CONTROL FREAK OR JUST A CONCERNED PARENT...
the crabby critic
I'm 24 and my Mom won't let me go out. I still live at home because I took out maximum loans for grad school. I do have a job but it simply does not pay enough. My girlfriends and I were planning a girls' night out tonight and my Mom was all "I don't think it's a good idea for you to go into the city to a nightclub with just girls." Then she asked why I want to dance with girls all night and if my boyfriend knows that I'm going. Geez, I'm not married and yes he does know that I'm going.Crabby, what should I do? Her control over me is driving me crazy.from Carrie
Dear Old Enough to Know Your own Mind:
Having your own cash doesn’t make you independent
…that is, unless you’re footing the bills and supporting your gray-haired old ma’ besides. Anything less and – sorry to say – you are NOT your own person: just a glorified kid with a bank account and the stubborn willpower to do whatever pops into your noggin at that particular moment.
There’s an old cliché you may have heard of. It begins with “…as long as you live under my roof…”
Bottom line: it’s called seniority and ma’ will always have it. If you’re not particularly keen on your mother’s advice or the limitations as set out by the matriarchy of the maison, then perhaps it’s time to start house/apartment hunting for digs that will be more conducive to your own laissez faire attitude.
Word to the wise: the more independent you become – the less independent you are to indulge in whatever free-wheeling badinage comes your way. It’s hard to sustain yourself if you’ve spent the rent check on boozin’ and ballin’ at the local watering hole.
Now, just to show you I’m not unsympathetic to your feelings of maternal oppression – at 24 I don’t particularly find it unreasonable that you should ask for a night out with ‘the girls’ and your boyfriend – provided your entourage isn’t doing anything that’s illegal or immoral. Perhaps you are the victim of Mommie Dearest – but I doubt it. Moreover, your mother is probably suffering from maternal concerns for circumstances and people you feel perfectly safe around. You see, just because you can count to ten and drive yourself to the corner store doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped being your mother’s child.
When you have children of your own (preferably NOT out of wedlock, and, once you’ve already established a place of your own that can sustain a husband and kids), you’ll understand that the maternal instinct doesn’t have an expiration date tattooed on the child’s butt that reads “Eighteen and out!”
Your mother loves you very much
I also think it’s fair to assume she doesn’t want you locked in a convent.
You need a little room to breathe
– I’ll buy that.
So here’s how I would handle things.
If I were you, I’d approach your mother and say something like, “I mean no disrespect. But I don’t think one night out with my friends will classify me as a chronic bar fly. I don’t intend to make this a habit but I need a break. I promise not to indulge in any behavior that would embarrass myself in public or dishonor our family name. You brought me up right and I intend to respect us both. But I need this break, and I’m sure others as well sometimes, so this is how I would like to spend that time away.”
Then – LIVE UP TO THOSE WORDS!
Go – dance, drink and celebrate.
But come home sober at a respectable hour and with your underwear on the same way as it was when you left the house.
The crabby critic
I’m a 34 yr old lesbian who’s having second thoughts. I thought I was gay but now I’m not sure. I like this guy…I think…and I’d like to ask him out. What should I do?
Cheryl in Wisconsin
Dear Socially Bored:
The good news is you’re not sexually confused!
Before we get started I’ll just state for the record that I’m not a big fan of bisexualism. I respect that some people are heterosexual and others are not. But flip-flopping between the sexes isn’t a choice – it is indecision working overtime.
Question: is it that you’ve had a nasty break up with a girlfriend or bad sexual experiences with women that have made you want to swear off of them for a while?
I’m a firm believer that people are born one way or the other. Regardless of which side your bread is buttered on, you don’t just wake up one morning 34 years after the fact and say – “Gee, I changed my mind. I’m straight.”
Not unless you were never genuinely gay to begin with.
(Aside: Anne Heche would fall into this latter category, if you ask me.)
It’s just an opinion, and since you’ve asked for mine I’m offering it herein. There must have been something that attracted you to women in the first place all of those many years ago. You claim to be having second thoughts now. That’s natural.
Everyone wanders from their conventions now and then. But you’ve identified yourself as a 34 yr old lesbian.
That says to me that you’re still not willing to dump your queer sisterhood and whole-heartedly embrace a heterosexual lifestyle. Nor should you consider that an option.
You see, Cheryl. I suspect that your current ambivalence stems not from sexual confusion but because you’ve become bored with your circumstances. Perhaps you’re not attracted to any women in your neighborhood or have found the lesbian scene in general has grown stale.
I have news for you – heterosexual women get that same feeling for the dating scene where men are concerned from time to time – as do gay men for other gay men or heterosexual men for straight women.
But that doesn’t mean (to misquote Fred Astaire) that everyone simply changes partners to dance!
Every now and then this social hiccup and frustration occurs within these same variables whereby the people involved say to themselves “To hell with men/women/etc. I’m swearing off them for a bit because I’m tired – of being rejected, being put upon, not finding the right one, being dumped…etc.”
The point is – that pendulum usually swings the other way after a brief hiatus from the fray.
To involve an unsuspecting heterosexual male in a relationship with you - that you may also tire of one sunny day not too far off in the future - would be criminal on your part.
Because, as of now, you still see yourself as a 34 yr old lesbian!!!
You haven’t sworn off of women.
You’re not even solid on your feelings for this guy you mentioned…‘I think’.
So, here’s a thought. Why not try to procure a lesbian date from a different city or town. Why not explore the scene in a fresh setting: because in the final analysis a change of locale is infinitely more rewarding than a change of partner.
Now, go out and dance to your own beat.
The crabby critic
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