Amy Dickinson is the advice column for the Chatham, Ontario, paper Chatham Daily News. The other day she received the following letter from a “divorced dad”
I’ve been divorced for four years. My daughter chose to stay with me. Her friends and her school were here; she is also closer to me than her mother. She is 18 now and away at college.
She has had a close friend for three years. This friend attends college here in town. Her friend and I enjoy each other’s company. The girl just turned 18 too. My daughter suggested that I ask her friend out and said that her friend would say yes.
I said, “You’re my daughter, and she’s your friend. Wouldn’t that be weird for you?” My daughter laughed and said that she can handle it. She is mature for her age.
I’m 44 years old. I like the girl, and I certainly find her attractive. Is she off-limits? — Divorced Dad
So what advice did Amy give? Keep reading »
This piece is crossposted with permission from Role/Reboot.
My dad grew up a poor boy from a small fishing village, just minutes away from the site of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” He spent his childhood playing along the walls of the great Venetian fortress. His village dates back to antiquity, his childhood colonialism, and his youth decolonization. He fled his country to get educated and build a better life in New York City. And he did. With graduate degrees from an elite institution under his belt, he rose up the corporate ladder and married two times to American women. Despite all his economic progress, he held fast to tradition.
I grew up a middle class girl in a suburban town just minutes away from New York City. I spent my childhood playing soccer and hanging out at the mall. My town dates back to the postwar era, my childhood consumerism, and my youth social justice. I fled my country to get a more affordable education and build a global dream of equity in Montreal. And I did. With graduate degrees from elite institutions under my belt, I moved through the social justice industry living and working in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Despite all my cultural development, I fought to change my father. Keep reading »
Many astrology books include a guide to the best jobs for each sign, which is fun to read through but ultimately not super helpful. What if it says your sign is absolutely perfectly suited to being a firefighter, but you’re very happy as an interior designer, thank you very much? The truth is people can find happiness in many different types of jobs; the trick is making sure your work meets your unique needs and the work environment is a good match for your personality. We thought a more productive way to discuss astrology and jobs would be to give each sign a rundown of the qualities to look for in an ideal job. What does your sign need in order to get excited to go to work on Monday morning (or Saturday night, if you prefer)? Read on to find out! Keep reading »
In case you didn’t already know, the people you meet in Los Angeles are unlike anyone else in the world. Always trying to become the next big thing, there is “the actor” (a waiter who’s been an extra on “Glee”… once), “the screenwriter” (a misunderstood blogger who lives on his mom’s couch), and of course “the agent” (an assistant who gets screamed at for 20 hours a day, all the while pretty much hating his existence). Unfortunately, starting out in the entertainment biz, I didn’t know any of this.
Something else I didn’t know: living in The Valley sucks. Remember in “Clueless” when Cher goes to the Valley party and gets held at gunpoint? Yeah, I’m pretty positive it was at the gas station on my block.
I was young and naïve and starting my first grown-up job in the film industry, (by “grown-up” I mean hourly pay, no benefits and doing someone else’s bitch work) when I met Ben* for the first time. Keep reading »
A few months ago, my love life went through a dry spell. It wasn’t that messages weren’t coming in on Match.com or that guys wouldn’t chat me up when I hit happy hour after work. I just wasn’t connecting with anyone. I felt really blah about the men who I went on dates with (usually only one date with) and I started to doubt my “picker.” Maybe I’m bad at this, I thought to myself.
Right around that time, my friend started dating a new guy. This new guy had a roommate. In the swell of her new romance, the roommate probably did seem pretty great. She said he was a cute, funny, smart professional musician from the same religious background who is also a vegetarian. She offered — no, she insisted — she set us up. I’m an open-minded gal, so I thought I’d give it a shot. She knows me pretty well, I thought.
I don’t think I even need to tell you how awkward the date turned out to be. Keep reading »
Up until last month, my boyfriend Nick and I had lived in Oregon all of our lives. We both grew up in small towns outside of Portland, and then, after high school, we migrated into the city like people from small towns tend to do. For the past few years, Nick worked at the cheese counter of an upscale Portland grocery store. Like most things in our lives, his job was fine, but it wasn’t spectacular. We felt stagnant in many ways, like we were passively living a life that had been set out for us, rather than choosing the life we wanted. Looking back, we lived in Portland not because we wanted to, but because we always had.
A weekend trip to Nashville changed everything. Within hours of landing in the city, we knew we wanted to move there. After feeling anchored in place for so long, the prospect of picking up and moving made us feel practically weightless, not to mention giddy with excitement. We couldn’t wait to start a new life. But first came the responsible plan. Keep reading »
Bad news. That “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” video, where a group of women describe themselves to a forensic artist, and realize how skewed their self-images are and cry, was not quite as accurate as we’d like to believe. The message was moving, yes. And for a moment, it was reassuring to believe that “you are more beautiful than you think,” but according to research, the opposite is true.
A series of studies done at University of Chicago and University of Virginia suggest that , if anything, we overestimate ourselves. Not just in terms of our appearance — but in every way. Researchers took pictures of participants and created enhanced versions of those pictures so that some were more attractive and others were less so. When asked to select the real picture of themselves, participants tended to pick the most attractive one. When asked to select the real picture of a person other than themselves, participants were able to do that with no problem. Keep reading »
I am biracial, borne of a Taiwanese mother and American father. My features are decidedly not Caucasian, but hard to pin down to one specific category, a tiny frustration that gets at the heart of humans, because subconsciously, we all live to categorize. I deal with a host of questions pertaining to my background from “What you mixed with, girl?” to the timid “What … background are you?” I will entertain these questions, my response varying on the scale from begrudging to enthusiastic. It’s a conversation that I have a lot, and I’ve come to just suck it up and deal because people do not deal well with ambiguity. To categorize, to separate, to push things into clearly labeled boxes soothes the mind. It sets expectations, dictates how to behave, and prevents you from making statements like the ones I’m about to discuss. Keep reading »
One of my friends is going to a wedding this summer, and the bride and groom are asking their guests to buy them gold bars, since they already have literally every other thing two people in the world could possibly need. Besides gold bars.
Gold Bars. Gold. Bars. Gold bars at (I understand the price fluctuates, but) $1,421.99. Unless, you know, you want to buy in bulk. Then you can get them for a steal at $1,411.99.
I think now is as good a time as any to talk about weddings you can’t afford to attend. Keep reading »
In the fictional “Star Trek” universe, the Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet Academy training exercise for those cadets who are training for command roles. Without getting in to deep with the nerdy specifics, in the simulated exercise, the Kobayashi Maru is the name of a disabled civilian vessel located in the Klingon Neutral Zone. The cadets participating in the exercise must decide whether to enter the Neutral Zone to rescue the crew of the Kobayashi Maru — violating a treaty between the Klingons and Starfleet, and risking all out war — or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. Essentially, the exercise tests how a cadet would handle and react to a no-win scenario.
In our real lives, no-win situations arise in all facets of life — work, friendship, and, of course, dating. After the jump are five examples of the Kobayashi Maru in sex and relationships — how would you handle these no-win scenarios? Keep reading »