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Monday, August 31, 2009

UVA Shy-Guy

Q: I'm a shy (painfully so) 17-year old guy who's starting freshman year at the U. of Virginia. I clam up whenever I'm around girls. What can I do to meet someone nice who won't make me feel like hurling wit nerves?

Anne: Poor thing! I'm shy myself, so I can sympathize. Unfortunately, there's no easy cure. The thing that works best--I think--is to try to meet someone who shares your interests, and then you have something to build on. So if you attend church, join the youth group and meet girls who also like going to church. Strike up a conversation with girls in your classes, giving you a ready topic. Also, sometimes you can double date with a girl a friend sets you up with. Then you aren't alone, relying on either your date or you to keep up all the conversation. One more thing. Don't expect everything to work out in the first week you're at school. There will be enough going on that's new and different. Take time to acclimate yourself before adding pressure to date. Good luck.

Dee: What she said.

And this. If you'd gone to VMI like Jack did, you'd have had all the dates in the world because everyone knows guys in uniform are nigh impossible to resist. Or at least, that's what Jack kept telling me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

If Music Be the Food of Love...forget it

Q: This may seem like a small problem but my woman and I don't like the same music. At all. I think she's cool in most ways. I mean, she's smart and funny and hot as hell. She tears the sheets up in bed. But I can't stand to be in a car with her. The woman listens to COUNTRY music. Who would think such a hot chick would like music that makes me want to hurl?? If a tune isn't blowing out the speakers with rock guitar, it ain't music, but I can't convince her. She changes the station as soon as we get in my car, and bitches if I tune in my favorite station in hers. More than that, we can't ever go out to nightclubs, concerts or bars because we can't agree on the music style. Is this a deal breaker?

Anne: Different strokes for different folks. You can try to compromise by keeping the station on her choice in her car and your choice in yours, or you could agree you not to listen to music when you're in the car. As for going out, maybe you should both try something new together like jazz or popular. Give and take is the basis for any relationship. Maybe it seems to you it's all give on your part. I think she might feel it's all on her to give. The two of you need to decide how important music is in your lives.

Dee: I hate to tell you, but "…blowing out the speakers" and "tune" are mutually exclusive terms. If God blessed the woman with looks, brains, humor, a healthy sex drive and (evidently) patience since she's dating you, why is she wasting precious time with someone who wonders if her taste in music is a "deal breaker??" Come on, Dude! She should run, not walk, to the nearest country music concert and find a hottie who knows good music--and a good woman--when he comes across it.

Since you don't like country, here's an oldie group who's playing something just for you: Three Dog Night, One is the Loneliest Number. Is that a deal breaker for you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Family Moochers

Q: Dee and Anne, I write this note pissed as hell. Every month my husband and I go out to dinner with his sister and her husband. What started a couple of years ago as a fun way to get together regularly has become an infuriating evening for me. My brother-in-law finds ways every month to pass the check off on us. He has laughingly come up with "days" like Brother-in-law Day, Favorite Carpenter Day (he's a carpenter) and so on. When we go to cafeterias, he says he'll decide on a great table, which finagles his way to the front of the group. Of course, his food goes onto our ticket. My sister-in-law is oblivious to what's going on, and my husband just shrugs his shoulders. He says we make more money than the two of them. In reality, he just doesn't want to rock the boat. Okay, so we do make more. That shouldn't be a reason to push those evenings onto us. How can I bring this up without making everyone mad?

Anne: I don't think you can bring it up without upsetting the rest of the group. I know it isn't right, but they're really your husband's sister and brother-in-law. If he isn't upset, maybe you shouldn't be, either. Choose less expensive places to eat and try to enjoy the time you have together. I can almost guarantee if you make this into an issue, feelings will be hurt and you won't be spending any more evenings out together. You need to decide, how important is being with family?

Dee: Here's the deal. Your husband doesn't mind that you all are getting stuck with the nights out. So suck it up. And get real. If you're going to cafeterias for some of your meals, then it's not like you're spending hundreds of dollars on French wine or anything.

Look, lady, it sounds like the only one getting ulcers in this group is you. What does that tell you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Son is Getting Married--Maybe

Q: My son is getting married in October. I like his bride all right except she's very opinionated, especially about the wedding. Her parents are overseas and won't be here until a few days before the wedding and both my son and his fiancée work full-time so I volunteered to help her plan everything. The trouble is she's so particular and doesn't appreciate my offer much. I know the city and the venues, and I have a very good sense of style. The girl won't listen to reason, though. I'm afraid this is going to cause trouble between her and my son before they even walk down the aisle. What should I do?

Anne: So are you saying your son agrees with you and not with his intended? I'm sure your sense of style is just wonderful, but are you sure you're being fair? This is her wedding, after all. I'd advise you to make a list of how you think things should be done and compare it to your future daughter in law's list. See where there is agreement. That will show where you need to come to a consensus. But no arguing! This should be a happy time.

Dee: I'm sure you're not trying to be a bitch. Or maybe you are--I'm not one to judge. I have one piece of advice for you. Repeat this mantra: This is not my wedding. This is not my wedding.

The way I see it, unless you are paying for the whole shabang--in which case you do have the right for input if costs are skyrocketing--your job is to give advice when asked. Key words: when asked. If the wedding turns out ugly, a complete mess or nothing the way you envision, know what? You don't have to look at the pictures years from now. Be more concerned with your son's and his new wife's happiness and less about controlling their beginning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chunky Hips, Not Fat Head

Q: I am overweight. Not horribly, terribly, but well, I guess a fair amount. I like to eat and enjoy cooking. And I'm good at both. I'm Italian, what can I say? For the first time in my life (I'm 28) I have a boyfriend, Mac, and I think it's getting serious. He's lean and mean without an ounce of body fat. Mac runs (I don't), plays weekend sports (I don't), belongs to a health club (I don't). He's considering taking part in the Boston marathon. If he does, I'll meet him at the finish line. Mac says he loves me no matter what, but his family is a different story. They're all active like Mac, but unlike Mac, I don't feel they will love me no matter what. He's taking me with him and his family to Cape Cod for two weeks this month and I'm so worried I'm making myself sick. What can I do?

Anne: Have you told Mac your fears? I'm sure he would do whatever he could to help. That aside, you have to let his family know that you are happy with yourself. If you are relaxed and confident in your own personality that will come across. That's what it takes to help them see beyond your shape and into your heart.

If your relationship with Mac does continue, maybe being around someone who's active will inspire you to do more. Exercise is a great thing to do with someone else (like someone you love), so I see only a win-win for you. Good luck!

Dee: Normally when someone is worried I say make sure there's plenty of booze and ice cream, but…well you seem to like this Mac guy. Sometimes alcohol isn't the best policy, and ice cream…? Doesn't seem appropriate in the situation, does it? Listen, Mac is the person you love. Let his family see what he loves about you--your humor, your unique perspective on the world, your fantastic risotto--whatever it is. Don't try to be someone you're not. If they don't appreciate you and it's because of your size, well then screw 'em. There's no hope for some people.