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She’s Got the Look

By Mink Stole | Posted 1/18/2006

I’m a 23-year-old female artist. I have a day job to support myself but spend the rest of my time painting. I’m having my first group gallery show in a couple of months and I’m really excited about it. I like to be creative about my appearance, too. My hair color could be called “flexible,” because it’s likely to change at any time, and, while I’m always careful not to wear anything anyone could call indecent, I spend time putting together outfits that are colorful and imaginative. I work in an independent bookstore, and the people I work with and most of the customers like the way I dress or are either used to me or too polite to say anything. But every now and then, someone comes in and either stares at me like I’m a piece of questionable art, or actually comes out and says things like “no one could miss you in a crowd” or “that’s a look.” I think this is incredibly rude, but I’m afraid I’ll be fired if I tell them to fuck off. Is there a way I can get my point across without risking my job?

Maddy Matisse

It may be rude, MM, but as long as you’re dressing “imaginatively,” you’d better get used to it; blatant looks invite blatant comments. And somehow I don’t believe you’re really as naive as you’re pretending to be. No one who works as hard as you do to create an artistic impression wants to be ignored. While it’s a risk you take that some of your reviews are going to be negative, what would really piss you off would be if no one said anything. After all, if you wanted to avoid comment, you’d look like everyone else. So knock that chip off your shoulder, and the next time someone says something, instead of flipping him the bird, acknowledge that he’s giving you exactly what you asked for by giving him a big, sweet smile and a sincere thank you.

 

I’m 27 and I met the man in my life while he was in the process of getting a divorce. We “kept company” for a few months, then two years ago when his divorce was final, he moved in with me. He’s easy to live with, shares the household chores without complaint, makes me laugh, and is a terrific lover. He gets along well with my family, and I adore his two young daughters. They live with their mom but spend occasional weekends with us. I was married once before but have no kids of my own. In most ways it’s a perfect relationship, except he’s content to let me pay all the bills. At first I didn’t mind; he’s a musician and had attorneys’ fees and alimony and child support, and I agreed it was important for him to handle those obligations first. But even though his former wife has remarried and the legal fees are paid, he’s still crying poor. My job does pay a lot better than his, but shouldn’t he be paying something? He says my demands are making him tense, that our relationship is about more than money, and that I should be patient until his big break comes, when he’ll make it all up to me. I can’t decide if I’m being used or just being petty.

Footing Bill’s Bills

Any able-bodied guy who lets someone else support him is a freeloader. But there’s a special word, FBB, for a guy who lets the woman he sleeps with support him, and that word is “gigolo.” How long are you supposed to wait for this “big break”? And since you’re not married to the guy, if the “big break” ever actually comes, there’s nothing to stop him from taking off, and taking all his new money with him. And if you think he wouldn’t do that to you, well, maybe you’re right. But maybe you’re wrong. Guys turn their backs on the women who’ve supported them all the time; it upsets them to be reminded of their former dependency. Meanwhile, every time you write a check your resentment is growing along with his bank account. It was very generous of you to take care of him while he was paying off his debts, but just because he’s relieved of his responsibilities to another woman doesn’t mean he’s earned a free ride with you. Even if you’re willing to work out an arrangement where you put in a larger share, since you earn more, either he needs to start putting something in or you need to put him out.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isn’t like snake handling or Catholicism; it isn’t a cult or a religion you can be recruited for or converted to.

Territorial Rites (4/5/2006)

Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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