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Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

She Dumped Me and Now I Hate The World

In Breakups/Divorce, Dating, Drama on March 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm

All that misery was probably born elsewhere. Photograph courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

I was recently dumped by a girl I was seeing for a month. I know it’s lame, and I may be reacting too much for such a short-lived experience, but I really liked this girl, and the breakup came out of nowhere, since things were going really well. Her reason was that she recently reconnected with an ex, and she felt guilty stringing me along. I’m having difficulty coping with the pain, and I’ve tried binge-drinking, making sad music mixes, and I’ve repeatedly listened to the Breakup Episode of This American Life. I really want her to feel the sadness that I do, but more importantly, I want to be happy again. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Wallower

Dear Wallower,

No matter what a lifetime of My So-Called Life, Dawson’s Creek, 90210, Part of Five and Gossip Girl will tell you, this kind of misery is not totally normal. When I say “normal” I mean to say that it is not an acceptable social standard to fall apart because some girl you knew for a month decided to go back where her heart came from.

That being said, I know that love can expand and flourish in even just a week. Time does not negate intensity, and I have no doubt that this relationship felt vital and moving. But, in the end, you are an adult and this human you loved on was not someone of enormous importance in the scope of your vast existence.

This means that something else is wrong. What is going on in your life? Could you be using this as an excuse to cry about other things? Chances are this chick just triggered a massive library of self-esteem issues. She just triggered the rejection valve and now you are probably wondering something along the lines of “Am I lovable? Will I ever be loved? Am I a freak? Why don’t she love me anymore?” Etc. A little sting is normal, a full-on collapse is another story.

Get out your diary and write a little ditty about what you are going through. Figure out why this woman, who you don’t totally know, was so awesome for you. Was it her, or was it the having of a girlfirend at all that felt so amazing? What did she validate for you? What are you projecting onto this woman, what kind of importance, what kind of role, what kind of romantic notions?

If you are seeking your self-worth from a stranger, it will leave you dead and cold in the heart region when they walk. Ie, look for that spark, that love, that acceptance within you and the bottle and This American Life won’t seem so delicious.

You want her, you say, to feel this same sense of gigantic loss. But she probably didn’t turn you into a mountain as you did her. Your loss is not necessarily about the girl. It is about all the things that being seen by another with loving sparkly eyes might do for you, things you should look for from within.

Be nice to yourself, remember who loves you. Spend some time doing things that nurture you, like running or swimming or hiking. Happiness will come inevitably, since all bullshit passes. But right now you might want to dive into why you got so miserable in the first place. My hunch: get some professional help for a short while to explore why it is you are so devastated by this loss.

He Hates My Friends

In Dating, Drama on March 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

Dear Yenta,

I’ve been dating a boy for six months and we’re very close. The problem is, he’s clingy. He doesn’t like my friends at all, so when I want to hang out with them and I invite him to come along, he won’t do it. What he will do is pout for the rest of the night, making it difficult for me to enjoy an evening with the girls without worrying about whether or not he’s okay. What’s worse is that the girls I usually hang out with have boyfriends as well, and they occasionally join us with no trouble. It’s only my boy that causes snags.

I’ve spoken to him about it and he admits to being jealous of these girls. But I only have so much time in a day, or a week, or in the school year before we all go home for the summer, and I’m not going to spend every second of my free time with him. He and I get along really well when it’s just me and him, or me and him and his friends, but he treats my friends with so little respect that I don’t know what to do. Help!

-BF Hates My Peeps

Boo Hoo BORING. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor

Dear BFHMP,

Blah. A man who can’t adapt to multiple social situations and is “jealous” of your girlfriends sounds like bad news to me. What are you supposed to do while he is pouting? Obvi. Pay attention to him. You asked for a boyfriend, not a child.

“If a relationship is not the easiest thing you have ever done in your life for the first six months, run (don’t walk) to the nearest exit,” says Tiffany Ranae Widdifield in “Should I Keep Him or Dump Him? Three Guidelines for Navigating Relationships.” “Relationships are hard work,” Tiffany explains, “However, in their infancy, they should be fresh, vibrant and exciting. You should feel as if you have met “the one.””

