ASK NATALIE06/09/08

ASK NATALIE

Q: My boyfriend is a really great guy and I love our relationship. The only problem is that he can be pretty lax with hygiene, and sometimes it really bothers me. I don't want to be a total bitch and demand he starts showering and brushing his teeth more, and obviously I have no right to, but I can't think of any subtle way to get the message across that I would personally prefer it. I don't want to make him feel bad about himself, but it's gotta be good for his health to stay clean, and it does make kissing and stuff kind of unpleasant at times. How can I approach the topic sensitively, and do i have a right to at all?


A: Being subtle about things like personal hygiene is something you should save for coworkers and lab partners and people you have to deal with, but don't know well enough to really make comments about their personal upkeep. Dude is your boyfriend, and kissing some funky guy is disgusting. You wouldn't try to be subtle about him chomping on your boob, you would say STOP IT, THAT SUCKS AND IS UNPLEASANT. If you are kissing him, and his mouth tastes disgusting, why don't you just stop kissing him and ask if he can go brush his teeth real fast? By dating him, you are cosigning on a physical relationship, and you are entitled to be intimate with someone whose smells don't make you wanna barf. A simple, "Whoa, guy, you're ripe! Why don't you go shower before we start messing around?" or "Did you forget to brush today? Your breath is a little bad," once or twice just might get him to take notice and, oh, I dunno, bathe himself once in awhile before you come over...

I will go off on a tangent, here, in hopes that maybe someone who is reading this and also smells bad will take a little from it and improve their lives.... NOBODY LIKES WHEN YOU SMELL BAD. Sniff yourself before you leave the house. Do you smell like anything that is not nice, or at least neutral? Then you owe it to society to wash up.

You don't even need to take a shower, take a damn whore's bath in the sink, wipe out your pits and your crotch, and put on some deodorant. Brush your teeth at least ONCE a day. If you don't brush, everyone you talk to will smell your breath, and your friends will talk about your moldy teeth behind your back. Not to mention, as a friend of mine has pointed out, if you do not take care of your teeth, they will leave you. And tooth holes in your gums have never really been known to smell like flowers, either.

You don't need a million expensive products to keep hygienic, you don't even need to shower everyday. Splash your face and brush your damn teeth everyday, wash your pits out when they start taking on an aroma, and shower a couple times a week to wash off the grease and filth from your ass. You need a bar of soap, a toothbrush, and some toothpaste, and maybe some deodorant if you don't want to wipe out your pits 4 times a day. If you're not washing cause you're raging against society, then go get your trailer out in the country where nobody can smell you. Sorry if I sound harsh, but it reeeeeally bugs the hell out of me when I have to huff on someone's BO. It really spoils my mood, and is definitely in my top 3 pet peeves.

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Speaking of bathing....

I LOVE IT! Yes, I love it. I love showering, and I love taking baths. The only thing I love more than taking baths is taking a bath and reading a VC Andrews novel. I have been rereading them lately, and worked my way through the Dollanganger series, My Sweet Audrina, and I am about 98% finished with the Casteel series. I have about 30 more books boxed up in the garage, ready to go.

(INSANE AMOUNTS OF SPOILERS FOLLOW)

VC Andrews books are awesome. They are total brainless smut. The Dollanganger series has a mom who has a bunch of kids with her uncle who is actually her half-brother, and her daughter grows up to fuck her brother, seduce her legal guardian, have a kid with her step-father, then winds up living in a pretend marriage with her brother! The Casteel series has three generations of women who lie to people about who fathered their children... the grandmother had a kid by her stepfather, and the daughter from that run-in went on to have a daughter with her great-uncle, the brother of the step-father of her mother! Whew! In My Sweet Audrina, the main character finds out that SHE IS HER OWN DEAD SISTER!!!! And her cousin who is actually her half-sister threw her bloody miscarriage at her mother (Audrina's aunt)!! Ahhhh!

Next, I am gonna reread Dawn, and all the books that go along with that... I recall it being pretty good, and also full of intrigue and incest and violence and all that.

All the VC Andrews books that came out after she died are not quite as good as the ones that she actually wrote herself, but they are all at least compelling enough to read when you are soaking in some chocolate-scented bath crud. Did you know people have bought ONE HUNDRED MILLION VC Andrews novels? Shit. You know that stuff HAS to be good.

(PRO TIP: There have been so many VC Andrews novels sold that you can pretty much get a complete library of her books at a used book store for hardly any money at all... and that's if you can't find the books for a quarter a piece at a garage sale. FYI!!!)

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I am gonna touch upon something that Drew talked about in his blog today, namely, people hollering at us whenever we go anywhere. It is gradually turning me into a shut-in, which was never anything I aspired to... It is really hard to not be paranoid about going out in public when people will start hollering your name at you, apropos of nothing. It is fine if you know who I am, but nearly 100% of the rest of the people wherever we are DON'T, and hollering like that makes everyone start staring, and wondering what I did to make people react (overreact) like that, and it makes me feel bad and self-conscious and wish I had just stayed in Upper Arlington, where nobody ever says anything to me at all...

I don't mind if you talk to me like a person, but shit... if you like my stuff enough to want to say something to me, you should like me enough to treat me like a fellow human being and not want me to be embarrassed to ever go anywhere. I'm not fucking J.Lo, I really don't need a fan club of screaming fans when I am just trying to take a nice walk and window shop, or go get some coffee, or have a date with my husband after having to work on stuff for a month solid. This is a comic and blog about thoughts that occur to me, and anecdotes about funny things that happen in my life, and if I can't go out and about my life like a normal person, it adversely affects the quality of what I make. I'm not saying to leave me alone, I'm saying don't embarrass me by yelling like a maniac and creating a scene.

I try to avoid breaking the 4th wall like this on my site, cause talking about what it is like to actually make this site is a lot less interesting than real content, but I thought I would try to ask a favor of everyone... Just talk to me like you would talk to anyone else you would run into at Target, if you are so compelled to confront me should our paths cross.

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