ASK NATALIE07/27/08

ASK NATALIE

Q: I have been ‘dating’ this guy for about two weeks now. He’s very nice, smart, good looking, fun, etc. basically all the things I look for in a male companion. We enjoy each other’s company, but he isn’t the touchy type at all. It seems like he doesn’t want to be all that close to me; he doesn’t even hold my hand. When we watch movies together, he sits far enough away to make a nun happy. Needless to say we haven’t kissed. We haven’t done anything. I tried to nudge him in the right direction, but he seems uncomfortable doing anything that involves physical contact. I’m starting to feel more like just a friend than an actual girlfriend. Is this just an awkward phase he’s going through until we know each other better? Is it normal? And is there anything I can do to get him over his phobia?

A: I'm not trying to poop in your Cheerios, but I don't think he thinks you are "dating", and he is probably not interested in it. I mean, if you feel more like a friend of his than a girlfriend, that is probably what is going on. Oftentimes, dudes will kinda play it casual in order to not hurt your feelings, and force friendship rather than a relationship by the way they act instead of saying so outright.

Young dudes looooove fooling around and touching on chicks (or dudes, whichever is their particular bag.) It's just their thing, you know? In the off chance he is a guy who doesn't like affection, or sexual activities, he's probably not someone you'd want to be dating anyway. You're too young to have to worry about some guys weird affection issues, especially if you are barely dating. Now is the time to go get some. Preferably with someone who wants to get some from you. If you just can't believe that he either doesn't like you like that, or that he is bizarre and doesn't like touching girls, next time you are alone, just lay a super-hot make out-style kiss on him. You will figure out what is going on in about .2 seconds.

Q: My boyfriend's mother recently gave him a large plot of land behind her house. He works a minimum wage job, but seems to think he's going to manage to build a house on it in under 2 years. He is also insisting on building a shed with just a bed and a woodstove (we live in frozen-ass upstate new york) to live in until the house is done, and walking to his mom's house for all other basic needs.

How can I tell him that rushing into this and living in some crappy shed is going to result in a house that isn't all that great?

A: Frankly, if you guys aren't married, I wouldn't say anything to him at all about it, and just help him haul wood if he needs assistance. I mean, how many dudes have big plots of land to do whatever they want with? Plus, learning a skill like building a house is pretty awesome. Even if he isn't able to finish it in two years, he will still have something to work towards, which is more than a lot of young people have. Not to mention, even if it took him 10 years, the satisfaction of building something functional and worthwhile with your own hands would more than make up for whatever slight shortcomings the house might have when compared to generic, professionally-built homes. Handmade things with character are ALWAYS more charming and valuable in my book. How much would his children and grandchildren value a home built by their father/grandfather, even if it wasn't beautiful and perfect?

Besides, even if he fails, he is not hurting anything by trying. Even if he doesn't know anything about building houses, how else would he learn besides giving it a shot and researching the steps involved as he goes? You never do anything worthwhile without trying first. There's no reason to look at something like this in a negative light.

Q: What is your opinion on wording wedding invitations when it is a cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres, not a sit-down meal? I think putting 'cocktail reception to follow' is perfectly adequate, but my fiance is convinced that his entire family will be confused by this and show up with feed bag attached, waiting in vain for the buffet to commence. Should we be calling each relative and explaining the concept of 'cocktail reception'?

A: I think that would depend on the time of your wedding. If it is an evening wedding, and the reception is after the time one would typically have dinner, I think it would go without saying. To me, "cocktail reception" seems self-explanatory. However, if your fiancé's family is not too sophisticated, you can let him just explain it to a couple close relatives, and let them spread the word if they find the concept needs explaining to everyone else. Personally, I think that if you make note in the invitation, you can just play dumb to anyone who shows up and wonders where the entrees are. You know, kinda half-apologize, and blame yourself for not making it clearer in the invitation.

I think it might be kinda gauche and half-insulting to the people who DO catch your drift already, to call them to remind them that they won't get fed that much. You know, like RING RING OH HELLO, I AM JUST GIVING YOU A CALL TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT "COCKTAIL RECEPTION" MEANS. OH, YOU DO? GOOOOOOOOOOOD.

