Hello grasshoppers. Haviland & Riese have more advice for you! [A full update on: The Book Club (selection: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) & Lewis's Birthday Contest will come on Thursday. Also -- the book is full price at Barnes & Noble, so I'd suggest buying it online. Buy @ amazon via this link here and I'll get .02 cents towards the purchase of alcohol for myself. If you're in NYC, put yourself on the library wait list STAT, 'cause it's got 370 holds already. Cheapest copies I found were on amazon,Textbookx.com (here), and Half.com (here).]
Questions have been edited for brevity. Also, I make up all the names. Just FYI. Any tips for our advice-seeking people? Please do tell. Also, as always, send your inquires to ASKAUTOWIN@YAHOO.COM (and if you already have, and you're not in this column, we'll get you next time) ... and you just may see your questions answered in a VLOG.
Left Asshole Husband, Moving to Virgina, Wants to Go Girl-on-Girl
After 3.5 years in a verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive relationship, I got separation papers, asked my boss for a job transfer, and will be closing on a new house June 30 in a different city. My question is - how do I find a girlfriend (not boyfriend) and a group of great friends like you do - in my new city? I'm moving to Williamsburg (VA, not NYC), which is close to Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News etc. I've always liked both sides and I want to focus on women a whole lot more. Please advise me.
* Firstly, congratulations on getting out! Before you leave, I'd suggest putting a chicken in his bed & locking the door.
* Secondly, OURCHART, obviously. Jeez.
* Thirdly, Historic Williamsburg. I bet there's a bunch of lesbos churning butter and playing with sheep there, like at a nunnery.
* Fourthly, I'd suggest starting a (new) blog, then people will be lining up to sleep with you, like Cinderella. Since Williamsburg is pretty tiny, any lesbo you meet will probs be eager for friends so if you see a lady at the store with short hair and a big axe (as if she's about to go lumberjack it) or Jodie Foster, be like "what's up?" and wave your metaphorical pride flag.
* Fifthly, Go on craigslist, honestly, look for other girls looking to make gay friends and stuff. That's how I met Chase, and through her I met Lainy, and through Lainy I met Haviland (they'd met each other on friendster). I'd say "go to the gay bar," but lesbians never talk to new people in gay bars, 'cause they're all freaks and weirdos.
* Sixthly, ARE THERE ANY LESBIANS READING THIS WHO LIVE IN THE WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA AREA? IF SO PLEASE GET IN TOUCH. ASKAUTOWIN@YAHOO.COM OR COMMENT.
Haviland: Seriously, congratulations on getting it together and getting out of that horrible situation. Really fantastic.
What kinds of things do you like to do? I would suggest doing those things, and you'll find people you like that way. I wouldn't focus on "finding a girlfriend." Relax in your new home, make it comfortable for yourself, and reach out to cool people there. You'll eventually click with someone and voila, instant girlfriend...but for now, I wouldn't go out seeking that. Good luck!
Riese: OK also a few weeks ago we had a conversation where Caitlin and I admitted that sometimes a drink helped ease social anxiety, since usually talking to strangers gives us the panic. And Haviland was 100% bewildered by this, not understanding how we could feel uncomfortable about talking to other people and subsequently overanalyze everything we say ... and that we do this just 'cause it's "talking to other people," not any other factors. Hav will go talk to anyone and is adept at meeting people she likes, and she doesn't even drink. However, I'd suggest that you get drunk first. Really the internet is the key, I've felt.
I agree through about not looking for a girlfriend. I never was -- in fact that was the last thing I wanted for a long time -- but when it happens, it happens, and it'll happen for you.
Dear H & R,
My ex and I were friends for a couple years before our long-term relationship. We broke up 'cause she said it wasn't working, but I heard from another friend that she'd just been trying to get me out of the way so she could hook up with an old-school crush, a boy. In fact, all my friends have stories about her: that she gave guys her number at a bar, that she kissed a guy in a bar, that she'd gotten a text from a guy offering to take her out to dinner (she says she never talked to him), that when she refused to kiss her crush in public he called her a bitch and a cocktease (she says he understood her refusal) ... I don't know what to believe, it was messy and we both said a lot of confusing/hurtful things, and now sometimes she says she wants to be friends and she made a mistake or that she still loves me.
Once when arguing, she said she thinks sex with a girl isn't like being with a man and doesn't count as losing your virginity and that she wanted to go back to being with guys. She'll get mad and say I'm taking it personally when it's just about guys vs. girls. [An additional paragraph detailing specific misbehaviors is not being published, per request of the author]
I feel like I have wasted so much of myself on her and everything we had was a lie but she says she said that to get back at me, that she did/does love me.
I am not friends with any of my other exes and am finding it very hard to want to be friends with her, I don't know what to believe. Should I even try to be friends with her again like she wants, or is it too hard to be friends with an ex, and just give up and move on?
Love you gorgeous girls by the way
Riese: It has taken me many moons, grasshopper, to come to understand the behavior you describe in the part we're not allowed to print. First of all, please download Fiona Apple's "Get Gone," and put it on repeat and scream at the wall. Okay.
You need to cut your losses and get out stat, she's using the oldest emotional manipulation tactics in the book. They always work on me too, but recognizing them was the first step to change that behavior on my behalf. You gotta step out of your body and look at these people subjectively, the two girls that are fighting.
It sounds like she's got a lot of personal issues to work on and thinks she deserves every bit of love she gets, and that no one will ever understand this deserving and they'll question her and this's why she must lie to get the response she probs honestly feels she is worthy of ... but she's not considering that the other person is actually RIGHT about how humans oughtta behave, especially to those they love. There are rules of human behavior that apply to everyone, including her.
It'll be hard to leave, but you must go. And also, like ... even if you look at Bette & Tina, there was no emotional manipulation there. Bette fucked up, but she wasn't a fucked up person. Marina was much more manipulative ... even Jodi, sometimes.
It sounds like you're almost addicted to it, and so getting off it will feel like sweet sweet freedom ... but first you must endure the painful withdrawal. And for that, time will heal your pain, and good friends.
Haviland: Agree fully with Riese. I don't think it's impossible to be friends with exes, but it sounds like you don't want to be friends with her, anyway. So what you're really asking is, "can i pretend to be friends with her, and hope that while we're "friends" I'll actually get her to confess her undying love for me, and we'll get back together?" The answer is no. And even if it were yes, thats just too annoying, painful, and time wasted from hanging around people who won't make you ultimately feel so bad about yourself. I don't even know you, but I'm pretty sure you don't deserve that. Judging by your choice of web-reading, you're a smart person, and smart people shouldn't waste their precious emotional energy with people who drag them through the drama-mine the way this girl obvs is. It's all easier said than done, but focus on yourself, your friends, job, etc...and get out of it.
I have a confession to make: I am a quarterlifer serial monogamist. Despite all of my friends extolling the virtues of having a 'slut phase' I've just never been able to do it. Whenever I have The Sex (even if I've been consuming The Drink) I wind up with a lot of feelings, and subsequently a girlfriend. While I generally don't mind my situation, it does mean there are some things I've never indulged in (redheads, I'm looking at you). Occasionally this leaves me with the nagging fear that one of these girlfriends will become a wife, and that I'll never be able to so indulge.
Do you have The Casual Sex? If so, how? If not, do you have similar breadth-of-palette anxiety?
Dear SFA (you get to keep your chosen name, 'cause it's so sexy!),
Riese: Well ... I'm not gonna disclose the breadth of my experience, but let me say this: really, the only thing that matters is if you like the girl or not. If you're totally into her, then the term "Casual Sex" no longer applies-- nothing is "casual' when your partner is serious. So the key to having The Casual Sex is to hook up with girls you wouldn't ever want to girlfriend. For example, maybe you could already have a girlfriend but could agree to be in an open relationship, thus eliminating your anxiety about wives and so forth. Howevs, those are tough to coordinate and rarely work.
