Oh no! The romantic relationships of our questioneers are in jeopardy…because of VERY IMPORTANT disagreements. Here’s Rebecca from Chesterfield‘s:
My husband and I got married in April and so far the worst argument disturbing our newly wedded bliss is this:
When I tell my husband that I am working “next Saturday” he will then be confused as to why I then make plans for the weekend coming.
He seems to think that “next Saturday” means the coming Saturday as in “the next Saturday.
I have told him that he is wrong. That would be “this Saturday”.
Please help settle this dispute.
Fine. Readers: vote.
And now, another life-or-death point of contention from Julia from Oxford:
My boyfriend, who lives in London, is of Californian origin. We’re both flying out there this month for a holiday and I’m really looking forward to it. The problem I have is this – he is *convinced*, having lived in both the US and the UK, that American bacon is objectively superior. I like American bacon (after all, it’s bacon), but I personally prefer the British style as it’s juicier and meatier than its States-side counterpart.
I understand that tastes differ and don’t consider either type to be better than the other in absolute terms. However, I just know he’s going to go on about the damn bacon while we’re out there and insist on asking me whether it’s better every time we eat it. He’s quite reasonable about most American/British divide issues, so why on earth is he so dogmatic about this particular foodstuff? Is bacon really that polarising??
Let’s just see, shall we?
And let’s not reignite the Bacon Wars between Canada and Denmark. So many young lives pointlessly lost…
While bacon appears to be a very emotional issue in this relationship, the question Julia should be asking instead is why her boyfriend has to be right – can’t he let this matter lie and just enjoy the bacon of whichever country he’s in? What’s really going on under there?
I’m relieved I don’t live next door to them, because I don’t want to be woken at 3am by screams of “But ours is CRISPIER, Julia!”
I’m a gay man who lives in a medium-sized midwestern city. My mother lives in a smaller city, and is your typical midwestern housewife type. She is very sweet, moderately conservative and church-going. She’s a bright person, but not very worldly, and has rarely, if ever, travelled outside of her state.
Out of the blue this past year, she called me and said that she has always wanted to go to Jamaica, and that since I’m the only person she knows who has travelled extensively, she’d like me as a travel companion on her “once in a lifetime” trip to Jamaica.
I do not know why the sudden interest in Jamaica. She says it’s the beaches she’s seen in travel brochures and the adorable accents that she finds fascinating.
As a gay man, I have a problem with Jamaica, as it is a homophobic country. I’m not usually very political, but I don’t like the idea of spending tourist dollars in a place that is so culturally backward when it comes to gay rights. That said, my mother insists that she pays for everything, as this is her treat, and as both a birthday gift for me and a thanks for accompanying her, so it’s not really my money.
I asked if she’d like to see any other Caribbean islands, or if it has to be Jamaica, and she simply replied “I want to go to Jamaica.”
So answer me this: do I stick to my political beliefs and refuse to go to Jamaica, even though I’m not paying for it, or do I honor my mother’s wishes, hold my nose, and go anyway? I know that my mother is not aware of the ways GLBT men and women are treated in Jamaica, and isn’t interested in supporting it, but she’s also very fixated on this vacation.
Also, if I do go, is it fair that I talk her into getting cornrows done in her hair, as so many women who visit the islands do, as a wicked revenge?
Readers, help out.
Obviously whichever option you choose, she’ll be having the cornrows as well. Dyed to match the rainbow flag.
We’ve heard of sock monkeys, but not shocked monkeys, until we received this email from Larry:
While driving around with my teenage son, Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” came on the radio. After 4 minutes of being told over and over to shock the monkey, we’re not quite sure what he wants us to do. Is this an expression with some other meaning? Or is Mr. Gabriel suggesting that we toss a plugged-in toaster into the tub the next time a chimp takes a bath???
I’ve tried reading through the lyrics, but all I can gather is that Peter Gabriel has probably dropped a lot of acid in his lifetime.
Firstly, Larry, thankyou for directing our attention to this song which we’d never encountered before. The video looks like Peter Gabriel is starring in a Matthew Bourne ballet alongside the Pixar lamp.
Difficult cohabitation has been a theme at AMT lately, and like many of you, the communal living situation is stoking murderous rage in Amanda from Virginia:
I live in a big house with my fiancee and three other roommates. We’re all students in our late 20s. When my fiancee and I moved in here, we were too poor to afford anything else. I’ve got a well-paying full-time job now and go to school online.
I HATE LIVING HERE. My roommates are ridiculously messy. I’m no neat freak, but this house is fucking disgusting. I clean all the time only to find the house trashed again within hours. My roommates also go around all winter long leaving windows and doors open, saying the cold air will rev up their metabolisms and make them skinny.
