Friday, April 17, 2015

After The Wedding, It Is REALLY Time To Grow Up!

Dear Tazi:

When I was a child, a unicorn was my imaginary friend. I would watch My Little Pony cartoons and wish I could be magically transported to the land of Ponyville where I could live with all the ponies and their friends. I am now an adult and am preparing to be married. My fiancé is unaware of my imaginary friend, but he is aware of my love of unicorns and has graciously given in to having a unicorn and rainbow themed wedding. The reception hall will be decorated like Ponyville and the wedding favors will be My Little Pony ponies with our names and wedding date airbrushed on the sides.

Welcome to Ponyville!

I realize that all of this sounds like a dream come true, but I am afraid it will all turn into a nightmare after my husband discovers that I have a stuffed unicorn and My Little Pony collection big enough to fill a good sized basement. My mother has held onto my collection for me, but has always said that once I am married with a place of my own she wants her basement back. My fiancé owns his own home, and it is into his house we will be moving after the wedding. His basement is furnished and has a huge bar with a sports theme throughout, including many signed collectibles. I couldn’t possibly ask him to make room for Ponyville – his friends are already giving him a hard time about the Ponyville themed wedding.

Could you please print my letter in your column? I am hoping that my fiancé will see it and realize how important my unicorn and My Little Pony collection is to me, and that he will then offer me room to re-create Ponyville alongside his sports kingdom. It’s the only way I can think of to save Ponyville!

Pony Girl

Dear Pony Girl:

Men everywhere are going to hate me for printing this letter, but here it is anyway – but only because Hasbro, a Rhode Island based company, makes My Little Pony and I never miss an opportunity to promote a local enterprise.

If you are afraid to ask your fiancé/husband directly for something that should tell you that your request is probably a selfish one. Put yourself in his shoes: Would you give up your Ponyville wedding for a sports-themed extravaganza, complete with mini football helmets for favors? I didn’t think so; therefore, I give my full support to the resounding “NO!” that your fiancé is going to give you. As for what happens to Ponyville, that is up to you and your mother. If she wants her basement back, I suggest you box it up and rent a storage facility; or better yet donate your collection to the local children’s hospital, so a new generation of children can enjoy these wonderful toys and so you can feel the fulfillment that comes with letting go in order to help others.


P.S. Your fiancé sounds like a saint!

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Life A "Cluster-Fluke" For Woman Who Believed Unfounded Gossip

Dear Tazi:

My life has turned into one big, giant cluster-fluke and I need some help sorting things out. I come from a large family with several sisters and many female cousins; we all grew up very close and that closeness has not faded, even though we are now all adults with families of our own.

My problem started about two years ago, right after my youngest sister got married. Her husband “Sam” told me that, as much as it pained him to say it, he had to let me know that my cousin “Marcy” was gossiping about me and my sisters, telling him all kinds of dirty laundry as her way of welcoming him to the family. Although I had never known Marcy to gossip I had no reason to believe that Sam would lie about her, so I believed Sam.

Rather than confronting Marcy directly, I needled her every chance I got. If she commented on my Facebook page or pictures I posted, I would attack her – right there on my page, not in a private message – for some imagined slight in her words. When she apologized, I saw it as my chance to attack her further. Finally, Marcy got sick of it and told me that she “apparently only opens her mouth to change feet” and would stop posting anything to my page. I took this as an opportunity to gleefully and publicly announce that was going to unfriend her, since looking without commenting is creeping, and then I did just that. That was a year and a half ago, and I have not spoken to Marcy since.

Over the last year and a half my marriage has taken a downward spiral as my husband finds more and more reasons to stay out of the house and away from me and the kids. I have not said anything to my family, who think my marriage is picture-perfect – a façade I can uphold because I live an hour and a half away from the rest of my family. However, I live in a small town where nobody’s business is private and everyone here knows how much time my husband spends down at the bar. Enter Marcy, who just got a new job working in my small town.

The rest of our family does not know that we are not speaking; they just assume that we never see each other because we are both too busy to visit. When I heard Marcy was working in my town, I waited for her outside of work one night to talk to her, face-to-face, and tell her that I would appreciate it if she did not gossip about me to the rest of the family; that anything she heard in town should stay in town. Marcy looked at me icily and replied, “I have never gossiped about you in the past, why would I start now?” She asked me to give her regards to my Mom, got in her car, and drove off, leaving me to wonder if Marcy had forgotten all of the cruel things she had said about me and my sisters or if Sam had by lying about it.

I have been unable to get a moment’s peace since that conversation with Marcy. I need to know if she was telling the truth or if Sam’s story is the real one. I am worried that Marcy will tell my family about my marital issues (she has to know, everyone else in town does). If she is a gossip, she must have sworn everyone she told to secrecy; no phone calls from family have come in yet. If she is not a gossip, this means Sam was lying to me – but I have no idea why! I have noticed that Sam likes to be the center of attention, but he usually just blows his own horn and brags; I have never heard him put someone else down or tell tales about them.

So, to recap: my marriage is secretly a mess, the cousin I scolded into humiliation is the only family member who knows this, she may be a gossip but my brother-in-law might be lying and I have no idea which is true so I have no idea who to confront, nor do I know if my private business is going to be the next topic at the family barbecue! 

Bothered And Bewildered

Dear Bothered And Bewildered:

Wow. You are living quite a soap opera, aren't you? The worst part of all this is that you have brought it upon yourself by believing…gossip about Marcy! When Sam came to you with an unfounded – and difficult to believe – accusation that Marcy was gossiping about you he in turn was spreading a rumor about Marcy; instead of approaching Marcy and sorting out all the confusion, you acted as judge and jury and condemned her on the spot. Using Facebook as a vehicle for your anger was cruel and childish and only served to further the gap between the two of you; I am reminded of the William Blake poem “A Poison Tree”. Do the lines ring familiar to you?

The first thing you need to do is trust your instincts. You say you have never known Marcy to gossip, so ask yourself why she would start. If you can’t think of a reason, give her the benefit of the doubt and approach Sam. Ask him point blank – as you should have to begin with – exactly what Marcy said about you and your sisters. If it was so harsh that he felt the need to tell you, I doubt his memory will have completely faded by now. If he tried to “save” you from hearing the details or uses any other kind of stalling tactic, there is a good chance he is lying to you. Why he is lying is not important; maybe he just doesn’t like Marcy for whatever reason, some relationships are like that. However, you cannot allow him to destroy your relationship with Marcy over (possibly) untruthful and (in my opinion) mean-spirited statements.

