Payin’ it forward!

The first five (cinq) (cinco) (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
Totally ganked from Joy’s blog.
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. (No refunds… no exchanges!!!!)
2. What I create will be just for you, with love from me.
3. It’ll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. I may even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you!! Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange…or awesome…or lovely…or offensive!
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note/post of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to it.
7. Send your mailing address if you don’t live close to me! Feel free to email your mailing addy to hippo99 at velvet-c dot com
IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own note to pay this forward. and believe me, I’ll look. I don’t have a real job and I get bored easily so I have all the time in the world to stalk your ass!
Edited to add
Anywhere on the planet is just fine, I will mail it to you! If you live on the moon we can work something out. If you are a hippo, you win!

2 weeks

Okay, here I am, 2 weeks into the weaning off effexor program.
How’s it going?
Well, my sleep has been wonky screwed up. In an act of desperation on Friday night I took 2 vistaril and went to bed. Took another 3 hours to get to sleep. BUT once I did fall asleep I slept! I slept HARD! I woke up at about 5pm Saturday, David brought me my espresso and a banana. I was awake about an hour and then I crashed again. I woke up at about midnight starving, ate some peanut butter/yogurt/banana/cocoa puffs mixed together and went to sleep again.
Woke up at 10am Sunday morning feeling better.
On the other hand, I’m having some ‘fight or flight’ moments. These are actually a little nicer than anxiety attacks because they only last until I realize that there is no monster. I am suddenly FILLED with ‘RUN‘ sort like if a tiger just popped up! RUN!!!! These are really easy because my brain can see that there is no stimulus beyond the sudden flood of hormones.
Um…yeah, also I’m fucking irritable as hell and pretty much just want all of the noise to shut up. If you are going to make a noise or eat my ice cream or move suddenly or suggest even the most neutral of ideas I just might chew the skin from your body and slap you (not really…well, maybe! I mean really, don’t fuck with me!).
My dreams are even more vivid than before. That’s one thing I will miss about the effexor, I love those crazy vivid dreams.
plus, listlessness, scatterbrain, a serious need to protect the ice cream, anxiety about leaving the house, total absentmindedness
All in all, it’s not too bad at this point. The week of the crimson tide is on its way and really, any of these issues can easily be attributed to that.
Monday Morning Addition:
Yesterday was not a great day. Irritability and anxiety were very high. I felt as though my nerves were closer to the surface than usual. I could not deal with anything! David had asked me to go to bar trivia with him. I’d agreed to go, but once the time came, I just couldn’t. It was too too much. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have him? His patience is STUNNING to me; it is actually quite humbling at times. It is this patience that becomes my incentive. How could I not want to be 100% for the person he loves so much? I mean if he’s willing to put up with this much for this long, then she must be pretty awesome. I want to go back to being that awesome person again.

Hello BBC

The BBC’s top 100 books, which have you read?
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen I really don’t like Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte Or charlotte bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien David read it to me at night, I’m counting it
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams currently re-reading
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo. finally
I’ve only read 45 (i think, there’s been a lot of beer. hard to count things.) what about you?

my brain is the fundament in my skull

This is not news related at all. Also, it should not contain any ranting (but I can’t guarantee this since I tangent sometimes).
I’ve been on Effexor since late 2006. Started at the standard 37.5mg dose and worked myself up up up to 375mg a day. Now, depending on who you talk to this dose is either normal or astronomical. As it was explained to me, up to 200mg Effexor acts as an SSRI and beyond 200mg begins to act as an SNRI. We went with Effexor for a couple reasons. The first was that I had worked my way through a gamut of SSRIs with little luck. At best they were ineffective, but at their worst they crippled me with anxiety and fear. Also, as a teenager I’d gone through the same horrifying trial and error with SSRIs and eventually found relief with tricyclics. Effexor seems to work similarly to the tricyclics but with far fewer side effects (like not sleeping for 7 days straight and buzzing like a beehive the whole time). The ironic thing is that the side effects of Effexor are pretty intense when you start up, just not AS intense as nortriptyline. Effexor was my last ‘low side-effect’ option. Anyone who has ever been on Effexor knows the side effects and knows that if they are considered relatively low, then everything else must be pretty fucking harsh.
In addition to the 375mg of Effexor, I also take 300mg of Wellbutrin which acts as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. In lay terms, Wellbutrin is like prescription meth…well, except you get to keep all your teeth and the pharmacy isn’t under constant threat of blowing up. Nice.
Sometimes the combination of Effexor and Wellbutrin is called the California Rocket Fuel! Though it depends, CRF seems to refer to a lot of Effexor +one drug combos.
So why am I gatting all pharmaceutical on your asses? The time has come to say farewell to the Effexor. I did not come to this decision lightly or without a great deal of research and thought. Straight up, I want to say that I love Effexor. For all the crazy side effects and issues that I had with it, the fact is that it saved my life. In my head I have a running list of all the nearby bridges and the heights of all the guard rails on the bridges. Before Effexor I also had some very solid and well thought out plans regarding those guard rail heights. I’m not writing this to be all emo or whatever. I had the plan, it was painful and terrifying, but I was entirely unable to see any other options. It wasn’t even about finding a different option. I had accepted it as a matter of course, much in the same way one would accept aging or flu season.
Taking the Effexor was like turning on a light in a mineshaft. I was stunned to see edges and outlines and contours. Where once there was formless pitch, now there was detail and depth and shape. It wasn’t a perfect light, of course, and it took a long time to make it bright enough. And of course there were the days of constant trembling, the brain zaps, the nausea, the super vivid dreams and so on.
But, all that aside, it worked and I could feel it working so I endured.
So why am I choosing to leave it all behind? Hmmmm, a few things…First off, I don’t have medical insurance anymore. To buy Effexor in the states it runs be about $400 a month, to buy it from Canada it costs about $400 for roughly 70 days. Did you know it was illegal to purchase drugs from other countries even with a prescription? Yeah, I didn’t either. It seems that this is one of those things that no one is prosecuting right now, and for good reason, but there have been rumblings from the conservative sides that buying pharma from the other side of the border is unAmerican and unpatriotic. I do not want to rant, but I will say that my survival trumps my patriotism.
The other reason is less concrete and more abstract. I’m not who I was. David had mentioned this a few times and my stock response was something along the lines of, “If I was still who I was then I would not be anybody now”. As true as that might have been, I don’t think that is the case now. But what does that mean? What have I become? I constantly feel like I am thinking with only half my brain switched on. I struggle with my vocabulary and find myself using the thesaurus all the time trying to find that ONE word that is on the tip of my tongue. I am too content to stay in the safety of the cocoon I have made in my home. Where once David and I used to go out all the time, go hiking, go to cafes, go walk around the lake, go SOMEWHERE, I find myself preferring not to. When was the last time I held a dinner party or hosted a holiday? Christmas 2005?
And there are other things that are even more abstract, ways in which I am not who I was, but the descriptions elude me and to be perfectly honest, I do not think they are easily described with words. You’re just going to have to trust me on this (ha! says the crazy person!)
I am well aware of the awful side effects of going off the Effexor. With that in mind, Lisa helped me come up with a plan that allows me to drop approximately 19mg a week. This involves breaking open the capsules and counting out the little grains inside. There are 250 little grains in a 75mg pill and 500 in the 150mg and these grains are TINY. So counting is a pain, but I do it.
I’m halfway through my second week. I’ve experienced a bit of nausea and dizziness and occasionally some crabbiness (but how could one tell if it was Effexor related or just me being crabby?). I get tired but don’t sleep well, but this could just be seasonal insomnia, the kind I get as the weather and the clocks and the day lengths change. It seems that if I had a parietal eye I could alleviate this, but I don’t have one. Yet.
My plan is to occasionally write about the effects of coming off Effexor over time. I’ve gleaned a lot of info off the web from people doing similar things and I hope to add to it. Maybe by sharing this I can help someone else trying to make the decision, and I accept that the help might be a great big “oh shit no! I’m not doing something like that! She’s a nut job!”
And now I am off to get my hair done and be awesome.
or something.

Dear Auntie BubboPants

Welcome back, my 12 pound pasta hounds! How are you this fine fine day? It’s been such a peculiar week for the good Auntie, but all in all she is optimistic about it all!
So let’s see if we can spread that optimism around, shall we?


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
I’m wondering if I should keep trying with my marriage or not. I remarried for the 2nd time in 2004, after being divorced for 18 yrs. My 19 yr. old daughter moved in too. Last March, 2008, I found out my husband had a My Space account, which he says he doesn’t know how he got it (it just appeared one day). In this My Space account, one of his “friends” is his ex-wife, who he declares to “hate”.
When I confronted him with my find, he said he knew I was right, and had already decided to tell her he couldn’t continue talking to her as it might hurt our marriage. I waited a couple of days, then went onto his My Space page and read his emails to and from his ex. He told her that I had found out they were talking and now he was going to have to start deleting all their emails so I wouldn’t see them. They discuss Me, my daughter, and everything about what’s going on in his and my daily life. He even typed word for word, some medical findings of mine. I’ve dropped hints, such as a “friend of mine found out her husband was talking to a women that the wife wasn’t also a friend of, and what I thought of it and how it would destroy the marriage if the husband didn’t stop, but he always says things like, “yeah, what a jerk, he shouldn’t be doing that..etc”, but he still continues to talk to his ex and discuss our life with her.
I’m fed up and have decided to put money away so my daughter and I can move out, hopefully, this Spring/Summer. Am I wrong? Should I still try? I’m just so DONE with the lying. I doubt I’ll ever be able to trust him again, especially whenever he gets on the computer.

Dear Distrustful,
I’m a firm believer that all people need a certain amount of privacy. I don’t read David’s emails and he does not read mine, etc. But this privacy comes from a place of trust. I don’t read David’s emails and I don’t even have the urge to read them because I trust him and understand that maybe he wants to talk about things that he doesn’t want to share with me. That’s cool. I am the same way. Sometimes I like or need to talk about things that I don’t want to share with him. Not necessarily things that concern him or our relationship, just things that are personal or hard to explain or need advice from someone who is not beholden to me.
I completely believe that everyone deserves a bit of privacy. But that privacy is not a place to be unscrupulous or duplicitous! and that privacy exists in a place of trust. It is a sacred trust between two people. It is a privilege that comes from an integral place in the relationship. Violating that trust is violating the integrity of the relationship.
So, that’s what we have here, a violation of the integrity of your relationship. Why he has chosen to do this, I can’t answer. MySpace accounts don’t just pop up out of nowhere. There is not magical MySpace fairy that creates accounts for people and then populates them with ex spouses. So, yeah, that was a pretty lame response on his part and definitely an indicator of how he views the ideas of openness and trust and privacy.
Then he lied again by saying he would not talk to his ex anymore. He continued to talk to his ex. Not only did he violate the trust by lying to you, he also violated the more sacred idea that you do NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WITH YOUR EX!! (relatedly, people, please don’t share intimate details of your ex with your current partner. it’s childish and crass.)
I’m not particularly keen on the idea of reading his emails and then dropping hints, but you did it and you had a pretty solid reason for doing it. You need to come clean about that.
As for the question of should you keep trying? Each person in a relationship is 100% responsible for the success of that relationship. It would only be worth it to keep trying if your husband was truly willing to start being 100% responsible. Otherwise, you’ll only be carrying a burden that will eventually drop you to your knees.
Come clean about what you know. Be honest about how you feel. Discuss expectations and trust. You can bring up the violations of trust without being accusatory and I highly suggest you think about that before you sit down to discuss this. Accusations and ultimatums come to nothing in the end. If you have decided that you are not willing to put any more effort into the relationship, be clear about that as well. I am not saying you have to give him any ‘chances’, I’m just saying that everything needs to be put on the table so that things can be dealt with calmly and maturely.


