Off The Top Of My Head

Dear Carmen,

I have been dating a great girl for a few months now, and I really care about her. My only problem is that I am still friends with my ex-girlfriend, Dawn. She and I were together for over two years and broke up last summer. I don’t want to get back with her, but I still want to hang out with her once in a while. This makes my current girlfriend uncomfortable, but I feel obligated to see my ex because she doesn’t have many friends at all. Do I have to abandon Dawn, or should my girlfriend cave and let me see her sometimes?

Too Many Girls


Well, it really depends on why your current girlfriend doesn’t want you to see Dawn. Is it because she doesn’t trust you and is afraid that you’ll cheat on her, or because she feels threatened by someone you were with for so long? If you don’t know, you two need to have a long talk.

If she is uncomfortable because she doesn’t trust you, then you need to cool it with your ex until there is more trust built up. Hell, it’s only been three months! If she is uncomfortable because she feels threatened, you need to let her know that you aren’t going to cheat, and try to get her to understand why you are hanging around with Dawn sometimes.

Another thing: Your girlfriend might tell you that she wants to know everything that goes on between your ex and you, everything you say, do and think about when you’re together. This is not something you need to do, TMG! As much as you might think you could explain away how, when you were having coffee, Dawn brought up that time she did that thing to you that you really liked, your girlfriend does not really want to know.

Are you really that intent on seeing Dawn, TMG? After all, not many relationships end with the two people actually being friends. At least, friends without benefits. Are there some residual feelings there? If so, you really should avoid Dawn, even if she doesn’t have many friends. Otherwise, you should be able to see your ex, just not too often, and never too privately.

Dear Carmen,

I live in a small apartment where I share the bedroom with a good friend. I’ll call him “Emilio.” Emilio has a steady girlfriend, and their sex life is very healthy. The problem is that, whenever I am out, Emilio wants me to call home before I get there to be sure I won’t walk in on anything lewd going on. I am tired of never being able to come home, and when I do I can’t go in our room because of the “Do not disturb” sign on the doorknob. What do I do?

Nowhere to Go


Why does Emilio always spend his special coitus time at your apartment? Even if his girlfriend lives with her parents and neither of them has a car to get busy in, there is still the great outdoors. Send him off camping, or at least to a local mall dressing room. You know, you could just walk in and watch it. That might stop them right quick or maybe even get you off. But if you are averse to being an unabashed voyeur, here’s what you can do to really claim your space.

What you need is a schedule – a good, albeit fair and flexible schedule – that is non-intrusive. Invest in a calendar white board and coordinate who will be which color dry-erase marker. If Emilio and his girly-girl really get it on enough to be a problem for you, and you refuse to spend most of your time in the library (studying and/or sleeping), then work out a system. You can each claim special days for private apartment usage. Be sure that time is split fairly and equally, and prime weekend time can be worth more than, say, Tuesday night.

The real question is, why is this such a problem? You know, NOG, you sound kind of jealous. When was the last time you had sex or even just made out with someone? One danger of living without even occasional sex is the development of anal retentive personality traits, the kind that leave a young college coed complaining about his roommate’s luck in sex-craving girlfriends. You need to get a date, NOG, and quick.

Finally, if Emilio doesn’t keep up his end of the bargain, you can always take your new date back to your apartment and make him call you before he comes home. Revenge is sweet.

Dear Carmen,

My parents just gave me a llama for my birthday. What should I name it?

Love Lame Animals My Arse


Well, I will be forced to disagree with your sign-off acronym. Llamas are super groovy, if only because of the double “L” at the beginning. The odd spelling is a schoolchild’s nightmare. You could go with the obvious choice of a funny word utilizing this spelling craziness. Something like “Flluffy” or “Mr. Animall.” Then again, you could honor your parents by naming it after one of them. “John, Jr.” or “Barbara the Second” would be quite lovely, and let your parents know how you really feel about their generous gift. Happy birthday, LLAMA.

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