The next thing to do is to go see Marcy. You know where she works, so why not ask her to join you for coffee after work? I am sure she would love to see your kids again. Tell her that you owe her an apology for taking out your temper on her in such a public way, and tell her that you should have asked her about this in private two years ago: Did she ever gossip about you and your sisters, even to other family members? You do not have to tell her it was Sam who suggested that she was a gossip because she probably already knows, judging by her reaction to you in the parking lot of her job. Whatever Marcy tells you, accept her at her word – and accept that this relationship needs repair, starting with the two of you letting go of your anger towards each other.

 Anger is a funny thing…we may think nobody knows about it but it can fester and affect the relationships we have with those around us – including a spouse. Could your husband want to spend less and less time at home because your attitude has changed over the last year and a half? Look deep for the answers; ask him to accompany you to a few counseling sessions to get to the root of your problems or even go by yourself to figure out why you were so quick to believe someone else’s gossip and so slow to let go of your anger.


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, April 13, 2015

Gardener Needs To Grow A Heart Full Of Caring

Dear Tazi:

I am an avid gardener who grows everything from seeds. I live in an apartment, and every spring I plant my vegetables and herbs in pots on my large balcony. Since I have limited space, I only plant a few of each crop - tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, peppers, lettuce, etc. as well as various herbs for cooking. My vine vegetables hang down off of the balcony, but I keep them trimmed so they are not encroaching on my downstairs neighbors' space.

Every year, my neighbors admire my garden and tell my how lovely it looks. I always offer to show them how to plant and tend to their own gardens, and a few have even taken me up on the offer! Invariably, some people will always ask me to "share" any extra vegetables, but I tell them that I really don't have any extra - my husband and children love fresh veggies and eat them as soon as they are picked!

I have one neighbor who just does not get the message that my vegetables are for my family, not the neighbors. She will admire my garden, comment on how much money I must save growing my own veggies, talk about the high cost of food nowadays, and always ask for some of what I have grown. I politely refuse her and offer to show her how to grow her own garden, but she argues that she does not have the time to tend a garden, and that she does not have a "green thumb".

The growing season has begun again, and I am once again expecting my neighbor to not-so-subtly hint that she would like a portion of my garden's bounty. Short of telling her off, how can I get it through her head that my vegetables are not up for grabs?

Urban Gardener

Dear Urban Gardener:

Your family must eat a lot of vegetables in order to go through the bounty of a few of each plant! My Mommie keeps a vegetable garden, so I know that a single tomato plant can result in over 30 tomatoes a month! Her cucumber plants result in even more, and her summer squash plants, while not so bountiful, do grow large fruits. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume that you and your family do, indeed, devour all of these veggies.

It sounds to me that your neighbor is having difficulty keeping up with her food bills, and is hoping that you might share what appears to be excess. Fresh vegetables are expensive, and herbs even more so. Rather than shoot down your neighbor, might you plant an extra seed or two and present your neighbor with some seedlings and watering instructions? Tomatoes and cucumbers are hearty plants that do not require a whole lot of attention, just daily watering and plenty of sun. Once she realizes that she can successfully grow her own she will be more inclined to try, and thus less inclined to constantly ask you for your veggies. The extra effort put forth on your part will result in a harvest of good-will among your neighbors, and a good feeling in your heart knowing that you have helped someone in need. Consider the favors others have granted you in your life, and consider this a way of paying it forward.


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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

After Wife Leaves, Husband Discovers that Money Isn't Everything

Dear Tazi:

My wife has left me because she claims all I ever do is work. She never complained that all the hours I put in has provided her with a beautiful house, a nice car, private school for the children, a designer wardrobe, a membership at an exclusive country club, and a bevy of other benefits. I thought this was what she wanted, but she left me for some guy who lives on a boat and charters trips for guys like me. I am pretty sure this is how she met him, too.

“Patricia” is now living on this guy’s boat while the kids are away at boarding school and has filed for a divorce. She claims that she doesn’t want anything more than the dissolution of our marriage, that she is only asking for the house, her cars, custody of the children, the vacation home in the Caribbean, etc. because her attorney has told her she needs to ask for more and expect to get less; that the less she asks for the less she will actually get. Whatever. All I want is my wife back.

Patricia and I have not told the children that we have separated. Patricia wants to do it in person, when they come home for the summer; I want to have reconciled with her by then and to not have to tell them at all. I am a very successful businessman who has never ended up on the raw end of a deal – if I want something I make an offer generous enough to make sure it is accepted. Right now, I want my wife back.

I am considering offering this other guy a large sum of money to wait until Patricia gets off the boat to go grocery shopping and then sail away into the sunset and forget he ever met her, but that feels dirty. I want to win back my wife on fair terms. Patricia says the only way she will even consider trying to make things work between us is for me to stop working so much and start spending more time with her and the kids – which would mean resigning my position and taking a huge step down, pulling the kids from boarding school (for logistical and financial reasons, since I won’t be able to afford it anymore anyway), and selling off some of my stock portfolio to keep up with the expenses of our property holdings. I don’t think Patricia is seeing the big picture here. My best friend – the only one who knows what is going on – has told me to let her go and find myself a trophy girlfriend to help ease the pain, but Patricia is the only woman I want – she is my trophy; she stuck by me when I was just starting out…why would she leave me now?


Dear Perplexed:

You have given your wife and children everything you want them to have, but is it also what they would like to have? I was ready to toss your letter, unanswered, when I saw that you used the word “our” and not “my” to describe your property holdings. That little three-letter word holds a lot of meaning, and it tells me that you see your marriage as an equal partnership, even if you have not given your partner what she is truly seeking.

The time has come to have a sit-down with your wife and tell her exactly what you have told me: that spending more time with family would come at a large financial cost because it will mean stepping away from your lucrative job and cashing out some of your stocks. Tell her that the children will have to switch schools and board at home instead of away, and that your expenses will have to be reined in if the children want to graduate college debt free and the two of you want to have a secure retirement. The fact that your wife is willing to leave a mansion to go live on a boat tells me that she probably will not mind making these sacrifices. Will you? The answer to that question holds the key to reconciling your marital differences.

I recommend marital counseling for the two of you, and I hope that it is not too late to save your marriage. There is a lot of damage that you cannot see because you have not been around to witness it; you may be surprised to discover how lonely your wife is, and how bitter she is feeling towards you. For the sake of your children, the two of you need to set aside your anger and your hurt feelings and work hard on renewing your commitment to each other. Think of your marriage as a business deal, and make a generous offer of what your wife wants in order to seal the deal. Just be sure to ask her what she wants, rather than assuming to know.


