Author: Amy Alkon

Every witch way but loose

My boyfriend of five years was a father figure to his two stepdaughters from his last relationship, and gets teary-eyed when he doesn\’t hear from them. The problem is, he\’s sneaking calls to them — only calling them or their mother from work. If one of the girls calls him at home, he goes into the other room and gets off the phone quickly. It\’s not that I can\’t trust him, but part of me feels that their mother\’s still on his mind, too. Bringing this up causes a heated argument. He says I\’m insecure, it\’s driving him crazy, and makes him feel hesitant to visit them. Is his behavior suspicious, or am I paranoid? — Uneasy Crime of the century! Right up there with genocide, roadside bombings, and slapping around old ladies. Go ahead, accuse him, based on all the damning evidence at hand: \”Why, you … you … really good dad!\” You don\’t mention finding lipstick on his collar, or a bill for three hours at a motel. Maybe what\’s really getting to you is a crayon you pulled out of his jacket pocket, along with a charge slip from Toys \”R\” Us. You can get away with accusing him of having an affair with the mom, but it\’s a little too Wicked Witch to scream at him for maintaining a relationship with the kids: \”Admit it!...

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The pig picture

Are all guys who aren\’t gay, gross slobs? So often, when a guy\’s invited me over after the second or third date, I\’ve discovered such a disgusting disaster area that I wish I\’d worn hip-high wading boots. The specifics: dirty, wadded-up towels on the floor, a week\’s worth of dirty dishes in the sink, decades of crud on the fixtures, and a bathroom so vile that I put off using it until my bladder\’s ready to burst. Do guys simply not see this stuff? Do they see it and just not care? And does it not occur to them that a woman might be turned off by such slovenliness and filth? — Totally Repulsed It isn\’t that guys don\’t notice the filth, it just takes them a little longer — like until the crud impedes access to the bathroom or the fuzz on the dishes evolves to the point that it hisses at the dog. Now, not every straight guy is a slob, and not every gay guy is fastidious, but there\’s a reason the TV hit was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and not Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, the home makeover show to help all the gay men whose living spaces have been featured in Architectural Digest. And, sure, there are squalor-dwelling chicks out there, but when a woman apologizes for her \”disaster area\” it\’s...

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Pleased to meat you

I turned 38 last week, and through some introspection, realized I\’m unfulfilled. I thought a girls\’ night out might help. The last thing I wanted was attention from men. Of course, at the bar, I ended up getting hit on by a 50-something overweight man. Shortly after introducing himself, he told me I have a lovely figure and began guessing my height, weight, and measurements. (Including bra size!) Then he asked me my age! Outraged, I said my stats were none of his concern, and that if he\’s in the habit of treating women like sexual objects he should take his chauvinistic attitude elsewhere. Then I slapped his face, and told him it was on behalf of all the women who\’ve had to endure his offensive pickup lines. He walked sheepishly back to his laughing buddies. My friends gave me \”you go, girl\” high fives, but said I seemed a little on edge lately. If they\’re right, do you know some good techniques to find inner peace? — Venting Common sense is getting rarer every day. My neighborhood grocery store just started tagging cheese with the sticker \”CONTAINS: MILK.\” A Welsh regulatory agency said Smoked Welsh Dragon Sausages should be renamed so it\’s clear they\’re made of pork — not dragon. Surely your local pickup joint will soon post advisories on the door, like \”Contains drunks\” and \”To avoid...

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You get what you co-pay for

I\’ve been arguing a point with a male friend who\’s in a relationship with a very nice woman. His girlfriend got on the birth control patch because they wanted a more reliable method than condoms. She\’s just a student, and in their two years together, birth control has set her back $1,140 ($570 a year). She\’s been asking him to split the cost of the patch ($35/month) and her yearly checkup to renew it ($150), and he\’s balking. He feels that since she\’s the one using it, as opposed to him using condoms, he shouldn\’t have to help. If you say he should pay, he promises he will. What\’s the verdict? — The Mediator Yes, he correctly notes, \”she\’s the one using\” the birth control patch — mainly because slapping a medicated sticker with female hormones on his hairy back won\’t do much more than increase his bra size from 46AAA to 46B, and maybe make him lactate a little. So, who was the eighth-grade teacher who forgot to send your friend to summer school to repeat sex ed? Somebody should break the news to him that babies are made by a man and a woman having sexual intercourse, not dropped off by a giant cartoon stork. Maybe once he gets hip to the whole sperm-meets-egg/egg-inflates-into-baby thing, he\’ll come to understand that his girlfriend isn\’t wearing the patch as...

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Along came polyester

Five years ago, when I was 23, this guy had a crush on me. I was kind of attracted to him, but his crush was so obvious it made me uncomfortable. Also, he had the worst hair and clothes — shiny polyester op-art print shirts and Cosby sweaters. I ended up blowing off dates with him twice, and, unfortunately, my roommate told him to back off in an extremely cruel way. Since then, I\’ve run into him periodically, and he\’s always friendly. I\’ve come to realize he\’s one of the kindest people I know, plus he\’s smart and has the deadpan humor I prize. Also, he\’s suddenly well-dressed and looks hot. It just hit me: I totally want him. I e-mailed and asked if he wanted to hang out sometime. He never answered. I feel sad, guilty and confused. Do I not deserve his friendship after the jerky way I treated him? — My Bad Five years ago, you were probably smack in the middle of that charming stage common to people in their early 20s, \”If you like me, you\’re obviously a steaming pile of poo.\” If this guy hadn\’t made himself so easy to despise, with his disco dirty-old-man shirts and his tendency to spell out your name in drool, you would\’ve found some other reason, like the fact that he has ears. All you had to...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary – Open Recruitment for Advisory Council Seats

    December 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - January 31, 2020 @ 11:59 pm
  2. Spiritual Bodies: Photography by Carlton Wilkinson

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