Dear Stephanie,
My wife and I just found out that one of our friends is cheating on their spouse. It’s not something we overheard or suspect. We have real proof. We’ve been friends with this couple for years. They live in our town and our kids are friendly. Should we tell the spouse?


Dear A.R.,
If you think it would be helpful to deliver this gruesome, life-crushing news then, by all means, spill the beans! In fact, try to get a sample of their DNA, too, so you can tell them both how they’re gonna die.

Or, you could keep this juicy tidbit to yourselves and let the couple work through their problems without adding fuel to the fire. Cheating is a symptom of much deeper problems. I’m sure this couple knows things aren’t going as planned. No one would ever want to hear that their spouse is cheating, not even from a friendly, well-intentioned neighbor. It’s important information, don’t get me wrong. And the spouse has a right to this information, but he or she will not be grateful to hear it from you.

Unless it’s me. I would definitely want to know. Is that bastard cheating or not? I demand an answer God dammit.


P.S. Seriously, who is it?

Dear Stephanie,
My husband is thirteen years older than me and had knee surgery a year ago. I love him and I know he will get better but I recently feel like I’m married to an invalid. He has packed on at least thirty pounds since the surgery and for a long time he didn’t shave and did nothing but sit in front of his laptop in sweaty old clothes. It was definitely a turn off for me but we stopped having sex since before the surgery anyways. I could not pretend I had those kinds of feelings when they were gone. I feel guilty about this but lately my old boyfriend has been texting a lot. He must have a sixth sense because he always texts when something is going on in my life that makes me think about him. I finally suggested we meet just to catch up but he didn’t answer my last text.

I know he doesn’t love his wife and he had a girlfriend for a while a few years ago. I don’t want to ruin my marriage because I know I still love my husband. He’s really great to me in every possible way including encouraging me to run and go to the gym even though he can’t. I tell him everything because he’s my only family. We both love sports and we have more in common than most couples I know. But I can’t stop thinking about my old boyfriend. The feelings I thought I’d never feel again are back. Do I just ignore them?


Dear Anonymous,

Right off the bat, I like the fat guy.

The problem with marital law is that it has no power over human emotion. Passion, if left unleashed, will stomp on everything in its path: Marriage, friendship, loyalty, all rational thought, fear, and happiness.

Whenever I see a married couple with a significant age difference, I root for it, but my antennae go up. People tend to want to play with people their own ages. Thirteen years is a whole other smell.

Unless your husband was attractive enough to compensate for your age difference, you may be trapped in a marriage of convenience, particularly the financial variety, which is the opposite of passion. Passion is fueled by risk, danger and desire, not accounting skills. Without any real physical attraction or tension at its core, a marriage of expediency will wither on its sensible vine.

There should be a clause in every marriage contract that says: If I fall passionately in love with someone else, you gotta let me out of this (with my stuff).

Why we willingly, legally enslave ourselves to one another, despite the evidence that most marriages are doomed to fail, is mind-boggling, and yet, when it works, it’s heaven on earth. When it doesn’t, it’s inhumane to keep it going.

First, I think it’s important to establish that your ex-boyfriend is a liar, a cheater, a thief, and a pig. The only decent thing about him is that he hasn’t responded to your text about meeting. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to. If he wanted to leave his wife for you, you’d both be long gone by now. At best he will have sex with you a few times, for old time’s sake, and then he will go back to his wife, or his girlfriend. You’ll wonder why you left your sweet, fat husband for a guy who obviously didn’t choose to spend the rest of his life with you, and never will. Never ever, ever, text him again. He’s not your new best friend. He’s not going to give you the romance you want. If you let passion in from outside of your marriage, it will own you. Nothing else will matter.

Let’s get back to your husband for a second.
If the marriage was never based on anything truly romantic on your end, the right thing to do is let the poor schlub go. If you’re craving romance, you have every right to your youth and your desire for true love, and you’re more likely to find fulfillment with someone who doesn’t repulse you.

However, if there was passion in the beginning, and if you swear your marriage isn’t a use job, and if you just wish you could get that feeling back with your husband instead of your vile, detestable ex-boyfriend, this marriage can be saved.

Your husband is your family. He loves you. Help him. Encourage him to get back into shape and try to make him cuter. Get him some new clothes, some teeth whitener, and a cool haircut. Get him ready for a date with you, and tell him the truth. Tell him you love and want him, but you’re afraid you’re losing sexual interest because he’s not taking care of himself. The guy you married is still in there. You share a home and a life. He’s nice to you. You just need to revive him. Try yelling.

