Uncle Ony: What you are dealing with is your partner's anger and resentment - "chip" if you like - over his own, lowly background. He is trying to manifest his frustrated need for the trappings of class and culture by frustrating this need in your child. I suggest you buy him a season ticket to Sadler's Wells, enrol him for riding lessons in Hyde Park, and find a hunt somewhere in the Home Counties that he can join once he has mastered the rising trot.
Auntie Ag: Oh darling, your chap's absolutely right. Presumably his bluff northern charm is part of the reason you fell for him and wanted a child in his image in the first place. Ponies and snobby trotter mothers will make your life hell and leave you no money left for shopping. If I were you I'd veto the violent and unpredictable ponies - think about poor Superman - and go for a compromise of ballet plus Brownies. With any luck the lure of the tent and the toadstool will soon eclipse the tutus.
My best friend (me his best man, he mine) has been posted abroad for three months and his wife, over whom I have secretly drooled since first setting eyes on her, has made an overt pass at me, making it clear that her motive is sheer animal lust. Her details of enactment actually left my mouth watering as she maintains that her deceit will be a one-off and in strictest confidence. Should I (a) politely reject her, take a series of cold showers and say nothing, (b) advise my best friend of her perfidy, (c) shag her brains out, or (d) do both (b) and (c).
Uncle Ony: This young woman is behaving in a wanton and unnatural manner. It is the natural function of women to love, to cleave and to procreate. The Aphrodite in her council of Goddesses, the need to conquer to excite and be admired, is raging out of control, dominating and eclipsing Hera (mother) and Athena (goddess of the hearth). It is your duty to accept the offer, then subsequently reject her and remind her of her duties. This will, figuratively, reduce her Aphrodite to a worm or sickly beast of the field and ultimately be an act of extreme loyalty to your friend.
Auntie Ag: Don't you dare do it, you naughty boy. A one-off? Don't be absurd. Three months is nothing when one has fire in one's loins. The first time is always a disappointment and a disaster and you'll end up having a messy affair, ruining everyone's lives and wallowing in misery. Your only problem is how to gallantly say no while leaving her self-esteem intact. I suggest you tell her you adore her so much that if you slept with her just once, then had to let her go, you'd be so distraught you'd have to impale yourself on a garden implement. That way you'll keep the fantasy alive and life will be much innocently naughtier and happier for all.
I am friendly with a man who is extremely tall, dark, good looking, rich, successful and nice. He is understandably much pursued by girls and our relationship has always consisted of giggly dinners where we confide sexual secrets and advise each other on romantic conundrums. He often tells me I am his ideal wife, but I dismiss this as the bollocks he doles out to everyone and always give him a firm peck on the cheek on my doorstep and leave it at that. However, we have recently split up with our partners and he has asked me to dinner again. Should I ask him up for coffee this time - or will I just end up as another notch on his bedstead?
Uncle Ony: Tragically, Lola, your determination to stick to your "story" your "specialness" and cling to the memory of those times in your childhood when, I sense, you gave and were heartbroken, is preventing you from saying "yes" to commitment, by protecting yourself against happiness. Choose your happiness over your story. Say yes to this man. What have you to fear, but fear itself?
Auntie Ag: There is no underestimating the simple impact of not being interested in a much-pursued man to make him wild to have you. The problem, as you rightly foresee, is how to keep him once the challenge is over. My advice is to take it extremely slowly and cunningly. Give him an inch - a snog on the doorstep? - and no more, then see what he does next. Remember he likes you because he feels safe. Let him slowly break down your resistance, without ever putting yourself on the line. If he shows the slightest lack of stomach for the fight, then shove things firmly back to square one.Reuse content