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.