Hey-o, Queer Abby time! If you're a new reader, Queer Abby is our weekly advice column where you write in with your deepest, most personal questions and our resident advice guru, Amy, gives you good advice and Meg rambles on for a while nonsensically and more times than not, inappropriately hits on you. It grows on you like scabies.
At the beginning of the summer I started "seeing" a guy. Since then he has become my summer fling. We hangout. Go to movies. Go to the pool. Go to baseball games. Kick it with friends. Sleep over at each others houses. And of course have AMAZING sex. So as the summer is about to come to an end I have something I need you to weigh in on. Do I stay or do I go? Or really does he?
The whole reason he is summer fling is that hes not really dating material or should I say he doesnt have dating potential. Were just in two very different places in our lives. Hes 28, just starting undergrad and has all those collegy habits (smoking, drinking profusely, sleeping weird hours etc), and only has a part time job, which overall I commend him on (minus the collegey habits but I get it I was there once too) because hes getting his shit together. But I already have my shit together Im 25, have a very successful career, my own apartment and a masters degree.
On the flip side he treats me AMAZINGLY, better than most if not all of my ex-boyfriends. I mean how many guys do you know who just show up at your door step with a bagful of godiva chocolates because he knows its lady time. We really enjoy each others company. When we first began we had a talk about all this and how we’re in different places in our lives and well just roll with it and have fun together and not really define things and just go with how we feel. I mean the whole point of dating is to be with someone who has potential, and were not really sure if thats what we have, beyond having fun and amazing chemistry.
So now to the advice part: Becuase of the pluses do I over look the minuses and just stick with it? Perhaps it will develop into potential? Or do I just cut my losses, keep the chocolate and say sianarah?
Thanks for the help!!
To Summer Fling or Not to Summer Fling
Personally, it sounds like the pluses outweigh the minuses here, but that’s based on what’s important to me…. You need to figure out what’s most important to you.
Most people have a long, long list of ideal qualities they’d like to see in a partner, but at some point it’s better for everyone involved if you narrow that list down to the things that are most important to you. Otherwise, you run the risk of a) being forever unsatisfied (or fucking things up) with someone who’s awesome for you just because of a few short-falls that are relatively harmless in the grand scheme; or b) wasting a lot of time with someone who covers a lot of the list but falls short in ways that are total deal-breakers.
So think about the short list: the top 3-5 characteristics you need to see in a person you date. If this guy hits nearly all of them then you should definitely keep dating him—but you’ll need to also keep those qualities in mind, appreciate him for possessing them and stop looking for his faults… And, if you don’t think he hits most of them, then yea, maybe you should think about ending it…you deserve to be with someone you respect and view as an equal and he deserves someone that doesn’t think they’re better than him.
Are you kidding me? Is this even a real question? The answer is so obvious I'm almost embarrassed for you—tell him it's over. You need to sit him down and say the following, word for word:
"Look, you and I both know that this relationship is a giant waste of my time and yours. So you can keep your Academy Award winning wiener, and your positive attitude, and your menstrual chocolates, and your thoughtfulness, and your general concern for my well-being, and your free lobster buffets and our amazing chemistry and never call me again. Because I don't know if you've taken a break from doing my laundry and slipping cute notes into my lunch to go outside, but it is Autumn; the season of commitment. And I'd be crazy to want to commit to someone like you. Because you sleep in on weekends and pay for things in Camel Bucks. You like drinking games and think it's a quote, "buzzkill" to talk about Darfur at Trivia Night. You haven't even seen a single episode of PBS' Mystery!. Well, I'm sorry but I am 25-years-old. 25-fucking-years old. I mean, yeah, sure, maybe back when I was 24 I had all the time in the world to hang out with a "fun guy" who "legitimately cares about me" and has a tongue like a car wash, but I'm not 24 anymore. I'm 25. I have a Masters degree, a Ford Focus, and a FICO score of 770. Don't you get that? Does that even mean anything to you? Or are you too busy drinking a non-IPA beer and jamming with your friend on the harmonica to get that? (And by the way, I'm sorry, but that instrument is questionable at best. It's associated with hobos and Alanis Morissette; get a guitar.)