P.S. Try watching the Michelle Pfeiffer-Bruce Willis movie The Story of Us for some insight into your situation; it’s got a great line at the end about how a married couple is not made up of a “you and me” but of an “us”.

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.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Youth And Beauty Are Not Mutually Exclusive Traits!

Dear Tazi:

I am a fairly attractive man in my mid-forties. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, and attend church regularly. I am financially comfortable and keep physically fit. I have varied interests, from outdoor sports to the theater and museum exhibits. I keep a clean house and can cook my own meals. I have good manners and know how to treat a lady. I even call my mother once a week! I like to think I am a good catch!

So what is my problem you ask? The only women who seem interested in me are women who are saddled down with young children. Tazi, it is not that I do not like children; it is just that I prefer my life to remain child-free. I have nephews and nieces who I love, but I equally enjoy the time when their visits end as I do spending time with them.

I do not consider myself a dirty old man, and would prefer to date a woman within my own age range, say 25 – 40 years old, but it seems that women in that age range either already have children, want to have children, or are too involved in their careers to find time for a relationship. A few of them have been goldddigers. I am not a rich man, but I own my own home outright, and this seems to turn on a lot of women.

As much as I hate to say it, I am thinking I may have to settle for an older woman if I am to find any kind of desirable female companionship. Before I make such a drastic leap, do you think there is something else I should be doing in order to meet the woman of my dreams? I feel like by giving up like this I am settling.

A Young 46

Dear A Young 46:

How do these younger women – the ones you call “golddiggers” – know that you own your home outright? Do you tell them, in hopes of impressing them, or have they done a title search on your property to see if there is a lien on it? As glowing as your description of yourself sounds, I think you need an attitude adjustment.

You claim that you are looking to meet a woman in your “own age range”, but the range you mention starts at 21 years younger than you and ends at 40. This is hardly what I would consider to be the same age as you, or even within the same range. Five years either way can be considered the same age range. You need to realize that you may be a “young 46” but that you are still 46 and that women who are “married to their careers” may simply be telling you that they are not interested in a man as old as you.

Generally, women within the age range you are looking at will have children or will want children; there is no way around this. If you set your prejudices aside you may discover that a woman who is closer to your age would make a more suitable partner for you. Not all women in their mid-forties and up are dried out husks sliding into menopause, and you should not see them this way.

I think your first step should be to figure out why you want to date a woman who is so much younger than you. Do you see a younger woman as a trophy? Are you trying to recapture your youth or fool yourself into thinking that you have not aged at all? What do you have against women over the age of 40? I can name several that I would not kick out of bed, including Diane Keaton, Francis McDormand, Janet Jackson, Diane Lane, Tina Turner, Kyra Sedgwick, Angela Basset, Felicity Huffman and the other Desperate Housewives and any of the women from Sex in the City. Well, except for the bony one (sorry Sarah Jessica Parker, but I cannot date a woman whose haunches are thinner than mine!). 

The fine at any age Miss Jackson!
Diane Lane makes 48 look good!

"Annie Hall" (Diane Keaton, 67)
only gets better with age!
I am certain that there are several gems in your social circle that you are overlooking simply because their birth certificate was issued before 1963.

Do not look at dating a woman closer to your age as “giving up” but rather as trading up – with an older woman, you do not have to deal with as much drama; they know who they are and what they want out of life, and like you tend to be financially stable with well-rounded personalities.


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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spread The Word: It's Okay To Be Asexual

Dear Tazi:

I am 25 years old and have never dated anyone. I have gone on dates, but I have never been interested in the person to see them more than two or three times. I have no interest in romance with a man or a woman, and no interest in sex. I am completely fine with this, since I have no desire to have children, either.

My parents are constantly pressuring me to meet someone and settle down, but I am settled. I have a job that I love, a college education, and I am looking to buy my first home. I have two pet cats that I adore who provide every day companionship and many friends that I see on a fairly regular basis. I have hobbies and play softball for a community team. I like to think I am a well-rounded person who lives a fulfilling life. All of this is not enough for my parents, though.

My mother would like me to seek counseling to “figure out what is wrong” with me; my father has asked me straight out if I am gay. I am not gay, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with me; at least nothing that going to a counselor would fix. Should I humor my Mom and go to counseling and maybe find a way to overcome my lack of interest in partnering up with someone? Or should I stand my ground and tell my parents that they need to accept me for who I am, how I am?

Not Perfect But Perfectly Happy

Dear Not Perfect but Perfectly Happy:

None of us are perfect (not even us kitties!) and if we spent our lives chasing perfection we would not be perfectly happy; we would be miserable because we are chasing after the unattainable and refusing to be content with all that we do have.

Not having an interest in a romantic relationship with another is unusual, but not unheard of and certainly not abnormal. It sounds to me that you are asexual – having no interest in either men or women. In a culture where everything must be paired (salt and pepper; lettuce and tomato; ketchup and mustard; for every sock a shoe) being asexual can be seen as an aberration to what is correct. However, if you are happy and feeling fulfilled just the way you are who is anyone to say that your asexuality is incorrect?

Say it loud and proud!

If you would like to seek counseling to further explore the idea that you may be asexual – or seek a medical opinion to rule out low testosterone – your health insurance should cover the expense. I would recommend a physical exam, because low testosterone can cause heart problems in men. If, however, you check out completely healthy I see no reason to worry about who you are. While your parents may be hoping for grandchildren the decision to have children or not have children is yours and yours alone; your parents need to understand that not everyone is cut out for marriage and parenthood, and that you are cut from a different mold. Perhaps your parents are the ones who should seek counseling to help them learn to accept you as you are.



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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Parents Must Work Together To Successfully Raise Children

Dear Tazi:

I am having a problem with my children and my husband just indulges them. It is enough to make me scream! I have two school-age boys who get no physical activity outside of recess and gym class at school. My husband and I are on a tight budget due to student loan payments and a mortgage, so we cannot afford to sign them up for Little League or Pee Wee football, not that they would play if we did; they prefer to sit around the house watching TV and eating whatever junk food they can sneak.

