Dear Ms. Behavior:
I am a gay man and am in a 12-step program because of all the terrible things that my family and society did to me. Recently I was in the local Post Office, speaking with my sponsor. I had an urgent problem that I was explaining in great detail. I felt sure that she was about to give me the most important advice of my life when something very disturbing happened. Suddenly my sponsor’s girlfriend walked into the Post Office and it was as if me and my problems just didn’t matter anymore. It was a frenzy of curves, hair, and lips run amok right there in the lobby! Then my sponsor left without even saying goodbye or divulging the golden key to my eternal happiness.
While I can appreciate that my sponsor’s girlfriend is a major babe and I love a good saliva-fest as much as anyone, I feel miffed. Was that good gay-sponsor etiquette, Ms. Behavior? I feel abandoned. Is the lesson that my sponsor’s girlfriend is the most beautiful and important person in the world? What about my eternal happiness? Am I too needy? Please help me with this pressing crisis!
By the way, are you in a 12-step program, and if so, will you be my sponsor?
—Confused, but still Sober
Dear Confused but still Sober:
Your mother once made you feel that you were the center of the universe, which was good at a certain point in your development. The problem is that she forgot to inform you that your infantile magnificence ends when you are no longer in diapers. Now you’re miffed that your sponsor’s girlfriend’s radiance has eclipsed your own, or at least that the girlfriend’s pheromonal secretions (or diapers) are more alluring than yours. Your sponsor’s girlfriend may not be the most beautiful and important person in the world, but she is to your sponsor, which is healthy. This is a good relationship model from which you might learn.
Your own eternal happiness must come from within. If you cannot find another way to cultivate it, Ms. Behavior will be forced to suggest that you spend more time in front of the mirror, naked, confronting your issues with your own inner and outer beauty. And yes, perhaps you are too needy.
If Ms. Behavior were in a 12-step program, the tradition of anonymity would prevent her from disclosing this fact. But in her role as advisor and dispenser of good will, she is sponsor to both everyone and no one.
Dear Ms. Behavior,
We are two gay men who host a weekly scrabble group at our house. Our problem is with a lesbian couple who attend. We’ll call them ‘Carol and Mary Jane’. Carol and Mary Jane are both writers and use a lot of big words. This intimidates us as we’re sissies by nature, and often this causes us to lose points. What should we do?
—Ted and Ben
Dear Ted and Ben:
Ms. Behavior loves competitive sissies! Perhaps she can help you even the score with your lesbian foes. First, you need to be released from your sensation of intimidation. Like many gay men victimized by our culture, you two are misdirected and stuck in “Bigger is Better” mode. While this principle generally holds true with penises and certain cuts of red meat, it’s not necessarily true of other things, like shoes, dogs, or words.
If you want to beat the lesbians at Scrabble, you’ll need to practice methods that will catch them off guard. For example, use small but effective words that will make their skin crawl, like “gism”, “felching”, and “smegma.” Don’t let them sit next to each other and hold hands, as separation will foster their discomfort. Serve only snacks that lesbians won’t eat: beef jerky, pigs in blankets, non-organic chicken wings. They will be weakened by hunger. (Most lesbians are hypoglycemic and need feedings every 25-35 minutes.) The weaker they get, the more likely you are to win!
© 2012 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.