I've been dating a great woman for about three years. She's starting to talk about getting married and having children. I've been ignoring those comments because she knows I'm not going down that road. I told her up front I'm not the marrying kind and I don't like kids. Why do women not believe me when I say this? Why do they think I'm kidding or not telling the whole story or afraid or (this one is the worst) I haven't met the right woman?
Next she'll give me an ultimatum, because all her girlfriends have told her she should do that. And then, I'll have to cut her loose, and I don't want to lose her.
Do you have any suggestions for how to make things MORE clear?
-- Wondering in West Memphis
After a lengthy and bitter third divorce, I went back home to Memphis to seek solace and a fourth wife. Eventually I found a lovely young woman hawking pronto pups at the Mid South Fair. She was perfect in every way – gorgeous, generous, adventurous, gainfully employed, and possessing a full set of teeth. She was open and loving and forgiving, completely understanding of the difficulties presented by monogamy to a virile young man in the prime of life.
Her only fault was her relentlessly primal desire to breed. And not just to breed, but to breed prodigiously – to fill the house with such pitter-patter of tiny feet as to drown out the thunderous ticking of her biological clock. As I already had more wives, lawyers, and progeny than I could afford, I found myself, for the first time in my life, seeking excuses to avoid premarital sex with a beautiful and eager woman.
Man is not meant for such trials. For that reason alone, you have my deepest sympathy.
After three years, this woman is only now starting to talk about marriage and kids? Pal, you've got it better than you know. Let's be honest with ourselves. The only reason you don't want to get married is so you can fool around. However, if she ever caught you shagging her friends, you would lose this otherwise excellent relationship of three years. So in what practical way are you not already married?
Of course, that excuse won't fly with her either. You're going to have to do something or you'll lose her. Time to man up. Marriage ain't all bad, and it has some definite advantages, but you need to protect yourself. I suggest two things – vasectomy, followed by a prenup. If she's willing to marry you on those terms, then by all means go for it. You'll save a fortune on your taxes.
But let me just say this. You are happy with things the way they are, but you can't know if you would be more happy with the way things could be. As much as I complain about paying child support, I wouldn't trade any of my children, not even for a winning Powerball ticket. Well, maybe one kid, but only because he's so much like his father when I was his age. And I was a lot like you are – a self-absorbed dick. Don't knock fatherhood until you've tried it. It might just make you a better person. Look what it did for me.
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Help, I'm buried in toys! I love the Christmas season but now I've started to dread Christmas Day, because my family won't stop giving toys to my children. Every aunt, uncle, grandmother, and grandfather insists on giving each of my children three or four presents each. And not small things, either. Sprawling race tracks and boxes with hundreds of tiny Legos. I'm already up to my ears in Barbie accessories and Christmas is almost upon us once again.
They have six living grandparents, four uncles, and five aunts. If each of those gives just two presents, that plus presents from Santa, Mom, Dad, friends and cousins, usually puts the total at over 30 presents per child. Sometimes well over 30. Multiply that by three children and every Christmas my house is invaded by more than a hundred new toys!
This can't go on. I wanted to place a one-toy limit on the family but my wife is afraid we'll hurt everybody's feelings. Last Christmas we had a huge fight about it after I confronted my mother-in-law without permission, and I don't want a repeat of that. But I am sick of living this way. My house is starting to look like one of those houses on those hoarding television shows. You can't walk across the den without stepping on something.
My old man came from a huge family — 10 brothers and sisters, and my mom had a brother and sister as well, so there never was a shortage of uncles and aunts cluttering up the corners on Christmas Day. They didn't make enough toys back then for every relative to buy me something, though God knows they tried — and who could blame them? The day after Christmas was our traditional day to trade in the duplicates for enough boxes of Sears brand laundry detergent to get us through the year.
One Christmas, the old man tried to put a lid on the toy giving. All I got that year was clothes, and that was a Christmas he lived to regret, because I was at that age when I was beginning to realize how far a well-dressed man could go with the ladies. In fact, I already had my eye on the first Mrs. Waggon. Years later, as he sat weeping over the Goldsmith's bill I had run up, he dreamed of those halcyon days when all he had to worry about was stepping on Legos in the dark.
Your children will solve this problem for you by growing up. All too quickly, my friend. In a few years, your relatives won't be able to afford the kind of toys your kids want. Do you want everyone to remember you as the bastard who ruined Christmas? I suggest you shut your cake hole and polish up your hopscotch skills.
