Sex and gender at work, in bed, and on the street

Shorter advice columns: Cheating hearts, Valentines, and friends with benefits

February 9, 2011 - 03:35 PM
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Advice on love and your dead grandmother, just in time for Valentine's Day (Photo: Associated Press)

Truncating the week's advice columns:

Of course you want someone special to love you, sweet pea; about 68 percent of people do. [Dear Sugar]

A loving owner will stop the suffering of an end-of-life kitty. It is not heartless of you to deny your chronically unemployed father-in-law who has severe personality problems and isn't even that old. Your fiancee's insistence that you get married his way may help to illuminate why he is embarking on a third marriage. If you believe that the object of your affection is not a "nice clean girl" for posting suggestive photographs of herself on the Internet, it was not meant to be. Also, you may be an unqualified creep. The long, long football season induces a kind of madness in its fans. Do not allow your family to dictate how you deal with the pregnancy resulting from your rape. Limit visits with the in-laws who ignore their non-biological grandchild. Do not completely cut loose the 14-year-old daughter who finds your hiking vacations lame. It is acceptable to wear your dead grandmother's pajamas. [Dear Prudence]

The object of sending a handmade Valentine's Day card is to delight, not embarrass. Presuming to recognize the contents of a lady's womb is about as nosy and presumptive as one can get. In order to avoid discussing your 16-year-old daughter's relationship status, inform the nosy that "she has a lot of friends." [Miss Manners]

Marriage is not universally wonderful. You should disclose your history of molestation to your parents. It is entirely possible to receive a text message from a person outside your address book. In interpersonal relationships, the triangle is the most challenging dynamic. You should disclose your STD before—but not immediately before—you intend to have sex. Intentionally place yourself in a non-confrontational context. Feel free to disregard the Facebook advances of an acquaintance you would not like to "friend." Inform your friend that abusing her parents' disabled parking permits is beneath her. Place an unattended candle in the middle of the kitchen sink. If you would want to know if your husband were having an affair, then you are obligated to tell your friend that you saw her husband with another woman. The tightness of a pregnant woman's clothing is a matter of taste. [Ask Amy]

Your boyfriend's inability to maintain an erection is a combination of guilt, social embarrassment, and mistrust. Entering into a marriage out of a sense of duty will almost certainly end with you in a bathrobe.  [Miss Information]

A woman who cheated on her first husband with her current husband and is now cheating on her current husband with her high school sweetheart can get married, and Dan Savage can't. If you want to know if  your current friends-with-benefits relationship with the girlfriend who dumped you will work out, consider how you'll feel when she dumps you again. [Savage Love]


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