Occasionally, I receive letters from lovely young people seeking guidance on their future life choices. As a successful father, more or less, to a number of children of my own (more than a six-pack, less than a case), I try to help them out as best I can. -- JW
I'm about to graduate from high school and was thinking about going into medicine. My dad says once Obamacare goes into effect, doctors will be paid less than teachers. Do you think doctor will still be a good career choice by the time I graduate?
-- Looking Ahead
Medicine was one of my career choices. After spending seven years obtaining my bachelor's degree in the liberal arts, I decided to apply for medical school. I sorted through the pile of polite but firm responses, selected the only positive one, and shipped off to a wonderful little Caribbean island coincidentally named after a local fishing Mecca.
My studies were going well until one day the US Marines kicked in the door and ruined any hope I had of an eventual career in the medical arts. You see, our president at the time had recently pulled a Vietnam in Lebanon and needed a little state-sponsored violence to redeem his Commander-in-Chief bonafides. I happened to be entertaining a group of visitors from a neighboring Caribbean island. They were spending a few months at my place doing research. I had decided to do my thesis on the effects of prolonged exposure to tobacco, rum, plastic poker chips, and women. I had received a grant to conduct my research, along with a number of test subjects who, it turned out, were somehow involved with the military and political operations of that neighboring island government.
Tell your dad to stop watching Fox News. No one other than my dear sainted mother can predict the future. She always pointed me toward the recession-proof professions -- doctor, lawyer, mortician. You can't go wrong with one of those. No matter what the economy is like, there will always be a demand for someone to fix my ticker, post my bail, and bury my worthless in-laws.
If you do become a doctor, please don't schedule eight patients for the same time. Believe it or not, some people have a problem with that.
I'm in love with my physics teacher. She's really hot, plus she's only like six years older than me. Do you think we could have a future together? Should I tell her how I feel?
I'm an out gay male in a stable relationship with another out guy, who I'll call Dave. We've been together nine months. Dave comes from a big family (three sisters, one brother) who are accepting and loving. I've been in relationships where I had to pretend to be a roommate. This is so much better, so much more liberating. I can actually enjoy being with Dave's family. My family is a different story. My father has never accepted the way I am. I hate going home, and I can't take Dave with me on those rare occasions when I do go home.
The other day, his brother texted me. I'll call him Todd. Todd asked me to come over because he had a surprise. Dave's birthday was coming up, so I thought it had something to do with that. It didn't.
Todd and I ended up having sex. He's in his early twenties and way hot, but I never thought he was anything but totally straight. He's got a girlfriend and he's always flirting with girls. I never got a vibe from him at all until his hands were all over me. Then I couldn't stop myself.
Now I feel horrible. I'm so ashamed. Todd is fine with it (he says he's been bi for years), but I've got this crushing guilt. I can't think straight. It's depressing the hell out of me. Dave has noticed, of course, and he wants to know what's wrong. I've got to confess, but I know it will ruin everything when I do.
Tearing My Hair Out
Boy, you really put your foot in it. Not only did you cheat, you cheated with your lover's younger brother. That's just low. Well, we're all human. Some of us are more human than others, but everybody makes mistakes. Some mistakes are honest mistakes and some are stupid mistakes. You made an honest mistake.
So don't make it worse by making a stupid mistake. You want to confess to make yourself feel better. In my opinion, that's more selfish and inconsiderate than screwing Dave's little brother. Not only will confession destroy your relationship with Dave, you destroy his relationship with his brother, and quite possibly ruin the entire family. You should have kept it in your pants in the first place. Now you want to take it out and wave it around for everybody to see.
Don't. Just don't.
This is something you've got to learn to live with. This is something you have to take to your grave. You're miserable now, but that feeling will pass in time and eventually you'll get over it. If guilt is still consuming you a month from today, then go talk to a priest. Meanwhile, steer clear of Todd.
Got a question? Jack Waggon will set you straight: firstname.lastname@example.org
Me and my old lady moved in together about a year ago, a nice little two-bedroom in midtown. She's from Maryland and has a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Lady. I have an English bull terrier named Henry, so we split the pet deposit. We both love dogs, so everything was cool.
Then she brings home another Chessie, as they call these dogs, named Sprocket. He'd been rescued from the pound and she'd taken him in because she's a member of one of these rescue organizations dedicated to a single breed. Sprocket's gone now, because she found a home for him, but now we have three more Chessies.
