Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.
  

Dear Miss Information,

I’ve gotten myself into a lose-lose situation, and I’m in a state of profound despair. This summer, I ran into this guy that I knew in high school. He had a crush on me but I was terrified. Now we’re both in college and I’m taking a year off to work in our hometown. He goes to school nearby. We recently met to see some friends play some music. We ended up at this tiny little beach. We drank a bottle of wine, went swimming naked and had sex. Sort of. We didn’t finish and both just kind of passed out.

It gets more complicated. For some reason, I really wanted to try acid, and so did he. We tripped together and went into the woods, and it was all intense and romantic and trippy. No sex was involved. I stayed at his place last weekend, and we had sex, but he got freaked out and had to stop. He said, "I don’t know. All of a sudden this felt really weird.” This happened another time before.

My question is: What the fuck am I doing? I really like him. I told him I thought tripping together was too intense and that I’d like to take it way down. He agreed, but I still feel neurotic about it. It’s strange to do drugs at the outset of a relationship (or what you hope will be one). Was this a bad idea? He just got out of a relationship. I have been out of my relationship for more than a year now, and I am ready. But maybe he’s not. — Tripping Out & Flipping Out



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Dear Tripping out & Flipping Out,
Like you, during college I made a brief foray into psychedelic drugs. And like you, I had an intense bonding experience. It was with a large red brick, not unlike this one. What was so special about this brick that I lugged it around campus for eight solid hours while my friends and I went carousing? I do not know. I remember speaking highly of Brick’s exotic texture and beautiful colors, his perfectly rectangular build. There was also some idiotic babbling about the ancient Egyptians, which I won’t go into 1) because it’s embarrassing; and 2) because I think I’ve laid sufficient groundwork for my metaphor.

It sounds like you’re schlepping around a lot of unresolved feelings over having done drugs, and it’s compounding the relationship angst tenfold. You can’t undo drugs, so do like I did with my concrete companion and drop it. Focusing on your acid trip is a defense mechanism. By putting the blame on chemical substances, you can distract yourself from the real reason things are weird: He’s giving you mixed signals.

You’re kind of doing the same thing yourself, missy. You told him you wanted to tone down the intensity, but then you tell me you "really, really like him" and are in a state of "profound despair." WTF? Only offer to tone it down if you genuinely mean it. The "I’m casual! I’m cool! I don’t care!" game doesn’t win over anyone who’s not won over already. It just means it’s going to be that much longer before you get dumped.

Bricks are simple creatures, but your guy is not. There are so many factors at play, getting a read is next to freakin’ impossible.

+ He liked you in high school.
– He just got out of a long-term relationship.
+ He got all romantic out in the woods
– He was wasted at the time
+ He attracted enough to want to sleep with you.
– He changes his mind (and his boner) midway through

What does that add up to? Even? Odd? Who knows. Gut feeling holds more weight than pluses and minuses. If you get the vibe that he’s not ready for a relationship then he’s probably not.
 

Dear Miss Information,
I have been in a relationship with a great woman for three years. At twenty-nine, I feel like I need to grow up, and I’ve been thinking about proposing. But recently, I ran into my ex from college on the street. She was my first love, who dumped me and started dating a good (not-so-good) friend, and it took me a while to get over that. I had hoped never to see her again. I cut ties with mutual friends and didn’t return to college for reunions, football games, etc. I basically ceded my college experience to her and started fresh. Anyway, when I ran into her on the street, I found out that she is engaged to my "friend". I told her that was great, I wished her the best, and I went on my way. When I got home, I threw up and basically had a nervous breakdown. My GF is wonderful, but on reflection, she is not my ex. I think I still love my ex. I have a good thing going with my current GF, but I seemed so much happier remembering my relationship then I am in my current relationship. I wonder how truly fulfilling it is. Any advice? — Dazed and Confused



Dear Dazed and Confused,
I moved last week. Through the process of packing of unpacking, I made two discoveries. The first is a Betty Crocker cookbook. The second is a black plastic grocery bag containing one partially eaten bag of chewy Sweet-Tarts, one bottle of men’s cologne, a ridiculous number of condoms and one huge wad of cat fur.

To many of the you, the second will seem stranger than the first. I beg to differ. I would no more know what to do with a KitchenAid than I would that goodie bag described above.

The one recipe I do know (and know well!) is Existential Crisis Cake. Want to hear it? Awesome! Here we go:

Miss Information’s Existential Crisis Cake (serves 1)

TAKE one person in their late twenties, a gawky time if there ever was one.
ADD one relationship at a "Do we or don’t we?" commitment-type crossroads
STIR IN one big fat symbol of what’s missing from your current relationship (in this case, full-on passionate 100% balls to the wall love)
TOP WITH one overt physical manifestation of inner turmoil (this recipe calls for puking but panic attacks and relentless insomnia are also good substitutes)
STEW FOR As long as it takes to get a handle on your feelings. Do not add superflous ingredients, such as a baby, mortgage, or marriage proposal. You’re liable to burn the whole kitchen down.
Readers, what do you guys do when life hands you a bag of cat hair, cologne, and condoms? What practical or unusual techniques do you employ to sort out your emotional issues?

 


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©2007 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com