DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend likes to nip and bite. He calls them "love bites." I don't understand this behaviour. Sometimes he growls a little, too, and he doesn't seem to be joking. A bit odd, eh? It turns him on far more than it turns me on. Lately he's been bruising me with his love bites and my parents noticed one on my neck. They weren't impressed, especially my father. I don't live with the parental units, so I stayed at my apartment and didn't go back until I had nothing visible. I have asked him to stop, but he doesn't. This is his only fault, except he doesn't talk about "private things" much. What should I do? -- In Love With a Love Biter, Brandon
Dear Love: These are "ownership bites" not "love bites" which can happen accidentally once in a while. But this guy consciously puts repulsive bruising on you, especially where it's visible, so other guys will stay away. If he makes the bruises where clothes will cover them, it's just as bad. Then he knows you won't feel able to cheat. As for his disrespecting your requests for him to stop, he's showing you who's boss. That should be just as unattractive and worrisome as the bites themselves -- and you should be repulsed by him. Do you two not talk openly about sex? These are the kinds of things that people who are intimate should be able to talk about immediately and in detail. If you're sharing your bodies you should be sharing your thoughts and motivations and feelings. Let this be the key catalyst to opening doors to find out what this man is really about. He seems to be controlling and perhaps abusive. You need respect, and it's lacking from him. You also need boundaries and he's stepping all over those. This guy is far from perfect and these alarming red flags.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I feel like quitting! I work at a restaurant and it's really hard to be treated the way some high-handed younger customers (18-22) treat me. They're barely old enough to drink and order martinis and can't hold their liquor, either. Many of them "pre-drink" before they come, so one expensive cocktail sends them over the top. Today, I had one girl barf up her second martini all over the table and then her friend shouted for me, and ordered me around like the maid, when I was cleaning it up. Where do people like her learn these atrocious manners and what gives them the "right" to behave this way towards me? Then they throw the tip down on the table, and it's very poor. Yet, they seem to get a kick out of making my life miserable! They complain loudly, send things back that are perfectly fine, and ask for ridiculous substitutes on the menu like they're movie stars. What can I do to control their bad behaviour? I need this job! -- Disgusted By Divas
Dear Disgusted: I once saw a man rudely yell, "Hey!" to get a waiter's notice and the server came over and said with dignity and considerable force, "Hey? My name is NOT Hey." Then he said, like a teacher: "Are you ready to order now?" Hopefully, the man learned his lesson... I was a server and cocktail waitress at several restaurants in my 20s and I didn't take bad behaviour. You can speak to the manager and let him/her know you have a rough table who appear to have been drinking before their arrival, and are continuing on to get roaring drunk. Ask the manager to hover and judge if they need to be cut off as over-serving liquor is against the law. Also, you can say firmly to a boisterous high-handed group: "Please remember you are guests in OUR restaurant tonight." I encourage anyone in the industry to write and share their tips on reigning in the behaviour of bad customers.
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