These are four big, energetic, overgrown puppies in our little bitty apartment. They're tearing the place to pieces and freaking my dog out. Henry shakes all the time now because he's scared one of them horses is about to jump on him again. Every time she finds somebody to adopt one of these dogs, something always falls through. They don't have enough room or they work all the time or something. Her problem is, she don't want to give them up. When she gave up Sprocket, it almost killed her. She didn't go to work for a week.
Yesterday she called me and said she's bringing home another one. I lost my cool and went off on her over the phone. She said some stuff to me, too. We're ok now, but I still feel bad. I love her dogs. They're just too many of them and she won't get rid of any. Honest to God, I'm about to the point where I change the locks while she's taking her dogs for a walk.
In the Dog House
I'm a cat man, myself. Dogs are like children – nice to visit and play with, as long as you can go home when you've got them bouncing off the walls. Better to be an uncle than a daddy, if you know what I mean. I prefer both my human and animal companions to be fully capable of taking care of their own business. But I had dogs when I was a kid, so I'm not a cat snob. They just fit my lifestyle.
By my count you now have six medium-to-large size dogs living in your two-bedroom apartment. My guess is you're already in violation of your lease. If you don't do something, somebody else is going to change the locks while you're out for a walk. Either that or they're going to hit you with a pet fee that's going to price you right out of the place.
Your old lady sounds like her heart's in the right place. She just needs to get her head on straight. Talk some sense to her. Don't get mad about it, just lay out the facts. Sooner or later your landlord is going to get wind of your situation and boot your asses out. Y'all either need to get rid of some dogs or find a bigger place. Like, out in Marshall County somewhere.
In any case, if she can't give up her foster dogs, she needs to stop fostering dogs. She's living a lie. Tell her I said so.
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My husband and I have been together for six years, four of them married. I have a son who is 11, my husband has two daughters, one in college and the other one college age but living at home and working. I always thought we were happily married until last Saturday.
I was folding laundry when I came across a pair of panties that didn't belong to me. They don't match anything in my stepdaughter's dresser, either. They might belong to the stepdaughter who is at college, but as I do most of her laundry when she is home, I don't think they belong to her, either. I've already eliminated every possible reasonable explanation (no overnight female visitors, no switching of clothes at the beach, etc.).
I really don't know what to do. I haven't spoken to anyone about this. If there is a reasonable explanation, I will look like a jealous, suspicious shrew. If there isn't a reasonable explanation, our home is wrecked, our marriage ruined. I hate to be this way, but I am the woman he cheated with during his previous marriage. My mother tried to warn me — once a cheater, always a cheater. — Panties in a Wad
An almost identical event nearly ruined my third marriage. It turned out that my daughter had been babysitting and, in the process of snooping around her employer's house, had taken a fancy to some Victoria Secrets and 'borrowed' them. They got mixed in with her stepmother's laundry (the woman didn't know how to sort), and subsequently found during the folding process. It was impossible for me to explain to her in a way that she would believe that the panties didn't come off anyone I knew.
Eventually, my daughter admitted to the theft and saved our marriage (albeit temporarily), but not before the damage of trust had been done. Her suspicions aroused, my wife eventually realized that I was telling the truth when she discovered that my girlfriend didn't wear panties. Until that moment, she thought I had bribed my daughter to take the blame. I wish I had thought of that.
You may think you have eliminated every possible reasonable explanation, but I assure you that you haven't. There are any number of possibilities, some of them good, some not so good. For example, have you considered that your husband may be a crossdresser? It could be that they belong to one of your stepdaughters, and the reason you have never seen them until now is that she's been hiding them from you. Let's hope they don't belong to your son. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The only way you will ever know is to ask, but there are ways of asking that won't generate the confrontation you fear. You might ask your stepdaughter to fold some laundry and let her discover them. If they disappear, you'll know they belong to her. If she brings them to you, you'll know she is innocent. She might even ask the other daughter about them and save you the trouble. Your husband will eventually be drawn into the discussion, and it will all come about without you looking like the bad guy.
I hope it ends well for you, but chances are, your fears are well-founded. Thankfully for men, women don't often listen to their mothers.
Got a problem? Jack Waggon will set you straight: firstname.lastname@example.org