Tuesday, January 31, 2006


...and more of your questions answered

crabby critic

Dear Critic:

I have been trying to lose weight. No matter what I do I can't stick to a diet. I try to start one and after a few weeks I get hungry and can't stop eating. My doctor gave me diet pills but I didn't feel good on them so I stopped taking them. I don't want to go to a gym because everyone stares at the fat girl on the treadmill. Can you help me?

Roberta from Washington

Dear Roberta:

There is an old proverb that says “when the pupil is ready the master will appear.” You’re not ready yet to lose the weight. You may have the will power for thirty seconds after flipping through a Sears’ catalogue or passing over the waifs decorating any number of fashion magazines – but that isn’t real will power. It’s just a sort of faux jealousy that creeps over you each time you disrobe and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize just how far removed from that ‘ideal’ you are.

Losing weight is NOT an easy undertaking. You have to want it – BAD!!!

To say you want it is not the same as wanting it outright.

My best advice would be that you get checked into a program that will provide healthy food alternatives that will be complimentary to your life style. I have no way of knowing how far off the scale you stand. If it’s just 30-50 pounds, you can get where you want to just by changing your diet and consumption habits and hitting the gym three times a week.

Now drop down and give me ten. I want to see Crisco leaking out those pores!

Just kidding.

However, it would be absolutely criminal of me to suggest that you go nuts with the weights if you are someone who needs the ‘Jaws of Life’ to hoist your butt from the bedroom to the can. If you are one of these people, then Jenny Craig isn’t going to fix your problem.

And anyway, anybody weighing that much should have clued into themselves by now that the problem isn’t about what you are eating, but about what is eating you.

Obesity isn’t a weight issue. Being fat is a symptom of some greater psychological turmoil. Either you’re punishing yourself for something that you have no control over (eg. you’re medicating yourself with food) or you’re the nervous type (eg. compulsively snacking and stuffing your cheeks to keep your mind off whatever’s giving you the jitters.)

Fat jokes aside – if you are able to go to the gym, then I say you go. If you ever encounter some skinny babe giving you the hard time or even the accusatory stare, then I’d turn to her proudly with something like,

“Yeah, honey. Just consider yourself fortunate…because if I could move faster I’d crush that bony ass between these love handles!”

Also, I wouldn’t look at the big (no pun intended) picture right now, if I were you. If it’s thirty pounds you want to lose – concentrate on dropping one, first. Say, when I get this one pound gone, I’m going to be so happy. Then be happy when that one pound disappears. Then move on to the next pound and the next and the next.

I wouldn’t recommend that you buy a home gym at this point in your recovery from lard because I think that if you did, that piece of equipment would just sit in a corner somewhere collecting dust. You need to get out and get busy with your routine.

Here’s a thought. Find out at the front desk of your gym when the least busiest time is. Then make a concerted effort to always go during that time and do your thing.

Hold your head up, girlfriend. Do you honestly think anyone who’s looking all svelte and buff in your gym today was just naturally born that way? Don’t tell me you’re the only chucky chick at that club…and if you are…then maybe its time to move over to another place that caters to people on the same level of weight challenge as you.

Why don’t you make the effort to take a 20 minute spirited walk every morning or every night when you come home from work – rain or shine! No excuses. I only want to see you miss a day if you’re sick in bed with a fever, giving birth or laid up with broken limbs.


I’ll say this – I own a home gym – but only because I am committed to giving myself 40 minutes a day for five days of the week of intense cardio and weight lifting. I’m not aiming for Mr. Olympia – but I don’t want to wind up with a gut before my time.

Everyone gains weight as they get older. But it shouldn’t be more than say one or two pounds a year. If you’re doubling in pant sizes every three or six months – there’s a problem. My guess is that you’ve been smart enough to recognize yours. Now get off your tuckus and do something about it! Will power isn’t enough…but it’s a start!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I disagree with your advice to the friend of the two married cheaters who were banging like bunnies. In this day of potentially fatal STD's, I would think it a crime not to warn an innocent party that they might be crawling with who-knows-what because a spouse has been unfaithful. See my point?


Dear Meaghan:

Frankly, no.

I’ll bet you’re the kind that listens into keyholes and goes through other people’s garbage for a thrill. The people who confided the affair to my reader are the cheaters! The people married to the cheaters are the one’s who should have their suspicions.

But some third party – who realistically, isn’t as close to anyone as they are to the gross little bunnies – really has NO business sticking her head down the rabbit hole. It will only be perceived as mean spirited or nosy at the very least.

Best case scenario – the person you tell the secret to (say the innocent wife of the cheater) believes you. She dumps her spouse with conviction but later regrets the decision because she sees you happy in your relationship and wonders what went wrong in hers. People are never intelligent enough to turn the pall of criticism on themselves first. This woman – the wife – will end up resenting that you ever said anything to anyone, and will also wonder how many other people you’ve told about the affair. She’ll wind up dumping you too and possibly spreading the rumor that you’re not to be trusted.

I say what I said before, Meaghan –



This is why I say it’s so important to pre-screen a mate before saying “I do.” You run less of a risk of getting burned down the bunny trail in the end if you’re more careful in the beginning.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

I think my husband is having an internet affair with some woman. What could he possibly see in her? She is at least twenty years older than I am, and we have two small kids. I have supported his dreams and goals the whole ten years we've been married. They write each other love poems that sound juvenile. I haven't confronted him yet. Should I? How do I go about doing it? She lives states away from us but I think they are planning to meet. He has no clue that I have caught on. I am Distraught.

- anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

If you’ve been the dutiful wife from the words “I do” then you ABSOLUTELY have EVERY RIGHT to CONFRONT the jerk of a man you married about his juvenile internet fling. Notice I didn’t say, affair? I disagree with many clinical psychologists that say internet foreplay is ‘cheating.’ Is it disgusting behavior that should not be tolerated? – DEFINITELY! But it cannot and should not be classified on the same moral plain as bi-weekly shack-ups at the local Motel 6.

I don’t think you should confront the other person in this flirtation, just yet. But you should sit down with your husband – calmly – and have an intelligent discussion about what’s been going on. This is easier said than done, I know – especially when your current gamut of self expression runs the very narrow stretch of either screaming at the top of your lungs with a tear-stained face or using a Ginsu for some homemade castration.

What you need to do is rehearse your little confrontation alone and more than once, so that by the time you get your husband in a room alone, you’ve drained all emotional bravado from the experience. Oh, and make sure there’s absolutely no danger of your kids walking in on this scene. Send them for a visit or out to play. No child should ever have to deal with parental stupidities.

Now, with your eyes never leaving his (and vice versa) you have to say something like “I know that you’ve been corresponding with someone in a flirtatious way on the internet. I know that you are planning to meet this person in person sometime in the future. I don’t pretend to know why. I thought we were doing all right. Evidently, I was mistaken. But I don’t believe in keeping secrets. Just wanted to let you know that I know, and, I also wanted to tell you that if you decide to proceed with that plan, you needn’t bother coming home. I couldn’t respect you or myself for being with you after that.”

It has to be that cold and calculated.

Don’t tell him that you think the woman he’s flirting with is ugly, stupid, fat, alcoholic…etc. It’ll appear as though you’re spiteful for doing so.

Don’t get hysterical and don’t allow your hypocrite of a husband his chance to speak. This is your shining moment in honor of being a good wife and mother.

Then, after you’ve said your peace, you need to get up very calmly and leave the room. Don’t let him give you 101 excuses why you’re wrong or provide fifty reasons why you’re clearly mentally deranged and need psychiatric help. When pushed into a corner most guys will try pulling the Jedi mind trick on their women – and many times, they succeed in getting them to reevaluate their motives and logic.


You’ve clearly given this situation a great deal of thought. If he persists on dogging you about your ‘craziness’ you simply need to give him the very direct, very monotone reply, “I have nothing further to say to you right now” and then leave.

Go upstairs, go to the can, go for a drive, visit a friend – but don’t share any of what’s transpired with anyone. Simply clear your head and do something, possibly with your children, that you all get pleasure from.

Make it very clear that you and your children will do all right without your philandering hubby. That you will survive, and more than that – flourish without him if he chooses to leave you for this other woman. Trust me – when you present a front that says

‘hey, bud – I really don’t need you. I’d like you to stick around, because, after all, I married you for better or worse, but it’s your choice now and this is what you’re giving up to be with her.’

The other person in the equation won’t appear nearly as attractive to your husband as she did before he thought he could get away with having her on the side.

GUILT is a great leveler. Part of the attraction of this internet fling is that he thought you didn’t know about it – hence, it’s been an adrenaline rush for him. ‘Look at me! I’ve got two women who think I’m a stud. Boy, I must be quite a guy.’ NOT!!!

Now that you know all about it, and you’ve made him aware that he’s not keeping any secrets, that Don Juan status has been deflated. If he’s any kind of a man, he’ll feel incredibly stupid and remorseful for playing the romantic fop, and he’ll feel sheepish guilt for treating you as less than a woman.

If and when he does come crawling back to you for a bit of forgiveness, then that will be the time for you – NOT to throw salt on the wound – but accept his return into the family fold. But NOT BEFORE. He needs to make a recompense for his actions – which so far, have not reached the irreprehensible level.

Your marriage may very well become stronger after this little episode. But I also want you to be prepared that it may fall apart completely. He may say, “Guess what? I don’t want to be your husband. I never wanted children. Screw you, and by the way, you’re not all that.” If he goes this route - there is NOTHING you can do.

You’re not a martyr but you do have to be mature about these things – painful as they may be - even as his mindset has degenerated to that of a teenager out on his first big date. Accept everything he tells you. Acknowledge that it’s over. Then nail that bastard’s ass to a cross with some severe court ordered child support and alimony. How sexy to the other woman do you think he’ll still be then, when half his check is going to you and your kids? …and that’s only as it should be.

You have my best, and my sympathies,

Yours truly
The crabby critic

Dear Crabby:

The girl I love doesn't love me back. How do I handle unrequited love?

- Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey:

There’s an old saying: If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it. I don’t advocate the latter half of this scenario, unless you want to wind up as someone else’s prison playmate for twenty-five to life.

It’s never easy to accept that your affections for someone are not reciprocated – but accept them you must! It will do you NO good to plot the many ways to her heart in your head. It will simply provide for more grief.

Do you honestly want someone who doesn’t want you in return?!?!?

Don’t be a fool.

She’s not the only woman for you – clearly you’re not the man she’s looking for. You can’t convince her of the contrary.

Sometimes unrequited love takes on the color and flavoring of outright obsession. The worst thing you could do is to pursue this girl with the idea that ‘oh, well – I’ll just wear her down until she says yes.’ At the very least, this line of logic will win you no additional points of respect or consideration – and at the worst, she could take out a restraining order.

Think about it – what an idiotic way to cultivate a police record. If you’re going to be a deviant at least be an infamous one and not someone that the guys in blue will be sitting around the precinct, discussing as “there goes Jeffrey so-and-so – complete moron who couldn’t get it through his thick skull that what’s-her-face thought he was a loser.”

What I would recommend is either a hobby or vacation or both. Get away from your current situation and clear your thoughts. The best way to move on is to get things off your chest. If I were you I’d write your thoughts – painful as they may be – in a journal with the last line being “…and I will never speak or write of this again.” Then DON’T! Make the concerted effort to NOT think about this person. Every time you find yourself dreaming a bit – shake the cobwebs from your brain and say to yourself ‘NO. I’m not doing this. I’m going to think about…oh I don’t know, work, cutting the lawn, working out, sleeping with the Playboy triplets'…anything and everything that doesn’t involve this other person.

I’d also recommend you take up weight lifting…what?!?! Yes – weightlifting. But why? Because unlike other physical activities – say like walking, jogging, swimming, etc. weightlifting requires total concentration on the part of the weightlifter – otherwise you’re likely to lift something the wrong way and injure yourself or drop a dumbbell on your head or something.

If you’re devoting 100% of your concentration to the barbell you’ll have 0% left to invest in this other person. Most bodybuilders refer to this level of concentration as ‘the zone.’ You need to put yourself in that ‘zone’ and keep putting yourself there each and every time you find yourself slipping into daydreams.

And who knows – after six months of training you may be so buff and bodacious that this other person will come a running, begging for you to reconsider. Just don’t count on it.

Yours truly,
The crabby critic

Dear C.C.

I introduced my best guy friend to my best girl friend and now they hang out all the time and don't invite me. I see them all the time in the halls at school and it hurts. Should I tell them how I feel or try to make new friends?

Sammi from New York

Dear Sammi:

Yeah – it’s time to make new ones.

But I wouldn’t crash test either of these just yet, even though they seem to have ditched you.

No – I wouldn’t tell them that you’re hurt.

They’ll either laugh it off, as you being stupid, or not care about you one way or the other – which is what they seem to be doing to you right now. Either way, you’ll still feel like the odd man out.

Here’s the deal – your guy and girlfriend think they’ve hit the love jackpot and are roller coastering toward some hot and heavy dates that they don’t consider you a part of – a pity, since you’re the one that introduced them. They want to be alone and get to know one another on a boy/girl friend basis and that definitely should not include you.

If they were the right sort of friends they should take you out to dinner for introducing them to one another – but hey, they’re not that mature yet, so who needs them. The good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that this new and exciting ‘love match’ probably won’t last. Actually, I can say with a fair good degree of accuracy that you’ll probably be able to clock its expiration with an egg timer.

When the end comes – invariably one or both of these friends will come crawling back to you – either to complain about the other one, or just because they’re in need of a plutonic friendship and think they can use you again. Either way, when they return, my advice to you would be to stay out of their mess.

If they try to drag you into playing a game of favorites you can just say something like

“…you know what? You’re both my friends, so I don’t want to hear any bad mouthing going on. That’s between you two. Remember, you didn’t elect to keep me in the know while you were dating – so I really don’t care what’s happening between you now. Sorry, but you’re going to have to deal with the fallout on your own. That’s how you wanted it all along anyway.”

Be noncommittal – and even if it hurts like hell right now to be left out of the loop – trust me – you are better off to be on the sidelines than right in the middle; and that bit of advice comes from experience!

Yours truly,
The crabby critic


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Crabby:
I think my husband is having an internet affair with some woman. What could he possibly see in her? She is at least twenty years older than I am, and we have two small kids. I have supported his dreams and goals the whole ten years we've been married. They write each other love poems that sound juvenile. I haven't confronted him yet. Should I? How do I go about doing it. She lives states away from us but I think they are planning to meet. He has no clue that I have caught on. I am Distraught.

January 31, 2006  
Anonymous Jeffrey said...

The girl I love doesn't love me back. How do I handle unrequited love?

January 31, 2006  
Anonymous Sammi from New York said...

I introduced my best guy friend to my best girl friend and now they hang out all the time and don't invite me. I see them all the time in the halls at school and it hurts. Should I tell them how I feel or try to make new friends?

February 01, 2006  

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