Here it is, the advice column that you asked for!

I am no expert but am willing to offer my opinion and thoughts on any topic you ask me about. All comments are moderated so submit your questions in any comment field and I will answer them publically on this blog. If you forget to sign your name with an alias (ie: Sad in S.D.), I will make one up for you.
***Oh and leave your comment anonymously (as in, don't use your blogger name, use your fake alias)!!!***

Remember - my advice is free... and you get what you pay for!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010

Dear Jessica,

What should I do if I shart* myself at work?


[Poop] out of luck


Dear Poop,

I can just imagine that would be an aweful situation to find yourself in. It's one thing to gamble and lose. It's another to gamble and lose... AT WORK!

If you live close enough to your work, I'd use your lunch break and go home to take care of the situation.

Otherwise, if that is not an option, you will most likely have to tell your boss you aren't feeling well and you need to go home. You will most likely still have the "oh crap" look on your face when you tell your boss you need to leave and chances are they won't question you.

To prevent this from happening, try not to "gamble" while you are at work - unless of course you're thinking of sharting on purpose because you are looking for a reason to go home from work early... then touche'!!



*shart: sh!t poop + fart

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

Dear Jessica,

My husband loves to French kiss, and I'd really rather not. Well, most of the time, I'd rather not.I don't want to put a damper on things, hurt his feelings, or mess with his ego, but it has gotten to the point where it's distracting to me, and sometimes even a little repulsive.Any suggestions? Or am I just strange?

Signed, Tongue-in-Cheek


Dear Tongue-in-cheek,

First, don't feel like there is something wrong with you or that you aren't normal. I know you didn't say you felt this way, but I just want to be sure you know that you know this is common and you are not strange. We all have different preferences in kissing styles, and sometimes, they are totally different than our spouse/significant other's kissing style.

Next, there is a good chance that he kisses the same way because it's the way he's always done it. And if you haven't said otherwise, he probably thinks nothing is wrong. The key to overcoming this repetition is to challenge it. I don't mean prepare a 3 point speech where you try to lovingly, yet honestly, tell him you don't love french kissing. I mean, take the lead. Tell him what you like by showing him!

Not only will he probably respond by repeating you, he will probably love the assertiveness. If you start changing it up by taking the lead, you will probably have to suffer through less french kissing and your "together-time" will most likely become more intimate and fun!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010

Dear Jessica,

I'm going to get straight to the point. I am in college and married, and while I don't mind being friends with guys ... there are always those few that just take it too far.My lab partner is one of those guys. He started out just being friendly but after a while, he started getting on my nerves, and just a little too flirty.

The first red flag was when I came in one day and he said, "You look cute today." I was flattered, but a little uncomfortable, but when I talked to my husband about it, he agreed the guy could have just been being nice and it didn't necessarily mean anything.

But it didn't stop there.

The guy started walking me to my next class, and would act annoyed if I would try to wait to walk with someone else also. He did not have the same class, but would take that route and "drop me off" on the way to his... Then one time, he gave me a quick hug in front of a bunch of other people, saying, "we're cool like that."

The list goes on ... today, it finally came a little to head when he was giving a commentary on everything I was doing and I told him he was annoying me. But then I tried to be nice ... I mean, we do have to work together. But then he said something like, "Here, hold my hand, let's make up and be friends." I said, "Sorry, I don't hold hands with other boys."He later called me to invite me to something at his house(!) but I declined ... so he said he'd "tell me all about it" Monday in class.

I don't know what to do. I've told my husband everything, and know I'm NOT flirting back, and I also bring up my husband very often, so I don't feel guilty at all. But the situation is very uncomfortable. The thing is, we have assigned seating and assigned lab partners, so short of making a scene and asking the teacher to let me change seats, my options are limited. Also, I don't know if I can say anything, because I don't want him to blow it off like I just think too much of myself and that he's not interested, and then have it be even MORE awkward. (Plus, even if I spoke to him quietly about it, he's one of those guys who may bring it up loudly so the surrounding two tables can hear his side.)HELP?!?!!?


Frustrated with Flirty-Boy


Dear Frustrated,

First, your frustration is totally legitimate! That boy is being totally inappropriate, especially after your many attempts to keep your relationship with this guy strictly school-related. I will tell you the two things I would do in this situation.

The first thing I would do is be totally blunt (maybe on a "walk to your next class"). I would say, "Look. I appreciate working with you in class but I am married and I do not wish to have a friendship with you beyond our class assignments. It might seem crazy, but it's out of respect for my husband. Secondly, I do not wish to casually hug or hold hands with any guy except my husband. Can you respect these boundaries?" This way, you are not saying that you think he is interested in you; you are simply setting respectable boundaries that a married woman should have regarding male friends.

