YOU  Keep repeating that to yourself.  Then remember that you're at work and not at a pool party.  For one thing, he's a dude.  He doesn't care when you don't feel good, or that your dog poo-ed all over the place in the middle of the night and made you late for work.  He might care if you tell him a few secret sex stories, but that's a risk I wouldn't take if I was you.  He's also your boss, not your Bear or Boo or Bestie.  Put up the partition and familiarize yourself with what's known as a business relationship.  Which is work-speak for I-don't-care-about-you-do-your-work-I-only-want-to-see-you-when-you're-sucking-up.  I get that this is hard for you and that it's killing you to not win him over, for him to not see the darling person that you are and not "get" that you're a good person and should be treated accordingly.  But you need to get that HE IS NOT A NICE GUY AND DOES NOT LIKE YOU.  None of your sunshiney fuckery matters to this cat.

Let's recap:  He's a dude and doesn't care about your personal life.  He's a boss and does not care that you're a nice person; he just wants you to work and maybe to fire you.  HE IS NOT A NICE GUY AND DOESN'T LIKE YOU.  I think that covers it.  Stop chasing him around like you're a dog and he's got a steak stapled to his neck.  He sucks and the more you don't get it, the closer you are to the ticket counter for a one-way pass to I-Suck-Too-Ville.


I knew you were a happy commie.  Why do I bother?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Masturbation: Aural Edition

Dear Eve Stevens,

I have friend I've known for 30 or so years. We keep in touch, exchange visits when we can. My spouse and I even met through her back in the day, so we have her as a mutual friend we both get along with. In the last few years, I've noticed something about this friend more and more: she never. Shuts. Up. As long as she's awake, she talks almost constantly. Even if what she was saying was interesting, it would still be endless. Increasingly, it isn't interesting, but mostly about friends of hers we don't know, never will know (we live hundreds of miles apart), probably don't care to know. That, and her "See and Say" tendency, i.e. if we're watching a movie, and a dog crosses the screen, she will launch into a stream of blather about dogs: "oh, a dog! I have a friend who once had a dog and the dog got so sick and eventually she had to take it to the hospital and she spent tons of money on it for treatment and it still DIED and my friend was really sad, but I don't think I'll ever get a dog because they're so much upkeep and I have trouble keeping PLANTS much less DOGS, but I hear some people get along really well with their dogs" blah blah mind-bending-blah. I don't know whether this comes from her living on her own for years and years, or what. But as much as we like her and still enjoy seeing her, we start to dread it more and try to decrease the number of days of visits, because by day three it's full-on homicide-inducing. Any suggestions for dealing with this Energizer Chatty Cathy without losing her as a friend?

Yours, Cochleaotomy

Dear Cochle--whatever,

I'm not going to point out the irony of your (much appreciated) long-winded question because that wouldn't be nice, but I do think it's interesting.  You're a talk-y kinda guy, it appears, so it would make sense that, at one point, you would be attracted to other talk-y people.  Now that you're older though, the tedious blow-by-blow of someone's thought process is just not as captivating as it used to be;  we're not in the 80's anymore.  It's simply no longer cool to try and channel one's inner Jack Kerouac (eww! It's sad that it ever was!): now we know how boring we really are.

I think you're right to mention her single status as possibly being part of the problem.  In a way, she's like a single child: she gets undivided attention where ever she goes, does exactly what she wants when she wants to, and doesn't have to take turns regularly.  She has no built in check and balance. You do, though.  You know that it's polite to let someone else have the floor and I'm sure you have a gal that will give you a sideways glance when you're talk turns masterbatory and everyone's dying for you to shut up--not that I ever would, mind you!  I love to hear what you have to say!--  She doesn't have that and gets to self-satisfy in public as it suits her and doesn't hear the "Dear Bob, Make her stop!" that is being shouted in her direction.

What to do, what to do?  Going at her head on with a "You make my ears bleed.  Please to be shutting the fuck up." seems harsh.  She's an old friend, and to her it would be coming from nowhere.  You're going to have to do the adult thing and avoid, Avoid, AVOID! her like she has air-born herpes (the CDC says it may exist!  insert sad face) because you're a kind old soul and she's a lonely old spinster.  ::sheds tears for her cat-filled life::.  You can re-direct her like she's a toddler and say something kinda mean but necessary:  "Don't you hate it when people talk through a movie?  I'm glad we can watch in peace."  It's mean, but not too mean and she'll be quiet while she tries to decide if you're talking about her or not. You can also make pointed remarks through out her stay, during the rare quiet times, about how nice it is to have a friend that that you don't need to make conversation with all the time; that spending time in silence with her is a gift and you're thankful that you know each other so well that being together is enough.  Gag-inducing, yes.  But she would probably love to hear that you feel that way about her.  With her, it's all about stopping the word barf before it begins. You're best bet, though, is to start shortening your visits and phone calls with her like you're already doing; it's best for the friendship.  She is who she is.  Because you're the one whose tolerance is changing, you have to be the one to change the parameters of your relationship.  She has no reason to change.  She's getting her needs fulfilled.  But you know all of this and are doing most of it.  You don't need me, bebe.  But I like to talk, too, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents. 

Of course, your attempts to have some peace probably won't work and she will probably not get it and you will evetually wind up in the pen' with assault charges under your belt.  You'll get to work in the library and definitely not get shanked because you're too smart for that.  Whew!  I was scared for a minute!  You'll get out on parole.  She'll have forgiven you by then and probably be the one to to pick you up and will then spend the 5 hour ride home (why is it always such a long ride? IDK) going on, ad nauseum, about the years that have passed and she'll promise you that you won't miss a moment, starting with, "So when I walked out of the courthouse...."

This time, it's murder.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flash Friday

Is today going to be a better day?
No. But there's always tomorrow! ;)

How can I look my boss in the eye after what that Benedict Arnold did?
How can you not?  Don't let the bastard get off easy; it's not like you can get into any more trouble.

Who can I get to teach me to dance?
TV!  Watch a lot of dance-show competitions, then you can be a terrific dancer without even leaving the couch!  I swear it happens that way.

Where can I get the best tomatoes?
Your mom's garden.  Or the old guy that sits in the laundromat parking lot.  Maybe skip mom and just go to him.

Where do I go from here?
Geez.  Who the hell knows?  You've got a cluster-cuss on your hands.  If you keep looking, however, at the situation from the bottom up and not straight-on or, better yet, from the top-down, you can guarantee you're not going anywhere at all.  Control your reaction and stop being a cry-baby.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mad Disease

The little bird doesn't know how free
being irate can be for me.
The crocodile so gorgeous sunning
doesn't see my red face: stunning!
The great, green frog couldn't know
how releasing my bile makes me grow

into a frightful, raging cow
I want to stop it, but I can't now!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You're So Weird! Kiss Me!

Dear Eve,

I'm single and lonely.  Should I try internet dating?  I'm scared of weirdos but it's getting to a point where I'll try anything.

What do you think?

Dear Singleton,

Sure!  But you can just as easily meet weirdos at work, school, church, BDSM conventions, rallies for Ralph Nader, the grocery store, Tea Party lynch mobs, Aqua-bats concerts, your 400 level English course, the parking lot outside of the local police precinct, and real estate sales.  You've got to take a little risk when you're looking for Mr/Ms Right and always be open to finding love, no matter the venue.

