Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, rejoice, it’s time for the anonymous mailbag.

You can win $10k of my money this weekend by playing Outkick’s free college football pick’em. So go play and I hope you all lose.

As always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Here we go:

“My wife is an amazing cook, everything she cooks I could see being served in a fancy restaurant. Here is the catch, whenever she gets done cooking it looks like a grenade went off in our kitchen, total thunder dome. Of course she expects me to clean her giant mess. The kicker is, as good as her food is I would rather eat a bowl of ramen or cereal than have her cook and deal with the mess. It is also worth noting she claims to love cooking.

O wise one, how do approach my wife and tell her to cook for me without making such a mess? Is it even possible?”

You can’t win here.

A big part of cooking is that you’re supposed to be grateful for the work of the cook.

Some cooks require that you genuflect at their cooking altar more than others, but you must be grateful. It’s why, honestly, I like eating out at restaurants more than I like feeling responsible for the time someone spends to cook.

If cooking is something you enjoy doing, why should I have to thank you all the time for doing it?

I mean, there are tons of things I like to do that no one ever compliments me for.

For instance, right now I’m watching “Succession.”

I enjoy that, but I don’t expect anyone to compliment me for doing so. “Oh, you like watching that TV show? Good for you!”

Cooking is one of those rare hobbies that someone can have that they enjoy doing and you’re also obligated to compliment them for doing it too.

I can’t even hardly think of any others, maybe gardening?

Anyway, I don’t think you can win in this situation. The moment you complain about the mess she’s going to say, “I just spent (insert number of hours here) preparing this meal and you’re going to complain about the mess?!”

Then you look like an asshole. Because all you have to do is sit down at the table and eat. (And clean too, but that’s where the battle comes.)

So while I’d like to give you a good out here, the only out I can think of is don’t let the cooking happen in the first place.

My wife doesn’t cook very often, but when she does she takes it as an insult if I don’t eat the leftovers in the days ahead until there are none left.

Worse than that, she treats me like I’m wasting money if I don’t eat the leftovers or pick something else to eat.

“Why are you eating that? We have leftovers, you know.”

What does every husband say in response to this? “I know, I just felt like something different.”

And then your wife’s all passive aggressive about the goddamn leftovers.

And you really just want to say.

“YEAH, I KNOW. BUT I DON’T WANT TO EAT THE SAME GODDAMN THING FOR THE NEXT WEEK FOR LUNCH AND DINNER.”

Because you know the immediate response will be.

“I don’t even know why I try and cook for you guys!”

Rinse.

Repeat.

This is like a solid decade of my life.

So I eat the goddamn leftovers even when I have no interest in eating the goddamn leftovers.

The worst is when my wife tries to make it seem like I’m wasting money. We spend money in my household like drunken sailors. I can’t even keep up with the credit card bill and Amazon packages arriving at our house on a daily basis.

What are leftovers worth from a dollars and cents perspective? Five bucks? Ten bucks at most?

I’m of the opinion that I should be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want to eat it, but my wife treats the leftovers like they’re stacks of gold bullion she’s throwing out if we haven’t consumed them.

Anyway, maybe this is just my house but all of these things I just laid out are why I prefer just eating dinner outside the house.

It’s more expensive, but simpler.

“I am a junior in college and have been dating the same girl for pretty much the entirety of my college life. We’ve had ups and downs but nothing major that would cause a break up. However, there is a girl I graduated high school with I’ve always been good friends with. We have always clicked and there is an obvious amount of chemistry between us. Recently we’ve gotten back in touch and even hooked up once. We talked about how the timing has never been right and how we’d  both be in favor of being more than friends if the timing is ever right. I feel that there is a higher potential in that relationship than the one I’m in now. My question is do I stick with the girl I’ve been with through college, or do I take a risk, become single, and see what happens with the girl from high school?”

I don’t know if it will work out with the new girl, but you’re already cheating on your current girlfriend.

That’s a pretty good sign your current girlfriend’s not the right one and deserves better.

Move on.

Also, related note, you’re a junior in college. You’re 21. Stop looking to get married right now and just have fun.

I’m not sure why you need to seriously be dating anyone at your age.

(That goes for all you college and high school kids out there reading this right now. What’s the rush? Take it from an old man like me, you have plenty of time to pick someone and get married. In fact, if you’re a guy and have a decent job, the longer you wait, the more desirable you become.)

“I play on a 7v7 coed indoor soccer team. I’ve played with the same group for years and we play year round. All of us played at least high school, and the ladies on our team can hang with the guys – well, all except 1. 

We have one female player who is terrible.

It’s all for fun and none of this really matters, but it’s sort of becoming an issue for me.  This gal is the younger sister of another player and just joined the team last season. She is loud and obnoxious. She either is nonexistent or she makes major mistakes.

Again, all for fun but we are in a more competitive division.  Worst of all, she’s started to call me out on stuff.

I’m certainly not the best player but I am definitely not the worst. She does the same to another guy. It’s like she’s picked the 2 of us to lecture and give tips. The weirdest part – the rest of the team loves her, in sort of a Rudy way.  I’d be ok with the fact that she’s terrible if she didn’t gripe to me during play and on the sidelines about how I should have done this or that.  I’m usually pretty good at brushing this kind of thing off, but it’s gotten out of hand. Last game a player on another team noticed it and made the comment I should come play for them next season. What’s the play here?  DBAP and ignore?  Join another team?”

Am I the only person who read this email and thought the two of you like each other in an elementary school kind of way? I think there’s sexual tension here and you might need to just have sex.

It’s possible she’s even flirting with you and it’s just coming across awkwardly because she’s bad at flirting and you’re bad at recognizing flirting.

Regardless, here’s the deal you can either play coed sports or not, but if you play coed sports, trust me, it’s never that serious.

If you wanted to play serious sports you would be playing with just guys. The girls make it more fun, I get it, but the minute you sign up for coed sports you have to accept that while you all might want to win, you’re not playing incredibly competitive ball.

I played coed adult kickball for years and loved it.

It was competitive, but not as competitive as an all guy sport would have been.

That didn’t mean we didn’t want to win or try hard, it just meant things were different.

Trust me, you never want to be the guy on the team who takes coed sports way too seriously. Everyone hates that guy. And that guy hates himself too. And honestly, speaking as a friend, it sounds like you might be that guy.

You need to #dbap and also maybe make out, at least, with this girl.

“I’m a 23 year old recent college grad working as a golf pro. It’s a crappy, low-paying job with bad hours. I don’t mind working hard or a lot, but it’s just too boring for me. I recently accepted a job as a financial advisor (which I see as a good career) and start that in January. 
My question to you is: when should I quit my current job? My boss has no clue I’m planning on leaving and I feel a little guilty leaving them with no help. I’m torn between a couple options that are available to me. 1) I can work up to when I start my new job. This option allows me to have an uninterrupted income stream. Downside is I am bored out of my mind at work and don’t know how much longer I can do it. 2) I can work up to Thanksgiving or so, then quit and enjoy the holidays with my family. This option is appealing because I don’t get the time off work for holidays now. I also can afford to not work for a month no problem.” 
Take the month off over the holidays.
You hate your job and you can afford to take the time off right now.
As you get older — hopefully — what you’ll find is that your time off is more valuable than the additional money you can make from working. That is, it’s harder to get time off than it is to make money.
For instance, right now I’d way rather have an entire month off of work than make the salary I make from a month of work.
Back when I was younger I didn’t have much money, but I had plenty of time. Now I have plenty of money and no time.
At some point I’d like to hit the Goldilocks zone and have plenty of money and plenty of time off too.
I’d consider taking a fun trip during this time off as well.
Good luck.
“I’ve been living the single life and loved it. Against your advice, I’m mid 20’s and wanting to get married and start a family in a few years.
I’ve been seeing this girl for a while now and for the first time in my life I’ve been asking myself questions about her being the one.
At the time I really fell for this girl, I had only slept with her 3-4 times and 2 of those we were both a little drunk. Last month on her birthday I took her to a nice dinner. Afterwards, we started fooling around and I went down on her which she had talked about earlier that night. I began eating her out but couldn’t continue because the smell was so bad.
It was extremely awkward but we worked through it and was able to hang out the rest of the night. I did struggle because the smell was stuck in my beard, despite trying to wash it out in the bathroom. Honestly I thought it was a sickness, infection, etc.
So last week I thought I’d give it another try. Again, I lasted only a few seconds. This time she tried telling me it’s not that bad and told me she really wanted it. So I tried again and it was all I could do to keep from gagging. She insisted that I keep trying and said that I would get used to it. Well I couldn’t.
Again it was awkward but we’ve been able to sweep it under the rug for the time being. She said something about having a condition that she doesn’t like to talk about. I don’t really smell it during sex. She’s a very clean and attractive girl. You would never guess her “condition” by just looking at her. The hardest part about all of this is she checks every other box for me. I truly could see myself with this girl for the rest of my life but I don’t know if I can get past that. Especially if she expects me to toughen up and just do it. What should I do here?”
This sounds like every girl’s worst nightmare: “I met the man of my dreams and he was going to propose to me and we were going to live happily ever after, but my vagina smelled so bad he dumped me instead.”
I mean, honestly, I’m not a girl, but I bet this is every teenage girl’s worst nightmare.
This is also a real dilemma for you because I don’t see any way to avoid this conversation being incredibly awkward. Essentially you have to work a conversation to the point where, “Okay, so let’s talk about your smelly vagina and whether it’s going to kill me when I go down on you,” is a viable jumping off point.
The only positive is it sounds like she’s acknowledged being aware of the issue. That means you aren’t the first to nearly die going down on her. So she’s acknowledged she has a condition. Well, what is it? Is it contagious? Are there ways to ameliorate the condition?
It sounds ridiculous but this seems like a real conversation you need to have with her.
Because you can’t spend the rest of your relationship with her dreading sex or dreading her telling you to suck it up and shoving your head into her nether regions while you quietly gag and gently weep as you go to town on her.
Good luck resolving the issue.
Having said that, if it doesn’t work out the next girl you date is going to absolutely love your story about how you were going to get married, but the girl you were dating had too stinky of a vagina.

“I’ve been married for 10 years, and we have three young children.

Two years ago, my wife’s father passed away suddenly. It was obviously very sad for our family, as my wife was very close to him and my kids loved him. The problem is, I feel like my mother-in-law uses it as a crutch to get her way with everything.

She manipulates my wife into doing everything for her, she tries to use his death to defend her behavior when she blows up on my wife,  and when she watches the kids, they come back very whiny and they are now using, “missing grandpa” as an excuse every time they get in trouble for something,  mainly because I think they’re smart and they see their grandmother doing it.

I don’t want to come across as heartless. We also lost my dad during out marriage but I feel like I’ve had to suck it up and continue to live/support our family because that’s what he would want me to do, but it’s really getting to the point where I feel like I need me or my wife to say something. Any thoughts?”

Your question boiled down to its essence is this: how do I tell my mother-in-law to quit whining about her husband dying?

You may not want to be heartless, but it’s hard to say this without seeming pretty heartless.

It has only been two years.
Have you thought about the fact that maybe it’s not an excuse and she is still emotionally distraught over her husband of many years suddenly dying? Do you ever have a shorter temper after you don’t sleep very much? Might you occasionally apologize for the way you reacted to something based on the fact that you were just really tired? I know I do that.
Is it unreasonable to assume you might be in a bad mood for a long time over the unexpected loss of your life companion? And that that loss and grief might manifest itself in you acting all sorts of ways you wouldn’t have ordinarily acted.
That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.
Especially when your mother-in-law may well lack other things in her life to provide much needed distractions for her.
For instance, I’m sure your wife is crushed over the loss of her dad, but she has you and three kids to worry about taking care of. Even if she’s grieving and mourning her loss she has other obligations that distract her from obsessing over her loss. That doesn’t mean she isn’t grieving, it just sometimes works out that being busy can help lessen emotional issues. It sounds like that’s what you’ve done to cope with your own loss, gotten on with your life. But, and this is key, you have a life to get on to.
It doesn’t sound like your mother-in-law has those distractions or obligations in her own life.
Furthermore, when your children visit she may well spend a substantial part of their visit reminding them about their grandpa because she fears them forgetting him, as children often do, because he isn’t around them on a regular basis. She may even discuss feeling sad over his absence and then your children may project those feelings of loss, not really understanding them very well, when they return from visiting with her.
None of this sounds abnormal to me.
My suggestion is you try to involve her more in your family, not less. Try and keep her busy to help her feel useful so she’s more interested in the future to come than the past she’s left behind.
Regardless, I don’t think there’s any conversation you or your wife can have with her that’s suddenly going to cause her to snap out of her grief and behave like the woman she was before he died.
It may be tough, but you need to just give her time to process her loss.
Good luck.
Send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.
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