I'm sorry if this seems rough, but I just don't think you're dating material. Trust me, I wish you were. I wish we lived in an idealistic society where it's enough to date someone who you have chemistry with; someone who just wants to spend time with you and make you happy, but we don't. To make a relationship work, you need more than that. (And I'm not referring to a deeper connection. We have that; it's not helping) I'm talking about the holy trinity of love: maturity, fiscal responsibility, and at least eight hours of sleep a night. Because how am I supposed to trust you when you haven't even taken college-level biology yet? How are we supposed to have a serious conversation when you don't know the difference between a genotype and a phenotype? I mean, Christ, have you even built a terrarium out of an old Pepsi bottle before? Would you even know where to start??
This isn't going anywhere and we both know it. Yeah, maybe we could keep this charade going, but for what? Another two or so more years of fun and good sex until possibly getting married? What's the point of that? It's a joke. A sick, sick joke and I'm not laughing any more. So this is over. I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for. Which is a 'Family Guy' DVD, no doubt."
So say that, and then give him my number: 301-936-1212. Just kidding, that's the weather, but it could easily become my number when you dump him. Kthnx.
Dear Queer Abby,
This may not seem like a big question compared to the others that are probably asked but I need advice and I immediately thought of you and Meg (Hi!). Last friday I moved to college. I'm a freshmen in a college majoring in Graphic Design (I totally just added that because I know Meg was the same major and i secretly just want to be her. Well it's not so secret anymore.) The college is in PA and only about an hour and a half from my house back in MD. I thought everything would be fine. I'm not the one to get particularly homesick so I didn't think it would affect me this much. But boy was I wrong. I can't even explain how awful and homesick I feel! I miss my routine and my mom and dad and the familiarity of everything. I'm meeting the girls who live in my building and what not and when I'm with them I have tons of fun, but once I'm by myself or have a second to just think I freak out. I'm joining clubs but some of them don't start for awhile. It feels like I'm having panic attacks. My stomach hurts all the time and I'm full of anxiety and nerves.I can tell this whole thing is making my anxiety much much worse than it was before. Every morning when I wake up I just want to cry, and occasionally when my roommate is gone I do. I can't get through a phone call or email from my parents with out sobbing. Every evening before I go to bed I lay there and just think about how terrible I feel and home much miss my parents. I want to enjoy college, I really do! But I'm not sure I can until this awful helpless sinking feeling goes away. I feel like such a baby that I can't suck it up. Granted I've only been here about four or five days, but I feel like the feeling should be subsiding by now. I can't even begin to think what I'll do if it doesn't go away soon. I want to go home this weekend so bad but I think if I do I won't be able to push through these feelings. But at the same time I'm not sure if I can push through the terrible homesickness I have. So I ask you, what do I do?! When do you think I'll feel better and stop being such a ball of anxiety and emotional instability? HELP HELP HELP PLEASE.
-I have no witty name because I feel like I'm going to stop breathing/throw up every five seconds.
It’s perfectly normal to feel this way; it’s a major transition in your life in so many ways and you’re adjusting—which isn’t always easy. Nonetheless, you just have to trust it’ll get better and wait it out. It’s definitely going to take more than 5 days, but probably nearly as long as you think.
In the meantime, it’s totally ok to visit home every few weekends to ease into it if you need to, just don’t get in the habit of doing it all the time. For example, set a weekend to visit home within the first month and every time you start to freak out just remind yourself that you’re going back soon, take some deep breaths and start doing something that makes you happy/distracts you (i.e.- don’t just lay there spinning in circles about how unhappy you are)… Also, remember that your old friends and family are just a phone call away and there are TONS of other people at your school who are going through this exact same thing, so you’re not alone unless you want to be. And finally, when you’re laying down before bed, don’t think about what you’re missing from home; think about what you want your life to be like for the next four years and how you can make that happen…. Seriously, that’s way easier to do in college than at almost any other point in your life—take advantage.
I realize these things seem trite and will only work to some degree right now, but you’ll slip into a new routine, make better friends and want to stay there as many weekends as possible before you know it… If you’re still having a hard time mid-way through your second semester then write back, and if you’re still having MAJOR problems with anxiety in 45 days then go see a campus counselor. Still though, I’d wager you’ll start feeling a lot better within the next month or two.
BLESS YOUR HEART! I hate to repeat advice, especially when it is kind of trite, but, it gets easier. You can trust me because I've been pretty much exactly where you are right now. So, I guess my advice is to listen to my story, feel less alone and hopefully learn something. TENDER SHARING MOMENT!
I was Miserable with a capital M for the better part of my first semester at college. Miserable. I called my parents on the second day of school and was like, "COMMUTER STUDENT?! YES? NO? COMMUTABLE?" I came this close to transferring 9,000 times. I cried in the shower, I cried when I came home, I cried when I went back, I cried when I called home, I cried myself to sleep, my stomach hurt all the time, I was always anxious—I can not reiterate how miserable I was. But guess what? I thank Christ every day that my parents didn't let me come home. Because while I generally didn't love AU, I loved college. Me and Asher Roth. Just lovin' on college. Who would have thought?
But in those dark early days, I really didn't do myself any favors. Although I went to college like, .4 seconds away from where I grew up, it was an incredibly hard adjustment for me. Before going to college, I had lived in the same town, in the same house and gone to school with the same people since I was born. I had never had to move, I had never had to start over, and the thought of having to do so scared the shit out of me. Also, I was one of those freaks of nature who enjoyed high school and I didn't want a single thing to change, so I fought the college transition tooth and nail.
I had been convinced since freshman orientation earlier in the summer that coming to AU was a giant mistake. I can not express how horrible my freshman orientation experience was. All the guys I met were male Meeks and all the girls were mean and only wanted to talk about handbags and congressmen. My roommate for the night answered the door completely topless and called me a loser when I declined her offer to go watch "guys play frisbee on the quad." After she left the room, I called my mom and was like, "I. IMMEDIATELY. REGRET. THIS. DECISION." and made her stay on the phone with me until I feel asleep. (Oh, Diane McBlogger...the things you do for me.)
When I came back in the Fall, I obviously had a bad attitude. I mean, I kind of always have a bad attitude, but in this case, I had a really, really bad attitude. I hated everyone in my classes and was convinced I'd never be happy there. Because of this, I got my car from home and would leave pretty much every weekend to go to Frostburg, where Talia and Teresa went to school. While I had an ungodly amount of fun there and consider myself an honorary Bobcat, that was probably not the best decision. Because I didn't even give myself a chance to like school; I made up my mind that I was going to be miserable and that was that.
I really don't remember what the catalyst was, but one day I just kind of manned up and realized that I needed an attitude adjustment. I forced myself to stay and be happy. And luckily for me (because Christ knows how lazy I am), I didn't have to go too far to find friends. I lived on an all-female floor my freshman year, and while most of the girls could be described as "stereotypically AU," there was a small group of girls (who one of the "stereotypically AU" girls would later refer to me as, "The Misfits") who were right up my alley. They were weird, had dark and off-kilter senses of humor, and cared more about staging elaborate (and slightly racially insensitive?) faux bat mitzvahs than finding internships. They were Ex Co-Blogger Eddie, Helena, Ashleigh, and College Roommate Danielle. I don't really know what happened, but one day I was just like, "Hm. I think I'll stay this weekend and allow myself to be happy with these people." And I did. And I was. And I continue to be.
From there, making more friends and figuring out where I "fit in" was considerably easier. Because I didn't fit in, but I had this group of people who didn't fit in either so who really gave a shit? I'd bet dollars-to-donuts that these people are at your school too; you just have to be open to meeting them. And it might take a while to find them, but that's OK. You need to remind yourself of that.
I felt like such a freak of nature because all of my friends from high school (save for Jen, who had it significantly worse than me, bless her heart) loved college from day one and I didn't. I seriously thought there was something wrong with me. But when I opened up and allowed myself to be happy there, I totally got it. Yeah, it took me until late November/early December to feel comfortable, but in retrospect, that wasn't that long in the grand scheme of four years. So while right now I'm sure you're flipping out because you feel uncomfortable and haven't met anyone who you can see being friends with, remember that you haven't really been there for that long and it takes time. But it'll happen! I swear! I feel like if someone as socially retarded as I obviously am can go to the red-headed stepchild of Washington, DC schools and leave with amazing friends and four years of shenanigans, you'll be fine wherever you are. Just hang in there for a little longer.