When you do meet someone remember that they may be weird but probably not too weird to date.  The important thing is that you're making an effort to get out there and pound the pavement looking for love like a part-time job, if you're serious that is. Do something positive.  Take an emotional risk or two.  Open your mouth and say something when you find someone attractive.  Your life is not a sit-com so stop waiting for a new neighbor to move in; there is no love/hate relationship on your horizon that ends with you falling into bed and living happily ever after WITH THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE!  TV LIES!

Now, if you're just a whiney-whiner who wahhhs, "Look at me! I'm so lonely. Nobody loves me! What's wrong with me?  Why can't I meet someone nice?  Whargarble Whargarble!" as you sit at home every night with your cat, dog, or mom, eating cheetos, and hahaha-ing at the People of Walmart (come on! that's just sad), albeit with deliciously cheesey fingers, then, you know, fuck off.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Husband, Father, Fuck-up?

Dear Eve,

I work too much and can't stop from obsessing over work stuff even when I'm home.
I have a kid and a wife that I feel like I'm mentally neglecting because of it.
The problem is I feel that if I'm not at the top of my game at work that I'll lose my job and then it will cause the family to lose everything.

I'm unhappy most of the time because of this, but I put on a fake face that I hate.
How can I balance my life?

Dear Good Little Worker Bee,

I'm afraid you're like a lot of men in our age, out toiling in the fields, so to speak, that feel a great amount of pressure to hold onto to their plow, no matter the cost. Dragging the stress of work home and feeling isolated because of it is just the beginning.  Being miserable will be on its heels tout de suite and bring with it the usual:  hookers, gin, off-shore gambling, small-time drug-dealing (what a rush!), SCUBA lessons, and the possible procurement of a Jeep (or maybe a vintage Miata).  Then add more work hours because the anvil of guilt that you've flattened yourself under for attempting to feel something good just isn't enough punishment, is it?  It's not your life that's out of balance: it's you.

So what is the real problem here, my brother?  I'll tell you: it's simply easier to fail at work than at life, so you put all of your fruit in your work basket. Your biggest fear isn't losing your job, social position, money; your real fear is that you'll put your true self out there, warts and all, and be rejected by the people you love most.  I bet you've been wearing that "fake" face for as long as you can remember and that alone is going to rip your family apart.  And let me tell you: to see a man lose his family because he's scared of himself is somehow even more pitiful than a for-real smart-person misusing "literally." I'm crying as I write this, it hurts me so!

Let's get you out of this.  It's time to roll out the therapy bandwagon.  Hop on!  There's lots of happy people riding this bitch all the way to I-Love-My-Life-ville.  You are what is commonly referred to as "depressed" and not thinking clearly.  Once you clean out the cobwebs, get down to the reason why you're afraid to be yourself, and understand how you're using work as an excuse to wear the ever-fashionable Misery Coat (I'm sure many of your friends in the cul-de-sac have this season's version, too), you're going to be happier than you ever thought possible.  Shit-your-pants happy.  So happy that you'd slap your mama just for fun (Bob knows she deserves it).  Happy enough that you'd quit your job/change careers with no regret if it would improve your family's emotional quality of life.

Then again, you could keep on keeping on.  There's nothing like seeing your ex-wife and kid living with the personal trainer you paid for her to see back when she was desperately trying to keep you by making herself perfect and nearly killing herself doing so but you still didn't notice, or love her, or fight for her to stay.  And now someone who has a six-pack somewhere besides the 'fridge is doing unspeakably nasty things to the mother of your child.  You fucked up, buddy, and the protein shakes you make your kid every other weekend and one week in the summer are going to remind you just how badly you did.

Don't do that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flash Friday

Am I as fabulous as I think I am?
Even more so.  You have climbed a mountain of tribulations and come back down embarrassingly, irresistibly, deliciously more fabu than ever.

What do I do with 5 pounds of zucchini?
Saute it with onions, butter and fresh basil, make a gratin with it, grate it up and make zucchini bread.  Yummy.

How do I lose the 50 pounds I've packed on?
Find your spouse in bed with your best friend?

Where am I going to get the money I need to go to school this year?
Your parents if you're lucky, loans if you're not, or skip a year and save if you want to be nasty responsible.

Who will have me now that I'm damaged goods?
Someone mature enough to know that everyone comes with some baggage and kind enough to help you forgive yourself.  But right now, you're enjoying your misery a leetle too much, so until you make a decision to have a happy, satisfying life, Mr/Ms Right will be as elusive as a 2nd date with you-know-who after you did you-know-what.  But whatever.  Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lazy, Stupid, and Godless or One of the Beautiful People?

Dear Eve,

It's my mother.  Everything about her aggravates me and I aggravate her.   I'm a 24 year-old woman and being treated like a child.  The problem is I've moved back to home and will be here for a while because I got laid off and was foreclosed on because of it.  I'm very thankful that she's let me stay but I'll never be the princess that she wants because she wants that perfect Christian girl.   Apparently I look too much like a "retard," a.k.a. kinda Goth, to get taken seriously, and I'm just "not trying" because I haven't found a job yet.

How can I get her off my back without sounding like an ungrateful b*tch?

Dear GothGirl,

Ungrateful bitch, huh?  Meh.  She is giving you a priceless gift for a gal in your predicament but, unfortunately for you, this is one gift that has more strings attached than a flock of strippers doing a dirty-Pinocchio routine.   She sounds like an asshole, too, so being a bit of a bitch may be a reasonable, albeit immature, response.  The real question is: Are you willing to be the adult in this relationship (because it doesn't look like she can be) and simply be grateful, strings included, because you are, after all, not homeless?  Can you be a Grateful Bitch?  You did choose her instead of, say, your crazy uncle, pot-head cousin, slutty best friend, or cheating boyfriend.  I can only imagine that these were your choices if she raised you.  You have culpability here, lady; you knew what you were getting yourself into and still packed up your Cube and moved back into your Marilyn Manson shrine/room.

You simply cannot do anything to change her behavior; only she can.  Accept it.  Even if you stopped dying your hair black, got a job at a bank and became a nun all at the same time, you would still be a disappointment, and you know this.  My advice?  Work your ass off to find a job or jobs, save every dollar you make and move out.  Don't wait until you can buy a one bedroom condo with a weight room and washer/drier in a neighborhood close to work.  Move into some leadpaint-covered monstrosity with a carpeted kitchen and shared bathroom as soon as you save first and last month's rent.  Until then, whenever she's home, leave.

Of course you could speed up the process by taking odd jobs: blood donation, egg donation!, medical trials, and my all-time favorite--Stripping!  If you don't do at least one of these (and I'm leaning toward the stripping because you get to 1) exercise, 2) network, 3) give hand-jobs at your leisure, and everyone loves a stripper!), you're slacking.

You're gonna make it out of there in no time.  Trust me. Until then, keep your head down and your g-strings clean.  Bob knows they don't clean themselves.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flash Friday

What am I wearing?
A smile and bad intentions.

When will I know what I want to be when I grow up?
You'll know when you start doing it and no longer ask yourself that question.

Why does everyone treat me like a child?
You act like one?

How did my boyfriend find out that I cheated?
Your best friend couldn't let you embarrass him anymore.  She's a good girl. Don't be mad at her.

