Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Son's Letter To His Workaholic Father

Dear Tazi:

Could you please print my letter on a Saturday? It is the only day of the week that my Dad is home from work, when he is home  from work. He travels from Monday through Friday and then spends Sunday preparing to leave for his next trip, sometimes taking a plane Sunday afternoon to avoid the Monday morning travel rush. I want him to have the time to see my letter and to read it. Thanks.

An Open Letter To My Dad Who Sometimes Forgets He Has A Kid

Hi, Dad, it's me, your son! You remember me, don't you? I'll forgive you if you don't; Mom tells me that you weren't there in the delivery room when I was being born because you were away on business. I was two days old already by the time you met me! You weren't around much when I was a toddler, either, or so Mom says and I am inclined to believe her considering how you are almost never around now. I asked Mom how come the two of you never divorced, and she told me that she never sees you now anyway and that divorce wouldn't change that. I think she still loves you, Dad, and wants to spend time with you and not someone else. I think that is why she stays with you, because she hopes that someday you will come home for more than a day or two at a time.

I am fifteen now, Dad. Did you know that? I'm asking because you missed my last birthday; you were travelling for work. Mom gave me a great present and said that it was from the both of you, but I am pretty sure you knew nothing about it. Do you know what the gift was? I'll give you $100 if you can tell me! I know you don't need the $100; that must be pennies to you, considering how much money you must make with all of the hours you work and the house where Mom and I live and the summer home and the vacations...sure wish you could join us some time, Dad. It would be great to have you there! I know you came with us when we went to Bermuda last month, but you stayed in the hotel the whole time, talking to people on the phone and working on your computer. Mom and I had a vacation, you had work. Is that why I don't have any brothers or sisters? Because you are always too busy with work?

I have so many questions to ask you, Dad! Stuff I can't ask Mom. You know, guy stuff. Stuff that would make Mom blush and put a parental lock on my Internet access. I also want to know regular stuff, like what you do when you are away on your business trips. Last year, I counted the number of days you were on the road. Did you know that you were traveling for 322 days last year? That meant you were only home for 44 days. Don't worry, Dad, I got the math right. I added an extra day because last year was a leap year. Even with that extra day, you weren't home on it.

I am growing up fast, says Grandma! She always says stuff like that, tells me that I am going to be a man before I know it. She says I remind her a lot of you when you were my age. Were you like me when you were my age? I suppose you can't really answer that, because you really don't know what I am like. I'd like to change all that, Dad. I want to be able to spend time with you, doing stuff that fathers and sons are supposed to do together. Maybe we can go paintballing the next time you are home? Did you play paintball when you were my age? Did they have paintball when you were my age? 

I was at Grandma's this week, and she had the radio on that lame "easy listening" station that she always listens to, and a song came on that reminded me of us. It scared me, Dad. The man was singing about a Dad who was always too busy for his son and when the son grew up he was too busy for his son. I love you Dad, but I don't want to grow up to be you. I don't want to be the Dad who is too busy making money to give his family everything that he gives them everything but his time. I want to spend time with you, Dad, like my friends spend time with their Dads. Skyping does not count as spending time together. Baseball season is coming up; maybe you can come see me play this year. My coach says I am good enough to make All-State if I keep in practice! I want you to see me so I can make you proud, the way you make me proud. 

Yeah, Dad, in spite of everything I just wrote, I am proud to call you my Dad, because I know you travel so much because you love Mom and me, not because you are trying to get away from us, even though it can feel that way sometimes. If you are reading this, that means it is Saturday and you are probably home. Wanna go play catch? I have an extra mitt.

Your Son

Dear Writer,

Here is your letter, in its unedited entirety, posted on a Saturday as you requested. I chose this particular Saturday because it is both the Easter and Passover weekend, so I thought there would be a good chance of your father being home with you and your Mom. I hope for both your sake that he sees it.


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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Religious Differences Putting The Kibosh On Marriage

Dear Tazi:

My husband is Jewish and I am not. I am not of any religious affiliation, and he knew this when we got married. I respect his religion and the dietary restrictions it places on him, but do not participate in any way, shape, or form. This is becoming a bone of contention in our marriage.

"Hershel" has been delving deeper into the study and practice of Judaism and has been pressuring me to join him in his studies. I have no interest in doing this, but he refuses to back down, saying that a wife should be obedient to her husband. I am assuming that he got this idea from his religious readings, because nowhere in our marriage vows was obedience promised!

With Passover coming up, Hershel has been pressuring me to follow the dietary guidelines of the observance, including the "eschewing of leavening agents" in my bread. Tazi, this is ridiculous! I am not even sure why Jews can't eat yeast, but I don't think it has anything to do with any modern need to avoid it!

I have just about had it with Hershel's obsessive behavior, and am giving serious consideration to my future with him. My friends tell me that I am overreacting, and that I should be more tolerant of my husband's beliefs. Some are even suggesting that I humor Hershel and go along with some of less onerous requests, like the observance of Passover. I need an unbiased opinion.

Not Observant

Dear Not Observant:

I am printing your letter during Passover, while there is still time for you to offer to compromise with your husband.

Your use of the word "ridiculous" to describe his dietary restrictions during this solemn time raises red flags for me. Many religious guidelines have no place in modern life, but recall a time when they were vital to survival. Through early religious history Jews were a wandering people, having been forced out of their own lands and then enslaved by others. Leavening agents take time to work; being on the run from the Egyptians that had enslaved them, the Jewish people did not have time to wait for their dough to rise before making bread. By recalling this time of their history the Jewish people are recalling the struggles that brought their ancestors to freedom. Personally, I find this tradition both beautiful and refreshing.

The fact that Hershel wants you to participate in his religious traditions speaks of how important you are to him, as well as how important his traditions are. Have you looked at it from this point of view? Since Hershel is only providing one side of the story when he states that wives must obey their husbands, I can see your reticence to explore his beliefs any further. You do not state whether or not you are an Atheist, or simply non-religious, so I am not sure how to advise you further. A compromise on this issue would be to explore Hershel's faith from an historical point of view, not a religious one. Religious history can make for a fascinating subject, and can help you understand how and why many traditions developed. Don't throw your marriage away over this one issue. Regardless of how large an issue it is, love and understanding can overcome it.


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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Personal Relation Refuses To Offer Professional Recommendation

Dear Tazi:

I am so angry I could spit! I have been out of work for two years now, and have had to take a lot of temporary positions and cleaning jobs to try and make ends meet. I am not a clerical worker, nor am I a cleaning lady, but sometimes you have to put your pride aside in order to make-do.

I have accepted a temporary clerical job covering a maternity leave for a woman in a large corporation. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that an old friend from childhood works in the same office, and is a high-level manager. We had lunch together my first week on the job, and had a nice time catching up with each other, but when I asked her if she could recommend me for a full-time, permanent position with the company, she refused! She told me that she does not know my professional work well enough to vouch for it!

Tazi, I was so upset I walked right off of the job! This so-called "friend" was always the feminist type, so I thought for sure she would want to help another woman out and get me back on my career track! I told her this, and how I felt like I had been stabbed in the back, but she just retorted that my walking off the job was extremely unprofessional, and if it was any indication of the kind of worker I am she can see why I am still unemployed! She immediately apologized for her cruel remark, telling me it was said in anger and not in truth, but where I come from an apology requires a penance to back up the words. I told her so and that I would like her to recommend me for a job in the company, but again she refused!

Tazi, am I being out of line in my request? Might there be some truth to what my old friend has told me - that I am demanding too much from her? Could I be demanding too much from employers, too?


Dear Slighted:

A professional recommendation is different from a personal one. With a personal recommendation, the reference is vouching for your personal character; with a professional recommendation, the reference is vouching for your ability to do the job. A personal recommendation is backed-up by the quality of the reference's character; a professional recommendation is backed-up by the reference's credentials. When someone gives a recommendation for another - personal or professional - they are putting their own reputation on the line as collateral in the belief that the person they are recommending will succeed, thus shining a positive light on their own judgement.

And sometimes, you don't need others to vouch for you...

Just because your old friend is a feminist does not mean that she has to help you get a job in her company. Although a part of the feminist code is to assist other women in climbing their own personal ladders to success, it does not require a woman to do anything a man would not do - including put her professional reputation on the line for someone she does not know professionally. I find your demand for a self-serving "penance" odious!

I suggest that you apologize to your old friend for your extreme over-reaction to her refusal, and blame it on the stress of long-term unemployment. Then, see if she is willing to review your resume and your professional accomplishments to see where you might fit into the company for which she works. If she says that you would not fit, ask her why - and be prepared to hear the honest answer. Running out in the middle of a work-day because you are upset might be one reason you do not fit the corporate mold.

You do not say what your professional field is; just what it isn't. When looking for professional references, I suggest you look to former co-workers who know your work and keep the old friends as personal references only.


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

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Perfect Life" Leaves Student Wishing For Writer's Angst

Dear Tazi:

I am a junior in college and I want to be a serious writer but my problem is that my life is too perfect. All the great writers of the world have had major issues, from Emily Dickinson (reclusive, possibly Autistic) to Ernest Hemingway (alcoholic, depression, etc.). I had an amazing childhood; my parents are putting me through school so I don't have any students loans to burden me once I graduate; I have an amazing boyfriend who wants to marry me once I am done with school. I seriously have no major angst from which to draw!

I am seriously thinking of moving into a homeless camp this summer in order to live a life of hardship among people who know how harsh the real world is. My friends all say I am crazy, and my parents are dead set against it, saying that it is too dangerous, but I think I need to see how the other half lives if I am ever going to write a truly amazing novel, one that is destined to become a classic!

I have asked my Writing professors for advice on finding a way to dig deeper into my soul for inspiration, but they have all told me that each person's journey is their own; that rather than looking into my soul I should try looking into another person's soul in order to work on my character development. To me, this is basically telling me to go ahead with my summer plans!

My parents know that I am strong-willed, and have offered to send me to Spain for the summer, to study the footsteps of Hemingway. As tempting as this sounds, I still feel like it is taking advantage of privilege, not adversity. Which path do you think I should take?

Future Author

Dear Future Author:

You have been very blessed in life, and I believe that in spite of your complaints about it that you are truly grateful for the opportunities with which life has graced you. While it is true that a lot of great writing has sprung forth from a well of sorrows, not all great writing has been inspired by suffering. Alice in Wonderland, for example, was actually a political satire. Some Historians hold that The Wizard of Oz is a propaganda against the gold standard and in favor of the silver standard (while this is not universally accepted, it does make for some though provoking reading).

To be "mad as a hatter" has historical, as well as literary, meaning

If political theater is not your cup of tea, there is always science fiction - H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are both considered classic writers, with some believing that they were predicting the future of mankind through the guise of fiction. Jules Verne had particular success in this vein - check out 8 Jules Verne Inventions That Came True to see for yourself!

If what you truly want to do is concentrate on the human condition, why not share the stories of those who has suffered as you seek to suffer? You could write non-fiction profiles, or utilize the experiences of many to create a composite character about whom to write. This would satisfy your curiosity about "how the other half lives", satisfy your parents desire to know you are sleeping safely under a roof at night, and allow you to plunge into the depths of another's soul in order to improve upon your character development. For more advice, check out my Tips For Successful Writing, as learned from the University of Rhode Island Department of Writing and Rhetoric. As a Writing student, I am sure you have heard many of them, but it is always good to review and refresh your knowledge!


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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tazi's Corner #37 - For The Love Of Big Words

Dear Readers,

I like big words, and I cannot lie…okay, I can’t rap to save my life so I will end my parody of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” right there! However, the truth remains that I love big words; I think they add spice to a message. I am a sesquipedalianist and I think it hysterical that "abbreviated" is eleven letters long. 

Once upon a time “50-cent words”, as English teachers tend to call them, were used as a sign that someone was highly educated – or at least erudite, so as to hide the fact that the speaker lacked a formal education. Using large words was a way to impress people, to make them think twice before trying to cheat you. Unfortunately, as with all good things, the use of big words has been abused over the years and has led to their use to appear more like parody than serious business. How many of us have received an office memo laden with the use of polysyllabic words that could have just as easily been written without a bouquet of flowery language? In fact, cutting out the attempts at sophistication would result in an easier to understand message. In the end, isn’t that the purpose of communication – to get your point across to someone in a way that is easily understood?

Sadly, in the downward spiral that education has taken overthe last several years, the use of the dictionary has also waned; simple definitions that were once commonly known are now foreign to many, hindering proper communication. This begs the question, who is responsible for rectifying the situation, the Communicator or the Recipient? Since starting Ask Tazi! I have been party to both sides of essaying – as a reader and as a Writer/Editor. I have learned much from my readers, but I am still unable to answer this one nagging question: If an Essayist writes an article using a word or concept that a reader does not understand, does that make the essay less worthy of attention or the dictionary more worthy of it? In order to combat ignorance, is it the author’s obligation to define the concept or the reader’s obligation to learn? How much are people be expected to know? How much should they be expected to know?

Obviously, every article has an audience, so let me rephrase my last question: How much should general audiences be expected to know, and how much should an essayist need to define for them? Some words, like pusillanimous, tend to sound like their meaning (as one man so genteelly defined this word, it means “not a real man”).

What did you just call me?

On the other end of the spectrum are words like “phlegmatic”, which sounds like a coughing fit but actually means “calm, not easily excited”. Why not just use the word “calm”? I, for one, never want anyone to tell me that I am looking particularly phlegmatic today!

While one should not be expected to remember all their SAT words [Ed. Note: I remember pusillanimous, but I had to look up phlegmatic] there should be a certain standard to which the average person must strive to reach! Yes, I said must, lest communication devolve into a series of grunts and hand gestures reminiscent of your ancestral past as cave-people. Yes, I said “your”, not “our”. I am a cat, and we cats have an advanced method of communication involving tail-twitching, purring, hissing, and of course our famous facial expressions:

I'm grumpy and I know it...and now you know, too!


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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Is Online Flirting Cheating?

Dear Tazi:

I think my husband might be cheating, but I am not certain. A single friend of mine was on a dating website and saw his picture and a profile, claiming he was single and looking! She responded, pretending to be an interested party, and he wrote back to her! She said the emails went on for about a week, with him saying he would like to meet her, but when she tried to pin him down for a firm date he never responded. This is when she told me to see if he recognized her as my friend (he has never met her, so no) or to see if he was simply looking to flirt with other women, like a lot of men do on online dating sites (according to her).

Tazi, I am puzzled as to why my friend would do this to me - what if my husband really was looking? She says she would not have accepted a date with him, but I am not certain I can believe her. I want to approach my husband about his online profile, but I don't know if I should. If I tell him how I discovered it, I am afraid he will try to turn the situation around and accuse me of spying on him and setting him up! My husband is always at home, and when he does go out it is usually with me, so I can't see where he would have time to cheat. I don't recognize any new female faces among his Facebook friends, and I checked his cell phone and did not find any unfamiliar numbers in the call log. My friend suggested that he might be using a burn phone to call them and a fake Facebook account to socialize. My head is spinning and I don't know what to do next!

Loving Wife

Dear Loving Wife:

The first thing I would do is stop listening to your friend! While I can understand why she thinks she is looking out for you her behavior and her comments are only bringing distance between you and the trust you have for your husband.

I will say that your friend is correct on one issue: a lot of happily committed men will "window shop" on dating websites not because they want to see what is out there but because they want an ego boost. When is the last time you told your husband how handsome he looks? When was the last time you called him sexy and gave him a long, lingering kiss? I have often said that just because a woman does not want another man does not mean she doesn't appreciate the fact that other men want her. Men feel the same way, but are usually expected to be the aggressor in a relationship; therefore, they window shop for compliments. It is not a very nice thing to do - raising the hopes of women who are seeking romance with a nice man - but it does not mean that these men (your husband included) are looking to cheat. The fact that he cut off all contact when your friend tried to initiate a date speaks to his loyalty to you.

