Auntie ag & uncle ony
Sunday 01 September 1996
Uncle Ony: How hypothetical is your question? If you have found yourself in such a bizarre situation you should contact a medical practitioner immediately. If not, why has the question entered your mind? Is it fear of homosexuality? Or did the question come to you in dream form? You may be suppressing a subconscious simultaneous desire for and fear of sexual contact.
Auntie Ag: Semen in a sauna! You're more likely to get a verruca on your bottom. Why not sit on a towel?
I can't stop thinking about a girl I've seen in the supermarket. I sent her some roses a while ago but never followed it up. I want to initiate some form of communication but I'm afraid she will think I'm stalking her. Please could you recommend some form of subtle strategy to enable me to "get the girl" without being taken in for questioning?
Uncle Ony: Hmmm. "I'm afraid she will think I'm stalking her." Why, Dominic? Could it be that you have recognised within yourself the signs of obsession? Real love is not something one feels but something one does. Feelings such as yours are not love, neither are they healthy. They are a combination of sexual desire and lack of personal authority. I suggest you change your supermarket.
Auntie Ag: ( Oh for God's sake, Ony. You'd dismiss the words of "True Love," as a symptom of mental illness.) Dominic, darling. Falling in love with a girl and asking her out is not stalking. Think it through. The last thing a girl wants when she's shopping is some chap chatting her up. Wait until she's got through the checkout then make yourself useful by offering to carry her bags. When you get to her car, say it's been nice talking to her and how about a drink? But remember that this is just a crush. Crushes are basically mad. If it doesn't work, you must keep a sense of humour. When you start to feel miserable it is time to change supermarkets. Then you'll be sure you're not a stalker and might find a new goddess as well as a whole new own-label product range.
I live in a row of houses that all have flat roofs. I have put a chair and tables on mine and made it nice and the guy who lives next door has taken to sitting there whenever he pleases and tidying up my plants. He's very nice and quite dishy, but I don't think he ought to be doing this and want to ask him to stop, or at least ask me first, without offending him. Why can't he do up his own roof terrace?
Ruth, Notting Hill
Uncle Ony: Interesting. You are right in spotting that this young man has a serious problem. His own territory is not interesting to him: instead he needs to colonise that of another by ''nurturing'' it. You will find he is suffering from what in layman's terms is often known as Groucho Marx syndrome: nothing that is his own will ever seem good enough, which is exactly why you should avoid becoming romantically involved. The second you succumb he will start tending someone else's roof terrace.
Auntie Ag: Oh don't be silly, darling. He fancies you. If you want to put a stop to it, start giving him extra tasks. Buy a dozen bedding plants and ask him to pot them. Tell him the plants need watering three times a day in the hot weather and start getting bolshy if he doesn't do it. Think about tasks inside the flat: painting, perhaps. That should drive him off, but frankly darling, don't dismiss him too lightly. As I was just pointing out to Dominic: there's a lot to be said for a chap who makes himself useful, and if it were me I'd find myself sitting up there looking pretty as often as possible, encouraging his toil.
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