And more practically speaking, I promise at the very least you'll become better friends with the kids in your design program as more time goes by. You can't go through something that emotionally and physically draining without bonding. It's like warfare and you're all in the trenches together. When I started AU's design program, I think there were two or three, full intro classes (with about 12 students per class) and by the time I graduated, there were nine of us. NINE. And those people were like family to me. Why? Because you stay up together all night, every night, working your ass off, just to go to class the next morning, get your shit torn apart (literally and figuratively) and do it all over again. At a certain point, you stop being competitive and just want a hug. It's a really nice point. You'll get there.
Hey QA (and Meg!) -
So after I read the recent letter about the bride who got totally burned by her MOH, I felt the need to ask for some similar (yet totally opposite) advice. You see, I just recently WAS the MOH for my best friend. BFF and I were inseperable during college and even after, despite moving the different cities, having different jobs, developing different interests...what-have-you! We would talk on the phone at least once a week to check in, catch up, giggle-fest and all that general LOLBFF4LYFE stuff. So of course I was over the moon PUMPED when she got engaged to her man and asked me to be her MOH. I instantly went into planning mode and for over a year devoted more time and money to her wedding (and corresponding shindigs) than I've honestly spent on anything for myself or anyone else that I know - EVER. Living four hours away from where all of her bridal-goodness was taking place, I took at least 4 vacation days from work, drove up and down the interstate like it was my job and was initially happy to do so. I went with her to shop for wedding dresses, to shop for bridesmaids dresses, to fittings, threw her a shower (which wasn't some rag-tag get together either...I ordered PRINTED invitations and in my book that deserves some respect!), threw her an out of town, weekend-long bachelorette party and fronted all of the money for hotel/transportation (which you KNOW some of those biatches who attended never paid me back in full for...) in addition to, you know, buying her shower gifts, wedding gifts AND purchasing the bridesmaids dress. I came into town days in advance of the wedding to help her with all of those last minute details. I wrote out a full fledged, from the heart, "she's the sister I never had" speech to give at the reception! And after it was all said and done, the rice was thrown, the honeymoon was over...I have barely received ONE iota of acknowledgement for the ways in which I completely and utterly devoted myself to her day for OVER A YEAR and I am fuming, boiling, about to explode angry.
Sure I got a "thanks, girl! You're totes the best!" a bridesmaid's gift (which the whole bridal party got) and a hug at the wedding. But I really don't think she understands the extent to which her expectations of what a MOH should be, really put me out. I didn't go to these lengths only because I thought it would be a good idea, but because SHE made it very clear that she wanted me to be highly involved. And, thinking that she'd do the same for me if the tables were turned, I happily obliged. But now that it is over, I am so burnt out on her and so mad, that I don't even want to answer the phone if she calls...which has only been once since the wedding. QA, I just feel so used! BFF doesn't have a job, and does have a hubby who just bought her a freakin' house...which is nice for her. But it makes me even angrier because I don't think she gets that I spent my OWN dollars and my OWN time on her...while she sat at home jobless (not because she can't find work, but because she doesn't want to) calling me during work hours to chat about all of the things she expected me to be taking care of. I don't need to be re-paid, I just need to hear "Woman, you treated this like it was your own wedding and I can't even tell you how much it meant to me. You juggled it all during a time when you were out-of-control busy with your own life and I LURVE you for it."
So the question is...do I say anything? If so, what? How do I keep from screaming, "HEY, UNGRATEFUL STEPFORD WIFE! YOU SUCK!" ?? I really don't want to lose the friendship but I'm questioning whether this was a one-time wedding crazed thing or if she is just going to be a leech-like friend forever, sucking me dry and never giving back in return. And if so, do I even want to continue that relationship?
- Totally planning to elope one day
Most advice columnists (well, at least Miss Manners) say that when you do something nice for someone, you shouldn’t be expecting anything in return; you should just do it out of the goodness of your heart because you want to see them happy... Ultimately, I agree with them on a lot of levels. You can only be so mad at her for the sacrifices you chose to make for her wedding. For example, if during-work-hours was a bad time for taking calls, you should’ve told her when a better time was and stuck to it; if you were concerned about money, you should have made the bridal party pay upfront, etc….
That said, however, I totally understand why you’re aggravated and I think your disappointment is warranted. The lack of recognition for the work you put in and how much it helped her out is bad on her entirely. Of course, maybe that means she sucks as a friend or maybe she just sucks at expressing gratitude, I have no way of knowing, but it does sounds like this was an isolated incident so I wouldn’t write her off just yet because of it.
