Good Southern Girl writes:
I must be missing something, Advice Guru. I have the heart of a good Southern girl and love to host dinner parties. I happily host all sorts of events and luncheons—including those infamous paid-off-my-loan parties. I have a secret addiction to Pinterest, but it’s a great way to plan parties. The only thing is, every one of my guests seems to get snobbier and snobbier the longer I live on the West Coast! Linda doesn’t like lemons so she won’t even try the lemon meringue pie I made, and people over three years old just plain refuse to eat something with mushrooms in it anymore. No fish. No crunchy food. All these new diet fads. Bah, it’s all so bizarre! Am I missing something? Please help before I have to have dinners out instead of being the hostess with the mostest!
Heya, Southern Girl.
Wow, you must hate Linda so much to serve lemons. I bet you secretly loved making that lemon meringue pie, luxuriously spinning around and around your kitchen as your whites whipped into a peaked frenzy, knowing that you have the moral superiority and that your secret and perfect recipe will turn Linda around on an ages-old lemon phobia.
No? My mistake.
Listen, it’s probably not a big surprise to anybody that you are a Pinterest aficionado and it’s probably going to be even less of a surprise (for me) when I tell you that maybe it’s not your friends who are the problem here. Even if your locale changes, odd and hostile responses don’t. The South is known for its passive aggressiveness; maybe everyone always secretly hated your parties and you just didn’t get it.
I imagine you live in a Pinterest world where you deign to host parties for your uncultured friends. You spend weeks and weeks prepping. You worship at the altar of Nancy Meyers’s home design Pinterest board (oh my God—but I don’t fault you for that because you know what? Those are the best parts of her movies now) and whip yourself up into a frenzy. Let me ask you something personal—does your significant other magically start disappearing for hours at a time days before the shindig? Do your text messages start to get answered less and less? Is your home a complete ghost town?
If yes, it’s because people actually secretly hate your parties. Trying to force everyone into this party niche is slowly driving everyone away. If you were an alcoholic, parties would be your gin and tonic. Do you get the shakes when you’ve gone a month without a party?
All in all, you’re stressed and your friends are stressed. You’ve created a toxic environment where a welcome mat looks like a tower guard at a for-profit prison. Perhaps you should let someone else take over party duties for a while; just show up as a guest and be grateful that you haven’t been shoved off a boat à la Goldie Hawn in Overboard yet.
Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru
A New Roommate writes:
So I’m really happy for my roommate. Let me start off by saying that he’s got a girlfriend. She’s not a bad person or anything, she’s just here all the time. Six days a week, I’m talking. And even when neither of us is here. She has her own place and refuses to be put on our lease and pay rent. I talked to my roommate about it and now she only spends five nights a week, but still, it’s a lot for me. Is it childish to want her to pay rent or to give me my space? The talk didn’t help, what do I do now?
Heya, Gasping for Air.
You see what I did there? I changed your anonymous title because I’m really feeling what you’re laying down. You see, your apartment is your home, your cave. It’s your delightful bastion from polite society where you can waltz around naked if you want (as long as you have curtains); you just can’t put too many nail holes in the wall or paint it anything other than cavity-free tooth white.
Even if you don’t want to walk around naked (and if not, why not?), there’s obviously a way in which this girlfriend cramps your style. I would say you’re lucky that she’s not a character from Broad City or Sex and the City, but maybe you’re just annoyed with someone who isn’t even that interesting or charming. I hope you’re at least getting the pleasure of hearing sex through the wall. I’d hate for this to be a complete bust.
I am kind of also skeeved out by the “she doesn’t pay rent but is there when nobody else is there” line. That sets off some creepy Swimfan alarm bells in my head. I wonder if she breaks into your room and smells your pillows when you’re not there. Best not to think about that. Don’t think about it, Gasping for Air, it’ll probably only make the situation worse.
And sadly, there isn’t much of a way to make the situation better. It’s irresponsible of me to have to tell you to go apartment hunting in this economy, so how about this—how about you move in to her apartment? Maybe it’s not an ideal commute, but if you start showing up at rando times at her place and decide that it’s nice enough to territorially take over like a cat would, either she’ll figure out the message you’ve been sending the whole time or you’ll find yourself a nice, new, and more private space.
Everybody wins! And of course, that is the most important thing in the world to me.
Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru