In Which We Cover Up For Any And All Of Our Mistakes

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


My friend Karen has a gay son named Leonard rapidly nearly adulthood. When our friends ask how he’s doing, she never mentions the fact that she is gay. If they ask whether or not he has a girlfriend, she is evasive and explains he is playing the field. I also know that she worries a lot for him.

I don’t really have a problem with concealing this fact to people she knows, even though I find it a bit odd. I do have concern for her son, who is a lovely and personable guy. Why can’t his mother be proud of him as he is?

Nancy A.

just plain afraid to fail

Dear Nancy,

While certain politicians find homosexuality more acceptable in their own families and friend circles than they do in the public at large, regular/basic people often skew the other way. They have no problem with how other people live, but the concept hitting so close to home has dashed certain dreams they have had for their children, most of them engendered through subliminal advertising by the American Wedding Industry.

Then again, maybe it’s for the best. Marriage is the foundation of civilization. Now that gays are able to engage in this magnificent institution, they will be happy like David Geffen, Dan Savage and the guy on Empire. Maybe your friend Karen needs to see more than the stereotypical and offensive depictions of homosexuals on televisions in shows like Modern Family and Matlock. She can learn that her son can have the same kind of happiness as Sergey Brin.


I have been dating a woman named Jessica for around five months, and we recently had our first fight. Now that we are an official couple, she has informed me that she expects us to spend five days a week in each other’s company. She always stays over at my house when we go out.

On one level, I really care about her and the time we spend together is very enjoyable. I worry that it is overkill, though, especially for where we are in the relationship. What do you think I should do?

Jason W.

hard to say mia nguyen

Dear Jason,

Everyone has different expectations and ideas for what they want in a relationship. Matching those expectations is part of compatibility. Jessica probably cares for you very much as well, and she enjoys having you around.

You need what every man needs, really. A fake community service volunteer position that accounts for the time you don’t want to be spending with the one you love. Have you thought about “giving your time” at the local VFW? Veterans of foreign wars enjoy spending quality time talking about the problems of young guys with girlfriends who want to have too much intercourse with them. Their sympathy (which was never actually exist, since this will all be made up) is legion.

A lie is only necessary when the truth won’t serve, however. I’m sure you can think of an excuse that is both partly accurate and gives you a little space from Jessica. Hobbies that women find acceptable include League of Legends, “I’m tired” and making your own moonshine. Just kidding, but she may give you some space if you are teaching piano or mixing some hot tracks for your burgeoning DJ career. So, music. I hope you have talent in this area; if not it looks like Jessica will be everpresent for the duration.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

“Traveling Song” – Ryn Weaver (mp3)

“Here is Home” – Ryn Weaver (mp3)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s