April 27, 2007

Not Dead Yet

I knew it was too good to last.

After maintaining a strict weekly schedule for all of three weeks, Uncle Millie has slipped back into his old habits. After his legendary post-St. Patrick’s day hangover and the subsequent Easter column, he disappeared from Guadalajara without warning and without leaving a forwarding address. At first I despaired of ever catching up with the old rogue again, but then I began hearing reports of a late-middle-aged gringo getting into scrapes passing out in public squares across central and southern Mexico. I figured that had to be our man.

Based on the pattern of incident reports, Uncle Millie appeared to be staggering in the general direction of Veracruz. It was there that I finally caught up with him, taking his libation in a cantina that asked not to be named. Uncle Millie reports that he’s been taking in a great deal of Mexican League baseball in Veracruz, and that the local women have been taking him in, which is surely nice for him. He has promised to keep me posted should he decide to take off again, so that we can continue to provide his column on a semi-regular basis. I don’t actually believe him, but I’m flattered that he would take the trouble to lie to me this way.

No matter; it’s time for some more advice from the romance columnist whose mind and body are both in the gutter, Uncle Millie!

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If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time, I’d Turn Them Back To Last Night So I Could Remember What Happened To My Wallet, by Uncle Millie

Como estas, lads! Greetings from gorgeous, gorgeous Veracruz. Some of you may be a little surprised that I left Guadalajara after all this time. As those of you lads who have read me for a long time know, Uncle Millie was born with the wanderlust, and I can’t settle in one spot for very long, unless I’ve had too much to drink and lost the use of my faculties entirely.

Veracruz appeals to me because it is located by the water. For I have the sea in me blood, lads. You may not realize it, but the Irish are a nautical people. Indeed, it was my childhood dream to become a pirate. Something about the plundering of booty and the lusty sea wenches called to me. Tragically, my dream was not to be, as it turns out that I get seasick very easily and the salt water gives me a rash. But nonetheless, I am a child of the ocean. I am the sea and the sea is me.

In my rather prolonged absence, a number of queries have piled up in my mailbox. I certainly hope that my advice arrives in a timely fashion. I fear that some of the more desperate among you may have resorted to extreme measures by now. If these extreme measures have landed any of you in the service of the state, please drop Uncle Millie a line. I can recommend an excellent bail bondsman for you.

Now, on to our first letter!

Dear Uncle Millie,

My girlfriend “Selina” and I started dating as seniors in high school, and now we're freshmen in college (not the same college, though; we go to schools that are about an hour apart). This is the first serious relationship for both of us. Recently, Selina went to a party with friends, and afterward she told me that she felt uncomfortable because all her friends were dancing and flirting with guys and she couldn’t. She asked if we could have an open relationship, so she could “experience college" while still keeping our relationship. I said okay, as long as she told me about what she was doing. A couple weeks later, she tells me she went to party and had a few drinks, then made out with a 27-year-old guy (we're both 18).

This hurt me, and I told her that. She says making out with me is out of love, while making out with another guy is just something to do. We've talked about breaking up, but Selina and I both want to keep the relationship and make it work.

I love her very much, and I don't want to break up. But I’m not sure I can deal with her going out and doing things with other guys. Any advice would be appreciated.

Bobby in Orlando

Ah, lad, young love is so sweet. This dewy-eyed conviction that love conquers all is truly adorable to watch, particularly for those of us who are old enough to know better. Fortunately, Uncle Millie knows what lies in store for you. One of the primary reasons I got into the romantic-advice business in the first place was to counsel well-meaning but confused young lads just like yourself. So sit back and prepare to receive a lesson from the master.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: “open relationship” is code for “it’s over, boyo.” Trust me, lad; I’ve employed this ruse many a time myself. When your lady friend said that she wishes to “experience college,” she doesn’t mean “college” so much as “making love to other lads.” I hate to be the one to break it to you, lad, but it’s better that you hear it from me rather than hearing it from her new gentleman friend when he tells you to stop calling her.

I imagine this will be hurtful to you, lad, but don’t let it get you down. In fact, you’ll find that in the long run, Selina has done you a big favor. For you should also be out “experiencing college,” lad. Orlando is a charming town, and I’ve no doubt that there are a great many well-tanned coeds there who are just waiting for the chance to, let’s say, show you the Magic Kingdom. College is a time to live it up, lad! When you find yourself at a club and there’s sultry music playing, and there’s a slinky young thing in a skimpy dress shooting you come-hither looks, do you really want to say no because you’re shackled to your Hometown Henrietta? I think not.

