by MOLLY MCALEER
Plz Advise is an advice column. You can e-mail me questions about almost anything, but don't like, take out a loan against your 401k or murder anyone based on anything I say. I'm not a doctor, duh. E-mail your questions to email@example.com and keep them under 150 words.
Eight months ago, a pal of mine had a baby. Our group of friends has been supportive and accommodating from the beginning, changing our plans so as not to disturb the baby's schedule. But now, eight months later, my friend still hasn't made any attempts to find babysitters outside of the group so that we can all go out (she claims she can't trust anybody) and pretty much refuses to do anything without her baby in tow. How can I help her understand that her daughter isn't going to die if she leaves her alone for an hour or two?
Your friend is being selfish. That sucks. It's probably a good time to teach her a valuable lesson in not being a complete drag via lack of self-awareness.
Next time you invite her out, let her know that it’s an evening for adults only, and while you love her baby, you don't think it would be appropriate for her to bring it along. If that starts a fight, have one of your friends back you up by saying that it's definitely not personal, you just don't want to bring a baby to a bar with you. If she wants to stay at home with the thing and go stir crazy, let her.
I'm pretty sure the moment after you stop allowing her dictate the mood of your every outing, she'll snap out of it. If she resents you and thinks you're being cruel or insensitive after you've stuck with her and her insecurity and bullshit throughout the first eight months of this baby's life (and probably her entire pregnancy too, huh?) then all of this is just pointing to a bigger problem: You entertained a self-involved friend for a little too long.
Hopefully that baby will start talking soon and she’ll have someone to keep her company.
I've been seeing this crustpunk traveler kid for a couple months now. It was originally just a fling to me, but people kept telling me that he seemed to be really into me. Over time I've grown attached and I kind of like him. The night before he left to go north he told me that he really, REALLY liked me and that he hasn't felt this way in a while, he hasn't been seeing anyone else since he first met me, etc. The next day I was supposed to meet up with him at a BBQ to say goodbye but by the time I got there he had already left without saying a word. What the fuck does that mean? He drops this crazy emotional bomb on me and then disappears. Supposedly he’ll be back in a few weeks, but how am I supposed to interpret his abrupt departure?
Thanks for any advice you may have.
Maybe he's a cokehead. Or a drunk. Maybe he's just a coward.
Don't let this fool have any sort of impact on the way you live your life. If it was just a fling to you, don't let the fact that he likes you take over your mindset. Anyone can like you, girl, but do you like him?
If you do like him more than you're copping to in your letter to me, then ask him straight-up next time you talk to him why he dropped bombs on you and then peaced out before he could even give you a proper good-bye. It seems to me like this dude might be a player and a manipulator, so be prepared to protect yourself from all of that while simultaneously showing him that you’re not going to be mistreated.
And never forget that you called this guy a crustpunk before you said anything else about him. That kind of says more about this situation then whatever I could tell you.
I have a class with a girl named Riley. She's real funny but not attractive to the dudes in our class, plus she's a big girl (not like morbidly obese though). She gets picked on a lot by the guys. How can I defend her without getting myself thrown into the lion's den?
Fuck a lion's den. There's no lion's den like the hell you live in when you’re constantly trying to make people who are terrible by definition happy. Guys in school picking on the fat girl? Where have I heard that story before? Oh, right, every magazine profile on any genuine and successful woman like, ever.
You wanna know who your girl Riley is? She's a baller. She goes into school every day, gets picked on and still keeps herself and others laughing. You would be lucky to have a friend that strong and I have a feeling that even a year out of school you’ll start to feel slightly ashamed that you were ever hesitant to befriend her.
Bullying's tough. I was the kind of girl in high school that guys wanted to talk to because I'd make them laugh, and then the second their friends turned the corner, they'd push me into a locker and call me a fat dyke. Trust me when I tell you that I laugh my ass off every time I open up a Facebook message from one of those fools telling me that they always thought I was funny and destined to do something with my life. It usually takes me about ten minutes to even remember where I know their names from.
Take the social hit. Don't deny you or Riley the friendship you both deserve and if you see people pick on her, stick up for her and do it bravely. Stand by her side. That's your girl and if you're there for her, she'll either remain your girl forever or, at the very least, never forget that you showed her compassion when no one else did.
What will siding with the guys you go to school with get you anyway? A discount on your oil change when you run into them at the Pep Boys that they are all working at together in twenty years. Maybe. If one of them is a manager and able to override the computer's invoicing system.
Photographs of the author by Jennifer Nies.
"Answer to Yourself" - The Soft Pack (mp3)
"Common Ground" - Living Legends (mp3)
"Reflections Are Protection" - La Roux (mp3)
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