Savage Love Jul 20, 2016 at 4:00 am

Three Peters


Love your advice to LW1, Dan.
It's not your fault, Dan, re: "those to want to stay single are viewed as damaged" in your response to LW1, and I'm certainly not blaming you. Here's a question I do want to ask those who are most harshly judgmental in our couple-fixated U.S. society, though:
How can I be damaged if I'm not looking, but instead, working to better myself?
I once dated and, against my better judgment, formed an unhealthily sexually active, marital relationship with a broken man (DG), who was a product of three generations of abuse that I couldn't fix. Instead, I became someone I'm not trying to heal him.
I wouldn't be alive writing this if I had stayed in unhappily married in so unsafe an environment.
Yes, lioness Griz is showing her leopard spots--particularly on her next birthday. ROAR!
sb53 (@141, Straight Up): See my late response @143. Agreed: hee hee

Okay---Back to Dan the Man and Three Peters.
It's worth a shot, but I don't know why someone would take them at their word for not wanting to commit to a person, no matter the reason. Are people ever successful at ruleslawyering around their words and finding "gotchas"?
Why is the advice to BIL to change the subject? Why not say bluntly "Stop telling me about how much you want to suck dick," then get up and leave the room? You don't need reasons for something like that, and you certainly don't need to get your sister's husband to agree to your reasons. (If you go down that path, for any reason you have, he'll have a counter reason that says you're wrong. You tell him he's making you uncomfortable, and he'll tell you why you shouldn't be uncomfortable. Etc. Etc.)

It will be tempting you give this guy alternatives along the lines of "hey, you can talk to this-other-person, or you could go online," but don't. This isn't your problem to solve. Besides, if you go down that path, he'll tell you why all your ideas won't work which is why he has to keep talking to you.

Just tell him no, enforce it changing the subject once, then leaving, then waiting for the next family get together. He tries it again; you leave again. Repeat until he gets the idea.
For HELPME-- I'd assume that your boyfriend is telling you the truth. His talk about commitment issues means he can't or won't commit to you. If you want a commitment-- and it's clear you do, walk away from this guy who can't give you the sort of relationship you want. The kindest way to break up with someone is to do it cleanly and completely. Break up with him, then don't see him, don't comfort him, definitely don't have sex with him.

The situation you have now is one where you're expected to be committed to him, and if you're not, you'll hurt him. Yet he's not expected to be committed to you because of all his past baggage. Nevermind how much he's hurting you in the process. His thinking process doesn't include taking your feelings into account. Can you see a manipulative asshole in there?

Somewhere out there there's a guy who will love you and be good to you and who isn't hung up on past relationships. Don't waste any more time. Go out and find him.
Great advice to HELPME.

Even if we assume Mr. Cold-Feet, Hurt-Before, Not Yet Over The One That Got Away (a dime-a-dozen type, btw) isn't consciously trying to deceive you, what he's doing is manipulative. Even if he doesn't realize it, what he's doing is creating an everlasting challenge.

He's telling you he has to offer nothing in the way of commitment and emotional security. Which would be fine, if he were up front about it. But yet he dangles it just beyond reach, leaving you to keep striving.

Yet you, in turn, must bend over backwards to prove yourself worthy of his unattainable loyalty. And you must do this because of a problem for which you are not responsible.

But of course his commitment issues are not his fault, and he's the victim, so you feel bad for him, and indeed would feel guilty if you called him on it.

As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient."

Even if he's sincere, he's a psychic vampire. DTMFA.
LW1, before I get into your letter, just wanted to say I like your phrase
' I am being heartbroken.' It communicated the ache in your heart.
This is why being single appeals to me so much. The mind doesn't get scrambled by someone else's bullshit.
LW1, let this guy go. What a sludgy mess his mind is. Step out of being in there with him, and close the door.
That mind swirl is all His to deal with.
The heartache you already have, by leaving him now, that will ease soon enough.
Then you'll be asking yourself ' what the hell was that,' once you get away from that guy's orbit.
HELPME is dating last week's LW1, who's still in love with his ex. NCA, are you reading? You see the torture you're putting your new girlfriend through? Get over your ex and THEN date someone new. XiaoGui17 @8 nails it: Peter1 is manipulating you, HELPME. Take him at his word when he says he's not relationship ready, and focus on your emotions and taking care of yourself, not him. He's already looking out for number one.

Maybe instead of changing the subject when dicks come up (hur hur), BIL could ask Peter2 whether he and Sis have considered an open relationship? He still shouldn't be one of its beneficiaries, though -- and he should make that clear. (Sorry, Capricornius, I've just done it again, haven't I? Peter obviously wants to suck some cock, and I'm afraid my default position is better to do it with your spouse's knowledge and blessing. And possibly observation, but that might just be my kinks talking.)

Griz @2: Good point about how couple privilege can be not only annoying, but damaging. Happy birthday!
Addendum to BIL: If he asks whether Peter2 and Sis have considered being open, and Peter2 says they discussed it and it's definitely not on the table, BIL should then switch his strategy to telling Peter2 he's not comfortable discussing his sex life with him.
I gotta disagree with Dan's advice on LW1. Even if he is telling the truth an open relationship won't work. Because he's not hung up a person but an ideal. And the LW will always be lacking because they're a real person, with flaws and shit, not a distant dream of a idealized relationship.

When someone tells you they can't give you what they want, believe them. It's not your job to sacrifice yourself so his feelings never get hurt. And feelings getting hurt is not fatal, no matter what some folks out there claim.
This Peter guy seems like a bit of a douche - he gets around a bit!

Joking aside my ex was actually called Peter, and gave me that 'commitment' thing: liked to fuck when he was in the mood, liked to have someone to listen to his woes but didn't want to make any emotional investment. Guys like this don't change.

Ironically I was so hooked on this guy that no other could reach me emotionally, I just felt dead and empty without him, even years after.

HELPME - this Peter is not emotionally available to you and you will be more hurt with him than without. Being handsome, hung, the perfect lover, etc. will not change that.

BIL - decide whether a commitment free blowjob is more important than your relationship with your sister.

RECONS - you will get no thanks for interfering.
Addendum #2: To clarify, whatever the outcome of BIL's advice to Peter2 to stop moaning and ask Sis's permission to go suck some cock already, he should also tell Peter2 that his sex life is none of Peter2's concern and he'll have to find his vicarious thrills elsewhere.
Auntie Griz:

In light of the new studies that show more people are single than married, I think it will all change.
So the Annual Penance column is a bit late this year; I was wondering.

I almost want to invent something new for Mr Savage's advice about P1 - the Mousetrap Award, named not after Dame Agatha's play but after the old board game in which one moved around and constructed a Rube Goldberg contraption. In proposing what might be called the de Winter solution, Mr Savage presents a plausible option LW1 may well take, and one which is just the sort of thing to convince P1 to someone he'll see as too clingy. And P1's being the dumper seems the fastest way for LW1 to get over him. I am so pleased with Mr Savage's mousetrap here that I shan't complain about Mr Savage's use of "child-man" and how it undercuts his supposed complaint about how those who deliberately remain single are viewed as damaged.
Now for P2 - highly appropriate for July! The answer is obvious. I'm tempted to borrow Mr Savage's paradigm of control from the podcast (the woman caller with the creepy husband who was contemplating opening the marriage), but don't get cosmic vibrations that the participants here would be able to rise to the difficulties of the situation. The obvious answer - assuming LW2 to be available - is for LW2 to date P2's counterpart (but not to introduce him to the couple) and then therefore to be in the ideal position for confiding in S2 about his difficulties in having a partner who misses sex with women.

I'm also tempted to rephrase Ms Fan's suggestion as a question to P2 why he agreed to monogamy, but I suppose the question would really be better coming from one of P2's other - and unrelated - gay friends.
For P3, I'm inclined to look deeper into the general pattern of the friendship between the couples. It sounds almost as if LW3 and BF3 know more about the exploits of P3 and PF3 than they do about each other's. That's the one new wrinkle to the usual twist of learning something one would rather not have found out.
Concluding, I am completely neutral and have no interest in either film or even in any member of either cast, but am curious about the opinion of anyone who doesn't approach the matter with a gendre bias (I do not include Mr Savage in that category):

@20 I have so much love for the original movie, both because it is legitimately awesome and iconic and also because I am filled with nostalgia for it. I also really enjoyed the new movie and had a great time watching it, and I have trouble answering that question.

I think both of them are excellent movies, but they are both very much products of their time and I like now time better than I like the time of 32 years ago. It is easier to watch and enjoy a movie lacking in some of the problematic themes of the original, but that does not necessarily make it 'better than the original'. There are a lot of old movies that you have to watch with some mental filtering for their context, and the way that a lot of sexually predatory behavior is lauded in the original is like watching old movies where being gay is the joke or being racist is just assumed. You can enjoy it as long as you can suspend the perspectives of today, which is a tiny price to pay for so many amazing movies.

Someday this new version will require the same suspension of modern perspective to be enjoyable, and I think it will be as worth the effort as the original movie is now.
M? Tal - (Any relation to the late chess champion Mikhail?) Thanks for the nuanced appraisal. I've heard a bunch of hype both for and against the remake, and trust very little of anything. I've been contemplating what I inferred to be Mr Savage's suggestion that any film is improved by changing male lead roles to female, but cannot recall the last OS film I've seen with a male lead on which to test the idea.
BIL; wtf man shut that shit down and give your sister the benefit of a non-judgy heads up that her husband is a creeper. Or go ahead and throw your family away for a bj from a hot dude, that'll turn out well.
Two misses this week, Dan.

HELPME needs to listen to a younger, wiser Dan: "When someone tells you who they are, believe them". Move on, already. And maybe talk to someone about why you don't think you deserve a partner who loves you instead of a distant memory.

