“Are you in need of advice? Do you, perhaps, have something that’s bothering you which you can’t share with your friends and family? Write to Aunty Pat and she will answer in her no-nonsense style, just like one of your own aunties. Feel free to write in with a pseudonym if you’d like to remain anonymous.”
Dear Aunty Pat,
I am a 28-year-old guy and I joined this big firm recently. I’m usually a reserved person. There is this really cute and lovely girl who works in my department. She was very friendly at the beginning and seemed to enjoy my company. I was just trying to screw up the courage to call her at home and chat to her. I can’t stop looking at her and at the beginning she would smile back at me. But now she’s acting all cold and seems to avoid any contact with me. What should I do? Shall I go ahead and call her or will that make her even colder? Each time I try to catch her eye she turns away. Please advise me because I haven’t had much experience with girls. Thank you.
Dear Mr. Dumbstruck,
For heaven’s sake, any woman will get freaked out if someone is going on looking at her. She might think you are a weirdo. Don’t keep staring, instead go up to her when you can and try to make conversation with her. Show her that you’re interested. If she still seems cold and off-hand, then I’m sorry buddy, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But please stop staring, that will give anyone the creeps!
Dear Aunty Pat,
I’m quite crazy about my boyfriend, but I don’t like some of his friends. We move around with them quite a bit, and I have found out that they are bad news. One or two of them think it is the greatest thing to go clubbing and get totally drunk out of their minds. The girls they go around with seem to think this kind of behaviour is cute and funny. Also, I can’t have a proper conversation with my boyfriend. When they are around, he too becomes idiotic and they talk absolute nonsense. It’s all about fast cars, getting high, going clubbing or dinning out. I’m getting fed up but I don’t want to lose my boyfriend. Should I tell him how I feel or just stay away when they go out together in a group?
You are just avoiding the problem by staying away. Also you will definitely resent it if your boyfriend goes without you and you both will have arguments. Take the bull by the horns and tell him that you think some of his friends are really childish. You can’t expect him to sever connections with them, but tell him to please watch out that he doesn’t become influenced by their behaviour. You could go out with them but both of you could give an excuse and leave if you think they are getting out of hand. Try and introduce some others whose company you might prefer and I’m sure your guy won’t refuse to accompany you. You have to show him there is more to life than heavy partying. One has to grow up sometime. If he cares for you he will want to please you and I’m sure be open to your suggestions.
Dear Aunty Pat,
My wife and I have a very good relationship. We have two kids. The only problem is she’s very extravagant. It didn’t matter in the past, but now things have got tough and she doesn’t seem to realize that we have to cut down on certain things. She’s very generous with gifts and always invites people over. I tried to tell her to try and cut down but she got annoyed. I want to please her but I don’t know what I can do since I have a fixed income. How should I approach this problem?
You have got to sit her down and be firm about it. Say you will be forced to get into debt. Or else say you might have to do another job in the weekends to make ends meet. Tell her when she asks friends over, she will have to economize, after all what’s important is meeting up with friends, not the extravagance of the meal. Maybe the next couple of times she suggests going out, say you can’t afford it. Then she’ll sit up and take notice. There is no point in living beyond your means just for public approval. So, without further ado, have a serious talk with her and show that the situation is serious. Anyone should understand and I’m sure she’ll want to help you.