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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show

These are not the people who should be writing Internet policy.

Do you like all those awesome pop culture references and movie stills we use around these parts all the time? If you’re in the USA, here are some good links for you to check out today:

Mother Jones’s coverage of the SOPA/PIPA Issue

ProPublica’s tracker of individual congresspeople and where they stand on the issue.

A very no-hassle way to contact your particular congresspeople about the issue.

Sorry, rest of the world! We’ll resume normal activities soon enough.

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Daisy & Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen at Downton Abbey

Your mentors want to give you the respect you've earned, but sometimes you have to ask directly for it.

Hi Captain Awkward

I have a casual job, working at a holiday camp. This job is about 4 hours away from home, and involves going and staying on the property while I work. I spent a couple of years after I left school living and working out there full time, but now I’m based in my home city, going to uni, and I work some weekends and holidays. I’ve known my boss since I was 10 years old – I grew up going to the camps myself. She’s a really lovely lady, who I’ve gotten close to over the years, and I’ve learned so much working out there over the years. Recently, though, I’ve had trouble balancing working out there and having a life back at home.

My boss is always asking me when I can come and how long I can stay, and… she’s hard to say no to. I always end up promising more time to her than I want to, and sometimes missing out on things I’d wanted to do. If I’ve told her I’ll work, though, then I think that I need to follow through on that commitment, unless someone breaks their leg back home.

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Dear Captain Awkward,

I am a twenty-five-year-old introverted, socially-awkward, geeky fat girl who has never been kissed. I feel weird about this, because it feels like there is something terribly wrong with me, and all of my friends are way more experienced than I am.

I don’t really know if I have the energy for a relationship right now, and have had terrible luck in dating — mostly I end up meeting guys who have fetishes for inexperience or fatness or smart ladies, and I am the only fat/virgin/geek girl they ever met, and they MUST HAVE ME or they will be ALONE FOREVER! and they tell me that clearly they are the only person who could ever like me anyway, and then I block them on AIM and don’t answer their calls. Or people who I am into are clearly not into me, and if they’re nice about it we end up as friends, and if they’re jerks about it I’m magically not into them anymore, because I’m not into jerks.

At any rate, sadness often causes me to whine to my friends about how awkward I am and nobody loves me except for creepy dudes, woe, angst. My friends are lovely, but usually they pull out the old story about how I’m just really intimidating, because I’m smart and funny and awesome, and CLEARLY dudes don’t ask me out/get weird and distant or jerky after I’ve asked them out because I am JUST TERRIFYINGLY AMAZING.

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Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe

Protip: If you are feeling sad about a breakup, stare at this face for approximately 125 hours of Law & Order reruns and you'll be on the mend in no time!

Dear Captain Awkward,

I have never been in a relationship and yet somehow I often wind up being among the first people told about break-ups of others. Today a friend I haven’t known for long (couple of months but we hit it off right away) send me an email to apologise for not replying to my emails because her boyfriend had unexpectedly broken up with her. I don’t know what happened, but it doesn’t sound like it was a good break up!

I was at a complete loss what I should say and eventually merely said that to let me know if she wants to go for a meal sometime and that I find keeping busy helps. I suggested a night in w/ film/pizza/drinks (the usual) but I am not sure how to handle the situation should she want to do this. What kind of film? Preferably no rom-coms I guess. I don’t generally hug people although this feels like a situation in which I probably should…  My flatmate recently broke up with her boyfriend and we never spoke about it although I made sure to be around plenty for meals and stuff so she wasn’t alone.

As life goes on, I can only assume that as break ups are part of life, I will be in this situation again. What would your advice to awkward geeks be on how to handle other peoples problems?


Dear Not-Sure:

As someone who was recently a member of Team Sad Panda, I have a lot of thoughts about this. Well, one run-on sentency sort of thought like usual.

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Edit/Update:  The LW contacted me to let me know that she left Jon the Asshole (Yay!) after he (predictably) physically assaulted her (Boo!). She’s doing ok and gives us all her love (which is returned. SO returned). I’m leaving this question up because she’s probably (sadly) not alone in having the question.


Hello Captain,

About a year ago I got into a relationship with this guy for privacy purposes we’ll call Jon. Jon was really great. He lived really far away. We visited back and forth. When he visited me the first time though he was super mean to all my friends and family.

I thought it was because he was far from home. I went to stay with him (where I am now) very, very far from home. For months he’s been nothing but verbally and emotional evil and mean to me. I was begging him to stop. He never did. Recently, about a month ago, I asked again. I was on that tipping point of “falling out of love” he yelled at me for “asking him to stop being mean.”

I became pretty numb to him, and am now. I started letting myself fall for a guy I casually flirt with online. Who lets just face it, would be closer if I went home and has way more in common/to say to me/is way more my type.

My ticket home isn’t for another month. Now that Jon can sense a problem he’s acting all nice and loving. I said a few times I would try and love him because he throws stuff around when I try to break up with him. How do I tell him I don’t want to try anymore? Should I wait til I go home?

And should I pursue something with casual (bordering on serious) flirting friend, if it feels right?

 - Really freaking scared

Dear Really Scared,

Aaaaah! This got caught in the spam filter and I could not answer it immediately!  Aaaaah! I am so sorry!

First, do you live with Jon? Does he have access to your living space? Can you get to a safe place that he doesn’t have access to? Call one of the hotline numbers from this post (and read all of the comments in that thread, there is tons of practical advice there for getting out of a scary situation) and make sure you are in a safe place as soon as possible.

