Monthly Archives: August 2011

A big exclamation point.

With great kink comes great responsibility: Use your words!

I’m still posting at Feministe this week, most recently about how The Interrupters allowed me to finally process and write about some of the violent incidents I witnessed in my old neighborhood.  The filmmaker is a personal hero of mine, so when he stopped by to comment I had a little geek-out involving many exclamation points.

Today we have a guest-post from Holly at The Pervocracy.  She writes great stuff like How Not To Be Creepy and a monthly Cosmocking series and this pretty amazing breakdown of Why Does She Stay With That Jerk? from the perspective of someone who patches up domestic violence victims in the ER, and also sometimes about kinky kinky sex.

Hi Captain!

I have a problem. It’s a problem that might just work itself out in time but, being an incredibly impatient person, I’m worrying at it like a dog with a sock.

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Fargo's Mike Yanagita sits at a table.

It's Mike Yanagita! He brings the awkward.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I’ve come across a situation that has really stymied me and I wonder if you can help.  I had a friend many years ago who was sweet as pie but who could sometimes be a little needy and suffocating.  I think he had a pretty serious crush on me, but nothing ever came of it and we eventually fell out of touch as I went to another city for graduate school.

He recently found me through Facebook and sent a friend request.  I looked at his wall and saw that he is recently widowed — I mean really recently, as in, a week ago.  It doesn’t surprise me that a horrific experience like that might lead someone to go looking for old friends, but it made our initial contact a bit fraught.  I added him back and sent him a note saying that I was sorry for his loss.  I said something neutral about how it was nice to hear from him, and sad that it was under such circumstances.  I aimed to be kind but without writing emotional cheques I couldn’t cash (“can I help?” etc.).

Immediately he started Facebook-messaging me constantly, including a lot of TMI about his marriage and his wife’s illness that made me kind of uncomfortable.  He made some noises about coming to visit and having coffee sometime so we can “catch up” (we live 800 miles away from each other).  He asked for my phone number so that we could talk in real time;  when I told him (truthfully) that I don’t use the phone, he asked for other ways to contact me.  If I don’t respond in a day or two, he writes again and asks why I haven’t written.  He strikes me as desperately lonely… but also maybe a tiny bit stalkery?

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Ianto Jones

Some information about exes is important, like when they are evil robots you are keeping in the basement.

Hi Captain,

I’m a ygm (young gay male) from Melbourne Australia. I have an issue which I would love to have your opinion. It regards my boyfriend but I pray you won’t post it on Twitter as my bf is on it and might see that and get angry.

I have been with my special guy for about 3 months. I feel that he loves me a lot and I do him too. We’ve talked about our exes but not too much in depth and I just know that he had 4 of them. Quite recently, I stumbled upon his blog by accident of his Twitter account. He had quite some time ago posted on the relationship of his love life each and every one in detail, and it had shocked me. I expected normal relationships but found painful stories including friends with benefits, threesomes that nearly ended in major disaster and one that cheated him of thousands of hard earn money and ruining his dreams…. The thing is I believed he is faithful to me, but I am shocked about his past and as of now am unsure of how to talk to him about it.

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You don't have to let horrible creatures stay with you! Also, this TV show was a real thing in the world.

Today’s letter kinda sorta lets me jump in on Dan Savage’s DTMFA-a-thon.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I am having a real problem with a house guest staying at my house. She and her husband have been friends with my husband Aaron long before I met him. Both decided to move to New York and sold the house, her husband moved there while she is here settling law suits.  She was originally staying with a neighbors but they kicked her out because supposedly the husband was mean to her so she asked if she could move in with us…and since I didn’t want to be rude I said yes.  