The problem is our upcoming wedding. If we want a decent wedding and honeymoon in Mexico (which we REALLY want), we’re going to keep living here another year in order to afford it. We haven’t really set a date yet, so I suggested postponing the wedding so we could afford to both move out AND go to Mexico. My fiancee doesn’t want to postpone the wedding at all. I dread my own home. Answer me this: what should we do?
I don’t know how you can postpone something which has not yet been organised, but if another year of domestic dread is likely to damage your relationship so much you never make it as far as the wedding, MOVE. Meanwhile, I assume you’ve eliminated the following possibilities:
1. Evicting the roommates and drafting in super-neat new ones;
2. Finding somewhere else cheap to live;
3. Having a smaller budget for the wedding, because weddings – and particularly American ones – are NEEDLESSLY EXPENSIVE.
Anyway, Amanda, your living arrangements are now in our readers’ hands, as I invite them to vote:
Whatever you do, don’t move out into a commune. Something tells me it wouldn’t suit you.
Cait from Bristol but currently in Orlando got a little wild in her hotel room and now is suffering the shame that inevitably follows:
I am staying in a hotel and have just accidentally got chocolate all over the white bed sheets. Unfortunately, the chocolate looks a lot like I’ve shat myself.
So please answer me this: do I leave housekeeping a note explaining that it’s chocolate and not shit? Do I do nothing and let them think I pooed the bed? Or something else?
It’s so delightfully British of you, Cait, to think of leaving a note! If it makes you feel better, by all means do that – or leave the chocolate wrapper in the bed as an indicator of what has gone on in there (NB also a useful cover in the event of you actually shitting the bed).
However I imagine that the average hotel housekeeper has far too many rooms to clean to spend much time analysing your suspicious-looking stains, or sniffing them to ascertain their origin, or sending off a sample for lab testing. Moreover, they will have surely seen so many scenes of filth and degradation during their careers that your little one-woman scat party would barely warrant an eyebrow-raise.
Wedding planning! So fraught. What if the band doesn’t match the chair-bows? Who has to sit next to racist Aunty Denise? And now Ross faces a problem that Queen Victoria didn’t have to consider prior to her nuptuals. He says:
I’m getting married in December and my girlfriend (we don’t use the ‘f’ word) and I both want quite a relaxed, non-traditional wedding that’s fun for us and our friends. However, I think some of her plans might have gone too far that route so please answer me this: should I let her book the bouncy castle that she wants for our reception?
I’m firmly in the ‘no’ camp because the men will be in suits, the women in dresses, they’ll all be hammered and I don’t want to have to clear vomit off a bouncy castle.
Also it’ll be December, and anyone who has ever bounced on a bouncy castle covered in rain and icicles knows THAT IS WHEN BROKEN NECKS HAPPEN.
Now, I’m all in favour of fun at weddings – everyone at mine thought that sitting mock Maths A-Level papers between the dinner and the dancing was a neat idea! – but I agree with Ross’s qualms about how this might not be the optimal type of fun. For a bunch of adults. Formally dressed. Who have been drinking for six hours already.
Instead I’d recommend diverting the bouncy castle funds towards the cheeseboard. The cheeseboard at my wedding was EPIC. Ask anybody who was there (apart from the two vegans).
In the interests of democracy, however, I invite you readers to vote:
Apparently, over 25% of men aged 30 will have had to consider Keith‘s question, wittingly or not:
I just finished shaving my head. Like many of my friends in their early 30s, I have been struck with male pattern baldness. And like so many of my balding friends, I have chosen to be completely bald rather than futilely dragging long hair from the side of my head over the top. My dad and his generation seemed to prefer the combover. Everyone I know seems to find this look disgusting.
In the history of mankind, has a woman ever found this remotely attractive or preferable to a bald dome? Has anyone ever been fooled into thinking a man with a comb over had a full head of hair? And finally, how long have men been walking around like this?! I MUST KNOW!
I shall address your questions in reverse order. Firstly, Emperor Constantine sported one back in the 4th Century, and emperors don’t tend to be particularly inventive with their hairstyles so it was probably in currency for a while before – for some reason, I picture at least a couple of the apostles with combovers.
I’m going to steer clear of the buses in Seattle, after this question from Joe in Seattle:
Answer me this: would you rather sit directly beside a naked man on the bus or a fully-clothed man with his wiener hanging out?
I’d go for the naked man, because I’d assume he was either a harmless naturist, or a groom from a 1980s wedding farce who’s managed to unchain himself from the lamppost and swim back to the mainland, and is now on the bus to his own wedding where he has to stop the bride saying ‘I do’ to the evil best man who has sabotaged him thus.
Whereas a man who was clothed but whose wiener was unleashed, I would assume that he was keeping it easily accessible as he finds buses sexually arousing. I don’t want to sit next to anyone who finds public transport erotically stimulating. Nor would I want to be there when he finished.