Off the Marky Mark

Marky Mark
Talent on Display

DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a great guy, “Jonah,” for four months. We get along well and enjoy a lot of the same things. At times he can be jealous when other men notice me, but we have never had arguments about it. Only one thing about me really bothers him — it’s my infatuation with actor Mark Wahlberg.

Jonah is so upset about it he refuses to see any of Mark’s films with me and gets annoyed when I mention him. It irks me because I know being with Mark isn’t a realistic option, but Jonah acts like it is. What can I say to make him see that he (Jonah) is the only one I want to be with and Mark is just a fantasy? — STAR-CROSSED LOVER

Abby, apparently suffering from the same crush, responded with

DEAR STAR-CROSSED: You may have said too much already. Stop bringing up Mark Wahlberg and see his films in the company of your girlfriends. While Jonah may be a “great guy,” he appears to be somewhat insecure, which is why he becomes jealous when another man notices you. And insecure men can become irrational and controlling, so monitor his behavior and do not make any commitments until you both have matured.

You call yourself an advice expert and actually tell someone to go see a Mark Wahlberg film anyway?

Your boyfriend doesn’t have a problem with your fidelity.  It’s your judgement he’s got issues with.  You are swooning over an actor with the range of a baked potato. Sure, he has nice abs, but don’t you find his third nipple a little disturbing?

It is making your boyfriend insecure, because if you can overlook huge obvious flaws in Marky Mark, what are you overlooking in him? Guys need reassurance just as much as women, but when you show just obvious lack of judgement, it makes him have second thoughts about him, and you.

Everyone is entitled to a secret guilty pleasure.  Mine happens to be America’s Funniest Home Videos.  You have chosen to waste yours on the star of Planet of the Apes, I won’t stop you.  Just please, for all of our sakes, keep it to yourself.


Guest Commentator: Asked and Answered

Ask Carolyn tackles a 20 year old issue

CAROLYN: I am writing to ask if you think men and women can ever be just friends. Most of my guy friends started out liking me as more than a friend, settled for friendship but then let the friendship fade away as they started dating people. My boyfriend has no problem with my having guy friends, but my guy friends drop me once they find a girl to date.

Last year, I introduced my best guy friend to a good female friend. They hit it off and started dating. She soon stopped speaking to me, and he became very closed-off and awkward around me. When I asked him why everything was so weird, he would only tell me that she was uncomfortable with our spending so much time together. I live 10 minutes from him; she lives six hours away.

Is it, in fact, possible for a man and a woman to spend time together without causing jealousy from one or both significant others?

– I really just want to be friends

This question is so old and tired, I can just copy and paste verbatim a clip from a 22 year old movie (until it gets a  DMCA notice).



I just hope someone asks about faking orgasms soon.  That scene is much better, but sadly not relevent to the question.


Oh what the hell… you guys deserve it.


Facebook Ruins Another Life

Today’s Entry comes from Wayne and Tamara, who need some lessons in Facebook.


A Blight on Society

I need an outside opinion. I have been with my fiancé 10 years. He cheated with his high school sweetheart almost three years ago, before we became engaged. It was one of the most painful times in my life.

[To summarize in one sentence what it took her three paragraphs: They broke up, but got back together a year ago]

Four days ago my fiancé left for a mission to Haiti, and with his absence I learned I missed him and had truly forgiven him for the affair.

Later that evening I updated his Facebook FarmVille game, a pastime he and his daughter love to share daily. As I was going through all the gifts from his online friends so he would not lose points, I came across a message from who else but his high school sweetheart.

It was dated two weeks before, and she wanted to congratulate him on his engagement. She said she didn’t know about it because he didn’t tell her, and that was followed by question marks. I admit I then pulled all his Facebook messages to see if there were more. Nothing.

At first I was jealous, then I found myself wondering why he was still in touch with her after he promised not to. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t shed one tear. I just cannot believe I am here again with the same people!

I removed my ring and placed it in the jewelry box that night. I’m not sure I can get married in the eyes of God when I do not trust him.

Later that night I called my mother. She told me, “We all have to endure this in relationships.” My best friend says I have too much at stake to walk away, but I keep thinking about all the e-mails and letters from before. It’s as though it happened all over again.


Wayne and Tamara take up half their response telling a totally unrelated story about some other woman who basically was cheated on, and cried about it during a speech she was giving 20 years later.  They go on to say:

…You can have ideas of forgiveness, you can talk about setting boundaries, you can parrot the latest jargon in psychology. It doesn’t matter. Betrayal will affect you this way because this reaction is built into us.

We receive letters from people whose spouse was unfaithful 20, 30 or 40 years ago. We receive letters from people whose unfaithful spouse is long dead. They still struggle to cope with agonizing memories.

Your friend says you have too much at stake to walk away. Actually, there is too much at stake to stay.

This is just another example of how Facebook and Farmville destroy people’s lives.  One minute you’re spending real time feeding imaginary animals and plants, and the next you are thinking of backing out of a real relationship because of what essentially amounts to spam. Are you serious?

You say “I found myself wondering why he was still in touch with her after he promised not to.”  What makes you think that?  Your fiancee has no control over which random people he has left behind in his life will show up in his Facebook. No one does.  Based on her general cluelessness, his total lack of response, and zero other communications, it seems  like there has been no contact but her single intrusion. You should do what he obviously did, and ignore and forget about it.

He didn’t tell you about it, but that’s not hiding something from you, it’s hiding a nothing from you.  Yes, people who were unfaithful in the past should be a lot more transparent, but disclosures like this, which are meaningless to him and only serve to make you paranoid are probably best left unmentioned.

I think the real problem is that you discovered this while your fiancee was busy doing missionary work in another country.  I’m sure if he were there, this would be easily explained and be a non-issue.  But since you are alone, it’s left to stew in your mind and make you crazy.

My only advice to you then would be this.  If you can’t handle unwanted overtures on Facebook, the next time your fiancee is off feeding starving children, you let his virtual crops die.


Hip Hop Hooray

Today’s entry comes from the column of Dr. Joyce Brothers

Dear Dr. Brothers: I have met a really cool guy, but we have one thing that is keeping us from going to a deeper place. It may sound silly, but that is our musical tastes. I like hip-hop, and he likes classical music and jazz. The problem is, we could just try to ignore this, but in his free time, he likes to go and jam with friends and go to see various orchestras. So he drags me with him, and I have to sit there and pretend to like it. Should I refuse to go with him? — A.H.

The good doctor prescribes:

Dear A.H.: It is a shame your musical taste is so different when the guy you are dating seems to spend a lot of time thinking about, enjoying and making music. I wonder if he feels as distressed as you do about your lack of compatibility in this area, or if he just hopes you will grow to see (and hear) things his way. It’s impossible to know unless you take the time to sit down with him and discuss the subject. He may think your music is ridiculous and childish, and you may find his boring and incomprehensible. But maybe you can make a deal: You each take a piece or an artist and try to do a little in-depth research about it — reading, listening, etc. — and then compare notes. It may be that you both will find something in the other’s choices to admire.

If worse comes to worst, you could just stay home instead of going with your friend to his music venues. But you’d be missing out on getting to know him on another level, and he surely would come to resent the fact that you don’t really want to grow in your relationship. In fact, I would predict that your refusal to go along would be seen as a put-down of his music and would soon lead to a parting of ways. I am sure you both would be more comfortable with people you could be on the same wavelength with musically, but you can always prove me wrong.

Musical taste is a very personal thing.  I’d be willing to bet that most people would rather have someone look through their porn collection or diary than their iTunes Library. There are more skeletons in my musical closet (Summer Girls by LFO) than I care to admit.

Ever wonder why iPods have headphones instead of speakers?  Because no one else wants to hear your music, that’s why.  I saw someone take a dump in the middle of the aisle on the NYC subway once. I mention this because while there are signs all over saying “Radios Silent”  there is nothing about keeping your shit off the floor.  That right there is all you need to know about other’s opinions of your music (and that New Yorkers value a quiet ride over the inconvenience of having to walk around a steamer during the morning commute.)

I mean really, this is what is keeping you from getting to “a deeper place?” Sound’s pretty shallow to me. It’s not politics or values, it’s music, and most of it is just goddamned noise.  Sure you may not appreciate each others music, but so fucking what? I’d rather listen to audio of my parents having wild monkey sex than listen to a album of.. I dunno something hip-hop.  I don’t even care enough to Google who is popular on the hip-hop scene these days.

Just let it go.  Following Joyce’s advice is a total waste of time. I don’t dislike hip-hop because I’m not educated about it.  I dislike it because it fucking sucks. You like it.  Good for you. You did what is reasonable.  You went to concerts a few times, gave his music a shot, and found it wasn’t for you.  If everything else is great, then let music be something that you enjoy separately.  If he is worth dating, he’ll understand that you’d rather do anything else and not force you to go.

When he jams or goes to concerts with his friends, go out with your friends.  You can meet up later (or before) and spend time then.  Listening to him talk about it for 10 minutes is better than sitting through it for 2 hours.

There is a glimmer of hope for you, considering that 10 years ago, in an attempt to be relevent, the London Symphony Orchestra did an entire concerts of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Who.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll cover “Bitches Ain’t Shit”  but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Until then, looks like yours will be a two iPod relationship.

What’s Her Problem?

We’ve got a double header today.

Dear Dr. Brothers: My parents really don’t like my girlfriend. She’s never done anything to offend them or anything, and she’s always really nice to them, so I can’t understand what the problem is. We’ve been together for almost two years now, and they still try to set me up on dates and convince me to break up with her. It makes family dinners really uncomfortable, and it’s embarrassing to have her over at all. How can I get my parents to get over it and start to like my girlfriend? — B.I.

They say that love is blind, and you obviously can’t see what your parents do, but it’s probably there.  Parents don’t like their kids’ significant others for many reasons, but they all simplify down to the same answer: she’s not good enough for you.

You're trashy, dear.

To be honest, I could care less. The only reason I’m answering your letter is it’s an excuse to tell one of my favorite stories that is related to your problem.

When my best friend Paul* graduated college, his parents threw him a party.  They were like a second family to me, and I was there well before and well after the party to help out.  Also there was Paul’s girlfriend, Beth*, who he had been dating for a few months.  She, Paul’s mom, and I were all in the kitchen.  I was wrapping up leftovers and putting them in the fridge.  Mom and Beth were doing dishes – mom washing and Beth drying.  They were doing this in silence.  Just the silence of people doing a chore with nothing to talk about.  I wouldn’t describe it as awkward.  At least not until what happened next.

All of a sudden, Paul’s mom turns to Beth, handing her a dish and says “Maybe you should start seeing other people” Not breaking her stride, she picks up the next dish and continues washing.  Mind you, Paul’s mom is the sweetest women you could meet, and I could not believe what I had so clearly heard.

The oddest thing was not what she said, but the way she said it.  It was as plain and casual as any other friendly advice.  She could have just as easily  said “There is a stain on your blouse.”

Needless to say, their relationship didn’t last long.  I will always remember it as the most polite and tactful way anyone has ever said “you’re not good enough for my son and I want you to go away.”

* Names have not been changed.  That’s how I roll.

Close Reading: Deja Vu

Time for another Close Reading, where I don’t even wait until the end to give my advice. This one comes from Dear Abby.

DEAR ABBY: I need your help with a problem I’m having with my husband, “Fred.” (I’ll bet he’s cheating) He is very territorial over his laptop and other personal items such as his phone. (Not looking good) It is so bad that I’m not even allowed to hold his phone – even if he is trying to show me a video on it. (Strike Two) His laptop is password-protected. (Yeah, he’s cheating)

I have asked Fred numerous times why so much privacy, and he says, “Because these things are mine. (Translation: I don’t want you to catch me cheating) I feel as if he is hiding something. (another woman) I know I shouldn’t be paranoid (oh hell yes you should), but since he was unfaithful in the past (Wait.. WHAT??), I have my suspicions. (It’s happened before and you still don’t see it??) Please let me know what I can do to solve this (Not what you did last time – it didn’t work). – Left Out in Little Rock (Put him out)


She Can Smell Fear

Dr. Joyce Brothers advises a dead man.

