ASK NATALIE/Blas? Blah06/04/08


Q: I am left-handed, but my mother taught me how to knit the right-handed way and that's the way I've always done it. One of my friends told me that learning how to knit the left-handed way would make it easier for me, but I'm pretty much fine knitting the way I always have. It may take me a long time to get my projects done, but I do eventually. Do you think I should give left-handed knitting a try?

A: Shit, if it is working out for you as it is, there is no real reason to change, you know? Knitting projects take forever anyway, if you are working fast enough to complete projects, you are doing better than a lot of people. Changing to your left hand isn't gonna make you crank out a sweater in an afternoon or anything, and I've found that relearning to do something in the opposite way I've been doing it is a pain in the ass.

Unless your right-handed knitting looks like total ass, and it takes you a month to finish something that would take someone else with the same amount of experience as you half the time, don't worry about it. If you enjoy right-handed knitting and you turn out good looking projects, who gives a fuuuuuuuck, right?

Q: If somebody asks you for your "opinion," but you can tell that he is just fishing for compliments, what do you think is the ethical thing to do? For instance, if your overweight friend asks you if you think she is fat, is it better to say no and spare her feelings, or should you opt for honesty even though you know that's not what she wants to hear? If a person is asking to be lied to, do you thing that the harsh truth is the consequence they are setting themselves up for? Or do you think that people do eventually come around to realize the truth anyway and that they should just sort of be humored until they are ready to recognize it for themselves. Situations like these sometimes arise, and it can be pretty awkward at times.

A: Ehhh, when people do this, they are just insecure about something in particular, and telling them YES YOU ARE FAT is just going to make them feel terrible, even if they suspect that they are indeed fat. That being said, I don't think that you should LIE to them.

They are asking because they have a hard time looking at themselves objectively, but have a sneaking suspicion they're not quite up to snuff. That doesn't mean you have to be cruel in your response. When someone says AM I FAT? they mean, GOSH, I'M GETTING A LITTLE THICK, BUT I'M NOT THAT BAD, AM I? They frame their question with negative words, cause by making it sound as bad as possible, it is more likely they will get a response that makes them feel better.

Rather than lying, or callously saying YES YOU ARE FAT, FATASS, you can always try to be a little more kind about it. I would probably say something like "Oh, I think you look fine, but I've noticed you talking about trying to lose weight lately. If you like, we can get together and work out if it will make you feel better about it." That way, you are acknowledging their feelings about it, planting the seed of thought that they can DO something about it besides fret, and letting them know that you wouldn't think less of them if they stayed the size they are now. All without hurting someone's feelings, which could always backfire and make them eat a tub of ice cream to feel better.

Q: I was curious what you thought about boob jobs, the ones gotten for vanity and fun, not reconstructive surgery or anything good and useful like that.

As I get older (I'm 35), my B cups that I thought would never dissappoint me are sagging more and more each day and really bumming me out. I work out, lift weights... these things are supposed to help them perk up some or keep them for perking down so much, but doesn't seem to make a difference. Oh and they've always been way lopsided, and this sagging shit is bringing the bigger one down a lot more than the other, and so it's more noticable.

I used to be so against boob jobs for vanity and fun, but, as I see myself in pictures and in the mirror and even how I fill out my bras, I get down. So now I'm on the fence. I kinda feel like 'hey what the heck why not?' A couple of girlfriends of mine have gotten them and so I have some good dr. references.

A: I'm all for doing stuff that makes you feel better, and I'm not even really against plastic surgery, if it is gonna fix something that is jacked up.

I am a bit hesitant about boob jobs, though, for a couple reasons. First, there are more health concerns with getting implants than with just getting a lift. Second, you gotta get those things replaced every 10 years or something, assuming that they don't pop before that... so the cost of surgery is actually recurring. Third, I think that fake titties look a little gauche, especially if you are older. There is nothing wrong with being older, but it looks weird and kinda trashy to look like a mature adult, and have round ol' circus tits. Plus, you said you are fine with the small boobs, couldn't you just get a lift if you feel that bad about them? Then, you will regain your previous perk, without the added complications of having foreign bodies implanted in your chest, back and neck pain from having bigguns, etc.

PLUS, I've heard that a lot of guys just don't even like fake ones. If you are just unhappy with how you're filling out your duds, get some of those chicken cutlets for your bra to make your shirts look better. Nobody is gonna make you take your shirt off and do a scientific evaluation of one boob vs. the other vs. the droop of them before deciding if they like you or not. Besides, I bet that in 20 years, the plastic surgery for everything trend is gonna be done, and your fake boobs would look antiquated, in addition to looking gauche, and your boobs would be WICKED floppy if you decided you didn't like the implants and had them removed.

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Okay, I am gonna bitch here for a second about my ongoing reusable grocery bag situation. I finally started keeping my bags in my purse (most of the time), but now I have a new problem. It seems that a LOT of grocery cashiers are pretty reluctant about them.

Usually when I get to the register, I announce I HAVE MY OWN BAGS! pretty much immediately, so they don't start filling up the plastic ones. A lot of times, the cashier ignores this first notice. Then, when they go to stick the yogurt in the plastic bag, I restate I HAVE MY OWN BAGS!

The saga is almost over at this point, unless I am buying a lot of groceries, in which case the scenario plays out again every time one bag get filled, and needs to be replaced with another. I HAVE LIKE 6 BAGS! I HAVE ENOUGH FOR MY GROCERIES, AND PROBABLY THAT DUDE BEHIND ME, TOO. Stop 'em from using a plastic bag, pass 'em a reusable one, fill it up, repeat ad nauseum.

Well, maybe that is not totally accurate, because when I bring my bags, they don't fill them for me. As soon as I whip my own out, I am honorary grocery bagger. They won't TOUCH them. I've tried to give them the bag, they do not want to touch them at all. I don't know why. They look just like regular grocery store plastic bags, only they are nylon. They work the same. The bagger isn't going to break them. You don't need a password to open them up. I just think it is frustrating. I mean, if I am bagging myself, I should at least get a price break like at Aldi, where bagging your own groceries has a benefit. At Giant Eagle, they are overcharging me for moldy pita bread, so they need to bag that shit.

They even sell and suggest that we use our own bags. It's not freaking rocket science. They need to have a 10 minute store meeting and get this shit figured out.

It is is pretty stupid thing to complain about, I admit, but I gotta keep my edge sharp, which gets harder the older you get. Most days, you can't really tool around being mad about living with someone who is pretty nice and reasonable, in a house that is pretty clean and climate controlled, with some friendly dogs and fun job doing whatever you want. I gotta rage against the teenaged grocery clerks, or I will be as dangerous and edgy as vanilla pudding.
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