I am a Nurse and I work third shift, so I am home to get my boys ready for school and off for the day. I pack nutritious lunches for them – fruit or yogurt, string cheese, vegetable chips, turkey sandwiches, etc. – but I get the impression that they swap with their friends for junk food. When they get home from school, they never want to go out and play and I am generally busy getting dinner ready before taking an after-dinner/before work nap to go outside and play with them. When my husband arrives home from work, he complains that he is too tired to play catch or touch football or even to go on a bike ride with the boys; he just wants to eat dinner and veg out in front of the TV. Tazi, he works at a desk all day, so it is not like he is physically exerting himself! On weekends, I can’t pry any of them away from the TV. What is worse, my husband will sit there with a beer and a bag of chips; although he will not let the boys drink beer he does let them eat potato chips “to keep them quiet on his day off”. Tazi, it is my day off, too, and this is not how I want to spend it!

I have pretty much given up on my husband as a lost cause, but I do not want my children developing his same bad habits! My younger son is already showing signs of developing a weight problem (he was 5 pounds over at his physical last month, which is significant for a young child). What can I do to get my kids active without coming off as the mean parent?

Nurse Mom

Dear Nurse Mom:

I think you need to start with your husband. When parents are not on the same page, children get mixed messages about what is acceptable behavior. Your husband may be tired after work, but what about you? You come home from work only to take care of your children before getting some sleep yourself, only to wake up and start all over again when they get home from school! When is your break? You need to start taking one before you fall apart!

While your husband may be too tired after work to play football, this should not excuse him from spending quality time with his sons. An invigorating walk or bike ride can work wonders for a person’s energy levels. Give your husband the option: every evening after work he can take the boys out for a walk or a bike ride or some other form of physical activity or he can make dinner while you take the boys out for half an hour of exercise. If he refuses to do either, follow through with your exercise just the same. When you return, you can throw together some sandwiches for you and your sons; let your husband fend for himself until he learns that marriage is a partnership and that in order to get he is going to have to start giving.

You will also have to start limiting the amount of TV your family watches. Are there other children in the neighborhood with whom you could organize activities? During the nice weather, children should be outside running around and playing games, not sitting inside glued to the TV. Watching television should be a rainy day activity only; this will not only cut down on their TV watching, but also their snacking on junk food. While you cannot parent your husband you can put your foot down and implement a rule of no food in the TV room. This will solve the problem of crumbs on the furniture and the floor as well as the issue of mindless snacking in front of the TV. The punishment for breaking this rule could be to immediately have to vacuum the carpets and the furniture.

In closing, I a going to recommend marital counseling and/or parenting classes for you and your husband; you need to learn to work together and to respect each other in order for both your marriage and your family life to work.



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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Nervous Nelly Makes Man Feel Mothered, Not Manly

Dear Tazi:

I was out of work for about three months this year, and financially things have been tough. I have finally been able to land a job as the night manager for a chain liquor store, but it is not in a very good neighborhood. I am not a [wimp] and know how to handle myself in difficult or dangerous situations (I spent four years in the Navy), but my girlfriend thinks I am going to end up in the hospital or the morgue if I keep working here.

I have been dating "Clarice" for about six months now, and she is an amazing woman. I can see myself building a future with her, but the only problem is she is so overprotective of me to the point where she tries to control my life. When I first took the job at the liquor store, she threatened to leave me if I "put my life in danger" by working there; I ignored the threat, and we are still together. In fact, she is in the other room right now so I have to make this quick!

Every night before I leave for work, Clarice asks me to call her before leaving in case it's the last time she ever gets to speak to me; text her when I arrive, so she knows I got there safe; text her on my break and again when I leave; and then to call her when I get home so she knows I arrived there safe. I want my girlfriend to act like my girlfriend, not my mother. If you haven't guessed already, Clarice is the sensitive type so you can imagine how any attempt at fixing this problem will head, but I can't take it anymore! How would you discuss this with your "lady friend" if she acted like Clarice?


Dear Butch:

I am between lady friends at the moment, since Mommie disapproved of my last one; she called her a "'round the way kitty" and suggested that mine was not the only fence she was climbing! She was far too aggressive for me anyway, so I hissed at her and she got the message. Have you tried hissing at Clarice when she gets too emotionally aggressive with you? Do humans hiss?

I suppose the big question here is, do you enjoy your job working as a night manager at a liquor store in a bad neighborhood? I am not being facetious. My Mommie and several of her friends have worked in liquor stores, and the word from them is that they can be fun places to work, so I ask again: do you enjoy your current job? Can you see yourself advancing within the company or is this a dead-end job, and does either path appeal to you? If you answer no to both of these questions, then Clarice's concerns will be rendered moot when you tire of this job and find a different one.

If you enjoy your job and do not see yourself moving on to greener pastures then you will have to reach a compromise with Clarice. Personally, I think it is sweet but morbid that she wants to talk with you before work each night in case it is the "last time" she will get to speak to you, but the fact remains that none of us know which moment will be our last; if it makes her happy to hear your voice before you head into work I do not think this is an unreasonable request, so long as it does not make you late for work. A quick text while you are on your break is not unreasonable either, so long as Clarice does not expect you to spend your entire break texting her; and a short phone call before calling it a night is a tradition for many couples. If you are too tired to call when you get home from work, Clarice will have to learn to be satisfied with a polite text message saying so.

From what you write, it does not seem that your girlfriend feels any more concern for you than other girlfriends do for their partners; she just expresses her concerns in a melodramatic manner that can be off-putting. Since she is sensitive, I will not make you deliver a verbal message that she needs to tone it down a notch; I suggest you print a copy of this column and leave it where she will find it, which will lead to a natural opening for a conversation, should she wish to have one. If Clarice does not wish to talk about the issue, give her time to try and modify her behavior. It is quite obvious that she loves you and does not want to lose you, but she needs to have more faith in your ability to care for yourself. (Are you listening, Miss Clarice?).


If you drink, stay home...your home, not mine!

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

Husband Tired Of Boring Menu, Wants More Spice In His Food

Dear Tazi:

My wife is not a bad cook, just an unimaginative one.  She uses the same 10 – 12 ingredients in everything she cooks, and the meals are always the same ones or some variation of her regular menu. For example, she will change up her macaroni and cheese by adding ham or bacon to it. The food tastes good, but I am getting tired of the repetition. When I suggest that we go out to eat, she insists that she can make something at home for less. This is true, but sometimes restaurant food is more fulfilling.

The worst part of my problem is that my wife collects cookbooks, subscribes to Rachel Ray recipes on our joint email account, and loves to watch cooking shows. She will comment on how good something looks and ask me if I would like her to make it sometime – to which I almost always respond with a hearty “YES!” – but then she never makes it. When I ask her when she is planning to make something she suggested, she always responds that she does not have the necessary ingredients, and needs to add them to her shopping list. Somehow, those ingredients never make it into the shopping cart, even when I put them on the grocery list.

I have tried everything I can think of to get my wife to mix up the menu, from offering to go shopping with her to offering to assist with dinner, but she always refuses. Lately, I have been stopping off at a local restaurant on my way home from work just to grab a bite of something new, but my wife has noticed that I am eating less dinner. I don’t want to hurt my wife’s feelings – I love her very much – but the repetition on the menu is getting to me. What’s a guy to do, Tazi?

Hungry Man

Dear Hungry Man:

I love Rachel Ray! She’s so perky, and ever so healthy looking from eating all her own delicious foods! Plus, her recipes are easy to make at home, so you don’t have to gather all sorts of exotic ingredients that you will never use again or have a degree in cooking from Johnson and Wales University! I cannot understand why your wife will offer to make some of Miss Rachel’s recipes and then not do it. Could it be that she is scared to try something new?

It is obvious that your wife would like to make you some of the dishes she sees on the cooking shows that she watches, and your enthusiasm and offers to help should give her the encouragement she needs to step outside of her comfort zone. Since this is not working, why not try to work on easing her out of the box in which she has encased herself?

A new season upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by trying something new? Many adult education and community learning programs offer cooking classes. These classes are offered at all levels, from novice to expert, and allow you to cook along with the master! Participants are part of a group, with each person working alone or as a part of a team, so nobody feels singled out, and if mistakes are made there are others who have made mistakes of their own – no hard feelings, only fun and a sense of adventure and accomplishment!

Since you wife enjoys watching cooking shows and reviewing new recipes, a cooking class might be just what she needs to launch her interest in new recipes from dream to reality. You could even take a class together, which would allow you both to explore new tastes while bonding as a couple. Before suggesting cooking classes to your wife, you might want to pick up an informational brochure on them – pictures and descriptions of a class can go far towards convincing a reluctant soul into signing up for them. If your wife says no to cooking classes, do not give up hope. You might decide to take one on your own, and show off what you learned, giving your wife a deserved break from the kitchen and showing her what she is missing by not joining you in class.

If, in the end, classes are not her style, you could try a very direct approach. Look for a recipe that you would like to try, show her a printout, and ask her directly if she could make it for dinner on a particular night. Tell her that the dish looks quite tasty, and with her cooking skills you know that it will be very satisfying.

At all times, work to build up your wife’s confidence, not tear it down…which means no more stopping off for a bite to eat before dinner.


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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Loose Lips Will Sink This Cheater's Ship!

Dear Tazi:

I have a co-worker who constantly calls out sick.  No one person can be sick that often, if you get my meaning.  It has reached the point where I can predict when “Arnold” will be calling out of work – usually a Monday or a Friday, and definitely the day before or after a holiday weekend, sometimes both days.  Using the month of November as an example, I can tell you that Arnold will be “sick” on November 12th (the day after Veteran’s Day) and the day after Thanksgiving, a day that we are required to work since we work the stockroom in a busy retail store.  We are supposed to work alternate weekends for overtime, but when Arnold is “sick” I have to cover for him, so I lose my free time.  The extra overtime really isn't worth missing time with my kids.

Arnold always has a doctor’s note to explain his illnesses, ever since the boss picked up on his sick day pattern.   I recently found out that Arnold’s “doctor’s notes” are actually forgeries!  I overheard Arnold bragging to a Salesgirl about how he created a fake prescription sheet on his computer, and that if she really wanted the day after Thanksgiving off he could provide her with a doctor’s note.

Tazi, I would like to tell our supervisor what I overheard Arnold saying, but I was on a smoke break when I heard it – and I am not supposed to be taking breaks to have a smoke!  If I have to explain to the boss how I heard I could get in big trouble, but it [makes me angry] that Arnold is getting away with something much worse and is trying to [cheat] the company in order to impress a girl.  I have a feeling that I already know what you are going to tell me to do, but I guess I have to see it in print before I can bite the bullet and do it, so what do you think I should do, Tazi?

Makin’ Good Money, But Got No Time To Spend It

 Dear Makin’ Good Money, But Got No Time To Spend It:

I am not one to condone cowardice.  I think that if you want to report your co-worker’s treachery that you should be courageous enough to report how you discovered this information – it is the only way your report to the boss will sound believable.  After all, how else would you explain overhearing this bit of information?  If you have proven yourself to be a solid worker you may be censured for taking an unauthorized break, but I doubt you would be fired; hard and loyal workers are hard to come by, especially for jobs that entail manual labor. 

IF you feel that even the smallest act of insubordination would get you suspended or fired, I then suggest you anonymously report your errant co-worker; whether or not your supervisor will take an anonymous report seriously is questionable, but at that point you will have done all you can to right this wrong.

The fact that your co-worker is bragging about his dishonesty may be what sinks him altogether.  Once more than one person knows something it is no longer s secret!  Supervisors and Managers don’t always say anything, but believe me when I tell you that they know most or all that happens in the store/department that they manage.  Little to nothing gets by a good manager; one way or another, Arnold will discover this.


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

Friday, April 3, 2015

When You Marry Someone You Marry Their Family, Too

Dear Tazi:

My boyfriend and I are considering marriage, but I don’t think I can go through with it. I love “Jason” dearly, but his mother hates me and makes no secret of it. I am Jewish and Jason is Catholic, which is a part of her problem, but to be fair I do not think my religion is the only reason she hates me. I think she is the kind of woman who thinks no woman is good enough for her son.
A few months ago, she invited me to celebrate Easter dinner with her family. I politely refused on religious grounds – Easter falls during Passover this year, and I would not be able to partake in a non-kosher meal. Technically, I am not supposed to even enter a house that has leavening agents in it, but I am not that strict in my observance. Jason’s mother took this as a personal insult, and let me know that the day would come that I would regret turning down her hospitality. I believe that day has come - and sooner than I thought.

Jason’s mother had invited me over for dinner to let bygones be bygones; I thought she meant well, but when I arrived, Jason’s father let me in and I walked in on an argument between Jason and his mother. Jason was upset with her for inviting me over but then not preparing a kosher meal while his mother was yelling that she was not about to go out and buy all new cookware and prep tools in order to satisfy “a ridiculously outmoded belief”. To his credit Jason told me to leave my jacket on, that we were leaving.

