illustration by darren gygi
Q: I really need to break up with my boyfriend. We’re not compatible, and I’m not getting any younger. But the holidays are coming, and I don’t know if I want to be alone for them—or ruin them for him. So do I pull the rug now or later?
A: Most guys want to be shattered so completely in a breakup that even their instinct to blame themselves is crushed. They want you to join a convent. They want you to hop a midnight freight to Davenport, Iowa, to play the spoons in a lesbian jug band. They want to know it would never have worked. So break up now. It’ll give him a sympathetic story to tell the single ladies under the mistletoe, and he deserves any pity smooch he gets from Santa Baby. You, on the other hand, need to learn to be alone. Only when you’re comfortable with that will you be available for the right partner, not just the next one to come down the chimney.
Q: Call me a classic southwest Minneapolitan, but I really don’t want my house flooded with plastic Disney toys this Christmas. How do I assert my family’s less-is-more, plastic-is-pollution value system without hurting Santa’s feelings?
A: You need to give alternatives. Make a list, send it out. Anything that sneaks in, donate it. Then the kids will learn, even if Santa doesn’t.