Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sexless Marriage Could Be Due To Physical Dysfunction

Dear Tazi:

My husband, “Philip” frequently has friends over to watch sporting events at our house (we have a wonderful game room for such occasions).  As the Lady of the House I enjoy providing snacks and beverages, both non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic, for these events; ergo I often hear snippets of conversation as I come and go from the game room.  My husband’s friends can frequently be heard complaining about how their wives never want to have sex with them, and to my shock and dismay, Philip joins in with his own complaints!  Tazi, the lack of sex in my marriage is not my fault!  It is my husband who never wants to be intimate!

Over the years I have tried to persuade Philip to be more affectionate.  I have tried perfumes and sexy lingerie, silky nightgowns, even coming to bed wearing nothing but a pair of pasties and a g-string!  Nothing I do puts my husband in the mood, and when I ask him what is wrong he simply replies, “Nothing; I am just tired after a long day at work”.  

Philip and I have been married for ten years.  In the early years, affection was sporadic and short-lived; after our fifth anniversary it became non-existent.  I have no desire for any man but my husband, but I do have a desire for sexual intimacy, Tazi!  Do you have any ideas to help me light the flame of my husband’s affections once more?  We are only in our thirties!  I do not want to imagine spending the rest of my life like this!

Signed,
Married But Lonely

Dear Married But Lonely:

I cannot be certain, but from what you write it sounds like your husband suffers from a sexual dysfunction.  It is not that he does not desire sex, but that he is unable to last long enough to fulfill your needs; consequently sex makes him feel like he has somehow failed you and failed as a man, therefore the cure to the problem is to simply avoid sex altogether.  

You need to have a frank talk with Philip – about what you have overheard and how much it hurt you, as well as your persona desires for more intimacy.  You need to encourage Philip to see a certified urologist to seek help for his problem, because this is not normal behavior for a healthy young man.  Let Philip know that this issue is affecting more than your feelings; it is affecting your marriage.

As for Philip’s “guy talk” with his buddies, try to ignore it.  I realize that it hurts, but he is just trying to fit in with his friends.  No matter how old we get, the desire to be one of the gang never fades.

Snuggles,
Tazi

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Attractive Co-Worker Is Attracting Attention - And Rebuffing It

Dear Tazi-Kat:

There is a woman in my office who is a total b!tch. She comes to work wearing short skirts and tight blouses and then complains when guys hit on her and ask her out (I've enclosed some pictures of her so you can see what she looks like).

The guys at the office are all starting to think that she is only trying to nail the boss in order to improve her standing in the company. Should we let her know that the boss is gay? Or just continue to be frustrated with her "look but don't touch" policy?

Signed,
Castrated Casanova

Dear Castrated Casanova:

Are you really castrated? Did your Mommie take you to the clinic and have your testicles removed, too? I don't really miss mine, since I was still a sexually immature kitten when I had it done. You seem sexually immature, too, but it sounds like you miss yours. Do you have Neuticles? My Mommie read me an article on them once, and I am dying to know what they are like!

Okay, seriously: I realize that you are using the word "castrated" as a metaphor, but you really do sound immature. Calling a young woman a b!tch because she turns you down for a date? Sheesh! The pictures you sent (which I legally cannot republish; because they appear to have been taken with a mobile phone camera, without her consent) show an attractive young woman wearing clothing that is somewhat inappropriate for the office - it appears to be Victoria's Secret catalog office wear - but it does not appear to fall within the realm of Human Resources sending her home. Speaking of HR, if her style of dress is inappropriate for your office, it is an issue for them to address, not you. If you find her style of dress distracting to the point you cannot do your job, then that is an issue you should bring directly to HR; not your co-worker. As an aside, I would like to mention that many companies have policies against co-workers dating; and even if they do not, many people have a personal policy against dating co-workers.

As for outing your boss because you think this woman is trying to sleep with him: I would seriously advise against this action. For one, your boss' sexuality is his own business. If he wishes to discuss it with this female employee it is his business to do so, not yours. If you find looking at this woman frustrates you, then discipline yourself to stop looking!

Perfunctuary Snuggles,
Tazi

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tazi's Mommie Is Getting Married! Help Her Marry Debt-Free?

CLICK HERE to give a wedding gift!

Dear Readers:

I have some BIG NEWS! My Mommie is getting married! Who ever thought this day would come? Certainly not my feline pals, who were preparing to move in with us!

Koko! Frederick! Mittens! Mr. Darcy! I told you to wait until I gave the signal!

Statistically speaking, my Mommie had a better chance of hitting the Powerball jackpot than of ever walking down the aisle (see above pic - it's no joke)! If the Powerball had come through, I would not be writing this particular column!

Mommie has always joked that she never married because she "never met a man she couldn't picture herself divorcing" (until she met her fiance, that is!) but that is only half the reason. She also wanted to pay off her student loans so her husband would not be indebted! She was making great progress, when the recession hit and she returned to school to improve her skills (this advice column started out as a college writing project!). Since she already had a degree, the only aid she was offered were student loans. Despite her very high GPA, full scholarships were reserved to students without degrees. Mommie saw her loans as an investment in the future - the line that loan officers used to sell her - and is now discovering that this may not be the case! As many women before her have discovered, taking time out of your career for whatever reason can result in a hard hit to said career.

Complicating matters, Mommie has had to leave her full-time job due to a bully; now her fiance is the only full-income between the two of them! They are paying for their own wedding, and planning it on their own to save money. Just the same, Mommie had just about given up on her dream of marrying debt-free, until a small local business turned her on to crowd-sourcing. This business raised over $100,000 in just 30 days in order to keep their doors open; people from all over donated, with the hope of keeping a small business alive. Hmmm, I thought...would people do the same for my Mommie? Might they offer donations as a wedding gift for the cuddly kitty? I am about top become a step-kitty, you know!

Since Ask Tazi! is not a profit-bearing column, my Mommie receives no income for writing it; she does it for the joy of assisting me in telling humans how to act (which is, of course, more like a cat!).   One of the benefits of this column is that I can bring joy and laughter to humans; solace during hard times; a gentle paw of instruction or a full-fledged paw slap of disgust; and even get the word out when someone needs help or widespread attention to an important issue. I have never used this column for personal gain (well, except for a few extra treats in return for jumping off of the keyboard!), but I am now! The more Mommie has to pay towards her student loans, the less money she has for the treat and vet budget for yours truly!

And I am a high-maintenance kitty!
Will you do it? Will you help me reach my fundraising goal so I may reach my goal of Kitty Cat World Domination, um, I mean paying off my Mommie's student loan debt so she can marry debt-free? If so, click here. Meows of praise and front-paws up to all who assist! (''")  ("")

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. Donations through www.Crowdtilt.com are not tax-deductible! Remember, it will be considered a wedding gift!  --T.K.



Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sometimes Marriage Isn't 50-50, Especially When It Comes To Closet Space

Dear Tazi:

My wife of one year is making me nuts.  She is what my Mom calls a "clothes horse".  "Tina" has enough clothes to fill our bedroom closet, the entire dresser, and half of the bureau drawers.  The only space I have for my clothes is about 25% of the closet, and that is only because I cram Tina's stuff over as far as it will go, which of course makes Tina complain that her stuff gets wrinkled that way.  What ever happened to all things being 50-50 in a marriage?

