THINK IT OVER...then - THINK SOME MORE!
Life is getting me down. I need a pick me up but don’t know where to look. Any suggestions?
Jill in Fresno
Dear Girlie Grape-picker:
I envy your location. In Canada we’re stuck with cold and crappy weather. You have NO excuse not to get out and mingle. Climate is everything, and in southern California you are blessed with the best of all worlds. My advice is real simple and it won’t cost you a dime.
Get out of the house!
I like to come home as much as the next fella, but four walls can be stifling to one’s sense of creative self.
If my suggestion sounds vague – I’ll narrow the field a bit so we don’t find you wandering the wrong side of the tracks with a bottle of cheap wine and your undies Mack-Tacked to your forehead.
Suggestion (A): I’m not a fan of the nightclub scene. I also don’t necessarily believe that you can ‘find yourself’ when you’re being stifled in a room full of yak-yaks who are ready and all too willing to bump uglies after a few drinks, then ask questions about your religious background later…if there is a later. Stay out of the lime light. It’ll turn you green.
Suggestion (B): Get back to nature. I’m not talking about some hippie’s free love nudist camp off the Big Sur. But I find that I become much more in tune with what provides me with inner happiness when I have all of God’s wide open spaces to appreciate. If you own a bicycle, I suggest you get it out of mothballs and go for a spin.
Again, technology is grand – but you won’t find what you’re looking for if you just drive a car or take the bus or operate any other kind of motorized vehicle. Time and scenery pass much too quickly in these modes of transportation. Slow the pace down and take in your surroundings. If all else fails – use your legs. One foot in front of the other always works for me.
Suggestion (C): Make a plan to go somewhere you’ve never been and then stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a pipedream vacation – like, ‘gee, I wish I could go to Ting-Pai and eat mangos in the house of the High Lama.’
Maybe it’s a new restaurant in your neighborhood that you haven’t tried.
Maybe, it’s a trip to a nearby winery or museum that you’ve passed many times on your daily travels but have never gone into.
How about a quiet trip to the book store or library?
When your life feels inconsequential, reading about someone else’s fictional story can really liberate the mind and the spirit.
On these journeys you could take a friend or go alone. When I’m feeling blue I prefer to go it alone.
Remember that while most friends don’t mind your company when you’re up, many consider it more of a tired duty than an inspired honor to tote the bail of your emotional baggage.
Always think twice – then once more – before burdening someone with your troubles.
You’ll retain their respect that way!
Finally, it behooves me to inform you that life gets everyone down from time to time. I supposed the ‘blahs’ are a necessary evil to the human condition. After all, how would we come to respect the truly great moments if we never experiences a bit of the doldrums along the way?
Above all else – have fun! To quote French actress Jean-Marie, whose fractured English always made me smile, “Life is – but – for - to enjoy!”
So, enjoy it.
The Crabby Critic
I don’t think I love my girlfriend anymore. I mean, not the way I did before. We’ve been living together for a few years. I haven’t told her how I feel but before I forget, because I’ve been reading you a lot, I think you should know that I’m not cheating on her with anybody else. I just don’t feel the same way about her. Does this make any sense?
Dale in Wyoming
It makes perfect sense!
Relationships are tricky and some aren’t meant to last. Since you’re not two timing your lady – which, by the way, is an infinitely smart move on your part (I can’t tell you how many guys think that finding an alternative warm place to put it will set their world right) – then I think you’re justified in having these feelings.
But I have a few suggestions that I want you to consider before you decide to put this living arrangement on life support.
First, remember that love – NOT SEX - is not a constant thing.
It changes with age and time spent together. When you were just dating the gal you’re currently with, you were probably driven to distraction in every waking hour you didn’t spend with her. In short, you were ‘love crazy’ or ‘love obsessed.’ You couldn’t get enough of each other and that made the relationship hot and exciting.
But I got news for you, Dale:
hot and spicy doesn’t last forever
– and thank goodness too, or we’d all have chronic indigestion and very limp members.
A friend of mine once told a rather crude joke in which he summarized the course of love in three easy steps. I’ll sanitize those steps for you herein.
The first begins when the couple, under a temporary frenetic malaise of carnal lust, goes absolutely wild like a pair of oversexed farm animals, christening every room in the house and possibly a few public venues when no one is looking.
Aside: there’s always someone watching. Remember, it’s all fun and games until nude photos wind up on the internet!
It sounds to me like you’re well into step two; when the couple gets tired – both physically and emotionally. The love that seemed so eternally white hot and sultry has become ‘par for the course.’
His “so what are you doing Tuesday?” gets her, “My taxes, and then, my hair.”
Alas, the once happy gerbils are now just a pair of fuzzy roommates who’d rather watch than make Hard Copy.
In the last phase, the couple passes one another in the hall without regard or respect, often regretting their tenure together, with one inevitably telling the other what he/she can do with his/herself in no uncertain terms. Charming way to round out the golden years, n’est pas?
…and they claimed French was a romance language?
The point is, not every relationship has to follow this apocalyptic three part scenario.
You say you don’t love your girlfriend anymore? My first question is – why not?
Has she suddenly sprouted horns and turned into a wildebeest?
Generally speaking, people don’t change overnight. Some psychologists will argue that people don’t change at all. I reserve the right to say that everyone has room for, and can make necessary improvements if self-dedication is the order of the day. Perhaps the problem isn’t with your girlfriend, Dale.
Maybe, it’s with you!
Why have you changed towards her? When you can answer that question you will have a better understanding of whether or not your current relationship is worth saving. Word to the wise: don’t stick it out and make yourself and your woman miserable, especially if you don’t love her anymore, and, just because you don’t want her to have a cry-fest that will inevitably segue into a conversation of the flying plates. But, don’t be too hasty to cut your ties right away either.
You say you feel different but you don’t know why. Answer the why for yourself first. Then make an educated decision on where you stand in this relationship.
The Crabby Critic
I’m 45 and in love. The guy I’m with now knows it but is willing to let me go so I can pursue the guy I absolutely can’t live without. But the guy I want is with someone else and I need tips on how to break them up so that I can get where I want to be. Advise!
Sheryl in Manitoba
Dear Derelict Ditch Pig Without a Conscience:
You disgust me!
Not only have you completely discounted how your guy feels about your confession (and I have news for you, honey – even if he says he doesn’t care…HE DOES), but you’re only concern now is how best to destroy another relationship so that you can satisfy your own crazy obsession to be with someone who doesn’t even know you’re alive.
You’re definitely NOT Miss Right.
Selfish is as selfish does; Florence Gump!
Last bit of advice – grow up!
The Crabby Critic
My sister is openly gay. We used to be close. I guess we still are. But now I’m afraid if we’re seen together people will think I’m gay to and I won’t be able to get a date. What should I do?
Shirley in St. Martin
I don’t know much about your sister, but I do know one thing...
If you were hanging out in gay nightclubs with your sister or frequenting other homosexual venues (i.e. pride parades) then I’d say perhaps your ability to procure a male/female relationship would suffer.
Yes, you’ll find small-minded people everywhere – some of who are probably speculating right now that you’re into girls just because you and sis’ once shared the same womb.
Your sister seems to be the one person you can trust and talk to. Don’t sacrifice that relationship just because your hormones are raging for some guy who may or may not be there when he finds out sis’ is gay.
Blood is thicker than water and significantly thicker than semen!
The crabby critic