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With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays looming large, I can already feel myself getting down in the dumps. Every year, I just get overwhelmed by it all — the gifts, the stress, the pressure to do huge gatherings and act like I’m enjoying myself when I’m not. Our holiday family get-togethers when I was growing up were generally awful, and I don’t even have any family now worth trying to celebrate with. I appreciate the friends I have who want me to join in with them, but I usually feel even worse when all their happy-smiley-supportive relatives show up as well. Is it wrong for me to want to lock myself away from all this goddamned holiday happiness?
— Bah, Humbug!
If the holidays get you down, perhaps you should think about going away. It’s not wrong to want to be alone for the holidays, but locking yourself away sounds like a form of escapism that’s not much fun. Also, if the holidays hold such bad memories for you, eventually you need to deal with that so as to not live that language for the rest of your life. If you confront the specific instances from your past that are such a drag, you can put them to rest forever, and the heart of this holiday problem will finally be fixed. Honey, I know, I never got Malibu Barbie either. Damned G.I. Joe — you know how hard that bitch was to dress up for tea parties?
Is it true that eating yogurt can make a person’s “love juices” taste better?
— Dairy Queen
Honestly, I’ve never heard that. Come to think of it, though, I once had an acquaintance who dated a manager of a Baskin-Robbins, and it seems he was always bringing home ice cream from work. I never did quite understand why his nickname was “33 Flavors,” so maybe you’re on to something. Then again, it could be like oysters — if you believe it’ll work, it just may. Personally, I’d rather rim my mother than eat a container of yogurt, but if it works for you, have at it.
I’m 23, just moved here from California, and I don’t know anybody. I would really like to get to know people, but I’m really not at home in clubs. Where can I go to meet guys my own age? I am single and really feel lonely and out of place. Please help if you can.
— New and Lonely in Alexandria
Okay, everyone, all together now: Awwwwwww! Most of us have been exactly where you are at some point — new to the Washington area and a little intimidated by it all. You can meet people in a variety of places — the gym, at church, in social groups and organizations, and yes, even clubs. You just have to put on a brave face, take the first step, and get out of the house. Start, perhaps, with a particular hobby you enjoy and seek out others into the same thing. This is one of those places where no matter how obscure your interests are, there’s a group for it. Although I did recently hear that the local chapter of Gays Who Like to Crochet While Listening to Hall and Oates Records (GWLCWLH&OR) had to disband after a particularly harsh membership slump. You know, the economy and all. Sorry, sugar. But rest assured, the only person you’ll ever meet by staying home is the postman. And trust me, he doesn’t always ring twice.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My boyfriend and I have been dating on and off for a few years. I lost my job several months ago and recently moved in with him. He is emotionally and physically abusive, but I can’t afford to move. I think I love him, but this relationship is horrible. What do I do?
— Abused Rent
Leave that bitch today! It is never okay to be abused, regardless of your financial situation. Love does not take the form of abuse, ever! Turn to your friends, family, or community outreach programs for assistance. (I recommend the Brother, Help Thyself 24-Hour Help Line at 202-347-2246.) The longer you stay, the greater danger you put yourself in. Abuse is a control issue and behavior pattern, neither of which you’re going to be able to stop or change. Leave while you can still walk away from this situation.
I am in my mid-20s and have been dating my boyfriend very seriously for two-and-a-half years. Recently I have been faced with a dilemma. Even though I love him very much and want to be with him, I see us taking very different paths. He seems to be obsessed with the “circuit scene” and getting high all the time. I feel like I’ve “been there, done that” and want to move away from that whole scene. Every time I want to talk to him about it, he gets defensive and we end up fighting. Please help. How do I keep my boyfriend that I love and at the same time keep my brain cells?
— Partied Out
Compromise is the key to every good relationship. If your boyfriend is unwilling or unable to compromise, then how much does he love you? There is nothing wrong with going out, if that’s what you both enjoy. However, everything must be done in moderation. If the only way you can have fun is by going out, then a problem has been created. People grow in different stages. Keep in mind that you may not be able to reach a compromise. Getting high all the time speaks to a larger problem of escape. What he is escaping from may be the issue you need to address. If he is addicted to the drugs, remember it’s a disease and should be treated as such. Help him with gentle, but firm, love.
During sexplay and pillow talk, my boyfriend often says he loves my big, fat dick. Thing is, I’m pretty average and his cock is obviously much bigger than mine. It’s starting to bother me that he keeps calling attention to this inequity. Should I say something to him or am I being too sensitive?
— Advocating Accurate Pillow Talk
If it bothers you, say something. Bear in mind, however, that he may be describing your penis in larger terms to put you at ease. And it may very well be large to him — after all, he’s not fucking himself, now is he? If it keeps him happy you have nothing to be sensitive about. You should also remember one of Miss Lena’s rules to live by: If you want to keep someone quiet in the bedroom, put something in his mouth.
Happy Halloween, my little hobgoblins! Enjoy your tricks and treats safely — and be sure to let me know whenever there’s something on your mind you need help with. Send your questions to email@example.com.