Will I ever be able to move on from what happened?
Eventually.  Don't rush it, though or it will just come back to haunt you.  Live through the pain now and you'll be free soon enough.  You're doing a great job so far and I'm very proud of you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bit and Bridle in the Bridal Party

Dear Eve,

I need help settling an argument between my fiancé and myself.  I think that we should combine our finances into one account and share it.  She wants us to keep separate accounts and split the bills 50/50.

Who is right?

Dear Fair and Square,

You're right, of course!  Combining your accounts is a gesture of commitment.  It's a way to say, "What belongs to me, belongs to you.  We have the same goals and values and trust each other implicitly."  You are showing each other that you are so confident in the forever-ness of your union that you're willing to give up any last vestiges of material autonomy that you've held onto.  Sounds pretty fucking awesome to me and is a wonderful way to start a fantastic life together.

A joint account, also, if you're doing it right, erases the crazy notion that one of you has more right to your funds than the other.  Sometimes it's reasoned that the person who makes the most money has more say in how the money is used and more right to use it for just themselves.  Or it will be decided that if one's not contributing money into the household, for whatever reason, access to the family money should be minimal.  And if you're in a really shitty relationship, the non-earner has to ask/beg for money when it's needed. This makes me furious. You can't have a relationship of equals when one person feels entitled to more while also feeling emboldened to treat the other like a child.  A relationship of equals is the only kind worth working for; if you're not ready for a authentic connection with your partner and the sacrifices that are a part of that, do everyone a favor and save your I-Do's for someone less permanent like your favorite bartender. "Do you want want that scotch neat?"and you, answering with tears in your eyes, say "I do. Until the end of forever! I do!"  You do, indeed.  That's a commitment I feel confident that you can honor.

The bill splitting is another thing all together.  You might think, "Okay.  We're each using half of everything, what's the big deal to split our expenses down the middle?  It's logical."  It may be logical, but logic never kept anyone married. Someone always makes less, so paying their "fair share" will be more of a burden.  You better believe that resentment will creep in if one person has access to play money each month and the other doesn't have the same financial leeway. Nothing says romance like having to borrow money from your spouse to go on vacation.  I've seen it happen and the money wasn't collected until the divorce settlement.  Yay for splitting bills!

For the record, I am not unreasonable.  I see nothing wrong with each spouse having their own private bank account if there is a surplus after all monetary commitments have been made to the joint account, including a savings fund.  Allow yourselves an equal amount of money per month with which to do what you will.  One of you might be a saver, the other might spend it all every month.  It's no one's business what you do.  You can have your own funds; just do it within a jointly determined budget.

In the end, if you can't give up control over the money you bring into the relationship, consider that you're not prepared to be committed to the idea of marriage itself, which is half of the equation of a successful, long marriage.  There is no "Let's prepare for the worst and keep things separate" if you're ever going to really give your marriage a chance.  When you give yourself an out, there's a pretty good chance you're going to take it.

Oh-one caveat:  If either person in the marriage is lazy, self-centered, has no aspirations, and is a nagging little despot that expects the world to serve them, they don't get half of shit.  You don't marry them, either, unless you have serious co-dependency issues.  Marry someone that is you equal in every way.  It will be your own damn fault if you choose not to.  I'll HAHAHA at you from afar (or in your ear if I'm in a bad mood) because you will have chosen this person knowing full well that they are worthless.  When you show up to the wedding with your bridle already on, no one will feel sorry for you when you get the crop, spurs and then are rode hard and put up wet.  ::neigh!:: ::air paw::  ::snort, snort::  Man, I don't like horses.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Soul-Sucking Zombie or Sweet 'Lil Sis?

Dear Eve,  

My little sister and I are not close at all, but I sure would love to have the very close relationship with her that I have with my other brothers and sisters.  She’s been addicted to drugs and is currently in jail.  I've been trying to give the tough love and not enable her as our father and mother are doing enough enabling for all of us.  Does it help her or is it irresponsible of me to reach out to her while she's in jail?  In her last jail stint, reaching out only seemed to encourage her to continue to lie to us, but this time she's in for longer and I think she went in possibly with a better mindset this time.

I feel rotten, but I just don't know what to do anymore but  I don't want to be disappointed again!

Dear Please Don't Let Me Be Miss Understood,

You're just going to have to take a chance, bébé.  There is nothing easy when it comes to addiction, especially when the addict is in your family.  No one gets out untouched, whether emotionally, physically, or financially.  The problem is figuring out when it's time for the family to circle their metaphorical wagons and shut out the soul-sucking zombie that the person's become.  In my mind, the wagon train stops sooner rather than later.  There is an extremely small window for benefits-of-the-doubts and second chances.  The addict is a taker extraordinaire, with superpowers unknown to the average human.  They can take and take and boggle your mind in their ability to take even more.  The person is no longer a person, in any significant sense.  They are a drug ingesting machine: their only reason for being alive is to fuel that machine in any and every way possible.  

Know that this is the truth and accept that until she's had a sea change and embraced sobriety, there's really no reason to trouble your pretty little mind about a relationship with her.  However, since she is in jail and no longer an active drug user, starting to build a foundation is an option.  You're going to have to risk a little piece of your heart and endure the accompanying disappointment if it goes south, but she is your sister and will always be, whether she's lost her soul to mind-altering chemicals or not; she's worth the risk.  Just remember, though, that just because she's not ingesting the shit, doesn't mean that she doesn't still have addict behavior, i.e. everything that comes out of her mouth is at least a parital lie and manipulating is her favorite hobby.  However, a little love from you could make a huge difference.  Sometimes a mental encouraging squeeze can give someone the inspiration they need to make a real change.  And sometimes that same squeeze can inspire them to take advantage of you like a teenage boy and the first girl that lets them just "stick the head in a little."  A little usually goes a long way. 

It comes down to what you're willing to risk.  You won't be irreparably damaged if you get your heart hurt; you will be wiser and sadder, but you're a big girl and can handle it.  You have the choice to just write her off; it won't be the first or last time it will happen to her and when she gets super sober, she will understand and not judge you for it. 

Then again, you could also approach this a little loosey-goosey and keep a light and topical correspondence with no super-heavy overtones of familial obligations and make-it-or-break-it conversations. Let her regale you of her convict adventures and the "real characters" and super-nice ladies behind bars.  They believe in Jesus, I swear!  And don't belong there! And the judge was too harsh!  It will be exciting to learn about this new segment of America.  You, in turn, can tell her about the Kardashians and what an asshole your husband is.  Tit for tat.  Or tits for tattoos if she tells the story right.  Either way you go, she's your sis.  You're not going to be an asshole on purpose so don't feel guilty whether you choose to run, engage, or learn what a prick the night-watch guard is.  She gave up her option to choose; you, my dear, did not.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flash Friday

Is my dress too short?
Not if you're wearing underwear.

Why is my best friend suddenly avoiding me?
You stepped over the line.  Just because you're thinking it, doesn't mean you should be saying it, yelling it, or writing in on the sidewalk with your pee.

When will we finally start to make plans for the future?
Never, bébé.  You don't hold him accountable for anything so, therefore, you get nothing.

Where are my keys?
On the dryer.

How do I tell my dad that I'm sorry?
The "telling" phase is over; it's time for doing.  Get on it. Neither of you are getting any younger and it really wasn't that bad to begin with, right?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Kissed a Frog and I Liked It

Dear Eve,

I'm a 20 year old girl and I wonder if I should get a boyfriend before I'm a senior in college. My parents met each other when they were my age and I worry about being old and alone.