You have investigated the matter on your own and found no evidence that your husband is cheating. I doubt he is using a burn phone and fake social media accounts - that is the stuff out of Harlequin romance novels. Whether or not you want to address this situation with your husband is a choice only you can make. If you do tell him, you must be prepared for how he will react; his feelings may run the gamut from guilt to anger and he may try to deflect blame from himself onto you. Such a confrontation may not be something you are ready to handle. If I were you, I would gently mention that I think someone is playing a practical joke on your husband by placing a personal ad with his picture and flirting with the women who respond. (This, too, is a possibility). This will give him the chance to see how hurt you are by this behavior and to take down the profile before it can do any more damage. It will also allow you to give him a second chance at making things right between the two of you.


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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Danger: Racism At Work! But Which One Is The Racist?

Dear Tazi:

I am a freshman in college, and I think one of my professors is failing me because they don't like me. I am from the deep south, and yes I have an accent. My teacher, who is black, has made several comments about it and has made rude and presumptuous comments.

One day, when I came to class 5 minutes late he cussed me out, saying he expected to be treated with RESPECT! No other student has ever been yelled at for being late, so I think I have the right to take it personally. Another time, he made a crack about how my accent made me sound like a redneck. Yesterday, he overheard my girlfriend and I in the dining hall; she was reminding me that I needed to wash my bed-sheets. She was hoping for a romantic evening, and was reminding me that dirty sheets are a turn-off. The teacher turned to me and told me that if I wanted to dress up in bed-sheets I should go back home to "Crackerville". Before I could say anything, my girlfriend set him straight but he didn't apologize or anything.

When I got my midterm grades, all were respectable except the grade from this professor; I had an F, which reflects the grades he has been giving me on my essays. I would have liked to talk to him about my grades - and I still would - but I am afraid it will get me nowhere. I can't talk to his boss because the first thing he will ask is if I talked to the professor. The professor is tenured, so its not like he can be reprimanded. I don't want to drop the class, but I don't know what else I should do.

Red-Head, Not Neck

Dear Red-Head, Not Neck:

Since I only have one side of the story - yours - I do not want to rush to any judgments on this inflammatory topic. I can say that for some people a strong southern accent can bring back terrible emotional pain from a past that they would rather forget. Your professor is tenured, which means he has been teaching for several years. It could very well be that he was a child during the violent Civil Rights Era of the 1960's. If he grew up during this time in the deep south, I can see why he would have a prejudice against you. This in no way excuses his behavior; it only explains it. Or, he could just not like Southerners. Or, you may have to examine your own behavior and see if you have said or done something to make your professor think poorly of you.

Unless your girlfriend or classmates are willing to come forward and attest to your story it will be your word against that of a tenured professor. I suggest you document the incidents that have occurred, along with the time; date; and names of any witnesses. Set this aside and do not mention it unless you need. Next, request a meeting with the professor to discuss your enrollment in his class. Explain to him that you feel he has the wrong impression of you based upon your accent, and that his comments are upsetting you and that they are affecting your schoolwork. If this shuts a door rather than opens one, then go to the Department Chair to discuss the issue. Hopefully, the professor will realize that his "jokes" are not funny. Some people really are ignorant of how their comments affect others.

If the professor is willing to discuss matters with you, ask that a third party be present or that the meeting be recorded, for the comfort of all involved. You may have to schedule something in advance, but you may not, so be prepared regardless. From there, ask the professor what is wrong with the quality of the work you are handing in to him, and listen to his answers. If you feel his answers an subjective and based upon his opinion rather than solid academic principles, ask the Department Chair to review your work.

All of this will take a strong backbone. If you do not feel up to it, ask your Academic Adviser to assist you through the process. If this is still too much to ask of you, you may have to drop the class. Just know that this will put you behind in your academic pacing, and summer classes may be required in order to graduate on schedule.


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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Patient Has Crush On Doctor, Is Crushed To Be Referred to Another

Dear Tazi:

I have a very embarrassing problem. I have a crush on my gynecologist. Like me, she is a woman, but she is married so I don't think she would be interesting in taking a walk on the wild side with me. I can accept this without a problem. Just as I am not attracted to straight men who have expressed interest in me I know that straight women have their preferences, too. My problem is the frequency with which I see her.

Over the past year I have been receiving treatment for a recurring medical issue which has resulted in the need for a hysterectomy. At almost every visit I have been given a pelvic exam, which involves intimate (medical) contact between me and my doctor. As creepy as this sounds, I have actually found myself turned on by these exams. Since my doctor uses a liberal amount of lubricant and wears rubber gloves during my exams I don't think she has been able to tell...but I am not sure.

My hysterectomy has been scheduled, and I thought my doctor was going to be the one to perform it, but she has told me that a different doctor will be doing the surgery and all post-surgical follow-up. When I asked her why, she told me that the hospital where the surgery will be performed has its own surgical team and that she is not in the rotation at this time. I want to believe that this is the reason - I suppose it sounds plausible - but I am afraid that she is making excuses to dump me as a patient because of my crush. Is that unethical? Have I crossed a line? Should I say anything?