I have finally reached my breaking point because Tina came home with several bags full of new clothes this week.  She claims that she "needed a new fall wardrobe", but she hasn't gotten rid of any of the stuff she already has!  She asked me if I could fold my stuff and move it to the bureau to make room for her new clothes.  Tazi, I am not about to fold my dress shirts, sport coats, and pants!  I told Tina that if she did not have room for her clothes she would have to make room by getting rid of some things.

With Tina pouting the entire time, we went through every article of her wardrobe - and got rid of nothing!  I suggested we donate her clothes that are two sizes too small, but Tina insisted that they will fit again - just as soon as she goes on a diet.  Tina has clothes from the 1980's that she insists are "vintage" and have come back into style again.  Tazi, acid wash jeans will never make a comeback!

What do you think, readers?  Would you wear these...again?
Every time I tried to convince Tina to thin her wardrobe, she claimed that the piece of clothing I suggest she get rid of has "sentimental value" and that she "couldn't possibly part with it".  Tazi, am I the only guy with this problem?  How do other people handle the issue of pack-ratting clothes?

Signed,
Pushed Out

Dear Pushed Out:

I have seen acid wash jeans for sale online for a pretty penny!  Vintage clothing sells for even more.  Maybe if Tina knew how much money she could be making off of her old clothes she would find herself less sentimentally attached to them.  

It is a pity that your wife longingly holds onto clothes that are two sizes too small for her - especially since so many worthy causes like Dress for Success, Salvation Army, or Goodwill could use those clothes to help further their charitable programs.  Is Tina aware that her tax deductible donation would be going to help women who cannot afford to buy clothes?  Please try to convince your wife to thin out her wardrobe by suggesting she donate her excess to those who have so little.

If you cannot convince your wife to donate her clothes - and I have a feeling that she is going to be adamant about keeping them, since she sees nothing wrong with asking you to fold your articles of clothing that obviously should be hung - you may need to buy a clothing storage container for your wife.  Rubbermaid makes some excellent under-the-bed storage bins, as well as waterproof storage boxes that can be used to hold Tina's off-season, out-dated, and ill-fitting items.  

If you have the room for it, a cedar wood wardrobe or chest is an attractive way to store unused clothing out of sight.  If you cannot afford new, check Craig's List, Freecycle, or eBay for a great deal on one.  Once the clothes Tina is not wearing are out of your "shared" closet, you should discover that the area can be split in a more equitable manner.

Snuggles,
Tazi


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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Repost - Tazi's Corner #10 - Fast Facts About Cats

Dear Readers,

I am taking the day off to oversee the latest developments in my plan for World Domination by Cats and for Cats. Indulge in all that is amazing about the feline species with this re-post, so you will know how to spoil us when we felines become your masters!

Ten Fast Facts About Cats – And Tazi – That You May Not Have Known!


Cats are lactose intolerant. From the mighty big cats to the smallest Munchkin, our digestive systems lack the enzyme needed to break it down. We are also unable to taste sweet flavors, so serving us milk or cream is not necessary to our health; we just like the texture. Fresh water will do us fine.

We do not like citrus or lavender scents. If you want to keep a cat from scratching the furniture, spray it with Febreeze upholstery spray in one of these two scents…or both if you want us to really hate you for it.

Cats’ tongues have tiny, little barbs on them which are what makes our tongues feel like sandpaper.

Domestic cats are not native to North America. We were brought over on the Mayflower by the Pilgrims.

Signs that a cat trusts you: snoring while sleeping (it means we are veeeeery relaxed!) and presenting you our butt, the one spot that has no claws. If we present you our belly it means we are trying to see if you are trustworthy (one false move and four sets of claws and a mouthful of teeth stand ready to hurt you!)


...and we do mean "maybe"!

Cats prefer names that end with a long “e” sound….like Tazi! We also respond to “p” sounds more quickly than other sounds…when we respond at all, that is.

Approximately 20% of cats lack the receptors to experience a “high” from catnip. Luckily, I am not among them.

All calico cats are female due to the fact that the coloring is a recessive trait on the "X" chromosome - you need two of them to be calico! (Male calicoes are rare, and are inherently female; they have Klinefelter's Syndrome).

There is no such thing are a pure black cat. Even I have a scant few white hairs on my chest and belly. (It makes me look like I touched wet paint).

Cats, large and small, walk on our claws not the flats (pads) of our feet. We are the only animal know to walk like this!


Bonus Fact!


Snuggles,
Tazi


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Once Paid, Alimony Is No Longer His Money

Dear Tazi:

When I met my ex-wife, “Tammy”, she was in graduate school for Social Work; knowing that she would never be rich – even after she finished school – I suggested we get married right away, while she was still young and readily able to have children. It was a May-December romance (well, sort of; I am 30 years older than she) and I wanted an heir to carry on my name. After five years of marriage and no children, I divorced Tammy because it was obvious she was not going to give me what I needed; as it turns out, she is infertile. I felt lied to because I felt that this was something she should have known before we got married, but the court felt differently and awarded Tammy a divorce (not an annulment) and several years of alimony.



Since the divorce I have made my alimony payments on time and in full each week, but Tammy is not spending them. Her clothes come from secondhand stores and thrift shops; she lives in a comfortable apartment, but with a roommate to split the costs; and drives the same car she had when we were married – which is now five years old! Our old friends see her out and about and mention to me how far she has fallen financially since our divorce and suggest that I assist her, since Social Work does not pay anywhere near my income bracket. I simply smile and tell them that I pay plenty in alimony; that Tammy will do as Tammy wishes with it.

I never meant in any way to imply that Tammy had a drinking problem or a gambling problem, but this is how some people took it. I discovered this when Tammy showed up on my doorstep one morning demanding to know why I was spreading ugly rumors about her. Since we were confronting each other, I demanded to know what she was spending my alimony on if not to care for herself. When Tammy explained that she was banking it because I “will not always be here” I went through the roof! She is using my money to save for her future in case I die and can no longer pay alimony!

Tazi, I pay alimony so my ex-wife can properly represent my name to society (she did not go back to her maiden name after the divorce). I do not think it is right that my money will be supporting her – and possibly a new husband – after I have passed. This is money that I could be investing as a part of the estate that I will eventually go to my daughters and any future sons I might have. I presented this argument to my attorney, but he told me that it would not stand up in court – if anything, Tammy’s alimony might be adjusted for inflation and that I should accept things as they are.

Tazi, Tammy is a big fan of your column so I know that she is reading this letter. Will you please advise her to do what is morally right? Either spend the money on a decent and proper lifestyle or return it to me!

Signed,
Not Dead Yet

Dear Not Dead Yet:

I did not realize that it was possible for a heart of stone to beat, and yet you are living proof of it! I base this opinion on the fact that you:

1) Married your ex-wife for her youth which, in your mind, made her “readily able” to have children, your sole purpose for marrying her

2) Assumed that because of her chosen career field she would “never be rich”, as if money is everything in life

3) Divorced your wife after discovering she suffers from infertility

4) Assumed that she knew about – or should have known about – her infertility before you wed

You offer no sympathy for your ex-wife, who must have been heart-broken over the idea of never being a Mom and then having to go through a divorce because she was unable to provide you with an heir; you make thinly veiled statements that lead others to believe that she has a drinking problem, gambling problem, or worse; and then you attempt to take away her financial security because she presented you with your own mortality! Wow, you are an absolute prince!

