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Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Stress

Q: Any ideas on how to minimize stress during the holiday season? Each year I get more and more hyper, starting with the shopping rush the day after Thanksgiving to the point I practically crash after New Year's.

Anne: Plan more special family and friend times where you can be casual and unhurried. Then determine that you will remain casual and unhurried. Agree to fewer gifts. Shop during the year for inexpensive present you might give teachers, mailmen, etc. so they will be ready far in advance. Cook ahead early in the fall and freeze some of the food you would normally prepare during the season. Anything you buy ahead, wrap ahead, too. (Be sure to label so you don't have to unwrap to discover what the gift is. I'm speaking from experience here.)

Dee: You know what I'm going to suggest as a stress reliever. Sex every day, maybe more than once a day. Screwing will not only relieve stress, it'll help keep those pesky holiday pounds off. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a good fuck.

I say look for sales and give everyone that same item. Boxes of fruit, socks, cases of motor oil--whatever. Everyone needs one of those things at some point. A lot of places online will wrap and send an item so you don't even have to deal with it personally. I like those. Or on a more serious note, gift cards are easy to buy, easy to give and appreciated. What I will say is don't try to give something time-consuming after July. For instance, don't try to knit a sweater for your sister in November. Talk about stress… Anne, I hope you'll like your gift card to Denny's.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In-laws Thanksgiving...Again

Q: Oh goody, another Thanksgiving at my in-laws. My wife is the only girl in a family of five boys, so we get roped into spending the holiday there every year so she can help her mom. We live a mere hundred miles away, but the brothers all live closer by more than half the distance. Mind you, the daughters-in-law (there are four of them) don't have to show up every year, or go early to help prepare. By the end of the day, my wife is frazzled, exhausted and cranky. You know what that means: no sex for me that night, something for which I'd be very grateful. Her mom goes crazy over family holidays, so my wife can't find a way to tell her mom she doesn't want to keep on doing this. I'm just sick and tired of having my Thanksgiving being the only thing getting fucked. What's a man to do?

Anne: Gosh, seems like every year we have several letters about holidays and families. Your problem is not uncommon. Try talking to your father-in-law and see if he's any help. Or talk to your mother-in-law if you have good rapport with her. Invite everyone to your house one year, or suggest a family holiday but at a good restaurant. A lot of places prepare holiday dinners to pick up. Suggest you bring in dinner, which will greatly minimize the prep time, leaving your wife with more energy for bedtime pleasures.

Dee: May I ask, what the hell is wrong with you doing something to alleviate the problem? If your wife really doesn't want to keep being cook and chief bottle washer but she doesn't want to disappoint her mom, grow a pair and take matters into your own hands. Make vacation reservations somewhere and let the family know that there will be two fewer at the table next Thanksgiving. Your wife shouldn't be the bad cop here--this is her mother. Be an alpha guy and take charge. Treat her and yourself at the same time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Adding a Little Weight to the Argument

Q: My fifteen-year-old daughter is very overweight. I've tried everything I can do to make her lose weight--I've used shame, encouragement and downright bribery--but it does no good. I'm a single father (widowed) who feels he's done a pretty good job in general, but on this one issue only, I wish her mom and I hadn't split. Suggestions, please?

Anne: I sympathize with your dilemma. Here are a few things I might try: enlist the help of a lady friend whom your daughter knows and likes; if she likes cooking, introduce her to books like Cook Yourself Slim or Hasty Tasty Meals by our friend Cheryl Norman, and help her see that lower fat and calorie dishes can taste wonderful; set a good example yourself by not eating fatty and high calorie foods (make sure foods like that are out of the house); or spend father-daughter time doing something active together like taking a walk after dinner or team tennis or swimming. Make sure she knows that you think she's beautiful no matter how she looks but upon her impress your concern for her self-esteem and health. Good luck to both of you.

Dee: Anne gave all good suggestions. I know also there are weight-loss camps where she would receive counseling and learn better eating habits with other kids who have the same problem. If you have some extra cash, investigate a spa--same concept but with a more acceptable name for a teenage girl. Did you have a weight problem as a teen? If so, share your story. If you have a weight problem now, buck up and get with it so your daughter can see you mean "do what I do, not just what I say."

BYW, I liked the little back-handed slap you gave your ex: "… on this one issue only, I wish her mom and I hadn't split." Good one, Pop.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love Thy Military

This week, we were going to use a question we received from a wife who had trouble with a Navy husband. Dee had prepared her usual flip, irreverent remarks. In light of last week's horrific events at Ft. Hood and the fact that Veteran's Day is two days off, we're declining to use the question or to blog this week.

Instead, we're bowing our heads and saying a prayer for the military families who've suffered loss and thanking God for our armed services and their loved ones, all of whom sacrifice for us.

That's not to say we're Pollyannas about the military. Like every large organization, they have their good and bad. But this week, we just want to think about the good.

Thank you, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pleasing the Boss...Or Not

Q: OMG! I have just been told the work I've spent months putting together isn't right, doesn't work, isn't "it," whatever the hell "it" is. I loved this project and thought I had everything but everything right. I thought I was going to get a bonus for good work. Now I'm confused and angry and nervous. What can I do?

Anne: Talk to your boss and ask what exactly you did wrong or didn't do at all, and whether you can revise. See if he or she will give you specific tips using examples from the work you did. If there is something you did that you feel strongly about, defend your position--maybe your boss hasn't thought of the point from a different angle. Once you have specific ideas on how to improve the work, make the revisions as quickly as possible and try to sit down with your boss to go over them.

Dee: The way I see it, you have three choices: 1) follow Anne's advice and try to knuckle under to whatever the boss wants you to do--if you can ever get him/her to tell you in terms both of you understand, 2) say "Fuck it!" and try to find someplace that wants your talent and work as you want to do it, or 3) give it up and try something you can actually do well. Maybe you're just not cut out to be whatever it is you're attempting.

I can't advise on which is the best plan for you, but since what I do usually has fucking in it (one way or the other), I'd probably opt for #2. Good luck to you.