Our favorite fierce, funny feminist addresses all that ails you
I kept my own name when I got married, but for some reason, even if people know that, they insist on addressing letters to my husband and I as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or “The Smiths,” or referring to me as “Mrs. Smith.” How do I get them to understand that I’m still “Ms. Jane Doe” and not “Mrs. John Smith,” and that when they insist on ignoring that fact, it makes me feel erased—like they think I’m just an extension of my husband? –Ms. Jane Doe
Dear Ms. Doe,
I think you should start with a gracious note to each of the parties re-stating your wishes, along with a brief explanation of why you feel as you do. Patience, after all, is a virtue, and in this busy world of ours, maybe they’ve forgotten that you’ve tried to make your feelings on this matter clearly known. If they continue to persist against your wishes, though, I suggest a second communiqué that begins with the firm salutation, “Dear Stubborn Asshat,” and goes on to ask something like, “Can you READ, or do I have to come over there and bark in your stupid, stubborn, inconsiderate face? I TOLD you I have a perfectly good handle and it ain’t ‘Mrs. What’s-His-Name.’ It’s the 21st century; try it on for size, Crap Head!” If that doesn’t work, at least no one can say you didn’t reach out and give it your best shot.
I’m 26 years old and still a virgin. I grew up in a strict family and never had much luck with dating; it wasn’t a priority for a long time. Now I’m dating, but I haven’t met anyone I feel strongly about. At this point, I feel like maybe I should have sex with someone halfway decent after a few dates, just to get it out of the way, because holding out for someone I really care about seems kind of unrealistic. How old is too old to still be a virgin? If I meet someone amazing when I’m 27 and tell him I’m a virgin, will he think that’s weird? Should that matter? –Never Been Effed
Dear Never Been Effed,
Hearing you talk about sex as something you think you might want to do “just to get it out of the way” strikes me as a tad odd. Sex isn’t the be-all and end-all of life, but it’s an aspect of the human experience that most people look forward to experiencing. And most people usually take a shot at it by the time they’re your age, even if there’s some anxiety involved. Just curious: Do you ever get—how shall I put this delicately?—HORNY? If you don’t seem to crave physical closeness or you’re not attracted to anyone who you think might be attracted to you, I don’t think you should have sex with somebody you think is “halfway decent” just to say you did. They might interpret it to mean you really like them. Try getting to know someone (or some-more-than-one) who you don’t find completely unattractive, and there’s a good chance you might find the physical contact starts to take care of itself. Relax!
My brother is getting married soon and my dad is being a jerk! He’s already said that he might not want to take time off from work for the wedding, and he’s been complaining about people who have been left off the guest list (the soon-to-be-married couple wants a very small wedding). He did the same thing to me when I got married, threatening not to come if I didn’t invite a particular relative I can’t stand. How can I let my dad know I don’t approve of his behavior without starting a family feud? –Fed Up in Colorado
Dear Fed Up,
I don’t know if you can avoid the fallout, but I think somebody needs to tell your dad that the wedding is mostly about your brother and his happiness on that day. It would be sad if your dad doesn’t show, but not as sad as if he stinks things up for your brother. You have my empathy. Tell your dad to back off on your brother’s behalf and, if he’s a jerk about it, then maybe he should just keep his distance. Family is important, but we shouldn’t be required to suffer trying to “make the foot fit the shoe.” Know what I mean? Let us know how everything works out, OK?
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Photo: FMHT Studios
This story appears in the June/July 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Anna Paquin. Subscribe now.