Fall is here, and an incoming class of whiners and martyrs has arrived in magazine and newspaper advice columns for us to sort and rank. In this week’s installment of Other People’s Problems, we trade summer’s bridezillas and vacations-from-hell for colder-weather concerns: education, professionalism, fashion. First up: Not even the new mens-only section of the Coach store can warm this woman up to her husband’s man purse.
Most Misunderstood Mancessory, Dear Prudence
It’s all fun and fashion until it’s your man’s man purse.
My husband is a wonderful man … But not long ago he decided to start carrying a purse (a very feminine looking and expensive Coach purse!). He says it’s so much more convenient than trying to stuff everything he has to carry on him into his pockets. And there are a number of things he has to have on him at all times, like his inhaler for his asthma, some medications, and blood testing kit (he’s also diabetic) in addition to the everyday things like his keys, cellphone and wallet. I wouldn’t care about the purse (I actually agree that it’s much more convenient) except for all the strange looks we get. We live in an area that isn’t exactly known for its tolerant people, and while I’m more than confident that my husband is definitely not gay, I’m afraid that, judging from the icy glares directed at us, a lot of people get the wrong idea.
Best Harbinger of the “End of Men,” Ask Anything
Skipping the doctor to play video games is definitely an evolutionary disadvantage.
He has been irresponsible for quite some time, and his lack of maturity seems to be growing. He loves video games and will spend hours enjoying them. While I also enjoy gaming, I limit my time doing it so that I can accomplish things like cleaning, cooking, taking care of our pets, working, writing and visiting friends. My husband will, if left to his own devices (i.e., no prodding or prompting from me), sit at the computer all day. Usually, this does not cause many problems for me other than the mounting feelings of resentment at having to handle everything at home, but today he neglected to go to a meeting necessary to continue the processing of his application for assistance with his medical issues. I called him from my work to see how the meeting went and his vague responses added to the sound of his video game in the background let me know that he had not, in fact, gone. When I asked again, he admitted that he had not gone because he did not feel like it.
Most Likely to Inspire a True Crime Book, Dear Prudence
Letter writer’s brother-in-law is criminally creepy.
My husband travels frequently on business and encouraged me to invite his brother over if I ever felt lonely. He also told his brother to “watch out for me.” One night I caught his brother peering in my bedroom window. He told my husband that he thought he heard me cry out and wanted to make sure I was OK. A few weeks ago, he showed up in the middle of the night and said he wanted to make sure I was alone. The final straw came last night, when I was showering. I turned around, and there was my brother-in-law! He claimed he hadn’t known I was home and my husband told him where to find our hide-a-key.
Best Partners in Crime, Dear Prudence
Bonnie and Clyde, meet “Laura” and “David.”
We are friends with a couple who both have successful careers but they drive me a little crazy. “David” was accepted to medical school but dropped out to get an MBA, not an M.D. “Laura” went to law school, but didn’t take the bar. David tells everyone he’s a doctor but doesn’t practice, and Laura says she’s a lawyer. Every so often Laura will say to people, “Why don’t you ask David about your son’s illness, he’s a doctor.”
Another Tragic Consequence of High Tuition Costs, Dear Abby
The cost of an Ivy League education is tearing American families apart.
Our son, an honors student, was accepted to a prestigious Ivy League school. However, the amount of tuition was so exorbitant that the burden on our family would have been financially devastating. Since the day I made the call to turn down the university’s offer, my wife, “Jenna,” has refused to touch me or respond to me in any way. She talks to me rarely and has refused to make love for more than three years.
Most Half-Hearted Declaration of Love, Dear Abby
Get her name tattooed on your body … illegibly.
I got married four months ago and we have no wedding rings. However, we do have our names tattooed on each other’s ring finger. His is not legible. Even though he got it touched up once, it still looks like a big blur. My tattoo is very clear and noticeable. All my friends think we need to wear wedding bands or something.
Best Redistribution of Wealth, The Ethicist.
Remember how your parents used to say panhandlers would “just spend the money on drugs and alcohol”?
I recently had a party and afterward had quite a few large bottles of leftover wine (they were opened and wouldn’t keep). There is a particular corner in my neighborhood where benign “drunkards” hang out and drink. They have done so for years, and everyone accepts this as part of our neighborhood. My question is, Should I drop this mother lode of wine off on their perch for them … or pour it down the drain…?
Best “Crazy” Girlfriend, Ask Anything
Is it stalking if you live together?
We’ve been together for a while now — like three years? — and the chemistry is still ridiculously intense. I still feel the same way I felt about him when we first got involved — nervous, thrilled, excited, impassioned. But this permanent(?) state of infatuation isn’t actually that pleasant. I don’t think I yet hit that comfortable, safe, secure warm-and-fuzzy stage of love. Instead, I feel insecure, jealous, obsessive. It’s like, “OMG is he going to call me? Does he still like me? OMG he’s so hot. Does he like someone else? Why hasn’t he texted back? OMG I have to see him” EVEN THOUGH WE LIVE TOGETHER.
Most Likely to Move to New York, Savage Love
If you can make it here, rural foot fetishist, you can get off however.
I have a fetish for sweaty, smelly, stinky female feet, but I don’t know how to approach strange women and ask them to fulfill my wishes. It sucks that the only way to maybe get what I want is to hire an escort or go to one of those foot parties that are always held in huge cities hundreds of miles away from where I live.
The Reason Doctors Wear Gloves, Ask E. Jean (Elle, October 2012)
Does the Hippocratic Oath say anything about sleeping with a patient or three?
I’m having an affair with my doctor. He presented himself as a single guy who did not want to commit. Later, I discovered he was married, but I continued to see him. A year passed and I realized he’d started another relationship besides those with his wife and me. Then, last month, I found out he had a fourth woman. He calls me his baby and swears he loves only me.
Most Unwitting Accomplice, Dear Margo
Here’s hoping the letter-writer e-mailed Wowowow from a public computer.
I am a college man whose cousin may be in a lot of trouble. He asked me to help him drive some big sacks of an unidentified substance out of state. He said we would have to drive absolutely within the speed limits because we could not afford to be stopped by the police. I of course asked what was in the sacks, but all he would say was, “It’s best you don’t know.” We made it to our destination, and the man on the receiving end looked really scruffy — unshaven and kind of like a gangster.
Best Reminder of How Miserable Being a Teenager Was, Dear Abby
This should tide you over until the Perks of Being a Wallflower movie comes out.
I really need some advice or I’m going to cry my eyes out. I’m a 14-year-old girl and I really like this guy at school. I’m shy, so instead of telling him, I drew a picture of him, wrote on the back that I like him and taped it to his locker so he could see it. I didn’t sign it. He thought it was weird and doesn’t know it’s me. He already has a girlfriend and she hates what I did. She says she thinks whoever did it is a stalker. I feel really stupid. I don’t know what to do now. I wasn’t trying to be creepy. I just wanted him to know how much I love him.