Q: I have this friend and we're always brutally honest with each other. Like brutal. If I asked her if I was fat she would probably tell me that my only fat part was my butt because "your genetics are messed up and you have no boobs because they are in your butt". But recently, I feel our relationship is getting strained. I get annoyed with her sometimes and yell at her and then I feel bad but i don't know how to apologize when i do that. It just feels tangibly awkward and electric around us sometimes and it makes me really nervous. But I don't know what to say when that happens. Any advice on what to say or do when those awful silences and feelings come between us?

A: I don't know if this friendship sounds that healthy. Being brutally honest is telling someone something they don't particularly want to hear, with their best interest in mind. Like, telling your friend her boyfriend is cheating on her, or that her drug problem is ruining her life. Itemizing every aspect of someone's outward appearance, and going down the list of everything that isn't perfect, just seems mean-spirited. If this way of talking to each other goes BOTH ways, no wonder your relationship is strained.

I have had friendships like this, and the only thing that has ever worked for me is to just cut my losses and make that person a smaller part of my life. I'm not sure if it is low self-esteem, or competition, or what that makes girls act like this (I have never seen dudes act this way to each other), but if you just have that kind of chemistry with someone, it is really hard to fix. Again, I've tried and it just doesn't work. Yelling at each other and insulting each other and dealing with the post-fight awkwardness is just too much drama. I would either talk to your friend and let her know that you want to start acting like grownups, and treating each other as friends rather than adversaries, or move on and spend more time with friends who are supportive, and not intentionally hurtful towards you. Friends enrich you life, and make the nice parts nicer, and give you someone to lean on when times are not so good. Having someone around who just fights with you and pulls you down for no reason is just bad news.

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Send questions to asknatalie@nataliedee.com
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ASK NATALIE06/23/08

ASK NATALIE

Q: My step-sister has had what she called a bacterial infection on her lips off and on for about three years. I've always thought that it looked like herpes, and she told me a few days ago that a doctor did in fact say it was herpes. We have been sharing drinks and lip glosses and such for quite some time, and I have been getting worried lately because herpes are not something I'd like to have. This morning when I was getting ready I noticed a bump on my lip and I'm pretty sure its a cold sore. This is making me pretty upset. Not only do I most likely have herpes but my boyfriend will probably get it too. Now to my question: Would punching her in the face be adequate revenge?


A: Let me reiterate what you told me:

Your sister had a 3 year-long "bacterial infection". You had reason to believe it was herpes, before she herself found out it was herpes. You chose to share drinks and lip glosses with someone who you thought either had a horrible, 3 year-long bacterial face infection or herpes. After YOU chose to rub face germs with someone with the creeping face crud and/or herpes, you are blaming your potential infection on her.

Either YOU were allowing HER to use YOUR lip gloss, and drink YOUR coke, or you were asking the person with the face infection/herpes to let YOU use HER various around-the-mouth items. She never held you down and rubbed her pop can over your face, or tied you to a chair and gave you a glamour-girl makeover with her infected, herpes-plagued cosmetics. This seems like a simple failure of your self-preservation skills. In the same way you wouldn't bareback with a bum you found shooting up heroin out behind the 7-11, or make out with someone with raging mono, or drink the vomit of someone with the stomach flu, one would expect that you would also not share beverages or cosmetics with someone who has lesions of any kind on their face. Personally, even if she DIDN'T have herpes, I would probably try to avoid a 3-year face infection just as stringently. That's just me, though.

So, you tell me, who needs the sense punched into whom?

Q: I'm a bit conflicted with the idea of wearing makeup on a daily basis. On one hand it does make me feel presentable and nice, but on the other hand at the end of the day I get depressed that I have to wear shit on my face to feel good. What gives?

A: I don't really wear makeup everyday. If I get on the makeup-everyday train, I end up stuck on it for a long time, cause it makes me break out, then I have to wear makeup to cover up the zits, then I break out more, then I have to wear more makeup to cover up the zits, ad nauseam. If I have a string of places to go day after day, I wear makeup, but I wash my face off the second I get home, and maybe do a mask or something.