I could not believe that his mother invited me over for dinner and then planned on serving me a non-kosher meal; to me, it was a slap in the face and I am glad that Jason discovered her plan before I sat down to eat. Her comments about my dietary guidelines were equally upsetting – I almost asked her if she eats meat on Fridays, but was too shocked to speak.

Jason knows how upset I am over his mother’s treatment of me, but he will not address her about it directly, preferring to take a passive stance to try and keep both of us happy. Well, I am not happy.

Loves him, Loves Him Not

Dear Loves Him, Loves him Not:
Jason’s mother sounds like an uncompromising piece of work. Her attitude is very un-Christian, and she needs to work on her attitude – regardless of her motivation for treating you so poorly. For her to invite you into her home and then cook a meal she knows you cannot eat is a slap in the face to you and your faith; her comments are indefensible. Still and all, she is your boyfriend’s mother; if you were to marry him she is a part of the package.

You might want to reconsider that marriage proposal...

I suggest you tell Jason what you have told me – that you are not happy. It could be that he does not want to stand up to his mother in front of you, for fear of upsetting her further, but will stand up for you in your absence. Try to give him the benefit of the doubt and enter into a meaningful discussion – on the matter of his mother, her treatment of you, and his lack of defense – with an open mind. Hopefully, once he hears how hurt you are, he will change his behavior and be willing to take a stand for you while you are there to witness it.

Since you and Jason have been considering marriage, I strongly advise that you attend pre-marital counseling sessions in order to clear the air between the two of you. Before any of this happens, though, you need to decide if you want to marry into Jason’s family. If the answer is no, then you must be up-front and honest with him about why you cannot see yourself building a permanent life with him and let the chips fall where they may. I wish you all the best; your situation is not an easy one.


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

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Is This Guy A Gold-Digger Or Is He Simply Enlightened?

Dear Tazi:

I am a doctor, completing my medical residency and looking forward to joining a practice in the near future. A few months ago I met a man at a party for a mutual friend. He seemed like a nice guy, so I gave him my email address when he asked for my phone number, explaining that I am often too busy to take a call but will answer an email during my down time. I also did this because I felt it would give me the chance to get to know him as a person, without all of the awkward early dating stuff. Plus, I don’t have a whole lot of time for dating, so this method allows me to keep him at a slight distance while developing a friendship first. After a few weeks of emailing I thought it would be nice to meet for coffee, and we started seeing each other. For me it was nothing serious, but I think he had other ideas.

“Ted” always kept obsessing over the fact that I am a doctor. He would make comments like, “If we got married, I would love to be a stay-at-home husband!” and then laugh, to lighten the mood. Another of his comments is, “a doctor’s schedule is pretty hectic, if you were to have children, would you want to hire a nanny or have your husband stay at home with them?” I have asked him point blank why he is asking me such personal questions to which I do not have an answer, but he claims that he is just trying to get to know me; that he believes in the importance of having a parent home with the children, and is curious to know how I feel. I responded that I felt his questions were out of line for such an early point in any relationship, and he let them drop.

It has been two months since Ted and I started dating, and he is hinting that he would like to move things along several steps to a much higher level. Whenever a commercial for a jewelry store comes on TV, he asks me what my favorite cut of diamond is “just in case” he needs to know. While out Christmas shopping, he asked me what I thought about the idea of getting engaged on Valentine’s Day; I responded that it would depend on the couple and how long they had been dating.

Tazi, I realize that as a doctor I stand to make a considerable amount of money over my lifetime employment, but right now I am still paying on my student loans. I feel like Ted is pushing for a commitment now so he can argue that he was not after me for my money when I am actually making some. Am I being paranoid? Or is it as Ted says; that he is just trying to get to know me and to see if our life plans are compatible?

No Time For This

P.S. Ted is employed, but does not seem to like his middle-income job all that much. He complains about it all the time

Dear No Time For This:

What exactly is Ted’s “life plan”? Has he shared that information with you yet, or is he too busy asking you probing questions and complaining about how much he hates his job in between comments of how he would love to be a stay-at-home Dad to nail down an exacting answer for you?

I believe that your gut instinct about Ted is correct – that he is a gold-digger staking a claim in the hopes that his prospecting will pan out for him in the end. However, I could be wrong; he might just be the enlightened type. I suggest that you talk to the mutual friend who introduced you and seek answers about Ted – is he always so quick to rush into a relationship; has he ever spoke of his dream of being a stay-at-home Dad; is he steadily employed – and listen with a frank ear to the answers given.

Once you have an idea of what Ted is really like, make your decision to stay or go based upon how you feel. Do you feel like Ted wants to be a hands-on father and househusband, or that he sees you as a cash-cow towards a life of ease? Could you respect a man who worked as a househusband while his wife works as the breadwinner? Are you comfortable with the pace of the relationship that Ted is trying to set, and do you think he will slow things down if asked? Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have the answer to your question of whether or not to stay with him.


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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Joke! Tazi Presents The History Of April Fool's Day (And Recommends The Museum of Hoaxes Blog!)

Dear Readers:

I recently came across an old copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica while sniffing around the bookshelf for a good place to nap - a la Fredrick the Literate. Being the curious cat that I am, I pulled out the first book in the series - subjects beginning with the letter "A" - and started reading about the history of April Fool's Day. I did not know that humans needed a special day to play pranks on people. We cats do it all the time, regardless of the occasion. Anyhow, in lieu of a full blog review, I have decided to share my new-found knowledge with you!

My man, Frederick!

There are many tales of the origin of April Fool's Day. The most widely believed is that it dates back to the mid-1500's, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in England; switching the feast of the New Year from March 25 - April 1 (a week long celebration in honor of the Spring Equinox, which actually makes sense) to January 1, a single day in the middle of the winter. News traveled slowly back then and, as now, people were not fond of change. Because of this, there were still many who insisted on celebrating the New Year on April 1. Those who celebrated on January 1 would then make fun of those celebrating the New Year on April 1, and would often play good-natured jokes on them. Although this historical event popularized the April 1 date as a day for pranks, it is not what originated it.

As far back as the mid-5th century (1,000 years earlier) the Persians (now Iraqis) celebrated their own New Year with the celebration of Sizdah Bedar (literal translation: getting rid of 13) which falls on the 13th day of the New Year and the final day of celebration, generally April 1. It is a day to play pranks on each other and to be festive and joyful; and is actually one of the older holiday traditions still active in the world today. It is believed that this tradition was carried from Persia (Iraq) by European traders, who found the practice befitting their own celebration on that date.

