Ask Micah


“A Different Kind Of Advice Column”

Sick of the Sick Girlfriend

Dear Ask Micah,

In October I began dating Laurie.  At first we had a good time doing things we mutually enjoyed.  We liked to go hear local bands playing.  We did a fair amount of hiking.  Stuff like that.  I thought she might be the perfect girl for me.  I don’t think that way now.  I really liked Laurie but something changed and now she always has something wrong with her that interferes with our plans.  Laurie has had the flu four times this season.  She has recently developed some kind of shoulder problem and she says will need surgery.  She won’t hike anymore because she claims she has bone spurs.  It sounds as if I’m unsympathetic now that I write it down and look at it, but there really is something to what I’m saying.  I don’t believe in half of her symptoms.  I think she is turning into a hypochondriac.  Whenever she senses that I don’t believe her aches and pains, we have a fight.  I don’t intend to hurt her feelings, but it’s beginning to bother me.  Like last week I had concert tickets that I paid a lot for, then she got a migraine and couldn’t go.  Since we’re sort of exclusive I didn’t feel right taking someone else, so I ended up having to just give those tickets away.  I was going to plan a trip for us for the summer, but if she’s just going to have something wrong with her I don’t know if I should risk the money. I am growing concerned at where all this will leave our relationship.

Danny

Dear Danny,

Dump her.  Fast.  She isn’t becoming a hypochondriac, she has been one the entire time you’ve known her–you just didn’t see it yet or she was carefully concealing it from you.  If your girlfriend is the kind of person who wallows in made up maladies and exaggerated illnesses, this isn’t going to go away.  Something in her past has taught her that if she is seen as a pathetic sickly creature she will receive more attention and people will take care of her.  Maybe she believes that she stands a better chance to hold on to you if you believe that she’s suffering through some kind of sickness.  Sometimes hypochondriacs think that no one would dare leave a sick person.  It really doesn’t matter what her motivations are.  The only thing that you need to understand is that you need to break up with her.  Things are only going to get worse.  I know that I am going to sound like a jerk here, but even if she is genuinely sick with all of these things, my advice doesn’t change.  Move on.  This girl is not your wife.  She doesn’t even qualify as a long-term relationship.  You have known her for three months–maybe four–and already you are dissatisfied.  You are having trouble believing her and as a result you are now having arguments with her.  This doesn’t bespeak of a potential life-long love.   The bottom line is that you are a pretty active guy.  You don’t want to miss life and all of the things it has to offer because a girlfriend (that you have no real obligations to), is sick all of the time.  Tell her that it’s too early in the relationship to be constantly inconvenienced and that you didn’t sign up for “sick duty”.  She’ll call you a jerk, but believe me, you aren’t one.  Leaving a sick wife or long-term love would be different, but this girl doesn’t meet the requirements for either.  Just move on.

The Eternal Cycle of the Cougar

Dear Micah,

I have a friend who will only date people in their twenties.  My friend is 37.  All of our friends have real and meaningful relationships while she suffers through dramas that don’t stop and  break-ups at every turn.  We can’t even get together with her without the entire conversation being about her latest problem with her newest young boyfriend.  We’re all starting families and marriages and don’t have alot in common anymore with her.  We’re thinking of phasing her out of the group.  What are your thoughts?  A girlfriend in our circle reads you all the time and said she bet you’d have something funny to say about it.

The Cougar’s friend

Dear Friend,

I don’t know how funny it will be, but I do have an opinion.  I am assuming that your friend, the Cougar, has been a friend for a long time.  If not, then toss her to the winds and who gives a damn?  But if she has been in your life a while, I think that you owe her a private, serious chat.  Sit her down and explain to her that you are genuinely concerned with the choices she is making.  Phrase it all in a manner that illustrates your concern for her future.  Tell her that you wish for her to have a deep meaningful connection to someone and you don’t feel she is getting that in her current situation with the young men she’s dating.  Then segue into how it has been affecting her position in the circle of friends.  Tell her that many of you girls are beginning to want to exclude her from gatherings because of the constant drama she brings in regards to these relationships.  Try to explain to her that all of this drama is silly and juvenile and you all experienced it already when you were in your own early twenties.  It was normal then.  Everyone goes through it, but you have to go THROUGH it, not sit down and remain in it.  Your friend’s state of consciousness should have matured and morphed into a smarter, more settled woman– but she hasn’t yet.  By choosing to date only younger men, she is going to remain in a constant state of flux and chaos.  Men in their twenties are sowing their oats and moving from relationship to relationship trying to discover what it is that they are looking for out of life.  Eventually they find it and become the reliable husbands and boyfriends of women like you in your thirties.  These men will never be a steady force in the Cougar’s life because the time with the Cougar is one of the experiences they must go through on their course to self awareness–and again, they will GO THROUGH her and move one to someone else.  So your friend is destined to be swept away by, then dumped by, a younger man unless she matures her sights a little.  The saddest part of her path, if she doesn’t change it, is that very soon she will not be able to attract twentysomethings as easily.  She’ll be in her forties and the game may change drastically for her.  She may be thinking that when that happens she’ll move up to the men in their thirties–but that isn’t going to work either.  The men in their thirties have already found women their own age to commit to, or they’ll be looking for women in their twenties.   So your friend in her forties will have to date men in their forties.  The problem with men in their forties is that many of them will be divorced and turning their eyes toward women in their twenties who can give them one last hurrah before they enter their fifties.  Basically what I am trying to illustrate is that if your friend doesn’t grow up right now and find a proper relationship, she will decrease her chances of ever having one by a huge amount.   Maybe that’s all right for her.  She may not want a husband and children, and there is nothing wrong with that;  But if she does desire a husband and a family one day then she’d better quit fooling around with kids and grab a man before they’re all taken.

Tax Refund Overhaul

Dear Micah,

I want to spend this year’s tax refund on some cosmetic surgery.  My husband said he’ll support what I want to do, but would rather put the money towards a vacation.  Friends tell me I’m crazy to spend it on something so frivolous.  What do you think?

PL

Dear PL,

I say have the surgery if it’s something you really want.  All of my life I was plagued by a big nose, so in my late twenties I finally had a nose job.  I have never regretted it.  As for the vacation idea, that’s a good one too, but if you have been suffering over some flaw that has made you self-conscious all of your life, then skip the trip and use the cash for cosmetic surgery.  I don’t find it at all frivolous.  Your friends may just be jealous because they can’t have anything done themselves.  Or maybe cosmetic surgery is not common in the circle of people in your life.  It’s all relative I suppose.  The only thing that matters is that you smile when you look into the mirror.

If you’d like to “Ask Micah” something, send an email to MicahCargo@hotmail.com.  Some questions will be answered in the column.

Micah Cargo has been handing out common-sense advice to the senseless for most of his life. Being brought up by a single mom and three wise old southern grandparents equipped Micah with the tools needed to get through life with a little humor, a little intelligence, and not a small amount of bitterness.

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