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Something Whiny

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 8/20/2003

Why can't people listen? My boyfriend and I are getting married in a few months. We wanted City Hall, but we're both only children so we let our parents talk us into a really big wedding. But we don't want any presents. We've been living together for six years, so we've got all the appliances we need. And, since we're thinking of moving to Europe in a couple of years, we really don't want to be burdened with a lot of china and crystal we won't use. Plus, we don't want to waste our time writing thank-you notes for stuff we really don't want. Not to mention the time we'll spend returning it all. We probably wouldn't mind getting some practical gifts, like power tools and such, but even those we'd rather buy ourselves. We suggested that anyone who really wants to give us something make a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union, but the ultraconservatives in our families (there are a lot) acted like we were asking them to join forces with Saddam Hussein. We actually thought people would be happy not having to buy us anything, but we've already gotten some gifts that are exactly what we asked people not to get us. What should we do?

No Presents Please

Dear NPP:
Big wedding equals big reception equals big gifts. Wedding presents are a form of social currency. So attention is paid to who gives what, and your parents' friends and business associates know this. In other words, although the gifts may be given to you, they are not for you--they are a reflection of the relationships the guests either have or wish to have with your parents. Actually, since this whole shebang is for your parents, it might be wise to remember that they're the real stars of the production; you and your fiancé are merely featured performers.

This may not be what you wanted, but you agreed to it and need to stop whining about it. You might toss yourselves a mildly rebellious bone by registering at Home Depot (yes, you can), but it's naive and pointless to challenge your relatives' cherished political beliefs. You're not going to change their minds, and your wedding day is no time for arguments. Accept the inevitable gifts gracefully and write a thank-you notes for each one. Then, if you don't want to waste your time returning the unwanted things for cash, ask your parents to hold any heirlooms for safekeeping and donate the rest to whatever worthy charity will come and pick it all up.

I hate my life! I'm lonely and so fed up with the "dating game" that I'm about to give up and get a dog! I have plenty of friends, who seem to like me, but I've never had a real girlfriend, and it's beginning to look like I never will. Most of my guy friends have girlfriends, and I really want to be happy for them, but it's hard not to be jealous when I see them all kissy-kissy while I'm still single. I can't see any difference between them and me--we shop in the same stores and like the same movies and music--but they have someone to love and I don't. I can get women to go out with me, but after a couple of dates they lose interest. I have a college degree and a good job and I'm not ugly. What makes me such a loser? I just want someone to love me.

Sad Single Guy

Dear SSG:
Stop beating yourself up, OK? You can get women to go out with you--that's good. You're meeting at least the minimum standards for hygiene and grooming and possess the verbal skills required in a potential mate. You're decently educated and employed, two more very attractive characteristics. And, at least until now, you've had the confidence to keep trying. This does not add up to loser.

There are many reasons why you might not be finding the gal of your dreams. Including, maybe, the fact you want it so much. Women can smell neediness on a guy like bad cheap aftershave, and one quick whiff can send them running. Try meditation or a massage before your next date to take the edge off your desperation. Or, you might be trying to date the wrong kind of woman. For example, if you're into poetry and Scrabble, you might want to take a pass on a gal whose reading material is limited to labels. Or, maybe you blow it because, instead of talking to your date and finding out anything about her and her life, you spend the whole evening staring at her tits and making unsubtle innuendoes about your stamina. Some women fall for it, but for most of us it's a turnoff.

Whatever the problem is, you could use some upgrading of your communicating-with-women skills, and a great place to get some relatively risk-free practice is those online dating sites. Not only might you meet somebody you like, if you pay attention, you might start to figure out what women respond to. Once you get a good conversation started, determine how to keep it from sputtering out.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isnít like snake handling or Catholicism; it isnít 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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