Dear Buy-Him-Off-the-Rack,

Interesting.  Usually questions about procuring a mate have more of a "Will I ever fall in love?" or "Should I wait for my soul mate and not settle?" kinda vibe.  You seem more interested in knowing if it's time to drag a man back to your cave, which is so odd, it's kinda awesome.  I like a woman that has confidence that her destiny will be fulfilled when she deems it so.

So sure!  Get a boyfriend before you graduate if it will ease your mind.  I don't think it will make you happy, but that doesn't seem to be high on your list of priorities, at least not yet.  But honey, getting a boyfriend just for boyfriend's sake is a recipe for misery.  And woe! to the poor slob that you pick!  I hope he doesn't have a romantic bone in his body.

Why approach it this way, though?  I don't think it's unusual for a single woman your age who's not in a serious relationship to start to think about finding someone to spend a lifetime with, but usually there is a drive to find a partner; someone to help make you a better person; someone to make you happy, and laugh and be glad to be alive!  The focus is kissing a lot of frogs to find the prince, not just finding a warm(ish) body before the clock strikes 12.  YOU WILL NOT TURN INTO A PUMPKIN I SWEAR IT if you go home from the ball alone.  And please go home form the ball alone if your only option is bringing home a cold-blooded croaker with a Napoleon Complex.  Just be, woman, and have fun with where you are in your very young life.  Go out and meet new people, hang out with your friends, do the things you love to do and at exactly the right moment, someone will walk into your life and they will never walk out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And the Student Becomes the...Lab Tech?

Dear Eve,

Should I change my major? My parents think I should choose a major that will help me get a job, but I hate the one they've picked.  My current one is in the liberal arts, but my parents are pushing me into one of the sciences.  I know I could be successful in the career they think is best for me, but I know I'll be miserable underneath.


Dear Student,

If you're paying for your education, do what you want.  Out of respect, listen to what your parents have to say, but be sure they know that you are The Decider. You can remind them that you're capable of supporting yourself while sending yourself through school and so, rightly, feel qualified to make good decisions about your career choice, too.  So there!

If they're bankrolling your school and/or life needs, however, then your part-time job should be washing their feet with your hair.  You are simply that lucky/mind-boggling blessed that some type of adoration is called for.  If you don't know and own that, stop taking their money, please, like right now.  When you allow someone to act as an adult on your behalf, you lose a lot of the perks that come with being that adult yourself.  One of those perks is  getting an expensive degree that will be virtually worthless when job-hunting in today's economy.  Your parents have a right to be concerned with your money-making prospects.  They're paying bank now with the hope that when you're schooling is done, you'll be professionally prepared and able to land a job that will allow you to support yourself.  Then they can look at you and proclaim "Success!" and be proud of you and themselves for giving you such a great head-start in life.  But if you get out of school with a degree with few marketable skills in this soul-killing job market, they will probably continue to be a surrogate adult for you, hoping for the day when "Success!" miraculously lands in your lap and they can finally unload you.  This doesn't mean that  you can't have a serious conversation with them about your fear of being miserable.  Do it and then let them tell you to suck it up; be happy on your own time.  You have your whole life and many career changes ahead of you so lighten up and go get a lab coat.

Please don't misconstrue my advice that you get a marketable job as a condemnation of majors that fall into that not-so-marketable category.  I have a useless degree myself and I'm even friends with people with useless degrees.  I've had them to my house for dinner! I'm no condemner.  The thing is, I paid for that bastard all by my lonesome.  I knew there wasn't a chance in hell I'd make any money with it, but I was young, romantic, and looked at college as a place to learn and grow, not as a job farm.  The cool thing about my questionable decision-making process, though, is that it was all mine.  I didn't disappoint anyone or stress anyone else out;  I didn't put out my hand and ask for string-free subsidies. I earned, literally, the right to be a bit of a jackass and to choose obscure knowledge over money-earning power.

So, my darling, if you have a soul-deep need to get a degree in communications, you should do it with that burning passion that only communications majors seem to possess.  Just do it on your own.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Racism? No Thanks. I'm Full

Dear Eve,

My family are hideous racists, and I'm in a biracial relationship with a black man and have been for a year. I want to introduce the love of my life to my fam, but don't want to hear their ugly talk.  Mother's Day is coming up and a big deal in my family, so I'm hoping if I bring him during a fun family day that everyone will have to be nice and they won't be able to go crazy.  I'm scared that even if they are nice they will never accept him and probably kick me out of their life.  If I don't tell my family soon my boyfriend says he wants to break up.  He doesn't want to be with someone who is ashamed of him.  What should I do?

Dear Shameless,

Tell your family the truth?  Apologize to your boyfriend?  Expect more from yourself?  All of these, please.  It's not like you just walked into the situation and Surprise! Surprise! Mama and daddy are racists, oh my!  From the first lash you ever batted at your mister to the last full-body handshake you two shared, they were ugly ol' racists, and you have been Scarlet O'Hara-ing that fact to avoid the pain of confrontation.  You can't put it off any longer if you want to keep your man, so let me walk you through your preferred scenario, just for practice.

Let's set the stage: nice family gathering, beautiful day, staggering plates of sausages being slung around (hhhmmm,  sausages), pony keg of Bud Light in the corner, various ranking cousins and other outliers and relatives lazing about and waxing poetic about lynchings and having arguments about which tar is best when one is feathering a man of color...Bucolic.  And here you come in, basically using your boyfriend as a human flack jacket.  What a douchey thing to do! Everyone knows that when pony kegs are involved all sorts of crazy shit can go down.  But there you are, willing to let this man, whom you profess to love with a passion, to be put in a position where he could be emotionally, verbally, or even physically abused.  Don't do it, lady. He doesn't deserve it and your racist family doesn't deserve the IED, either.  By popping up with your guy out of the blue, you're giving your family a big "fuck you" and "let's see how you jerks handle this."

Do it right.  Tell them in person about the man in your life, or perhaps on the phone if they're really awful and could possibly get violent.  Give them time to adjust to this new information.  When you've done that, and if they've reacted in a reasonable way, set up a nice  get-to-know-you date in a neutral place, like a restaurant.  Your boyfriend will appreciate you treating him so respectfully and, if there is good stuff floating around in the universe, so will the 'rents.  To keep this positive, I've got a true story for you:  A family I know was in your exact predicament.  The dad was cruel and completely cut his only daughter out of his life for many years.  Well, as that man got older his heart got softer and he could no longer tolerate a life without his girl even if she came with a little "baggage."  It turned out that the boyfriend and the dad had a lot in common and became best of friends and stayed close 'til the dad's early death.  People sometimes surprise themselves.

Of course, you could continue to be a coward, have a dishonest relationship with your family, very possibly lose your boyfriend and, along the way, lose your self-respect, too. We all have options. Just make sure that the next time you need a flack jacket buy it off the rack.  Wearing your loved ones is never in season.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh, No You Di'nt! Plagiarize, That Is

Dear Eve,

My professor says I plagiarized a paper I turned in for a college class. He has results from an online service that checks for plagiarism that says my paper is 90% copied from online sources. I know I went to the web for some inspiration and help, but I can't have plagiarized from it. He told us at the beginning of the semester that he would fail us for the entire semester's class if we plagiarize for his class, but I think it's totally unfair that I'm being failed for the class for this one paper. I worked for hours really hard on this paper.

Dear Woefully, Wrongfully, Pitifully Accused & Accursed,

You fucked up.



Your professor, unless he has serious issues (which is a distinct possibility in academia), is not looking for ways to fail his students.  The usage of plagiarizing detecting software is a necessity in higher education, but you know that already!  Sometimes it's just too tempting to pass up perfectly turned phrases, which by chance (serendipity?) also magically echo your own sentiments so succinctly it's impossible to change them!  At least that's easy to think when you're reeling in Paperland, you've not quite got an opinion on anything yet because you're reading a lot of material (please, bob, let this be the case) and still trying to figure out where the hell to begin. Making a quilt of other peoples work is an easy trap to fall in, but one that can be easily avoided when you give yourself the gift of actually caring about your work.  If you did, then you would understand that no matter how cleverly you reword other people's work, it's still not yours.  Plagiarizing is more than just extracting sentences word for word; re-arranging words, phrases, paragraphs all count.  And more importantly, you can plagiarize an opinion; an idea.  Original thought is kinda the whole point of the paper to begin with, yes?

Of course you worked really hard and didn't do anything maliciously (You're a great student!), but that doesn't matter: consequences are consequences.  I can run over a guy that saunters into the middle of the street in front of my dope ride, who's just daring someone to hit him, then kill the swaggering bastard and get sent to jail for involuntary manslaughter.  It wasn't like I was gunning for him, but he's dead just the same.  You killed your paper and it doesn't matter if you did it involuntarily or not: the bitch is dead.

The important thing now is to not let this happen again.  If you have the balls and/or inclination to get more information on where you went wrong, you should.  I know very few profs who would turn a student away who seriously wanted to improve in any area related to their class.  It will help you not repeat the same mistake and it will let them know that you're not just another self-entitled, asshole kid with a helicopter mom and a credit card; that you, my darling, are a serious student. It's never a bad thing, either, to make friends in high(ish) places.  If the guy is a real toe-stubber and doesn't want to work with you, go to the student writing center, give 'em what you got and find out where you went wrong and learn how to write a paper.  You'll be amazed at how much you can improve in a few sessions.  And remember: Failing is totally okay.  It can be a blow financially for many reasons, but one class shouldn't be devastating.  If it is, you will still recover.  This is an expensive wake-up call to take your education more seriously.

On a side note, if I did involuntarily kill someone, don't worry! I wouldn't really go to jail because I'm white, female and foxy.  You wouldn't believe the things I can get away with!  I can only assume that, sadly, you didn't have the "it" that would make your professor overlook your ineptitude because then, you know, you could've totally gotten away with it.  Bad breaks, kid.  Bad breaks.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Flash Friday

Is it okay to give up on my diet?
Sure.  Just don't give up on yourself or your ability to make better food choices.

Should I color my hair?
Only if you can afford it.  Then again, go for it anyway.  I can see that you need a change.

Do I give in and finally admit that I'm wrong?
Not yet.  Being passive-aggressive is good.  Throw in a little dishonesty and it's like, Dude!  You're a relationship guru.  Namaste.

Why do I like hot sauce so much?  It's like I'm addicted!
In a way, it's like you are.  It triggers dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin to flood into your noggin.  A mini-drug, so to speak.

How can I stop obsessing over my awful childhood?
See a talk therapist then work really hard to come to terms with it.  You'll amaze yourself with your ability to transform the terrible, haunting past into "Wow that was shitty.  Glad it's over and I'm free."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fun Soul Crusher Seeks Crazy Person for Friendship Only

Dear Eve,

I had an amazing friendship, which is rare to find as an adult. A few months ago, we \"broke up\" the way girls do sometimes. She overstepped the boundaries, we had words and I was crushed. She is sorry. I am sorry. We miss each other, at least she says she that is true. I wonder if we can ever be friends again.

I miss her. We had so much fun together. But I wonder if we can ever trust each other again. I told her I can forget it and move on....put my hand out there, but she has not returned my handshake and I am left there; hand hanging in mid-air. What else can I do to mend a broken friendship? Or is she just gone from my life?

Dear Broken Up,

You can't do anything else.  You've put yourself out there and she's not reciprocated.  I'm having a hard time understanding, though, why you're pursuing her when she's crushed your heart, you don't believe she's sincere in her apology, and you don't trust her as a person.  You did say she was fun, but I think she'd have to be going-to-Cirque-deSoleil-on-white-blotter-acid-fun for me to still be interested.

And because chances are she's not that fun, I think you just might be a little crazy.  Not in the poop-in-the-sink variety crazy, or the going to the grocery store as Lady Godiva and Godiva wants peas!  Naow, Fool! type,  but the more genteel let's-blow-things-out-of-proportion or I'm-not-likable-so-I-expect-bad-treatment or I-am-superior-to-everyone-and-they-are-jealous-so-they-leave-me varieties.  Crazy meaning you don't do "balance" well; your world exists in black-and-white.  If this is you, then scrap the friendship.  Your fun friend doesn't have a chance of ever being rid of the black spot she was given when she dared to cross one of your boundaries, of which I imagine you have many, replete with cold-war era landmines.  I don't think she's responding to your outreach because she knows that you will never be able to let it go.  You can miss each other, love each other, and have fond memories of the good days, but you're never going back to where you were.  Like my brother says, once bread is toast, it can never be bread again.

If you're not crazy, and I just know you're not!, then you're over-sensitive.  Really good friends can weather a huge front of shit-storms and come out on the other side, definitely wind-blown, but with their scotches still firmly in hand, and ready to meet the world as a team again. Was the infamous boundary crossing one that was so egregious that it can never be forgiven?   If she slept with your man, the bitch should be dead to you, unless he's a bigger jerk-off than she is, then I'd give her another chance, but that's me. Sisters before misters and all that.  If she gave you unsolicited advice about, say, your sub-par mothering (her opinion!  Back off!), home decor, or your choice to have an affair, and so on, then you need to let it go. You think enough of her to write in, so I'll assume she's not swapped bodily fluids with your mate.  My advice is to work on letting your hurt go unless she's malicious, toxic, or a soul-sucking jerk.   Don't make anymore overtures to her until you can forgive her, for real this time. Or decide that she's not worth it and move on.  Your fence-sitting antics will only serve to inflame your nether regions and make you walk funny.  Be kind to your lady parts and make a decision tout de suite; your vulva will love you for it.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Forbidden Love: Friend Edition

Dear Eve,

I have a friend I'll call "Lisa."  She is the light of my life.  We've been best friends for more than half of our lives, have been through teen angst, addictions, marriages, divorces, and for what seems to be a very serene time in both our lives.  I've been divorced now for quite a number of years but she was married for the second time a few years ago.  We love each other a lot and have had off and on feelings for each other.  The problem is that now I know that I am madly in love with her and probably always have been.  Luckily she lives 3 hours from me because I don't think I could stay away from her.  She accepts me more than anyone has ever, and I know that I am better for her then her jerk-off husband.  I'm sure he cheats on her too and she tells me when we talk on the phone that she's miserable and confused.

Can I tell her that I'm in love with her and ask her to leave her husband for me?  I know she's miserable with him and I know that she's had feelings for me in the past.  I don't want to damage what we have platonically.

Dear Reluctant Casanova,

No, you can't.  You can't get into the middle of your friend's marriage unless (and maybe not even then) she asks your opinion.  The only caveat to this is if she is being abused, which she's not.