Let’s be honest, lad; what exactly can your lady do for you from an hour away? At best, some warm phone conversations and perhaps a rendezvous every week or two. That may be a good romantic life, if you’re a monk. But for a red-blooded American male? Perish the thought! You are at the height of your virility, lad! Don’t waste it pining away for your long-distance lass.

But you love her, you say. I’ve no doubt that you do. But you also say that it’s your first serious relationship. This should be sufficient impetus to make a change, lad. Let me ask you something. When you go to a restaurant, do you order the first thing on the menu? When you purchase a car, do you purchase the first you see one on the dealer’s lot? If you were to buy a house, would you buy the first house the agent brought you to? Of course not, lad. A smart person comparison-shops. That is the only way to know whether you are getting the best choice..

And so it is with love. Only a great fool settles for his first true love without at least sampling the alternatives. For many of us, it takes two, three, four, or eight marriages to get it right. Don’t be afraid to explore, lad! It is the only intelligent course of action. After all, you’re talking about the woman who will own half of your possessions in a few years. Aim high!

Dear Uncle Millie,

I am writing because I have a delicate problem, and I don’t know where to turn. I’ve been married to “Kurt” for two years. He’s a good husband, except that it seems like a lot of the time, he would rather masturbate than have sex. When we have sex, it’s good, and he tells me that he finds me attractive. But a couple times a week, he’ll come up with some excuse to get me to leave the house, and then he’ll do it. When I come back, he tries to act like nothing has happened.

Sometimes I’ll be in the mood and Kurt will say he isn’t, or that he’s tired, but then he’ll go to the computer, and I know what he's up to. I find that very hurtful. We’ve talked about it, and he says he’ll change his ways. He does for a while, then it’s the same old thing again. I think he’s just being lazy, because it's easier to have sex with himself than go to the trouble of satisfying me and my needs. What do you think?

Linda in Fresno

This letter is a bit of a stumper to Uncle Millie. I have never understood why a healthy lad would choose self-help when he has the option of a live woman available to him. It is my understanding that most lads consider self-help only when they have no alternative, other than doing without. (I would have no way of knowing for certain; after all, Uncle Millie never does without.) When a lad has a living, breathing woman who wishes to make love to him, and he still opts for his own company, so to speak, there is clearly a problem. As far as I can tell, this problem may have one of two sources.

The first possible explanation is that Kurt has a physical problem of some sort. When you do make love, has he had any trouble rising to the occasion, if you catch my drift? If he is able to raise the mast, is he able to finish the voyage, if you know what I mean? If his problem lies in this area, there is no shame in that. There are any number of professionals who can provide him with assistance to rectify the situation. The hardest part will be convincing him to actually make the call, but if you approach it gently and assure him that he is no less of a man in your eyes, that should help.

Now, if his problem is not physical, then the area of concern is a little different. He says that he find you attractive, but really, what else could he say, unless he wants to be running a one-man show permanently? Allow me to pose a few questions of you, my dear: Have you put on a great deal of weight in the last couple years? Have you been a nag? Have you attempted to make him do half of the housework, or something similarly absurd? The poor lad may have a very good reason for preferring his own company, and you must be open to the possibility. Most lads in this situation would employ the time-honored solution of taking a mistress, but perhaps your lad is hung up on the concept of fidelity. Or perhaps he is no prize himself, and could not pay for companionship without attracting your attention. (And before the feminists bombard me with angry letters, let me say this: Marriage is a contractual relationship. Alas, unlike most contracts, there is no warranty provision. If you were promised a sleek sports car, but instead received a rusted-out minivan with no engine, you would demand your money back, no? If a lad is the victim of a comparable marital bait-and-switch, not only can he not return her to the store, but in fact, she gets his money. Where is the justice, I ask you?)

Whatever the source of the problem, deploying your feminine wiles certainly couldn’t hurt, and could only help. Candles, wine, lacy lingerie, fishnet stocking, high heels… you get the idea. Perhaps some mid-week evening, you can try serving him dinner without clothes. (I mean, of course, that you should be without clothes, not the dinner. Who ever heard of a dinner wearing clothes? That would be silly. But I digress.) Perhaps you can purchase a couple of collections of Penthouse Letters and treat them as a sort of instruction manual. If you do attempt the old-fashioned methods to relight his flame, I urge you to document your efforts. Photographic evidence is particularly useful. If you do take photographs, I urge you to send a copy to Uncle Millie, for assistance in further diagnosing the problem. (Unless you have indeed put on a lot of weight recently, in which case, feel free to keep the photos to yourself.)

