Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was visiting my boyfriend's house and he invited me to stay overnight. When it was a bit chilly, he popped out a pink lady's robe for me to wear, not new, smelling of perfume. I said, "Whose is this?" and he muttered, "old girlfriend." I took it off and threw it on the bed. I certainly wouldn't be wearing the clothing of another woman who had slept with him.
Then I felt kind of revolted and didn't feel like sleeping with him. I got dressed in a hurry, got in the car and drove home. It was a long, cold ride and I was feeling off-kilter all the way home, and thinking about dumping him. When I got in, there was a message from him on my land line saying, "I don't want to see you again. I've had enough of drama queens."
I emailed him back: "Maybe if you don't hand everybody the drama-queen robe to be re-used you wouldn't have this problem!" I just consulted my best friend and he said this was a hot guy (he's good-looking and plays football) and I overreacted to the robe. Do you think I did? -- Doubting Myself, Osborne Village
Dear Doubting: You reacted emotionally to an ex's robe, like any other woman would. This guy will go through a lot of girlfriends if he doesn't learn from your response. Nine guys out of 10 would have known that was a dumb move. He should have dropped that perfumed garment in a bag and returned it to his ex long ago, or chucked it, if she didn't want it back. At least he could have washed it before he offered it to another woman! It's enough to make you wonder if he still likes the smell of his ex in his closet. What he could have done is offer you his robe -- a gallant move and much smarter, as it could be a turn-on to you, if you like his smell.
It's amusing he beat you to the punch on the breakup. He suspected you were going to ditch him and he found a way to save face. This guy has some notion of strategy, but it'll get him further on a football field than in the bedroom. Ignore your buddy's advice.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My new live-in girlfriend is a lousy cook, but acts like she owns the kitchen and makes the same thing every night: it's always pork chops, corn and apple sauce. When I have tried to cook, so there's some variety, she says, "What's the matter, don't you like my cooking?"
Frankly, I am sick of it! She could start cooking for a prison and they'd be begging for the old cook back. She probably eats the same 10 foods every week and nothing else. What is the matter? Does she have a numb palate? Last night I told her she was finished as the cook and I was taking over. She said, "Fine, I'll go out to eat!" And she did. Now what? I'm 28 and have never lived with a woman before. I love her, but I'm a... Much Better Cook, River Heights
Dear Cook: Living together with a new person requires a lot of adjustments. Your girlfriend somehow got the idea the woman in a relationship was expected to do all the cooking, even though she clearly doesn't groove on it. Have a big talk, apologize for saying you would "take over" and tell her you'd like to learn to cook, even if that's only half true.
Then work out a deal where you cook every second night. When it's your turn, make double what you need to end up with tasty leftovers to add to the pork chops you know she'll be cooking the next night. Buy a wider variety of foods, but not much of each, so you're getting good nutrition and have different ingredients for your half of the food prep that week. Also, watch to see what she orders at restaurants and learn to cook those things for her at home.
You can work this living-together problem out, as it's not a personality mismatch, but stop being so high-handed with your phrases like, "I'm taking over." You may be Prince Charming, but you're not the king.
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