Man up, you pussy

Dear Dr. Brothers: My wife is pregnant with our first child. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’m feeling really unappreciated as a father-to-be. I know pregnancy is hard, and my wife’s emotions and state of mind are important to the well-being of our child, but she completely dismisses me every time I try to talk to her about what I’m

going through, especially when I’m feeling nervous about the prospect of raising a child. How can I make her see that my feelings matter too? — C.J.

Dr. Brothers offers the following advice:

Dear C.J.: With all the changes that your wife is going through, both physically and emotionally, as well as the focus on the birth process itself, it can be easy to forget that her feelings aren’t the only important ones. While your concern for your wife is important, it’s equally important to address your own feelings, both positive and negative. Lots of men feel as if sharing their fears or anxieties about pregnancy will only add to their wife’s burdens, but this likely isn’t the case. Your wife probably is nervous herself, but voicing your concerns will help you become a more involved and better father.

You can express to your wife that you are concerned about her and her feelings, but shrugging off your own fears isn’t doing any good. You also can talk to other fathers-to-be, or check out any of the many books and online resources for expectant fathers. Doing this research with your wife might help her see that there are plenty of concerns unique to new dads, and it might validate the feelings you’ve shared with her. You also should be sure to share not only your negative feelings, but also your excitement and positive feelings with your wife on an ongoing basis. Make sure that listening to you doesn’t turn into a string of complaints, but rather is a productive discussion about your future together as a family.

Dr. Brothers is certainly well-intentioned, but let’s be honest.  She hasn’t been pregnant since the Eisenhower administration. Doctors smoked in the delivery room.  Nurses and stewardesses were still attractive and young. In other words, it was a different era.



It’s 2011 and women have changed.  Ignore everything she said and listen to me very, very carefully.  For God’s sake, and your own personal safety, KEEP YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SHUT.

I understand why you think your feelings  matter, but they don’t.  Not for the next nine months. Complaining to her about your feelings is like expecting sympathy over a stubbed toe from a guy in a wheelchair.  Your problems are not playing the same sport, let alone in the same league.



Your job is to be supportive and nurturing and assuage her fears, not dumping your own on top of the pile.  You need to remember that for the nine months of her pregnancy, that is not your wife.  It is a violent, dangerous animal that will attack with the least bit of provocation.  You only have two functions. Tell her she is still attractive and get her things she wants.

Sure you can talk about this to a therapist, but for something temporary like this, save your money. You’ll get the same results at a fraction of the price from any decent bartender. Just make sure to not forget to pick up whatever random thing your wife needs from the store on the way home. Emergency room visits are expensive.

Two Birds with One Stone (it’s a pun)

Today’s question comes from Wayne and Tamara.  They are relationship counselors with syndicated columns runs in newspapers in over a dozen countries.

Keep your friends close, but not too close

My husband and I have been married a year, together for seven. Recently we came to a bump in our relationship where we noticed we were drifting apart. We are working on reconnecting.

The problem is my husband tells his close friends about everything, including our lack of connection. I was surprised he revealed such intimate details.

I find it hard to hang around his friends when they come to our house. I wonder how much they know. The real kicker is one of his best friends is a nice woman who I’ve long suspected has a crush on my husband.

When I am out of town at conferences or working long hours to support him through school, these two hang out, go for coffee or watch movies at her apartment.

I truly believe he is oblivious to this woman’s advances, but something feels off about the whole scenario, like when he forgot my birthday but made a birthday card for her. I just wish I had the closeness he seems to have with his friends.

Calling your husband obilivous is like the pot calling the kettle black. People don’t drift apart.  They drift from someone to someone else. In your case that someone else is this other woman. Bitch needs to get gone.

Usually at this point, I have to tell people like you that your partner is cheating, but this is a close one. Your letter doesn’t have the usual red flags.. but there is cause for concern.

He really does have one ball.

Here’s how you kill two (love)birds with one stone.  Arrange a get together with him and his friends, including this woman.  Pick a fight with your husband, during which you should comment how he is “half a man who only has one ball (get it.. one stone).”  At this point, watch the woman’s reaction.  If she looks really confused, then she knows first hand you’re lying.  If she looks surprised, she probably hasn’t gotten to him yet,  and probably bought you a bit more time.  Follow that up with “still think sharing intimate details is a good idea?” and it should quickly put the issue to rest.