We had a 4.4 earthquake at 4:00 a.m. this morning. I couldn’t get back to sleep waiting for aftershocks, which didn’t come, and then thinking maybe it’s a precursor to the big one. That’s the price we pay for it being 80 degrees today.
I will be 47 next year, do you think that is too old to go back to school?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing what you think.
Scherrie, 47 too old? Absolutely not! I was 45 when I started my talk show. I’m 62 now and planning to go back to school to study nutrition. Go back to school and follow your dream. It will give you a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
“I Need Advice” writes…
I’m a 24-year old straight-acting gay guy who came out only some 3 years ago and was confused for some time before that. I thought long and hard about my orientation and discovered that I was gay. Ever since then I’ve been comfortable with being gay. I’ve told the people I care about it (except my parents) and they’ve been completely ok with it, but that’s not my problem. I live with housemates, all straight guys and I was rather close to one of them (he’s known I’m gay for as long as I’ve known)… close as in we tell each other pretty much everything, joke around constantly, and a little touchy but in a man-to-man, friendly, non-romantic way. (don’t get the wrong idea cause he has a very sweet girlfriend who I adore and they are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever met).
I care for him as if he were my own flesh and blood, but a few weeks ago he started being so distant. He stopped joking around, stopped the touchy business which he usually initiates and whatever closeness that was there was lost. I thought I did something that I didn’t notice because he was fine with my other housemates so I asked him if everything was ok and he told me there’s nothing wrong. So I went on treating him as always even though he was still very distant and I hoped he was just having a very bad few weeks. After a few weeks I couldn’t stand it and asked him again if I did anything wrong and that if I did I was very sorry. He assured me that I didn’t do anything and he denies being distant. My friend says that he might have thought that I was coming on to him but I have never had such feelings for him. So what is it? It sucks to lose a friend for no good reason. And I’ve been avoiding him for the past few days hoping it’ll do some good. Should I just forget it and pretend we were never close in the first place and get on with my life as far away from him as possible? Or should I just carry on trying to patch whatever needs patching up for whatever reason?
Dear “I Need Advice,”
There are a few things in this situation that bother me, and the first one is not related to your question. You say you’ve told the people you care about that you’re gay, but not your parents. Is it you who’s not totally comfortable about it or them? How can you live an authentic life when you’re hiding who you really are? Of course it’s not easy telling your parents, but I hope you will consider freeing yourself fully and coming out to them, too. Now as for your friend, I hope somebody corrects me if I’m wrong, but straight guys simply do not do touchy feely stuff with other guys. They just don’t; it makes them uncomfortable. I’ll say it again: There is no such thing as man-to-man touchy feely between straight men. This leads me to think the problem is that he may be conflicted and that’s why he’s pulling away. He may have a girlfriend, but I know a lot of gay people who date, even marry, the opposite sex. But even if he’s totally straight, the closeness seems to have made him uncomfortable. So here is my common sense take on this situation: He may be conflicted about his sexuality and not ready to deal with it. He needs time. He’s being honest when he says you didn’t do anything wrong. So accept that. What would be wrong is if you mention it to him again. You’ve asked him twice already so give him some space. I’m not done yet.
I think you do care for him… that way. To say you should “get on with my life as far away from him as possible” serms a bit dramatic for just a close friend. To answer your question, yes I think you should get on with your life and let this angst go. Let him be as much of a friend as he wants to be. If he doesn’t feel your obsessiveness, he will come around and will feel free to be himself, whichever way that goes.
My boyfriend, John, and I have lived together for 4-1/2 years. It has not been a easy road. We fell in love and we both still have strong physical attractions to one another. Our sex life has been great, although it has slowed down. My problem started a couple of years ago when one of his ex-girlfriends (Brenda) contacts him after 20 years to say she’s moving back to town. She was constantly calling him. One morning at 4 am I woke up to find him talking low to someone on the phone. I said, “Who are you talking to at this time?” He told her, “I have to go. Jennifer just woke up and there’s going to be trouble. He told her he would talk to her later. Needless to say I had a fit. I could not believe it! A few minutes later the phone rings, he answers it, and it’s her again. He said, “I told you I would talk to you later,” and hung up.
I asked him what was going on. He said her mother was really sick and she was drunk. She called again. I was absolutely crushed. He will not tell her to quit calling because she has a boyfriend. He keeps talking to her behind my back and ended up at her house to visit her and her boyfriend. Finally, about six months ago he told her not to call here anymore because it caused problems. However, I found a couple of calls he has made to her. Now, another ex-girlfriend was looking for him on the website “Reunions.” She sent him a e-mail saying she has never stopped fantasizing about him, even though she is married. She said she would really like to reconnect with him. John gives her the house phone number (he does not have a cellphone). She called and he told her this was not a good time to talk. So they converse back and forth with e-mails. This has been going on for about 5 months. I know because I went to open my e-mail and John’s opened up. I know it was wrong for me to intrude, but whever I walk in he shuts down his email. I don’t because I have nothing to hide.
Last week we were in a heated conversation and he blurts out… “Oh, by the way Brenda will be coming out here next month.” I did not say a word, as my heart dropped to my stomach. Later, I asked him why he is doing this to me. It’s not right. He should tell them that he is in a relationship and I don’t like it. How should I deal with this? He tells me to quit crying because he’s not doing anything wrong, and it’s my problem, not his. I don’t know what to do.
Jennifer, do you really need me to tell you this guy is a dog? How many signs do you need? Secret phone calls? Giving a married woman your home phone number? Going to Brenda’s house to see her and her boyfriend? Are you kidding me? Telling you she’s coming to town!?! He’s not even trying to hide his cheating ways. And are you supposed to be happy that he says he can’t talk because Jennifer will get upset? How about, “I can’t talk right now…or ever…because I am in a relationship with Jennifer who I love and respect. And I would never disrespect her by carrying on a secret relationship with anyone else.” The only thing he’s right about is that this is not his problem, it’s yours because you are allowing him to disrespect you. Next late night phone call that doesn’t end with the statement above, should be the last one. After that, go out and find a real man.
Finally, some of my new “How To” vidoes are up. We had some technical problems but my computer whiz assistant, Damon, fixed them. There are still more coming. As a woman, I feel it’s my job to make sure my partner, Denis, stays healthy. That means getting a colonoscopy first so he would go, getting our teeth cleaned together, and getting eye exams. Well, for some reason, he is refusing to get his eye exam so I decided to be creative. Denis loves my “fall-off-the-bone” barbeque ribs so I am refusing to make them until he gets his eye exam. So now we have a standoff. His eyes for my ribs. I expect to prevail.
I’M A MOTHER OF ONE CHILD AND LIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND. WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 7 YEARS BUT HE’S VIOLENT. WHEN WE ARGUE. HE GETS SO ANGRY HE’S NOT THE SAME. WE BROKE UP A FEW TIMES BUT WE ALWAYS GET BACK TOGETHER. HE HITS ME, PUNCHES ME AND SAYS LOTS OF HORRIBLE THINGS TO ME. HIS FATHER WAS VIOLENT TOWARDS HIS MOTHER AND THEY DIVORCED. I KNOW HE HAD A BAD CHILDHOOD BUT I DONT WANT MY DAUGHTER TO SEE VIOLENCE ANYMORE. I LOVE HIM AND IT’S HARD FOR ME. I DONT WANT ANY MORE KIDS WITH HIM BECAUSE I DONT WANT MORE CHILDREN BROUGHT UP IN VIOLENCE. HE’S VERY NICE WHEN WE DON’T ARGUE BUT I ALWAYS HAVE TO WATCH OUT NOT TO SAY AND DO SOMETHING TO MAKE HIM ANGRY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Your letter made me sad, especially for your daughter. This is not a good way for either you or her to live. I’m sure you know that if your daughter sees you being hit, she will assume it’s normal and could wind up being a battered woman herself. It’s never okay for a man to hit a woman and you need to be strong to do what you know you need to do. You say that you broke up a few times which tells me that it’s safe for you to leave. Otherwise, you must be very careful because it can be dangerous for battered women to leave certain men. If he let you leave peacefully in the past, then you must do it, but do it differently. Let him know very clearly that you will no longer allow yourself or your daughter to live with his violence. Be firm. Be strong. He needs to know you mean it and there will be no more “trying.” Tell him if he loves you, he needs to get anger management counseling, and only then will you even consider seeing him again, and he will still need to prove himself. In other words, he can’t just say he’s fine now and you move back in. If he addresses HIS problem, then you can slowly start dating again. If he refuses, move on. He does not love you. He is a horrible role model for your daughter. And it could get more dangerous for you. This will not get better unless you take a stand. But be careful. If you have any fear that he won’t let you leave without retaliation, then only do it with outside help. Do it for yourself and for your daughter.
Please take care,
My weekend is so boring I decided to post my diary entry from 25 years ago when I was doing stand-up comedy on the road. Here’s my word-for-word diary entry from twenty-five years ago today…
(** March 7, 1985 **)
“Got turned down by the Funny Bone in Knoxville – that hurt. Also, Sandy told me April wouldn’t headline me. I cried. Very depressing day. I’m worried about finances – paid my Amex, Visa & other charges & used almost all my savings. Maybe I’m in the wrong business. Don’t know how much longer I can handle the rejection. Worried about income, despondent about career going NO WHERE and I’m almost 40.”
Five years later, I had my own talk show. I was never a quitter.
California Fan writes…
A few years ago, my wife and I decided to make a new start for our 2 kids and moved from California to Arizona. Since then, my mother passed away and my dad moved out of his house, but kept it, and got a smaller place for himself. He really wanted us to move into the old house, which we did. He had given a few of my mom’s things away but the rest is still in the house. We are trying to move in after 2 months but still have not unpacked our belongings. My dad lived in this house for 30 years and out of respect for him, we do not throw or give anything away without asking him first. Some of it is his old stuff that he hasn’t used in 15 years but he won’t throw it away. It gets worse. Like I said, it’s his house and on a daily basis he storms into what is our room now, he goes through things and yells at me or my children because things are not exactly the way he left them. I can’t live like this much longer. I gave up a well paying job with lower living expenses in Arizona and moved back here so my father would not be alone and end up a bitter old man. I’m almost at my wit’s end.
Dear California Fan
First of all, I admire you for respecting your dad, as frustrating and difficult as it must be. I also understand how lost he must be without his partner. Clearly, moving into his old house was not the best idea. It might have worked if you had made a clear agreement to empty the house, change the locks, and live there as a renter would, but he doesn’t seem ready to let things go. You can’t continue to live there under these conditions. The question is, what’s the best way to fix it? It seems to me he might be happier living in his old house with all his memories, so maybe you could suggest that to him. You might even find out he regrets moving out but doesn’t want to ask you to leave. Or maybe he’d be open to putting their old belongings in storage so it will feel more like your place and he won’t be upset with your “invasion.” Arizona is not too far from California so I would also consider moving back. Or if you want to be closer to your dad, move to another place across town. Tell him there are many reasons why it’s not working and offer to help him either sell or rent the old house, or move him back in, whatever he wants. Whatever option you choose, you really have to make a change. Living in this stressful environment is not healthy for your family, or your dad.
We had a plumber come to fix some leaky faucets and stuff. I’ve always hated watching myself on TV and never watched my own show. But I had to watch the How-To videos from last week and here’s the internal conversation I was having as I watched myself on video…
“Is my butt really that big?”
“Why did I say that? What am I… an amateur?”
“Do I even know what I’m doing?”
“What if I get hate mail for this?”
“What’s with that hair? I don’t recall go to a clown school for hairstyling.”
“I am never watching myself on video again.”