You should continue to pay Tammy her alimony, if only for the fact that you once loved this woman enough to ask her to marry you and bear you a son, if not because it is court ordered of you. You should also apologize to Tammy for your demanding attitude. Once the money is paid it is hers to do with as she wishes. I think Tammy is right smart to be investing the money for emergencies; retirement; or whatever while living within her means, not your means. She is correct in saying that you will not be around forever and is wise to plan ahead. If you would like to leave a larger estate to your daughters I suggest that you invest in a “whole life” life insurance policy, which will guarantee a set inheritance; once you have a son (if you ever do) you can do the same to provide for him.

Perfunctory snuggles to you, Paws Up to Tammy (“”) (“”),
Tazi


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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep; Internet Dating Can Be Fun

Dear Tazi:

I am a twenty-six year old woman and I have never been kissed, never even gone on a date or even been asked out on one. I believe the reason for this is because I am unattractively thin. Even though we live in a world where models and actresses all wear a size zero or double zero, being this thin is not considered attractive in real life.

I am five-foot-ten and wear a size 2. I have tried to gain weight, but am unable to do so – the doctors have told me that there is nothing wrong with my physically; I just have a very fast metabolism. My mother was also very thin, but not as tall as I am. When I start to feel down on myself about my looks, my friends joke that I got the “best” of both my parents physical traits (Dad was very tall) and not to complain – that most women would love to look like me.

I am considering joining a computer-dating site to try and meet someone, but I live in a sparsely populated state and am afraid that nobody local would respond, and I do not want a long-distance relationship. Plus if nobody were to respond I would feel even more unattractive than I already feel; or worse, if people I knew saw my ad I would be totally humiliated.

Do you know of any success stories among people who have tried Internet dating, Tazi? I have my ad written up and a new picture to post with it. All I need is the courage to post it.

Sincerely,
Skinny Sadie

Dear Skinny Sadie:

From your physical description of yourself you are quite thin, and it sounds like you are quite sensitive about this. Please do not take your friends’ “jokes” as brushing off your concerns – it is probably genuine envy over your willowy figure. Your low self-esteem could be what is holding you back on the dating scene, more so than your looks. No matter how beautiful a person is, low self-esteem can be difficult for others to handle.

One sure-fire way to boost self-esteem is a make-over. From department stores to thrift stores, there is something out there for every style, physical figure, and budget. With your height and svelte shape, you would look amazing in a jumpsuit or tailored slacks and ruffled bodice blouse. Fashion overalls (like the vintage Victoria’s Secret overalls) would also look good on you. Stay away from short skirts, which will add to your height; or anything long and flowing, or baggy as it will leave you looking shapeless. Once you are feeling good about yourself, the confidence you exude will attract others to you.

You sound quite lonely, so I strongly recommend that you post your ad on a reputable Internet dating site. You never know who you will meet – or where they will be living, so please do not rule out the idea of a long-distance relationship, especially since you live in a “sparsely populated state”. If someone local to you should see your personal ad you should not be embarrassed – it means that they were also online looking to meet someone. By placing an ad online you are telling the world – from your hometown community to the ends of the earth – that you are interested in meeting a person of quality for a relationship. Simply by letting it be known that you are available you will attract people who would like to get to know you better. You do not need to place an ad to do this – you could simply set your social networking profiles to “Single and looking”.

I know of several successful relationships that have started through the computer, including my Mommie and Daddy, who just celebrated seven years together; her cousin and his wife (a formerly long-distance couple) who recently celebrated five years of marriage; and blogging celebrity couple Jen and “The Hubs”, who I do not know personally, but adore just the same! I suggest you take a chance at joining the ranks of the happily computer-connected!

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. I met my lady friend the old fashioned way – by hissing at her when she jumped over the fence into my backyard. I do not think this would work for humans, though.





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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sexless Marriage Can Only Be Endured For So Long

I will cut right to the chase. I am a high ranking police officer and a Deacon in my church. I have spent my life upholding the laws of man and the laws of God, but I now find myself tempted to break the latter.

I have been married for twenty years and during that time my wife and I have only had sex a handful of times. “Joyce” was saving herself for marriage when we met, which was once of the things that attracted me to her. It was not until our honeymoon that she told me she believed sex should be for procreation only, and that she was not ovulating that week. I’ll leave you to figure out the details. As disappointed as I was to find this out, I had just taken my marriage vows! I thought Joyce was just a scared newlywed and that things would change. They did not. Joyce and I have three children, all grown, and let me tell you, Joyce was pretty accurate about when she was ovulating, so it has been a very frustrating twenty years. My youngest child is graduating high school this year, and my plan was to retire from the police force and find myself a cozy bachelor apartment. I was not planning on divorcing Joyce – I intended to honor my wedding vows – I figured we would just live separate lives. That was until I discovered “Veronica”.

Veronica is the new Receptionist at my church office. She and I work closely together because I am often in there on church business. At first I thought she was a nice lady, pleasant enough to be a Receptionist but nothing more. Then I got to know her and found out she is recently divorced and going to school to become a Nurse, working as a Receptionist to pay the bills that the alimony does not. Like me, she was married to someone who felt sex was a sin it was not procreational, only her case is a bit different because she got married in her mid-thirties and found out she was infertile after only two years of being married. For the first time in my life I feel like I have met a woman who understands me, and Veronica and I have become quite close.

Don’t misunderstand me, Tazi, I’ve had my share of women hitting on me; but I have always honored my vows, out of respect for my wife and kids and respect for my God and church. Now things feel different, since I was planning on going solo for my remaining years. Normally, I would talk to my pastor about my problems but this is just a little too cozy for comfort. What do you think I should do?

Signed,
The Captain
Dear Captain:

I think you should have sought marriage counseling several years ago. Since that ship has sailed, I think you need to consider Veronica’s position. She is a Receptionist, a low-ranking position in the church; you are a Deacon, a person of higher rank and respect; as well as a ranking police officer, also a person of power and respect. You have not mentioned if Veronica has expressed interest in you or if you have mentioned your interest in her, but you put her in a difficult position.

If you were to leave your wife to be with Veronica, who do you think is going to bear the brunt of the blame? Tongues will most definitely be wagging, and unless you want to violate your wife’s privacy those tongues are going to be calling Veronica a Jezebel! Furthermore, if Veronica does not have romantic feelings for you she may be hesitant to say anything for fear of losing her job, being harassed in the community by your brothers in blue, or suffering employment discrimination down the road (police and hospitals work closely together).

It does not sound like Veronica has been divorced for very long, and it does sound like she is concentrating on improving her life – starting with her return to school and working for the means to pay for it. Nursing school is extremely demanding and the stresses of a normal relationship can be enough to drive one to distraction, lest the relationship unravel and fail. The relationship you seek to start with Veronica cannot be considered “normal” under the circumstances and would be doomed to difficulty even if she was not in school.

Since you were planning on moving out of your family home and into a “bachelor apartment” before you met Veronica, I suggest you stay that course. Perhaps a separation is what you and your wife both need in order to clear the air between the two of you. Should you decide to remain separated, I would suggest a legal separation over a divorce with consideration for your status in the Church. People rarely take it well when their religious leaders go through a divorce and want to know the details as to why it is happening. Once separated, I think your sex life should be an issue between you and your conscience – I am not going to judge you; but I am not comfortable advising you, either.

If after an appropriate amount of time has passed you still seek to court Veronica, make it abundantly clear to all that it is you who sought her, not the other way around. Whether you realize it or not, you hold much of the power in this situation, and could do a lot of harm to the reputations of both your wife and Veronica if you do not consider things from their point of view.

Snuggles,
Tazi


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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A "Wizard Of Oz" Wedding Is Not For Everyone

Dear Tazi:

I read your recent column about the woman who was to get married later this summer. She and her boyfriend both work as circus clowns and he wanted to get married in full makeup and costume. I am in a similar situation, so I showed your answer to my girlfriend who thinks ours is a completely different situation. We have agreed to follow your advice.

My girlfriend and I are planning our wedding. We met while in high school while acting in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz, and the play/movie have always been special to us. She played the lead role of Dorothy while I was a talking tree that threw apples at her. For our wedding, my "Dorothy" would like to have a Wizard of Oz theme. She has suggested that she dress as Dorothy and I could be the Tin Man, because he didn't know what it felt to love until he met Dorothy. She even wants the preacher to dress up like the Wizard of Oz himself and for the honor attendants to dress as Munchkins; and oh, yeah, for her dog "Toto" to be the ring-bearer! The aisle would even be a yellow brick road, and her bouquet would be a replica of the basket Dorothy carried throughout the movie and, yes, she would be wearing blue gingham and ruby red slippers.

I was sort of OK with the whole idea until Dorothy suggested that my mother dress as the Wicked Witch of the West as a "joke" since mothers-in-law are supposed to be witches (she wanted her own mother to dress as Glinda the Good Witch). I didn't find this at all funny and told her I would not go along with the Wizard of Oz theme if my mother had to be the evil witch. Dorothy thinks I am being unreasonable, that the whole theme is all in good fun. She suggested I ask my Mom her opinion about dressing up as the Wicked Witch of the West before I refuse to go along with the theme. I suggested that she do the same, but Dorothy has apparently "promised" her Mom that she could be Glinda. I know my Mom, and she will not take this very well. What do you think I should do, Tazi?

Signed,
Feeling Like The Cowardly Lion

Dear Feeling Like the Cowardly Lion:

I am in LOVE with your wedding theme! Who doesn't love The Wizard of Oz? Oh, that's right...the person who is told they must paint themselves green, dress up as a witch, and be escorted by a blue-skinned flying monkey.

From the sound of your wedding plans, the whole theme has been planned for quite some time. It sounds like Dorothy has her heart set on a Wizard of Oz theme, so I doubt anything I have to say will talk her out of this. I am, however, putting my paw down at making your Mom dress up as the Wicked Witch of the West. Please do not think of yourself as a Cowardly Lion; unless your mother has an amazing sense of humor, anyone would be scared to approach the woman who raised them with this type of request. Are your honor attendants aware that they will be asked to dress as the Lullaby League and the Lollipop Guild? The preacher aware that he will be dressed as the Wizard? Or are you waiting for a special moment to spring this information on all of them? Might I suggest a compromise?

It is obvious that the whole Wizard of Oz theme is important to you, but you might want to scale back the ideas of costumes for all. The Tin Man costume involves extensive makeup and a very uncomfortable costume. Have you thought about this yet? In the film version of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was supposed to be a young girl. Is this how your Dorothy would like to be dressed on her wedding day? I believe traditional wedding garb (for ALL, not just the bride and groom!) would be more appropriate, with the ruby red slippers making for a nice touch. You can still walk down the yellow brick road to the alter, hold your reception in an Emerald City themed ballroom, and have all the accouterments of Oz without offending your family, friends, or guests.

Snuggles,
Tazi


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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Some Situations Are Too Sacred For Jokes

Dear Readers: Today’s letter contains sensitive material that may be difficult for some readers to handle. I am answering the letter because the writer is obviously in need of support and advice.

Dear Tazi:

I am an adult woman with an issue that has me at the end of my rope. My brother “George” makes a joke out of everything. With George, nothing is sacred. One Christmas, when Mom overcooked the roast he joked about it through the whole meal, much to Mom’s mortification. Another time, when a cousin was going through a painful divorce, he joked about how upset her ex-husband must be that he would have to go out and buy a punching bag for his aggression (our cousin left the man because he was physically abusive). Tasteless, tacky, and bordering on mental abuse is how I would describe George’s humor, but so long as one person laughs George will continue with his sick brand of humor because he honestly believes people find him funny, and that those who don’t can’t take a joke.

I grew up the butt of George’s humor and for the most part have learned to ignore him. My husband refuses to laugh at George’s jokes – at first it was at my request, but over the years he has seen how George is encouraged by laughter, to the point where his humor gets abusive, so now my husband finds no humor in George’s witticisms. The final straw has now been reached, and my husband and I wish to cut off all contact with George, but doing so would break my mother’s heart.

Earlier this year, I lost a full-term pregnancy. My husband I and I were – and still are – devastated over our loss, but we are leaning on each other for support, seeking counseling, and working through our pain together. We believe the loss has made us even stronger as a couple and plan on trying again as soon as we are ready. All through my pregnancy, George would make jokes about my size – first I was too thin; then I was too fat; I will not even get into the jokes about our personal life that George saw fit to make.

After I lost my baby, George came to the hospital carrying a large decorative soup pot full of helpful items – body lotions, personal care items, a wonderful fluffy bathrobe, and a book of grieving. I was quite touched, until George commented that we could use the pot to make soup with my baby’s remains. Just remembering that moment makes me want to vomit, which I did at the time, much to George’s glee because he added that we could “add that to the pot, too!” My husband had to be physically restrained (thank God the bed was between him and George) as George was escorted from the room. We have not spoken to him since, despite his many phone messages offering apologies for “overstepping the line” in his attempts to cheer me up.

My mother has a milestone birthday approaching, and her siblings are planning a large banquet for her. She has expressed her desire for George and me to “let bygones be bygones” because I know how George has a habit of “putting his foot in his mouth”. She has told me that forgiveness is the greatest gift of all, and that is what she would like me to give George for her birthday. My husband has told me I am crazy if I can find it in my heart to forgive my brother’s clod-like behavior; but it is my mother’s heartfelt wish that our family be whole and healed. Her youngest brother died in Viet Nam, and there were unresolved issues between them, so I can understand her side of things – but I am still reluctant to accept George’s apology.

Signed,
Trying

Dear Trying:

Your letter shattered my kitty-cat heart into a million little pieces. You have my most heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your precious baby and my wishes for a brighter future. As for your brother…

I will refrain from giving George my famous “Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust”, even though he richly deserves one, because some people are just natural born buffoons. It sounds to me that your brother is unable to handle emotional stress of any kind, and uses humor to try and work through it. Unfortunately, at times such as the ones you have described, humor is the last thing that is wanted, needed, or appropriate for the situation.

Your mother is correct in saying that forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give, but it is not a gift that comes freely for either side. For your part, it will require a great deal of emotional fortitude and soul-searching to accept what sounds like his sincere apologies, but George has his part to play, as well. Words of apology are only one half of a sincere apology; a desire to do penance towards the injured party is the side most people like to ignore.

If George is truly sorry for his behavior – and he did not simply overstep the line, he completely erased it! – he will be open to a penitent offering towards you. My suggestion is that George seek counseling to get to the root of his problem (making inappropriate jokes at the expense of others), and work towards developing some self-restraint when the urge to tell a joke hits. Unless George changes his behavior, all the apologies in the world will not heal the rift he has caused.

