From Ask Lutz

Pathetic in Chicago

Dear Lisa,

I've got real problems.

First off, I have two cats and hate cats. It's not entirely the cats themselves that I hate, but it's the hair and the creepy way they jump all over the place. Sometimes I get thoughts in my head of throwing them out the window of my third floor apartment, but then I remember that cats have nine lives...at least that's what they say. Second, I don't want to really get rid of them, because then I would be alone. So the real issue is that I'm afraid of being alone.

I had this boyfriend in San Francisco, who I loved but he dumped me. Because I was so distraught over the end of that relationship, I moved to Chicago and got married to some Italian guy who is now my ex-husband (well almost ex) less than 2 years later. Third, I'm dating a guy now who I am becoming very attached to and don't know what to do (he's incredible). If you can help me Lisa, you are a goddess!!

P.S. The new guy never calls when he says he will, so I'm the annoying girl who calls 20 times a day...YUCK!!

Sincerely,

Pathetic in Chicago


***

Dear Pathetic,

Yeah, you sure do have problems. Cat problems and man problems and lucky for you those are two of my specialties. Let’s start with the cats. Cats don’t have nine lives--I thought everybody knew that. So if you toss your cats out of a three story window, I’m not so sure they’ll make it. And if they do, they’ll probably never forgive you. If there is any real danger of you playing Frisbee with said cats, I’d be willing to take them off your hands. Just ship them out to me in California. When I say ship, I mean put them in a cat cage with some food and buy them a ticket on an airplane and make sure the airport personnel understand that a cat is on board. I’m not talking about a brown box and UPS. However, I’m more in the market for a ferret these days. It turns out that ferrets are illegal in California, so now I have to start writing lots of letters to my congressman to solve that problem. Or, I could just break the law. That might be kind of invigorating.

Back to my point: please don’t throw your cats out the window. If you don’t like cats, why do you have two of them? Me, I like cats. And yet I have no cats. Perhaps you have a long, complicated story, involving mistaken identity, a man in a trench coat, a ransom note and a mysterious key to explain your unwanted cats. I’d like to hear that story.

Let me see if I got this straight. Your boyfriend breaks up with you, you run off to Chicago, marry an Italian man and two years later you and Italian man are divorcing and now you’re telephone harassing your new beau. Hmmm. I’m all for marrying Italian men, but it’s usually not wise to wed someone to get over a break up with someone else. But let’s not focus on the negative. Two years is pretty good. I’ve heard of people lasting only a year and a half, six months, even just a fortnight (friends, lets get this word back in circulation). So, well done and next time you’ll do better.

My advice to you is this: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT MARRY ANYONE IN THE NEAR FUTURE! (and I’m talking way more than a fortnight) and STOP CALLING THE NEW GUY! I don’t care how incredible he is. Put down the phone! Phones are no good anyway. They give off low doses of radiation which very well may give you a brain tumor if you abuse them. Or you could get a repetitive stress injury in your neck. My friend Julie uses a headset to avoid this very problem and so she can clean her house or cook dinner while she’s talking to you. But I don’t think you should get a headset because that would encourage your phone use and they are kind of silly to wear at home.

You say you are afraid to be alone, but that is exactly what you need. That means no boyfriend, no dating, no getting engaged and no getting married. For how long you might ask? Well, in terms of etiquette, I do think it’s polite to wait until the divorce is final to start dating again. But you could go a little longer. There are many perks to being by yourself: Less laundry; full control of the remote; makes being a professional spy easier; no snoring (unless you snore, that is); no one demanding that you to bathe the ferret; and no one to break up with or divorce. To wrap up: Don’t throw your cats out the window, don’t get married, and stay off the damn phone. In that order, please.

Best Wishes,

Lisa

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