Nervous and Annoyed

Dear Nervous And Annoyed:

Having a crush on someone can make a person paranoid. Every little thing that happens takes on enormous significance, and is examined to the nth degree. Sexual excitement is a physiological reaction to a stimulus that is often beyond our control, so even if your doctor has been able to detect this in you (through rubber gloves and a handful of KY) I do not think she would take it as anything more than your body reacting reflexively.

The reason your doctor has given you for passing you off to another surgeon is quite plausible, and not uncommon. This does not mean that your doctor cannot be present to observe or to assist with your follow-up care if she has the time in her schedule to do so - which I doubt she does. Gynecologists have ridiculously tight schedules, which is why many women schedule their appointments a year or more in advance!

If you would prefer that your doctor be the one to provide follow-up medical attention for reasons other than your attraction to her - such as your comfort level with her, uneasiness in disrobing in front of a new doctor, or simply the fact that she has been with you every step of the way so far - express this preference and your concerns to her and see if something can be worked out between the two of you. She may have a very good reason for wanting you to follow-up with the surgeon who performs your surgery, and this will give her the chance to further explain some of the unanswered questions you have.


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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Padded Resume Will Come Unstuffed Upon Close Scrutiny

Dear Tazi:

I will be graduating high school this June and entering into the full-time work force while attending school part-time, at night. I realize that this is a lot to handle, but I am determined to make this work. My big problem is my resume. I have written it, but there is not much on it except for summer jobs and babysitting work, so I was thinking of embellishing it a bit.

Rather than writing that I worked as a babysitter for a local family, I am considering writing that I was a Child Care Provider. Also, instead of writing how I mowed lawns for extra money, I want to write that I was a Landscape Engineer. My Guidance Counselor told me to stick to "plain language", but something tells me that plain language isn't going to get me hired over someone with more professional experience than me. What do you think, Tazi?

Young Professional

Dear Young Professional:

I think that you should reserve the title of "Engineer" for those who have actually earned a degree in Engineering and look to enhance your resume through other means. You are still quite young; no employer is going to expect a stand-out work history from you. In fact, many employers will be quite impressed that you took the initiative to take on babysitting and lawn mowing jobs. Neither of these positions is for the faint of heart, and it shows that you have a strong work ethic as well as varied talents.

Instead of attempting to pad your resume with ridiculous titles, why not add actual skills or accomplishments? How fast can you type? Do you speak any foreign languages with any level of fluency? Were you an honor roll student? Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities or sports at school or in your community? Have you performed volunteer work? Do you have any unique but marketable skills? I suggest you make a list of answers to these questions and return to your Guidance Counselor for assistance in building a resume based upon your actual skills, and not upon bloated job titles.

A further suggestion is to include a cover letter with your resume. This letter should detail what kind of work you are seeking and why you are applying for the position to which you are inquiring. Employers want to hire people who want to work for their company, not people who are only looking for a job. Your enthusiasm for a particular employer may help you to overcome your limited job experience which, no matter how you try to hide it, is going to show. Keep your job search - and your resume - realistic and you will be more likely to meet with success.


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

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stolen Credit Card Creates Problems For All Involved

Dear Tazi:

I have an emergency and I need some good, solid advice. My fifteen year old son recently got his sixteen year old girlfriend pregnant. Neither is in the position to support a baby, and I am a single mother working two jobs myself. I told "Kyle" that I would support him and "Latisha" any way that I could, but he took my word a little too far.

Kyle stole my credit card to buy Latisha a diamond engagement ring. He charged $5,000 to my account to buy her a ring bigger than my ex-husband gave me! When I saw the charge, I completely flipped out on Kyle, and asked how he could do such a thing to me. He completely turned things around and accused me of going back on my word, saying that I had no intention of helping him and Latisha. Tazi, that is simply not true, but what I meant was assisting with babysitting, feedings, and diaper duty, not luxury purchases.

Kyle tried to return the ring, but the return period was over by the time I discovered the charge. I explained to the jewelry store what happened but they said that I would need to file a complaint with my credit card company. I did just that, but the jewelry store fought the claim, saying that I knew who charged the ring and had not pressed charges against the perpetrator, so therefore I must be okay with the purchase. Unfortunately, they have Kyle and me recorded on their security footage, with me holding the ring in hand as I tried to return it.

My credit card company has told me that I will be liable for the purchase unless I choose to press charges. Press charges against my own son! Can you imagine? I am unfortunately in a very difficult spot. The cost of paying for the ring is more than Kyle will be able to afford with a baby on the way, and there is no way I will be able to cover the increased monthly payment on my credit card. I am holding onto the ring while I try to sell it, but so far I have had no buyers and Kyle is angry at me for "taking Latisha's ring". I am...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Dear Between A Rock And A Hard Place:

Has your son expressed the least bit of remorse for his crime? I use the word "crime" because he has committed a felony - grand larceny, to be exact. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he committed such a heinous error in a state of panic over the impending birth of his baby, and purchased the ring with the best of intentions - to ask his girlfriend to marry him. This does not excuse his behavior, or his response to you upon being caught.

Kyle needs to learn that there are consequences for his decisions. As he will soon discover, having unprotected sex can and does lead to pregnancy. If there was not a baby to think of, I would advise pressing charges against your son, who would be charged as a juvenile. He would be sent to a training school until the age of 18, and during his incarceration he would remain in school and work towards receiving his high school diploma. The debt would be erased from your credit account and the diamond ring would be returned to the jeweler who carelessly did not check for identification before allowing the diamond ring to be charged to your credit card!