Snuggles, Snuggles, and more Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. I, too, felt a wave of nausea when I read the tasteless comments George made to you. George is lucky his shoes were nowhere in my sight!


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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is The Montessori Method The Best Choice For This Child?

Dear Tazi:

I am livid with my son and I am not certain what to do with him. I just received notice that he is to be held back in school next year due to failing grades. I have done everything in my power to assist my son in his learning goals, but to no avail.

When “Chad” first started bringing home failing grades, I sat with him to assist him with his homework. When he continued to bring home failing grades, I started revoking privileges and hired a private tutor to work with him who told me that Chad has great learning potential but no great desire to learn. Chad continued to bring home failing grades. I tried grounding him and attending parent-teacher conferences. I had him tested for ADD, Autism, and every other disorder under the sun. The doctors all tell me that there is nothing wrong with Chad medically, he simply lacks a desire for classroom learning.

I am now considering other options, each more expensive than the other: I can let Chad learn from his mistakes and see him held back a year; I can send Chad for counseling and hope that this gets to the root of his problems; or I can send Chad to a private, alternative school that teaches through the Montessori method. Although the third option is obviously the best one, it is also a very expensive one that is not available to the average-income family. I could easily afford to send Chad to such a school; but I do not want him to grow up like my brothers did, thinking Mommy and Daddy’s money will solve every problem and that having money somehow made them special (well, all children are special, so I will say more special than other children).

I am a widowed mother trying to do the best by my son without spoiling him in the process. I really can't talk to my friends about this issue because we do not see eye to eye when it comes to money and how much to spend on the children. I have considered talking to his teachers, but I live in a state where public education teachers are feeling rather volatile as it is; I believe that to bring up the idea of private school with them will not garner me an unbiased opinion. I read your "ghostwriter's" biography and am impressed enough to ask you: What would you recommend?

Signed,
At Wit's End


Dear At Wit's End:

I can appreciate the way you are trying to raise your son, and it sounds like you are a very involved parent. You do not say how old Chad is or what grade he is in, but I am aware that Montessori schools accept children from birth through age 18 so I am pretty certain that Chad would qualify for admission age-wise.

Montessori schools are great schools for children who do not fit into the regular educational mold of public schooling, but before deciding to send your son to a Montessori school I would suggest a few meetings with their teachers, parents of other Montessori students, and with the Administration of the school itself - all to make certain that a Montessori education is what is right for your son. The lack of a formal classroom setting and the emphasis on creativity offered through the Montessori method may appeal to your son, but he will still be required to work towards learning goals.

If traditional classroom learning is what Chad finds so off-putting than a Montessori school would be a good choice for him. However, if Chad simply has no desire to learn - or even any natural curiosity at all - the Montessori method may not work for him, as it is based upon working with a child's creativity and natural learning curve to educate and problem solve. If in fact the latter is the case, you may want to seek a second opinion on whether or not Chad has a medical issue that is somehow holding him back.

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. You mention having him checked for "every disorder under the sun". Have you had him checked for dyslexia? This visual disability can frustrate and rob even the most intelligent children of the desire to learn.


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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Repost - Tazi's Corner #70 - Honoring Nelson Mandela

Ed. Note: In honor of Nelson Mandela Day, which occured this past week, Tazi. is reposting this article.

Dear Readers,

This week, I have seen an outpouring of love and support in the memory and commemoration of human rights leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 95. My question to those who have posted quotes from Mandela, RIP messages, and sympathies for the loss to the world is this: So what are you going to do now? 

To say that Nelson Mandela was a giant for human rights and racial equality in a gross understatement, but the only words I know that can express his importance to the world. Over the course of his lifetime, Mandela made sacrifices that made him both a living martyr and a saint to the causes he supported. He leaves behind a legacy of greatness in his humility and his shoes will be nigh on impossible to fill. This does not mean that we should not try, though. So I ask again, what are you going to do now?

Does the legacy of Nelson Mandela inspire you to stand up to injustice in any way that makes you even slightly uncomfortable? Does it inspire you to stand up to hate speech - even if your boss is the one making hateful comments? Does it inspire you to break ties with companies that suppress their employee wages in favor of higher stock returns for their investors - even if it means paying a higher price for your consumer goods at another store or local small business? Does the legacy of Nelson Mandela make you want to better yourself by making the hard sacrifices that the short-term requires in order to make your world a better place in the long-run? And if this legacy does inspire you to do any of this, will you actually commit to doing it? Or will you remain complacent within the confines of your comfort zone?

To follow is a short list of the simple ways you can make a difference in the life of someone who is oppressed:

1. Commit to volunteering once a week at a local soup kitchen. If you can afford it, bring a small donation of cash or food with you every time you go there. Save your loose change and donate what's collected by the end of the week.

2. Go through your closets and look for business attire that you do not wear. Donate it to a program like Dress for Success. Once a season,  go to the department stores and search for business attire on clearance; buy it and donate it. (Mommie and I once donated a brand new ladies' business suit that we found on sale at J.C. Penney for only $9.98! It didn't look right on either of us, but it looked great on the recipient).

Tan is not my color...

3. Are you handy around the house? Habitat for Humanity is always in need of regular volunteers to help build homes for those in need of quality, low-income housing. Grab your tools and offer a donation of your time and talents!

4. Is there a human rights issue that sticks in your craw? Start a petition, directed at your government representatives, to fight for change! If you have an Internet connection, you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home - Change.org will administrate for you, but you will need to be vocal! Email your petition to all of your contacts, explain to them why the issue is important to you and ask them to petition others to build momentum! Spread the word via social media - if you don't use sites like Twitter and Facebook, start with this project!

5. Can you do math without a calculator? Many school-age children cannot, and struggle with basic concepts like multiplication tables and fractions. Talk to your local school board representative and see if there are programs where you could volunteer your skills as a tutor.

6. Is there a prison or juvenile detention facility in your community? Look into working as a mentor for a non-violent offender. Many correctional facilities have pre-release programs, which have been shown to cut recidivism rates, and are desperate for qualified volunteer mentors.

To often, people fail in life and at life because they believe that nobody cares about them; without a helping hand, those failures start to oppress and in time become overwhelming. The difference you choose to make by your actions or inaction will matter to someone - work to make that difference a positive one by making an effort to affect positive change. The life you change may be your own, as well!

Nelson Mandela was more than a man who cared - he was a man who cared with a passion, and who took steps to express that passion! Do not dishonor his memory by quoting his words while failing to follow his example in your actions.

Snuggles,
Tazi


Rest now in peace and know that others will continue your journey for you

Nelson Mandela
1918 - 2013

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This "Mr. Right" Is Very Wrong!

Dear Tazi:

My husband is one of those people who has to be right about EVERYTHING! He embarrasses me in public, at parties, and among strangers with his insistence that he is right - even when he is so obviously wrong. One time, he got into an argument with a saleslady, telling her I wore a size 12W, because "the 'W' stands for wide" and I have a wide backside. (The "W" does not stand for "wide", but for "woman", as the garment is cut smaller in the waist and wider in the hips than a Junior/Misses size). Another time, he accidentally started a rumor that our neighbor was pregnant because her skin was "glowing" (she had just received a facial).