You can't because you wouldn't know what to do with her if you ever got her. Both of you have successfully avoided getting romantic for decades and I don't think it's a coincidence that you've never been single at the same time.  If there was a true romantic pull, then one of you would have jumped ship and hopped into the other's dinghy by now and been done with it, making way for some future hot geriatric snurgling sessions and eventual reminiscing (with a bit of ha-ha-ha-ing) about how long it took you two crazy kids to finally get together.

But she didn't and you didn't and now you've got to get it together and leave her alone.  She's a big girl.  If she's miserable enough she can do something about it and extricate herself from the clutches of the cad. She can lean on her best friend for moral support and for whatever other kind of help she needs and she knows that, right?  Let her make her own life in her own time; if you're madly in love and it is meant to be, then be her friend when she needs a friend and, if you're lucky, when the day comes for her to take a new lover, you can be that, too.

Then again, you could take a more cavalier approach (oh, wouldn't you love that!) and do what you want to when you want to and show up at her house (or any locale or, hell, on the phone) with your heart in your sweaty little hands.  It wouldn't be awkward at all to put her on the spot, even though she already has a husband she's committed to and hasn't expressed any desire to leave.  And I'm sure it wouldn't hurt her at all that her closest friend (you :)) whom she depends on to be there for her when freaky shit happens, is crumbling away before her eyes. On top of all of that, she has to consider breaking up with you because you've irrevocably changed the friendship you two have had for half a lifetime.  Nice going, guy.

Don't be selfish.  Be pitiful and lonely--throw in a dash of bitter-- while you wait for her marriage to die; be a little self-destructive, maybe date a drug addict or something similar to keep you busy and wait for the day when she's a free woman.  Or don't wait and jump into another relationship like you usually do.  Then when you're single and she's with another guy, write back to me.  You'll be in a nursing home by then but, hey, true love never dies, right?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flash Friday

Should I give it one more chance?
Probably not.  You sound tired and tired means you're done.

When's the best time to plant tomatoes?
Holy Nuts!  It's actually this weekend according to Farmer's Almanac. True story.

Is it alright to ask my new boyfriend to rub my feet?
Yes.  Always ask for what you want, especially if he still has that new boyfriend smell.  Don't start the relationship censoring your needs.

Why didn't anyone show up to my party?
Your sycophantic behavior toward your friends makes you seem disingenuous because, let's be honest, you are.  You don't really like them, but like the idea of them.  They don't really like you either.

How do I ask my good friend out on a date?
Go balls out.  No demure lead up, self-effacing remarks, or saying something stupid like "It's ok if you say no." Say what you mean; don't be ashamed of how you feel.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Warning: Mad-Dad has Entered the Building

Dear Eve,

I recently had a couple kids. I am also a pessimistic a-hole who tends to see the worst in people and humanity. My opinion of people ranges from absolute hatred to being slightly-annoyed-to look-at. You know it's bad when you can really relate to the outlook of Daniel Day-Lewis's character in There Will Be Blood. I also tend to get a little introverted in public situations. I would rather stay home and read a book than do almost anything else.

However, I'm trying to be positive for the sake of my children. I understand that the best thing you can do for your children is to just try to be happy. Not maniacal happy, just upbeat and excited to do things. For example, I took my 2 year old to an indoor pool a couple of weeks ago. I thought that it would not be crowded because of the time of year. When I walked in and saw that it was practically standing room only, I almost had a nervous breakdown. I toughed it out, put on a smile, and swam with my son in gross people's urine for awhile.

I just need some pointers in dealing with the world. I genuinely don't want to do "kid" activities because they're boring and I hate other parents, but I guess I have to right? I don't want to be the dad that gets drunk before EVERY kids party but I am considering it.  Any help would be appreciated.

Dear Mad-Dad,

You're right.  A lot of social activities for kids are about as fun as The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, but they're not made for us to love.  You simply have to suck it up until your kids reach an age where they can play and you can half-read a book while looking sufficiently Uni-bomber-ish to scare off friendly parents who want to play their reindeer games with you.  Until then, only choose activities from the higher rings of hell and ones where you, coincidentally, have other commitments and can only stay for 45 minutes. While you're working on your skills of deception, start circling your wagons at home.  Young kids really only want their parents' attention and are happiest in the warm bosom of family so make a lot of play-dates with siblings and keep your parties in the immediate family.  This new-fangled idea of having to "socialize" kids with other kids is bizarre to me.  As long as you're not a family of card-carrying Vikings, everyone will learn how to behave with other sentient beings without the help of "Blah blah psuedo-science/I heard on Dr. Phil/the internet moms said/and LA LECHE LEAGUE BITCHES!" from other parents.

So what do you do for 45 minutes when you do have to leave the homestead and go to the pool because M-D Jr HAS TO GO NOW or when you have a party you can't snake out of?  Showing up absolutely does not mean that you have to assimilate into the herd and start asking people how they are doing (ugh!) and then pretend to care when they tell you nor do you have to keep up with some inane conversation about how Megan doesn't discipline Skylar and someone needs to confront her but who will it be?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a broody, standoffish, withdrawn misanthrope who wants nothing to do with the people around you.   Of course, all the moms will be dying to know Mr. Mysterious and spend an inappropriate amount of time talking about you, but let your wife worry about that.  On the off chance that you're feeling uncharacteristically friendly (blech!), you could find the other black sheep in the flock.  There's always one mom that doesn't play well with others and keeps to herself; I guarantee she's dying to have someone to be petulant with. The old adage "Bitching is more fun in two's" is true.  

Your kids don't need you to be someone you're not.  Be true to yourself.  I swear you're not going to ruin them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roommates? Hell No!

Dear Eve,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about 6 months and we a very, very much in love and I think he’s the one!!! We’re living separately, but see each other every day and sleep together every night, so we are thinking we should probably move in together. We’re getting a lot of flack from our friends who think it’s too soon, but we know we are going to be together forever, so we don’t really care.

The problem is we’re both broke and we’re both living with several roommates. It will be nearly impossible to get a new place without at least one roommate, probably two, maybe even another couple. A friend told me that it’s not a good idea to have roommates when you’re living as a couple. What do you think?

Dear Almost Gloomy Roomies,

Congratulations! Finding “the one” is such a gift. I strongly believe that love comes in many shapes, sizes and timelines and don’t care too much for the judgey judgers. There are a lot of people that have relationships and get married the “right” way and they get divorced, too. Give them the finger and be happy. Do make sure, though, that you’re not ignoring any red flags. It’s always good to have a little think before you make any big changes. And just to be clear: never date, move in with, or marry a junkie, ‘k?

Now this is important so listen up. Moving in with other people when you are a couple is simply a terrible idea. Always. I’ve never seen it work unless the house is large, it’s the couple’s home, and it’s just one roommate for a short period of time. Otherwise all of the normal roommate problems are magnified because now there are two of you to be offended, taken advantage of and yelled at for NEVER WASHING THE DISHES!!YOU NEVER WASH THE DISHES!AND STOP EATING MY YOGURT!! GET YOUR OWN, A-HOLE!!

It’s a bad idea. Period.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just Say "No!" to Greedy Little Bastards

Dear Eve,

I have spoiled my teenagers. They go through electronics like water. So far this year I have bought 2 replacement laptops for $1000 each for school work and 5, I’m not kidding, ipods. I have 4 children and one has ADHD. The others just don’t seem to care. They are aged 9 to 17.

