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Columnist Carolyn Hax

TELL ME ABOUT IT ®

By Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page C10

Dear Carolyn:

My sister is pregnant for the first time, and I'm excited to become an uncle. The issue: The names she has picked out are so soap opera-esque that I want to ask how she could name her kid that. Any advice?

Va.


(Nick Galifianakis - For The Washington Post)

_____Carolyn Hax_____
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Buy her a few of those stuffed terry cloth rattles. Babies love them, they're washable, and, whenever you're about to criticize your sister's taste in names, you can stuff one in your mouth.

Dear Carolyn:

"Jared" and I are recently engaged; however, we live in different states. Everyone is ecstatic about the upcoming wedding -- except me. I love Jared but I think my feelings are based on other people's opinion of us. If everyone loves him and loves us together, then why am I having doubts? I stay up late at night thinking about another man, and wondering if I would be better off with him. We are supposed to move in together in Jared's town but I keep delaying. Are these just pre-marriage jitters or is there a real problem?

On the Fence

If everyone were marrying Jared, then these would just be pre-marriage jitters. But since you are the one marrying him, and the one who isn't excited to marry him, then that about defines "real problem."

Just because a guy loves you and is equal parts Superman, George Clooney and Gandhi doesn't mean you have to love him back. Either you feel it or you don't.

You don't? That's okay. Admit it to yourself, admit it to him, forgive yourself, and move on with moving on.

Here's what's not forgivable: Not admitting it, especially to him. How would you feel if you overheard your fiance say to another woman, "I stay up late at night thinking about you"?

You may be a great person, equal parts Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Ann and Ginger. What Jared deserves is a woman who loves him, no doubts.

Dear Carolyn:

My same-gender-spousal-equivalent (SGSE) and I have been together three years. We had a commitment ceremony last May and have been wearing rings on our left hands since then. My SGSE hasn't told his (Catholic) family about the "wedding," though they accept us, and we sleep together when we visit. SGSE is not out to Grandma, and she's old-fashioned, though he's her favorite grandchild.

On our latest visit to Grandma, SGSE's mother asked us to not wear our rings. I was incensed, and complied grudgingly. SGSE would not stand up to Mama, who is generally very sweet, and I've been mad ever since. I hate going back in the closet. I feel like I don't want to visit these people again. Was I wrong to swallow my convictions?

P.K.

If anyone's looking for reasons to support gay marriage, I can suggest four: "same," "gender," "spousal" and "equivalent."

Perhaps you did swallow your convictions on closeting. But you apparently did so to uphold your convictions on meeting family halfway, on keeping your symbolism and Grandma's feelings in perspective, on supporting your SBFTFTMCLMOMIMJ (spouse-but-for-the-fact-that-men-can't-legally-marry-other-men-in-most-jurisdictions).

You've won 98 out of 100 battles, real and potential and tough, with this family -- an average most straight couples quit hoping for. You were gracious in reflexively conceding this latest skirmish. Any hangover from that, you should discuss with your SBFTFTMCLMOMIMJ; don't take hostages out of spite.

Write to Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or tellme@washpost.com and join Carolyn's live discussion at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.


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