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Heavy Meddle: I Hate My Best Friend's Girlfriend

In which Steve Almond counsels a bro on his attitude toward women. (Drew Shannon/flickr)MoreCloseclosemore
In which Steve Almond counsels a bro on his attitude toward women. (Drew Shannon/flickr)

Welcome Meddleheads, to the column where your crazy meets my crazy! Please send your questions to advice@wbur.org. Right now. Not only will you immediately feel much better, you’ll also get some advice.

Hugs,
Steve

Dear Steve,

My best friend’s girlfriend is a lunatic ex-beauty queen. He has expressed his desire to break up with her several times but can't seem to do it. How can I help him rid himself of the heinous hose beast?

Signed,
A Loyal Bro
PHOTO

Dear Bro,

One of the bummers about this advice column deal is that I always have to take everyone’s views into consideration. I can’t just give you the straight answer you deserve, one dude to another, because it would, like, offend the politically correct set.

So I’m going to offer two answers, one for you and one for the rest of my readers. Here’s my advice for you: Why not just “make her go away” as they say in the mafia. You know, buy a one-way ticket to some nice, quiet Midwestern city, and make sure she knows that things will turn ugly if she returns.

I mean, based on how you describe her, she’s not really fully human, right? We’ve got the initial indications, which are that she’s a “lunatic,” meaning insane, not in her right mind, maybe even dangerous. And she’s also an ex-beauty queen, which I suspect you’re mentioning to imply that she’s stupid and superficial, more of an ornament than anything. The fact that your bestie can’t break up with her suggests she has some sort of evil power over him, perhaps an occult power.

There’s no chance that he’s exercising his free will here, or that you’re jealous of the fact that he’s having lots of sex with a beautiful woman. That's so clearly what's not going on.

Then we get even more information. The woman in question is a “heinous hose beast.” This suggests, rather indelicately, that the nature of her possession is consumptive and sexual in nature. So she’s a succubus in a tiara, basically. And you know how it goes when you try to reason with a succubus. It’s a disaster. And there’s your friend to consider. As a fellow dude, I really shudder to think how that poor young man has suffered. It’s clear he’s helpless before her awesome alien powers. There’s no chance that he’s exercising his free will here, or that you’re jealous of the fact that he’s having lots of sex with a beautiful woman. That’s so clearly what’s not going on. It’s just you seeking a reasonable solution to a truly dire situation that is absolutely your business.

Now let me offer an answer to your question pitched to those readers who don’t get the whole Bros before Hos ethos....

Here’s the thing, Loyal Bro. I know you probably think feminism is really lame, a bunch of man-hating lady complainers. But another way to think about feminism is that it’s an ideology designed to keep men like you from reflexively disrespecting (and later, possibly harming) your mother and your sisters and all the other women in your life who are not, as you put it, “heinous hose beasts.”

In the end, feminism really isn’t that complicated. It’s a bunch of human beings who are tired of the privileges and prerogatives we grant to babies who happen to be born with XY chromosomes, and the subsequent tyrannies (small and large) that we men either visit, or allow to be visited upon, women.

...the way you asked for this help signals a deeper concern: your inability to regard the woman in question as something other than a cartoon.

Men and women are different. But under the law — and using the more basic rule of common sense — they should be treated as equal, paid the same thing for the same work, provided the same support and consideration, and not subjected to hateful speech or actions.

I know in your own mind that you’re just one dude trying to help out another dude by seeking advice from a third dude. But the way you asked for this help signals a deeper concern: your inability to regard the woman in question as something other than a cartoon.

It’s pointless for me to offer advice until such a time as you address that basic shortcoming.

Hope this helps, Bro.

Steve

Okay folks, now it's your turn. Did I get it right, or muck it up? Let me know in the comments section. And please do send your own question along, the more detailed the better. Even if I don't have a helpful response, chances are someone in the comments section will. Send your dilemmas via email.


Steve Almond is the author of the book Against Football.

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