Author: Amy Alkon

Along came polyester

Five years ago, when I was 23, this guy had a crush on me. I was kind of attracted to him, but his crush was so obvious it made me uncomfortable. Also, he had the worst hair and clothes — shiny polyester op-art print shirts and Cosby sweaters. I ended up blowing off dates with him twice, and, unfortunately, my roommate told him to back off in an extremely cruel way. Since then, I\’ve run into him periodically, and he\’s always friendly. I\’ve come to realize he\’s one of the kindest people I know, plus he\’s smart and has the deadpan humor I prize. Also, he\’s suddenly well-dressed and looks hot. It just hit me: I totally want him. I e-mailed and asked if he wanted to hang out sometime. He never answered. I feel sad, guilty and confused. Do I not deserve his friendship after the jerky way I treated him? — My Bad Five years ago, you were probably smack in the middle of that charming stage common to people in their early 20s, \”If you like me, you\’re obviously a steaming pile of poo.\” If this guy hadn\’t made himself so easy to despise, with his disco dirty-old-man shirts and his tendency to spell out your name in drool, you would\’ve found some other reason, like the fact that he has ears. All you had to...

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She Mrs. The Point

Although I\’m a staunch feminist, I took my husband\’s last name. We regularly get mail to \”Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.\” Because of my long-standing hatred of this method of address (eliminating the woman\’s first name), we deliberately return-addressed our wedding invitations and subsequent holiday cards with \”Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe,\” hoping people would understand our preference. Yet, even friends and family who knew me prior to marriage are writing \”Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.\” Surely my own loved ones would consider me someone who still has a first name! My husband understands my plight, but postulates that if I\’m so bothered, I ought to inform the offenders. I do feel strongly about this (and all matters pertaining to a woman\’s right to her own identity), but I\’m an extreme introvert who\’d rather die than hurt people\’s feelings. Should I care less about what others think and tell them they\’re hurting me by perpetuating something I find reprehensible? — Blinding Rage Dear Mrs. John Doe, Enough about your blinding rage; let\’s talk about mine. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were staying at a hotel. I called down to the front desk with a request. The front desk guy said, \”Certainly, Mrs. Sutter!\” Well, I\’m not \”Mrs. Sutter,\” and I have no intention of ever getting married. So … what was the proper response, lecturing him in...

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Here comes the doomed

My best friend of five years was the maid of honor at my wedding, and wants me to be hers, too. The problem is, whenever she isn’t with her fiance, she’s with another man. They go on dates, have sex, and send each other sappy text messages. He paid to name a star (in the sky!) after her for Christmas, and got her a $300 spa package. She says she cannot imagine her life without her fiance, then says the same thing about Guy B. When I tell her I can’t help her plan her wedding to Guy A while she’s telling me about being with this other man, she says I’m judging her, and abandoning her, and I’m just a “fair-weather friend.” — Tormented Like the bride-to-be, I’ve recently made the disappointing discovery that a number of people in my life seem to be “fair-weather friends.” Just last week, I was planning to rob the liquor store, and my so-called friend Jackie, after all I’ve done for her, refused to drive the getaway car. And the other night, I just didn’t have what it takes to drag the garbage bags of body parts into the backyard, then do all the digging. Wouldn’t you know it, I called Nancy, Hillary and Cathy, and surprise, surprise, everybody’s shovel was “in the shop.” Oh, sorry, was I confusing “friend” with “accomplice”?...

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Going all the away

The other night, I really hit it off with a woman I met in a bar. Even though her friend had taken me aside and told me I could get this woman to go home with me, at the end of the evening, I only asked her for her number. When she hesitated in giving it to me, I gave her my e-mail address. I still haven’t heard from her. My guy friend chided me that I missed an opportunity to “get some.” The thing is, I am not looking to just “get some.” What I want most is a lasting, stable, sexual relationship with a woman with whom I can share this fleetingly beautiful existence. Did I do the right thing, or should I give up on my foolish notions of finding that special someone and just go for the “hookup”? — A Gentleman It’s not the sort of thing you dream of telling your grandkids: “Your grandma and I met at a bar. We were drinking heavily, and she looked awfully good at closing time.” Still, even if you aren’t looking to “get some,” if you do happen to be offered some, the wisest course of action isn’t covering your privates and diving behind a barstool. This doesn’t mean you have to end the evening in the position to cancer-check a woman’s hidden moles. But once you...

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Where the wild things aren’t

My daughter is getting married this month, and we’re having a formal evening reception featuring champagne and dancing. On the invitation, we stated “Adult Reception.” You cannot imagine the trauma this has caused. We don’t have the budget to have lots of children at the reception, but more importantly, my daughter, her fiance, and I feel a formal evening event is not appropriate for children. Were we out of line, and do we need to apologize? — Mother Of The Bride-To-Be Well, excuse you if the last two words you want to hear at your daughter’s wedding are “FOOOD FIGHT!” And maybe, just maybe you’d like to avoid having some parent pull you aside at the reception and whisper, “You don’t think the bridesmaids’ dresses are flammable, do you? My 8-year-old’s in her arson phase again.” Who says America isn’t a monarchy? It’s ruled by millions of tiny tyrants named Cody and Madison, presiding over adult-sized serfs called parents whose single greatest fear is not being liked by their children. Such parents have their uses. No, not setting boundaries, but filling toy orders, nodding submissively at their children’s self-revised bedtimes, and sweeping up meatloaf and peas hurled on the floor and replacing them with Cocoa Krispies with a side of Snickers in chocolate sauce. Parents like these are convinced that the world revolves around their children, and they can’t...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 21 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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    August 23 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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    August 23 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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    August 23 @ 7:00 pm - August 25 @ 8:30 pm
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    August 23 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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    August 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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    August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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    August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm