Heart to Heart: A Night Owl problem


A Night Owl problem
Dear Hillary,
Help! I have a question that you might be able to answer for me. I am a night owl kind of person. My night life style is perfectly suited to Asia, which is one of the reasons why I retired here after my wife died. My ambition has always been to sleep during the day and party all night. I just love to go to bed about 2 a.m. and not wake up till ten a.m. I am more interested in catching the sunset than the sunrise. I would be happy if I never heard a rooster crow again and mornings only have a five a.m. if I have to catch a plane somewhere or I’m coming home late. In my previous marriage back home in the States, we had an agreement not to ask each other questions nor answer the phone until after ten a.m. Unfortunately my young girlfriend here now is just the opposite. She is a happy person and loves to get up at dawn and sing, clatter around and carry on and just can not stay awake after 8 p.m. which is just when I’m really getting into the swing of things. Is it just the age difference do you think? Or will we ever be able to meet in the middle?

Dear William,
My sympathies, Petal. No, I do not think it is the age difference. Some people are night owls, some are day dogs. Whether you can meet in the middle or learn to live with it, is a different kettle of fish. I suggest you try earplugs and eye shades for yourself and chewing gum and slippers in the mornings for your girlfriend. An afternoon nap might have benefits for both of you and firecrackers and bribery at night should keep her awake. Good luck, but I think you’re going to need it.

Mustache problems
Dear Hillary,
My boyfriend has a mustache and every time he kisses me it leaves a rash on my face. What can I do about it? I used to be very proud of my good skin. Is he not washing the soap out of it or something?

Dear Tina,
This is easy to fix, without having to go to see the skin specialist. Really, you have only one option, and that is to sweetly explain to your boyfriend that you will have to change boyfriends unless he shaves off his mustache or wears a ski mask or balaclava every time he kisses you. With the look of designer stubble being all the rage right now, I can’t see you getting him to change. You could also just try shaking hands, but I can’t see that working too well either.

Is she losing it? Or are you?
Dear Hillary,
My girlfriend and I live in a studio in town. We have had a good relationship up till now, except for the fact she keeps losing her keys and her mobile phone. This is very annoying as she always wants me to find them, or send a spare set over. It is spoiling our relationship, how can I stop her doing this?

Dear Annoyed,
Have you ever considered the fact that your girlfriend is losing keys and telephones as a subconscious way of expressing her lack of satisfaction with the relationship or simply as a device to annoy you? It is very difficult if not impossible to change an adult’s behavior unless you change your own behavior first. I suggest you change the way you respond to her. One quick fix is to either don’t let her see that it annoys you or simply don’t speak to her for days every time she loses things. We women have used that ploy for years. The best way though is to “Give her the monkey and let her feed it.” Which is a Thai expression for allowing her to take the consequence of her own actions. Do not let her have or use your mobile phone ever, keep a spare set of keys for you, but never unlock the apartment for her, and never give her another set after she has lost one. If this is too tedious, maybe losing this girlfriend would be less frustrating.

Social kissing
Dear Hillary,
I find this habit of social kissing here disgusting. People just making an excuse to slobber all their germs over you, it is just frightful and unhealthy too! How can I avoid it?

Dear Besame (mucho),
Where have you been all your life? Living in a nunnery? It seems as though you don’t like socializing either? Most people have social kissing down to the fine art of just kissing the air beside the victim’s face. What you do on greeting occasions is to step into the person’s space first, grab them by both upper arms and kiss the air nosily, even wetly beside each ear. Then watch them like a hawk and if they seem inclined to reciprocate, just duck or say, “Don’t come too close, I’ve got rota virus.” The other alternative is to stay at home and watch TV by yourself.