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.


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