Relationship Problems? Ask Our Advice Columnist, Victor the Cat
It's me, again. Victor the cat. Did you have a chance to check out my debut Blisstree relationship column last week? Since then, I've been really busy. I went to the vet, where I learned that I'd lost 1.1 pounds. (Me-OW for me.) The downside is that I have to get my teeth cleaned next week. (The tall lady who owns me had the nerve to tell the vet I have bad breath!) On Friday I traveled north for the Columbus Day weekend and did some middle-of-the-night mousing. (Caught one, jumped up on the tall people's bed with the half-dead critter in my mouth, and woke up the tall people to show them – they were somewhat less excited than I was.) Saturday night: More late-night mousing. (Guess who's two for two?) On Sunday I went outside for 20 minutes and ate some grass. Then I had to travel in a car, a train, and a subway – all in my cat carrier, which is both exhausting and emasculating. When I got home, I drank some water and threw up. (Stupid grass!) Later on I took a crap, and while I was in the box I realized that I needed to get the second installment of my Monday relationship column together for Blisstree. So here we are.
I'm really excited (well, as excited as a fat and lazy cat can get), because this question was submitted to me directly through Blisstree's comments section, and comes from a reader named Jason:
My girlfriend and I have been dating for close to two years now. Everything is going great, but after living with her for a while, I’ve noticed she has some habits that…get on my nerves. When I really think about it, her habits are no big deal, like splashing a bunch of water all over the bathroom sink, or always leaving her wet towel on the floor after a shower, or constantly lowering the height setting on my computer chair…or leaving her box of tampons out on the counter like they’re not a totally disgusting and awkward product! My question, Victor, is: Should I tell her that these ‘pet peeves’ really bother me, or just try to keep quiet and keep the peace? I’m not even sure if I have some bothersome habits of my own, but when I think about, she can probably come back with something annoying that I do.
Follow-up question: Do you have any ‘pet peeves’, Victor?
Ah, sweet, naive, misguided Jason. You are in a relationship with a woman and you live with her. Do you actually think that you'll never get on each other's nerves? Welcome to an adult relationship, my human friend. You say everything's going great. So why do you want to create problems where none exist? First off, I need to know this: Have you ever gently asked your girlfriend if she wouldn't mind wiping up the bathroom sink after she's done, or picking up her towel, or returning your computer chair to its original position after she uses it? It's called verbal communication, J-dawg. And, although I can't really do it myself, I see its immediate and lasting benefits every day. You should try it sometime.
But something else you said disturbs me, Jason. A box of tampons is only a “totally disgusting and awkward product” if you're an uptight suburban dad in the 1950s buying some at an all-night drugstore for your 13-year-old daughter (and at least he has the 1950s as an excuse); or you're a modern-day neanderthal. Tampons are just tampons. What's your problem, anyway? You're acting like your girlfriend is leaving used tampons on the bathroom counter. Would you rather she just not get her period, get pregnant, and force you to marry her? Hey, then at least she wouldn't have to use “totally disgusting and awkward” tampons for nine months! Do you know what is “totally disgusting and awkward,” Jason? Shitting in a box, that's what. That's my life. So you should get down on your knees and worship your girlfriend's box of tampons, my friend. Because they are what make your inane weekly “boys' poker nights” possible. Bloody tampons are your ticket to freedom. I've lived in an alley, Jason. Get over it.
And another thing: You say that you're not sure if you have any bothersome habits of your own? Don't make me throw up grass again. Rest assured, Jason, although we've never met, I can tell you that you most certainly do. You should ask your girlfriend to tell you a few things you do that annoy her, and then maybe you'll have a better idea of how adult relationships should be about compromise, tolerance, and understanding. Wow, I just realized that I sound like I'm on my period. Sorry, dude.
And now for your follow-up question. Do I have any pet peeves, Jason? I'm a cat. Of course I do. That's all I have. My biggest pet peeve is when the tall people I live with don't empty my litterbox immediately after I use it. Do you enjoy peeing and shitting in a filthy toilet, Jason? My guess is no. So you see my point. My other pet peeve is children. They're horrible. I can't really recall, but before the tall people adopted me, I'm pretty sure I was teased and tortured by small children on a regular basis. So when any kids visit our house, you'll find me safely ensconced and sulking under the bed. Pet peeve #3: Dogs. Seriously, I do not see the point.
Thanks for writing, Jason. This has been really fun. I've learned a lot about the challenges of typing with paws. And I hope I've changed your life for the better. That's how I roll. See, I'm Victor the cat.
Leave your relationship question for Victor the cat in the comments section below, and he'll answer it next week after his 16-hour nap.