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
I wrote to you several weeks ago about a baking question because you give such great advice and I wanted to share in the fun, even though I thought I would never have any type of relationship issue to write in about.
Well a bomb dropped in my life yesterday and I’m not sure who to turn to, so I thought I’d take another stab and writing in for advice.
Yesterday my best friend came to visit me for the day. She seemed really upset and after about 20 minutes she broke down and told me that she had heard from a very reliable source that my boyfriend had cheated on me while I was out of town (we lived on two different continents up until about six weeks ago). She said it took her so much by surprise and seemed so out or character for my boyfriend that she originally laughed, but her source said she was dead serious.
I called my boyfriend almost immediately to see what was going on and after relaying the story, he confirmed that it was true. In May he had gotten drunk with some friends and a waitress at a restaurant across the street from his condo ended up spending the night with him. Her version says they slep together, he says they made out, but at this point I don’t know who to believe.
Auntie, I have only been back in this area for about six weeks and am working hard trying to find a job and a place to live and I am staying with my boyfriend until I get settled somewhere. Last night we had a long talk about his cheating and also a lot of other things and I thought I felt better, but I ended up sleeping on the couch (I can’t even go into the bedroom) and feel just as physically sick as I did when the news was broken to me yesterday.
I normally kick a cheating boyfriend to the curb immediately, but I want to work things out with this one. I feel like this was an enormous betrayal that will take a long time to work through, but I also feel that the breach was a one-time thing that I really don’t forsee happening again. What I’m not sure of is if this willingness to work things out is based on the fact that he is providing for my room and boarding until I get on my feet. Honestly, I am in such a confused fog right now I don’t have any idea how to move forward.
Thank you for being there for all of us slightly-broken chicken butts.

Dear Slightly Broken Chicken Butt,
I put this letter after the one above intentionally. In the previous letter, the writer talks about a situation in which she has been pushed beyond the breaking point. In your letter, you have also had your trust violated, but you do not feel this is beyond the breaking point.
This is something I want to talk about. When you write an advice column you have to know that there is no single answer that works for all similar situations. There are few universal truths when it comes to humans, we are so dynamic and fluid. The minutia of every situation gets experienced and cataloged differently. What is “too much” for one person could be “workable” to another. What was “workable” 5 years ago might become “too much” now with a different partner.
You know your partner better than I do. The relationship can certainly be saved if both of you are willing to commit 100% to it. For any relationship to move forward each partner has to accept complete responsibility for their actions and their choices regardless of how much alcohol they consumed or how lonely they are! And you need to determine where you are in terms of your reasons for this relationship and your reasons for saving it. If you do truly love him and want it to work out, that’s cool. If you are just doing it because you need a place to stay, that may or may not be cool depending on how your boyfriend feels about it (since, of course, you are going to be very open and honest about it, right? RIGHT!).
Think, ponder, mull and noodle over this and then together work out what needs to be done. Just about anything can be fixed if both people want to fix it.


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
What to do when you can’t just kill her?
My husband (of 3.5 years) and I are coming out of a rough patch in our relationship. Many factors were involved and blah blah blah, but one of the biggest problems was his platonic but flirtatious crush on a former coworker.
My husband and I are both 31. This girl is 22, beautiful, and completely insane. No, really, she’s been diagnosed with a severe mental illness that my hubby didn’t know about until he’d already been sucked in. She’s a master manipulator, and she knows that the right buttons to push with my husband are a) act needy and b) make him feel guilty. She’s been appealing to both by telling him things like “I don’t have any friends other than you” (she moved here from across the country to be with her boyfriend) and “I’ll just kill myself if I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
He did ultimately recognize this for what it was, and he found a new job, changed his cell phone number, and shut down his MySpace because those were her main ways of contacting him. But the one thing he couldn’t easily do was change his email address, and she’s been emailing him almost daily ever since. Her moods change wildly and without warning…she can go from “Oh I had the best day today!” to “No one loves me I’ll just go slit my wrists now” in a matter of moments. She finally piled on enough of the latter to make him guilty enough to email her back a couple weeks ago. He swears it was just the one message, that she doesn’t have any other way of contacting him, and that in fact she thinks he left town (and me).
He has asked me repeatedly not to contact or confront her, and I haven’t. Yet. But I am getting fed up and I want her out of our lives. I feel like we simply cannot move forward if she’s still contacting him. As much as I would really like to just beat her down, I know that’s not the answer. My next best idea is to contact her boyfriend. I don’t know if that’s actually a good idea, though. Clearly the girl needs help, and presumably the bf is the one in a position to help make that happen. I just don’t know how much (if anything) he knows about her relationship with my husband, and I don’t have a clue how he’d take it. He could just as easily wash his hands of her and then she’d REALLY lay the guilt on my husband, which would make things that much worse.
So, back to my original question: What’s a girl to do when homicide isn’t an option?
I really can’t think of anything clever to say here