I’m with Tiff. Still, these situations always have more to them than meets the eye. Who knows, except maybe you and your dude, where his nervous insecurities stem from. What we can see is that he is capable of social normalcy, but something about your friends makes him check out.

Either your friends suck or your boyfriend sucks or neither suck, and you just happen to be wearing two left shoes. What are you ignoring? That is what this boils down to, right? What are you pretending is not happening? There is something up with your man, or something up with your friends. Period.

He is your boyfriend, of six months, not your husband for life. If things aren’t working and you put up a good fight to strive for normalcy, start weighing options. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you need to ever settle for someone who potentially stunts your growth. There is, however, a fine line between sorting out differences and growth stuntage. As Tiffany later writes, “That’s why rule two is so important to follow: If the second six months of your relationship is not filled with arguments, and doubts, and the unmitigated desire to throttle him, Run!”

Are you in the first or second leg of the 6 month window? Is this, “learning to love him,” or “shit, I am dating a complete loser?”

Another option: ignore everything I have said thus far and be strong in the face of an annoying scenario. No law says you must integrate friends and boyfriend on a nightly basis. Find him afterwards, or in the morning, or for lunch and enjoy the things you were going to do anyways in the meantime. In fact, doing everything together, spending every outing as a pair, might not be the best way to keep things breathing. Autonomy should not kill a good relationship.

Enjoy your life however you see fit and maybe he will come around. Otherwise, no matter which way you spin it, he will become someone you resent for raining on your friendship parade. When the summer comes, give him your time then, and your friends your time now. But my gut instinct is that if the fish stinks, chuck it.

For more help take the “Is he a good boyfriend quiz” or the “Should you dump him quiz” from Seventeen.com.

Also, for pointers, try 10 Ways to Be the Best Boyfriend or Girlfriend by Sparklife.com, A brief guide on finding the right relationship, keeping a proper perspective and remaining optimistic throughout a sometimes grueling process from Aish.com, and If the Buddha Dates: Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path.

16-Year-Old Wants 28-Year-Old Woman

In Dating, Drama on March 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

When Ashton Kutcher was 16, his wife, Demi, was 31!

Hi Yenta,

I’m 16 and i finish school in 6 weeks. In my last year i have had a great teacher who is Jamaican and immensely interesting, she is the most beautiful woman i have ever met in my whole life. She is 28 and has a 9-year-old kid. We share a lot in common, like we were both going to join the army and we both like the same music and stuff like that. Now i know this is wrong me asking her out but my question for you is how can i ask her out just as friends?

I know this is morally wrong but i like her a lot and she isn’t married so i would not be interfering with her life, she is not seeing anyone else either so it would be ok for me to see her. Also i would like to ask you two more questions.

Even though i am very confident around her and think i stand a chance with her i always tell myself “do not ask her out when you leave” because it will be wrong and awkward. i’m set on asking her out because i always think “what could have happened if i did ask her?” How do i remove this feeling from myself? I know full well that i have nothing to give her apart from security honesty and an un-dying loyalty but how can i convince her that although i may be a really young guy i deserve a chance at least.

Thank you in advance,

Jamie

Dear Jamie,

It is not “wrong” to like your teacher, nor is it wrong to want to hang out with her. In fact, according to SexLaws.com, “Dating someone without sexual contact cannot be considered a form of statutory rape, and is almost never illegal.” It makes sense that your beautiful teacher with many things in common with you would be someone who stirred your heart.

But just to help you understand why she might say “no” if you go knocking on her door, a few main points as to why a sixteen-year-old might not be the best mate for a twenty-eight-year-old with a nine-year-old child.

1) I think, if your beautiful teacher were to ever kiss you, it would actually be illegal. Last thing you want is to make your teacher a jailbird, leaving her kid motherless.
2) Even though she seems like the woman of your dreams now, the truth is there are twelve years of complex life between you. She has been in the world in a different way, and while loyalty and honesty are amazing traits in a man, understanding one another on a deeper level is also vital to a strong adult relationship. You may not be able to understand certain things about her life, and she might not be able to understand yours.
3) Even if you DO understand everything and have the maturity of a forty-year-old man, you still might not be the best candidate to father a nine-year-old boy. Yes, having a father only seven years your senior might be an awkward life experience. And your teacher, I have no doubt, will be shopping for a Dad in the men she dates.
4) Aren’t there a million sixteen year-old girls with no babies who want to hang out with a loyal and honest man?

Connecting to a teacher in high school can be powerful because sometimes they are the only people in your world who see you as an adult, who verbally praise your good mind, and who show great interest in your growth and well-being. Don’t, however, underestimate the force of hierarchical relationships on the heart. Somehow, these power-laden ties create strong complicated desires in both parties. This, though, may not be “love” as much as projected daddy/mommy issues.

So, my sixteen-year-old friend, this means you need to check in with your lonesome and see if you might be having trouble at home, issues with your own parents, a loss, a gap: something that ups the appeal of your prof.
My guess is that you are phenomenal. Be patient and know that while this woman might seem like the only one of her kind, and she very well may be, in due time you might find others who stir similar feelings in you.

You also might find that once the limits of teacher and student disappear, that your differences suddenly swell. All in all, I would say there is no harm in asking. You can say, “Teacher, I would like to hang out with you as a friend.” There’s no sin in that question. But be prepared for whatever answer she gives, most likely, a “no.” Don’t be broken-hearted, she needs to keep her job and stay out of jail and you need to look for women your own age, rather than mother-hen figures who might not be the romantic you are really going for.

Another thing to keep in mind: if you are, say, 23 and she is 35, then this relationship might be a wee bit more acceptable. Stress on the “wee bit.” If you think she is the love of your life, wait for her. Here, whatever you choose, use this CNN article, “Older women and younger men: Can it work?” to back up your case. She is lucky to have your devotion, even if she can’t take it home.

Wedding Gift Blunder

In Drama, Roommates on March 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Dear Yenta,

About 2 years ago, I attended a college roommate’s wedding (I call her a roommate because we weren’t really FRIENDS per se, just friendly in that we lived together for a bit.).

Okay, the wedding was in Milwaukee, WI, so I had to fly out for it and stay in a hotel. I had decided beforehand that my wedding gift to her and her husband would be a check. Well, as it turned out, I had forgotten to write the check beforehand and had forgotten to bring my checkbook to WI, meaning I attended the wedding gift-less. I felt really bad about it but fully intended to put it in the mail the minute I got home.

A week or so later I get this e-mail from her, saying that she was hurt I didn’t get her anything and that she believed I just mooched my way into a free party to see and hang out with friends. Well, I let my worst get the best of me, because I immediately snapped, responding to her e-mail saying that the check was already in the mail and that if she weren’t such a greedy person, she could’ve stomached waiting a week. I also mentioned that the travels and expenses I’d undergone to attend her wedding proved I cared more about seeing her get married than just attending a party.

Eeek! I wouldn’t be so worried about this whole ordeal (as it WAS 2 years ago) if I didn’t have to see her in a couple months at another friend’s wedding. Avoiding is out of the question. How can I dispel my icky feelings toward her so as to suck it up for the occasion? How shall I behave and/or get along with her? I wanna be the bigger person, but I also know my limits–I’m fully incapable of feigning friendliness or pretending. Help!

-Wedding Drama

Just because you hate her now, does not mean you can't love her later.

Dear WD,

This whole exchange seems a bit bogus to me. First of all, there is the base fact that you don’t actually care too much about each other. Second, there is the oddity of the gift-giving etiquette in the scenario. It is common law that wedding gifts can be given up to a year after the wedding. Did you see the Larry David episode? One year, baby.

