Thursday, January 29, 2015

Beautiful Friend Needs To Develop Her Talents

Dear Tazi:

I have a friend who is outstandingly beautiful. This woman could be a Miss America if she competed in pageants, that's how pretty she is. However, her looks are all she has going for her. She has zero brains and little talent. She works as a receptionist for an office in a busy downtown area, and that is about all she can handle intellectually.

My problem with "Jasmine" is that she is skating through life on her looks. Doors open for her - literally and figuratively - on her good looks. She dates rich guys who buy her whatever she wants, regardless of the cost; she never has to pay for drinks when she goes out somewhere because there is always a line of guys looking to buy her one; and she always gets a good deal on stuff she has to buy herself because her looks make an amazing bargaining chip! I had to pay near sticker for my car while Jasmine got hers for near cost (the salesperson told her she would be "good advertising" for the dealership if she was seen driving one of their cars).

The worst part of all of this is that Jasmine has a heart of gold. After a recent upset regarding her looks, she told me not to hate on her because she is beautiful; that once her looks go people won't give her a second glance while I will be just fine because I am smart and charming. I don't think she meant to give me a backhanded compliment, but that is how it sounded to me. Is there anything I can do to get over my jealousy of Jasmine - short of dreaming that she has a disfiguring car accident by crashing her brand new convertible?

The Plain One

Dear The Plain One:

Wow, you really put a lot of emphasis on looks, don't you? While it is obvious that Jasmine is using her looks to get ahead in life, it is as she points out - looks are all she has; once they go, what will she have left?

Although I cannot say that it is fair, it is a reflection of nature that the more attractive beings get the most attention. Even among animals, those who are found to be the sexiest (like me!) get the most attention from the opposite sex, while those who are the cutest and cuddliest (also like me!) get the most attention period. Lucky for me, I wake up looking this fabulous. Humans have to work at it.

I tend to force Mommie to take the extra 15 minutes for cuddles!

I am certain that Jasmine does not roll out of bed looking picture perfect. I am also sure that she invests a great deal of money, as well as time, into looking as amazing as you claim. I doubt she goes to Supercuts for a trim and a highlight, or to the little Korean place on the corner (the one that looks like a bomb hit it) for her manicures. Do you think she uses Suave or Paul Mitchell hair products? Or maybe a Flowbee? How much do you think her makeup costs? Looking beautiful is like cooking or baking: if you start with top of the line ingredients you are going to make something amazing, even if you aren't a very good cook. Have you ever seen a picture of Pam Anderson without her makeup?

Yup. This is her sans warpaint!
Now you have, and are probably wishing you hadn't since it spoils the fantasy she likes to create. The next time you get to hating on Jasmine for her looks, try to imagine her as she wakes up in the morning - bad hair, bad skin, and bad breath. Feeling a little better?

Since she is a friend of yours, rather than hate on Jasmine for her looks, why not encourage her to develop new talents? A receptionist is a position that requires a remarkable speaking voice. Might Jasmine look into using her voice professionally, as a voice-over artist? Encouragement from someone that she sees as "smart and charming" may be what Jasmine needs to depend less upon her looks and more upon her professional talents to become more than just a pretty face. This, in turn, will show you that you are more than just "The Plain One" when reflected against Jasmine's beauty. In fact, you may see what Jasmine sees - a smart and charming career woman who she admires.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Unlocked Bike Borrowed Without Permission Is Stolen; Who Is Responsible?

Dear Tazi:

My brother had a brand new bike that he bought with his own money. It cost a lot of money, and he was planning on using it to bike ride across the country this summer. He keeps it in an unlocked shed in our backyard, even though our parents keep telling him he needs to lock up the shed or the bike so it doesn't get stolen. He did neither.

I decided to teach him a lesson by borrowing the bike to go to the store. Since there was no lock on it and I was only going to go inside for a minute or two, the bike was unchained but in full view of the store windows. I must have looked away at the wrong moment because when I came back outside five minutes later my brother's bike was gone! Someone had stolen it!

I walked home from the store with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and when I got home I discovered that my brother had found his bike missing and called the cops to report it stolen. Now, technically the bike was stolen, just not from the shed in our backyard. Our parents have told my brother to "chalk the loss up to experience" and to learn to lock up his valuables. My brother's summer plans are toast, since he would have to spend the money he has saved for his trip on a new bike and then would have no money for the trip anyway.

I want to offer my brother some money towards a new bike, but even if I did it wouldn't be enough to cover both the cost of a new bike and the trip he wants to take so I haven't yet. If I tell my family that I took the bike from the shed and that it was stolen from the store I would be on the hook for the entire amount of a new bike, which I don't have, plus my brother would kill me and my parents would ground me for life. All I wanted to do was teach my brother a lesson, not ruin his whole summer. How can I make things right?

No Wheels

Dear No Wheels:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! I can understand your motivation, but it was not your place to teach your brother a lesson; in doing so, you have both learned one. Your guilty conscience is not going to disappear all on its own; you will have to come clean about your part in the bike theft for several reasons, starting with the fact that it is the ethical thing to do and ending with the possibility that the store from where the bike was stolen has security cameras that recorded the bike being stolen. By keeping quiet you are are leading the police down the wrong path.

You do not say if your brother's bike was insured under your parent's homeowner's insurance policy, but it would be worth finding out if the loss is covered. Again, in order to make this inquiry you have to admit your part in the wrongdoing. There is no easy way out of what you have done, so suck it up, buttercup, and go directly to your parents with the truth. You will have to pay for a replacement bike for your brother. Summer is still several months away, and there is a lot of snow shoveling and/or yard-work that can be completed between now and then, as well as other odd jobs where you could earn the money to compensate your brother for his loss. You may have to ask your parents to loan you the money until you have earned enough to pay for the bike if you cannot earn enough on your own by summer.

As for your brother, he is not going to kill you; a murder charge would surely ruin his summer plans worse than a stolen bike ever could. He will be very angry with you, and that is his right; however, I believe he has learned the importance of locking his bike at all times. It appears that he has also learned that he cannot trust you. This will be a lesson that is hard to unlearn; you have a lot of making up to do for him. I suggest that you start now by coming clean!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Parents Love For Adopted Child Not More Or Less Than For Biological Child

Dear Tazi:

I am the proud mother a beautiful six-year-old girl who I adopted as a baby. Her father (my husband) and I love her more than words could possibly express; I may not have borne her inside of me, but "Lucy" is my child, and I will have words with anyone who tries to convince me otherwise. My husband feels the same, and actually has told off well-meaning people who oafishly suggested that he would feel differently if she was "really his".

I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome and always thought I was infertile, so I was quite shocked to discover that I was pregnant when I went tot he doctor a few months ago because I was experiencing flu-like symptoms! My husband and I are very happy that we are going to be parents again, and have been preparing Lucy to become a big sister. Up until recently, she has been very excited about the baby, but I am afraid someone might have said something to her about the fact that she is adopted (which she already knows).

Finally, after three weeks of making comments about how we will love the baby more than we love her, I sat my daughter down to talk with her and explain that we will not love the baby more than her, that love is not like a box of cookies that will run out if shared among too many people. Lucy got very upset and said that I was lying, that we would love the baby more than her because she is adopted and the baby is not. She said you can't love someone else's child as much as you love your own, and that she came from "a different Mommy's belly".

Tazi, my head stated to spin as my little girl confided in me! Obviously, she overheard such vile words from an adult - no child would think to say something like that! Holding back tears, a hugged my daughter until she squirmed and told her that my words were not lies, that Mommy would never lie to her and that she should not listen to those mean words because they were not true.

I do not know who my daughter is protecting, but she will not tell me who said such cruel things to her. She says she doesn't remember who said it, but I have a few ideas; some of my relatives do not believe in the beauty of adoption. If I find out who spoke this way to my daughter or in her presence I will handle it. Right now, I am wondering how to handle my daughter's crushed spirit? I am not certain her father and I have been able to convince her completely that we love her more than life itself, and always will.

Mom and Mom-To-Be

Dear Mom and Mom-To-Be:

First, let me congratulate you on your newly expected family member!

It's not you; the bear really is moving!

A new baby can be a cause for angst among young children regardless of their birth status. Whatever clod decided to fan those flames deserves a Paw Slap Of Disgust. Feel free to print one out to carry with you to serve once you find out who it is.

You say that your little girl knows that she is adopted, and that she came from "a different Mommy's belly". I suggest you tell Lucy that she may have come from a different Mommy's belly, but that she is yours now, and  that nothing will ever change that - not even a new baby.

I like your analogy about love not being like a box of cookies that will not out if shared with too many people. This is something that a child can understand - to an extent. While a child understands how cookies work, love is a little more complicated than that. I suggest you try explaining the many types of love, and how you can love someone the same amount but in a way that is unique to that person.

When you get the chance, sit Lucy down and tell her that you love her in her own special way - not more than the new baby, not less than the new baby; just differently. In terms a child can understand, the love you feel for someone is like a snowflake - different from any other, which is why it is so special. Explain to Lucy some of the qualities that make her a unique person and therefore your love for her unique. Make her feel special by telling her that you could not possibly love someone else exactly the same way as you love her – that she is far too special – but that you most certainly could - and do and always will - love her the same amount, which is more than words can say and why you show her you love her with the things you do to make sure she is happy and healthy and safe and loved. Do not allow others to jump in and suggest that you and her father could have chosen a different child to adopt but you chose her - adopting a child is not like adopting a pet from the shelter, so make certain that Lucy understands that.

Once the new baby is born, try to include Lucy as much as possible in the ever-adjusting schedules and events that will be occurring around the house. Once she realizes that the new baby has not replaced her and that she is still very much an important and valued member of your family, her tensions about being loved less should ease. If they do not, talk to her pediatrician about a few possible solutions.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.