BIL should say "dude, you're married to my sister, I don't want to talk about sex with you." His brother-in-law is way out of line. BiDanFan has a good suggestion about asking if they have an open relationship, but it shouldn't go any further than that. Family is off limits.
@4 Auntie Happy B-day!
Went back and loved # 143 from last week. Nader-the-corvair-hater did not have a driver's license, and was simply ignorant. These air-cooled beauties are rugged (OK, also a bit primitive) designs that serve the driver well as long as the maintenance is kept up.
The shrouds must be removed once in a while and the head-fins cleaned and also the oil has to be clean. My next 'vair will have a single carb and an intake manifold like your V-dub. (More carbs does not necessarily make for a better -running motor!)
#24 has the correct answer for Helpme.
So.... Did Dan change all the aliases to Peter? Did he sift through letters to specifically choose ones that picked Peter as aliases? Or was that a coincidence?
24- Chase-- It's the great Maya Anglelou, not Dan. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
@27: Gah! You're absolutely right, of course, and I even knew that, but I swear I've seen Dan say something similar. Maybe I was thinking of this:

And remember this going forward too: when you're with someone who sends mixed signals, disregard the signals that appeal to your vanity and/or hopes ("cannot imagine me not being in his life as he loves me and he doesnโ€™t want to break up") and accept at face value the signals that break your heart ("he has been thinking about the future and more and more of his future plans have just involved him alone"). The upsetting signals are invariably the truth and the appealing signals almost always turn out to be an an inch of vanilla frosting spread over a big piece of shitcake.
@Chase, yep completely agree. LW1 should MOA-why settle for scraps? $50 that fear of commitment goes away when he finds someone he actually wants to be with.
When someone tells you that he doesn't want a relationship, it simply means that he doesn't want a relationship with you. Any other issues about his ability to commit with anyone or his past relationships are irrelevant. Break up.
Should he change his mind in a year or two, you might want to be open to reconnecting.

It is possible that a poly relationship could work, but they can be really hard work, and are not a panacea. You two should already know if you are poly people.
Mr Kevin - Good question. I wondered about that as well.
Haha. A movie with a papa johns pizza commercial and product placement by Pringles potato chips is not better than the original ghost busters.
@32 you're right, they should have talked about twinkies for a couple of minutes and thrown cheez-its and coke in for good measure. They paid for their ghostbusters product placements, they should get to be in both!
@22 while I don't know that that's necessarily the case it would definitely be entertaining. Some of the best-written female roles have been ones that were first written with the intent of having the character be male, but while I think this improves Hollywood's ability to write women as *people* I'm not sure a simple gender swap automatically improves the movie.

I think there are some crutches that get used when writing female characters to indicate certain types of ladies, where male characters tend to get more individual characterization (not valid for any daytime tv show, to be sure). Encouraging a gender swap does encourage a certain re-centering of the character's defining traits, as many characters could be either gender without major rewriting.

It's going to be interesting to see if this is just a one-off experience or if we're going to start getting female characters who are more individuals and less female type stand-ins.
Ouch, Dan! Better-than-the-original Ghostbusters? Shots fired!

I'm seeing and expect to enjoy the new one anyway, though. :)
ah, I was actually a big fan of the "Ghostbusters" reboot, but Dan's statement is factually incorrect. The new "Ghostbusters" is a blast and I'd encourage everyone to go see it. But it's not better -- and certainly not more creative -- than the original.
Man, this Peter dude gets around, and he's more than a bit of a jerk.
Such a shame.
Two-weeks-younger Dan quoted Maya Angelou in this column:…
Ms Cute - It reminds me of the recently married Shirley Valentine out with her mates.
M? Tal - Yes, when done well such a swap will generally manifest considerable thought.

I suspect the political implications of any opinion on the film one way or the other will redouble now that one of the principals has gotten embroiled in that Twitter battle - another area where I'm completely out of the loop.
What would you tell a woman who wrote in that her brother in law kept saying "Sure do miss being single, and banging all the single ladies!" every time her sister left the room?
@38: Ah, right. Thanks for the sanity check. Yeah, whatever happened to that Dan?

@41: Yup. Gender swaps have other uses. I don't think the answer would be "haha, yeah I bet. So, uh, how about them Sounders?"
Clashfan @41: False equivalency, because it would be "Sure do miss pussy," which hopefully he doesn't if he's married to someone who has one.
LW2, You haven't given into temptation, guess that's a plus. Except this is your sister's husband, and you don't think your loyalty is to her? So tell her what a creep she has married.
@30: Not always. I have zero interest in a relationship with anyone: I have friends who I care a lot about, and I sleep with one or two of them on an ongoing basis, but we see each other maybe once a week and we don't consult each other on major life choices. I would tell anyone who asks that I'm not interested in a relationship or commitment, and I would be totally honest about that--I sleep with who I like, I come home when I like, I watch what I like, and holiday plans don't resemble the Treaty of Versailles. If Colin Firth rode up on a white horse and was okay with a very open, very non-living-together sort of deal and wanted to call that a "relationship," I could do that, but I can't imagine that anything less would be worth sacrificing my freedom as described above.

So it is occasionally sincere and not person-dependent. I also don't consider myself a "child-woman", though the three Flav-R-Ices I've just eaten may argue differently. ;P
Um, If Recons and "Peter" exchanged pics and Recons recognized "Peter", wouldn't that mean that "Peter" probably also recognized Recons?

If I were in that position, I wouldn't say anything, and the next time the two couples get together, I'd just sit there with a bemused smile on my face.

On another point, and not to begrudge anyone their space, it is nice to see a good ol' column about da boyz and our problems. It's so much less confusing... lol!
Ms Rage - And at least there are more Firths at the ready when Colin passes his sell-by date.
@13: Exactly. That permanent teenage "in love with being in love" really squicks me out when practiced by children of adult age.

If only wisdom came requisite alongside time.
@45: I have to imagine from your depiction that you wouldn't tolerate a codependent situation like has cropped up with the LW, plus you're not "siiiiiiiiigh in looooove with someone" who doesn't love you back.
Ms Rand @48 - Very like *Rumpole and the Boat People*, and Hilda's tale about how her old school friend's second husband was exactly like the first, only slightly worse.
HELPME - Should I stay and wait for Peter to get better even if it hurts to know he's in love with someone other than me?
I don't think that people spontaneously change.
Or should I leave him as so many others have and hurt him?
Rejection hurts. But you're going to hurt a lot of people as you live. You might hurt someone by walking down the road, because you look like their funny uncle. The key is to not cause others unreasonable pain. Failing to do what he wants you to do.. stay with him in unending patience with your own discomfort.. this is not causing him unreasonable pain. It sounds like it is causing you a lot of pain to save him a bit of pain. I think what you need to learn to do is to plan to avoid situations that cause you pain a little better. For instance, it's not unreasonable in my opinion to ask him to quit discussing his exes with you. If he brings up an ex.. you can walk away.. But also.. he is not causing you unreasonable pain by unwillingness to commit. His failure to do what you want is something you have to learn to live with too. Just as he is being crappy by talking a lot about his feelings for his exes, you're being crappy by pressuring him to live differently than he wants. In order for anything to change, you have to be willing to walk away, and see a possible happy future alone. What is so wrong with taking a break? Why do you seem to need this guy? Is this pain that is keeping you from getting up for days on end really worse than living single?

BIL - I'm pretty sure Peter wants to suck my dick, and I'm tempted to let him.... This is torture.
If you value your relationship with your sister, please find someone who will suck your dick without simultaneously destroying your family. If you can't keep things platonic with him.. (platonic doesn't include trying to turn him on with tales of your sex life) then keep your distance.

RECONS - even though I think this guy is good-looking, I would never sleep with him because of the social situation.
Interesting way to put it. If you aren't tempted, then why can't you drop the subject?

If you do want to sleep with him, see if your partner might be cool with it first.
@43: Not an exact equivalence, but not far off. Perhaps a better example would be to borrow from an explanation popular with bisexuals and ask how a red-headed woman should respond to a brother-in-law who said he missed fucking redheads.
LW3; I'll sit this one out.
So this family meeting the kids and I had, the usual accusations thrown around.
" you're always in your room smoking dope," which is a total lie. I get out a lot.
@11 BiDanFan: My birthday is actually at the end of this month, but thanks so much for the nice birthday greetings in advance. So far this month, Griz has a lot to ROAR! about...and sort out (it's a long story). I guess it's good that I'm doing some roaring these days, twenty-five years later.
@25 sb53: Sorry if I was a little premature about my birthday announcement, but thank you for the kind greetings. too--it's actually at the end of this month. Like I mentioned to BiDanFan (@11), I am in dire need of roaring lately, so it's good for me to wine, dine, and eat cake by the end of this month. Hopefully I can shake off my latest PTSD and flashback weirdness soon and purge it for good. My beloved, trusty Love Beetle is steady as a rock and there for me whenever the world gets too overwhelming and he and I need to escape, even if only momentarily.
Yet another Breakfast Club quotation pops into my mind for some reason:
'We're all weird...some of us are better at hiding it, that's all.'
-----Emelio Extevez (Andrew Clarke)
@55: Dang it!! I meant Emelio Estevez.....I need auto-secretary, if there is such a thing.
Ms Grizelda - Half right! (Emilio)
If I can change from sex to tennis, the best comparison might be, say, Pam Shriver in the post-Navratilova years (and however good the case of Serena Williams as singles GOAT, the sisters are going to find it hard to overtake a 189-match winning streak as well as a Grand Slam), telling all her later partners that she missed playing with a left-hander.
@49: Lord, no. I mean, I'm also poly, so I wouldn't much care who else he was in love with, but I stopped having tolerance for the "I am making do with you while actively pining at someone else WOE" bullshit shortly after college. (*In* college, yes, but college is a time for stupidity and Everclear, so I don't beat myself up about it that much.) Mostly responding to the more general comments about people who won't commit.

Also totally agreeing with you and 13. Peter is presumably old enough to have been through at least three sexual relationships, which means he's waaaaay too old to be doing this pedestal act.

@47: Hee! There is that.
Chase @52: I'm sorry, but if you've ever sucked cock and eaten pussy (not necessarily simultaneously) you will know there is far more difference there than there is between blond pussy and redhead pussy.

Yes, I know I'm scoring an own goal with the "yes, bisexuals can be monogamous" crowd; many bisexuals can, but Peter2 doesn't seem like one of them.

