A: I wish a cotton robe was all it would take to turn off your lousy lover. You’ve got a couple of issues here, one, your aging horndog wants it day and night. Two, whenever he gives it to you, you’re left unsatisfied. I think there is a happy medium. As long as his interest is revived, you should tell him it needs to be coupled with an increase in technique. When you’re outside of bed, talk to him about you want in the sack. He’s 66 years old so it’s time he learned that a few minutes with a jackrabbit does not a satisfying encounter make. Additionally, either he’s being seriously overdosed, or there’s some amazing placebo effect going on here. There is increasing evidence that testosterone replacement is potentially dangerous, so your husband’s doctor sounds not very up to date. Do some research on testosterone replacement and heart attacks, give it to your husband, and have him discuss the studies with his doctor. An adjustment of the dose—and your husband’s fear of a crushing pain in his chest—might be just the medicine you need.
Q. Right to Privacy of Celebrities: My wife comes from a large family. Her sister is a big name in show business and as you can imagine she’s not around too often. So when she is, we talk about family, kids, friends from her high school years and so on. Certainly not about her newest projects or celebrity gossip. While my side of the family for the most part has got used to the VIP among them, a few seem to forget all their manners. The requests for autographs, tickets, etc., we can handle, but not everybody is satisfied with that. My cousin’s daughter wanted me to inquire if she could have her 18th birthday party at my wife’s sisters house, even though the two of them have never met. An uncle asked me to find out if she really had an affair with that guy from the news. My father-in-law’s 60th birthday is coming up. He’ll have a big party—all of his kids will attend and I’m afraid a big part of my family will too. How can I make sure they’ll behave like normal people and not like family paparazzi?
A: Who is she? Who! I’m dying to know! And is the affair with a newsman or just a man who’s in the news? Hmm, I guess I’m getting myself struck from the guest list. I agree with you that your family is behaving appallingly, as if the celebrity among you is some kind of performing seal who can be rented out at their whim. But is it realistic to worry that at your father-in-law’s 60th birthday party, people like your own cousin will be invited? I assume your father-in-law is actually not close with your cousin, or your other relatives who don’t know your celebrity but think she’s a commodity who exists to make them feel important. In this case, have your wife go over the guest list with her parents and advise them that if they want to include your family, the invitations should go out selectively. Then to the people who are invited, before the event give them a heads up that the celebrity is off duty and needs to be treated like any other family member.
Q. It’s 4:20 Somewhere: I like to smoke marijuana. It’s illegal in my state, but I buy mine from an old hippie lady who “imports” hers from a “friend” in Colorado. I only smoke on weekend nights, only at home, and all I do when I’m baked is munch on snacks and watch TV. Basically what I do on weeknights, except stoned. However, my pot habit gives my wife fits. She has told me in no uncertain terms that I need to stop until it’s legal. She’s also concerned about the amount of money I spend on it. I make about $50 per week doing work for a friend (besides my regular job) and spend half of it on a bag of bud each Friday. Prudie, we both have jobs, and I’m not spending my job money on ganja—I’m spending extra money that I earn apart from my job. Do you think I need to give up the habit, for the sake of my wife’s happiness?
A: I wonder if your wife would be having fits if every weekend you lay on the couch with a bottle of wine that you polished off while watching TV. If she would, then her issues are perhaps more about lassitude than substance intake. It’s true that engaging in illegal activity carries a slight danger, but at this point, the decriminalization of marijuana is so far along it’s very hard to imagine how your buying enough weed for personal use is going to become a criminal justice matter. But since you’re willing to work to get extra money for your leisure time, try mixing things up. Use your earnings to take your wife out to a movie, a restaurant, or to hear music. Instead of getting baked, just smoke enough to take the edge off but still be engaging company. You two need to have some conversations—substance free—to better understand each other’s perspective and how to relax together in a mutually entertaining way.
Q. Hot for Professor: A student in my grad program appears to be having an affair with a professor—normally this is not a huge deal, but the prof is supervising the student’s dissertation. This in itself violates university policy, but it also appears that prof is pulling some strings on student’s behalf in other areas. There is no conclusive evidence, but several other students have suspicions. No one wants to report it for fear of looking bad. Should we drop it or do we have a duty to report? If so, how should we go about it?
A: Your evidence sounds thin. And I’m also not clear that the “string-pulling” is not simply a matter of the professor using contacts to help the career of a promising student. Yes, there is a duty to report if you know academic code violations are taking place and some students are being disadvantaged because a professor is having an affair with a favored student. But since by your own admission you only have gossip and speculation, I agree you will look like nosy busybodies if there’s nothing more conclusive to report.
Q. What if I Don’t Want to Be a Ghost?: I had a phone call this morning from an editor at one of the largest book publishers. I am an adjunct at a state college, and have some recognition as a scholar for a specific narrow era. The editor—very arrogant and pushy—proposed I write a book about my specialty for a political figure of some notoriety. In turn, I would receive a flat fee, no author credit, no royalties. As an adjunct instructor, I could certainly use the temporary boost, but I think the cost is too high, especially since my politics do not jibe with the political figure. I have not agreed nor turned down the offer, but my hesitance was met with the editor’s derision. Also, my wife is horrified that I’m considering passing this by. She says I’m too prideful. By the way, I’m not young, so it’s not an early-career consideration. Yes, I would like to write and publish a book in my field, but if I have to sign a nondisclosure about my authorship, is it worth it?
A: You don’t like the editor and you don’t like the political figure, so this sounds like the beginning of a dreadful relationship. However, if you’d been able to be more objective about this, I find myself agreeing with your wife. Just think, with your expertise and writing skill, maybe you could even have influenced this politician to consider your subject matter in a more sophisticated way. You could also just be looking at this as being like a lawyer. You’re using your skills for a discrete (and in this case discreet) purpose; you don’t have to become the politician’s campaign manager. Additionally, you would want your contribution to be secret, so the nondisclosure is to your benefit. Unless the politician’s views are absolutely noxious to you, there’s something to be said—especially if you’re an adjunct—to taking the money and running. But given the start you’ve gotten off to, I expect the editor is already interviewing more amenable candidates.
Q. Re: Overheated wife: The LW could also try installing a better vent fan in the bathroom and keeping the thermostat turned down. If the ambient temperature is lower, his wife won’t need to worry so much about pitting out her work clothes or melting her makeup. I imagine arriving for work looking like you walked there from Miami, is just as much a problem for her as being distracted at the office is for him.
A: Many people have suggested that when the wife is at the gym the husband cranks up the air conditioning so that when she returns she can get ready for work without having her makeup drip down her face. She’d also be more likely to put on a T-shirt!
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