HOWEVER, I am a proponent of putting your best foot forward. People respect you more, and take you more seriously, if you present yourself in a nice way. You know, showered, decent outfit, a little makeup... It just makes you look like you CARE. You never know when you are going to have to make a good first impression. That being said, I assume I am not going to meet the president when I need to run to Walgreens for toilet paper, or to the neighborhood grocery store, or walking the dogs. But any time I go out to eat, or meet friends, or spend a day walking around downtown, or go shopping, or have to meet with vendors or business people, I wear makeup.

I don't think that makeup is about wearing shit on your face because you're not good enough without it. Makeup is about downplaying flaws, and playing up features of your face that are especially nice. You know, cover up a zit, put some eyeliner and mascara on. It's not about painting on new features that weren't there to begin with-- it is about making the most of what you already have, and the way you already look. Why feel BAD about having nice eyes that look good with a little green eyeshadow, or making your nice lips look nicer with a little lipstick? How does that make you have low self-esteem? I don't think it should. If anything, I think taking the time to put a little makeup on shows that you hold yourself in a high enough regard that you want to make sure that you are always polished, and putting your best face forward, even if you stayed out all last night drinking, and didn't get any sleep.

Wearing makeup is like the difference between getting a burger at a fast food restaurant, and a nice sit-down restaurant. You are having a hamburger either way, but the sit-down restaurant burger might look a little nicer, cause it is on a ceramic plate, and maybe there is a little parsley next to it, and it isn't all squished up, whereas the fast food burger is wrapped in some greasy waxed paper, and smooshed looking. The fast food burger might even taste better, but it's just not as appetizing, you feel me? You're you either way, it's just a matter of presenting yourself in a way that plays up the nice parts.

Q: Q: What's the deal with expensive shoes? Are they really that much better than regular shoes?

A: Have you ever tried walking 10 blocks in a pair of Payless pumps?

I'm not saying that expensive shoes feel like cozy slippers or anything, but they don't make you feel like you're going to die of excruciating foot agony. You're happy to take them off at the end of the day, you're just not taking them off under the table at dinner, or walking around outside barefoot with them in your hands.

There are limits, of course. I don't think expensive designer sneakers are worth it, cause regular sneakers function fine as they are. Expensive flip-flops, also not worth it, since you wouldn't want to shell out for flip-flops that are just gonna get all funky. Shoes you bum around in should just be comfortable, and leave it at that. Novelty dress shoes, that are bejeweled and some crazy color or some bizarre design are probably also not worth it, since you probably won't wear them that often.

However, if you are buying a pair of nice leather dress shoes (like pumps or whatever), that you KNOW you are buying because you are going to wear them often, you ought to look around and see if you can find some well-made, designer shoes on sale. They are more comfortable, don't wear out or look busted as quickly, and can be easily repaired or stretched at your local cobbler. PLUS, some designers will let you send the shoes in for repairs for little cost, which also is pretty awesome. Payless doesn't care if the heel breaks off your shoe, and the upper is going to detach from the sole when you're out at a party and be inconvenient. That happens a few times, and you could've just got one pair of nice shoes for less than all the cheap shoes you had to replace, and the nice ones would've still been in pretty good shape.

When people say, "You get what you pay for," they say it because it is true, you just gotta make good choices about what, exactly, is worth shelling out for.
ASK NATALIE06/16/08

ASK NATALIE

Q: I am twenty four years old and my boyfriend is the same age. We have been together for over a year and a half and we have a very nice relationship. I was quite aware going into dating him that he's a real nerd. He LOVES video games, hardcore. Buys DVDs compulsively. Owns pretty much every gaming system ever sold, along with tons and tons of games. These things I can get over. The thing that bothers me after all these months is his collection of action figures. They are not even "collectibles" because they are out of the package but he still displays them quite proudly on all of his shelves in his tiny dorm room like apartment. I will also mention that I am basically his first real girlfriend, and while I really really love him, I was hoping this factor of his dorkyness would start to lessen. He's even accumulated more!!! I am not snobby. I accept him the way he is but I really feel like people judge him for this characteristic. I dont want him to change who he is. But I think spending money on toys like this is a waste and very immature. How long do I need to put up with this silly hobby?? If we move in together should I boycott these toys??


A: I don't think you can say "I accept him for who he is," and then go off on how you wish that this one particular thing would change that you were aware of going into the relationship. If it was inconsequential enough when you met him, making a big deal out of it NOW seems almost controlling. I am pretty big on the idea that is is impossible to change people, especially an adult. You like a geeky dude, and unfortunately, he loves toys. You knew this, you claim to love him the way he is, this is just gonna be something you have to deal with. If you make an ultimatum, or try to get him to get rid of stuff he likes just because YOU don't like it, he is going to feel bad, and it will potentially breed resentment.

That's not to say that I think a stockpile of toys is cool or anything, because I hate cluttery garbage, and I think that collecting action figures is something that should cease when you grow pubic hair, but you made your bed, sister. If it's not your bag, you gotta get over it, or keep this lesson in mind for next time. When you meet someone, they are as good as they are ever going to get, if you are not totally balls-out about some aspect of their personality, you gotta be prepared to let that shit sliiiiide.

Q: Recently, two friends of mine that had been dating for five or six months broke up. I want to have a party next weekend and I'm not sure how to handle the invitations. I'm pretty sure they still don't want to see each other, but I would feel bad not inviting either (or both) of them. What do you think?

A: Invite both of them, and have them sort it out. You're not fucking either of them, so it's not your problem. They are both your friends, and you are having a party, and you would (I assume) want them both there. They are going to have to figure out how to exist outside of their relationship anyway, if they are too immature to be in a social situation together without fighting or getting jealous, or letting it ruin their evening, then let them work that out for themselves, and decide who has to leave the shindig. You don't want to play favorites, you just want to keep both of your friends even if their romantic interlude didn't work out for the best.

Q: I live with my best friend who has a tiny yorkshire terrier. When he gets upset (we've been away for too long, aren't paying attention to him) he pees all over the place. Otherwise he's trained and knows to go on his pad indoors. He pees on the carpet, on our beds, on our lamps. This place SMELLS. Once he had a panic attack at night and my friend woke up to his crap beside her head. On her pillow! How can we train him properly? We've tried a bad boy box - give him time outs, but he just gets more upset. We're about to move and don't want our new place smelling like pee.

A: Sooooo, you do realize that, if a dog is pissing and shitting everywhere, it's not trained, right? Living in a house that stinks of animal waste is a health hazard, and is pretty much squalor. You two are in charge, you need to take control before your landlord finds out how the pad is being kept, and raises hell or worse.

Y'all need to look into crate training. This dog obviously can't handle his business, and anxiety seems to exacerbate the problem. People sometimes think that crating a dog is mean, but dogs don't have a problem with it if they are used constructively, and not in a way that makes the dog feel punished or afraid of the crate (ie NOT a "Bad Boy Box"). A dog won't shit where it sleeps, if it has a consistent schedule of going to the bathroom outside (MAKE HIM GO OUTSIDE, HOW IS HE GONNA KNOW NOT TO SHIT IN THE HOUSE WHEN YOU TRAINED HIM TO?), and sleeps in a small area with just enough room for his bed. My dogs have never slept in my bed, ever, and they are always in their crate if I am not in a position to watch them. They have also never torn anything up, marked furniture, or caused any problems in the house, aside from being mildly annoying. They don't hate their crates, I just tell them "Go to bed", and they trot right in the crate, sit down, and wait for me to close the doors and lock them in. Then they go to sleep, or chew a chew toy until I let them out. They spend all night in there, and maybe a few hours during the day when I am running errands, but they have stayed in for 6-8 hours a couple times if I had a lot to do outside, and nobody else was home. They are no worse for wear, and everybody gets along just fine.

The dog is not even remotely trained, and it is not fair to him, aside from making your house unlivable. He wants to live somewhere clean and nice, and just doesn't understand what is going on. It is your responsibility to make sure he knows how to make you happy. You need to check out some books at the library and get cracking, cause living in excrement is about as nasty as you can get.
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.

ASK NATALIE/Blas? Blah06/04/08

ASK NATALIE

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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Send questions to asknatalie(at)nataliedee.com
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EDIT 6/5/08: +++OK, I DON'T NEED MORE EMAILS ABOUT PLASTIC BAGS! I WRITE IN MY BLOG TO VENT, NOT FISH FOR SOLUTIONS TO MINOR IRRITATIONS. I BLOG, I MOVE ON. YOU READ, YOU MOVE ON. IT WORKS OUT BEST THAT WAY.+++

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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