You're welcome!

Because there is a baby involved, the training school is not the best place for your son at this time. Therefore, I would only advise pressing charges as a dead-last resort. I suggest you contact your local chapter of the American Bar Association. They will be able to put you in touch with attorneys who assist people who are in need but have low or no income. If you explain your situation, I am certain that they will be able to fight on your behalf to come up with a reasonable solution for all involved. As I already pointed out, the jeweler did not ask for any form of identification to confirm the signature or check the name on the credit card; your credit card company did not flag the purchase as suspicious and allowed it to go through unquestioned. By ignoring these standard protocols, disaster was allowed to occur. People tend to reply differently to complaints when contacted by an attorney. I suggest you waste no time in contacting one.


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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Butterface" Wants To Feel Beautiful On the Outside, Too

Dear Tazi:

I know that I am not the prettiest woman around, but I heard some men talking about me (by name), saying that I have a "smokin' hot figure" and that it's too bad I have a "butterface". I wasn't sure what this meant, so I looked it up online. I was crushed to discover what it means.

I never thought of myself as ugly, but I suppose compared to women who are beauty salon beautiful with a face full of makeup I am rather plain. I can't see myself wasting money at a high priced hair salon, so I usually go to a franchise - it really doesn't matter which one, whatever is closest to where I am when my hair needs trimming. From there, I pull my hair back into a bun so it stays out of my face. I also do not like the idea of wearing makeup. I tried it once and it sat so heavy on my face I wanted to scratch at it with my fingernails.

I get very few dates, and I am starting to think that this "butterface" comment is the reason why. Are men really that shallow, or am I the shallow one for thinking that? Can you think of ways to improve my face without breaking my bank account?

:-( Butterface

:-( Dear Butterface:

The men who were talking about you must have all looked like Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson, and other teen heartthrobs to think that they were in a position to make such comments about you. Or did they look more like this:

This is my buddy, Toothless Mortie!

Personally, I think anyone who makes rude comments about another person's looks has some severe insecurities of their own. Remember the movie Shallow Hal? I personally thought Jack Black's inflated ego was ridiculously sad! I suggest you give this movie a glance for some laughs and an ego boost!

Not all men are shallow enough to judge a woman solely on her physical looks - just the men who are not worth a woman's time! My lady friend is slightly chubby, but I think she is all the more attractive for it! She offers more for me to cuddle!

Since you asked me for cost-effective tips on improving your appearance, I will offer some that will also improve the health of your skin. To start, you really should start seeing the same hairdresser each time you get your hair cut. By developing a relationship with a hairdresser, they will become familiar with your hair, its needs (is it dry, oily, brittle, course, thin, etc.) and will be able to make recommendations based upon your specific needs.Once a trust between the two of you is developed s/he will be able to work with you on creating a more flattering style. A bun flatters nobody.

Did the men say something like this?

A lot of women are uncomfortable wearing heavy makeup, and the beauty industry has listened. From tinted moisturizers to tinted lip balm there are an array of beauty products that offer your skin the moisturizing nutrients and SPF protection that your skin needs to stay healthy that will also give your face a healthy, polished look without weighing down your skin. Clear mascara will moisturize and protect your eyelashes and eyebrows, while accenting your eyes and taming eyebrows. Eyebrow waxing/shaping is also a cost-effective way to accent your natural beauty by making your eyes appear larger and giving your brows a clean-lined look.

In the end, no amount of makeup will create the beauty that matters most - the inner beauty inside you that shows through in how you treat others. Concentrate on being the kind of person you would like to be friends with and you will find that your social calendar has many more dates on it!


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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Unemployed Adult Son Needs To Pick Up His Efforts

Dear Tazi:

My adult son is living at home after being laid-off from his job and being unable to find work. I don't mind having "Jerry" here; he is my son, after all. I do mind the fact that he is a slob who has been treating my home like a hotel and me like his maid. I work hard all day and do not want to have to come home to a dirty house! Jerry has been here for three months now, and has not lifted a finger to help around the house or clean up after himself. Worse, he creates messes in the common areas and leaves them for me to find. I did not raise him to be this way!

When I first noticed Jerry's poor house habits, I ignored them, figuring he was preoccupied with his job search. That was a big mistake, because they only got worse from there! I thought he might be suffering from depression or some other mental illness, but all of his screenings came back negative  I have told Jerry that if he cannot clean up after himself he can find another place to live, but had no answer when he asked me "Where am I supposed to go?". I don't have the heart to send him to the homeless shelter, Tazi.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get my son to start pulling his own weight? He's 32 years old, so he is not a child, which is why I feel awkward yelling at him like he is one. I raised him to be neat and tidy, hoping I was doing his future wife a favor, but there is no news on that front, either. Where did I go wrong?

Buried In My Own Home

Dear Buried In My Own Home:

You did not go wrong, so please do not blame yourself for Jerry's slovenly habits. You raised your son to be "neat and tidy" and presumably respectful of women. He is the one who has chosen to ignore those guidelines and go his own way. As I see it, there are two ways to deal with your problem: continue to clean up after Jerry or leave his messes for him to clean up himself. The latter may be the better way, in this case.

When Jerry leaves a mess in the common areas of the house, pick it up and place it on his bed. Now, it is his problem to deal with and he will either have to put it away or have it fall on the floor when he gets into bed at night. Do this for clothing, shoes, (clean) food wrappers, and other items he sees fit to leave laying around. Refuse to change his sheets or do his laundry for him - these are things he is quite capable of doing for himself, but will not as long as you do it for him.

