Sunday, August 31, 2014

You're Gonna Wind Up Eating a Steady Diet of Gov'ment Cheese, Kid

Dear Eve,

I am worried about a friend. He is getting a little out of control with his drinking and I can see how depressed he is under his 'everything is cool' exterior. I know he is under a lot of pressure with work issues, kids still at home, money stuff, but he does have a supportive wife and they look very happy.  I don't want to cross any boundaries and assume bad stuff is happening for him depression-wise, but he has been slowly amping up his drinking (and maybe rx pills? I think so, but I don't know for sure) over the past year and I can't help but worry. We've been friends for a long time, but there is some kind of code with guys where they clam up if you get real.

IDK. I'm afraid that he is going to wreck his life and I'm going to have to witness it and I don't want to kick myself for not saying something when I should have.

When do you stick your nose in other people's business?

Thanks in advance,
A Friend

Dear Friend,

I stick my nose in other people's business all the time. It's my job!

When should you?

Online Graphing

If I think there is some underlying depression, shady shit going on or other concerning behavior, I'm going in strong at 400, possibly 300 if they are showing signs of remorse for craptacular things they did while under the influence.  But from 400 on, it gets a little shady. You're a crappy friend if you don't say something. I lost a friend once because I didn't get on him for his drinking. He took it as a sign I didn't care. I thought he was trying on a Bukowski persona and didn't think it was my place to intervene with his life/art. I was also young and stupid. As a grown-ass woman, I have lost friends because I stopped drinking and they took it as a personal judgement of their own life choices. That sucked like elephantiasis of the labia. I'm still sad about losing them. The point is, there could be consequences that aren't going to thrill you if you keep your pie-hole closed or let your feelings fly.

Graph-wise, from 400 up you're kind of a pussy if you don't say something. That shit is not good, no matter how you frame it. We laugh off the shenanigans of our friends, and a hittin' life a little hard during times of turmoil can happen with little damage done, sometimes, but when months or years start adding up, you need to push out your tits, lift up that double chin and say, "I care about you too much to not say something about this shit."

There are a lot of alternatives to not doing that. 1) Nothing could happen. Your friend slows down and things go back to normal, 2) Things get worse but he's still making it work. You watch horrified from the sidelines and slowly distance yourself for self-preservation's sake and forget you know him, or 3) The sonofabitch accidentally OD's, or murders a bunch of people with his car, or loses his family/job/home or some combination of the three. That could happen, right?

So where is your comfort level, Friend? What are you willing to risk to show you care? If you lose them for saying something, respectfully and out of genuine concern, that shit will hurt but they will know someone has noticed and you will know that you have done them a kindness, one that I believe they are secretly wanting, whether they are willing to change now or not. The alternative is not really an option, unless "A Friend" is really an alias for "Shit Stirrer" or "Asshole".

Be the one to be brave enough to say something. Who knows? You may be the catalyst for them to become an awesome motivational speaker! You could be the wind beneath their wings! You could also be despised, but I've been despised A LOT, and meh, it's not so bad. Not as bad as government cheese, and definitely better than being a coward.

Song of the Day

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You're Disloyal...But *I* Like Your Spots

Dear Eve,

I want to take a lover but I have a long-term partner. We have a wonderful relationship and family life but do not share the same sexual interests. We've tried therapy, compromises, talking it out, and there is no way to reconcile our very different sexual appetites and desires, which have d/evolved over time, and there is no interest at all in an open relationship on my partner's end. My SO is very happy with the way things are.

In a perfect world, I would like a platonic sex partner on the side that meets my needs and still keep my family intact, happy, and in the dark.  I would be safe and discreet.  

I know this makes me sound like a terrible person but I want to experience, just once, a great, fulfilling sexual relationship before I die.  I feel partly dead inside because this very important part of my personality is not even being acknowledged.  

Just writing this makes me feel like shit.  

Is an affair ever justified?

Sexually Depressed

Dear Sexually Depressed,

Justified? No. Never.

You get out if you're not happy or you make it work and suck it up because you did some sort of better or worse promise before you had any inkling of what that entailed. Some people get a partner who develops a chronic illness who can no longer have sex. Some have to live apart for long periods of time when life gets messy with jobs and family. They are still in love but not being sexually fulfilled. Are they justified in taking a lover? I don't think so.