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Before we get to today’s awesome guest-post by Commander Logic, I have questions for local Chicago people:

1) Do you live in or near Chicago?

2) Have you ever wondered about what it would be like to have sex with a trans man?

If so, good news!  Our beloved Lt. Trans is running a workshop at Early to Bed called “How to Bed a Trans Man” on February 9th.

If you don’t know Early To Bed, it’s the friendly, feminist, LBGT-friendly, clean, totally-laid-back sex shop in Edgewater. I recommend it to everyone for those times when you’ll be in your bunk.

Now I’ll turn you over to today’s question and the wisdom of Commander Logic.

Little Women

All of these women? Home-schooled.

O Captain my captain!

I need advice from the wise Captain and readers. I’ll skip the tedious explanation of my non-standard family structure (divorces, remarriages, siblings & stepsiblings rotating in and out of various parent-run homes, etc) and just say that this question involves one of my siblings–let’s call him Joe Boxwine–and his family. Joe has a wife, Jane Boxwine, whom I absolutely cannot stand (but who seems to think we’re pals), and two pre-teen kids. Joe and I get along but aren’t close; he’s a rather unprepossessing man who mostly keeps quiet and passive. The whole crew moved back in with my stepdad, Daddy Warbucks, because they were struggling financially, and he, as an empty nester and a widower, had a big house with a bunch of unused rooms. The rent arrangement/long-term moving plans/house rules were never firmly established, as Jane and Joe asked to move in while Daddy Warbucks was still in deep mourning a couple months after my mom’s death. At the time, I was angry because I thought they were taking advantage of his grief, but I also didn’t want them to be evicted and potentially homeless if they stayed in their previous situation, so I mostly bit my tongue.
So that’s the backstory. Here’s the main story: Jane homeschools the two boys, and she is awful at it.

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Soames and Irene Forsyte from The Forsyte Saga

The love and attraction of one person cannot sustain a relationship.

Dear Captain,

I am at a complete loss as to what to do here, and I would appreciate your advice.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 4 years. I was 20 when I first started dating him; he was 4 years older. He is my first ever boyfriend, and my first everything (except for kissing). Over time, we’ve become really close and really good friends.

Here’s the problem: I don’t think I’m “in love” or sexually attracted to him anymore.

Over the past few months I’ve noticed that I’m less and less interested in him. Kissing him is fine, but anything more than that and I have to really convince myself to do this. I do not look forward to having sex with him.

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I really, really need commenters who have experience with domestic violence/abuse counseling to weigh in here, thanks. This Letter Writer needs help from someone who doesn’t have to Google “domestic violence resources” to answer the question.

Captain Awkward,

Hi! I’m a 19 year old college student and I live with my parents. It’s not an ideal situation, but I figure my relationship with them is alright; I’m closer to my mom and I fight a lot with my dad, but they’re not horrible. I know they love me and I love them, yadda yadda. I’m one of the lucky ones, all things considered.

But today my dad hit me. Repeatedly. Not with a closed fist or anything, but he sort of held me by the neck while he smacked my face with his other hand. My mom and sister had to pull him off me. Background: me and my dad will get into huge, screaming fights, but he has never been physically violent. I do not enjoy these screaming matches, to say the least. Lately these arguments have actually been happening less frequently because I’m getting better at knowing when to walk away, but everything just happened so fast this time.

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Old Miller High Life ad "It's Miller Time" with Miller crossed out and "Therapy" added.Hi,

Well, I’m just out of the worst part of a nasty emotional crash and into the ‘ok what the fuck do I do’ section of it. Also the ‘I need a nap’ section of it (stress makes me sleepy).

On New Year’s Eve, I invited some friends over. These are my boyfriend (pseudonym: Kitty), and two friends (pseudonyms: Peaches and Fingers). Kitty, Peaches and I played/assisted/made snarky comments about a particular video game, and we all watched a film together. I thought the evening had gone pretty well.

Additional note: I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and Kitty and Peaches are strongly suspected to have it, although they do not have a formal diagnosis. Fingers doesn’t have Asperger’s syndrome, but he does have a history of depression. Athough to be honest all of us have more issues than the Times newspaper individually.

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I played hooky with Commander Logic yesterday, so no posts, sorry! If you’ve been wondering “Is Hot Doug’s still delicious? Is the movie adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  a) enjoyable b) a clinic in the importance of lens choice and detail in production design c) a fucking masterpiece of acting in Gary Oldman’s performance? Is scotch delicious? Is reading fundamental?” Good news, everyone! The answer to all of these questions is “Yes.”

Continuing on the theme of “parents who throw tantrums” with a bit of leftover “the winter holidays are not shiny and wonderful for everyone,” today’s question is about a mom who disowned her adult daughter on Christmas day.

Dear Captain Awkward,

On Christmas day, my mother disowned me.

I recently moved into a sweeeet new place with my boyfriend of two and a half years. It was unanimously agreed by everyone that my Mum and little brother would spend Christmas at our place. I decorated the tree, hung up paper chains, bought a ton of food. Well, as soon as they got here, they started complaining: Our kettle doesn’t boil fast enough, our bathroom door doesn’t close easily enough, the door locks behind them when they go out to smoke, they wanted their Christmas presents NOW not on Christmas day.

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