So, that this chick called you a week later upset about the gift was not only poor form, but odd and greedy in and of itself. Wedding gifts are not obligatory, they are gifts, like tips, like a choice to extend yourself on behalf of their union. And yes, like tipping, while not obligatory, they are expected. But no bride has the right to call and wonder, a week post-nuptuals, where her wedding prizes are.

Also, a word on weddings. Every wedding varies in price, but the couple makes a choice when planning that giant party. It is a choice to dish out a lot of dough on behalf of a union. Yes, the wedding is a giant party with lots of amenities, but we aren’t all shuffling across the country just for the fun. We arrive at these enormous soirees to celebrate love, to show that we are witness to a vow so that maybe, down the road, should the couple need help they know these witnesses are there to assist in upholding their promises.

It is not all pop-culture money-grubbing crap. A wedding is an event with a purpose and it sounds like your friend forgot. We all go slightly broke in our late twenties, thanks to bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings with hotel stays and airfare, and those suits and dresses to fit the part. But we do it because we love our friends and have faith in their love for one another.

My honest opinion: you should not have attended the wedding of someone you don’t care about. Weddings are costly and emotional and in order not to resent anyone for the expenditures, your really have to want to be there. It sounds like you both resented the financial investment you made on one-another.

In regards to the post-wedding exchange: you were both out of line, her most of all, and I would say the best remedy is kindness. Be the bigger woman and approach her before the wedding, call or email, and say how glad you were to be there to witness her marriage, and that you hope your gift bought them something beautiful for their new lives. Talk it out by surpassing (not bypassing) the issue, so that hopefully you can smile and hug her when you see her again. Remember, somewhere inside of you you do care about this woman.

It is a powerful drug, wishing well on your enemies. None of our hearts are nearly as hard as they seem in these crude moments. This girl, my guess, was having some after-wedding traumas of her own. Just love her, and hope she can do the same. Worst comes to worst, you remembered your softer side.

They Hate Me Because I Am Hot

In Drama, Mental Health on March 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

Bitches get stitches. Although, in the unfair real world, beauty queens get stitches.

Dear Yenta,

I just realized that my best friend is a psycho. We go to grad school together and became instant buddies- we hang out all the time.

Lately, we’ve been fighting a lot. I haven’t had these types of conflicts since high school. It all started when a guy she’d mentioned she thought was cute asked me out. She has literally never talked to him, he’s just a dude among many that she’s said she thinks is attractive (we go to a big school). When I told her I was considering going out with him she FREAKED out. She cried all day and said she was having a mental break down. At the time I attributed this to other stress, but now I’m just starting to think she’s crazy.

Earlier this week she told me that another friend had been talking about me behind my back. When she told me what they’d said I was upset and confronted the person. I was so upset that I jumped to conclusions about what the person had meant and it turned out to be a big miscommunication. I worked it out with the third party, but my friend is now accusing me of being crazy and making her look like snitch. She actually called me and basically bitched me out about it. Now she’s giving me the silent treatment! PLEASE HELP ME! I feel silly even explaining this situation – it’s so juvenile! For some reason, though, it’s really upsetting me.

I am really shocked by all of this because I have been friends with this person for about six months and all of these things have only started happening in the past few weeks. Should I cut my losses or try to work it out? She’s one of my only girlfriends at school and it makes me sad to think that our friendship is over.

-Caught in the Drama

Dear CITD,

Your friend sounds like a mean disaster. For help on whether to salvage or ditch this friendship, see “BF(Forget It).”

For you, though, I am more interested in addressing a whole other possible dilemma. One thing we all do as we age is repeat patterns unknowingly. It sucks the life out of many of us until we learn the hard lessons negative behaviors eventually yield.

In this particular case it sounds as if you have a problem reliving old faulty relationship patterns. It is as if your problem is that you are pretty and your friend has a problem because she is insecure. When I was fifteen I used to have fights like this. All the boys loved my best friend romantically and I would often break down, always seen as a friend by guys. Everyone had a hot friend along the road who by comparison made them feel ugly. You are probably that hot friend.

So? So hot girls have it rough too. As they get hot, many people begin to hate on them. I remember hearing stories on the news of girls in New Jersey public schools who were slashed with knives to ruin their beautiful faces. Jealous and insecure women can be horribly vicious.

Your friend’s full-on breakdown is probably about her and her own demons. Your action hardly warranted hysteria. You and that unshakeable upset feeling might be something different. Everything in life, my grandfather said, can be learned from. He never, however, said that even hot girls need to learn to love themselves with time.

Look at your repetoire of voices from your past. Were you ever compared to someone? A family member, a friend, someone who was not as hot or gorgeous as you? Someone for whom you were asked to forget your beauty, blur your beauty, or more likely, feel guilty about your beauty? This is common among sisters, best friends, cousins. Is it possible that you are reliving those moments now, the moments where you were told to hate yourself for being so damn pretty?

Recipe for the hot hated girl: re-visit your body, your face, your perfect hair and see if you can remember who said what about you in the past. Check in the emotional mirror and try and find what messages are attached to your striking looks. Chances are you have learned to use them to open some doors and close others, and not always at the correct moments.

While everyone was seeing your facade, you were and are still breathing behind it. See if you can do the hard work to balance your interior and exterior. I don’t know what to do with this friend, but I do know that this situation is full of nuggets of life lessons. Remember that her pain is her pain, that no one owns a man, and that it is never ok to let someone else put their skeletons in your closet. Seeing more clearly could help you weather her emotional storm.

Also, some of these negative patterns, finding friends who force us to relive the ugly moments of our past, are best addressed with a trained professional. Especially when those friends are backstabbing liars. Beauty can have dire consequences, and to really see what these were, it might be nice to have someone hold your emotional hand.

To further explore this issue of feeling guilty and/or being persecuted for being gorgeous, read:

When Other Women Hate You Because You’re Beautiful,” by Ms. JD
Is It Normal To Hate Beautiful Girls,” in Teen Magazine
Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You by Michelle Graham
and The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf

If The Bachelor Had a Shrink

In Drama, Sex on March 2, 2010 at 3:47 am

Hunk-O-Burning-Ignorance

If I could pause this absurd show that has sucked two hours of my Mondays for weeks now, I would. I would pause the show, send a trained professional to step onto those boats, put a towel on those naked girls, and witness a talking to with both parties involved. Yes, there should be an arsenal of therapists to walk these men and women through the darkness of their shoddy stabs towards intimacy.

Vienna, I fear, will cheat on the Bachelor and leave him, down the road, with a patchwork of a heart. Tenley, I fear, is insane and should probably be mourning somewhere with some tea rather than attempting to fall in love on national television. Note to self: never date anyone obsessed with former broken heart. Also, beware of anyone who does interpretive dance on a third date.

A few moments I would like to pause.

1) Vienna Meets the Fam
Dear Lord, if you ever take a woman home and she has the manners of a backwoods sixteen year-old girl, possibly on coke, then walk away. Yes, veneers are only veneers, but those moments can indicate a strong lack of class, further reflected in fugly tattoo choices.

2) Bachelor on boat with Tenley.
Bachelor: “I don’t feel crazy passion for you physically. When I met you, I felt something so deep I had never felt it before.” Mofo, you are describing something specifically called “intimacy.” He says the emotions are so intense but the connection is awkward. Isn’t that what happens sometimes, for those who haven’t gotten truly intimate in their lives?

Edging closer to the core of a heart and soul can wreak complete havoc. It can show you all your parts, the good the bad and the ugly. Think weird first kiss, think Lili Taylor’s sex scene in Dogfight. Nearing the emotional edge, nearing real love: this forces real self-awareness, real 20/20 vision to all flaws and, almost harder to stomach, all goodness. It yields, in some cases, awkward vulnerable sexy time.

3) MMM…I Love Rubbing Mud on Vienna
Really, Mr. Pilot, who wouldn’t? She is fun, she is curvy, and she is in love with you. But when a woman says she found herself when she found you, that is called creepy codependence. Step back. Quick. I foresee spastic phone calls, jealous fears, and a lot of infidelity.

