Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jack Does a Three-way

Posted By on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Dear Jack,

My new girlfriend is a horrible singer, but she loves to sing. She sings in the car, she sings around the house, she sings at parties. She even sings in bed. She's so out of tune, it's pathetic. People cringe and look away, embarrassed whenever she breaks into song.

I don't know what to say to her. I really like her when she's not singing.

All Bleeding Ears

Dear ABE,

I don't want to get all Seinfeldian on you, but you might have to find a new girlfriend.

The only thing worse than listening to someone sing badly is listening to someone tell you how badly you sing. If you want to shatter her illusions and break her heart, go ahead and tell her. A more subtle approach might be to take her out for karaoke and let her experience the gruesome reaction of an impartial audience.

Dear Jack,

My mother recently divorced her third husband. Her whole life, she has been married to someone who could take care of her. She's very good at finding wealthy men, so she has money coming in monthly — quite a bit of it.

I'm the oldest of her kids and was the first to move out. I moved out pretty young, before she and dad divorced, because I couldn't stand to be around her. But over the years, we've reconciled and have grown quite close. Because of her declining health, she can't live on her own now and so I let her move in with me. I'm divorced myself. We pooled our money (most of it hers) and bought a nice place.

It has all come back to me — why I couldn't wait to move out, all those years ago. The woman is a nightmare, especially when she hangs her health issues around my neck and guilts me to death. I would leave today, but I can't afford to live without her. What can I do?

Maybe Moving into a Motel

Dear Norman,

Do you have a basement you can lock her in?

Seriously, you're both adults. Tell her you won't be treated like a kid anymore. You've grown up — now it's time for mom to grow up, too. Tell her if she doesn't shape up, she'll have to hire somebody to take care of her or else move into a home. If that doesn't scare her straight, nothing will.

Dear Jack,

We live in this wonderful little bungalow in Midtown. We were so lucky to find it, especially considering the price. It has some problems but all old houses have problems. The neighborhood is fantastic, and we have the best neighbors ever.

My boyfriend wants to leave. He is convinced our house is haunted. He says he can't stay there at night by himself and I work nights. He's a big guy and I never thought he'd be scared of anything, but he really doesn't like it there. I came home the other morning and found him asleep in his car.

I haven't felt anything in our house except peace. I love this place and don't want to leave. What can I do?

Afraid to Move

Dear Fearful Mover,

I assume this is a rental you're talking about, not a house you purchased. If so, why not move? Sure, it's a great place, but you can find another one, maybe even a better one.

You probably can't break your lease without losing the deposit, so agree to move but only at the end of your lease. Meanwhile, give him the job of finding your new place. Since he is the one insisting on moving, tell him it has to be just as good as the house you're leaving.

Because if you don't move, he might move without you, and then it will be just you, all alone in that empty house with a ghost.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Her Friend's Dating a Braggart

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Dear Jack,

My best friend — we'll call her Shelly — has recently fallen for a compulsive liar. He's a sweet guy in nearly every way, but he has this weird need to spout the most outrageous bullshit. Usually the stories are about himself, what he's done in the past, the women he has dated, the people he knows or has met.

It doesn't seem to bother Shelly, but I just want to stab myself in the ears listening to him go on and on about his sexual conquests. If you know somebody famous, he knows somebody even more famous. If you've been somewhere exotic, he's been somewhere even more exotic and out of the way. If you talk about some band, he claims to have jammed with them before they became famous. He has even hinted that his mother was a groupie and his father is a famous rock star. Of course, he never has any proof of anything he says. The photos were lost, his computer with the emails was stolen, his account hacked, a jealous girlfriend threw it all away. His excuses are even more imaginative than his stories.

What bothers me the most about him isn't him. It's Shelly. She believes him. He wouldn't lie to her. It drives me nuts to listen to her tell his stories for him. It's like I can't get away from it, even when he's not there. One of our friends recently laughed in her face and she was really hurt, so now I'm afraid to say anything to her. But honestly, I don't know how much longer I can listen to his tales of slumming with sheiks and royals and nearly driving in the Monaco Grand Prix. He's only 23! He'd have to be 63 to have done all the things he's said he's done.

Buried in Lies

Dear Buried,

It's easy enough to laugh. When I was in the CIA, we used to run into these people all the time, so I know how you feel. If only I hadn't left my license to kill in my other pants ...

Shelly is hopeless. At the moment, she's smitten, but that will wear off. Eventually she'll wake up and smell the bullshit. Until then, all you can do is wait. If you confront her, you'll just lose her as a friend. For the sake of your bleeding ears, you might want to try not to spend so much time with her. Give her plenty of space and time with Mr. Bond to come to her senses.

When she finally does, be generous. She'll need an understanding friend. Don't shake your head and roll your eyes. Just accept her back as graciously as you can. In time, you'll both be able to laugh about him.

And just to sympathize with the devil, maybe his self-esteem is so rotten that he needs to make shit up rather than admit to the horrible ordinariness of his life. Thank God I don't have that problem. Maybe he could be as sweet as you say in every other way, if he could only discover that he can just be himself, that people don't need his BS to think he's a pretty swell guy. Probably not, but you never know.

Got a problem? Jack Waggon will set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hunting for Help

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Dear Jack,

I recently changed schools and yes, it's my senior year and I had to make all new friends. I've always been good at making friends, so it wasn’t too bad. It wasn't long before I met this really sweet guy and we've really connected and fallen in love.

There's just one thing. When I fell in love with him, I didn't know he was such an avid hunter. Now that hunting season is here, he goes hunting with his friends every Saturday morning. Right now, all he can talk about is deer season, which is coming up soon. I guess I should have known, the first time I had dinner with his family and they served venison.

I hate hunting and I never thought I could love a hunter. I love him, but I don't understand how he can kill innocent animals for fun. I've tried letting him know how much I disapprove by changing the subject whenever he starts talking about hunting, but I don't think he gets it. Should I tell him how I feel? What if it drives us apart? His hunting never gets in the way of our relationship. He doesn't go hunting instead of being with me. I'm not one of these PETA people, but I can't stand the idea of him killing animals. He's too sweet at heart. I think he just does it to go along with his friends.

Soft-hearted Senior

Dear Softy,

When I was your age, I broke up with probably the best girl I've ever met when I found out she secretly listened to Wham! She'd just been posing as a hoodlum to get to me. At the time, I thought she was a complete fake, when all she had been trying to do was attract me by being what she (correctly) thought I wanted. So who was the real fake?

It actually is possible that he's a sweet guy with a heart of gold who enjoys bonding with other boys his own age by killing innocent animals. He may not be doing it just to go along. He might actually like it. If his family serves venison to honored guests like yourself, hunting it probably an important part of their family tradition. His desire to share his enthusiasm with you is a good indication that he doesn't see anything wrong with it.

He'll probably be hurt and confused if you continue to feign disinterest rather than speak to him directly and honestly about how you feel. But go slow. If you try to change him all at once, if you issue any ultimatums (which I don't think you will do, but it needs saying), you'll lose him. People can change, if given time.

After all, there was a time in my life when all I wore was camo. The last deer I killed was with a car, and that was fifteen years ago.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

She's Got Problems With Her Ex

Posted By on Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Dear Jack,

My son is 16 and lives with his father, whose house is in a good school district. Almost two months ago, I bought my son a truck to drive to school and to his part-time job. He pays for his own gas and I pay half his insurance, his father pays the other half.

Last week, I learned that his father and older step-brothers have been driving the truck. They used it to pull his father's bass boat on their fishing trip. This fishing trip didn't include my son. Needless to say I was furious. True, he had to work that weekend and couldn't have gone on the trip, but I'm not sure they even asked if he wanted to go. They just took his truck and left him one of the step-brothers' junk cars, which broke down, which is how I found out because I had to go pick up my son from the side of the interstate.

I have told him that I don't want anyone else driving that truck. He says he doesn't mind them driving it, but I know how his father is. The man will take what he wants without even asking. The step-brothers bully him constantly. He's afraid to tell them no.

I'm tempted to take the truck back, but that will only hurt my son. If I say something to his father, the step-brothers are bound to hear about it and will make his life even worse than it is. I wish I could have him living with me, but that would mean changing to a different and much worse school - I can't afford to live where his father lives. So how can I stop them from driving the truck?

