PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

Off The Top Of My Head

Dear Carmen,

Okay, so general statistics: I’m 5’8″ and male. I realize that I’m not a giant, but I’m not a total little person, either. I’ve never been super insecure about it, and always dating people that are shorter than me hasn’t been much of a problem. But I started dating a girl who is 5’11”! Even more unfortunate, she loves to wear big, tall boots all the time. I hate to admit it, being a “modern” man comfortable with my sexuality and all, but walking around with a woman who can look over my head makes me feel emasculated. Should I just get over it, or will this little problem just fester until I’m all bitter inside?

Three Inches Negating Young Man’s AdonisNess


Don’t worry. The bedroom is the only place that size really matters anyway. (Just kidding. Really, I’m totally kidding!) But I won’t lie to you, your Amazon woman probably feels just as strange as you do. The only thing is, she is pretty likely to have gotten used to having a height disparity in relationships. If you feel emasculated, she probably feels efeminated (now a new word). This girl has almost always been taller than the guys she dates. Just picture the poor thing at junior high dances, and you won’t feel so bad for yourself anymore.

But to address the problem of you becoming bitter: Wake up, TINYMAN. There is nothing that either of you can do about your respective heights, unless you start wearing lifts in your shoes. You could ask the girl to stop wearing tall shoes, but I will highly discourage that. She probably feels sexier when she wears stylish shoes, and you never want to make a girl feel less sexy, for obvious reasons. So get over it, because it’s unfixable. And enjoy the feeling of having a supermodel on your arm. You should be proud of your girl. If you aren’t, why are you two together?

Dear Carmen, I was with a guy for several years on and off. Last year, we broke up again and for good, though we did both say that we’d probably get back together eventually (after he got a little older and more mature). I am with someone new now, and have been for a while. My ex and I have been talking, and he has been dropping not-so-subtle hints that he thinks we should get back together again if my current relationship doesn’t work out. This is making me uncomfortable, and I don’t know how to tell him that he needs to stop talking about this. What do I say to him, and is there a nice way to do it?

Potentially Angry Stud Trouble


Your letter makes me wonder how you really feel about your ex. Are you uncomfortable because you are over him but don’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him to “back off.” Or do you still have feelings for him, and his hints are too much of a temptation to lose your current girl/guy? If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Really, you need to separate yourself for a while if you are going to get through this. You and your ex must have a lot of feelings between you, spending so much time together, but that creates an easy way for the ex to slip back in when you aren’t prepared.

I suggest some good bonding with your current person, and telling your ex that he needs to lay off, because you don’t want pessimism to mess with your current relationship. It’s evil to walk around thinking, “If Kid A and I broke up, at least I’d still have Kid B around to be with me.” You broke up with your ex for a reason, remember it.

Dear Carmen, when a bottle of hard liquor says that it is “100 proof,” does that mean that you have a 100 percent chance of avoiding a hangover?

Liquor Ultimately Supplies Headache


Sorry, 100 proof just means that what you are drinking is 50 percent alcohol. That’s why 180 proof liquor can exist, though I highly suggest you avoid it if you want to avoid hangovers. Those nasty morning-after bothers are caused by having too little blood in your alcohol stream and by the dehydration that occurs. Don’t drink too much of that 100 proof, and be sure to drink plenty of water. (Read: For every shot, I think that one glass of water should be consumed.) Sure, you might say that this slows down on your alcohol consumption, but that’s another good point to bring up. It takes time for your brain to register how tipsy/drunk/trizzashed you really are. So slow down and chug the trusty H2O.

Want to know what Carmen thinks you should do? Write to her at [email protected] or P.O. Box 347, Portland, OR 97207-0347.