Dear Irctoactsh,
What can you do? ignore. That’s it. Every email program comes with filters that allow the user to filter out certain messages when the mail is checked. I have a filter set up that takes every email that fits a specific criteria, marks them as ‘read’ and dumps them in the trash. I never see them, I almost never even know they exist. They don’t bounce back to the sender they just get trashed and are never seen.
Neither you nor your husband are are in any position to ‘help’ this girl. Any attempts on your part will only pull you deeper into the gluey mire. She’s been professionally diagnosed you say, so the people around her are aware of her issues.
For you and your husband to move forward you must live as though she does not exist. This is going to require a great amount of trust because your husband needs to block and never respond to her again and he needs to know that you trust him. You both need to work on this together and without secrets or reservations.
You cannot help her and ‘help’ may not be what she wants or needs right now. What you can do is work on your relationship. So do that instead.


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
I have a cousin my age who lives in Michigan currently. We used to be really close when we were little, even though for seven years her family lived in Singapore. We wrote letters and emails and included fun cards and presents and the sort of thing girls do with their pen-pal friends. Her mom sent lots of pictures of the family. When she moved back to the States, I got to see her on more holidays than usual and we kept in touch.
But gradually about two-three years ago, we began to lose contact. I was busy, she was busy, the letters stopped, so did the emails.
And so did the visits. I’m still not completely certain, but I think the main point was that her brother was arrested for marijuana possession, and her parents felt “ashamed”. They haven’t come down for any family holiday events in two years, I hardly know what they look like as the picture-sending has all but stopped. Now I haven’t seen my cousin in about a year and half, the last time being when I accidentally ran into them at our pool, while they were visiting their other family. They didn’t even call my grandparents to tell them they were in town.
I know the real reason behind the lost contact is between her parents and my grandparents, but I can’t help but feel guilty. I want to send her a postcard or a letter, but I’m afraid that she won’t reply. Mostly, I want my cousin as my friend again and our family feud to be put out of the way. I know the latter is very very unlikely, but is the former still possible?
~The Distant Cousin

Dear TDC,
What would you lose if you sent the postcard and she didn’t reply? You’d be out the cost of the postcard and out the cost of the stamp. You’d still be out those things if she did reply.
So send the postcard already! For whatever issues she may have going on right now, the offer of friendship is rarely unwelcome.


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
I am a sophomore in college. Now I’m going to go ahead and generalize that I am not an average college kid. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I’m in a stable longterm relationship and I do not party (in the sense of going out to bars and partying till 4am and throwing up on the floor…I prefer puzzles because I’m just a little bit of a loser) and I am perfectly happy with my chosen life.
Recently, my bestest bestest bestest friend in the whole wide world of 12+ years wrote me a facebook message telling me that she did not want to be friends. Neither of us are big on phone calls, so we never really called each other up to talk about life unless major problems happened, but we’re like two peas in a pod. She wrote to me telling me that I was boring and never wanted to have fun. I had told her a few days earlier that I didn’t want to go into the city and go clubbing with her because I really didn’t find that fun. She said my idea of fun is a tupperware party.
She ended our friendship over facebook, and even though I tried everything to talk to her, I haven’t heard from her in over 6 months. I am crushed. I really love my BFF and she just turned around an dumped me. I don’t understand why but it hurts so much. It’s obvious to me now that she really doesn’t want to be friends. How should I deal with this and get over her?