Angry Mother

Dear Mad Mom,

Your first mistake was buying your son a truck. If he were paying the notes on it, he'd be much less inclined to let anyone bully the keys out of him. I've had five cars in my lifetime. The first two were given to me and lasted a little more than two years each before they were ready for the pull-a-parts yard. I bought my third car myself and drove it for fourteen years, until the doors literally fell off. Then I had a windfall of money and bought a new car, which lasted less than a year before the lawyers confiscated it. I'm still driving my fifth car, which took me six years to pay off, thanks to the fact I no longer had a windfall. We value most what we pay for with our sweat. Also, ex-wives generally don't take eight-year-old Saturns in the divorce.

But now that you've given him the truck, you can hardly take it back. It's his to do with as he wishes. Just because you bought it doesn't mean it's still yours, even if you didn't buy it for his father to drive. Do you think my uncle, a contented old bachelor who worked like a dog all his life so he could retire to Spain and be dead within a year, would have willed me his fortune if he thought I would burn through it in less than a year on blow and hookers? Ok, so that's a bad example, though to be honest I only spent half of it. The other half was taken by my other half, even though she didn't know the man existed until the day the estate lawyer called from Barcelona.

You can't stop his father from driving the truck. The only card you have to play is your half of the insurance payments. You could offer to let his father pay the full cost of insurance. No doubt he will pass that cost along to your son. I doubt you want that to happen. All you can do is let your son know that you don't approve, and then drop it. Forget about it. Try to look at the good side - at least his bimbo isn't driving it, right? Life's too short to be obsessing over the actions of your former spouse. Don't let your continuing ill feelings toward the man damage your relationship with your son.

Also, if you really want your son to live with you, look into optional schools. He's old enough to drive himself to school, and now he has a truck to drive. Hopefully the optional school program will last long enough for him to graduate.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

Sunday, October 2, 2011

His Roommate is a Wanker!

Posted By on Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Dear Jack,

I recently moved to Memphis for my job. A friend of a friend recommended someone they knew who needed a roommate, so I met the guy. He seemed ok and the deal was pretty good so I moved in. I've been here for about three weeks now. About a week after I moved in, I came home from work one Friday and found him sitting in the den wanking. Unlike a normal person in a normal situation, he didn't try to hide it. He just said, "Hey," and kept on going. I retreated to my bedroom and stayed there all night.

The next morning he acted like everything was perfectly normal, but I couldn't get the image of him out of my head. I'm as normal as the next guy, so I'm not going to pretend I've never done it. But not in front of other people!

Three days later I walked by the hall bathroom and there he was, going at it. I kept on walking, right out the door. A couple of days after that, he was doing it again. Finally I said something to him and he apologizes. He said he wasn't really wanking, he was just sort of holding it. He said that he comes from a very open family and it wasn’t unusual. He said he didn't know it bothered me and promises to do it in private from now on. This past week, I asked out a woman from work. We had a nice date and went back to my apartment. We were in the den watching a movie and started making out, when all of a sudden I saw her looking at something behind me. I turned around and there was my roommate, wanking. He just kind of casually said, "Sorry, didn't know you were home," turned around and went back to his room.

My date was over. Worse, she accused me of setting the whole thing up with my roommate. Since the only people I know in town are the people I work with, I'm afraid to start asking around to see if anyone needs a roommate, especially if she has spread the story of my wanker around the office. I'm still the new guy and people don't really trust me. I can't afford to move out on my own, not until after I get a few paychecks and can save up a deposit.

So what am I supposed to do? Stick it out? I don't want to hide in my room for three months.

Stuck with a Wanker

Dear Sticky,

Dude. Seriously? Don't worry about what people might have heard around the office. Start asking today. Also look in the want-ads and Craigslist. Pawn your car title for deposit money if you have to. Find somebody with a room and GTFO. Your roommate has issues you really don't want to hang around and explore. It's just a shame you can't do like on Star Trek and leave a space beacon to warn other travelers away from his planet. Beyond this point monsters abide.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

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