Usually this kind of bullshit question makes me mad. Oh, sorry about your great family, partner and life. Poor you! Go find some decent porn and get over yourself!

But you said something that made me think. 

I DO think that everyone deserves AT LEAST ONE mind-blowing sexual experience/affair/lover.  That you've not found it in your chosen partner is a sadness. It's hard to bend sexual proclivities. Just as you don't share your partner's desires and can't change that, neither can they. Some couples are able to meet in the middle (bully for them!) but it's my experience that most don't and one or more is unsatisfied in these situations. Your question has given me the mean reds! What if you're in your 50's and are looking at 30 more years of being sexually unsatisfied? It sounds cruel!

Marrying, or making a life-long dedication to someone, is a gift to yourself and the other person: it's beautiful, terrifying, satisfying, safe, awful, extremely hard, and worth every struggle because it means that you always have someone that has your back, is on your side and LOVES YOU (hopefully) UNCONDITIONALLY. You are still two separate human beings, though, and humans are so tirelessly complicated and needy that I don't think there is a definitive yes/no answer to your question.  Don't we all deserve to feel loved and accepted in ALL ways?  I know I want to, and I'm just your regular super-sexy radiator of love, wanting to bring the world to my ample bosom and make it all better for them, or kick their ass, or both. I would feel quite bereft if my partner didn't meet my needs. I imagine that it is a very lonely life, in its own way.

Is it justified? No. Is it sometimes understandable? I'd say, with reservations, yes. For some people sex is sex. For others sex is more like S E X! S E X! S E X!  If you are in the latter group, I feel for you, really I do. Just know if you are going to join the pack of low-down dirty dogs and tramp around, you are potentially ruining one or more families,  you may find the guilt afterward overwhelming as well as extremely depressing, and you could potentially pick another partner that doesn't meet your needs,  winding up sexually unfulfilled and a cheater. That would significantly suck. Then do you "try on" someone else for size? Then another if that one poops out, too?

At this point, I would just wait for a sign from the universe.  You know, if your partner dies in a fiery crash, get's pulled up in the Rapture, is Disappeared, or gets abducted by aliens you are getting a big fucking thumbs up from Life! However, if they keep coming home, respecting you, loving you the best way they can, and lift you up when you're at your worst, keep your genitals at home, safe, where they can do no harm.

Then again, you could just do it and it could be magical and fulfill all your erotic fantasies, your partner none the wiser, your itch scratched, and when you lay down at 93 to breath your last breath, you can do it with a smile on your lips, having no regrets in life. Or it could blow up in your face. There is no Immaculate Herpes. Come home with that and you just may find yourself alone, poor, and living in your sister's basement, wishing you had a little more self-control and enough cash for your Valtrex prescription. In this instance, when you die an early death, you will have regrets: weeping, oozing ones.

I do feel for you, babe. Life is hard. Be happy that not getting off is your biggest problem. Seriously! There are people out there that can't eat GLUTEN! Now that's a fucking tragedy. Besides, no one lives forever except Keith Richards.  You always have dying to look forward to and, as far as I know, S E X! is not a high priority for corpses.

Song of the Day
Just Break Out the Booze


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Are You a Vulvatarian?

Dear Eve,

There's chicken and fish stuffed with crab meat at my local big box store.  I looked at it today and all I could think of is how pornographic they looked. Truly, packaged vaginas.  What does that say about me?

Closet pervert?

Dear CP,

You have come to the right place! First of all, I am the proud founder of the Vulva Liberation Front (message me to start a local chapter!).  It is our core mission to educate the public about the difference between the vagina (the inside canal of the female reproductive system) and the vulva (the outside, squishy, traditionally hairy part).  I can only imagine that you are seeing the Mystical and Mighty Vulva in those meat products.  The vag gets the glory, but it's really the vulva that's working it, looking lovely, and attracting all our attention.  That distinction made, are you, indeed, a pervert?