April Fool's Day is a holiday celebrated by many countries throughout the world; especially those in Europe, where the celebration often takes on a life of its own with the media getting involved to assist in the perpetrating of jokes and hoaxes. Perhaps the most famous April Fool's Day hoax was the one about the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, reported as actual news by the highly reputed BBC News, the perpetrators of the joke.

To go with all the meatballs, ja!

For more interesting tales of April Fool's Day jokes, check out the blog The Museum of Hoaxes. The British are also responsible for what might also be the longest running April Fool's Day joke: sending people to the Tower of London to witness the annual Washing of the Lions. Started in 1698, the prank continued to fool citizens right up through the mid-19th century; when, presumably, communications had improved through the printing of newspapers.

However you decide to spend your April Fool's Day - whether you try to convince someone that the restaurant chain Taco Bell has purchased the naming rights to the Liberty Bell (and is renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell) or you decide to try and shut down your downtown business district, have fun doing it! And for more ideas on various hoaxes to pull, check out The Museum of Hoaxes multi-blog article on The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time - each hoax intro leads to a full-page article (no joke!) that will keep you busy all day, leaving your cat the entire day to nap on top of your Sunday newspaper. It's a win-win situation!


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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Thin Twin" Wants Sister To Lose the Attitude (And Maybe Some Weight, Too)

Dear Tazi:

I recently lost a lot of weight, and am looking forward to wearing a sexy bikini on the beach this summer. My problem is that my twin sister "Ursula" is still quite heavy - and quite bitter about how good I look. She keeps making nasty comments about how we are "no longer twins" and how people are going to start calling me "the thin twin" and even joking that she is going to pretend to be me so people will think that I am her!

Tazi, we both have thyroid problems which is what caused the weight gain in the first place. The only difference between us is that I adjusted my diet after being diagnosed and she did not. I cut out sugar and starch and eat more whole grains and green, leafy vegetables. Ursula often forgets to take her medication, which complicates her thyroid problem, and has a sweet tooth that she constantly indulges.

I have tried to encourage Ursula to eat better, but she says that she can't afford it; that fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive and that she does not like the taste of whole wheat breads and pastas; and, worst of all, that she will never lose weight so why should she bother trying. While I admit whole wheat pasta is and acquired taste, there are so many other grains to try! Quinoa, amaranth, winter wheat...

Yummies for my tummy!

I have invited Ursula to go to the Farmer's Market with me to buy fresh veggies for less, but she always says she is too busy; I suggest that she go shopping at Whole Foods with me to see how affordable it can be (especially when you use your Oreo and ice cream budget to buy nutritious foods) but she refuses. Can you think of any way I can get Ursula to at least try to help herself? She is my twin sister, and I am missing the closeness we once had!


Dear "Phoebe":

I see from your choice of pseudonyms that you are a Friends fan and not making cracks at the expense of the Sea Witch. Cool...I like you already, so I am going to print your letter!

I would like to congratulate you on all of your hard efforts to eat right and lose the extra weight you have been carrying. From the sound of your letter, you are feeling great, as well as looking great! This, however, could be what is causing your twin sister such distress. Once upon a time when she looked at you she saw herself; now, she sees the person she would like to be but feels she will never become. That has got to hurt!

A common symptom of hypothyroidism is depression, and it sounds like your sister may have a touch of it. Please encourage her to take her medication EVERY DAY! A 7-day pill organizer can make it easy to remember to do this, so long as she keeps it in plain sight and remembers to take her pill as soon as she wakes up every morning. She can keep the organizer on her dresser and grab her daily dose on her way to the bathroom after she wakes each morning. If this process does not improve her outlook on live, please encourage her to see her endocrinologist; she may need a higher dose of thyroid medication. If this is not the case, she should talk to her general practitioner about being screened (and possibly treated) for depression.

Once Ursula has her medication and her moods under control, try talking to her about eating healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains should play a starring role in all diets, with sugary foods taking a back seat to naturally sweet foods that are low in calories - think strawberries and blueberries and other seasonal fruits! Now that summer is approaching, store freezers are full of frozen fresh fruit pops, a fun way to satisfy a sweet tooth and get your nutrition!

I suggest that you work with Ursula at a level that works for her. She may not have time to go to the Farmer's Market, but does she have time to join you for dinner? Why not invite her over to enjoy a healthy meal at your place, complete with a dessert of fresh sorbet and fruit accompaniment? Once Ursula sees that eating healthy does not have to be dull, she may be more inclined to try it. Slowly, work with her to make-over her pantry until it contains more healthy products and less junk; invite Ursula to go for a walk with you; go shopping with her for an attractive, plus-size bathing suit (they do exist). In other words, do all of the sisterly things you did together before you lost weight! In time, Ursula will see that she has not lost her twin simply because her twin has lost weight.


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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Yoga Pants Require Greater Coverage Than Regular Pants!

Dear Tazi:

My daughter is a very large woman, so finding clothes that fit proper can be difficult for her. Because of this, she wears a lot of knits, most notably "stretch pants". Unfortunately, "Clara" does not realize just how dreadful these pants make her look. Clara wears these pants without any kind of covering, like a long blouse or a tunic; worse, she will tuck her shirt into these pants, making for a bunchy, wrinkled look that from a short distance looks like a bad case of cellulite.

I have suggested to Clara that she wear a more flattering top with her stretch pants - like a long top or a tunic style blouse, but she just gets angry with me, telling me that she is who she is and a shirt isn't going to hide it. Tazi, I am not trying to get Clara to hide her bulk, I am simply trying to get her to dress is a more appropriate manner. I would not dream of leaving the house with visible panty lines, but this is exactly what Clara is doing  - and worse - every time she wears those hideous stretch pants with nothing covering her bottom. Furthermore, the fabric of these pants is stretched awfully thin, and when she wears lighter colors her panties show right through! It is positively humiliating!

Please understand that I am NOT embarrassed by my daughter's weight; I love her regardless of her size. I am, however, upset that she is straining the rules of decency. Can you think of any way to address this issue so that she will not think it is about her weight? Because it really isn't!

Patience Stretched

Dear Patience Stretched:

I don't care what size you are, or even if your butt looks like this in a pair of yoga pants:

The rules of fashion dictate that leggings are not pants and that a long shirt or tunic length blouse should be worn with them. Recently, the CEO of Lulumom stepped down over the scandal that their yoga pants are so sheer you could see right through them! 

