Widows and surgeons

Wasted Widow writes:

I’m 23 and my boyfriend is 27. We’ve been dating for a while and I’m hoping for a future with this guy, but there’s one thing I’m bothered by. Every Sunday he gets absolutely, incoherently falling down drunk wasted at sporting events. He becomes belligerent and inconsolable. We got into a fight once when I told him he needed to stop acting like a frat boy. It wouldn’t be such a big deal to me if he drank in moderation, but I don’t want him to be like this at 47, let alone 27! Does he have a drinking problem if it’s only on Sundays? Is it worth breaking up over?

Heya, Wasted Widow.

Only one thing I’m bothered by. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase. Is it really just one issue? In every other way, is your boyfriend’s completely perfect life not irking you? Take it from someone who lives with their significant other, there is no significantly perfect person.

I feel you, though. I get you don’t want him to be a 47-year-old alcoholic, but there’s at least one thing I want to note that goes along with your question: He’s only doing it at sports games. Sure, it’s not classy, but it hasn’t spread like a virus to other areas of his life. If it does, then you have a problem. If not, I would worry that he doesn’t actually enjoy sports at all and is using drinking as a coping mechanism for boredom.

What would happen if you were positively proactive instead of worried? Did you know, for instance, Sur La Table does couples cooking classes year round? Why not schedule one of those as a date time that conflicts with the game and see how he reacts? That will tell you a lot. That will tell him a lot, too.

Now I don’t want to pry (who am I kidding, prying is my life), but does he feel the same way long term that you do? You’re already twenty years in the future but where is he? Does he intend on going to these parties for the rest of his life? Have you had that conversation yet?

And finally, a warning. Bringing this up might make the whole house of cards fall. You’re fairly accusatory at this point already (you assume this is a problem without even talking to him about your needs) and I wonder, even if he does have a problem, if he’s ready to tackle it because if not then it might just push and pull you two apart.

Addiction is worse than that goo demon from Fern Gully. Tread carefully Wasted Widow, and I wish you the best.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru

Surgical Oops writes:

So I have this relative who just had cosmetic surgery to fix her ugly exterior but could probably use it more for her interior. I’ve seen pictures on social media and it looks awful. I will have to see her over the holidays and it will be the main topic of conversation for her. She’s a tyrannical narcissist who makes cruel comments about others and it’s not just random sniping. It’s very fixated. What can I do? I know I won’t be able to change the subject.

Heya, Surgical Oops.

Wow, you really hate this person. Does she have any good traits you can mention before you totally pile drive her into the ground with a trademark John Cena wrestling move? You’re acting like a not-camera-ready Judge Judy. I don’t know if it’s because this is a relative you only see at holidays and you’ve always been looking for a reason to cut her down to size or what, but there’s some super deep problem here that needs to be addressed.

And that problem is you.

Look, if you don’t have to see this person all the time, why are you Facebook friends? Just disconnect except for holidays. I know more than a handful of people that have had to do that just because of the blasted election. It’s OK not to know about every moment of every person’s life. And honestly, if the surgery is that bad, you could be the death blow on a crappy month for this relative of yours. Can you handle that responsibility?

We do have a problem in our society with our social media consumption. We’ve lost the ability to do it in moderation. The idea behind people who lament the end of cursive and letter writing is how these old devices of connection force you to slow down and think things through. What would happen if you wrote a letter of concern to your relative first? Would you mail it? Would it make you feel guilty? Would you realize that you’re just looking for something to snipe?

Here’s a solution for the holidays: Your relative approaches you with lips the size of the Hindenberg and continues to bring the conversation back around to herself. What you do is to make sure you have an external speaker or bluetooth capability nearby so you can play Adele’s “Hello.” If you’re having trouble imagining the successful implementation of this scenario, I recommend YouTubing the Saturday Night Live skit.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru