Dear Uptight Seattleite,I have a passionate relationship with my husband who's also my first cousin. We love passionately and we fight passionately. Lately it's been a lot more of the latter. Do you think a fling or small affair will solve the problem? Meaning, will I feel so much regret that I'll appreciate my husband even more?"Nancy"
Dear "Nancy,"Traveling through the dark forest of regret to emerge like a victorious heroine in a sunny land of renewed love for your husband...It's certainly an audacious plan, anyway! But keep in mind that you may instead wind up in some strange, far-off place, wondering how you got so lost. Or maybe you won't be wondering at all—maybe arrival in a strange place is what you secretly want. I can sure relate! In that case, however, I suggest a more direct route, one that stays as far out of the forest as possible.Dear Uppy,There's a renter in my condo building who has an out-of-state license on their SUV. I was initially willing to accept this, but now I see they have renewed their out-of-state tabs for another year. Should I turn them in because the plates are from a conservative state?Seattle Native
Dear Native,Whoa, I was with you until that final line. Where these people came from shouldn't affect your actions toward them at all. Let's not prejudge!Just for the record, though, what state are we talking about here? Idaho? Montana? Or someplace more exotic, like Alabama? Don't Alabama plates have a big Confederate flag on them? In my mind's eye they do anyway, and that should count for something. I assume there was no "Think! It's Patriotic" sticker or other indication of progressive-mindedness. Just for fun, you could take a quick peek through the windows for tell-tale signs of conservatism, such as cigarettes, gallon-sized containers of Pepsi, or meth-lab equipment. Not to unfairly associate meth with conservative areas or anything, but I think it's fair to point out that meth is associated with conservative areas.That these people are here in Seattle is a point in their favor. They're renters, though, and that's a minus. I certainly have nothing against renters. They may have a slightly depressing effect on property values, but I would hesitate—hesitate a lot!—to use the word "blight" about rental properties. Bottom line, you should do a little more casual surveillance to gather the necessary information that will play no role in deciding whether or not you make that call to the Department of Licensing.Dear Uptight Seattleite,My Opposite Sex Partner drives to work every day (I know, I've been trying to get her to take the bus like me! :-)), and the guy who works in the ticket booth at her garage always says "Good morning," to which she replies "Good morning," and then he says "Good morning" again. Is she required to respond to his second good morning?Terry
Dear Terry,She could continue exchanging good mornings until another car pulls up behind her, then scream a final good morning, stretching out the final syllable until she's safely out of earshot. Or she could try to get the jump on him with the first good morning. She may have to lean out the window with a bullhorn from a block away, but this shouldn't be too much of a burden if she's serious about cultivating a welcoming spirit for immigrants. If she can somehow get the number for the ticket booth, another move would be to call him, say "Good morning," and immediately hang up. She has to be quick, though. If she hears him even start to reply, she'll officially be back down in that "Good morning" hole all over again.*By popular demand (OK, no particular demand at all), here's a quick update on the musical front. Leaving the Cool Uncles has turned out to be a great liberation for me. It was great jamming with the guys—and I hope to hang out with them in a non-Uncles capacity (SOME of them, anyway)—but I'm off in a whole new direction now. People who heard the conventional pop tune, "(Gonna Sit Right Down and) Take My Peepers Out," that I recorded for my book readings may be surprised by the new sound. And I have a new collaborator. It turns out Deb used to drum in a new-wave band called the Crankers back in '84. We went halfsies on a used kit from the Trading Musician and have been laying down some pretty edgy tracks. We call ourselves Lint Catcher. Leaving my old band has been such a positive experience that I'm thinking it might be time to move on from some other things, too.There will be two more chances to hear "Take My Peepers Out": March 17 at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, and March 31 at Neptune Coffee in Greenwood. Both events are free and start at 7 p.m.