7.05.2010

Viva Queer Abby!

Rejoice! It's the triumphant return of QUEER ABBY!!!!11

If you're new to the blog, Queer Abby is our weekly advice column where you write in with your deepest, darkest questions and 2b1b's resident lesbian/advice guru extraordinaire, Amy, gives you legitimate, helpful advice and then I weigh in with my quasi-helpful, mostly non-sensical advice. Got a question you want answered? Shoot an email (anonymous or otherwise) to QueerAbby@2birds1blog.com!

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(I should warn you that my advice is probably going to be even less helpful than usual because I just got back from Max's 4th of July Pig Roast and I'm still slightly drunk. On pig and otherwise.

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Bear with me.)

Queer Abby,

In January of 2009, I started dating my supervisor. We fell in love, and dated for a year, until he left me for a less-attractive girl who still uses gel pens and writes in bubble letters and talks in a baby voice constantly. This is pretty damn far from my own personality, so I'm still a little confused about how he ever loved the two of us, and why he ever chose her over me. But some things we'll never understand, and I guess I can accept that. Or I can obsess over it privately. We'll see.

But the point is, I took it hard. Really hard. Like stay home sick, lose 20 pounds hard. And, in typical girly-girl fashion (gag, I always said I'd never do it,) it made me question my entire self-worth and now I'm stuck trying to like myself again alone, which is way harder than I remembered. I really don't need the whole "don't date your boss!" shebang, because I knew from the get-go, but love is love, right? and for the most part, it was a good year. My problem is that we still work together. and not just your typical office space 9-5 deal, but long hours in a really, really small office. So how do I a) love myself again even though i have this 70-hour-a-week reminder hanging around, and b) turn what's left of us into a functioning workplace relationship?

Sincerely,
Fear and Loathing in The Office


Short answer: Get a new job.


Long answer: First of all, it sounds like your ex isn’t looking for a relationship of equals, he’s looking to be idolized. A guy who dates his subordinate then moves on to someone who's basically a post-pubescent child most likely needs to constantly feel in charge or looked up to in order to feel good about himself. I think the sooner you see that, the sooner you’ll start making progress toward loving yourself again because you’ll realize how little his opinion matters.


The other thing that will help is, obviously, getting a new job. I know you asked how to make the current job a functional situation, but maybe now is a good time for you to start looking around for awesome job opportunities that you can get really excited about. And not just because you don’t need the reminder, but because you can’t be that emotionally engaged with someone who’s effectively your boss. It’s not good for you professionally and that gives him way too much reign in your life.


In the meantime (or if changing jobs is absolutely not an option), make a list of things that would make you really happy: things you’d like to do, things you’d like to be, ways you’d like to grow, dream jobs, whatever. Then pick out a couple and start working toward them for a set amount of time each week. Wanna go to China? Start reading up on it and set a date to buy your ticket. Wanna make new friends? Pick some social activity to get more involved in. Wanna lose 10 lbs? Start a gym routine. Wanna play an instrument?...you get the idea. I know this sounds cliché and won’t make you feel better right now, but the honest truth is it’s just a matter of time— and you’ll feel much better, much quicker if you’re proactive about finding productive and soul-feeding ways to help pass that time.


As per usual, I don't have any practical advice for you. But I do have a slow-clap with your name on it. Because fucking-A; I can't imagine seeing an ex on a daily basis. That's my own personal hell: seeing my ex on a daily basis. At an amusement park. Surrounded by children. And people who refer to themselves in the third person. That is my hell. I don't deal with seeing exes or ex-hookups very well. I like to cut exes out of my life like sugar from a Bret Michael's diet and pretend like they never even existed in the first place. So when I inevitably run into one, I don't really handle myself with a lot of "grace" or "poise."


Two (relevant!) examples:


1.) Three 4th's of July ago, I had a bunch of friends over at my parents house to eat a massive amount of hot dogs, drink some beer and light some shit on fire. Earlier in the day, I piled Alex, Laura and Helena into my car and drove us to the grocery store to get said hot dogs and beer. While pulling into the parking lot, I saw a young man loading boxes of beer into the trunk of his car and the following went through my head in .245 seconds:


"Shit. That guy's hot." "Huh. He looks kind of familiar." "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, IT'S HE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS (of ex hook-up who was my nurse when I was hospitalized with diarrhea fame). (And by the way, it depresses me that there's someone in my life who can be described as "ex hook-up who was my nurse when I was hospitalized with diarrhea fame".)


Genuinely shocked to see that he still existed and not wanting him to see me in my no make-up, powder-blue-American-University-sweatshirt-wearing glory, I screamed, slammed on the gas and ran three stop signs in a row until I was safely in the adjacent parking lot, where a scary older gentleman then pulled up next to me, yelled at me to roll my window down and reamed me out for running three stop signs and almost killing him and his children. I probably could have handled that situation better.