Also, you should never smoke or drink alone, and I would venture to say that you should not have a cell phone.


P.S. Try to avoid the plural of “anyway” when at all possible, as it makes one sound illiterate and void of any real feelings.

Dear Stephanie,
Tomorrow night we are going out with friends that have been acting really weird lately. Breaking plans, acting secretive, saying, “Things are not normal. Should be okay soon, though.”

Do I ask her what is going on or should I ignore it like I usually do?


Dear K,
I hope I’m not too late. Normally I would say ignore it. It’s none of our business what goes on in other people’s homes, but it sounds highly likely they killed someone. My advice is to cancel dinner.

P.S. You really, really need to stop smoking.

Dear Stephanie,

Since I got to high school, a couple of people have made comments about my nose. There’s a part of me that feels like I should get it fixed, but another part of me feels like this is the nose God gave me.


Dear Anonymous,

God also gave us floods and unbelievable body odor if left unchecked.

You can fix whatever you want to fix. I’m sure God knows he’s terrible at noses by now, and you have the right to be happy when you look in the mirror.

If you had a huge mole on your eye with a patch of hair growing out of it, would you keep it to show God how much you appreciate his handiwork?

I traded my nose in the first chance I got, and God never said a word. If anything, he owes me an apology.

However, it doesn’t sound like you dislike your nose. Without a photo, I can only guess it’s a little big, but there’s also something lovable about it, and you don’t want to part with it.

There are two kinds of big noses: Sloppy and friendly. Mine was a slob.

Friendly noses are big, but in a good way. A big friendly nose tells a whole story before you even get a chance to meet its owner. It introduces itself right away.

“Hi! I got here early! I’m not afraid to put myself out there. My family loves me. My friends think I’m hysterical. Here’s one hundred dollars!”

When you meet a person with a big, friendly, quirky nose you expect depth and character. You expect a human being with a big heart. You expect kindness, intelligence, generosity and confidence. People think eyes are the window to the soul, but it’s the nose that does all the talking.

Take Sean Penn’s nose. Any other nose looks tongue-tied and weak by comparison. Like it’s asking to get beat up by Sean Penn’s nose. Jennifer Anniston’s nose makes little noses look like they’re missing half their personalities. Howard Stern’s needed a little tweaking, but it’s the right nose for a genius who made a fortune by not kidding himself about who he is. You can’t have a talking nose unless it’s big enough to really say something interesting about you.

Who would you rather spend time with:
Andrien Brody
Sarah Jessica Parker
Barbra Streisand
Jimmy Durante
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg

or some kid in your class, with a small nose, who trips his balls off every day after school?

Look in the mirror. And listen. You might be one of the chosen ones, and your nose is working for you. Give it a chance to make real friends.

Also, I must reiterate how important it is not to talk to anyone in high school unless you are stoned 100% of the time. Rule number two is the only person who makes decisions about your face is you. And me. Send a picture.


Dear Stephanie
This time I need real advice instead of that weird stuff you wrote about a circus clown. I have a good girlfriend who suddenly pulled away and I don’t know what I did. Can you please tell me how to handle this?

Dog Lover

Okay Dog Lover,

Girls become friends because there is some chemistry or common ground that draws them together. According to Barbara Ackerman, “Sometimes people grow in other directions and lose their commonality.” That’s true, and especially sad when it happens with childhood friends, but I don’t think that’s the case here. That kind of thing rarely happens suddenly.

When girls bond, it’s pretty tough to undo that knot. That’s why you so often see two women who had a real falling out huddled together a week later in a coffee shop trading secrets and laughing until they can’t breathe. Girls love girls. They can’t get enough of each other. When it’s good there’s nothing like it.

When one friend noticeably pulls away without an explanation it’s likely that something was said or done.

Did something happen that may have insulted her? Did you make plans and not include her? Did you dress up as her ass for Halloween? Run off with her husband?


If you can’t figure it out, flat out ask her, “What did I do? Because I can’t stand that we’re not friends anymore.” If she’s not willing to talk about it, the only thing you can do is wait.

The other possibility is that she’s distancing herself for a reason that has nothing to do with you. Maybe there’s something going on in her life that’s taking all of her time and energy. It could be an issue with another friend or a family member. It could be something she’s not comfortable sharing.

The way you handle her distancing herself is as important as whatever it was that caused her to do it. Don’t overreact or pull back even more. That will only create more tension. Just check in every now and then, and tell her you miss her.

She will need you one day, or want to tell you something funny or personal, and she won’t be able to resist calling you. Just be patient, get your hands on some purple haze, maybe even write her a letter, but don’t send it stoned, and don’t let her go.


Dear Stephanie,
I’m a 28 year old guy from NYC. I want to propose to my girlfriend, but I barely have enough money to make ends meet. I’m still paying off my college loans. A big diamond is out of the question. How can I make a grand gesture to her without having to spend too much?


Dear Anonymous,
Your heart is bigger than your wallet. Fear not. You don’t need to produce a colossal diamond ring to ask someone to marry you. There are plenty of other ways to prove you’re serious about spending the rest of your life with her.

Here are just a few:

Give her six carrots. Tell her you are working hard and one day you will be able to give her at least half that many carats on her finger instead of a handful of vegetables.

If she’s more of a techy type, get your hands on a three D printer and print out a copy of your heart. Can you imagine her surprise when you hand her a bloody beating human organ instead of a ring? I’m surprised more people don’t use this trick. The heart is what she’s after, is it not?

If you want to buy yourself a little time, get a ring box and tie a beautiful silk bow around it. Get down on one knee and give her the box. When she opens it, and sees it’s empty, scream out, “Oh my God!! I’ve been robbed!!”

If you’re looking for something a little more serious, propose by handing her a baby. When she asks why you gave her a baby instead of a ring, tell her you thought that’s what she meant when she said, “I want to share a life with you.”

If none of those jump out at you, you could always tell her you’d love to buy her a beautiful token to commemorate the start of your life together some day, but spending thousands and thousands of dollars, that you should be using to actually start a life together— on a circle— seems counterintuitive.

Put together a list of adventures that the two of you could spend the rest of your lives enjoying, as well as an investment strategy that will enable you to do all of those things, and still have money to have a home and start a family. That’s a grand gesture.

If you think number five is more likely to get you arrested than engaged, try number four. It makes a stronger point about putting the cart before the horse and basing a relationship on a bad financial decision.

Men are conditioned to impress the opposite sex with their ability to over provide, but at what cost to the future of the union?

Life is long. Don’t get caught up in the money is love trap before you even get started. You’re not someone else’s ATM machine. You’re a life partner. That means you are there for emotional support. Too many people think marriage is a financial deal. It can be, but don’t reduce it to that. It won’t last. The best prenuptial protection is that you have each other’s backs not that you get each other’s stuff if it doesn’t work out.

It’s your choice, but I think the right person will appreciate the promise of adventure and long-term financial security as a proposal for marriage. It sure beats a stolen baby, and you shouldn’t have to rip your heart out of a printer for love.

If none of this appeals to you, just get her a big bag of weed and tell her to smoke until she’s so wasted she’ll agree to anything.

Dear Stephanie,

I might have an interesting new job opportunity, but I don’t know if I should pursue it or forget about it because I really want to move to another state for love.

Annonymous ☺

Dear Anonymous,
Unless your career opportunity is President of the United States or feeding orphans in Somalia, my advice is always choose love.

Every decision I ever made, since the day I met my husband, was based on my desire to be near him.

Years ago, when we were forced to be apart because of our careers I would hear the clock ticking every second of the day. It was a constant tormenting reminder that we were wasting time, and I was always on the verge of quitting.

Ok, the truth is the job was only ten minutes from our apartment. But what a schlep. I had to carry a bag with a brush in it, and a wallet, and my roller blades. All I thought about the whole day was what I was going to have for lunch, which was always a salad and a roll. Why did I bother suffering? I could have gotten a roll at home. We always had rolls.

Other people will tell you to be independent. They will warn you not to uproot yourself for a man, or give up your work for a relationship. All of those people are lonely, uptight, hairy-legged meth addicts who hate their fathers and secretly fantasize they can beat Hillary.
They can’t. No one can.

Do you want to know how many good men there are in this world? Maybe three. Do you know how many bad ones there are? Three billion.

My advice is get on a plane and never look back. There will be plenty of job opportunities wherever you go. And truthfully, how much can an orphan really eat?

Also, and I can’t stress this enough, when you get to wherever it is you’re going, be careful about choosing the right delivery service. Some are way better than others.