Last week, at a 4th of July barbecue, he insisted he got better gas mileage by purchasing gas directly after someone else used the pump because there was sometimes gasoline left in the nozzle and hose. An argument erupted when someone contradicted him and told him that was outrageous. Things went downhill from there, and we were asked to leave the party. I was never so humiliated in my whole life!

I have told my husband that he owes all present at the party, as well as our host, a sincere apology. He has said he will apologize if someone can prove him wrong. Tazi, I haven't the faintest idea where to look for this information on gas pumps, but my husband's claim just sounds ridiculous! Can you help me?

Signed,
Married to "Mr. Right"

Dear Married to "Mr. Right":

Your husband told a saleslady that you have a wide bottom and you didn't resist the urge to clock him with your purse? You have my highest praise for your saint-like restraint! I will be writing to the Vatican to nominate you as Patron Saint of Put-Upon Wives! (Currently, that honor belongs to St. Monica - for those who were wondering).

As for your husband, you are correct: he is wrong on both counts. "W" does indeed stand for "Woman", and gasoline pumps are calculated on how much gasoline they deliver, not how much is pumped from the tank. This means whatever is left in the nozzle will be paid for by the next person who purchases gasoline, not the person who left said gasoline in the nozzle and hose. I am certain of this because I confirmed it with my local board of weights and measures, the government entity that certifies the pumps. Your husband can check this for himself - right before he apologizes to the neighbors and your party host for being such a blockhead.

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. I also know that "W" does not stand for "Wide" because no designer worth his drawing board would ever insult a woman that way! The correct term for a large caboose is "curvy"! If you don't believe me, ask Kim Kardashian!


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

Friday, July 18, 2014

She Thought The Psychic Was A Liar; Now Wonders If She Should Pay Her After All

Dear Tazi:

I have a problem and was hoping you could give me some advice on it. About six months ago I went to a psychic who told me that I would be having a surprise pregnancy within a year. I was very upset at this prediction, told the psychic she was a fraud, and walked out without paying. You see, I am a lesbian. When I was married several years ago (to a man - long story!) one of the issues that ended my marriage was an infertility problem on my end. I was told by the doctors that my PCOS [poly-cystic ovary syndrome] would make it "difficult to impossible" for me to conceive.

About three months ago, while walking home from work, I was sexually assaulted. I did not report the assault like I should have, for fear of how I would be treated, being a lesbian and all. I live in a small town, and they are not very progressive here. Well, guess what? The psychic was right, after all! I have not been feeling right since the attack, so my partner finally convinced me to see a doctor. The doctor did a pregnancy test, and it turns out I am three months pregnant. My partner and I both desire children, and together we are working through the whole issue of how our child was fathered. This is not the problem, just the work-up to my question.

My problem is: Do you think I should go back to the psychic and offer her payment for the reading she gave me, along with an apology? My friends say that is she was a real psychic she would have known I was going to be assaulted, but I remember that she did say this would be a "surprise" pregnancy - and it certainly is! Her fee was not cheap, and I could use the money for my upcoming baby expenses, but at the same time I feel just a little bit immoral about not paying her for a prediction that actually came true.

Signed,
Mama-To-Be

Dear Mama-To-Be:

I admire your strength to get through the ordeal of your assault, and the fortitude required to carry your pregnancy to term. Although I am certain this is not the way you imagined becoming a parent, I am happy that this dream is coming true for you and that you and your partner are coping well with whatever emotional issues you are having.

As for whether or not you should return to the psychic with an apology and payment for services rendered: some "psychics" have a true gift, but there are also a lot of charlatans out there. Was the psychic you saw recommended to you by someone who has gone to her in the past? Do you feel that the remainder of the reading that she gave you was accurate and fair? Most importantly, did you storm out of the reading at the beginning, middle, or end, and how long was the reading supposed to last? Was it a scheduled appointment or a walk-in?

I think that you owe the psychic an apology, at the very least. Explain to her your sensitivity towards your fertility and why you reacted as you did. If your appointment was a scheduled one, you owe her for the full cost of the reading, regardless of when you left. If she is as good a businesswoman as she is a psychic, she will offer you the remainder of your reading time in return (if she has some un-booked time). If the reading was a walk-in - and you left within the first few minutes of the reading - I would offer the psychic an amount equal to the time spent with you. I am not sure what the value is in your town, but in my market in-person psychic readings generally cost $1/minute. If you were a walk-in but stayed for the entire reading, you owe her both an apology and the entire amount due. I realize that you need the money, but doing readings is how the psychic makes her living. Pony up!

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. I encourage you to report your attack, even if you do not wish to press charges. You obviously have proof of the assault, and can provide DNA evidence should another woman be victimized as you have been. --T.K.

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Your Mother's Living Room Is Not The Place To Be Naked

Dear Tazi:

My adult son moved home with me last year after he lost his job. I do not mind that he is still here because I understand the difficult economy we are experiencing, but I do have a problem with some of his living habits.

“Cameron” does not like to wear clothes. He claims clothing makes him feel restricted and agitates his anxiety which, in order to alleviate, he likes to indulge in what he calls his “naked time”. I am not a prude, but I believe that the place to be unclothed is in the privacy of your bedroom or the bathroom as you are preparing to shower. I have asked Cameron to wear a bathrobe or at the very least boxer shorts, but it turns out he owns neither – he feels underpants are restrictive and, because he prefers to be nude, sees no need to own a bathrobe. After my life partner caught an eyeful of Cameron one afternoon (he had returned home from work a little early) I put my foot down: absolutely, positively no “naked time” outside of the prescribed areas of bedroom or bathroom – especially since Cameron was not shielding the furniture with a towel.

Cameron’s desire to be naked has lost out to his desire to have a place to live free of charge (I informed him I would kick him out if he was caught naked in the living room again). Now, Cameron is moody and sullen all of the time, insisting that he “needs” his “naked time” to relax and let go of his anxiety and that I am not being fair to him. He has offered to place a towel between his bare backside and my couch and to only indulge himself after 10:00 PM, but my partner and I often like to watch TV in the evening, and do not care to have him sitting stark naked next to us! Cameron has suggested that we watch TV in our bedroom, I have suggested he go be naked in his but he claims that it “doesn’t count as naked time if it is in the bedroom right before bed”.

Tazi, I am completely disgusted with my son’s need to be bare! I am at my wits end with him over this issue and need some sound advice on how to handle his poor attitude. The man is almost 40 years old – isn’t it time he grew out of this childish obsession with being naked?

Signed,
Seeking Solace

Dear Seeking Solace:

My question for you is: why is your grown son sitting at home naked during the middle of the day? Shouldn’t he be out looking for a job; considering he has been unemployed, by my count, for at least six months? His bare butt on your couch reminds me of an old commercial for a local furniture store, which also reminds me: you might want to buy new furniture or at least get your current upholstery steam-cleaned!

As for Cameron’s aversion to clothing, it is possible that he suffers from a form of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a nervous system disorder that is on the Autism spectrum. People who suffer from SPD have overactive sensory nerves and can be, in many cases, extremely sensitive to touch. Many people who suffer from SPD are what is referred to as “texture eaters” – they will eat (or not eat) particular foods based upon the texture, not the taste. As children, they tend to be clumsy, a trait that can follow them into adulthood. SPD sufferers may also hate the feeling of constricting clothing, preferring to wear cotton/Spandex® stretch type clothing; un-tucked shirts; short, loose-fitting sleeves; and other types of clothes that do not put pressure against the skin. Does this describe your son at all? If so, a consultation with his physician could lead to a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If this does not describe Cameron – meaning if when he is clothed the items he wears are fitted and his tastes in food are based on flavor not texture – he probably does not suffer from SPD, at least not to the extent that it affects his clothing preferences.

