Q. Dear Mr Know It All,
So I don’t know if I’m sleep-deprived because of the work, hallucinating, or just plain crazy but I feel like the copier guy at my workplace may like me. If you’re thinking ‘awww’, I must tell you to stop now. This is far from cute crushes. He’s on the verge of being a creepy stalker. I go to the cafeteria, and he’s always standing behind me; whenever I go to the washroom, he does too; he comes to my department five times to ask if any copies need to be made, even though he’s only supposed to come once. Call it coincidence or fate, but I’ve had enough of it! However, I don’t know how to tell him to back off. How should I fix this?
A. I’m going to go the safe route here and assume you’re a woman, because otherwise I really wouldn’t know what to say to you except something totally boorish like … put those knuckles to use already — if you’re absolutely sure you’re not secretly flattered by the unwarranted attention, that is! On a serious note though, are you absolutely sure you’re not being over-imaginative here, because let me assure you, there are still people out there who can be nice to you for the sake of being nice. Not every man’s sole purpose in life is to go around wooing women left, right and centre, especially the ones who are completely against any romantic possibilities with them. Having said that, there’s an old adage which goes: if you ask a man what he’s looking for in a woman, he’ll say she should be hot; but if you ask a woman the same question, she’ll come out with a long list of ‘nice guy’ characteristics like a sense of humour; a guy who’s nice to her and treats her well; has good values and a strong moral character. Yeah, right! If women really chose men based on what they say they’re looking for, then your secret admirer from the office would be getting ready to go out on a third date with you right now instead of being the star subject of my column this week!
Q. Dear Mr Know It All,
Sigh. I feel suffocated. I feel as if every step I take in life is being closely monitored by my parents. I can’t do anything according to my own free will. I can’t go to the university I want to go to, and if that wasn’t bad enough, my mother insists I find an acha larka. She means the stereotypical kind with the perfect job and his pants slightly higher than they should be. I don’t know what to do and how to tell them to stop directing my life. What should I do?
A. Hey hey hey … hold on there a second, missy! Don’t you be dissin’ all the acha larkas of the world by automatically assuming we all wear our pants on our chests!
Look, if your parents are forcing you to start checking guys out for the distressing coupling ritual we Easterners call shaadi, it’s probably time for you to grow up and take control of your life. Yup … kindergarten is over! If you don’t like your life, do something about it. Talk about your problems with the people concerned. Take charge and walk away from the clutter. If you can’t do that, turn your computer on and write a book about it, get it published, sell millions of copies and become filthy rich. That’s bound to make you feel a lot better and make your parents back off a bit. If they’re still resolute about directing your every move, get your own place and become essentially independent so you won’t have to adhere to every demand they make. Until such a time, however, I suggest you accept the fact that being the kid in the house means you’re your parents’ to mould, mend, bend and direct. I’m not saying they’re always right, but they do deserve to be heard.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, October 23rd, 2011.