Dirty dishes should be deposited in the sink, but there is nobody telling you that you have to wash them for Jerry. Eventually, he will run out of clean dishes and have to wash them himself. If Jerry complains, hand him a sponge and some soap and tell him to have at it! If Jerry complains, tell him that until he is working full-time he will be working around the house. Spring is coming and the lawn will need to be cleaned up and then mowed on a regular basis. There are probably other things that will need to be completed, as well. The economy is picking up and employers are now hiring at a good clip! If Jerry is still having trouble finding a job the trouble could be in that he is not looking hard enough. Working him around the house may be just the motivation he needs to step-up his job search.

In the end, if none of this works I suggest that  you change the locks and, weather permitting, lock Jerry outside until you come home at the end of the day. Your house will remain clean while still giving Jerry a private place to sleep at night.


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

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pressure To Move In With New Boyfriend Raises Red Flags

Dear Tazi:

The lease on my economically-priced apartment is expiring this summer, and my boyfriend of six months has asked me to move into his much more expensive one. I have told him that I cannot afford to pay half the rent on his place, which would be $300 more than I am currently paying on my place! "Bradley" has told me that this will not be a problem, that I can continue to pay what I have been and he will pick up the rest of the rent. He says that he does not want finances to come between us.

Tazi, on the surface this sounds like a dream! However, I have only been dating Bradley for six months, and I am not sure that I am ready to move in with him. Plus, I am afraid that if things don't work out I will have to move, and I doubt I will be able to find a place as economical as my current place, especially one in as good an area. On the other hand, if I tell Bradley I would like to wait I will have to re-up my current lease for another year, at which point Bradley and I will have been together for two years. I am much more comfortable with this time-table, but Bradley is hurt that I don't want to move things to the next level with him. He has said that he loves me and wants to live with me; that "this is what grown-ups do".

I am only 21, and have been on my own for two years, so I like to think that I am plenty "grown up", but Bradley is several years older than me and I am afraid my hesitation at moving in with him has him thinking that maybe I am too young for him. My friends are all of mixed opinions on the subject; some say to go for it, others say to wait and if Bradley truly loves me he will be willing to wait, too. What's your take on the subject, Tazi?

Movin' Out?

Dear Movin' Out?:

My take on the subject is that you should not move in with someone until you have been with them for at least one year. This allows you to experience the stress of the holidays together and the temptation to stray with a summer romance, and everything that comes in between all of that. I also believe that you should not move in with someone until you have the financial means to pay the entire rent, in case that is what you end up doing due to unforeseen circumstances, such as prolonged unemployment.

The fact that you have only been with Bradley for six months has me nixing the deal. The fact that he is pressuring you to move in with him rather than wait the additional year has sent up some red flags for me. Why is he in such a rush for you to move in? Can he not afford the rent on his own, and is willing to take less than half in order to gain any kind of subsidy at all? Is he the jealous and/or demanding type who is trying to monitor your every move? While it is possible that he is simply head over heels for you, you should explore all avenues before making this jump.

At 21 years of age, you are no longer a child but (hopefully) adulthood has not slammed you directly in the face just yet. I consider you a younger adult - legally responsible for your actions, but still having a lot to learn about the ups and downs of those responsibilities. Things like loans (student, car, and mortgage), saving for retirement, car repairs, rent increases, emergency expenses, unemployment, and other pressures that suck the fun out of being on your own will come with time; how you handle them will be a test as to how grown-up you actually are, and will actually help you grow up just a little bit more. Standing up to Bradley and not letting him pressure you into doing something you are not ready to do - and accepting the consequences of your decision - is one more example of the responsibilities of adulthood.


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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Co-Sleeping Causing Problems For this Marriage

Dear Tazi:

My husband and I are having a disagreement about co-sleeping with our children, ages 3 and 5. They enjoy crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night, and I like having them to cuddle with, too. My husband would prefer that they sleep in their own beds, and has argued that our bed is not large enough for the four of us (and then asks if I "get" what he means!).

Tazi, I chose to ignore my husband's veiled comment, took what he said literally, and suggested that we buy a larger bed. He flew off the handle and told me in no uncertain terms that children do not belong in the marital bed past infancy. He has offered to compromise and allow the children to come in and cuddle on weekend mornings, but is insisting that they sleep in their own beds through the night, every night. I think this is still far too harsh; they are still young, and obviously need their mother with them through the night. I counter-offered with the idea of moving the children's beds into our room, but he outright refused to hear about it.

My husband is threatening to start sleeping on the couch if I don't do things his way. I told him that I will not compromise when it comes to our children. We are at an impasse, and he refuses to go to marital counseling over this issue. I think it is because he knows the counselor will side with me. Who do you think is right, Tazi?

Cuddle Mama

Dear Cuddle Mama:

Oh, my aching kitten head! You have more issues than you realize, starting with the fraying of your marital relationship. If your husband is threatening to sleep on the couch as opposed to just picking up the kids and putting them back in their own beds there is something deeper happening here.

