Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Little Earl

(With respects to Slate's Dear Prudence column)

Dear Little Earl:
I did something recently that concerns me on many levels. I am under a large amount of stress because I'm in an unhappy marriage (which we're trying to work out) and because my company laid me off. I am under treatment for depression. A week ago, my doctor doubled the dosage of my antidepressant and, because I'm not sleeping well, he prescribed Ambien. On Saturday morning, I confused the vials and took two Ambien. I told my wife what happened and that I would probably sleep all day and went to bed. At around 10 p.m., my wife commented on how productive I had been: mowing the lawn, cleaning up, grocery shopping. I remembered none of this and said so. She said her only concern was that I left for "errands" and returned two hours later with nothing in hand. I talked to my doctor Monday, and he told me Ambien can cause amnesia and that some people have reported walking, driving, and cooking in their sleep. I know now what filled the missing two hours. This afternoon, I got a call from a woman who called me "lover" and asked when I wanted to come back. She called me her f--k buddy. This is a woman I had talked to only twice before in social situations. I do not even know where she lives; maybe I phoned her for directions. I do find her attractive, but I am stunned that I did something like this. My wife is vindictive, and if I say anything to her, it will end our marriage. I do not want to continue a relationship with the other woman. What should I do?—Scared Sleepless

Dear Scared Sleepless: Pop another Ambien and forget all about it.

Dear Little Earl,
I am a senior in high school and stuck in the midst of prom season. Everywhere I turn, other girls are talking about dresses, and makeup, and dates. My problem is that, unlike most of the other girls, I have no interest in attending prom. It's not that I don't have a date, or a dress for that matter; I just don't get the whole "prom" thing. When other girls hear that I don't intend to attend, it stirs up a flurry of questioning and disbelief; they don't seem to understand why I wouldn't want to go. Do you have any advice for how to deal with these people? Or should I just bite the bullet and go to please everyone else?—Not a Prom Queen

Dear Not a Prom Queen: When you turn 18, please call me.

Dear Little Earl,
My boyfriend and I recently moved in together. One day we had a fight about the fact that he doesn't trust me around his computer because he has things on it that are part of his past that he doesn't want me to see. One of those things is "the List" of all the girls he has slept with, including one-night stands. I have asked him the number of people he's had sex with (he knows mine is two), but he tells me that I don't want to know and gives me a number between 10 and 50. I have asked him to delete that list, but he says he won't because if he gets a weird disease in the future and has to tell everyone he's slept with, he won't remember all of them without the list. He claims I don't have anything to be worried about and that everybody has a past, but he doesn't want to hurt me, and it's best that I not know some things—just as he doesn't want to know some things about my past. Am I being too concerned about a stupid list? I know he is not cheating on me, but should I know his number?—Concerned

Dear Concerned: Would you mind asking your boyfriend exactly how I could go about starting a list like his? I mean, it sounds like a pretty impressive list.

Dear Little Earl: Due to religious reasons, I don't shake hands or have physical contact (hug, etc.) men who aren't related to me. I plan on entering the work force soon and would like to know if there's a respectful way to inform a guy that shaking my hand is not okay. I don't want to be rude. In the past, when meeting colleagues or friends, if they don't know this about me, and outstretch their hand, I just say, "Hey, I'm sorry I can't shake your hand. It's nothing personal, okay? Hope you're not offended" or something like that. If they ask why, I'm happy to elaborate but I don't volunteer that information unless they ask. Is this okay? I don't want to negatively influence any future job interviews, etc. Your advice would be much appreciated.—Gaithersburg, Md.

Dear Gaithersburg, Md.: No offense, but I think you need a new religion. If I met you and you refused to shake my hand, and told me you couldn't because your religion didn't allow it, I would actually be offended - by your strict fundamentalism. What if I took a poo on your bed and said, "Oh, well, my religion only allows me to take a poo on other people's beds, sorry, don't mean to offend"?

Dear Little Earl: I'm having trouble getting used to the idea of having sex only with one person. My girlfriend is wonderful -- both in and out of bed -- but I find my eye wandering and wanting more variety. I know, we're supposed to surpress these things and get with the monogamy program, but I'm having real trouble with this concept. I'm old enough to think that these desires aren't going to change -- do most people just surpress them or am I doing something wrong?—Want More Sex

Dear Want More Sex: I feel so terribly, terribly sorry for you young man.

Dear Little Earl: What does one do when one hates one's job so thoroughly? Last week I was told that "some people" think I spend too much time on the Internet (sort of like now), never mind that my work gets done in a timely and efficient manner. So spending less time on the interwebs, I've realized it was the only thing that got me through the day. Without that outlet, I get no intellectual stimulation through my job. This was not always the case, due to the economy (I know, I know) the company I work for has downsized, which in turn caused a reorganization. Though they called it a lateral move, it was definitely a demotion for me. Now I find it harder and harder to even pretend that I'm happy. How do I shake this off? I know I should just be grateful I have a job that still pays good and is somewhat secure, but I HATE it so much.—St. Louis, Mo.

Dear St. Louis, Mo.: Welcome to life after college buddy.


Herr Zrbo said...

I don't get it. I've read some of these before, but those weren't the answers given. Are these your answers to these questions?


Little Earl said...

Dear Confused: You are not as confused as you think you are.

ninquelote said...

These are frickin' hilarious. I've also read a few of these before and your answers are much more efficient and to the point, especially the woman who won't shake hands with men. Bravo. Bra-vo.

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