You Asked For It

by Valerie Nusbaum

In last month’s column, I asked you to send me your questions and I promised I’d do my best to answer them. You held up your end of the bargain, so here goes. Several of you sent in questions asking for my help, but you asked to remain anonymous. I can’t say that I blame you. I completely understand that you wouldn’t want your friends and family to know that you’re desperate enough to come to me for advice.

I’ve selected some questions about relationships and love, at least the ones that could be printed in a family-friendly publication.

Dear Valerie:

The lady in my life has told me that she doesn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day.  She told me the same thing at Christmas, and I gave her what she asked for. She didn’t speak to me for two whole weeks. Should I get her a gift this time, or should I honor her request?

Signed, Not Bill Blakeslee


Dear Not Bill:

The fact that you even have to ask that question tells me that gifts are the least of your problems. At the very least, buy her flowers and chocolates, but after your gaffe at Christmas you’d be wise to spring for jewelry—the good stuff.

Commit this to memory: When a woman tells a man that she doesn’t want a gift, SHE DOESN’T MEAN IT.  It’s a test. Do not fail the test a second time. No man gets a third chance.

—Good luck, Valerie


Dear Valerie:

I was wondering if you and Randy argue a lot.  My husband and I do, and sometimes I worry that we’re abnormal.

—Signed, Combative in Crisis


Dear Combative:

Don’t worry.  You and your husband are not abnormal at all (unless you bite his head off for saying “Good morning”).  It’s healthy to air your differences.  I’m always suspicious of a couple who profess that they never argue.

Randy and I agree on most of the major life issues, but we bicker about the small stuff all the time. His driving makes me crazy and my worrying and nagging gets on his nerves. Mostly, I worry and nag him about his driving.

Just remember to treat your spouse with respect, and remind him to do the same for you. If you need to yell at him for leaving the seat up, go ahead and do it. Or better yet, get even. 

—Hang in there, Valerie


Dear Mrs. Nusbaum:

How can I get my man to lose a few pounds without hurting his feelings?

—Signed, Too Big For His



Dear T.B.:

You said that he needs to lose a “few” pounds, so I’m assuming that he isn’t going to be taking up sumo wrestling any time soon.  Also, you didn’t mention if your man is having health issues that could be due to his weight. I’d suggest that you have him see his doctor for a check-up. That may involve tricking him into going, but it’s necessary. If your guy has health issues, the doctor may take care of the diet issue for you. 

If the doctor gives your man a clean bill of health, then it’s up to you. Get rid of all the junk food and sweets. Cook healthy meals, and suggest that the two of you take walks together or invest in a treadmill. If he’s doing the cooking, you might want to get more involved so that you know what you’re both eating. I’m a firm believer that anyone who likes to eat should also know how to prepare food.

On the other hand, if your guy is quick to tell you when you gain a few pounds or you look less than perfect, ignore my previous advice. Call him “Porky” and tell him his super model days are over.

Whatever works, Valerie


I am compelled to remind you all that following my advice could be hazardous to your health and your relationships. I am neither qualified nor certified to counsel you.  I’m simply offering my opinion, which could change at any time. I’m menopausal. If my advice doesn’t work, I really don’t want to hear about it.

Some of you also sent in general questions, and I’d like to address a couple of those as well.

Shirley Greene asked me if Randy and I share the same middle name. Yes, Shirley, we do, and we both dislike it. Randy has forbidden me from using that name in print, but I can tell you that he’s named after a blue grass song. 

Jamie (no last name) wrote me the following:  “I was driving past your house the other day, and I noticed Randy standing on your porch roof. Why was he doing that? Do you think it was really a good idea?”

Several answers come to mind, Jamie: (1) He was being punished for not buying me something; (2) He was hiding from me; (3) He goes up there to think.

The truth is that he was washing the outsides of the windows. I’m pleased to report that the only casualty that day was the bottle of window cleaner. Yes, I am a lucky woman. I married a man who does windows.

I’ll answer the rest of your questions another time. My thanks to all of you who helped out with this month’s column. 

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