And then this weird romantic chunk comes rearing through all my judgments and I wonder if Jake is meant to be with this low-class faux blonde. I also, though, wonder if he couldn’t handle real love, couldn’t handle real happily ever after. This dude loved that someone like Vienna, so hip and so hot, could love a dweeb like him.

The key phrase for me was when he said to Tenley, “I have never felt anything like this deep emotional connection.” Maybe she was a disaster, or wrong for him, but I like, in my non-Bachelor real-life vision of love off the camera, to have faith more in the deep stirrings of the soul than in the extreme heat between the sheets. I like the idea of both at once, but who knows what happens with a love so pure, a Tenley and Vienna sandwich could cause spontaneous combustion: like getting too close to the holy grounds.

The moral of this trashy story: sex can lead to marriage, love can be wasted, men can be naive, and never trust anyone you meet in a vacuum on national television to remain as such for life. Thank goodness this month’s smutty TV addiction has come to a close.

BF(Forget It)

In Breakups/Divorce, Drama on February 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Dear Yenta,

I’m starting to realize that a friend I’ve become very close with over the past year may not be the friend I had hoped she could be. We’ve been able to talk to each other about our troubles, and have had lots of fun shooting the sh*t, but I fear that the times she has hurt or disappointed me are now clouding over the good. While I believe I’ve been loyal and supportive…in the past year, she has pursued relationships with two people I was interested in/involved with, lied to me, broken plans, neglected to include me in important group events, and all-in-all seems to be unable to understand how her actions might make me feel.

I feel a bit stupid that I ever thought she would help me in a time of need, and a bit pathetic that I am so hurt she did not. She says she “needs” me and I’m her “best” friend, but I feel very blah about the whole thing. Do you think it’s worth it to try to give her another chance or would it be better to just cut my losses?

– Out of Love With My BFF

Serena and Blair fight like animals, but love each other long time.

Dear OOLWMBFF,

If it doesn’t float, why get in a boat? It hurts to lose a friend, but wasn’t that boat sinking anyways? There is a fine line between love spats and deep dark divides that are not meant to be bridged. That doesn’t mean, though, that the actual moment and act of separating doesn’t break your heart a little, whether it be a slight separation or a full on divorce.

Give her another chance at what? Hurting you? The truth is, friend annulment happens. It hurts, it sucks, it feels weird, but sometimes moving on from those that cause you regular pain is a necessary part of growing older. This doesn’t mean you two are through, it means that for now this relationship is not serving you and it might be best to put all that love and positive energy towards someone who supplies a more regular return rate.

We all develop patterns early on, often patterns that involve loving people who don’t love us back, not the way we want to be loved. (See this kooky 1970’s self-help book, Scripts People Live by Claude Steiner) If your friend’s words say one thing, and her actions another, you have every right to re-evaluate and possibly walk away to protect your own heart. Or, you can just slightly withdraw, lower the intensity of the friendship. The only rule is that you do everything with love, attempting to communicate, so as not to cause undue pain.

How did you get yourself in this situation? What does it mean that she “needs” you so badly, and you hardly even like her? Use this conundrum to learn so you can pick kinder friends in the future.

As my grandmother’s nurse says, “If on first glance you see someone and want to be their friend, turn in the other direction.” Sometimes we need to unlearn scripts in order to find people who are good for us, following new instincts rather than those that taught us how to join a clique in Middle School.

In the end you get to decide when to withdraw your bet. Especially, if you have done all you can to communicate and your communication yielded very little ownership or understanding on your friend’s end. Friendship is a two way street.

Just remember, in the words of my mother, “Where you cut one branch off, another grows.”

For help with future friendships read:
The Smart Girl’s Guide to True Friendship

Or, try Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More and/or attending a CODA meetingg, ie, Codependents Anonymous.


Merissa Nathan Gerson | Create Your Badge

I Heard Them Talking Smack About Me

In Drama on February 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Don't forget that ferocity lives inside of you, too. Photo courtesy of LadyGlockPhotography.wordpress.com.