You are human (assuming here, but hoping maybe you are a dolphin that has met his or her full potential?) so therefore you think about sex, probably a lot.  Some of us repress it better than others, but it eventually seeps through the cracks of our psyches outing genitalia likenesses in everyday items, food or otherwise, and wreaking havoc on our daydreams about acupuncturists, educators, nail-bangers, and so on and so on.  You, you beautiful weirdo, are seeing Lady Gardens in the meat section of a soul-stealing mega-store so I surmise that you laud the Triangle of Madness as much as R. Kelly or maybe even k.d. lang.  If you are the proud owner of a Heart-shaped Box, then perhaps you just have a little Geogia O'Keefe in you.  If you are not blessed with a Devourer of Souls and find yourself seeing the Happy Valley in burnt toast or coffee stains, then that's okay, too.  What's not to love?  It's warm, soft, and truly a pillow of delight!  If loving the Flower of Power is wrong, I don't want to be right!

My advice is to delight in the vulvish shapes you find in the wild.  Share your finds with the world because, if I know anything, the world loves a vulva!  Please, though, don't forget our friends the penis and scrotum.  Male genitalia are given a bad rap.  Find the beauty in the pillars and stones!  Next time you pass the banana section at the store, try to fondly remember that first sad handjob you participated in.  Smile at the string bean, before you snap off it's head.  Feel the heft of the orange in the palm of your hand before ripping it open and devouring it's juicy awesomeness.

Join me and my fellow Vulvatarians!  The liberation has begun!  But like any movement, we can't go all the way with out our brothers by our sides, dangling proudly, so vulnerable yet unafraid to go sticking their heads into dark corners, fighting the good fight, one solid poke at a time.

Let us love all human parts, outside and in.  When we don't, the Cosmo-nists win.

Vive vos parties et les parties de vos camarades! 

Song of the Day
Song of the Day, Deuces Wild
Can You Find Your Vulva?

Monday, August 4, 2014

BFFL? But Only If You Can Get Me Into Peggy Sue's Make-Out Party

Dear Eve,

I feel like I'm in high school writing this, but I am lonely and desperate.  

I want more friends. I don't want to come off as needy and freaky, but I don't know how to put myself out anymore than I already am.  I am married, happily, and have kids so most of the women I know are the moms of my kid's friends.  There are a few that I want to be closer with but I don't get invited to things regularly even though I repeatedly remind them that I'd love to hang out.  It's frustrating!

What do I do?  I feel like I'm eating lunch alone in the cafeteria everyday.

(Hopefully Not) Forever Alone

Dear FA,

Oh dear, my sweet lady! If wanting friends makes a person needy and freaky, then I guess you've got a fellow needy freak in me.  For instance, I currently have my eye on a lady and she has not quite bought into the whole {{{{me}}}} package.  I'm cool with it.  Like Squints in _The Sandlot_, I will wait for my Wendy Peffercorn.  And just like in the movie, eventually she will succumb to my charms and adore me as I do her.  I know this, so it doesn't make me sad that she gives me wicked side-eye or cringes in my presence; one day she will give me a BE FRI necklace and we will cackle together on my front porch, remembering the days when we gave a shit about dumb things.

My reaction was not always this zen (such a colossal understatement).  I have flailed over many a lady (and man), dissecting conversations and body language, half-stalking, full-stalking, been a simpering fool....  Oh, I have chased and failed!  Eventually, I got happier and healthier and learned a few things.

1)  Finding a friend-match is really a love-match.  If you aren't your authentic self, you might as well blow out the pilot light, jack up the gas, and stick your head in that gas stove you're calling a relationship.
2)  Play it cool.  Maybe you are needy.  Maybe you are annoying.  Do you want to be friends with needy and annoying people?  Probably not.  Start some self-fixin' if you are.
3)  Who are these fuckers you're chasing after?  Are they worth it?  Really.  Are they? Sometimes we want to be friends with people for the wrong reasons and that's why it doesn't work out.  When it comes to school-mom friends, it's tricky like it is with work friends.  You are just random people with one topical thing in common.  Why should any of them be a match for you?  The odds that you're going to find someone you have a lot in common with are slim.   Accept that.
4)  Be brutally honest with yourself about why you want to be friends with these ladies.  All the boys I chased in school, all my unrequited loves (you Beaver O'er Achievers know who you are), all my crash-and-burn lady-crushes, had one thing in common: I really didn't "love" them.  I loved what I thought they could give me.  I didn't really know them. I imagined who they were.  I didn't think about what I could give them or if we were a good match.  I just knew I wanted what they had.
5)  Stop stalking the Oooh! Shiny! people and widen your scope of who a potential friend may be.  If the current herd you're hunting isn't eating your corn, maybe it's time to look in another field.  Rejection is Bob's protection.