The CS may be fun and thrilling, but the best part is right before you first kiss and you're still wondering if it'll happen and what it'll be like. Maybe do that once or twice, then get married. Also, there's massage parlors. And threesomes?
Anyhow, I think one's sexual experiences (and subsequent talents) are actually better attributed to quantity and quality of sex with the same partner over a long period of time, rather than a few fumbling nights of momentary pleasure and mutual unknowing with randoms here and there. You never learn much from having Casual Sex, besides that alcohol is SEXY and you miss your ex, 'cause with her things were comfortable, like the John Mayer song "Comfortable."
Haviland: "Slut phases" are not for everyone. It sounds like you're just not that kind of person, and that's really okay. You could break up with a girl you really like just to go out and have encounters with people who you're doing your damndest NOT to like, and then feel bad about yourself, and feel gross and also like you're compromising who you are just for a story to tell, or you could just reconcile with yourself the fact that, well, you like relationships. And there's really nothing wrong with that. Don't let your friends pressure you into being slutty.
Riese: She doesn't mean "slut" as a derogatory term. Just ... FYI. Take back the word, ladies!
Haviland: No, of course not! I would never use that term - that's how SFA referred to it, so I was being all therapist-like and just going with his terminology. Also, of course, if you are going to go there, do use protection, and have a team meeting to make sure you're all on the same page about what's happening.
So, I have this friend who is kind of a mooch. I've known her for about 6 months now, we've grown pretty close quickly, we're in a band together (she's a phenom drummer, ps). She's a really awesome person and I know she's kinda broke, but so am I.
She'll ask to share rides but never takes a turn driving or offers gas money, she helps herself to the booze I bring to rehersals or my jack & coke, if we get food or booze as a band, she literally never chips in, and at bars she'll try to put her drink on our tabs "by mistake" by ordering with us, etc. This weekend I refused to carpool w/her to a gig and she got huffy (we always go to her place for rehersal so she never has to drive, or pay for gas or food ... and we just got new recording gear and she's yet to chip in). If she wakes up drunk on my couch I won't even feed her when she wakes up, as I would with any other friends/enemies. I'll wake up, hide my food, and when she's up I'll say I need to go grocery shopping. She'll ask "Want me to come with you?"
We confronted her when she was two hours late for a rehersal where we'd been waiting outside her door and she wouldn't answer her phone and she said "I don't need this right now," and stormed away crying. Then she drank half my Jack.
-Closing the Bank of Myself
Riese: The first thing I do in this kind of situation is prepare a spreadsheet of what she owes you. Then make another list of what she's done for you. Then cut them out, paste them in your journal and bitch to anyone who'll listen. That's what I'd do, and it feels good.
This girl isn't just a mooch, she's basically a criminal. Out out out with her bitchass nannyfucking motherfucker ass. You'll find a new drummer like Alex Vega or Lewis Bernard. If she says she doesn't need this right now and starts crying, you tell her you don't need this right now either then slap her in the face, and while she's down grab her wallet and take all she's got. Anyhow she sounds crazy ... and I'm guessing she doesn't have any money. Possibly she has narcissistic personality disorder, is manic and in a stage of hypomania, or is a sociopath.
Haviland: Tell her what's bothering you. If she starts to cry, tell her you don't really know how to deal with her, because you have some very unemotional issues to discuss and she's making them emotional. I suggest you find a new drummer who is more professional. And definitely, set up more clear boundaries - like not allowing her to crash on your couch whenever she's too drunk to drive. Has she heard of a cab? And if she can't afford it, then she can't afford to be out drinking. She's an adult and she can plan ahead. Certainly, once in awhile, sure, we make mistakes, but it sounds like this is fairly habitual. I'm never certain as to why people are so nice to irresponsible "friends" when these so-called friends continue to take advantage and not return the kindness.
Riese: The bigger the hair, the closer to the Lord, y'all.
Contemporary fiction leaves me cold. Am I reading it wrong? I was an English major: I enjoy literature from pretty much every movement up through the modernists (this includes work from other countries as well). I love a solid, plot-twisty, character driven, socially conscious Victorian novel just as much as Sei Shonagon's scattered, piece-meal, self-indulgent, pillow-book musings.
