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Swimsuit Issues
My boyfriend of seven months is constantly playing
Madden (footballer John Madden's video game) and watching sports. I have zero interest in these hobbies, but I tolerate them because he's good to me. However, I absolutely cannot stand that, whenever I'm around, he has to make some remark about every thing on TV with a pair of breasts. He's even ripped out pictures of cheap-looking models from FHM and taped them all over his walls. Some aren't even that hot, but they all have fake boobs and perfectly airbrushed bodies. This makes me feel completely inadequate, with my flat rear end and 34B cup. I've told him so in those exact words, but nothing's changed. It's like he's doing this just to make me mad. What's going on here, and how do I get him to stop?

-Feeling Small

When a woman snaps at her boyfriend, "I saw you looking at her!" it doesn't take rare genius on the man's part to know that the correct reply isn't "I was NOT looking at her huge, perfect, luscious breasts!"

Likewise, your boyfriend is well-aware that the best way to let you know how special you are isn't barking, "Get in line! And be sure you wear comfortable shoes." All men look. A man who loves you (or, at least, cares enough to avoid smacking you in the ego), takes pains to look without getting caught; he doesn't spontaneously launch into a rave review of every passing skank's back end. Should you spot his eyeballs working the room or happen upon the stroke section of his video library (never his — he's holding them for a friend), he'll be quick to swear that it's all Warts Illustrated compared to you. Not quite the m.o. of the curator of the Museum Of Meat, now is it?

"'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' Naw, why bother, considering how poorly you stack up against the centerfolds of summer in all my naked chickie magazines." You do say he's "good" to you. Oh … you mean, whenever he isn't slapping you upside the head with hundreds of big, fake breasts? Regarding "tolerating" his obsessions, who are you, the sports police? Assuming you'll one day land a man who feels no need to turn his apartment into a shrine to the saline implant, you should understand what a mistake it is to march into somebody's life, cut the cord on his PlayStation, and drag him by the joystick to the art museum. That said, at the moment, you aren't so much dating as you are waiting — for your boyfriend to finish gaming so he can turn on the TV and tell you how inadequate you are.

You shouldn't feel inadequate. You should feel you're with the wrong guy. Maybe he just wants sex. Maybe he's too lazy to call it a day. In putting his army of implant queens between you — bachelor padding to keep you from getting too close — he's showing you that he's cruel, hostile and uninterested in making you happy. In other words, if you're looking for love, keep looking. While you're at it, see if you can round up a little more self-respect and some standards for how you expect to be treated. That's what it takes to keep a girl from waiting around for a proposal from a guy who's highly unlikely to make one — except as an excuse to follow it up with "I hope you won't mind if I bring a date to the wedding."

A Lime A Dozen
After I got transferred, my boyfriend of two years and I decided to do the long distance thing. A month later, he met another woman. He said she was "eerily similar" to me, and since he views women as "produce" (his words, I swear!), he figured "lightning could strike twice." Still, he kept in contact, suggesting he move to be with me, then telling me a week later that he wanted to be with her. My head says he's unworthy, but I can't seem to get over what I thought was a very special relationship.

-Still Pining

The guy didn't get clocked in the head with the insensitive creep stick upon your departure. After two years, you probably know his second-favorite amphibian, how he really feels about patterned socks, whether his moon's in the parking lot of Aquarius, and loads of other majorly minor details. All you missed was the elephant in the middle of the room, sitting on the fruit basket. Tempted as you may be to mourn the "special" thing you thought you had, looking back and learning from all the not-so-special things you failed to notice is a far more productive endeavor. Who can say what you were to him: A rutabaga? A poached pear? Luckily, with a little reflection, what he is to you — a worm — should become imminently clear.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

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