If you squat and let loose on all of these suggestions out of hand, you probably have some problems.  Totally serious.  I'm not going to say you're crazier than a Tea Partier in an election year, but you might want to ask people you trust if there are things you could be working on to make your life easier.  Hopefully, they won't be pussies and will tell you the truth.  After all, you are a grown woman who doesn't seem to know when you are being rejected.  I know that hurts, but hurts heal.  Lies fester.

And by the way, you will not be Forever Alone.  Even if you don't take my hard-earned, excellent advice, you'll find somebody.  Hopefully, you'll luck out and you'll ride off into the sunset with a lovely Thelma to your Louise.  More than likely, though, if you stay desperate, some mom will snatch you up to pawn off thankless, mindless, tedious, soul-killing school projects that she doesn't want to do but agreed to knowing that some rube would do it for her.  That's the way the bitches play in the big leagues.  You sure you still want to go The Big Show?  Fuck that.  Fuck her.  Fuck it all and just be yourself.

Song of the Day
Song of the Week

Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Done a Bad, Bad Thing

Dear Eve,

Is it wrong to snoop on my significant other's phone and computer?  Something is going on and my SO is not being honest with me about whatever it is. I just know it.  I have a lot invested in this relationship and don't want to be blindsided by bullshit.

Feeling Betrayed

Dear FB,

It is absolutely wrong and a disgusting violation of their privacy.  DO NOT DO IT.

Song of the Day

NB     Doing the right thing isn't always the best thing.  It is wrong to violate someone's privacy, but it's also wrong to fuck someone over by being a Lying Liar from Liarville.  Here's my criteria to justify being a total asshole/douchebag/scumball/fuckhead and start looking for dirt:

1)  Sudden and extreme behavior changes with evasive answers when questioned about obvious changes .  Sudden and extreme is shorthand for I-am-super-fucked-up-and-cannot-handle-whatever-mess-I've-gotten-myself-into, which could seriously damage whatever life you've built together. If you have children or the person has become abusive in any way and the weirdness is continuing for weeks, take my completely inappropriate advice and start digging like Mike Mulligan.

2)  The person has a history of fucking you over and you always believe their bullshit stories, you're tired of it and want out, but are too much of a pussy to just say, "I know you're lying.  I'm done." You feel like you have to have proof to justify ending it or getting counseling.  Whatever.  I have to say, this is the worst way to go about it.  YOU go to therapy, get a fucking backbone and learn to stop letting people walk over you.

3)  You have a sudden realization that your Uncle Fucker of a SO has been gaslighting you and, rightly, you snap.

4)  You are exhausted.  Your field of fucks is barren, as a plague of great fuckery has ascended upon you and your kin.  Your moral compass is so borked, at this point, you might as well be standing in the Blair Witch's basement.  You get a pass.  Call it ETI (Embraced Temporary Insanity) and feel no shame.  We love you.

You get NO PASS if you are a serial snooper because you feel entitled to know everything your SO is doing or your SO is decent folk and you know, deep down, you are an ass-butt.  You get NO PASS if you tend to think the worst of everyone while you know, deep down, that you are actually the worst.  You get NO PASS if you surround yourself with snoopers and cheaters and have started to think it's normal behavior in a relationship.  It is not.  If you aren't friends with any happy couples, change that.

Take a personal inventory and, if on a scale of 1 to Crazy-As-A-Shithouse-Rat, you feel strongly that you are not a member of the order Rondentia, trust your instincts to self-preserve and do what you need to do to get your house in order.  Everyone's an asshole sometimes.  Maybe today is your day!  LUCKY!!!

Actual Song of the Day

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Are Those Boy's Underpants?

Dear Eve,

Should I wear my husband's underwear?  This is a real question.  I am laundry-challenged.  He is not.  They fit me, are comfortable, and don't give me wedgies, and I cannot comfortably go commando. I have never left him without any unders.  I am not heartless.