(I can read non-fiction and I've read Sarah Waters -- though really for (nearly) the same reasons that I watch The L Word-- she writes about female desire.)
But when I read The Corrections or All the Sad Young Literary Men or other contemporary, well-thought-of fiction, I feel... nothing or restless or irritated. What am I missing?
-Sad Young Literary Woman
Haviland: I am so not the person to ask about this...if you need political recommendations/journalists to watch, come to me. As for modern fiction...Riese, go for it!
Riese: Have you read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Jurassic Park?! You'd change your mind if you did! (JK)
See, I feel the same way except the opposite. I believe this fairs better for you than for me ... I think everyone just likes what they like, 'cause I don't understand how anyone could prefer reading a socially conscious Victorian novel to Bright Lights Big City.
Your problem comes from this: what just came out (a.k.a. contemporary fiction) hasn't stood the test of time yet. All the stuff you like has -- old literature comes to you like a filter that was set in stone before you were born. We take a gamble when we buy a brand new book. Will it last? Will it matter next year?
Although, you do mention two authors widely known to be assholes, which's interesting. Though actually I'd recommend The Corrections as something you might enjoy -- I think although the subject matter is contemporary, the approach to the novel as an art form is more similar to your favored writers.
Look for contemporary writers who admire the same writers you do, that's the best route.
But also, you like what you like ... at least it works out in school. I was forced to read The Canterbury Tales but you were not forced to read Nobody Belongs Here More Than You.
I'm a Georgia native currently living in North Carolina with no ties to NYC, but I recently took a job in NYC w/Habitat for Humanity that pays a $980 monthly stipend, an unlimited MTA card, health insurance, and $200 directly paid to my landlord. I found a girl on craigslist moving from Oregon at the same time I was -- we clicked right away, talked a lot, and thought we'd cut costs further by acquiring other roommates, and we found two guys on roommates.com. I told them my work info, and since they weren't looking to spend over $600/month, all was well w/r/t that.
Today one of my future roommates emailed to say he wanted me out of the apartment deal 'cause of my finances. I've got savings, but I'm fine if he doesn't want to be my roommate 'cause he's a tool who can't grasp the humanitarian concept. What gets me is the girl I met on craigslist is still getting a place with them, even though she'll be making less than me! And! We've got tickets to see Ani DiFranco and Kimya Dawson on July 16th -- since I bought the tickets, is it wrong of me to not want to share this glorious night w/the backstabbing roommate-stealer? Is it overreacting? Am I completely naive about my NYC financial situation? Do you know anyone who needs a roommate? And finally do you know anyone who wants a ticket to Ani D & Kimya D?
Riese: First off -- I think what you're doing is pretty abso-fucking-lutely wonderful ... and I'm inspired by your eagerness to endure what's going to be a very very difficult budgeting situation. You're gonna have to live in far-out Queens or Brooklyn to find rent under $600, so I'd suggest looking on craigslist sublets & temporary where the price is already there and you'll be judged by your personality rather than your income. Also; from now on -- TELL EVERYONE YOU HAVE A MASSIVE SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Live close to your to-work train so that even if it's a shit neighborhood, it's convenient. I've lived in about 500 apartments and done the hunt about 100 times, so I know the deal.
Also, think about a part-time after-hours job. Kit gave a blow job for a taco once.
As for your ex-roomie, you're gonna have a lot of easy-come-easy-go friendships in NYC. It can be dog-eat-dog/heartbreaking. You can lose & regain your faith in humanity hourly, and there's no perfect method to figuring out who's gonna be a good one. Take someone else to the concert, forget her. She's fucked up and you haven't even met her yet. Out out out.
All city-dwellers have heaps of people within a five-mile radius who we no longer speak to -- people who've been fleetingly crucial, so absolutely necessary to daily life but are now gone gone gone. Think of these people as practice for the friends & lovers that'll end up mattering. Since day one, my number one NYC rule has been Don't Fuck People Over on Housing.
