In Which We Rent Him Out For Weddings And Parties

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 boyfriend Dan has a friendship with a woman in his workplace. She is very nice and I honestly don’t believe she is after him. The problem is that she asks him to accompany her to workplace events and seminars on a frequent basis. It’s one thing if it is strictly professional improvement, but many of these engagements are dinners and celebrations and it seems like Dan is purely her escort.

Dan doesn’t really see the problem since I don’t have the time or inclination to go to even those obligations to which I am invited. Should he respect my wishes, or am I out of line?

Catherine P.

Dear Catherine,

It sounds like this woman is doing all the work for none of the financial or physical remuneration. Have you considered getting her a gift basket or one special night with the one you love?

But actually, no, if this pisses you off it is important to mark your territory. Freak out about this and groan obsequiously every single time this woman is even mentioned. Your boyfriend should realize that there are not ever any other people in the world. There is just the two of you. Anything else is a threat or a corpse.

If he actually leaves you for this woman, I am very sorry.

My boyfriend Aaron and I have been seeing each other for six months after meeting on Tinder. He is something of a nervous guy at times, never more so than when we are being intimate. He is extremely well-endowed so has nothing to worry about on that front. Still, he gets a little anxious and as we start, begins narrating every aspect of ahat is happening. The amount of apologies on offer is amazing, but quickly gets old. If my head is accidentally bumped he will stop completely and ask me if I am OK. Once, completely unprompted, he left to get me ice.

I have tried to talk to Aaron about this, but even after I explained, he looks verbally constipated during sex and I can tell he’s not himself. Is it possible to get him over this hump?

Lucianne R.

Dear Lucianne,

Some men are brought up to think women are very delicate. At the same time, they ignore pretty clear evidence that Angelina Jolie keeps the souls of the men she couples with. Do you think she was like, “Hey Brad, I’m heading for your anus” on that fateful first date? Some things are better when you don’t know about them beforehand, like Ellie Goulding and the Batmobile.

I suggest physical intervention in this case. Aaron won’t shut up, but he probably wants to, so put your finger on his lips and shush him as you take over. Failing that, cover his mouth and nostrils tightly. When he begs for his life, remind him, “I thought I told you to close your trap.”

If you are keen on a more psychological approach, tell him a story about a friend named Marcia Hamsbottom who had an ex-husband who would not stop quoting The Big Lebowski, no matter how many times she told him she hated it. If he says that the name Hamsbottom sounds made-up, wonder aloud how he has not heard of RCA recording artist Duracell Hamsbottom. I think he was in Outkast?

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

“Love Is Strong” – Shelby Lynne (mp3)

“Down Here” – Shelby Lynne (mp3)


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