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.
I'm a freshman in college and right off the bat I became good friends with one of my profs who is in her 30s. She doesn't fit the stereotype of the typical Christian College professor, which is what made me want to be her friend. At first, was really interesting and fun to hangout with her, but lately it’s turned more into her trying to "mommy" me and its annoying for 2 reasons.
1. I feel like she acts like that only because she knows I lost my mom a couple years ago and so she thinks she can be the replacement of my dead mommy. (Uhh no thanks.) and
2. She calls me names like "missy" and "kiddo."
Basically, how do I get her to stop playing the mommy card?
Not to alienate you, but everything you’ve just explained to me is seriously bizarre.
I went to a pretty conservative (Catholic!) university myself, and while I was friendly with several of my professors, I would have never called them my friends. You can grab a beer (one beer) with them after class, you can go to their house for dinner or you can chat with them in the quad about what a pain your roommate is or how much you miss your friends back home. That’s about it. No pet names, no martinis and manicures, no pillow fights.
You need to take ownership of the fact that you started an inappropriate relationship with someone who is supposed to be your superior. Even with the coolest, most laid-back and non-authoritative types, you need to respect the fact that you’re paying a lot of money to have this person teach and grade you. Maybe when the class is over you can strike up some sort of more personal relationship, but while someone’s in control of your grades, there is no friendship.
Not all of this is your fault. This woman sounds like she has no sense of boundaries herself. Just because someone is certified to teach does not mean they are a good/safe person and it definitely doesn’t mean that they’re rational. However, she has control over a part of your life that I’d guess you care a lot about, so you need to suck it up and deal.
Once her class is over, treat her like a dude you don’t want to hook up with anymore. Answer every third e-mail or phone call and be short and sweet in your tone, while also making it clear that you’re not suffering without her. She’ll figure out that you don’t need to be saved and that her efforts to do so were not appreciated.
If that makes her dislike you, whatever. I’m sure there are plenty of other professors at your school and if there’s not, then transfer the hell out of that crazy-ass place.
Also, talk to the other students, girl. Statistically, several of your classmates have also lost a parent, so you’re not as alone as you may think.
My girlfriend went traveling and met someone. Apparently they connected. To which I am very jealous. She is going back to see this other chick in June, also she wants a polygamous relationship, but I don't think I feel comfortable with it. I really love her and want us to be together. What should I do?
If it were me, I would put a lit cigarette out on my girlfriend’s face and say, “Do you like the way that feels, you fucking whore? That’s what you’re doing to my heart, but multiplied by ten. Have fun living your new faux-Mormon lifestyle, you insane bitch.”
I know that we’re all supposed to be down with polyamorous relationships because everyone’s cynical about love and mad fluid these days, but I’m an old-fashioned girl. Thinking about someone that I love being sexual (or even emotional) with someone else makes me experience every negative emotion at once. It sounds like you might be that way too.
Just like she can’t make you be comfortable with the idea of her getting with multiple people and keeping you on the side like Eva Mendes in Training Day, you can’t teach someone the kind of physical and emotional loyalty that you’re looking for. Seems to me that your relationship as you once knew it is already over.
From what I’m told, there are other people out there who still really believe in the idea of monogamy, so maybe cut this chick loose regardless of how difficult it feels and take some time for yourself before seeking out a partner who’s a better fit.
Time to dust off the Fiona Apple CDs, lady.
A friend from college really wants to keep in touch, but every time we end up talking on the phone she criticizes the choices I've made since leaving school and expresses doubt that I'm doing my best to get where I want to be in life. I know she doesn't mean to hurt my feelings, but it's becoming a real pain in the ass to talk to her. Should I make her happy by continuing to talk to her, or slowly eradicate her from my life?
Are you making poor decisions with your life? Do you complain about your life to her and then she goes into concerned friend mode? If that’s how it is, you need to either not complain to her or get your shit together. Otherwise, the girl needs to fuck off and I’ll tell you how to get that process started.
Placate her. When she starts up with the “Here’s what you need to do to get your life in order,” stuff, just be like, “Great, awesome. Thank you,” and then after five more minutes of polite conversation say, “Well, I’ve got some stuff to do, so I’m going to let you go.”
When she calls you again, do the same thing, but be even shorter with her. Keep this up until she’s under the impression that you’re just too busy for any of her bullshit and then eventually she’ll stop calling. If she ever tries to guilt trip you, just send a one line e-mail like, “Sorry, girl! Guess all that talk about me being the best version of myself paid off! Just been busy! Hope you’re well!”
Sure, this is a two-faced way of dealing with a person, but it sounds like this girl has five faces, so feel free to try and catch up. Plus, unleashing the whole, “listen, you need to back off because I’m doing me”-thing on an unstable person who feels the need to micromanage your life is a really great way to get them to never go away.
You should never feel the need to keep someone in your life who brings you down, regardless of how you think it will make them feel. The world is full of soul-sucking assholes who have nothing better to do than meddle in other people’s so-called problems, but it’s also full of kind, proactive and generous types. Cut through that human rainforest with your machete, girl. This chick is a pebble you step upon, and if she ever comes to you asking for a sip of water, offer to spit in her mouth.
Photographs by Jennifer Nies.
Experience the Short But Vital History of Plz Advise
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Plz Advise #2: Everytime You Go Away
Plz Advise #3: How to Make Friends And Influence Bloggers
Plz Advise #4: More Of A Bro Than You Thought
Plz Advise #5: Martini Time
Plz Advise #6: A General Lack of Self-Awareness
Plz Advise #7: Dump Your Boyfriends
Plz Advise #8: Advice To Keep Close At Hand
"Inglorious" - Tyler, the Creator (mp3)
"Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball" - Main Source (mp3)
"Never Is A Promise" - Fiona Apple (mp3)