Right now I am really regretting saying yes…she has paid her rent on time but has no sense of boundaries.  She says I am a bad wife because I don’t do enough cooking and cleaning and has even told Aaron that  she would always make sure that he had home cooked meals when he got home instead of the skillet dinners I make(I am really bad at cooking) She says she is only trying to help me out “to make me a better wife”  She barges in our room and talks to Aaron when we are trying to have a conversation and has even nudged me out of the way a few times.   She criticizes  my voice and says I sound whiny and need to watch how I talk….I feel like I have no privacy and can’t be myself in my own home  with her criticizing how I spend my time.  I have ADHD and am really forgetful about things sometimes and she will say stuff like I am having a Debbie moment if she forgets things….Whenever I complain to Aaron he will say it’s just her personality and she means no harm, or she is just joking.  

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"Hi! It would be a terrible idea to get involved with me. Want to dance?"

I’ve got a post up at Feministe today about movie casting and stereotypes.  In retrospect I should have called it “Stop boring the shit out of me, Hollywood.”

Major Mishap is here once again to answer today’s question and take this letter writer to post-divorce friendship school, aka, don’t fuck that lady!

Dear Captain Awkward:

I’m recently divorced. (just over a year or so) My ex-wife was originally from out-of-state, we met on-line, she moved to my town to be with me, and we had a good near-decade run. At the end, she was pretty lonely, unsatisfied, and miserable.  I was never a “bad” husband. (no substance abuse, no infidelity, no physical/emotional abuse of any kind). I aint sayin’ I was good husband, I just wasn’t horrible. She was miserable and a saint to put up with me, totally justified in leaving, but this wasn’t one of those “put his clothes in a box, tape it shut, and light it on fire” kind of divorces. No kids, no money issues, no real animosity that couldn’t be suppressed.

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Bead in a box

I'm in a box!

My good friend Major Mishap kindly took on this question about a loud cat and the neighbors who mock it.  I am mostly excited to have an excuse to spam you all with photos of my cat, who I think you’ll agree, is the world’s cutest animal.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I guess I’m apparently the most annoying neighbor ever, because this is the second time that I have to deal with something like this.

Just yesterday, I was walking up my apartment building’s stairwell when I heard what could only be mimicry of me and my cat coming from the apartment directly below mine.  My cat has a very distinctive and easily mimicked meow, and I’m certain that the neighbor was mocking various things that I usually say to her when I walk in the door every day.  My boyfriend had also preceded me up the stairs, so I’m sure the neighbor heard him up there, assumed I was with him, and was probably anticipating my normal greeting.

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A big bowl of self-esteem

Chow down.

Dear Captain,

My question is two-pronged: I have serious self-esteem issues, in particular concerning my looks. I just don’t think I’m very pretty. My hair is frizzy and awkward and takes a considerable amount of styling to look even remotely presentable, my skin is greasy and tired-looking, I had a tooth smashed when I was small and, even with the best replacement money can buy, something still looks off about my smile, and the rest of my features don’t really shine through either. To the extent that I’ve been able to delve into the psychological origins of my anxiety over this (and I get *very* anxious over my looks) I think it’s (predictably) related to my up-bringing: my old psychologist (who was marvellous and I loved) had suggested that I didn’t get enough attention to build up my confidence in my early teens (which is totally true as my mother was battling a drinking problem at the time, that also absorbed most of my father’s energy and time). Anyway, my hair and skin are also practical concerns for me, in that they are very difficult to live in/with: instead of being the carefree girl who jumps out of the shower/swimming pool/sea, flips her hair back and looks, if not amazing, then at least, you know, presentable, I’m the girl who puts on her grumpy face as soon as a drop of rain lands on her, because she knows it’s frizz/greaseball onslaught time. It doesn’t help that I now live in the Netherlands (not where I grew up) where a) it rains a lot and b) everybody is gorgeous (like seriously, it’s scary and disconcerting and *very* bad for my self-confidence). Also, generally speaking, my whole family (or at least the family members that it makes sense to compare myself to, i.e. my mother and sister and female cousins, not my old bald uncle) are all of the “effortlessly pretty” persuasion and I feel like the ugly duckling/black sheep.

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