If that didn't work, I would talk to the professor and see if I could switch partners. I know that could be a little awkward, but sometimes professors can help you out and try to be kind of discreet about it (like maybe switch a few partnerships around?).

Oh I just thought of a third option.... see if you can bring your husband to class sometime. Have him give a few looks to that kid and that could solve the problem. :) hehe

I guess what this comes down to is that you will likely have to face an awkward situation in order to nip this in the bud because clearly this guy can't take a hint. I wish I had better advice for you. I hope that some of my huge reader base (sarcasm) chimes in and offers some advice, too! Maybe there is someone out there who has been in a similar situation.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010

Dear Jessica,

I moved away this fall to go to college in another state. I'm loving it and making lots of cool friends. Here's the problem. . . one of my really good friends from my home town has been annoying me on Facebook lately. There have been a few things that have irked me, but the kicker is when he started "friending" some of my college friends that he's never even met and then leaving comments on their page asking how I've been and what I'm up to! (why my college friends agreed to be friends is a whole other question!) Me and him are really good friends and until this, I was actually kind of interested in him, but now I just feel like he's smothering me. I don't have anything to hide, but I feel like if I tell him that I don't want him being facebook friends with my new friends, he'll think I do. Breaking off the friendship isn't an option (our parents are really good friends and I will definitely see him whenever I go home for breaks) and I wouldn't do it even if it was. He's a really good friend, but he just doesn't seem to know what's cool and not cool when it comes to Facebook.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this, but I don't know how to handle it. Am I crazy for finding this intrusive?

from, the Frustrated Facebook Friend


Dear Frustrated FB Friend,

First off, congrats on your first year of college and good luck in your studies! College life is super fun and I hope you enjoy it immensely (don't party too much!!)

You are in a very tough spot here. You are experiencing something new and exciting, while your friend has remained “home” and probably living a very similar life that he has always lived. he could possibly be a bit jealous that you are off doing new things and he is not, hence the FB stalking to see what you are up to. I have a few thoughts about this situation; both regarding the friendship and distance and the facebook situation.

First, try and understand that he is possibly a bit jealous that you are off doing new things and he is not. When you are good friends with someone, it is always hard when your friend “moves on” and you do not (whether it is by choice or circumstance). It’s only natural that he wants to know how you are doing and what you are up to. If this friendship is worth keeping, which is sounds like it is based on your past and through the connection of your families being close friends (and the fact that you have been kind of interested in him hehe), try and be sensitive to the fact that he cares about you and wants to remain connected, despite the temporary distance.

On the other hand, he needs to understand that you are busy with classes, homework, new friends, and other college life stuff and naturally, you don’t have the same amount of time for him as you did before you went off to college. It might make you both feel better if you try and set up weekly or bi-weekly “dates” to chat on the phone or use Facebook’s instant message to “catch up.” (And once in a while, surprise him with an unexpected phone call or FB wall post/message. This will let him know that you are thinking about him and it will probably mean a lot to him!) Let him know that you really value his friendship and want to keep in touch, but you are busy and don’t have time every day (or every week) to respond to all of his FB posts or messages to you etc.

One time, when I made a move (I moved out of state from CA to MN), I had to tell give one of my friends a breakdown of my schedule so that she could understand why I didn’t always have time to talk or respond to emails. This really helped her understand why I wasn't able to chat all the time and it made a big difference in our friendship because I helped her have realistic expectations about how much I was able to talk.

And as a side bar, and maybe something you want to pass on to him, sometimes, when you tell someone you are busy and can’t chat, it’s because you are sitting on your butt recovering from the school week, homework, or life in general, and just want some time to vege out, which is totally legit! Or bring up that just because someone sees you updated your status on facebook recently doesn't mean that you have time to respond your inbox messages, wall posts, or status comments; let's face it, we make a point to update our statuses as we are on our way out the door to our next class, before we make dinner, or before we take a nap etc.

As far as your friend adding your college friends and then asking how you are doing goes... that is not cool, kind of rude, and frankly, kind of creepy-stalker like. My suggestion would be to either ask him to stop (which would be the "to the point" route) or honestly, try not to let it bother you. If your friends have a problem with him adding them they should just invoke their right to ignore his friend request. Some people, on the other hand, add everyone that requests a 'friend add' (and like you, I don't know why people do this... I don't like having to many "friends" and I even go through and delete people I don't talk to often!) So I guess there is probably not much you can do about him added your friends unless you confront him. Which sucks, I know.

Finally, one last suggestion would be to invite him to take a road trip to come and see you with a few of your other, mutual friends who are still in your home town. Could be fun! And he'd get to see how busy you are!