He hates it and it creeps him out.  In my defense, I don't do it often and I like to creep him out.

What do you think?

Chubby Gal

Dear Chubby,

Let's see.

1)  They are not your underwear,
2)  You are too lazy to get yours to the laundry room, and
3)  It skeeves out your husband, who must be a lovely man...

By all means, CONTINUE!  If you can't creep out your husband, who can you creep out, besides your girlfriends, children, and strangers?  It's just a pair of man-panties.  It's not like you borrow his jock-strap, right?  There was this time, after Number 2 was born, that I probably needed to borrow Husbear's but didn't.  Parts of me still regret it.....just hang there and regret it.  Oh well!

Sorry, Chubby's hubby!  You married a resourceful woman who is comfortable doing what she needs to do to get by.  Plus, I can only assume she let's you stick your penis in her, so she pretty much gets to do what she wants. :)

Song of the Day

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Your Bitch is So Cute! Do You Have Daycare Yet?

Dear Eve Stevens,

I've reached an impasse with some dear friends on the issue of pets. Simply, these friends are "pets are EXACTLY THE SAME AS human children" people, while I contend "aw HELL no, they're not!" While I don't doubt that pets may give someone the sense of companionship that children may, to claim that pets are the same as children in ludicrous. Can you leave a child in a crate with some water during your workday? Can you go on a weekend trip and just leave a litter box and some food for them? Do you have to train pets how to ride bikes, talk them through their disasttrous first loves, or worry how you'll send them to college? NO. Yet these friends of mine, rather smugly, maintain that their dogs are no different from human children. Since I've had both pets and now a child, I feel a little more informed on the subject than are they, so it's not just an ideological argument. But whenever the subject of pets comes up, out they roll the child-claims, and I have to leave the room. Again, while people (who have or haven't had the experience of raising human children) may justifiably claim an emotional status comparable to raising children, the actual claim in reality is false and groundless--the responsibilities are completely different, and if it came down to having to choose between saving a dog and saving a human child, shouldn't the choice be clear? Where do you weigh in on this, and what do you suggest for the next time this issue comes a-running?

Kennel Generation

Dear KG, I will tell you a quick story. Once, just once, I decided to argue with a stranger on the internet (that is such a lie). This person (who I can only assume was fake because isn't everyone fake on the internet?) maintained, quite vehemently that she (in her early 20's) knew what it was like to be a mother (YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH) because she was responsible, mostly, for raising her younger siblings. There was no argument I could put out that couldn't be refuted because, because, because.... She did have points, but she did not have experience. Now that she has babies of her own (real or fake I can't be sure), I am sure she would argue against her younger self because that's how it works. She is on the other side now, so she knows.

In defense of pet parents, I do know some who are better to their pet babies than many human parents are to their human babies. Many fully vested pet parents do take their "babies" to day-care, worry about their love-lives and how they will care for them as they grow older. And although worrying about paying for dialysis for your 20 year old cat is not exactly saving for 8 years of college, a lot of people-parents "send" their kids to college by throwing a lot of student loan apps in their kids' laps. I have met (IRL even!!!) parents of human children who feel no obligation to do anything with their kids other than feed, clothe, and shelter them. They don't hug, encourage, or really engage with them any more than they have to and those parents, in their minds, are doing a-okay: The kids are alive! They (the kids or parents) aren't murderizing anyone! CPS hasn't been called! Well, once, but the teacher needed to mind her own fucking business! (Actually, these parents are dead inside and do not use exclamation points. I apologize for taking this liberty for emPHAsis.) That said, I do agree with you. It is different. You are potentially raising someone who can physically alter the entire world with just his or her mind and not even the smartest, sweetest fur baby can do that yet. You are raising a voter and, potentially, a criminal, a procreator of our species, an atom splitter, a middle manager, a naked rugby player, the anti-Christ, or someone that posts inspirational quotes all fucking day long the Facebook! Your job is different. How you parent will change the future of our species in some way or other. Pet parents, of that responsibility, you are free. On the other hand, I have to ask: why are you so het up about this? So what if someone wants to argue that it's the same? It doesn't take away the truth that you know and it doesn't make them terrible people for adoring their fur friends. It's like arguing with someone who has never been to Paris but swears New York is better. Yes, they are ignorant and sound like children, but you've been to Paris and they haven't so FUCK THEM! Your life is complete and they've never had cheese or bread that made them pass out from the just the smell. YOU ARE WINNING, MOTHERFUCKER. LET IT GO. Song of the Day

Thursday, June 5, 2014

You Wrote This, Didn't You?