Dear Dumped,
That sucks, that truly truly sucks. Readers, look at this! If you are not happy with a friend and do not want to be friends anymore, this is a bright shining example of how not to do it!
People grow up, grow apart. It’s the rare relationship that survives from childhood through adulthood. You are not who you were in 2nd grade and neither is she. It hurts sometimes to have to realize that and accept it, but accept it we must because we cannot make people like us! We cannot make people not change.
You deal with and get over her the way you deal with and get over any broken relationship. You grieve for the loss of what you had, you acknowledge the pain and the brand new empty space. You treat the woulds tenderly and you take care of your needs. Then one day, you find it does not hurt so much. Then on another day you bundle up that last bit of pain and concern and you throw it on out to the universe, give up ownership and let it go. You can always miss her and you can always have fond memories, but do not let it eat away at you. Accept the grief, accept the pain, then accept the healing. It will make you stronger.


Dear Auntie BubboPants,
My boyfriend of three-and-a-half-years has pretty much stopped putting an effort towards looking nice for me. For the past year-and-a-half we have had a long distance relationship and when we do get the chance to see each other (anywhere from twice a month to once every two months, depending on our schedules) I get excited enough to wear nice jeans and a non-tshirt top, wear makeup, tweeze my eyebrows, etc. because seeing each other feels like a special occasion. My loving boyfriend, on the other hand, wears ripped jeans, tshirts with holes in them, AND sometimes will delay his shower until right before we’re ready to go somewhere.
The part that gets to me is that when he’s going to work or out with his buddies, he’ll shower, gel up his hair, wear a button-down, and EVEN PUT ON COLOGNE.
I’m not concerned about cheating or anything silly like that; I’m just kind of peeved that he doesn’t feel like he has to, or wants to, look/smell nice for me anymore. Am I being stupid? Does this usually happen after dating for so long? Should I stop wasting my time on how I look for him? Is there anything I can say that will make him want to make an effort (without causing a fight)?
Thanks, Auntie BubboPants,
~ Done With Stinky Boyfriends

Dear DWSB,
The other day I was sitting on the floor working on a project. I was wearing a sundress with a t-shirt under it and at some point had added a pair of jeans to the ensemble. My hair was sticking out in 16 unintended directions. Basically, I looked like a mess. David looked at me and said, “we could take you down right now and get you approved for any government assistance available! You look insane!”
It was funny and it was true. Now that I don’t go to a job and sometimes will go days without leaving the house I let some things go. This letter was a reminder to me that David is just as important, if not more important, than my friends or a job. So, yeah, I needed that little reminder.
What can you say that won’t cause a fight? Well, I find that accusations, ultimatums and anger are a surefire way to make someone defensive and argumentative…and then the fight begins. Be gentle, approach this with only kindness in your heart. Do not accuse, only share your concerns and open up a dialogue.
Now I need to go shower and put on some clean pants.


Hi Chester! We are Pearl and Pumpkin. We are cats and we’ve lived together for a long time. We also live with a lady. We both like the lady but we don’t really like each other. The lady wants us to be friends. Sometimes we think about it, but mostly we think no. What do you think?
P & P
PS: Our names are Pearl and Pumpkin but the lady calls us both My Baby Petunia-Head. What do you think about that!!?

Hi! HI HI! Hi! also HI! my name is Chester and I am the dog that knows the things that become all of the stuff!
HA HA HA!!! I get the letters from the pets that need to know the things and some of the pets are cats and all of the letters from the cats say the thing that is “do not like!!!”. So the thing that I know is that cats DO NOT LIKE anything! ha ha ha!! Do you know? YES!! you know because I just told you. Now you know.
Also, “my baby petunia head” ha ha ha!! My lady calls me all kinds of things! Muntz, Muntzon, muntzonite, puntsen, puntsen turner private eye, chest, duchenst, um-tunk, the little, fartbox, weenus, monkey, ohno monkee, little monkey, jerkus, walter, jerkwalter, and some things that I should not repeat for making the littles of the world scared and sad!!!
ha ha ha! BYE! you are cats! BYES!