Dear Uptight Seattleite, I'm up in Port Townsend for the weekend. Is it OK to play the old organ in the lobby of my charming Victorian-style hotel?Would-Be Tootler
Dear Tootler, That antique organ is not a toy. If you can play, have at it. We all enjoy good music. But if you could first please consider carefully your level of musicianship, that would be super. Try to make a decision that's in the best interests of the entire hotel community. Thanks! Dear Uptight Seattleite, You recently addressed outdated campaign signs. I agree wholeheartedly that we liberal types have a tendency to hold onto a lost cause as a badge of character. But my issue is that people, especially if they already have one of the new Obama-Biden stickers, don't recognize that my own Obama sticker dates from way before he was even an official candidate. That's why it doesn't have the campaign's official colors and font. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see all the newcomers, but how can I make it clear that I was first?The Font Alone Fails to Make It Clear
Dear T'Faf T'Mic, There may be no smooth way to flash your cred on this count. Perhaps just being aware of it yourself will have to suffice. I do sympathize, having cranked out an "Obama '08" sign on my inkjet printer the morning of November 6, 2004. (Yes, I needed a day of recovery before discovering my audacity.) But of course the point isn't whose sign pre-date's whom's. For just as the sun of 15 seasons has bleached my sign to a blank whiteness that contains all colors, so must our burgeoning Zen warrior's selfless sense of self call us to the coming battle for our country. No matter which way the election turns out. Dear Uptight Seattleite, I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "What's next? Gravity?" The other stickers on the bumper were the usual left-wing favorites ("War Is Terrorism," etc.), but this one made no sense to me.I = Man Who's Puzzled
Dear Man, The larger your frame of reference, the more prone you will be to frame rhetorical questions in a large way. Some people have dialed it back to the point where they're questioning the essential forces of the universe itself. Is gravity patriarchal? Does it exert a greater pull on the disadvantaged? I'm not saying one way or the other. I'm content to simply get the conversation started. Dear Uptight Seattleite, As an East Coast transplant, I am hoping you can tell me what the Seattle etiquette is for the following touchy little nugget. I had the unfortunate experience of discovering my wife was having an affair with her co-worker, a married father of two. Where I grew up, when something like this happens, the aggrieved husband has a "discussion" with the other guy. But here, when you get caught sleeping with someone's wife and her husband has the nerve to contact you, it's apparently normal to file a restraining order. He's still with his wife and kids while I've since lost my wife and home. It would have been nice to have heard his explanation. Please "educate" me about how I am suddenly the bad guy here.Confused Bostonian
Dear Bostonian, A touchy nugget indeed! If anyone has earned the right to be confused, it's you. And maybe a little bit angry, too? When I was a kid and got really mad about something, my mom used to tell me a story. May I tell you a story, Bostonian? Once upon a time, I was sitting on a bench by Green Lake, admiring the sky and watching the people go by: a skinny guy in an Easy Street Records sweatshirt, a hypnotized-looking baby on his mama's shoulder, the "Spanish Lessons" guy...Then there was a tall Asian lady with beautiful silver hair and a blue Polar fleece jacket. She and I exchanged quick smiles. Then she looked back and smiled again. A few moments went by before I realized this was a moment in need of seizing. I hopped on my recumbent and rode in the direction she'd gone. I passed all the people who had passed me when I was stationary, but in reverse order. It was almost as if the speed of my wheels was making time go backwards: "Spanish Lessons," hypnotized baby, Easy Street. But alas, the silver-haired lady was missing from the sequence. See, when it comes to women or anything else in life, time can't reverse itself after all, Bostonian. Your anger and my regret are a matching pair of backwards-pointing daggers that cut only ourselves. Have a question for the Uptight Seattleite? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.