So it’s summer and my boyfriend and I have all sorts of social commitments. That’s fine until we get double booked. This is happening all the time, especially on the weekends. I would really like to enjoy this summer, and I am getting really tired of all the running around, let alone multiple events on some days. Any suggestions on how to clear our calendar?
The Straight Skinny: Just say no.
A busy social calendar can be exhilarating. It can be delightfully challenging. And it can be a complete pain in the ass. If you don’t want to come to resent the people and events which exercise such a pull on you and your boyfriend, you’ve got to learn to say no—or, at the very least, to be sufficiently noncommittal that you won’t be in trouble if you decide to skip an art opening you promised to go to so that you can accompany your boyfriend to his family’s picnic.
Here’s what my partner and I do: Once or twice a week, we go over the calendar of things to which we’re committed and things we’d like to do. Then we make choices, insofar as we can. Sometime we choose to be separated, sometimes we choose a frenetic schedule. Sometimes we give up one engagement so we can be together at another. Sometimes we clear out a whole evening or afternoon to do chores around the house. Whatever we think we need.
I’m sure your boyfriend is feeling the same burden as you, right? Sit down with him and start saying no together.
Smart Money says: I don’t get what the problem is. Make fewer plans. Cancel arrangements. Relax, have a drink and stop effing whining. It’s not rocket science.
The Easy Way Out: Don’t even trouble yourself with etiquette. Lots of people like to throw lots of parties and stuff in the warm weather. Just because you get invited to an event doesn’t mean you’re obligated to attend. It’s not like receiving a summons. If it fits into your schedule and you can make it, do so. If you can’t make it, your friends and/or acquaintances should cut you slack. It’s not like you’re failing to respond to an emergency. Summer’s way too short to be saddled with a million social obligations. Stop and smell the roses.
For years I’ve been telling my girlfriend that I love her and want to marry her, but what could I do? New York State prohibited same-sex marriages. The man was standing in the way of our love.
Now it’s going to be legal, and she has an expectant look in her eyes, and I’m realizing (or maybe admitting) that I don’t want to get married at all. I don’t know if it’s her or me, I just don’t want to get married. Thoughts? Advice?
The Straight Skinny: Do you know why you don’t want to get married? Because you need to figure this out soon, before your lady-love takes it in mind to propose herself.
Either a) you do not really like her that much, in which case you should let her go; or b) you are not sure if you like her enough, in which case you can buy time by saying that until marriage equality is a nationally enshrined right, from the State Department to the IRS, you feel too guilty to do it; or c) you love her till the end of time, but think marriage is a lousy institution, in which case you buy her a copy of Michael Warner’s The Trouble With Normal, which argues that two-person, lifetime marriage, with its expectations of monogamy, is essentially puritanical and biased and anti-revolutionary.
Strictly Classified says: Don’t get married if you have any reservations about it. Now that gay marriage has been passed in New York state, gay divorce cannot be far behind. You may want to choose your words more carefully in the future to avoid hurting you lady friend’s feelings.
Smart Money says: If you have any doubts, you probably shouldn’t do it. Good luck with explaining this one.
Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Send your questions for our panel of experts to email@example.com comments powered by Disqus
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v10n27 (Week of Thursday, July 7) > Ask Anyone
This Week's Issue • Artvoice Daily • Artvoice TV • Events Calendar • Classifieds