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In Kneed of Advice

Fence, Aisle, Fence

From a Distance

In Love and War

Conscience and Communication

Cleaning, Confusing, and Mothering Woes

Love's Liabilities


No Love for Me

The Internet, the Pain, and the Trust

Doubt, Lack, Doubt


Al Veoli: Cleaning, Confusing, and Mothering Woes

Al Veoli

Dear Al Veoli:

I have been living with my friend for year and half, we have been friend since middle school we have the same friends and everything. but it's like I am doing everything around the house I clean after her, take out the trash, buy all of the cleaning products my name is on all the bills, but it seems that whatever I say or do it makes her mad at me and then she does not talk to me for days. The other thing is that her boyfriend lives down stairs from us, so she is never around do anything. Right now she is mad at me for what I have no idea what for. so she hides from me or when I do try talking to her she makes like that I am not even there we have 4 more months left in a lease should I just break the lease and move out, and the other thing is that she is getting married and I am in her wedding. If I break the lease should I tell her that I will not be in her wedding?

-Cleaning Cathy

Dear Cleaning Cathy:

It sounds, dearie, as if your cohabitant has some anger management problems and that she feels it is perfectly appropriate and acceptable to take out these problems on you. The issue is that you are a good person, so you take out the trash and buy supplies for the house and attempt to work out things with your roomie. That is all well and noble, but if your roomie persists in not helping with anything, not contributing to cleaning or even spending money on cleaning, leaving you to do all the work, then you are only sabotaging your own game if you let things go on like this. If your roommate ignores you when you try to speak with her, then that is a pretty significant signal to you that something is seriously wrong. Al Veoli suggests breaking the lease, if you want, after informing your roommate that you have had enough of her abusive behavior and that you are not in the mood to be the doormat, especially since you've probably purchased a literal doormat yourself, with no financial assistance from her. Regarding her wedding, if this woman does not have the wherewithal to treat you decently on a day to day basis, Al Veoli suggests bowing out gracefully. Oh, and take those cleaning supplies with you when you leave!

Dear Al Veoli:

I'm a sophomore in college and lately I've found myself looking differently at my math teacher. He invites me to come by his office and sit and chat and is the best person to talk to. I can't help but to stare at him and I daydream so much during class that he notices. The thing is, I know I like him, but I'm not sure how to tell if he likes me. He's going through a separation with his wife and shares a lot of his problems with me. Yes, there is an age gap, but should this matter?? How can I tell if he feels the same for me?? What should I do?

-Sophomore Sadist

Dear Sophomore Sadist:

Al Veoli must first say that this is a bad, bad, bad idea in a very straightforward sense. First, you are in this man's class. It is not the age difference that is significant but the fact that he has control over your grade and over your standing at the university in general. Suppose that you were to become involved with him. Suppose that that is very messy, as it doubtlessly would be, and suppose that he dumps you within two weeks. He then resents you and gives you a D to prove it. Not only that, but he badmouthes you to all of his colleagues, who do not know the real story. Then you have a D on your transcript and you are hated by the entire math department, perhaps even all of the science departments as well. Second, if he is going through a separation, emotionally he is very vulnerable right now, and he is (Al Veoli would like to give him the benefit of the doubt here), acting in ways in which he would not normally act. How do you know you're the only one he speaks to about his marital issues? Chances are that you're not. In addition, trust me, honey, your classmates will not appreciate it if you get involved with a professor, and neither will the university--since it's probably against your school's code of conduct. Maintain your distance, finish the course, and find someone way more appropriate.

Dear Al Veoli:

I have a friend who is always telling me what she thinks I should do. She tells me I'm supposed to do things a certain way just because it's her way. She's telling me how to handle my kids and she says I spoil mine. My kids act better than hers so it makes me angry but I never say anything because I'm not sure how to tell her she's being too bossy! Can you give me some advice? Also what makes me mad is when I give her very good advise like to smoking when you're pregnant she gets very defensive.

-Mad Mommy

Dear Mad Mommy:

You have to put your foot down sooner or later. Some people, unfortunately, love to tell others what to say, eat, wear, what career path to take, what school to go to, how to raise children...the list goes on. You have to say firmly and clearly that you can handle things on your own, THANK YOU, and in addition, you can helpfully and handily point out to your friend that if she is completely unwilling to take such simple, good advice as not to damage her fetus by smoking when she is pregnant, then you're not really going to subscribe to her for helpful kiddie tips.

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