Dear Eve,

OMG! I totally just got verbally cunt-punted today! This crazy "mother" (and I use quotes because I can't even!) confronted me about a social situation with our kids.  Anyway, so I'm minding my business, looking super-cute and super-healthy because I never let myself go after having kids, and this person has the nerve to talk to me about leaving her kid out of a FAMILY PLANNED outing.  I mean, we did invite everyone else in the class, but WTF?  My kid gets to choose who is invited and who isn't to their own event.  I can't make him like EVERYBODY, right?  I'm not being mean, but this kid doesn't exactly "fit in" so it's not like they're used to be invited to things anyway.  This kid is LITERALLY so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING I swear everyone would shoot themselves if they were there.

So, I am like so Zen as I calmly try to explain to this psycho that it's none of her business what my family does AND I added, for good measure, that she's a freak anyway because who actually talks about this shit face to face?  Isn't that what Facebook is for?

BTW, I can't wait for my kid to go Greek.  It's going to be a long decade, but we're going to train hard to fit in and do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS.  MY kid is NOT going to be a LOSER.

Just had to vent.

I'm From Maryland and We Say Cunt-Punt
Go Delta Gamma!
Crabs! (Do you have hard-shells?)

Dear  Maryland,

I hate to say this (LIE!), but you make Baby Cthulhu cry.  Nobody with a heart or sense leaves a child out of a group event when everyone else in the class is invited.  In America, we call that being Mean-Spirited™ or, since you're in Maryland, CUNTY ™ is a nice fit.  Use the sense your momma gave you and repeat after me: When my child wants to do something that could hurt another child's feelings and I can step in and guide them to make a better choice, I WILL.  I will do this because I am not an asshole.  Was that so hard?

The good thing is that children who don't "fit in" (bad use of quotes but I'll follow your lead) are usually fabulously resilient and have no interest in playing the Reindeer Games of their peers.  Kids that don't fit in don't change who they are because they don't get invited to parties. Kids that don't fit in are usually sensitive, interesting, and end up kicking Life's ass.  Isn't that wonderful?  Who wouldn't want their child to march to the beat of their own full-metal marching band?  These are the kids that change the world.  I guarantee you your child's life is less interesting and vibrant for not having a few friends that are round pegs in this square-holed world.

In summary, you fucked up.  It's okay, though.  All parents do.  I'm sure you will make this right by not being such a judgey, self-righteous, unkind flap-badger in the future because, after all, you are a WINNER.

Then again, if said child is a meth addict, has stolen from you, is violent, a draft-dodger, commie sympathizer (JK LOL), a junior stripper (NEVER TRUST A STRIPPER UNDER 18), or cheats on their taxes, I take it all back.  You did the right thing!  That lady is terrible and so is her child! Totally talk about her behind her back, 'kay, and make sure the kid feels really, really bad about taking up space in the universe, 'cause, you know, it's your universe.  We just live in it. 


song of the day

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Professional Phony? Naw! Heart of a Brony

Dear Eve,

Looks like you don't do this anymore, but in case you do, I thought I'd ask you something.  You can just answer me privately if you don't do this blog anymore.  It doesn't matter to me.

This is the thing with me right now.  I don't feel like I am who I say I am.  I try to be "authentic," whatever the fuck that means, and my friends would say that you get what you see with me.  They say I'm "real." (I've got a thing with "quotes" it seems.)  To that I would say that I am generally honest in my opinions, don't have much of a filter, and don't like being around people that live their lives for other people or try to keep up with "The Joneses".

But I have no idea who I really am.  I avoid everything that makes me feel anything, it seems.  I just realized the other day that I am literally afraid of everything on some level.  On the outside, I look like I have it together.  Wife, kids, respectable job, enough money, a baseball team that is actually winning, but I am lonely, relatively shallow, don't really relate to anyone on a meaningful level.  Even my wife, who I love dearly, I feel doesn't really know me, and if she did I fear she wouldn't like me very much.  Inside I'm odd man, eccentric.  I feel like I'm in a prison of my own making because to be the real me would disappoint so many people.  I am afraid of who I am because the real me doesn't fit in my current suburban life and I fear would make my friends and family uncomfortable.

