Author: Amy Alkon

Dead man squawking

My girlfriend’s best friend e-mailed me, asking if I weren’t with my girlfriend, would I consider dating her? I would, and told her so. Later, on the phone, I read the e-mail exchange to my girlfriend. She hung up on me and now won’t answer my calls. Her friend won’t pick up, either. My girlfriend means the world to me, and I told her the truth out of love and got dumped. What was I supposed to do? — Honest To A Fault Of all the ways you could let your girlfriend know how into her you are, “I think your best friend’s hot, and if you weren’t in the picture, I’d make moves on her” is right up there with “No, I’m not saying your butt looks fat. I’m saying it shouldn’t be long before some drunken astronomer takes credit for discovering it and tries to name one cheek after his mother-in-law and the other after his dog.” Sometimes, telling the unvarnished truth is not an indicator you love somebody; it’s an indicator you forgot to connect your brain wires before speaking. Apparently, yours have been disconnected for quite some time — certainly from the moment you responded to your girlfriend’s so-called friend with something other than “Could I find you attractive? Perhaps — if I develop a thing for women who go around snaking their best friends.”...

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Schemed like a good idea at the time

I’m a 30-year-old guy. It’s always been against my rules to date someone from the workplace, but I let a good friend and co-worker fix me up with a really nice woman who also works for our company. “Sally” and I went on several dates before I learned she’s married. The friend who set us up concealed this, knowing I’d never date a married woman. She justified it later, telling me Sally’s been in a loveless marriage for several years, kicked her husband out recently, and will probably get divorced. I really like Sally and think we could have a great relationship. Should I follow my head and distance myself from her — or could it somehow be OK to follow my heart and pursue a relationship? — Set Up There are a lot of fish in the sea. This is fantastic news for any man looking for a flounder or a halibut instead of a girlfriend. While there are, of course, many potential girlfriends on dry land, potential girlfriends who are ethical are sometimes about as easy to come by as barbecued crab legs and lobster bisque at a PETA potluck. Sure, you can find those who are sort of ethical, or somewhat ethical, or ethical until the cashier gives them back a $50 instead of a $5. But, ethical-ethical? Happy hunting. Truly ethical people are a tiny...

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The way she herd it should be

My boyfriend’s best friends are all very close, as are their wives and girlfriends. While these women seem to like me, in a year, I have yet to grow close to any of them. Hence, I don’t get asked to the girls’ weekly Friday night get-togethers, and my boyfriend doesn’t join the guys’ Friday night hang because he doesn’t want to leave me home alone. The one time we both went, the girls sat around a nightclub for hours while the guys hung out at somebody’s house, bored. So, even if I were invited, I’d rather spend my weekends with my boyfriend or doing other things. Is this “guys’/girls’ night” a healthy thing? Should I even be upset I’m not included? — Running From The Pack Save your strength in case you are included so you can feign appendicitis convincingly enough to be rescued by paramedics. If you’re invited again, since you can’t have the same appendix removed twice, maybe borrow from the side-effects listed on some prescription medicine: “Sorry, can’t make it this weekend, I’m suffering seizures and death.” The death excuse tends to stave off future invitations, although it’s sure to raise eyebrows should you run into any of the girls at the gym: “Okay, so I didn’t technically stop breathing, but I do die inside whenever I’m around all of you!” Every relationship has its tradeoffs....

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A ruse by any other name

A ruse by any other name My girlfriend and I got together a few months ago, after I consoled her about some guy she became “obsessed with” who didn’t return her feelings. Today, I finally put two and two together, and figured out it’s the guy whose band she’s going to see tonight while I’m at work. She claims they’re “just friends,” and it’s me she wants, but she talks about him nonstop, and he called her the other night at 3 a.m. when I was at her place. Am I being too jealous, or am I right to worry that something might happen between them? — Sucker Punched There are some secrets you just don’t tell people, not because they’re so deep and dark, but because they’re so shallow and beige; for example, “I drink tea.” “I have nostrils.” “I floss.” Then, of course, there are secrets you work very hard to keep: felony drug convictions, the time you couldn’t quite make it to the john, and how you had man-breasts until a nice lady in scrubs relocated them to a medical waste dump. Oops, did your girlfriend fail to inform you that her “friend” is the very guy she was unrequitedly gaga for? Surely it simply slipped her mind, along with “I have toes” and “I sometimes wear green.” To be fair, lapses like this can happen...

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A ruse by any other name

My girlfriend and I got together a few months ago, after I consoled her about some guy she became “obsessed with” who didn’t return her feelings. Today, I finally put two and two together, and figured out it’s the guy whose band she’s going to see tonight while I’m at work. She claims they’re “just friends,” and it’s me she wants, but she talks about him nonstop, and he called her the other night at 3 a.m. when I was at her place. Am I being too jealous, or am I right to worry that something might happen between them? — Sucker Punched There are some secrets you just don’t tell people, not because they’re so deep and dark, but because they’re so shallow and beige; for example, “I drink tea.” “I have nostrils.” “I floss.” Then, of course, there are secrets you work very hard to keep: felony drug convictions, the time you couldn’t quite make it to the john, and how you had man-breasts until a nice lady in scrubs relocated them to a medical waste dump. Oops, did your girlfriend fail to inform you that her “friend” is the very guy she was unrequitedly gaga for? Surely it simply slipped her mind, along with “I have toes” and “I sometimes wear green.” To be fair, lapses like this can happen — especially when your girlfriend’s talking...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Spiritual Bodies: Photography by Carlton Wilkinson

    January 10 @ 8:00 am - February 29 @ 8:00 pm
  2. History Lecture Series: Accommodation and Resistance

    January 14 @ 7:00 pm - March 10 @ 7:00 pm
  3. Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance

    January 22 @ 10:00 am - April 9 @ 4:00 pm
  4. Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance

    February 24 @ 7:00 pm
  5. Ventura County Research Symposium: Sustainability Through Soil Health

    February 27 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  6. Post-Fire Food Safety Workshop

    February 27 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  7. Wildfire Recovery Community Healing Workshop

    February 28 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  8. Watercolor on Yupo Workshop

    February 29 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  9. Zlatomir Fung, Cellist with Janice Carissa, Pianist

    March 1 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  10. Dinner & Art Demonstration

    March 3 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm