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May 11, 2004

Pearls of Wisdom

Dear Lila Pearl,

I have a roommate that never confronts me about apartment issues. I constantly live in fear that something I will do (or not do) will irritate her. I try hard to be a clean, responsible, and caring roommate, but I worry that if she doesn't communicate with me I can't improve. She presently only communicates with me by leaving little notes, and I'm tired of this passive-aggressive behavior. I want to speak to her, but I am afraid it will make her feel uncomfortable. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Wanting to Communicate

Dear Wanting,

There are three options laid before you. One, move out. Get a studio, or find new people to live with who don't have large poles shoved up their anal tracts. Two, confront your roommate. Sit her down and say: "We've got some household problems to work out. I've been feeling really uncomfortable with X, Y, and Z…." If she can't have a dialogue with you, revert to solution one. Three, do nothing and continue to live in fear that your bitchy roommate will explode because one day you accidentally spill tea on her favorite chair. Or shuffle her tarot cards. Or interrupt her some midnight when she's doing witchcraft in the living room and sticking pins into some poor voodoo doll that bares a striking resemblance to her ex-boyfriend, the one you always liked who you thought was way to cool for her and you secretly wished you could date….

Don't worry about irritating your roommate or making her uncomfortable—sounds to Lila Pearl like she is completely unconcerned with your feelings and personhood. Just remember: you can't engage in a real dialogue with a passive-aggressive. You can either confront or leave. To roughly paraphrase Jonathan Lear: "Whoever coined the phrase you cannot run away from your troubles has clearly never traveled much."

Affirmingly,

Lila Pearl

Dear Lila Pearl,

Is it weird to have sex in a graveyard?

—Craving Cadavers

Dear Crave,

No. And then again, kind of. Says Benzvi: "You're only going to find it weird if it gets you off. Personally, it doesn't really do a thing for me. Giant squid on the other hand.…" Indeed. Millions of college students nod their heads in (com)passionate understanding. The tricky part, Lila Pearl imagines, is finding a mate who can go the distance into the underworld.

Necromantically,

Lila Pearl

Dear Lila Pearl,

I've been sleeping with this guy for two months or so, and things were very nice for us, until recently. I have been having some problems dealing with the "casual" nature of our relationship. What I want to know, Lila Pearl, is whether it is possible to have a casual sexual relationship for an extended period of time. The thing is, I think I'm falling in love with the guy, and I don't know what to do, given that the parameters of our relationship were "sex only."

—Casually Confused.

Dear Casual,

"Seven years and six months!" Humpty Dumpty repeated thoughtfully. "An uncomfortable sort of age. Now if you'd asked MY advice, I'd have said ‘Leave off at seven'—but it's too late now."

"I never ask advice about growing," Alice said indignantly.

"Too proud?" the other enquired.

Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion. "I mean," she said, "that one can't help growing older."

"ONE can't, perhaps," said Humpty Dumpty; "but TWO can. With proper assistance, you might have left off at seven."

Think of yourself here as Alice. Wanting to grow. No, think of yourself as Humpty Dumpty, wanting to connect. No, think of yourself as the pansies Alice meets in the talking garden. No, look, Ms. Casually Confused, don't think at all, just breathe.

Breathlessly,

Lila Pearl