Uncle Ony: Yes, this is often a problem with the modern marriage and changing female roles. During courtship, you are happy to accept a modern woman as your consort, and may even find sluttishness and vulgarity alluring. In marriage, however, age-old expectations about the role of the wife kick into play, and as you come to view your wife as an extension and representative of your own identity, many of her more modern, "liberated" qualities may become unacceptable to you. I suggest you say to your wife that if she wishes to retain the foul-mouthed aspect of her identity, then you will not wish her to take up some of the more traditional wifely roles - such as being at your side at the awards ceremony.
Auntie Ag: Oh lighten up, for heaven's sake (and don't listen to that sexist, chauvinist twazzock Ony). You'll probably find the chairman thinks she's an absolute hoot and would rather sit next to her than some boring little Stepford wife. You might also find she's only swearing because you're such a bossy bore, and once you shut up, so will she.
I'm part of a very closely-knit group of friends who are great fun. The trouble is, introducing a new boyfriend to them is worse than someone meeting your parents - they're exacting in their standards and make no bones about making their feelings known if they think someone doesn't cut the mustard. I've been seeing this man for about four months and avoided mentioning the friends or taking him along to any of their dos. Last night he accused me of being ashamed of him and keeping him hidden. What do I do?
Uncle Ony: It is not the attitude of your friends which is the problem here, Lucy, but your own authority. Who are your friends to decide who you should and shouldn't choose as a partner? It seems that both your friends and your previous boyfriends have sensed your inability to make and stick to your own life decisions, and this has caused the romantic relationships to founder. You develop your own authority - perhaps a course of psychotherapy would help.
Auntie Ag: Tell your boyfriend what you've told me. I'm sure he'll understand, and then when he does brave the friends there'll be an air of complicity between the two of you which will protect the you from the third degree.
My secretary, who sits in a sort of ante-room and greets all my visitors, insists on covering her desk and walls with a selection of nauseating mottos on pictures, mugs and calendars - "You don't have to be mad to work here but it helps", "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice" and so on. I find it excruciatingly embarrassing, but it is her work-space and I don't want to come over all Mussolini.
Uncle Ony: You have a problem with boundaries, Piers, and an inability to see where your personality and personal space ends and another's begins. To prevent your secretary, or indeed any colleague from expressing their individuality within their own work station will be to diminish their self-esteem and productivity. Are you expressing your own personality within your work station? You may find that it is a failure here which is the root of the problem.
Auntie Ag: Ugh, darling, how utterly intolerable. This is a place of work, not the fifth-form dorm, and you're the boss. Give her a couple of little screens to put at the front of her desk. Tell her to hang any personal stuff on there where no one but she can see it, and anything on display to visitors must be approved by you. Otherwise, before you know it the wall will be covered with baby Garfields in hammocks and pictures of her boyfriends mooning.
When I was 15, I had a tattoo of David Cassidy done just under my tummy button. I married at 18 and my husband was fine about it. Eighteen months ago, we separated. I am now 36, a partner in a law firm and have started seeing a charming, if formal, barrister. Everything is leading towards us sleeping together, but I am terrified of what he will say when he sees David above my pudenda.
Uncle Ony: You may, in fact, find that your new friend is turned on by this reminder of your 15-year-old self. He may even ask you to mime to I Think I Love You wearing nothing but a pair of white, wet-look platform boots and a chain belt, or dancing to the Partridge Family theme tune in hot-pants and no top. If any such manifesting should occur I suggest you write to me with a detailed account.
Auntie Ag: Yes, darling, you might find he's rather turned on, but hopefully not to the extent of that filthy old pervert Ony. Don't get in a stew about it. A little surprise and mystery never did anyone's sex life any harm. Besides, he's probably got worries of his own about the first denouement. You'll probably find he's got Dana tattooed on one buttock and Clodagh Rogers on the other.Reuse content