They're wise not to go into an apartment-hunting situation w/you 'cause your budget is lousy. They'll end up going higher once a broker or landlord seizes them. Even though clearly you're an amazing person, they're entering a city full of amazing people.
So you gotta think about how to position yourself more attractively this time around: can your parents be gaurenteers? That's an asset. Your best asset to sell yourself is that you'll rarely be home 'cause you'll be working often. Maybe you're quiet & go to bed early (or loud & party all night) and will appeal to someone similar, or maybe someone who's new to the city will want to live with someone also eager to make friends. If you're gay, search "GLBT friendly" on CL and you might find someone who'll care more about your sexuality than your job. Think assets, baby. Post a "roommates wanted" ad, that worked for me once.
In New York City, every person is a dime a dozen. Once you understand that and embrace it, you'll discover that you can use this both to avoid pain and to maximize pleasure. Trust me ... or ... don't.
Haviland: Yeah, she's right. It's hurtful, what she did, but honestly, this happens all the time, and you have to just move on. Do the CL thing under sublets...you'll find something, don't worry. Good luck in New York!
Riese: ALSO ANYONE NEED A ROOMMATE OR WANT TO GO TO AN ANI DIFRANCO CONCERT ON JULY 16TH? There you go.
What you should/should not wear to the clubs
what does riese/carly/haviland wear to the clubs?
What’s your favorite part about summer?
-Hot Fun in the Summertime
Riese: We will disclose our answer to this one in video. What we wear to the clubs -- and boy do we club! -- is a multimedia question. Also, I loathe all parts of summer, there's nothing I like about it except that it's not freezing cold outside like it is sometimes in January. and that's liking "not-winter," rather than summer specifically. So. Oh! Oh! The Rosie Cruise!
Haviland: Don't wear anything to "the clubs" that is going to be uncomfortable, or that you'll care about getting ruined when people are knocking up against you and spilling their drinks all over you. I think it really depends where you live, because fashion in LA and NY, for instance, could not be more different. What do you like to wear? Start there, and then observe what other people wear, and steal ideas. Just no Ed Hardy prints, please. Also, re:summer, I love the summer, and in LA, it's always summer!
Riese: By that she means, "I'll elaborate on the vlog."
how are you today i hope that every things is ok with you as is my pleassure to contact you after viewing your profile which really interest me in having communication with you if you will have the desire with me so that we can get to know each other better and see what happened in future.
i will be very happy if you can write me through my email for easiest communication and to know all about each other also send you my picture, i will be waiting to hear from you as i wish you all the best for your day and God bless you.
yours new friend,
Riese: Send naked photos to Lozo. No fat chicks. While we're on the topic, you also have a good day and G-d bless you too, Janey Jane Jane. You and your little profile and your big big desire.
yours new special friend, Riese.
Haviland: Can I introduce you to my friend "punctuation"?
Riese: Especially my lover the comma. Something tells me y'all would click like WHOA. You can't meet the semicolon, clearly, she's taken.
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into long time relationships and financial transaction for our mutual benefits.
I am Miss. Emanuela Fofana and I inheritated an important sum from my late father who died in recent crisis in Cote d'Ivoire . I wish to request for your assistance in investing this sum in lucrative venture or manufacturing and real estate management in your country.
I have Five million, five hundred thousand United State Dollars. USD ($5.500,000)to invest in this transaction and I will require your assistance in receiving the fund in your account in your country. I will gladly give you some reasonable percent from the total sum for your assistance. Please it is important you contact me immediately on this email address .
For more clearification on the next step for smooth conclusion.
Awaiting your immediate response and God bless you.
Thanks for your understanding
Miss. Emanuela Fofana
Haviland: Ooh, what does it mean to "inheritate" something? And how about "clearification"? Is that like Clearasil? Did you inheritate the Clearasil Corporation? And I don't even know what to say about "smooth conclusion"...Riese, perhaps you can help her with that?
Riese: My friend used to drink this tea called "Smooth Move." Just saying. Also, wtf is Cote d'lvoire? It sounds sexy.