Usually I’d advocate bringing it up with her but, unfortunately, I’m not sure saying something will do all that much good at this point. She’ll likely get defensive which will just piss you off more, and I doubt any expression of gratitude you have to ask for is going to make you feel much better. But obviously you know both of you better than I do though, so if you think I’m wrong on either of those points then go for it… Otherwise, I’d suggest just trying to think of this as paying it forward—pat yourself on the back, trust it will come back around and try to put the frustration behind you as best you can. (Of course, you may need to distance yourself from her a little while you’re trying to get to that point.) And if she ends up coming through in a big way when you need her, then bygones… if not, then yea, you may want to start reconsidering whether you want continuing the relationship again.
I swear to god, I was watching "Bridezillas" today and decided that when I get married, I want to go to Vegas with my dude, stay in a swanky luxury suite, spend a week being pampered, getting wasted and gambling, and then get married in a poofy gold lamé party dress by an Elvis impersonator. I genuinely think that's what would make me happy. And then, of course, we'll have a big party back home so everyone can share in our love (read: give us gifts. Expensive, expensive gifts.) Good. I'm glad that's settled. Labor Pains' Chris Parnell should hurry up and...meet me.
OH! And speaking of weddings and gold lamé, I have huge news! So while my sister never quite warmed up to the idea of me wearing Joan Collin's plunging gold lamé dress from "Dynasty" in her wedding, she and her fiance have agreed to let me wear vintage GOLD LAME EVENING GLOVES! I JUST BOUGHT THEM FROM ETSY! I don't want to say, "now I'm excited for their wedding" because that sounds selfish and horrible, but, NOW I'M SO EXCITED FOR THEIR WEDDING!!!!!!1 Look at them:
I'm wearing this dress:
PICTURE IT: SICILY! HAIR IN A FRENCH TWIST, 60'S CAT EYE EYE-MAKEUP, CHUNKY GOLD EARRINGS, BLACK STILETTOS, GOLD LAME EVENING GLOVES. I don't want to seem "cocky" or whatever...but I might masturbate to the vision of myself wearing that later tonight. A lot.
Me and my unbearable attractiveness aside, I have advice. I feel like you should let her know that you're peeved now, because if not, you're just going to stew and stew about it until you randomly blow up at her one day and there goes your friendship. At least if you tell her what's up now, you can say it thoughtfully and not so like, "I DID NICE THINGS FOR YOU AND YOU NEVER THANKED ME, YOU FUCKING CUNT!!!!" Because truthfully, she doesn't really owe you anything. The more I research what goes into being someone's MOH and what's expected of you, the more I understand that when you accept the MOH offer, you do so understanding how much work it involves. And you're cool with that, because it's an honor and it's nice to do nice things for the people you love.
But that being said, you don't come off like an asshole to me. If you think you deserved more kudos, you probably did. I just think there's a more diplomatic way of letting her know that you're pissed. EXAMPLE! I went balls out on my sister's bachelorette party invitations, because a.) It's my biz, b.) I love invitation design (FREELANCE HOLLER!!!1) and c.) I wanted my sister to feel special. I was really proud of the final product, but before I sent it, I made and sent her a really shitty fake one on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper with clip art and a god awful rhyming poem. Why? Because I'm an asshole who plays graphic design pranks on people. We had a good laugh about it, but I felt like it kind of stole the thunder from the real one I designed. So when we were together one day, I straight-up said, "I feel like the fake invitation upstaged the real one I made you. I hope you liked it, because I worked really hard making it for you." Of course, Becca was like, "Oh my god, I loved it! It was so good, blah blah blah" and all that shit I needed to hear because we're human and it feels good to be acknowledged.
So, what if you shoot her a casual email being like, "Hey, now that everything is said and done, I really hope your wedding and all of the events leading up to it were special, because I worked hard on everything and I want to make sure you're happy."? I'm sure she'll respond positively. It seems unlikely to me that your friend would purposely not acknowledge you and your hard work. She was probably just busy and stressed and up her own ass from the wedding. And if not, then, hey, at least you tried. Sometimes you just gotta call a spade a spade and a cunt a cunt. (T-SHIRT POSSIBILITY?!)
Got a question for Queer Abby? Shoot Amy and Meg a question at QueerAbby@2birds1blog.com ASAP!