Up in Smoke
My boyfriend smokes pot. I know to lots of people this is no big deal, and itís uncool to complain about it, but it bothers me. Itís not like heís drugged outóheís really smart and aware, heíll graduate from college this year in the top 10 percent of his class, and heís already been accepted into a top graduate school to get his masterís degree in computer engineeringóbut he does like to smoke every day. He says it relaxes him and makes him think better. Heís aware of how I feel, and doesnít do it when Iím with him, but he insists itís no worse for him physically than drinking beer would be. And, since itís not having any negative effect on his life, he says heís not going to stop. I worry about the long-term effects it will have on his mind, and I also worry that he could get in trouble with the law and ruin his future. I really care about him, but this is becoming a big issue between us. Do you think I should tell him itís either the grass or me?
Mary Jane Blues
If I were God, MJB, marijuana would be legal. Iíd put the same kinds of age and use restrictions we have on alcohol and tobacco, but make it so that if a grown-up person wanted to smoke a little relaxing wacky weed in her own home, she could do so as freely as she could have a glass of wine or a Marlboro. Many states have decriminalized it, and doctors nationwide do or want to prescribe it to combat pain and nausea in cancer and AIDS patients, but, in its infinite hypocrisy, even though our president has come closer to admitting he smoked pot than to admitting he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq, the federal government refuses to legalize it.
But Iím not God, and even if you are acting like a sanctimonious twit, the truth is your boyfriend is taking some risks: possibly health, definitely legal. But these are risks heís willing to take. Unless youíre willing to take the risk of having your ultimatum backfire, donít do it. If you canít accept his pot smoking, thatís your right, and you have the right to leave. But you donít have the right to dictate how he lives. Before you do something you might regret, open your mind and do some research: Réad the governmentís argument at www.usdoj.gov/dea/ongoing/marijuana.html, then clear your brain and go to www.norml.org, for the other side.
I have recently gotten engaged to the most wonderful man. The way he asked me to marry him was so romantic; first he brought me flowers, then he took me to dinner at a lovely restaurant. By the time we got back to my apartment I kind of had it figured out, but when he actually went down on one knee I was so excited and nervous I started to cry. Then he handed me his dead motherís engagement ring; I was stunned speechless. He was so proud of it that I just couldnít tell him how ugly it is. I pulled myself together enough to say yes, because I love him very much and I want to marry him, but I hate the ring. It does have a nice stone, but the setting is very ornate and outdated. Itís too big for my finger, so I told him I canít wear it until I can have it sized, but I canít stall forever. His mother died when he was just a child, and the ring has huge sentimental value for him. I also know it symbolizes his love and our commitment, and for those reasons I cherish it, but I still donít want to wear it. Am I too shallow to live? Am I just a horrible bitch? How can I handle this?
Want My Own Ring
You may be a wee bit shallow, WMOR, but youíre not really a bitch; a bitch wouldnít give a flying fuck about her fiancťís feelings; youíre just upset that the aesthetic value of the ring doesnít match its sentimental value. But you are the one who has to wear the ringófor the rest of your life if youíre luckyó so you have the right to some input. Before you make any decisions, though, try wearing it as is for a while; it may grow on you once your intitial disappointment wears off. But if you just canít learn to love it, a little sugarcoated honesty is the best way to go. Talk to your jeweler first about having the setting modernized or the stone reset. Then tell your fiancť everything you told meóexcept, instead of saying the ring is ugly, say it doesnít suit you. Then ask if he would mind terribly if you made it more your own. Tell him that redesigning the ring would only add to its sentimental value, because not only would it be honoring his motherís memory, it would also be symbolizing the new commitment the two of you are making to each other. Marriage is full of compromises, so consider this a practice run. If you can work this one out, youíre on the right track.
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