If your son has been diagnosed with anxiety (and by this I mean by a medical professional and not WebMD) there are many ways to control it through both prescription and non-prescription methods. Cameron’s comment that it “doesn’t count as naked time if it is in the bedroom right before bed” leads me to believe that he is using his anxiety as an excuse to steamroll over your house rules. You are right in refusing to bow to his pressure, or his moods.

You should inform Cameron that you would like to see some results from his job search – this means, copies of the help wanted ads to which he has replied; a copy of his most recent resume and cover letter; and weekly appointments at the local state-run job search center. The economy has been bad, but it is picking up in many areas of the country. Any job is better than no job, so if Cameron has to spend a few months flipping burgers so be it. You should also present Cameron with some boxer shorts and a bathrobe, along with the message that if he wants to be naked he can do it in the privacy of his own home, not yours. Even my hero, Puss in Boots, has the decency to wear boots!

Snuggles,
Tazi




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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Bad Girl" Past Haunts This Good Woman's Present

Dear Tazi:

Growing up, I was a “bad girl”. I lost my virginity at the age of 12, and was never without a boyfriend thereafter – even if the “relationship” was nothing more than a series of booty calls. I cleaned up my act during my senior year of college, when I met the man who is now my husband, “Daryl”.

Daryl was the first man who had ever turned down my advances for sex, and instead asked me why I felt the need to sleep with men in order to gain their love. I could see he was completely disgusted with who I was, but I was infatuated with him nonetheless and pursued a friendship by showing up at his church to attend mass every Sunday. It was during this pursuit of Daryl that I honestly found God and sought to change my ways. Seeing the change in my attitude was an honest one and not just a ploy for his attentions, Daryl and I started dating and were married after my graduation. That was twenty years ago, and life has been wonderful ever since.

After we got married, I left my old life behind me – literally. Daryl and I moved back to his Bible Belt hometown, where I am now the mother of his two children; a PTA Mom; and a Sunday school teacher. Nobody in my new life knows about my past, and Daryl is fine with my desire to keep it all a big secret. He tells me that my past behavior does not concern him, just my present and future behavior.

My problem is that, at the request of my children, I started a family Facebook page. On our page are updates about the kids’ schoolwork, my work with the church, and Daryl’s job. We post pictures and have generally been having a great time with it. I did not post my maiden name anywhere on the page, so it never occurred to me that people from my past might find me – but several of them have.

My old friends from college remember Daryl and while searching for him on Facebook found the family page I created – along with all the details of who I am now, and have been for the past twenty-one years. Several of these people have sent friend requests that I have ignored because I am afraid to answer them. These are people who remember the old me, and I would rather my children and my community not hear stories of who I once was or, even worse, see pictures of the things I used to do during my bad girl days.

I have set my privacy settings so that people cannot “tag” me in pictures without my permission, and I am just hoping that any old pictures of me that are posted are not seen by anyone from my current life. Do you think starting this Facebook page was a mistake? If I decide to get rid of it, how should I explain my decision to my children? Is my sordid past always going to haunt me, or do you think the new leaf I have turned over will outweigh the past I am seeking to erase?

Signed,
Sinner Been Saved

Dear Sinner Been Saved:

I have figured out the timeline from the information you gave me, and it sounds like you came of age during the early 1980’s – a time when the 1970’s free-love movement was just ending as the era of condoms, STD’s and AIDS began. While this could partially explain your wild child behavior, I get the impression that the reasons for it are much more deep rooted than the cultural mores of the time. Judging from your complete and total turn-around, I believe that whatever the issues you had as a child they have been resolved as an adult – and that is the key factor in this matter: you were a child when you lived the role of the “bad girl”. You were a newly minted adult when you made the conscious decision to turn your life around and dedicate yourself to a new path.

The time you have spent as a wife, PTA Mom, and a Sunday school teacher is more than double the time you spent as a “bad girl”, so please remind yourself of that fact when the stress of your past threatens to derail your current sense of serenity. Although you will never be able to outrun your past, try to remember that you are not the only person who has changed. The class valedictorian who was going to take on the world is probably a stay-at-home-mom with five kids; the peace-loving hippie might be a Wall Street trader; and your old friend are all probably recovering “bad” girls and boys themselves who would be just as mortified if old pictures of them found their way onto the Internet. Since you made your transformation from “bad girl” to “Saved Sinner” during your senior year of college, the dramatic change in you should not come as any surprise to these people.

If the people who have sent you Facebook requests are people with whom you honestly want to reconnect then by all means accept their friend requests, and for your own piece of mind send them a private message asking them not to reveal the gory details of your past, as they can see that you have long since left that life behind. On the other hand, if these people from your past are people you are content to leave there you are under no obligation to accept their friend requests.

Snuggles,
Tazi


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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pre-Teen Needs To "Makeup" Her Mind

Dear Tazi:

I am 12 years old and will be starting the seventh grade this September. I feel that I am now old enough to wear makeup and have asked my Mom to let me. She has said she would rather I not wear it, but knows that I will probably just spend my allowance money on cheap drugstore brands and hide it from her because that is what she did when she was my age. I told her she was probably right, because I thought being honest with her was the best thing to do at the time.

My Mom has agreed to let me buy all of the cheap drugstore makeup I want if I want to wear makeup now, but she told me if I waited until I was 16 to start wearing makeup she would buy me the expensive, department store makeup that all the fashion models and movie stars wear. It would take me several months and every dollar from my allowance and babysitting money to save enough money to buy a full set of Dior or Estee Lauder makeup, so the offer my Mom has made is tempting, but I won’t be 16 for another four years!!! That’s a long time to wait. How awkward!

My Mom has made this type of agreement with me before; when I was little I had to wait until I was 10 to pierce my ears but got to wear cool stuff instead of lame little studs, so I trust my Mom to make good on her end of the deal if I hold up my end of it. It’s just that a lot of my friends are starting to wear face makeup and I am stuck wearing lip gloss and nail polish. It’s awkward. What would you do if you were me, Tazi? Do you think boys would notice me more if I wore makeup, even if it was Wet and Wild brand instead of Dior?

Signed,
Cindy (but I now spell it Sindi)

Dear Cindy/Sindi:

Your signature tells me that you are growing up quite fast – maybe a little too fast for your Mom, who would like to keep you her little girl Cindy for a little while longer. Permission to wear makeup is a huge milestone in a girl’s life, so I can see why you want to get there as soon as possible; however I am going to tell you a little secret, one my Mommie told me when I showed her your letter: the 8th grade girls laugh at the 6th and 7th grade girls who wear makeup, saying they look like little girls who got into their mother’s makeup drawer! Part of this is because so many of them put too much makeup on or do not apply it correctly, and part of it is because the stuff you can buy for a dollar at the local drugstore really doesn’t wear well. Give your friends an unbiased look the next time they are wearing full makeup and see for yourself!

Once upon a time, my Mommie wore sky blue lipstick to school because she thought it looked cool…and refused to take it off when others made fun of her because she didn’t want to be bullied. She says she wore it because it matched her eyes, but looking back on it, the stuff made her look like a corpse. My point is that teenage girls can make some bad mistakes at the $1.00 lipstick carousel; just one more reason why you might want to take your Mom up on her offer.

If you were to wear makeup, there is a possibility that the boys would notice you more, but it might not be for the right reasons. That would be awkward, right? It has been almost 25 years since my Mommie wore that blue lipstick, but people still remember it. You want boys to notice you for good reasons, not silly ones! Glitter and bright colors will not make you look prettier – they will make you look like you are dressed up for Halloween.

If I were you, I would try to work out a compromise with your Mom. Since you really seem to think wearing makeup will help you fit in with the other girls at school, ask your Mom if tinted moisturizer, tinted lip gloss, and clear mascara will count as makeup. These products will give you the natural glow that wearing makeup gives some people without actually wearing a face full of makeup. Plus, these products are good for your skin. By the time you are 16, you may discover that you don’t really want to wear makeup – it can be time consuming to apply it correctly, and as my Mommie puts it, “a pain in the butt when the cat decides to jump up and help you” [HEY! That wasn’t nice! –T.K.]

Regardless of what you decide to do, remember to always take proper care of your skin; that means moisturizing before you apply makeup and removing your makeup before bed every night and then re-moisturizing to counteract the drying effects of the makeup remover. Moisturizing is the key to maintaining good skin, which is something you will prize as you get older.

Snuggles,
Tazi


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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Teenage Drinker May Be Teenage Alcoholic

Dear Tazi:

I am 18 and I think I might have a drinking problem.  I don’t want to say I might be an alcoholic, because I don’t think my drinking is that bad; I only drink because there is nothing else to do where I live.  If there was something to do around here I know that I wouldn’t drink as much, but there isn’t and I get bored so I drink.

All of my friends drink, so I never noticed how much I drink until I met my new girlfriend.  She doesn’t drink at all and doesn’t like it when I drink.  She is always on me about my drinking and I was going to break up with her because of all the [nagging] when she challenged me to go one whole weekend without drinking.  I never turn down a bet or challenge of any kind, so I took her on figuring it was an easy win.  Tazi, I lost.  I made it until Saturday night and was going out of my mind for a beer! 

I did break down and start drinking that weekend, but every beer I drank tasted funny.  I kept thinking I might be addicted, which ruined my buzz.  I have been fine since, sort of; I can drink without the beer tasting funny, but its not as fun as it was before my girl pointed out what she calls my “dependency upon beer to have a good time”.  Tazi, am I an alcoholic?

Signed,
Likes My Beer

Dear Likes My Beer:

It is not for me to decide whether or not you are an alcoholic; only you can come to such a personal realization.  I can, however, provide for you a list of characteristics of an alcoholic, courtesy of WebMD.com:  

Signs of alcohol abuse


You have problems at work or school because of your drinking, such as being late or not going at all.
You drink in risky situations, such as before or while driving a car.
After drinking, you can't remember what happened while you were drinking (blackouts).
You have legal problems because of your drinking, such as being arrested for harming someone or driving while drunk (intoxicated).
You get hurt or you hurt someone else when you are drinking.
You keep drinking even though you have health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use, such as liver disease (cirrhosis).
Your friends or family members are worried about your drinking.


Signs of alcohol dependence or addiction

You cannot quit drinking or control how much you drink.
You need to drink more to get the same effect.
You have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering.
You have given up other activities so you can drink.
You keep drinking even though it harms your relationships and causes health problems.

Whether or not you recognize yourself in the above list(s), I do believe that you are abusing alcohol since you are using it as a cure for boredom.  The next time you find yourself reaching for a drink, ask yourself, “Why do I want this drink?”  When you discover the cause of your desire for alcohol you can work on finding a cure for it.  If the cause is boredom, I suggest you find a hobby – other than drinking – to occupy your time.    

If possible, I suggest you visit a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to see where your drinking could lead you if you do not get your desire for alcohol under control.  If you find this visit helps you, I suggest that you continue to go to these meetings.  “Bill W.” has many friends who would be happy to help you through your struggles with alcohol abuse.

Snuggles,
Tazi

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Repost: Tazi's Corner #76 - In Defense Of Fathers

Dear Readers,

You have all seen the viral picture of the Daddy combing his daughter's hair while holding his other baby, right? If you have not, here it is:


I love this picture. It is a sweet picture of a Daddy helping his daughter get ready for school because his wife - who usually combs their daughter's hair - was running late for work. Unfortunately, it was not the cute factor that made this picture go viral. It was the fact that a father was helping with the day-to-day domestic side of child-rearing  - and doing so successfully, with just a little innovation on his part - that made the world go gaga.

The story behind the photo is that this man's wife thought he would be unable to accomplish this feat - of holding the baby and brushing the elder daughter's hair. My immediate reaction to hearing this was upset. Apparently, his wife does not have much faith in her husband as a father! There has been a lot of praise from the blogosphere, saying it is about time father's pitched in; and a lot of criticism, saying that this man does not deserve a medal for helping to raise his child. Well, maybe he does. Because how often do we praise fathers for being capable?

If we look at any television sitcom, men are most likely being made to look like buffoons who would be unable to lace their own shoes if their wives didn't show them how to do it. They are good for a paycheck (which provides the large colonial houses in which these families always seem to live), humor filled discipline, laughs and not much more. Dating back to the very first episode of The Cosby Show, when Bill Cosby was sent upstairs with the wifely directive to "kill your son", modern fathers have been shown as removed from the real day to day activity of our lives. (Did we ever see Cliff Huxtable try to tame Rudy's nappy locks?). If we want to stretch back to the '50's through the '70's - a time when Father Knows Best and Mom waited for him to get home - we see even less of fathers outside of a disciplinary and instructive role.

Somebody had to! Her hair was always perfect!

At a time when everyone from Oprah to the NFL is pushing fathers to be more involved with their children the time has come for praise of fathers who already are involved! Mothers, you can expect more from your child's father! You can even demand more. Most importantly, though, you need to give him the opportunity to do more without criticizing him that he did it wrong and it will just be easier for you to do it yourself. You know how you feel when your mother criticizes you on your child-rearing skills? Don't pass that criticism on to your child's father!

A father is more than just a sperm-donor and a paycheck; he is a living, feeling person with emotions that society has told him he needs to squash deep down inside of him if he is to be perceived as a real man. We teach our sons that boys don't cry, that boys are tough, and then expect them to find their delicate side as soon as their children are born so they can be an equal partner in the day-to-day duties of parenting...when they will then be pushed to the sidelines if they do a task differently than their child's mother would do it, as if there is only one "right" way of doing something. In the quest for equality outside the home are women becoming the oppressors at home? (And I mean in an otherwise non-violent, non-abusive household).

Photo courtesy of comics.com © All rights reserved.

We cannot use the sexist and emasculating term "Mr. Mom" to describe a stay-at-home father and then complain that men (in general) do not do enough to help with the domestic chores. Why would they if they know they will only be made fun of for it? When a man wearing an apron and helping with dinner becomes a reason to drop everything to take a picture because it's "funny looking" what message are we sending to men?

Duh...what's a stove? Me use flaming stick!

The time has come to give men the opportunity to be fathers in the fullest sense of the word - and that means expressing confidence, not doubt, when they offer to help brush a child's hair; make dinner; or wash a load of laundry - and to stop complaining about how the oppressiveness of these tasks steals your time and energy

Snuggles,
Tazi

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.