Regardless, if Peter2 did in fact commit to monogamy (and remains so), he owes it to Sis and BIL and everyone else to sleep happily in the bed he made and not constantly moan about the dick he's missing. I agree, going on about it is pretty rude.
Ms Fan - I don't think pointing out a logistical likelihood will get you kicked off the team. I might just as easily have pointed it out myself, though I am tempted to ding you for being a little too PC in the other thread when you apparently implied that a woman with a strap-in would make an acceptable substitute for Peter with a you-know-what (shades of the scene in Putting on the Ritz when Philip figures out the code to get into Peter's office and look for incriminating documents, finds Gilbert there, they have to hide under the desk when Peter and his sister-in-law Kitty show up for an assignation which has barely started when Kitty has to hide under the desk as well because her sister Elsa comes in to tell Peter she's overheard (someone she took to be) Kitty going at it in a guest bedroom with someone Elsa hopes will marry Kitty, notices Peter's agitated condition and thinks she brought it on, then propositions Peter in baby talk only to be shot down and sulk.

That was actually why I thought of he tennis comparison, as, having played with a partner with that wide-sweeping serve into the ad court that meant the opponent's only chance of a winning return would be a backhand pass that went around the outside of the net post, Ms Shriver might well have lamented that no right-handed partner could duplicate it.
Oh, drat, I muddled the parentheses.
If Peter2 is keen for cock, it's his wife he should be telling, not his
Can't you just see the Thanksgiving Dinner where this is found out, if the LW responds here. Seriously, what is in the minds of some men?
Betrayal of this woman by two of the men in her life she should be able to rely on the most.
LW, tell this guy to shut it and talk to his wife. And keep a eye out that he's dealing with it. Your sister knew he was bi when they married presumably, she's a big girl, they can work it out or not. Their business.
Mr Hunter - There are not exactly rules, although I suppose we could call it the main rule that all letters are read interpreting everything as LG unless directly contradicted/confessed otherwise. The style points come in from seeing how many stereotypes one can pack in and flip, or coming up with something original. I know I have in the past few years begun a post with [non-HA] if feeling compelled to make a point from a September-through-July perspective.

Ms Erica has participated in the past with some success.
@57 vennominon: Thank you for the spelling correction---Emilio Estevez it is, and duly noted. My typing fingers (I never took typing in high school--my bust) are truly showing their age. Luckily, my piano and flute playing fingers are still doing pretty well.
Griz, for her own health, sanity, and self-preservation purposes, is considering putting the purchase of a daily newspaper (But I LIVE for the funnies, puzzles, and the horoscopes!) to an end (at least until elections are over), due to the painfully high volume of current political warfare.
Flo------!! Where the fuck ARE you?
Hunter @60 and Venn @65, I'm a relative newbie to SL, so I have no idea what HA stands for and how these rules, or not-exactly rules, apply. Could you please enlighten me, and any others who find themselves in the same boat?

I'm coming late this week to the comments section, so -

Kudos to Joe for another amazingly sly graphic, subverting the classic Immaculate Heart motif from medieval Christianity into a bleeding heart pieced by three "peters."

Peter1: What everyone else here has said. Save your love for someone who can love you back.

Peter2: What would you want your sister to say and do, if the roles were reversed and your sexy bi husband was constantly cornering Little Sis at family gatherings to tell her how much he missed getting it on with a lovely lady? I'm guessing you'd want her to first tell him to bug off, then to tell you about your husband getting frisky with her, and finally to follow your lead as to next steps. I'm trying to sound calm and rational here, but your letter kinda creeped me out. I hope you will talk to your sister about her husband coming on to you. Even if she says she's OK with it, I'd stay out of his way if I were you. There's usually enough drama and complicated history circulating around family get-togethers, without throwing sibling sexual rivalries into the mix.

Peter3: Totally agree with Dan on this one. Do your utmost to forget your possible online Peter encounter. There are too many variables and unknowns here, so your best play is to stay mum and not leap to conclusions based on insufficient evidence. If it truly was Peter you messaged on Recon, you may get to hear his side of the story somewhere down the line. But for now, you need to keep your online activity concealed to avoid significant collateral damage - to your own sense of personal privacy, to your boyfriend who prefers not to know about your online hookups, and to your boyfriend's best friend and fiance, who according to you may already be on the rocks before they ever exchange wedding vows. Let it go, LW.
@66 Grizelda, I feel you. What a mad house the world has become.
I just keep listening to music and doing my stuff. I'll be wearing my earphones when they take me out.
@68 LavaGirl: Hey, Lava--! Great to hear from you. Yeahhhhh---I am dealing with PTSD issues from active military service years of way back when that have snuck up and bit me hard on the ass like a tornado wreaking havoc on an otherwise clear blue sky. The flashbacks are ugly, and I'm seeking (hopefully local) counseling through the VA. I had another crying spell this morning.
Music, my blessed little VW, and cats calm, cheer, and keep me sane. I have been sight reading new music by contemporary Swiss composer, Ernest Bloch (b. 1956) for flute and piano, Suite Modale, and have lovingly returned to the Jazz Suite for Flute and Piano (c.1975) by Claude Bolling for Jean-Pierre Rampal. May music never die, and when it's time for my beloveds and me, we all go peacefully together. Earphones---good idea! I'm at least wearing ear plugs.

You're absolutely right---the political atmosphere is indeed, a mad house. Hopefully the world doesn't end up in a hellhole.
I'm ready for Emilio, Judd Nelson (as John Bender), Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy in detention, and more moving images of Brad Pitt on a road trip and in a cheap motel room with Geena Davis while Susan Sarandon and Michael Madsen are sorting things out.
Poor Sydney and Heidi--I'll bet they had to get scrubbed and sanitized pretty heavily after having to wade through all that noxious shit in Cleveland!
Just my dumb luck this week---I got Petered!!
M? Corn - HA stands for Homcentric August, when I devote a month of the year to mirroring the heterocentrism of the other eleven.
Ms Grizelda - If anyone could use a bit of peace, it's surely you. It's a good thing music is such a consolation.
Best responses to lw # 2 (BIL) come from LavaGirl @64, and Capricornius @67.
When BIL started talking about how inappropriate his brother-in-law was being, I was expecting the question to be, "do I tell my sister?" or "how do I get him to stop?" not "I'm pretty sure Peter wants to suck my dick, and I'm tempted to let him. I know it's a bad idea, but Peter is hot. This is torture. What should I do?"

Seriously, BIL, your sister's husband has been blatantly coming on to you, most recently right after your grandfather's funeral, and from your wording, you believe your sister to have a presumption of monogamy in her marriage and your question is should I have a sexual encounter with my brother-in-law because he's hot and has apparently no boundaries and maybe I'm willing to let all mine, not to mention my good sense, slide for the sake of a blowjob? What the fuck? Have some integrity. Think about consequences. Think about your sister. Think about future family events. How much stupid drama do you want to put into your life?

Don't be alone with him. Don't let the conversation go anywhere near the topic of dicks and dick-sucking. Maybe find out from your sister, privately, if the marriage is monogamous or open and whether her husband's bisexuality entitles him within the rules of their marriage, to some same sex activity. Even if it does, back away. He's family; he's married to your sister. This would be veering into epic soap-operatic territory. There's no need to necessarily tell your sister what's been going on, and you may not need to get blunt with your b-i-l yet, though it might come to that.
But if your sister indicates the marriage is (supposed to be) monogamous, keep an eye on b-i-l, i case at some point you have to protect your sister.
Ah - silly of me not to think of the obvious reference for P2 - the Australian soap opera A Place to Call Home. If we find out that LW2 was P2's boyfriend before P2 met LW's sister, and the wedding photos show them gazing adoringly at each other past the bride, we can call a foul.

I actually followed APtCH on its US run here, really just because Heather Mitchell appears in it.
Ms Cute - L2 has almost a vintage feel to it. I was thinking mainly of how there are some homonormative circles in which P2 and his topics of conversation would have been right at home. (I'm not sure, just in case anyone's wondering, about binormative circles.) But really, now that it's mentioned, LW2 seems to revert back to thirty or forty years ago when it was not uncommon for people who felt locked out of or prematurely judged by moral standards to respond by acting absolved of moral responsibility.
Mr Hunter - If I feel like it, I feel like it. Homocentric August is a venue for artistic expression, and I have no intention of letting you try to rule-shark me into silence by pinning myself down into doing things the way you think I should do them when you are about the last person here who deserves any such consideration. I don't tell you how to run your Week in Review.

Have a Wainthropp day.
auntie griz, I'm sorry to hear about your recent bout with PTSD. I hope you find some relief. Have you ever tried EMDR therapy? It is sometimes helpful.

And if you know that your tried-and-true self-calming techniques of drives in your VW and watching The Breakfast Club help, I wish you good weather, good road conditions and a new, unscratched DVD. Be kind to yourself.
Parallel universe, FetLife, seems to have closed it's doors. The finer details I don't know. It's created a shitstorm. Repressive forces abound , making everyone twitchie. I had to unfriend a woman I've known thru Buddhism, because her posts were going more right wing.
Ms Lava - Ouch.

I have noticed a lot of anti-regressives implying that the repressives have surrendered and moved on. I think the older ones are more likely to be disingenuous repressives themselves; the younger ones often have difficulty believing that something they didn't live through themselves really happened.
Re @81.unfriended from fb.
Venn, I'm reading Stephen Spender's son's memoir of his father. Stephen , Auden and Christopher, they could be freezing in Germany as gay men, just before the rise of the Nazis.
Yeah, it's a big deal FetLife closing their doors, some membership plan is in the offing, sounds dodgy.
Can't you imagine the repressive moves Trump's VP will set in motion? What an odious man. Very scary.
Not freezing, free. Free in Germany as gay men. Guess it gets cold too.
Do the repressive forces rise up if the culture is becoming too sexually free? like in Germany. Like now.
I didn't mean Fetlife is finished, I meant it's taking no new members at the moment.
On a brighter note, the baby goes well. Still doing all those Joe Cocker jerky arm movements, and looks a little baffled, as you would at three weeks.
Ms Lava - Ah, yes, Mr Spender. I must re-read The Temple some time.

Maybe the cold is due to the leather shorts.

Good for the baby.
@72 vennominon: I did enjoy The Breakfast Club (my own DVD copy on my Mac at home).
Music, my beloved Love Beetle, and being a cat slave keeps me healthy and sane. Back to computer entries on my 30-part orchestral score of movement I. of my second symphony in loving memory of both my beloved parents tonight.
My upcoming birthday movie lineup, in reference to the actual day:
1. What's Up, Doc? (1972, Peter Bogdonovich, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal)
2. Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (1996, David Mirkin, starring Moira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garafalo, and Alan Cumming ) I really do need someone like Heather Mooney to tell a bunch of naysayers I've had to deal with to fuck off.
@79 nocutename: Thank you so much, too, for your kind support. What is EMDR therapy? I would be interested in learning more about it. I have an appointment next week about state vocational rehab orientation, currently waiting on the VA for disability comp status, and just trying to get and keep myself active musically. I know it's a tough market out there, but... I never expected a million dollars overnight! Just to support myself, keep composing and performing and follow my passion. It's comforting hearing from you and others.
I have veterans counselors here in my hometown that currently have my back (and have seen my service records from my U.S. Navy days, and are saying "oh, yeah--you have a valid case, all right"), so this is encouraging. I'll keep you, Dan, and everybody posted on what I find out.
@86, Part II: ....and I do plan on wearing my leonine leopard spots at this upcoming Saturday's dinner out. ROAR!
I have to let a lot out these days...
Ms Grizelda - Classics are always nice and safe, and at least your opinions won't have any unintended impact on the culture wars. I haven't seen either film, but will hope for your sake that Ms Kudrow is as good as she was in The Opposite of Sex.
Fetlife is trying to deal with a flood of fake accounts. They have a small staff and paused new memberships while they figure out the best way to move forward. Are a lot of people irritated in the meantime? Yes. It's the internet. People are easily irritated.
Maybe Erica. From what I've read new memberships are closed. No mention of it opening like before.
irritated? Indignant is how I read it.
going to the familiar, Grizelda, at this crazy time, is comforting. I've been listening to The Beatles.
Also that sweet British boy, Ed Sheeran.
Why don't you record? I'd buy it. Love to listen to you playing one of your compositions.
I have made my way almost through the first quarter of the run of Dark Shadows. I'd seen much or most of the early run of the series in re-runs, but during the original run didn't start in until Quentin was already there, which was some time after the departure of Victoria Winters of the opening voice-over. It seems the reason the voice-over stopped beginning, "My name is Victoria Winters..." is that one day when Alexandra Moltke wasn't appearing, she hadn't recorded the voice-over, or something went wrong with the recording, and they had Nancy Barrett fill in, sounding as much like her as possible. It was not an easy catch.

The interviews are perhaps the most fun. Taping conditions (they had less than an hour to record their half-hour show and technology didn't allow them to edit) apparently explain the routine presence of mangled lines. It was a bit reassuring to learn that Ms Moltke found her character (the perpetual victim through a series of always making the wrong choice) a bit drippy to play. Thus far, the closest to a universally-held viewpoint among the cast is that Louis Edmonds (who, as our Ms Wallingford will recall, went on to All My Children, although much later than Hugh Franklin, who had a minor recurring part in DS), as fondly as they remembered him, was a terror to work with, as he either kept cracking them up or missing the marks. Given the series run being from 1966-1971, and recalling how alliterative women's names ("Debbie Downer", for example) had some popularity among SS men at the time (recall Emory's calling himself "Connie Casserole" in The Boys in the Band) and for a while afterwards, I'm almost surprised not to have encountered "Vicky Victim" at any time in memory. Maybe that one would have been a bit too alliterative.
Venn @71 and Hunter @76, thanks for your explanations of HA. It sounds intriguing, and I enjoy anything that shakes up the gender-normative and hetero-normative status quo. I look forward to observing this year's HA entries until I can absorb more of the game's finesse, then I may attempt to chime in from time to time.
Mr. Ven: I love The Opposite of Sex and another Don Roos film, Happy Endings, which also stars Lisa Kudrow.

auntie griz: EMDR is a technique that sounds kind of hokey or absurd for dealing with trauma, but it is non-medical, and for many people, really helps. I've seen it work with several people who have had a hard time moving past a traumatic episode and with 2 people, one my own daughter, deal with PTSD. You need to work with a trained practitioner but it's worth a shot. If it's not offered at the VA, they may help pay for several sessions.
Capri @67 - Sweet empathy exercise for BIL. A couple possibilities occured to me.. maybe he really does carry some deepseated resentments, like hatred, toward his sister.. maybe she tried to wash her baby brother with the washing machine or her parents believed her lies about her nasty older brother or otherwise acted like a normal sociopathic kid without enough parental supervision. Or... he could be responding to a weird family dynamic where his sister might get off sharing her husband with him, maybe building up to some incestuous triad.. stranger things have happened..

