While I’m away, readers give the advice.
She the People
The French Elle beauty editor has stirred up racial controversy by posting a photo of herself on Instagram in blackface.
I believe that feelings about porn should be included in those initial heavy relationship discussions when you talk about religion, children, anger-management techniques, honesty, gay friends, money, etc. Opposite views on any of these should potentially be enough to call a wedding off. Early in the relationship should be the time the man says, “I view porn on occasion, I would never choose it over you, and it doesn’t affect the way I think about you or behave. I will respect you by not viewing it in front of you, but I will not sneak behind your back to view it or accept you scolding me about it.”
This takes courage because her response might be, “Fine, I’m outta here.” If that happens, it would be painful but better for all involved in the long run.
On friends who aren’t there for you when you need them:
Whatever happened to being your own best friend? Realities sometimes bite, and for no reason, like the dog that attacked mine on a walk the other day.
We all get busy and tied up as a part of the roller-coaster ride we somehow didn’t realize we even bought a ticket for, strapped into one of those crazy cars that take you away only to return you in one piece, time and time again.
Friends in general (and even some family members) come and go, not always available as our desires or best intentions would have them. But we are those same friends and family members who don’t always stick around or notice what others need.
My suggestion: Watch yourself, be your own best friend, and be the kind of friend to others that you would like in return. Accept the situation when this isn’t returned, and don’t give up on yourself; just maybe, someone else out there will surprise you. It is really nice to be there for someone and have someone be there for you. It is also a self-confidence boost, however, to know you can be such a pillar of strength to yourself.
On interpreting “I barely recognized you” as “You used to be hideous”:
When I run into people from my past, they often say, “Wow, you look great,” in a tone of surprise, but I do not choose to be offended by it. Slowly my eyes have been opened to the fact that others view me in a different (and often more positive) light than I view myself. And I keep those friends close who build me up, so that I do not look for the possible underlying slam in others’ words when there might be none.
Done Feeling Like an Ugly Duckling
“Think before you speak” is a good rule, but also be forgiving of people who make the mistake of not doing that. I made an unfortunate comment at a recent class reunion. The comment went something like: “The boys who were handsome in high school are now fat and bald.” Sadly, not until the comment was out of my mouth did I realize I was speaking to a bald man. He has been cold to me ever since, and I am so sorry for my tasteless comment.