Solicited Advice

26 Feb

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Work and other obligations have been CRAZY.

Anyway! Moving on.

relationship advice expert e jean

Gregg Delman | elle.com

I absolutely love advice columns. I devoured Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers in the paper when I was younger, and I even have a few Miss Manners books that I like to flip through every once in a while. There’s something so refreshing about a woman who just tells it like it is. (And hearing about other folks’ problems is fascinating, too.)

Well, the latest Elle issue came in the mail the other day, and it reminded me that I really wanted to post one of the Ask E. Jean questions from an earlier issue here. E. Jean Carroll is, in a word: fabulous. I feel like her advice is always spot-on and so matter-of-fact.

Here’s the one I wanted to share:

Dear E. Jean: I adore my boyfriend of six years. He’s intelligent, accomplished, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny. But: He’s fat. When we first started dating, he was a very hot, very muscular mountaineering guide. Now he’s a lawyer, and most of the muscle has turned into fat. When he gets home from work, he sits on the couch, drinking beer and watching bad TV. He’ll do that for an entire weekend if I don’t persuade him to get out and do things. Our sex life has almost always been thrilling, but the laziness and fatness are enormous turnoffs.

I’m an athlete and go to the gym at 5 A.M. every day before my job (which we agree is even more demanding than his). Though I’m still madly in love with him, I find myself looking at in-shape men. Superficial, I realize! I drop hints, and it never goes well. Is there a way to tell him to shape up? I work hard to stay sexy; shouldn’t he? I don’t want to make him feel bad, but he can’t let himself go indefinitely! —My Sexy Man’s Gone to Seed

Gone, My Gorgon: Yes. He can. And why not? If you’re turned off by an “intelligent, accomplished, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny” fat dude, give him to Auntie Eeee. And God help you if you ever grow old, gain a pound, get a wrinkle, or your bottom sags.

I love you, Miss Gone, but please, let’s have no more of this revolting, body-hating hogwash! I’m sick, sick, sick of women beating up on tubby guys. The chap’s fat as a porpoise? Fine! Take him as he is! Love him for himself! Grant him the freedom to live as he wants. And when you’re disgusted by anything about his body, turn to yourself and examine your own flaws. You’ll soon forget his.

As for “dropping hints,” Miss Gone? Here’s a hint: According to recent research, “overweight” or “moderately obese” people may live longer than those of “normal weight”! In fact, a 2007 Canadian study found that those who were overweight had the “lowest chance of dying from any cause.” (See the New York Times article “In ‘Obesity Paradox,’ Thinner May Mean Sicker.” Whipsawed scientists are scrambling to examine “long-held assumptions about the association between body fat and disease.”)

I’ve looked you up—you do have an awesome career—and you are sleek and supple as an otter, but the stats say your big boyfriend may outlive you.

Now, about you getting up “every day at 5 A.M. to get to the gym.” Is this wise? Why don’t you hire a male trainer? Nothing special, just your run-of-the-mill bloke with buttocks that look like they’ve been blown up with a bicycle pump and pectorals that jut out like IKEA shelves. Schedule this professional for twice-weekly personal workouts in your living room. Trust me: Your guy won’t “sit on the couch.”

P.S. And just to put things into perspective, read this next letter.

Let’s be kinder to each other, shall we?

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