They expect me to keep buying when they break or lose their stuff. I’m tired of it but I think it’s too late. I’ve already created monsters.

Is it too late to be a mean mom?

Dear Pushover,

It’s never too late to be a responsible mom and that’s what we’re really talking about here. Your job isn’t to raise kids who are happy now, but to raise kids who will be happy once they are out on their own. I’ve never known a spoiled child who grew into a content adult; you’ve got to give your children a better foundation to stand on.

Don’t spend another dime on electronics. Not everyone can afford laptops and the ones that don't have one are not doomed to fail in life, anymore than your children are guaranteed to pass with one. They will tell you that they must have one for school, and they may, but they didn't care enough about that fact when they were being irresponsible with them, so you need to tell them that they need to figure it out on their own. Ignore their pleas for assistance like you ignore the condoms you found while snooping in your oldest’s bedroom. And IPods are not necessities even if everyone else has them. The kids will survive though I’m sure they will honestly believe you are killing them.

Remember: they will try to continue to manipulate you . If you value the idea of them as happy, productive adults don’t give in. Get mad, woman! Don’t cut yourself any slack. You’ve set a poor example for your kids but now you’ve got a chance to right those wrongs and make necessary changes. If you think it’s bad now, don't work to change things and wait until your spoiled kids have spoiled kids and grandma gets to foot everyone’s bills. Yay retirement! Hahahahahah. No retirement for you, granny. Now if you just said "no" in the beginning....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flash Friday

Should I tell my girl that her jokes aren't funny?
Only if you're okay with her being just as honest with you, possibly about you-know-what.

Should I de-friend a family member on facebook who posts terribly insulting things?
Yes. De-friending and disowning are two different things, people. Let them figure it out.

Should I have a dinner party this weekend?
Sure. Four courses of outrageously good food made by vous is just what you need to get a little pep back in your step.

Why do I suddenly have cravings for Vietnamese food?
Because you've suddenly become awesome!

How can I show my wife how much I love her?
Tell her how you feel, do things to make her life easier and, for once, give her a massage that lasts longer than 30 seconds and isn't just an excuse to plant your penis in her lady garden.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lloyd Dobler: You're All Mine

Dear Eve,

My boyfriend is having a mid-life crisis. Suddenly he is hanging out with guys (and some girls) half his age. The worst part is that he is hanging out with them at my house and keeping the hours of a 20 something. He seems much happier than he has been and I’m not worried that he might cheat but he is annoying the hell out of me and being really disrespectful.

Should I just bide my time and let him run it out of his system since he’s so damn happy or let him know that I’m at the end of my rope and he needs to grow up?

Dear Miss Respectful,

You know, this doesn’t have to be kill him or ignore him. There’s a lot of room in between to craft a punishment to fit the crime, so to speak. I have to say that in some ways this is pretty awesome. It sounds like he’s recaptured some joie de vivre that he’d lost and didn’t become a scumbag in the process so lucky you! You will reap the rewards, eventually, anyway. Happy is the gin in the martini of life.

Just be honest. Tell him you’re happy for him but feeling youthful again doesn't give him a pass to act irresponsible or immature. Let him know you need him to be a man, not a boy and if he wants the perks that only men can enjoy (::eyebrow waggle::), he needs to give you the respect you’ve given him while he's been trying out his new wings.

Then again, you could take a more interesting approach and pull out a few Madonna outfits, circa 1988, and get some gum chewing girlfriends and a few guys that don't know they're gay yet to hang out with you at the house to reboot your own inner material girl. Party like it's 1999 in a bullet bra and a pair of lace gloves while doing your best Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club dance moves. I’d add some vicious flirting with his friends just for fun; jealousy is a good minor story arc in any John Hughes movie.

If the planets align, you will both have a wonderful time for a while, at least until your husband tires of your mesh t-shirt shenanigans and realizes that he has to reign it in if you're going to go back to wearing clothes without holes in them.

Do eet! Have fun being that girl minus the very bad decisions that were a direct result of thinking that all boys are secretly Lloyd Dobler and just waiting for the right moment to stand under your window in the rain with a boom-box playing In Your Eyes while professing an undying love. Not that I would know anything about that. No way, José.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drunk? Divorced? Dangerous!

Dear Eve,

I’m in my late 20’s and recently divorced. I spent my party years being a wife and now I am having a really good time making up for lost time.

I’m writing to you because my friends and family are worried that I’m drinking too much and using it to not deal with my divorce. I do party and drink a lot on the weekends going out with friends to see bands or karaoke and have 3 or 4 beers at night after work. I have a very stressful job and it helps me relax. Is it too much? All my friends drink just as much as me or more, it doesn’t affect my job besides the occasional hangover and I don’t act like an alcoholic and can function just fine without it. Since I don’t have a problem, I don’t see the point in stopping my partying but I don’t like that my family is worried.

How can I convince my people that I don’t have a problem?

Dear Lush,

You do have a problem. How can I convince your people that they need to ride you like a swayed-back pony until you wake up and realize what you are doing is dangerous and has the potential to cause you major problems during a time that could be a beautiful rebirth? If you say your beer swilling is of no consequence, then a simple request from the people that you love to abstain for a while should be easy. Why wouldn't you, if you could, give the people you love a little peace of mind? But you're not even considering a slow-down and that, my dear, is most certainly a problem.

We all know—you must know by now—that drinking a lot during times of stress doesn’t lead to anything good, unless your idea of good includes major depression, possible DUI’s and maybe a few STD’s if you’re feelin’ nasty. Knock it off. Put down the Poor Man’s Martini1, call your big sister and imagine together what your life would look like without the booze. If you can’t imagine a life with out a few drinks to unwind, and still don’t think you have a problem, maybe you should call Lindsay Lohan and you two can be totally awesome together. You can get your lips "plumped" so you look like a duck and never wear a bra again! She's grown up a lot so you can keep your panties on. Oh how I mourn for the old Lindsay.

But if you do see the sadness and madness of what you are doing to your life, lean on your people and get help. They are standing there to catch you when you fall.

1 Miller High Life with a few olives popped in the bottle

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fix My Picker! I'm Ready for Love

Dear Eve,

I just can't seem to find the right guy. My "picker" is broken and when I fall in love it's with the same guy: immature, narcissistic, sometimes addict, and commitment-phobic. I see a therapist which has helped, but I still can't break the cycle.

I want a long-term relationship with a guy that will love me like I love him. How can I start making better choices? I'm afraid that I'll never get "it."

Dear Heartbreaker,

I'll call you that because you're breaking mine. When you're working hard to fix the parts in you that are broken and still feel like your being held together by the cheapest glue, it's easy to start believing that you just might be too broken to fix; too empty to give; too tired to keep trying and failing. If you really were these things, though, you wouldn't be writing in to me, going to see your therapist, or keeping that small ray of hope that there is a great guy out there for you. Instead, you would've given up by now and be a crazy cat lady, sharing fish treats with you 23 closets furry friends and self-treating hookworms. It's just a matter of time before things click for you. Your hard work will pay off because you want it to and are willing to sacrifice to be where you want to be.