Just say NO to crack!

Wearing pants like this in public could get you fined or arrested for public indecency. If Clara's leggings are causing problems such as those illustrated above, I suggest you snap a photo of her behind so she can see for herself just what she is showing to the world. I realize this is extreme, and sounds cruel, but she has thus far refused to listen to reason and is making it about her weight; you need to show her that it is about dressing appropriately. Unless she is going out to a dance club to pick up a man looking for a one-night stand, I cannot see how wearing these kinds of pants would be considered appropriate dress. I am quite surprised that her employer has not said something to her already.

I suggest that you stress once again - and again, and again until Clara gets it - that this is not about her weight. She may need counseling to deal with the low self-esteem she seems to be suffering, and you may want to go along to show her that you are on her side. If it offers any comfort, you are not the first Mom to find her daughter's wardrobe completely odious; it is an argument that goes back generations upon generations.


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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Embarrassing Foot Odor Hurting Relationship

Dear Tazi:

I have the embarrassing problem of severe foot odor. I have tried powders and crèmes to try and cure it, but nothing seems to work. I never really thought it to be too big an issue, but I recently started dating a woman that has put a snag in my habit of always wearing shoes.

“Robyn” has wall-to-wall carpeting throughout her house and, in an effort to keep tose rugs looking new, she does not allow people to wear shoes in her house; they most be removed in the mudroom before entering the main house. I have not yet been by Robyn’s house because of this rule. I know if I take off my shoes the smell of my feet will end up disgusting her, and that will be the end of this relationship.

Robyn keeps asking me when I am going to come by her place, asks me in for coffee at the end of our dates, and has told me she wants to make me dinner some evening. I am getting the hint that she wants something more – and I would, too – but I am afraid my foot odor will get in the way of any romance.

Tazi, can you think of any way to get past Robyn’s front door? At least until I have found a way to resolve my foot odor problem?

Smelly Feet

Dear Smelly Feet:

Foot odor can be caused by a number of things, but if you keep your feet clean and dry the reason is probably medical. An infection – bacterial or fungal – can cause unbearable odor and you may need a prescription medication to conquer it. I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor, who may refer you to a podiatrist (foot doctor) in order to conquer this problem with a permanent solution.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions for your predicament: If you are not already wearing them, choose white cotton socks over colored or polyester socks. Sometimes, dyes can irritate our skin leaving it weakened and prone to infection. Cotton, unlike polyester, absorbs moisture, which is another cause of foot odor (bacteria feed off of the nutrients in our sweat). Although I do not like to recommend specific brand products (I am not a spokescat) I do like the feeling of Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder on my paws; it leaves them feeling tingly and smelling fresh. I think it might do the same for you, and powder absorbs moisture, as well.

A way to get around Robyn’s no-shoes rule would be to buy a pair of men’s soft soled slippers exclusively for use at her place (you can even leave them just inside her door, a la the Japanese style). Inform Robyn that you are uncomfortable walking around in your stocking feet (which is not a lie, just an overview of your reasoning) and that you purchased these slippers for exclusive use at her house. Show her the soft soles so she will see that they will not wreck her rugs, and will keep worn socks (and the dirt they may track) off of her carpeting. If Robyn is not amenable to this compromise, perhaps it is time to reconsider your relationship with her. A person who values her carpets over the reasonable comfort of the man in her life might not be the right person for you.


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

Friday, March 27, 2015

When Is It Time For A Stay-At-Home Mom To Return To Work?

Dear Tazi:

My Mom has been a stay-at-home Mom since before I was born. She quit her job when she found out she was pregnant with me in order to devote all of her time to being a Mom. I am now 17, an honor roll student, and a careful driver with a spotless first year driving record. I play sports or have study hall after school, so I usually do not get home until after 4:00 PM and I work a part-time job two evenings a week and on weekends. In summary, I am a responsible teenager who is not home during working hours (the school day starts at 7:30 in the morning).

My parents don't know that I know, but Dad has been pressuring Mom to find a paying job ever since I learned to drive. Mom argues that she needs to be home during the day in case I need her, and that she has a very busy schedule cooking and cleaning and sewing around the house and then volunteering at the church on occasion. Dad argues that nobody but her is home during the day, so how can the house get so dirty; that they eat out twice a week (the two nights I am not home for dinner because of work); and that if the church were to pay her for her work he would not mind her not looking for a regular job.

The fighting between my parents is really starting to upset me, because it is starting to take a toll on their relationship. I would like to tell my Mom that I am grateful for all that she has done for me, but that I am pretty capable of doing a lot for myself now. I can drive, I have a job and am responsible with my money, and I buy most of my own clothes - she hasn't sewn anything for me in years! I am also a pretty good cook, and would cook dinner a few nights a week if she would allow it, but she is a complete control freak in the kitchen.

Tazi, do you have any ideas on how to get my Mom to at least look for a job? Even a part-time one? I think it will go a long way towards helping to save my parents' marriage.

Seventeen And Worried

Dear Seventeen And Worried:

While it is commendable that you want to help your parents through their marital spats, the only thing you should be worried about right now is keeping your grades up, finding a date for the prom, and investigating your post-high school opportunities. The issues between your parents may seem simple, but they go much deeper than they appear.

Your mother has not worked outside the home in almost 18 years. What kind of job do you suggest she seek? Her skills and education are probably badly in need of updating, and her resistance to look for work reflects this fact. She is probably scared that she will fail miserably or humiliate herself if she tries to re-enter the workforce after almost two decades out of it. Think about it: The last time your mother worked for a paycheck President Bill Clinton was the President of the U.S., the Internet just starting to go mainstream, grunge music was still all the rage, and boys still wore their pants several inches above their butts with their hats facing forward!

And sadly, people dressed like this!

If you want to help your parents, I suggest you show your letter and my response to them; you could even leave it laying on the dining room table if you don't want to give it to them personally. They each need to consider the other's point of view and reasoning; role-playing/role-reversal can be helpful in accomplishing this, as can the help of a qualified counselor or clergy-person. Since your mother is active with the church, your clergy may already be familiar with the situation; either way, it may do you good to talk to him or her in order to gain some perspective on the whole situation. As much as I hate to say it, this is not your problem to  solve.


P.S. I don't want to speculate, but in absence of other issues, a woman who quits her job as soon as she becomes pregnant may have been unhappy with said job in the first place! Just one more thing to consider.

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