People, before we get started you have to see THIS. ALL CREDIT TO IPHEGENIA GOES SHOPPING!! MUST CREDIT IGS!!! Also give her four cheezburger.
As always, original letters here.
To the teen LW who wants to get a vibrator:
Okay, I'm going to have to assume you exist, even though that makes an ass out of me. I'm quite certain you're actually a 40-y-o man with a lot of Robotech action figures, excuse me, mecha, in your apartment, excuse me, mom's basement.
So you want to dance with the plastic paramour? Start something with the synthetic sybarite? You're only 16 and you're into advanced masturbation techniques here. Plus advanced shopping and/or mail interception skills.
I assume if you're smart enough to figure that much out and can bring one into the house and successfully sequester it, you can figure out how to use one without Prudie telling you. (P.S. ew.)
However, you want to know if you should bring your mom in on the "I'm graduating from Rosie Palms and you might hear what sounds like a hornet's nest in my room but don't come in because it's not a hornet's nest" discussion.
I think it's really awesome when people are able to talk with their parents about certain things, but when it comes to sex, it's one thing to tell your mom about your emotions, hopes, expectations and ideals (or, come to think of it, problems, fears, potential pregnancies and STDS), but a certain curtain should be drawn over the actual, you know, things that happen physically. Because there are a few things parents and children should not know about each other. Girlfriends are a different story, as are the people you will eventually have sex with.
I know, you're close to mom. But you're at an age where it is natural for you to develop your own, separate identity from her. Speaking as someone who has a mother who loves her very much and knows a whole lot about her, and in moments of anger is not afraid to use her long memory to pull up some long-past situation to use against me to shut me down when we argue even if it's not relevant, having a private sexual identity can be a haven and a huge relief.
Keep the lines of communication open. But, you know, sometimes semaphore is about as much as you need to let on.
To the LW with baby fever:
I understand that you want to know if your man has swimmers or not, but if you know he is the one for you forever and ever, I'd lay off. You may be sublimating your fears of the future into this issue which, as someone who is willing to consider adoption and sperm donation, you know is somewhat moot for you anyway.
Okay, I usually don't get personal in my writing, but there was a month a while back where, while I was getting up to pee at 3 a.m. (like you don't), I'd have these horrible thoughts of death, loneliness and the nursing home. It was every night and it was awful, and it sprung from my fears about getting old, sick and feeble and, worse, knowing that I am with someone who I will watch grow old, sick and feeble IF I'm lucky! But you know what? I told Astronaut about them, and I'm late-night-worry-free now. I mean, the worries still exist, but they're conscious now.
So figure out what you're really freaking out about, then get it out in the open. Look at the wide-angle view of your relationship with your honey. Life has no guarantees in it, but it'll be a lot happier for both of you if you stop freaking out about the things you can't control.
To the LW who was a toxic teenager:
Your father hasn't seen you for half your life, an important one where you change a lot. You must have been hell on wheels.
Look, it's his privilege to decide if he can expose himself to you again, make himself vulnerable, without risking getting really hurt. The onus is on you to prove that you're in it for the right reasons.
I wouldn't expect your dad to jump at the chance to be at your wedding, but there's no reason you can't keep reaching out to him. Send him pictures, send brief notes about how you're doing, keep apologizing and reach out to your uncles and other family members who can vouch for you (but don't ask them to pressure him to see you).
You made some serious mistakes. You have to try and make good on them.
At the same time, your father may not want to reestablish contact. Keep taking heart in the fact that you were able to survive a really bad time, with really bad influences, and come out intact and with perspective. Ruminate on that as often as you need to.
To the LW with the passive aggressive sock dude:
It's not about the socks.
OMG it is SO not about the socks.
I know you recognize them as a protest against you, but you need to stop trying to get rid of the symptom. You need to cure the disease.
Let go of the dirty socks thing and the toilet seat thing. Start documenting everything he does that is not quirky but IS job related. Nasty comments go in a special diary with the time and date noted. Once you have about 10 days worth of smart remarks, you go to your boss with a copy of what you've noted down. You tell your boss you are a terrific worker, but you'd probably be better if your office mate kept his disrespect to himself. You specifically mention the words "harassment" and "hostile environment." As in, "I do not appreciate this harassment and I feel it creates a hostile work environment."
Oh, ignore Prudie's "superior attitude" comment. Sure, you've probably pissed off the boss about piddly things (yeah, I can pun too), but no one should have to put up with someone who is being a jerk at work. It's the boss's job to make sure everyone is working smoothly together, this should not be that hard for him to crack down on. You may also have an Employee Assistance Program you can call and talk about solutions to the sockman. They may have better ideas about who to go to and what to do if the boss is not doing what he's supposed to do.