My mother-in-law hates me, but that’s not really my problem. I think I’m developing a crush on her boyfriend. Is that too weird? How soon should I tell my wife about these feelings, if at all? And is there a chance this has something to do with why my mother-in-law hates my guts?
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
You’ve got a lot of things going on here, on a lot of levels. Generally, when family is involved and there is so much unsaid, it is best just to come out with it abruptly and without provocation in the middle of a holiday dinner. It might even be good to offer to say a prayer before the meal and do a gratitude-confessional thing. The worst that can happen is that the meal turns into a mess of emotional chaos and everyone, for their own reasons, leaves the table and you are left alone eating your last supper as the man you were and yourfirst supper of your new life with the muted sounds of crying and yelling drifting in from other rooms.
My wife left me for another woman, and though I think I should feel terrible about this, my friends tell me that I shouldn’t take it personally. She isn’t rejecting me, she’s rejecting all men. I suppose they have a point, but am I wrong to think that I was dumped for reasons that have nothing to do with my penis?
H. V. Bewley
New York, N.Y.
Dear H. V.,
The sad truth is that she was probably gay going in and you seemed like enough of a lesbian for her to try to snap out of what she hoped was a phase. I say get rid of the penis and try to get her back. You can do that now. I saw it in a special on HBO.
I’ve been thinking about leaving the country ever since Bush was reelected, but I can’t decide on the right place to go. Canada is too cold, Mexico is too dangerous, nobody likes Americans (even expatriates) in France, and Britain seems as oppressive and fascistic as home. I’m out of ideas! Any suggestions?
Somewhere in Iowa
Don’t be a coward. Fight for your beliefs and your country. If you are that fed up with America, start your own country. If you have a little property and a vision, all you need is a constitution.Write it up, make yourself president, head of the military, chief legislator and the Supreme Court justice. Then create some uniforms that you can wear for each role. Build a Sandyland MySpace page and reach out to likeminded people who might want to become citizens. This is the DIY age, Sandy. Make technology work for you. Oh, and write a snappy national anthem and decide on a few regional tourist attractions to bring in some money. If you have a dog, there’s the Sandyland National Zoological Park. You get the idea.
My boyfriend makes me talk dirty to him during sex, but I can’t think of anything to say that isn’t a cliché or doesn’t make me sound like a porn star. Can you suggest some conversational topics for sex that are both clever and filthy?
Talk to him like you’re fifteen and having a fight with your father.
My wife is pregnant, and though I love her and everything, she’s been kind of an asshole lately. I know it’s really because of the hormones, but I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. How can I tell her to fuck off in the most polite, I-still-love-you-because-you’rethe-mother-of-my-child-but-c’mon-you’re-being-acunt kinda way? Jack Caldwell Chicago, Ill.
Just know that any missteps on your part during this harrowing period of pregnancy will be held against you for the rest of your life. Any action you take along the lines that you are thinking will be seen as selfish, immature, insensitive, and perhaps unforgivable. Be politically minded here. Have a little vision.Think about the future. Your wife feels fat, farty, unattractive, and uncomfortable. Do whatever she wants you to do and make her feel loved and sexy. Meanwhile, nourish your resentment of her. Store it and mold it into an emotional disposition that will make your new child love you more than its mother.
I have a weird feeling that Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue” was written about me. I’ve never dated, been married to, or even met Mr. Dylan, but some of the details in his song are just too eerily similar to my own life. I’ve worked in a topless bar for most of my adult life,and I’m fond of reading Italian poetry (yes, from the thirteenth century) to my boyfriend. Also, I don’t care for either homemade dresses or small bank accounts. Am I just being paranoid, or is Dylan trying to get my attention?
San Francisco, Calif.
There is no doubt in my mind that you are absolutely correct about your feelings.To get some real clarity, begin a daily crystal meth regimen. Start out slow but do it until hallucinations induced by sleep deprivation become your guide. I think it will be clear that you need to follow Dylan—he’s always on the road—and when the time is right, corner him and tell him everything you’re thinking. Try to maintain some charm through this process. If your hair and teeth start falling out, you’ve waited too long to make your move.
After twenty years of marriage, my wife suddenly announced that she wants an open relationship. At first it felt like I’d won the lottery. But lately it’s occurred to me that I’m a forty-something man with a paunch, and she’s a trim hottie in her sexual prime. Am I setting myself up for disaster?
It doesn’t sound like you have much of a choice. You only have a few options. I don’t know how you are set up financially but you might want to get some Viagra and put an image together that would make younger women think that you are well-off and virile and dupe them into sex that way. Or you could level the playing field by finding a woman your own age, tell her what you’ve been through and actually have an age-appropriate relationship. My fear is that you will be left no choice but to unintentionally reveal your fear and desperation to your current wife and tell her she can do whatever she wants as long as you are part of it somehow. Then you spend the rest of your life quietly masturbating in a closet while she fucks a seemingly never-ending parade of men in your bed.The only way this scenario can end is a day comes when you wrap your lips around the end of a shotgun. I would make sure you are in the closet and she is in the middle of a particularly heated fuck-session when that hammer comes down. Come on, Stephen, open relationship? Are you out of your fucking mind? Lose her. Marc