In Which We Cannot Begin To Understand Fully

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 justhardtosay@gmail.com or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.

Hi,

My friend Michael recently moved to New York. Naturally we have met up a few times, and I recently introduced him to my girlfriend Lenai. Michael is very good at making a first impression, and he surely did so on Lenai. She thinks he is great and wants to hang out with him often. Unfortunately I know that Michael was not quite as fond of my partner as I was, and he has made it clear that he would prefer we just interact on a one-on-one basis for the most part.

This makes thing awkward, since in other to see Michael I would have to explain to Lenai why she is not really wanted. And I have no answer to the question Lenai poses about why we are not seeing him more. I feel strongly that the truth js not really an option here, but I could also see any deception backfiring and I don’t want to ruin what I have with Lenai. Please help.

Edwin K.

Edwin,

You need to find a naturally combative situation that will pit Michael against Lenai in a circumstance that will lead Lenai to not want to interact with Michael again of her own volition. You presumably know her values better than I do, but issues of conflict are often the plausibility of anal, the sexism of Bernie Sanders, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (I once was dumped by a woman for telling her that Ariel Sharon was a gr8 man.)

If Michael intrinsically dislikes Lenai, conflict will emerge sooner or later. Get him very drunk or high on whippets. Some people are just assholes on whippets.

The real backfire you should be worried about is that Michael changes his mind, since you do not seem to be working all that hard to get these two to enjoy each other’s company. Pushing people further apart sometimes brings them closer together

Hi,

How much time is normal to spend on the phone with your significant other? I ask because I have been dating a girl I will call Angela for about eight months. Things are going well. In the early days of the relationship, I would call her a lot and we would sometimes have “erotic discussions” over the phone. (She was away for the semester in Brazil.)

Now we see each other a lot and there doesn’t seem to be as much of a need for long conversations on the phone since the “getting to know you, getting to know all about you” period is over. Despite this, Angela expects a phone conversation of over an hour most days. I’d rather use this time on other things so that I don’t have to be doing other things when I’m spending actual, in person time with her. Am I wrong to feel this way?

Allen C.

Dear Allen,

Most people have their phones all the time now. The answering machine was a magnificent invention rendered obsolete by the shortsightedness of the human race. What you need is an ironclad reason why you would not be using your phone at a given time that enables you to ignore a certain percentage of Angela’s calls. Physical pain from holding the phone should waylay Angela for a bit while we find what she really needs: another phone partner.

In fact, maybe you should find her a new boyfriend, since you seem unwilling to do what’s required of you.

But seriously, if you just pretend that you have tinnitus, lie about a trip to the doctor you took, explain that he recommended short phone calls for the safety of your ears and long hand jobs for the safety of your penis region, this problem should fall by the side rather quickly.

Hey,

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 what 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,

I despise puns.

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.

 

 

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