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Al Veoli: I've Been with My Partner 12 years and...

Al Veoli

Dear Al Veoli:

I've been with my boyfriend for 12 years but now suddenly he likes mustard instead of ketchup and makes fun of anyone who eats red condiments. How can I deal with this?


Dear Yellow:

Unfortunately, once someone converts from regular use of one particular condiment to regular use of another, it is extremely problematic for that person to ever go back. The mustard vs. ketchup debate and struggle is similar to the city vs. country person, the red vs. pink person, and the hamburger vs. hot dog person. Your boyfriend of 12 years must have converted for a reason, and if you're going to be his partner, respect is important. On the other hand, it is not appropriate of him to make demeaning comments about ketchup and other red condiments (such as...red horseradish? Russian dressing? Hmmm). Please articulate to him that rudeness is not acceptable under any circumstances, and whether he's a ketchup or mustard guy is okay with you as long as he's a polite one.

Dear Al Veoli:

I've been with my boyfriend for 12 years, and he says that marriage is an empty social institution, that marriage is sh*t, and that society is sheep following the sh*t. I'm not interested in getting married either, but his attitude is really annoying. What do I say to him?


Dear Single:

As with the ketchup-mustard convert making fun of red condiment users, your boyfriend has a right to his opinion and personal behavior, but does not have a right to be rude to all those who are married. Those who choose to marry do so for their own reasons, and that should be respected. Equating marriage with excrement does little to win admirers or followers. Even if you're not interested in marriage, Al Veoli assumes that you know people who are married (it's hard to know only single people), and they should be accepted.

Dear Al Veoli:

I've been with my boyfriend for 12 years, and he gets me presents all the time. It's a little overwhelming.


Dear Gifted:

Listen, honey, this is not really a problem. Think of all the girlfriends who never get anything, or perhaps get a fake rose with a fake dewdrop on it, if they're lucky. Think of the women who go through life pouring over the Macy's jewelry sale catalog and circling items of interest, leaving the catalog for their significant other, and hoping against hope that something will appear in the next week, earmarked for them, only to have their hopes dashed again and again. Be thankful that your boyfriend is so giving and generous and thoughtful. On the other hand, if his money expenditure puts you off, articulate this to him. Suggest that he can be more giving in ways that do not necessitate spending money: picnics in the park, cooking for you, arranging a day hike--these are all super super fun activities that you can do for free.

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