Dear Uncle Millie,

I have been seeing “Shirley” for about 5 months. We met through an online dating service. We’re a great fit in a lot of ways; we have a lot of similar interests, similar senses of humor, and we both love to cook. Shirley’s very attractive, a great listener, and she’s up for anything. In almost every way, our relationship is perfect.

There is only one catch, and that’s what I’m writing to you about. The uninhibited side that makes Shirley so much fun in bed becomes a problem in public. I enjoy letting loose in private, but I believe that our love life should be private. Not Shirley. She insists on making out in public in a way I find inappropriate. When we’re standing in line, she fondles my rear end. She surprises me at work with French kisses and dirty talk, and tries to get me to make love in the office. Some of my co-workers have commented on her behavior. I’ve tried to talk to Shirley about it, but she says, “That’s just how I am. When I’m in love, I show it.” She says that I’m just uptight.

We’ve talked about this several times, but we can’t seem to find a happy medium. I enjoy her company very much, but her behavior is becoming embarrassing. Should I break up with her? Or should I just grin and bear it?

David in Lafayette

I’m sorry, but are you daft, lad? You have a lass who is so enamored of you that she cannot keep her hand off of you, and you consider yourself to have a problem? Do you realize how many times Uncle Millie has unsuccessfully attempted to coax lasses to do the very same things that yours seems to do at the drop of a hat? This lass is a gift from a loving God, lad! She is perfect. By your own description, she is very attractive, doesn’t talk too much, and she’s an animal in bed and out of bed. What in heaven’s name are you complaining about, lad?

So, no, you do not “grin and bear it.” If you have a woman who expresses an avid interest in making love in your office and who sticks her tongue down your throat at every available opportunity, you get down on your knees and you thank the Man Upstairs for this blessing, and then you treat her like a queen and pray that you don’t screw it up. You “grin and bear” your in-laws. You “grin and bear” mediocre sex. You do not “grin and bear” this, lad.

In fact, if this behavior troubles you so deeply, you should not abide it. Absolutely not. You do not deserve it. You should do this lass a favor and let her loose. If you would be so kind as to point her in the direction of Uncle Millie, your sins will be absolved. Because I assure you that I would not have to “grin and bear it.” I would embrace her preference for public affection with the enthusiasm it deserves. As for you, lad, I suggest that you marry an accountant, or a librarian, or someone similarly frigid. The two of you can enjoy your tepid relations in strictest privacy, kissing only when Miss Manners would approve, and enjoy your polite and constrained little life. If you find yourself pining for the passion of your warm-blooded ex, do not come crying to Uncle Millie. I will be otherwise occupied.

And so concludes another column’s work. I would like to close by commending the work of a new English singer, a fellow by the name of Professor Green. I was introduced to his work by a compadre here in Veracruz. Professor Green sings the rap, which is definitely not Uncle Millie’s usual cup of tea. (My usual cup of tea is a Scotch.) But he performed a song called “Stereotypical Man,” which summed up my existence remarkably well. I found myself delighted that a modern entertainer had such sensitive insight into the human condition. If you don’t believe me, I offer you this passage:

What do women without issues and unicorns have in common?
They’re both myths; neither exist.

Truer words were never spoken. I salute you, Professor. Happy hunting, lads!

Posted by Mediocre Fred at April 27, 2007 12:07 PM | TrackBack

Should Uncle Millie wish to discover some aspect of Mexico aside from Senor Cuervo, I commend to his attention that wonderful aspect of a Romance language, the plural second person: Como estan (to be formal); como estais (for my favorite, the Spanish version of y'all).

Posted by: PG at April 29, 2007 02:41 PM

Uncle Millie is barely monolingual, so I wouldn't really expect him to become bilingual at this stage of the game. Nonetheless, I will pass your note on to him the next time I talk to him.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at April 30, 2007 12:53 PM

Not much on my mind today. What can I say? I've just been sitting around waiting for something to happen. But i found this site and became happy! tc : ki

Posted by: motommymu at July 26, 2007 10:51 AM

Very nice point of view! Respect!

Posted by: mktommyit at August 1, 2007 03:22 PM

Very nice point of view! Respect!

Posted by: tctommyrp at August 2, 2007 12:23 AM
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