Solutions include reevaluating parental responsibility in the first case, or talking to sis first to arrange a closer relationship to her marriage.. aboveboard.
@88 vennominon and @95 nocutename: Lisa Kudrow and I share the same birthday; she's a year my senior. Lisa as Michelle Weinberger and Moira as Romy White from Sagebrush High in Tuscon are two party girls into fashion and are a total hoot at their 10-year reunion.
I now want to see The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings.
@95 nocutename: I am apparently freaking my surrounding neighbors into moving out. Is something like what I'm experiencing normal? I have flashbacks to a time in which I was on a strongly macho-male dominated base where women were novelties, only serving as staff support, and viewed in two categories: trophy sluts and cows. It often felt very much like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as in A Few Good Men (1992, directed by Rob Reiner, starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, and Kevin Pollack).
I am seeking therapy / counseling, hope to catch up with some dear friends this week, and have my rent / utilities situation taken for next month by this week.
@97: *sigh* Make that ..."hope to have my rent / utilities situation taken care of for next month by this week." But I guess you all know what I meant.
@91 LavaGirl: I'd love for you to email me at, and get your feedback on my composed music and current projects. Bless you for your interest, many thanks, big hugs, and VW beeps.
auntie girz, I'm no expert; I just have two kids with PTSD, non-combat related, a close friend who used to suffer from it (also non-combat-related), and have worked with vets and relatives of vets who have it, too. I first read about EMDR when preparing to teach a class about memory. Then my friend used it and had exceptional results.
So I found a practitioner and got my younger daughter to go for a series of sessions, and it worked well for her. I referred some vets to it and it worked really well for one, fairly well for two others. Some didn't want to try it. I realize it sounds ridiculous.

A therapist friend of mine recently took a training course in it and got certified and told me she's a fan, though I think it became a bit of a fad and gets used for too many not-really-traumatic things.

Nevertheless, it's always seemed worth a shot to me, since it has a finite number of sessions and can't harm you physically.

I don't know what you're doing to freak your neighbors out, but it sounds like you need some relief. I hope you get some.
It's a fucking crime how we treat our veterans.
@99 nocutename: I'd like to try EMDR (so it's a form of jogging one's memory to find out the source of the trauma, and what triggers the reactions / anxiety attacks?). I do have a Dept of Vocational Rehab orientation downtown tomorrow morning, and I have two VA reps who have my back on my VA disability compensation claim. It's now at the mercy of the VA's decision, but I believe my local VA advocate will appeal the decision if it's denied.
I no longer utilize the local veterans center--the guys who run it are selective in the veterans and service members that go through them for benefits and counseling. Their attitude (to me) is 'Get over it, you big baby--go to the Yellow Pages and call anybody you like'. Well, there are certain circumstances I can't get over, from 25 years back: sexual harassment on the job, unfair misproportioning of the daily workload, the added stress of being under wartime conditions where security heightened to every third car being searched, long hours, endless work with the feeling of no relief in sight, and isolation from friends and family in a toxic, life-threatening relationship with an abusive fellow service member---all of which pushed me to the point of suicidal ideation from difficulty to efficiently be able to do my job, nine months after an advancement in rank. It's mortifying for me to see this on my service records, but there they were and are, for an ugly year long period before there was finally a shift for the better in personnel and working conditions weren't so hostile (though I was still in the unhealthy relationship). My honorable separation at the end of my enlistment remains proof that I was otherwise exemplary in my clerical duties.
My father and uncle, among male relatives, were lucky as servicemen and veterans---they never had male chauvinism obstructing their career paths, military or otherwise, nor were they ever viewed as a prime cut of meat--or like a cow for not resembling a fashion model.
To this day I avoid watching any film about the Navy SEALs, or related theme or plot line, such as A Few Good Men or G.I. Jane, and instead prefer to view the sweet side of where I once served---the film location of Some Like it Hot, and where I shared good memories with my parents when they came down to visit.
@99 nocutename, Part II: All my immediately surrounding neighbors on my floor have moved out of my building, without saying goodbye. Maybe I can't relate o them, either, and it was time for them to move on, for whatever reason. I have periods of depression, lack of focus, irritability, and social detachment that come and go in waves. Often, when the world gets too overwhelming--as it is now, especially, I go sit in my beloved little comfortingly familiar car, wonderful automotive company, letting everything else go by. I meditate, read funnies and horoscopes, and this helps me to collect myself and better plan the course of our day. Short breaks are good, too, to local parks. And of course, playing, writing, and practicing music, or watching favorite films.
The Serenity Prayer often comes in handy, too.
Despite all this, why does so much around me, my VW, piano, flute consort, computers, et. al. feel so weird and out of control? Am I losing control of myself?
I am NOT lying face down in the gutter, taking illegal drugs, robbing or stealing, or threatening myself or anyone else.
Ms Cute - Well, if there's one thing I emphatically don't know about, it's trimesters.

It's just occurring to me now that the battles between the characters played by Ms Ricci and Ms Kudrow are perhaps reminiscent of those between Lady Susan and Mrs Vernon.
Maybe I just need to hit the Men-o-Pause button.

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