I want to start by saying that I like your husband's compromise. Cuddle time as a family is a good way to strengthen the bonds between parents and children, and many families enjoy "family bed" time when everyone - including the family pets - snuggle together in Mom and Dad's bed. This occurs, however, when everyone is conscious or in a semi-conscious state and is aware of each other's presence. A sleeping child will be happy holding a cherished stuffed toy. A husband who would prefer to hold his wife is very aware that there is someone coming in between the two of them.

Your husband's point of view on the issue...

So often, once the children are born, the husband's need for attention and love end up coming second to the wants of the child (note that I said the child's "wants", not "needs"). Many men can deal with this during waking hours, knowing that once the bedroom door closes their wife will be all theirs - even if nothing more than a restful night's sleep is occurring. By allowing your children to sleep with you through the night, you are putting a barrier - both physically and emotionally - between you and your husband. You are also not doing your children any favors. You are creating an unhealthy dependency that needs to be broken - for the sake of both your marriage and your children, and even yourself. Your elder child is reaching an age where s/he will be looking to expand his or her horizons beyond your embracing arms, and your younger one will soon follow.

Furthermore, scientific studies have shown the children who co-sleep past infancy have a greater degree of sleep disturbance and a higher incidence of poor behavior, presumably from a lack of sleep. If your children are waking in the middle of the night to come into your bed, their sleep cycle has been broken.

A recently published Japanese study showed that sharing a bedroom with a child (though not necessarily co-sleeping with them) resulted in sleep disturbance among 87% of children studied. Scientists presume that this is because parents, who have a later bedtime than their children, would pull their child from deep sleep upon entering the room. Before you think I am suggesting that you and your husband go to bed when your children do, know that I am not; the same study showed that this practice upset parental sleep cycles, and made them irritable. No child wants an irritable parent. For the sake of all put the kids back in their own beds and seek marital counseling for the widening gap between you and your husband.


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

Monday, March 11, 2013

Choice Between Good Man And Bad-Boy A Difficult One For Woman To Make

Dear Tazi:

Help! I am in love with a man who is a "bad boy". He drinks, parties, rides a motorcycle, and has tattoos...and I never feel so alive as I do when I am with "Severus". I would love to commit to him, but I am afraid that he would end up cheating on me or leaving me for another woman. He says he would not, but I see some of the women who flirt with him, and I don't think I could ever compete with them.

On the other end of the spectrum is "Harry", a buttoned-down, responsible kind of guy. Harry is a stockbroker, so I think you can picture the type. He is crazy in love with me and has asked me to give him a chance, telling me that he will not play with my heart; that he will give me the respect a lady deserves and that he would never stray. The problem is, Harry is kind of boring, especially when I compare him to Severus.

With Harry, I know my evening will involve dinner at a very fancy restaurant and drinks at an upscale jazz club, followed by a very polite (but chaste) kiss goodnight. With Severus, I never know where the night might take us! We may start out having dinner in a quiet restaurant and then end up taking a drive to Disney World to watch the fireworks, and even create some fireworks of our own later on (we live in the Greater Orlando area, so this is not as extreme as it might sound).

With Harry, I know I will have a stable, predictable life and never have to worry about money; because of this, I told Severus I could no longer see him. While this pleased Harry to no end, Severus got angry and asked why I was settling, asking if things would be different if he had money like Harry has. I told him no, but I don't think I convinced either of us. As it turns out Severus is very wealthy. He inherited his wealth at a young age, after his parents died in a plane crash, and invested well. He is a silent partner in several successful businesses, which is why he never appears to have to go to work but always has money. How I could never have known this about him in the first place I don't know; I guess its because he never wanted to talk about what he did for a living (which made me think he might be dealing drugs) and he lives in a modest apartment.

As you might have guessed, I now want Severus back. Does this make me a gold-digger, or just a woman who is trying to be smart about her future? Should I stay with Harry, or risk losing him, too, in order to try to get Severus back?

Bird In Hand

Dear Bird In Hand:

I assume that you are hoping that one of these relationships will lead to marriage and many happy years together. To start, I will answer your question about treasure hunting: Are you looking for a man to support you financially, or are you just looking for a man that you will not have to support? There is a big difference between the two, and your answer will give you the answer you seek.

Your original attraction to Severus was because he made you feel alive. In speaking with women who have dated this type, they all say that this is the initial (but often not lasting) attraction they feel towards "bad boys"; in the end, they always ended up leaving because they wanted the party to end while the guy wanted to keep right on living life as he always has. Can you see your attraction to Severus lasting if he chooses not to settle down and to keep on living his spontaneous lifestyle? Do you think that, once you are committed to each other, you would want Severus to change? You mention that you are concerned that he would cheat, in spite of his protests that he would not. Can you learn to trust him, or would you want him to start staying at home more? In short, can you see yourself taking up full-time residency in Severus' world?

Now to look at the other side of the coin: Harry is obviously on the marriage and family track. He respects you - and himself - in such a way that he will not get physically involved with you until you are in a committed, monogamous relationship. Ergo, you can trust him not to cheat and you can trust him to stand by you during times of uncertainty. However, there is still the problem that being with Harry bores you. Have you suggested alternative date ideas to Harry? I am not suggesting you try to turn him into Severus, but a night in Disney World sounds like a blast!

Disney World? Let's get this party started!

What you appear to have is two men that represent the two extremes that life has to offer. If you cannot find happiness with either one just as they are, you may be better off looking for someone who lives life in the happy medium that you seek.


P.S. Did you have to go all Harry Potter on me with the pseudonyms? He is not one of my sponsors...yet!

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