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Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Throw Out the Bike!

Q: My son will be 16 in a couple of months, and he wants a car in the worst way. I'm a single father and really can't afford to buy him one, especially in this economy when work is uncertain. To his credit, he's worked summers and after school for the past several years and saved a good bit of that money. I've had college costs in mind for it, but now I find that he's had a car planned. How can I handle this situation and not make him an angry teen?

Anne: Gosh, the teen years are the hardest to deal with. I would sit down and talk the problem out. Has he found a car he likes? Does he know the costs of insurance and maintenance? Does he know the responsibility required? In other words, does he know that owning a car is much more than the car itself? Once all the cards are on the table, maybe the two of you can come to an agreement.

Dee: Look, I agree with everything Anne says. Maybe looking for a car is something the two of you can do together and bond a little. But I'd also add that you are the parent. Sometimes it's your job to lay down the law. Try to be reasonable and hope that he is, too, but in the end you might have to say no--and mean it. Not having a car at 16 isn't the end of the world, as a good many of us know. Your son might have to discover it, too, and he'll survive just like we did.

[Note: Dee and Anne will be on the road this week and will be unable to answer posts. I hope you'll forgive our lack of response!]

Monday, September 21, 2009

No Treats, Please!!

Q: I have a weight problem--and a husband problem. Every time I try to lose weight my husband brings me little treats--candy or Danish or chocolate. I've protested and asked him please not to, but he makes a joke that he just loves me as I am and doesn't understand why I get so involved in diets. I don't understand why he doesn't support me. What can I do?

Anne: Does your husband has a weight problem himself? I'm sure he does love you the way you are--weight has nothing to do with a person being loveable, after all. I'd say sit him down and turn the tables. Ask him to describe something he really wants to accomplish. It might be a hobby project, a fishing trip away or even watching a ball game. Now ask him how he would feel if you did something at every turn that kept him from finishing. No doubt he would become frustrated. Tell him that's how you feel when he doesn't help you accomplish your weight loss. Maybe making the problem personal to him will help.

Dee: If you're anxious to lose weight it also means you're anxious to gain some control of your life, your looks and your health. To me, if your husband is trying to prevent your success it means he doesn't want you to have control. Now, why would that be? That's the basis of the problem. His plying you with food is simply a symptom of his need to control.

Of course, he doesn't force you to eat the food he brings. Tell hubby you appreciate that he loves you as you are, but you would feel better physically and emotionally if you lost weight. Then throw out the food he brings--in front of him. He will soon stop bringing it.

I'll also bet that as you start making progress he'll come around to being the suppoort you want and need. If not, well, you have to decide if you want to stay with the jerk or dump someone who doesn't want you to succeed for whatever reason.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Old Dog Learning New Tricks?

Q: Maybe I just need to sound this out. I'm not even sure I have a problem, but let me tell you what happened a month or so ago. My husband of 20 years went to Texas for a week's conference for his work. When he returned, he seemed different. Not drastically, not in a huge way, but subtly. He wanted to shop for clothes the first weekend back and bought a cardigan sweater. I've known the man for most of my life and I've never seen him in a cardigan. He's made an appointment to get Lasik surgery, saying he was tired of wearing glasses. He started jogging again the day after he got home, after giving up the activity for the past five years. He's not distant but maybe a little preoccupied. He mentioned last night that he needs to return to Texas for client meetings in a month or so, though he doesn't normally handle that region. Should I be worried?

Anne: Gosh, that does sound strange. Why don't you suggest going with him if it's possible? If he makes all kinds of excuses, maybe you should worry a bit, but I hate for you to borrow trouble. As he spruces up, maybe you should also. Try jogging with him, pick up on healthful eating if he's looking to lose weight or take more than a normal interest in his business or hobby or whatever. But if things continue not to feel right, don't hesitate to ask him about his Texas trip and why he's different. Even if the news is bad it's better to know than to wonder.

Dee: Animals find out about each other by scent. Dogs stick their noses right in where the sun don't shine to discover who another dog is and where he's been. So don't be afraid to be a bitch (so to speak) and sniff, Honey. To me, you might well get the whiff of another dog hanging around. Men are dogs in some ways, and it's easy after many years of being with one woman to be flattered into the arms of another. Put a stop to it now before it goes too far. Unlike dogs, make sure your husband (and the little, yippy bitch nipping at his heels) knows that you are the one he'd better be humping--or you'll take his little doggie balls in your hand and squeeze. This is no time to be subtle.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Family Time

Q: Aren't holidays supposed to be for everyone in the family? Well, my wife wants to spend every fucking one with her parents at their "country place," which is really just a cabin on some piss-ant lake in northwest Minnesota. It takes us four hours to drive up if we get out of the cities early and usually more than 6 hours to drive home since every fucking person in Minnesota drives back from long weekends at the same time. I can't tell you the number of games I've missed the ends of, or the number of hours I've had to spend in the car with her yapping and the fucking kids arguing. Her dad goes along with the arrangement because he's a fucking whipped pussy.

I've told my wife and told her that I don't want to do this, but does she fucking listen?? What can I do that will make my point in a way she understands?

Anne: Just don't go. Give her the keys and tell her to have fun. I somehow think she will.

Dee: Your father-in-law is a whipped pussy??? I hate to tell you, guy, but you're writing two women for advice on how to tell handle your wife. You can't get more whipped than that.

And for the record, the only person who gets to use "fucking" around here is me, got it? the next time you write for advice, be polite…or I'll sic your wife on you.