March 01, 2005

More Fresh Hot Love Advice!

Today's Musical Selection: "Love's Theme" by Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra

Hello, everyone! Once again, it's time for Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice and their patented brand of love advice. (Well, it's not really patented, but honestly, who would steal it?) Today, America's sweethearts come to us from... my living room. That's right, Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice were passing through town, and they've chosen to de-camp in my guest room. This despite the fact that, considering what I'm paying them to do this column, they could easily afford a hotel. In fact, they could afford to rent a house while they're here. (Uncle Millie, who is reading this over my shoulder, says, "'Tisn't so, lad. You neglected to include a whiskey allowance." Aunt Beatrice, who is reading over the other shoulder, says, "You can't forget to make an allowance for Uncle Millie. In fact, living with Uncle Millie is all about allowances.")

But, nonetheless, I am happy to see them, despite the fact that I now have two roommates, and the fact that I was not informed of their impending arrival in advance. (Uncle Millie: "Lad, we're never sure where we'll be from one day to the next. We're a force of nature." Aunt Beatrice: "Like a hurricane.")

You know what? I think I'm going to go ahead and turn the keyboard over to them right now. "Gilmore Girls" is on, and if I give them column-writing duties right now, perhaps I can have my television to myself, for the first time in four days. (Uncle Millie: "Gilmore Girls? Lad, what kind of a man watches that program? Are you sure you like women?" Aunt Beatrice: "Millie! He's our host. You shouldn't say things like that." Uncle Millie: "I didn't say there's anything wrong with not liking women. I just-")

Ladies and gentlemen, here you go. Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice. I'll be back after the show.

- - - - -

I Never Knew Love Before, Then Came You, and a Bottle of Whiskey, and a Magic Fingers Bed, by Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice

UM: Hello, lads! Greetings from Mediocre Fred's charming apartment. The lord of the manor is off watching his beloved Gilmore Girls, which just between us lads, seems a little queer to me.

AB: Millie! He's sitting right across the room. And besides, just because he likes a show that happens to be primarily watched by women, that does not imply anything about his sexuality.

UM: Not that there aren't some lovely ladies on that show. Uncle Millie has seen the commercials. But all they ever seem to do is talk. What's the point in that? If I want to hear women talk, I pick up the extension when my beloved is talking to her sister.

AB: Please tell me you do not do that.

UM: Perhaps I have said too much.

AB: At any rate, I want to thank Fred for putting us up on such short notice. And I must say, it's a nice little apartment he has here.

UM: Hmpf. As nice as an apartment without whiskey can be.

AB: Aren't you America's least gracious guest? You invite yourself over on no notice, and then you complain because he didn't buy you booze?

UM: A good host is never without.

MF: If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake.

UM: What good is a cake? Unless it's a fruitcake soaked in rum. Mmmmm....

AB: Millie, stop it.

UM: However, a thoughtful travels always comes prepared. And I did bring my own supply.

AB: Namely, a bottle of Pinot Noir he pilfered from the last house we stayed in. And Fred's cooking sherry. And... is that vanilla extract?

UM: Sometimes, in dire situations, you must improvise.

AB: You're unbelievable.

UM: I know. I must say, though, that Fred's abode is rather charming. The pull-out couch is perfect for lovemaking. Not to mention the balcony, which was perfectly designed for us to-

AB: Millie!

MF: What's that about the balcony?

AB: Nothing, Fred! Why don't we read our first letter before Uncle Millie has a chance to say something else shameful or embarassing.

UM: The night is young, my dear.

AB: Indeed.

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

I'm a little bumfuzzled when it comes to women. It seems like I'm not able to read their signals too well. A number of times, I've thought a woman was interested in me, only when I tried to act on it, it turned out she wasn't. Which is kinda awkward. Especially in church.

Could you give me a sort of primer on how to tell for sure when a woman's interested? Like a list of things I should look for to tell if a woman wants to be more than friends? It sure would help me, and any other guys in the same boat.

Lee in Frederick

AB: Hi, Lee. Sorry to hear about your situation. Dating can be pretty confusing as it is, and if you're not good at reading those subtle signals from women, it can be really tough. And the signs are pretty subtle.

UM: I think your problem, lad, is that you're too subtle. Let the women know from the get-go where you're coming from, say by flashing a condom at them, and you'll save all those pesky hassles and confusions.

AB: Please ignore him, Lee. Here are a few classic signs you can look for: She keeps playing with her hair. She smiles at you for no apparent reason. She giggles at things that aren't really funny. She looks at you intently for a while, then looks away. She keeps touching you, leaning in close to you. These are some things to keep an eye out for.

UM: Sure, if you're one of those obsessive types who likes staring at those "Find the differences between these pictures" puzzles. But believe me, my way will save you a great deal of time and trouble. If, instead of coming on saying, "What's you name?", you'll say something a little more definite, such as, "How about we do it on this coffee table?", you won't need to waste your time pussyfooting around trying to decide if she's giggling because she likes you, or if she's been inhaling laughing gas.

AB: Well, you could do it Uncle Millie's way. The difference between his approach and my approach is the difference between a fine sander and a chain saw.

UM: The chain saw is much quicker.

AB: Indeed. And about as subtle as, well, you.