I don't want to be 80 before I feel it's safe to let it all hang loose.  The truth is, I am an artist afraid to paint.  A writer who never writes.  A musician who is paralyzed at the idea of taking music lessons.

Who am I?


Dear Lil' Triste,

I like a man that can lob a little willy-nilly French at me. It gives you an air of mystère that I appreciate and helps me bone up on my Miss Piggy French.  Thanks!

Now on to your existential crisis.  I am thrilled that you have asked me to tell you who you are!  After all, I don't know you, you could be a delicious figment of someone's imagination, or even (better!) a time-traveling me from the future after my sex-change.  All three options thrill me, so I will happily give you absolutely astute and life-altering observations based on your five superbly honed paragraphs and one single word of French.

You are not a phony.  You are a glorious manifestation of shame and anxiety all bundled together in a package I like to call Everyman.  What's different about you though, Triste, is that you know you are a multifaceted human mess.  That is a gift.  You could be a phony bastard, a slob of a man, not longing for anything other than the next new craft brew or obsessing about buying your neighbor's boat because he just got laid-off (Boy is he fucked!  Poor people problems!  Who cares!), but you're not.  You are not that asshole.  You give what you can to the people that mean something to you and are now realizing that is not enough to keep you happy.

Imagine it like this: There you are in Life's backseat. Your skirt is lifted, the condom is out, but you're squeezing your knees together, trying to figure out if putting out is worth the trouble or if it's going to be another big build up to WTF JUST HAPPENED.  Can you take another disappointment?  Can you afford to give it your best go, be willing to give Life the ride of it's dreams, only to wind up with 35 seconds of having your head knocked against the armrest, a couple of OH GOD's and a sheepish "I'm sorry.  You're just so hot"?  I am telling you now that Yes! Yes you can.  You can afford another let down.  You can afford to fuck Life in the back seat (with protection) and possibly be disappointed by the outcome because what other choice do you have?  What other life will you be given?

If you're honest with yourself, you fear that your true self isn't good enough, creative enough, original enough to be fully unleashed.  It's safer to keep your knees squeezed together and be called a tease.  There is no shame in wanting to be safe, but since it's causing you psychic pain, I suggest getting a little loose.  Maybe you're not ready to go all the way.  Maybe start by going down on Life.  A little blowjob never hurt anyone! AmIrightorAmIright?  Maybe take a chance and talk to your friends or wife about something that really means something to you: a book or poem you read, a movie that made you think, or maybe a painting you love. Who cares if it feels weird?  It feels weird to get a prostate exam, too, but you do it for your health (and if you don't you should!).  This is just as important.  You don't need to whip out your journal or sketch book and share your tear-stained soul, take piano lessons or, for bob's sake, start reading Rilke.  You can if you want, big guy, but don't feel you need to Full Monty this situation.  There are no "shoulds" on how you decide to start sharing what makes you you with the people you love (or perhaps simply just tolerate).  It will make you feel better, though, to acknowledge that you do fear your creative side, your sensitive side, and then do a little something, when you can, to let it out in a way that doesn't scare the shit out of you.  And when you've accomplished that, do a little more.  

Please know this: your introspection is a gift to your children.  This acknowledgement that you fear the things that make you happy is a gift.  Your wife is lucky that she has a man that wants more from life than a really good Super Bowl commercial and ball-supporting underwear.  You sound like a guy that people like and I think you will find that if you are brave enough to open up about the parts of your personality that are meaningful to you, you might find a few other bros that are out there with a little spark(le) inside, too.

On the other hand, you could go full-on balls-to-the-wall Kevin Spacey in _American Beauty_ , say fuck it, live off your wife, and pursue whatever suits your fancy (even hot teenagers!) because HEY! WE ARE INSIGNIFICANT AND NONE OF THIS MATTERS.  Just try not to get killed by your sexually repressed, closeted, retired military neighbor.  That shit happens all the time.