While you're putting the finishing touches on the leaner, meaner you, I'd like you to think about the urgency that you have to get a good guy in the bag, and quick! I'm not sure if it's a modern notion or a just a human one, but comparing your timeline to the people around you is a very good way to make yourself miserable. It's no good to tell yourself that you have a small window of opportunity to be happy. It's just not true. From the 15 year old new mom to the 51 year old couple that has their first child through the foster care system, everyone's time comes as it should. When you finally get where you want to be you will know how necessary it was to go through what you did to get what you wanted all along. Remember: when you jump on someone else's train, it's a good way to miss your own.

Trust me. One day you will be giving this same advice to a sweet, self-sabotaging lady whose had her fill of free-loading bass players that hit on her friends and swear they'll get a job tomorrow. You'll help rid her of the pox of the man-boy and wipe the tattoo from her forehead that says so eloquently, "Screw me over, please, then make me feel guilty about it. Oh, and by the way, I'll pay you to do it, too." You'll be a saint, my darling, and I cannot wait to see that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flash Friday

Should I finally confront my mom?
No.  Wait until you can say "I can't wait to confront my mom!" Otherwise, you'll crash and burn and just feel worse.

Can I get away with wearing leggings?
Yes!  They make everyone look super cute.  Just cover your ass if it's huge.

What's a good date movie?
Harold and Maude.  No contest.

Am I ready to get a dog?
No.  You'll have to walk the poor thing and we know you won't. But it sounds nice in theory!

Why are we fighting so much?
You're both afraid to talk about the real problem so fighting over the little things is a safer way to show how unhappy you are.  Being honest is hard but you have to do it or things will get much worse.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Suggestion: Don't Date Someone That Doesn't Like You

Dear Eve,

I have been seeing my girlfriend for about 6 months. We date 3-4 times per month, which isn't enough for me, but we're professionals and busy so I'm cool with it. The problem is that she's starting graduate school and says we will not be able to see each other at all for at least 4 months because she will be too busy. There isn't even time for a quick lunch together once a week and we only live 5 minutes apart. She says we can text each other to keep in touch, but not a lot. She has to keep her mind on her studies.

I want to know if her behavior is reasonable, or am I being selfish in thinking that she should make a little time for us when she's working so hard already? She knows I'll miss her but assures me that nothing has changed between us.

Dear Utterly Hopeless,

She is not your girlfriend.

The evidence:

  1. You live 5 minutes from each other and maybe see her once a week. That’s about as often as you see the gas station guy, and I don’t think you see him as a romantic interest.
  2. She doesn't want to see you for four months. Is she going into a convent? Taking a vow of silence? A boyfriend should be pretty important, dontcha think? I worked 40 hours a week, went to school full-time and still managed to nurture a decent relationship with a bottle scotch and procure all the sexy times a stressed-out student needs. 
  3. She won’t agree to see you for a half hour a week for lunch. She will spend that much time picking stray whiskers off her chin. Just to get math-y on you, that is about .3% of her week she can’t spare. On you. Her boyfriend.
  4. She told you nothing has changed between you. Now with that I agree. To make the shift from spending 4 hours a week (just guessing) to zero hours a week isn't much of a difference.
  5. She knows you want a relationship and she DOES NOT CARE. She likes having you there, though, for whenever it suits her. That's what's known as "shitty."

To answer your question, you are not being selfish. You are being stupid.

So, Utterly Hopeless, be a little kinder to yourself and choose to date women who actually like you. They are out there. Cut your losses and find someone worth your time, love and devotion.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mama Loves Her Baby, But Her Baby is a Bitch

Dear Eve,

My boyfriend and I are going to stay for a weekend at my parent's house which is 3 hours away. We're both 20 years old and have been together for more than a year and they've met him before. My Mom said he can stay the night but expects us to sleep in separate beds and says we can pay for a hotel if that doesn't suit us. How do I tell her she's crazy and remind her that I'm a grown woman? I'm an adult. She still treats me like a child and I'm sick of it.

Dear Fornicator,

Have mercy on me! I'm about to expire from the injustice of it all. How dare your mother have a set of morals that doesn't match your own! Doesn't she realize that just because it's her house, it doesn't give her the right to decide who can sleep where? You're an adult! And let's not forget that you should be able to have sex when and where you want to and no one should be able to infringe upon that unalienable right because you're a grown-ass woman, right? You could go to a hotel but she expects you to pay for it yourself. Has she forgotten that you're her child? Geez! Am I glad that I'm not you.

Oh, come on! You have lost your mind, girl. It's your mother: her house, her rules. You've got more problems than just being immature and selfish if you and your lover can't endure being apart for a few nights, just a couple of rooms apart. You want to be treated like an adult? Act like one and pay for a hotel with your own money if your mom's accommodations clash with your sensibilities. Don't you dare try to squeeze a few shekels out of her for a hotel room, either, especially when she's being inexplicably gracious by wanting to spend time with you in the first place.

A final word: In my life, I have never heard an adult make the proclamation that they are one. Grandma never whines, "But I'm an adult!" when things don't go her way, neither does my 18 year old, very responsible and very self-reliant niece, but both are. If you're really an adult, you don't have to remind anyone of that fact, anymore than you need to remind people that you're a woman or, for that matter, that you're a whiny bitch. Now go be a good girl and call your mom.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Slacks, Slackers and the Women Who Love Them

Dear Eve.

Currently my 24 year old god-daughter who just graduated from college is staying with me while applying for jobs. She's a nice girl and very smart but dresses so terribly I don't think she'll ever get hired for anything but being a stripper. School girl mini-mini skirts, thigh highs, shredded tees.... She dresses a little better for interviews, but not much. She says she wants to be hired for her mind.

I've taken her shopping and offered to buy her a nice button-up and a pair of slacks for interviews but she declines the offer. I've talked to her about professionalism until I'm blue in the face. I told her she could stay here until she gets on her feet but I'm not ready to have a permanent house guest.

Am I absolved of my duties to help and guide her since I've done all I can think of to help her? I know she's getting really tired of me. :)

Dear God Mutha,

I don't think you were ever responsible for getting her ready for the real world, but if you need absolution to not feel guilty if she fails, consider it given. The woman is 24 years old, has a college degree and is making a conscious decision to not make any effort to change her appearance to improve her chances of getting a job. This juvenile idea that personal fashion is an inalienable right should die at high school graduation.

You need to get real with her and set boundaries; you are doing her a disservice by letting her stay with you responsibility-free. She should have an urgency, even a desperation, to take care of herself and make whatever sacrifices necessary to be self-sufficient, so give her a move-out date to light a fire under her ass. You need to understand, also, that nice only goes so far; she is taking advantage of you. Being a good listener and having good manners is fine, but we show people how we really feel by our actions. And her actions say "Godmother, thanks for being my bitch. It means a lot to me that I can take advantage of you both financially and morally, but you make it so easy you deserve it. Thanks for the cash, too. I'm not using it for gas. I need pot to be able to deal with your incessant nagging. And BTW, those slacks make your legs look like you've filled a pair of pantyhose with potatoes." Man, she sounds like a real twat-waffle.

Free yourself from the bonds of feeling responsible for this young lady's life choices. It's totally okay if she fails. She's young enough and smart enough to get through it and be better for it. You've done enough for her.

Now let's get down to the real tragedy here: Slacks. Seriously? The word itself sounds like a disease. I certainly don’t want to catch “the slacks.” It’s a bitch to get rid of and makes you smell like moth balls. Ladies wear trousers, woman!