P.S. Ask the kids and their aunts and uncles to give up some of their abundance of toys to kids who don't have any. You get your house back and everybody gets a better Christmas. Hallelujah!
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My boyfriend and I recently decided to go our separate ways. There was nothing dramatic about the breakup, we just grew apart. We have different interests and different friends and really, it's the perfect break-up.
My problem is that I want a clean slate but am having a hard time cutting the ties. We are still Facebook friends and he sent me a Happy Thanksgiving text. I wonder if it was easier in the old days when you broke up and that was the end of it? When I look at his FB pics and status updates, I feel all the angst and jealousy I never felt when we were together. I want him to be happy and have an amazing life. But when he posts evidence of it, I feel like my absence is no more than a blip on his screen. Which leads to me posting happy pretty pictures of MY amazing life without him.
How do I get beyond this?
— Unjustly Ticked-Off
Where can I write this guy to congratulate him on his narrow escape? He must be wiping his brow right about now. Maybe he can get a spot on the new I Shouldn't Be Alive spinoff — I Shouldn't Be So Lucky.
Are you trying to win him back or merely impress him? Try this thought experiment: Relax, take a sip of Island Mist, put on some Barry White, close your eyes, and imagine yourself on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire in a chalet in Branson. You're snowed in and he's kissing you. Does that feel yummy? Or weird?
If yummy, you're not over your perfect breakup. Deep in your sweet little heart you wanted screaming. His ability to walk away whistling a tune has left you wondering whether he ever really loved you. He didn't, so don't try winning him back.
If weird, then you've got some kind of compulsive competitive thing going on that needs professional help. Whenever I need professional help with my competitive compulsions, I see a blackjack dealer, but that's not the right course for everyone.
Either way, you need some distractions. Get involved in something. There must be some trendy cause you can join and bore the ever-loving soul out of your Facebook friends as you describe in painful detail all the wonderful children/baby seals/old buildings you're helping to save. Pretty soon, he'll unfriend you. Problem solved.
So do you really have an amazing life? If so, go out and live it instead of pathetically casting about for validation. I have a pretty amazing life myself, one not everybody is quite up to living. If I sat around trying to impress my ex-wives with the tales of my conquests, I wouldn't have time to troll for the next former Mrs. Waggon.
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My husband has been looking for a job since he was laid off last year. I have tried to be supportive but it's getting harder as the holidays approach. I am working two jobs just to make ends meet. He's helping with the kids and is constantly going on interviews, but even though most of our friends who have been laid off have found jobs, he has not.
I realize his self-esteem is in the toilet, but frankly, I’m too tired to keep building him up. I'm also starting to wonder what's wrong with him that he can't find a job? He's very well educated, good at what he does and had a good track record at his previous job. Even the kids are getting depressed about the situation.
Do you think it's time for some tough love?
Clearly your husband wants to be your wife. How about this Christmas you deck him out in one of your dresses and y'all head on over to my place? I'll shake some vodka out of the bottle and whichever one of you is ugliest can whip up a couple dozen bacon sandwiches while the other discovers the excruciating pleasures of tough love in my private dungeon hideaway.
Your old man is going through hell right now. What kind of tough love do you have in mind? You can't quit your second job, so what else is there, other than a good spanking (which I always recommend, deserved or not).
Instead, why don't you ask him what it is he really wants to do. Maybe his failure stems from his desire not to succeed at something he hates. Maybe he doesn't want to go back to the grind but he's too afraid to tell you. Maybe he doesn't even know he's afraid, or isn't willing to admit it to himself because he thinks if he chucks it in and chases his dream of becoming, say, a farrier, that will only prove he's the failure his asshole father always told him he'd be.
So now your husband wants to become a horse podiatrist. I know, it's weird, but some people can't get enough. At least he's going into medicine, right? Let's forget about that and find out how y'all can make it happen.
Start by building a plan together. He agrees to work five years at his current profession while he trains up, chases clients, and puts together the money he'll need to get off the ground. I think you'll be amazed how quick he finds a job once he knows he doesn't have to punch that clock until the day the dirt hits the lid. It's like my cardiologist recently said, if you know your time at the grindstone is finite and something better awaits you on the other side, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to put your shoulder to the wheel every morning.
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