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Alex Carnevale

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Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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« In Which We Refuse To Ask For Any More From You »

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com.


I have a friend, who I will call Nina, who is intensely jealous of the time I spend with others. Usually I do invite her along if it makes sense, but you can't always invite someone along every time, especially if it's just you and another person and they may not know or like Nina. Nina will make comments like, why didn't I invite her, she always invites me. This is not even true!

I have confronted Nina about this before, but I guess it is an element of her personality I can't change but addressing it directly. I do value Nina for other reasons, and I would like to continue having her as a friend - let's just say there are advantageous reasons to do so and she does have some positive qualities. How can I get her to change her behavior?

Jenette N.

Dear Jenette,

My first suggestion would be to fake cry, but the more that I think about it, the more I think Nina is not the type of person who is affected by vulnerability. If she cared for the feelings of others you both would not be in the position that you are in.

Instead, consider criticizing someone else for the exact behavior that you want Nina to change. If possible, have one of your friends act like Nina so she can see how ridiculous she is being from a third-party perspective.

If this doesn't work, more extreme measures will have to be taken. Consider fulfilling Nina's request, and inviting her to absolutely everything. Soon she will be overwhelmed and no longer need whatever approval she requires from you that you are currently not providing. If possible, get her to pay for things as well.


I have been dating a wonderful woman for six months. I know in my heart that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I realize that it is probably a bit soon to drop this on her, and I do want to take things slow. On the other hand, I really don't want to anything to get in the way of my goal. How should I approach this?

Brent R. 

Dear Brent,

It seems you are putting a lot of pressure on you and your girlfriend. There are an incredibly large number of clichés that address this issue better than I probably ever could, but suffice it say it would be best if you put this emotion deep inside you, waited for her to express something similar, and reciprocated the feeling. In the meantime, do everything you can to make the relationship good for both of you, and don't lie or mislead her for any reason, even if the reason is small.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. Access This Recording's mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com.

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