2.) I was at work yesterday, thought I saw my ex and 100% almost vomited everywhere. There it is. But instead of vomiting, I just stared the random schmo down, thinking of everything I would have said if that really had been ex-A-hole and not just some guy with a generic Jew face and a medium frozen yogurt who I was this close to kicking in the nutsack.


My point being, kudos to you for seeing your ex every single day and not kicking anyone in the nutsack. Max has a pig head with your name on it.

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Dear Queer Abby,

My girlfriend and I are in a pretty great relationship: longest I've ever had, never bored, sharing interests, etc etc. There is one aspect of our relationship, however, that I'm pretty dubious about.

Our relationship didn't start the way most do. It was the first few weeks of college, and the both of us were kind of being explorative. So we hooked up with each other. And then pretty much exclusively with each other for a few weeks. And then decided we were dating. However, there was never really a sense of exclusivity. When we started dating, I told her that yes, it'd be okay to have sex with other people (because, in my opinion, sex is sex, it's a physical act that doesn't necessarily have as big of an emotional attachment). She said great, and the same went for me.

However, I'm not the hottest of guys, and she... Well, she's a college girl looking for random hookups. So naturally, she finds them. And, while every single hookup she's had has been terrible, from what she's told me, it still kind of niggles at me.

So I guess I have two questions. 1) How do I bring up the "let's be exclusive now" talk when I sounded so open about it before, and/or 2) How do I become okay enough with myself to let her do what I believe should be an okay thing, but obviously feel very different about?

Thanks for all the help,

Mind/Heart Conflict


Short answer: Waitwaitwait, let me make sure I’m understanding you correctly. Your second question is, essentially, “How do I become okay enough with myself to let her [have sex with other people even though I don’t feel okay about it]?”… when i use my words, do you understand why that question hardly merits a response?

Long Answer: Listen, there isn’t anything wrong with you for not wanting your gf to sleep with other people, and there’s no shame in preferring monogamy. It’s not an indication of how confident or evolved you are; it's just an indication of what you want from your relationship. And it’s perfectly valid. Just like it’s 100% valid to want an open relationship. One way isn’t better than the other; they just aren’t compatible. And it won’t do either of you any good to try or pretend to be okay with something you’re not comfortable with.


Now, if the only reason you have a problem with it is because you’re not getting any from anyone else, then yea, that’s some ego-shit you have to deal with. It’s not fair to ask her not to hook up with other people just because you don’t get to the option as much as she does. You know what that leads to? You dicking around with someone else when the option does present itself just to prove (if to no one but yourself) that you've still got it.


BUT, if you really do want, and are ready to commit to having an exclusive relationship, just ask her what she thinks about the idea. If she says yes, great! If she says no, you can try as hard as you want to be ok with it, but what it comes down to is this: the two of you want two different things and you wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors by denying that.


What the fuck does the word niggles mean? It sounds one-part-racist and two-parts adorable. Seriously though, I've never heard of that term in my entire life. Let's google, shall we?

According to Miriam-Webster Dictionary:

nig·gle
Pronunciation: \ˈni-gəl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): nig·gled; nig·gling \-g(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: circa 1616

intransitive verb1 a : trifle b : to spend too much effort on minor details
2 : to find fault constantly in a petty way : carp s, she wears out our patience —Virginia Woolf>
3 : gnawtransitive verb: to give stingily or in tiny portions


According to Urban Dictionary:


niggles39 up, 10 down




noun. reffering to a black person's nipples
Damn! That girl must have some huge niggles.


That, sir, is crass. That being said, Andrew of the Great Juno Debate keeps cruelly texting me pictures of the pug he's currently cuddling with, and part of me really hopes its name is Niggles.

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And the fact that it's a black pug has nothing do with it.

Queer Abby,

My boyfriend and I have been together since Jan/Feb, a snopocalypse romance. We were friends first. This whole relationship came out of the blue, and got hot and heavy pretty fast. He's incredible and smart, we have so much fun together, etc. Long story short, I'm falling in love with him.


Before we started dating, he applied to grad school. He got accepted (of course, because he's wonderful) to a school halfway across the country (ugg). He seems pretty confused about the whole idea of going to school. He's not sure it's what he wants to do, or will help him do what he wants, etc. But, with time he seems to becoming more interested in going.


My problem is pretty obvious: I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO. Duh. I want him to stay here. But, I feel like I'm being completely selfish. I want him here, because I want to be with him. I've done a long distance relationship before (DC-NY) and that ended pretty uncomfortably. I am definitely not interested in doing a LDR again. I know he loves this city, and that he's pretty damn fond of me. Plus if he's already unsure of going then....ugh. See, selfish.


I feel wrong asking him to stay for me. Particularly because we've only been together a few months. I don't know where this relationship is going. He's a bit older than me (which totally freaked me out at first, but that just seems silly now). But we are in different places in our lives. I've been out of school for just a year, he's been out long enough to consider a drastic career shift and another degree. Then again, who the eff cares where the relationship is going because everyday with him is an awesome adventure.


My roommate says that it's not fair to him to not tell him that I want him to stay. I think that it's not fair for me to ask him to pass up this opportunity and stay here with little old me. Clearly, we have to have a conversation. I just don't know how to start it, and how not to come off whiny girl asking him to put off his (maybe) dreams for her.


Help!

Selfish Sally?


Short answer: Ask this guy what he thinks he's going to do then say you really like him and hope he decides to stick around, but you'd understand and wouldn't hold it again him if he decides to go.

Long Answer: It’s not selfish of you to want him to stay. It’s not even selfish to tell him you feel that way. It is, however, selfish to ask or expect him to stay here for you. If you want someone around because of the way they make you feel, that isn’t genuine care and respect. You should enable and encourage them to choose a path that’s best and most fulfilling for them


Now, personally, I tend to think people make better decisions when they have all the facts. However, if he hasn’t asked for your opinion, you aren’t obligated to give it to him. BUT, if knowing he has all the information will help you trust and support whatever he decides, you should totally tell him how you feel about it.


Just strike up the conversation by asking him what he thinks he’s going to do. If he says stay, then say, “I was hoping you’d say that.” If he says go, say, "Bummer, I wish we had had more time together, but I’m glad we get to hang out in the meantime" (i.e.- don’t try to guilt him or make him feel bad). And if he says, "I have no idea"?…. well I would say, "grad school sucks and it’s expensive; don’t go unless you really know what you want to get out of it." Buuuuuut, you can’t say that. So, in that case, you need to say something more along the lines of, “well, keep me posted ‘cause I need to know whether to order a case of champagne or a case of whiskey for the month of September.”


Ooo! Ooo! I was watching an episode of Party Down last night where Henry was thinking about leaving LA to move back in back with his parents and Casey didn't want him to (because she's obvs in love with him), but she was too proud to ask him to stay. But then in a comical and round-about way, Henry admitted that if she wanted him to stay, all she had to do was ask him to and he totally would. So she was like, I hope you stay. And he did.


But then in the next episode, she took a 6-month stand-up gig on a cruise ship and totally broke Henry's heart.


So. I guess the moral of the story is that Party Down is a really, really good show.


...I might be drunker than I had originally led on.


You're welcome.

22 comments:

Stela James said...

Informative Post.

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2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Hey thanks.

Andi said...

OMG, you referenced Party Down. I have attempted Party Down references, and they always fail miserably. I don't understand why people don't spend more time getting to know the brilliance that is Party Down. Thank you, Meg. Thank you.

Rammi said...

I'm still sad that they cancelled Party Down.

Anonymous said...

I am so getting a beta fish named niggles.

Fear and Loathing in the Office said...

Abby-thanks for the advice. Very well thought through, and I've already started to work on a) looking for jobs and b) doing things I want to do for myself. You're amazing.

but Meggles--your slow clap and admiration made my day. you have no idea. Thanks for the recognition.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

No. Thank you for being an emotional warrior. Thank you.

Ashley said...

YES - I love this feature

"Mike" said...

Fear and Loathing in the Office is TOTALLY the ESPN intern Steve Phillips was banging prior to Brooke Hundley, wasn't she?

JamaLee said...

Party Down is one fucking great show. Thanks for reminding me of your awesomeness Meghan.

Anonymous said...

"A guy who dates his subordinate then moves on to someone who's basically a post-pubescent child most likely needs to constantly feel in charge or looked up to in order to feel good about himself."

I used to date my boss (who was several years older than me), and when he cut it off to date an even younger girl who had no personality and didn't look so great, I was totally lost. It took several months and a LOT of angsty journaling to get over it. I wish someone had said that to me -- it makes so much sense.

Jules said...

Once again I'm in awe of QA's advice skills. Think I might be needing them kinda soon...

Meg, I just watched that episode of Party Down last week! Netflix instant watch owns me.

Also, sorr about the blag (panel). I'm so glad you came out to Ben's afterwards! I told my friend Ellen about the St. John's chick (E's an alum) and she's all in a tizzy trying to figure out which recent grad it was. Love it.

Jules said...

Once again I'm in awe of QA's advice skills. Think I might be needing them kinda soon...

Meg, I just watched that episode of Party Down last week! Netflix instant watch owns me.

Also, sorr about the blag (panel). I'm so glad you came out to Ben's afterwards! I told my friend Ellen about the St. John's chick (E's an alum) and she's all in a tizzy trying to figure out which recent grad it was. Love it.

Katie said...

Thanks for reminding me how sad I am that they cancelled Party Down. Although since Adam Scott wasn't going to come back for more than 3 episodes, it wouldn't have been as good. But still. Sadness. I hpoe they leave it on netflix instant watch forever.

Anonymous said...

woop woop its brand new no post tuesday!

Anonymous said...

NPT sux

The Honest Chef said...

this blog is hilarious! love it! (especially the niggles part)

Rosalyn said...

This week, we are all Ron-desecrating-an-American-flag.

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