UM: I'll admit, my way has its downsides. But slapped faces and thrown drinks just come with the territory, I say.

AB: I assume he wrote in to us because he wanted to avoid those things happening to him. Your approach is about one step above clubbing women over the head and dragging them around by their hair. Any idiot can use the damn-the-torpedoes approach.

UM: I resent that. And it's not true.

AB: All right, I apologize. It takes a special kind of idiot to do it your way.

UM: With style!

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

My girlfriend and I have been together for three years, and I'm not sure if the relationship is worth saving. Nowadays, we fall into petty arguments over nothing of consequence on a daily basis. Where once we rushed to help each other with routine tasks, now the dishes pile up in the sink and the floors are rarely vacuumed.

We still love each other, and we have our good moments, but the thrill is gone, and I don't know if we'll ever get it back. We spend so much time bogged down in trivial fights and grudges that I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble. There's a woman I work with who's bright, vivacious and fun. I've been sorely tempted to see where that leads. But is this just a case of the-grass-is-always-greener, or is my current relationship past its prime? (I'm 28 and my girlfriend is 26, if it matters.)

Good Time Charlie in Muskegon

UM: Dump her, lad! That ship has sailed! Time to go graze on that greener grass! Start fresh! Go for the gusto!

AB: Hi, Charlie. As usual, Uncle Millie's response fails to grasp the nuance of the situation. It's natural for any long-term relationship to have its valleys, and the thrill of infatuation certainly wears off over time-

UM: You're 28! In the prime of life! Dump the ball and chain and live it up!

AB: -and once that excitement is gone, the relationship will require some work-

UM: Listen to your body! It's calling for a change!

AB: -and if you're not expecting it to require work, a sense of disappointment is natural. On the other hand-

UM: The Booty Train is leaving the station! Get on board!

AB: -if the relationship really is nothing but drudgery, there's no point in prolonging the agony simply out of a sense of duty-

UM: They're playing your song: The Horizontal Polka!

AB: -believe me, I should know.

UM: Just like tires, you need to rotate partners every 5,000 miles!

AB: Fine sander. Chain saw. You may see a theme developing here.

UM: I'll make you a copy of my Official Bikini Inspector card, lad! It really helps open doors, if you know what I mean.

AB: I wish I didn't.

Dear Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice,

I have a bit of an unusual problem. I've been seeing my girlfriend for nine months, and she's terrific. I don't have a bad thing to say about her. We've had a great time. So great, in fact, that we're planning to move in together.

There's only one small problem. My girlfriend has a cat that she likes very much. She's had it since she was a kid. But I'm allergic to pet hair, and I know I couldn't possibly live with that cat in the house. The cat is getting old and may not have long to live, but I don't want to wait, especially since I'll be miserable if the cat live for several more years. But I don't have the heart to ask my girlfriend to give it up. Every time I even hint at it, she treats me like I'm the Grinch. How should we resolve this?

Davey in Ontario

AB: Hi, Davey. Well, the most obvious thing that occurs to me is that you could wait until the cat passes away. If he or she is getting elderly anyhow, it might only be a matter of a few months or a year, particularly if the cat isn't well. On the other hand, if the cat lives to be Methuselah, you might have a problem. And do you know if your girlfriend would want another cat to replace this one when he or she goes? I think you probably should start by talking to her about this. You'll need to find a middle ground that can make you both happy.

UM: Stuffy nonsense. Why does most of your advice seem to involve talking? It's that way with all you women... you want to talk everything to death. Like those Gilmore Girls over there that Fred's so engrossed with.

What you need, as the King once said, is "a little less conversation, a little more action." The cat's getting up there in years? Perhaps you can nudge the cycle of life along a little. I'm not suggesting you tie the thing up in a sack and throw it in the river -- that's illegal in most states. But maybe if Snowball's got diabeted, you replace the insulin with, say, dishwater.

AB: Millie, that's just awful!

UM: Maybe take the kitty off to see Dr. Purrvorkian. Ha ha! Get it? Purr-vorkian? I slay me.

AB: I wish someone would. Davey, I'm not sure you and your girlfriend really understand the dimensions of the pet problem.

UM: All you need to understand are the dimensions of the shoebox you'll stuff the little furrball in after you-

AB: Enough! I will not stand for you advocating the murder of poor defenseless animals. This may be a new low even for you.

UM: You say that every week.

AB: It sure seems that way, doesn't it?

UM: Well, it sounds like Fred's little chit-chat show is done with, and so is this column.

AB: Once again, I thank Fred for his hospitality, and offer my apologies for having to put up with Uncle Millie up close like this. Do you have anything to add, Millie?

UM: Purr-vorkian... hee hee...

AB: And on that note, we're out of here.

UM: See you in a fortnight! Happy hunting!

- - - - -

Thank you, Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice, for another wild ride. They'll be back in two weeks. I'm not sure where they'll be, but I certainly hope they won't be here. (Uncle Millie: "Are you implying you don't enjoy our company, lad?" Aunt Beatrice: "Can you blame him? I wouldn't be surprised if he threw us out because of you." Uncle Millie: "In that case, we'd better re-visit the balcony while we still have the chance...")

I'm not sure what they like so much about the balcony... No matter. See you next time!

Posted by Fred at March 1, 2005 09:20 PM
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