Good luck with this situation! I know, first hand, how challenging it is to move and have friends left behind at home that think things will remain the same. The fact of the matter is that people move, do different things, and your paths fork out from each other. And while you can remain friends, and even close friends, it's totally normal for the amount of time you are in touch or see each other to change.

I'm always a big fan of confronting the situation, so if the subtle or deliberate attempts to foster communication in a way that can meet expectations for both of you doesn't work, then maybe you just need to tell him what you've told me!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009

dear jessica,

A friend brought me an audiobook to listen to while I'm in physical therapy, and she's eager to know what I think of it because a friend of hers wrote it. I listened to the first chapter today, and it's poorly written and cheesy. Now what do I do? I don't want to listen to the rest, but I also don't want to hurt her feelings and tell her the truth. What can I do to smooth this over?Signed,

I'd Rather Snooze


Dear "Rather Snooze,"

That is a tough situation. My first thought is, did your friend read the book? Maybe they don't know how cheesy the book is? Or maybe the friend isn't as well read as you are so she may not recognize a high quality book if it hit her between the eyes? I guess answering those questions really doesn't get you anywhere. haha - okay...

I guess what I would do is say that you tried listening to it but it's not the style of book you normally listen to/read (in other words, you prefer the non-cheesy style) so you are having a hard time getting into it. Then ask her if she'd mind having another friend check out the book; a friend who is into that style of book. Or recommend a friend of yours you can pass it on to (if you know anyone who is into the cheesy book thing).

Or, maybe you could ask her if she *really* wants the truth and if so, give it to her. I mean, hey, she's asking. And if her friend wants to be an author, she would hopefully appreciate the feedback.

The final option you have is to just plow through and "listen" to the book. Maybe you could listen to it at a time other than while you are in PT and listen with a friend. That way you can make fun of it together! And then when the friend who recommended the book asks you what you thought, you could say you were entertained - she/he doesn't have to know that you were entertained because you made fun of it the whole time!

Good luck. Let me know what you decide!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

dear jessica,

One of our cars recently broke down, and my dad, trying to do the helpful thing, fixed it for us, then let us know about how much it would be. He didn't ask before fixing it, but just did it...I was a little annoyed... especially when the car broke down again the next day... but thankfully he didn't make us pay for it.

Then, my husband's dad, similarly trying to be nice, just had his mechanic friend from church look at it. We went over to his parents house tonight and the car was gone. "It's at the shop" we were told. My husband called the mechanic to let him know that we would like to talk about the cost before actually having him fix it, as we don't really have the money and have another car that he can use. But the job was already done, commissioned without our say-so. Oh, "it'll be about 850 dollars with parts and labor."

I am so upset right now. I realize that people are trying to be helpful, but this is the most unhelpful thing possible. I don't have a job currently, and we are hardly going to be able to scrape by as it is. Now, we're slapped with a huge bill that is equal to the VALUE of the car.

Is there anything I can do or say to these people? Or is it just a lost cause? I guess I'm frustrated for several reasons, most of which I'm sure are obvious, but mostly just because no one is treating us like adults and letting us decide when to fix our car -- since it IS our finances others are dealing with.

Any thoughts or advice?

Sign, Frustrated.


Dear Frustrated,

First, let me say I totally feel so badly for you! I would be so frustrated too!

I think that you and your husband need to sit down with his father and lay it all out there. Let him know that you really appreciate the help and referral to his mechanic friend, but are unsure as to why he thought he could approve any work done on the vehicle. Let him know you are in a very tough financial spot and that you never would have approved $850 worth of work. Hopefully at this point you can have a discussion about payment options and maybe your father-in-law can either loan you the money or help you out.

If he says he didn't authorize any of the work done on the car then together with your father-in-law you need to go to the mechanic and let him know that the work done was not authorized. I am not sure about any laws or anything but I AM sure that they can't just do whatever they want to your car without permission first.

I honestly think the only way to handle this situation is to have some very frank conversations with the people involved. No one should have spent your money without your permission, especially on a car that might just have gotten rid of, had you known the cost to repair it would be more than the car is worth!



Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 16, 2009

dear jessica,

I have a roommate. She is 26 years old (so six years older than me). We met at our previous jobs and became really good friends. I had another roommate that was moving out and so we decided that it would be fun for her to move in. She is a really great person, lots of fun to be with, but we share different beliefs. She is not a Christian. We have lived together for over a year now and while sometimes I absolutely love it, lately it's been horrible. You see she plays an online computer game called World of Warcraft (WOW). She originally played it when she moved in and then quit after a while due to lack of interest. We practically did everything together and we always have fun. But this last June I went on a 10-day trip. When I came back she had started to play the game again-only this time she started from scratch. Needless to say she is highly addicted to it and sometimes never comes out except to go to the bathroom and grab food. She gets crabby when I talk to her because she is either tired from staying up late playing the game or she is in the middle of playing the game and has to get back to it. I really struggle with it because of how much we used to hang out and now I feel thrown to the wayside. She also tends to neglect house chores or just simply does not care to do them....because she is so caught up in the game (as I see it). I get so upset sometimes at living with someone who just ignores me so much, but then I feel guilty because I feel selfish. I know she has a very different worldview than I and I try to have patience with her but sometimes I get so hurt. I guess I come from the perspective of doing things for other people because I care about them and that I try to respect the other person as much as possible. I am afraid I going to start getting bitter (I have started calling her selfish and lazy in my head) and not be able to heal from being hurt. I have tried to talk to her several times about how much this is bad for and how much I miss hanging out with her and how she needs to do her part in the apartment. Sometimes the discussion ends with me feeling guilty because she says it's her life and that I am being too co-dependant. Sometimes she breaks down crying and starts hugging me saying she knows she is treating me horribly and that she wants to change. She says these things and sometimes I see things that indicates she wants to change, but then it seems like a week later it doesn't really matter. Our most recent fight/ discussion/ cry fest was this last weekend. I decided, though, during the fight portion that I wanted to move out. That I could not handle living like this. I had even told a couple of my friends that I was ready to move out. Then we had a heart to heart and a cry fest. Well now I am just so afraid that things are going to go back to the way they were before. I want to be selfless and be there for her and continue to be her friend. Yet at the same time I want to protect myself and not feel hurt. I wish I could have it both ways but I just don't see how. I think that if I moved out I would feel like I was abandoning her and that I would be a bad example of Christ or that it's just selfish of me to move out. On the other hand I think that I deserve to live with someone who cares more about me than a stupid computer game. I just have no idea how to feel or what to do! I am sooo confused. If you have any advice for me I would really really appreciate it.

Signed, Replaced by a Computer Game.


Dear Replaced,

My initial thoughts are this (and I will expand in the following paragraphs): Your being frustrated and having the desire to want to move out isn't being selfish or unChrist-like so try not to feel too guilty. You just have certain expectations about what you want in a roommate. You are young and should be able to have a roommate who wants to hang out with you occasionally and who is mutually involved in taking care of the apartment and if that expectation is not being met, you have no obligation to stay (besides an possible obligation to fulfill a lease?).

I can totally see your frustration in the situation... I would be as equally irritated. I honestly don't think you are being selfish at all. I think that, especially when you are young and unmarried, part of having a roommate is having someone to hang out with and have fun with. Obviously it doesn't have to be 100% of the time, but it's reasonable to want a roommate who you are also friends with and hang out with occasionally (or hang out with fairly often in some cases). When their interests are becoming totally different than your own, then they are no longer meeting the expectations you had of that relationship when you initially chose them as a roommate.

The first thing I would suggest you do is figure out if you want to make a few more attempts at making this roommate relationship work or if you feel like you've already made those attempts and you are ready to take the next step. If you do want to attempt to make it work, I would recommend that you suggest things to do with your roommate so she has an option of something to do besides WOW (I am assuming you already do this). Suggest places to go, making dinner, renting a movie, etc. It will become pretty clear if she is just unwilling to do anything besides WOW.

If you decided you want to find a new living situation then there is nothing wrong with that. And frankly, you might be happier. If you want, before you look for a new living situation, you could maybe sit down with current roommate and have a [final] heart-to-heart and say "look, I am not opposed to you playing WOW. That is your decision and if that is how you want to choose to spend your free time that is fine. I, however, prefer more engaging and interactive friendships and hobbies. If this hobby is something you are going to be spending most of your free time on for a while then I would like to find a new roommate and/or a new place to live. This doesn't mean we can't be friends; I certainly want to hang out still, but I really want a roommate who has similar interests as me and who is more engaged in the roommate relationship and upkeep of the apartment."

She might say she will "change" - and if you are willing (decide this before you have this convo) then give her a chance (maybe a few weeks or month). Be sure to tell her you are not trying to change her and if she wants to play WOW then that is fine, but you are just not willing to live with someone who plays it as much as she does. If she feels like you are trying to change her (even though you aren't), she might start to resent you, which is obviously not something you want so that is why it's good to emphasize that if she wants to keep playing that is okay, but things will just have to change.

And don't feel selfish for being frustrated. Its hard to suddenly be ignored and to be put to the side, especially when you are being replaced by something like a video game. And again, you deserve to be in a living situation that you like and enjoy... you are young; having fun and living with roommates who have similar interests is kind of what life is about when you are 20!!!