Dear Yenta,

What do I say the next time I see my classmates who were talking about me at the party when I walked in?

-Scorned

Dear S,

I threw this question out to a crowd at a 28th birthday party. The consensus was that your next move should be tempered by your relationship to the backstabbers. If they are your friends, like people you have knowing trusting relationships with, you should definitely say something. If they are just acquaintances, you don’t mention it, and you both note the behavior and file it away in your assessment of these individuals for further notice, as well as continue like nothing happened.

Shit-talking and meanness are the pits. According to a nine-year-old Chabadnik, in Judaism they say gossip hurts three people. It hurts the gossiper, the person being gossiped about, and the listener. Having been in all three of these shoes, I think some rabbi knew what he was saying.

One story that comes to mind happened to a girl at a sleepover party with her “best friends.” Everyone thought she was asleep and three girls starting ripping words, something about “do you think anyone will ever kiss her? Who would want to?” They went on and on and when she couldn’t take it anymore she walked to the bathroom to announce her existence, and make it clear that she was not dead asleep as they imagined.

Not until nearly ten years later did she ever say anything. The only mention of the incident was when one girl found her in the morning. She had slept through breakfast, not feeling like joining the group, and the other girl came downstairs. The one who spoke so meanly started crying immediately and said how sorry she was.

Everyone has the capacity for cruelty, the capacity to be the victim of it, and the capacity to enable it. Everyone. When you get caught up in slanderous speech, on any end, the best thing to do is walk away or shut it down, or, if time and space and ego allow, do like this girl did and apologize. If you are on the short end of the gossip stick, I would say do whatever feels right to restore your heart. Silence, confrontation, conversation: do what you need to address it, and then let it be.

Holding on to ugly words will hurt you. According to Noah Levine, Mr. Dharma Punx, whatever people might say behind your back is none of your business and not worth worrying about. Also, the mean things people say most often have to do with their own self-hatred. Just flush their faux pas if you can, and continue to believe in your own goodness.

Loving Yourself on Valentine’s Day

In Breakups/Divorce, Drama, Mental Health on February 14, 2010 at 3:18 am

Cake Love is Self-Love. Photo courtesy of LadyGlockPhotography.wordpress.com

Dear Yenta,

It’s Valentine’s Day and I have no one right now. I am in-between relationships. I don’t know how I should feel about the day. Is it ok to feel lonely? Should I give into it? I am so afraid I am going to go into a dark space, going down deep into pain. I don’t want to be desperate, but I feel pathetic. Is this ok/normal? How should I spend Valentine’s Day?

Sincerely,

Single on the Fourteenth

Dear SOTF,

There are many types of people in the world. People who have spent a lot of time alone, people who are always in relationships, people who are terrified of solitude. There is no right way to be, no best form, there is just where you are. And on Valentine’s Day, depending on who you are and where your love stars fall, life can feel like a rung of someone’s sick version of hell.

But, the good news is plentiful. For one, Valentine’s Day is just a day! Yes, come Monday, boom, it is gone. And then, the gifts on Valentine’s Day that are meant to be received are awesome; chocolate, flowers, orgasms. And third, you are your best friend, so step up to the plate tomorrow and make it a day you will never forget.

There are no laws against self-loving on the “most romantic day of the year.” Seeing that real love knows no calendar date, you can rest assured that your real Valentine’s Day may come in June or December. Just chill, and begin a day of long slow loving. Make breakfast plans with yourself . Walk to the nearest café and get a latte and a chocolate croissant and the Sunday Times and sit for hours.

When you wake up, kiss your own hand, thank yourself for the amazing life you have given yourself, for keeping yourself alive. Try not to spend energy on what you don’t have, use what you do. Like, say, for example a bathtub. Take a bath, burn some tea lights. And if you want, on this one day, have a brandy in the tub. I am dead serious: whatever it is that is your indulgence, give in. Whether it be yoga or pancakes, go there.

You might just need some vision. Where do you want to go that you never go? Go to a museum, take a long drive alone to somewhere new, take a hike, get a long slow brunch. Go to the batting cages! I love the batting cages. Just make a date, like you would with a partner, but with yourself.

Cook yourself something amazing. And, my favorite, order yourself gifts. Why on earth wait for someone else to give you love if you have a well of it to dish out? Order some flowers and have them delivered. Watch the Olympics and enjoy that knock on the door, with a bouquet and a note, “Thanks for always being there.”

It is always ok to feel lonely because loneliness means you hear your heart. And believe me, you are not the only one. What is not ok is to give in to the voices that condemn you for your solitude, your single status, or anything else the demons of the mind might conjure up.

Another great way to spend the day? Give to someone else. Get beyond yourself and visit a hospital with a pile of valentines. Other people are alone too, and your smile might make their day, and yours. Think about giving compliments to friends, visiting a nursing home or a soup kitchen. Give that love you would have given to a lover to the people in your community who need it most.

Whatever you do, plan yourself a badass Valentine’s Day now, and let someone else do the loving for you later, when the time is right and you are ready to share the gushing love in your massive heart with just one.

Try Toys In Babeland!
Or ordering brownies from Zingerman’s.
Or getting a new Yoga membership.
Or finding a silent retreat.
Or committing to running a marathon.
Or finding a new Stitch N’ Bitch.
Or try dancing, like nobody’s business, completely naked and alone.

Is Cheating Wrong If the Partner Knows?

In Dating, Drama, Marriage, Sex on February 12, 2010 at 2:36 am

Infidelity yields all kinds of results. See Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven for one scenario.

Dear Yenta,

I am a man having an affair with a married man whose spouse knows about us and looks the other way. Is it still morally wrong?

-Cheeeeattttittttinnggg

Dear C,

That’s a tricky one. It comes down to a number of things, mostly between the married man and his wife/husband. There are such things as open marriages, where the couple, despite their commitment to one another for life, choose to open their beds to others (see PiggyBack Dating for more). If this is the case, continue to ride the bull guilt-free.

But let’s play with some other scenarios, shall we? Let’s say this man you are sleeping with is married to a woman and the woman is not into open relationships. Ok. She catches her husband, whom she thought loved women such as herself, sleeping with male you. That blows on so many levels that she might rather go on pretending. In this case, it is definitely morally wrong.

I met a couple once, a man and a woman, who found each other at a support group. It was a group for people whose spouses left them for same-sex lovers. Ie, both this man and woman’s respective wife and husband went gay, they fell apart, and then found each other at my-wife/husband-left-me-for-homosexuality-anonymous.

Another time I met a man who was sleeping with men and cheating on his wife. They tried to make it work for 6 years until things fell apart. When they divorced he became very gay and very happily ever after. You never know what the deal is with a couple, if they are meant to be together, or if you are a bump on their road to moving on to stage 76587 of their existence. Regardless, it is messy to be tooting a married man’s horn.

Another option, you are sleeping with a man married to a man who is cheating on his husband. Forget the gay factor, infidelity SUCKS. People who don’t tell and accept the situation might be in a loveless business transaction marriage, or might be too terrified of losing their spouse, or maybe don’t care one way or the other. Either way, I am inclined to say that yes, no matter what the situation, it is always morally wrong to break a vow.

So, you know if you are involved in vow-breaking based on what you know of the scenario. Also, the onus falls on your lover, most of all. He is the one with a commitment that he is violating. You, on the other hand, are simply an enabler.

Moral of the story: check the waters before you jump. If you are already swimming with the sharks of infidelity, then ask one, “Sharky, are you married with benefits? Is your wife a repressed woman denying your homosexuality? Is your husband getting his heart broken?” Find out exactly what you are dealing with and then judge yourself accordingly. Generally, even if a marriage is already dead, an affair helps to put that fire out. I like building marriage fires for long slow lifelong warmth, so try not to mess with the flames.

It also boils down to you: why are you choosing married men for lovers in the first place? A question for you, yourself and you.