April 27, 2004

Pearls of Wisdom

Dear Lila Pearl,

The other day my girlfriend and I were celebrating our one-year anniversary. We were, I thought, deeply in love and, what's more, happy. Halfway through the fish course, she burst into tears and wouldn't say a word to me for the rest of the meal. After we left the restaurant she stopped crying but still wouldn't speak to me—except to ask me to drive her home. It's been over a week and she won't return my calls or see me. Do you have any insight at all into this strange occurrence? I thought things were so good between us.

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Dear Bewildered,

A couple of years ago, Lila Pearl and her boyfriend at the time were sitting in a fancy restaurant, drinking wine, feeling a bit swoony. A couple sitting at the next table over was having a fight. At one point in the meal, the woman looked up at her dinner partner, slammed her fork down, and with a reverberating hiss, spat: "This isn't about the fucking fois gras, Harry. It's about the past 20 years." She then stormed out of the restaurant, leaving poor Harry all alone with his exploded goose liver. L.P. and her boyfriend were exchanging what she thought were humorous and sympathetic glances, when, without warning, boyfriend got up from the table and ran out too—never to be heard from again.

Bewildered, as in Lila Pearl's own scenario, there are three possible explanations for your anniversary gone awry: either your girlfriend is crazy, or you are, or both. As for how to decide which it is, Lila Pearl wishes you best of luck. But really, there are some journeys one must travel alone.


Lila Pearl

Dear Lila Pearl,

After reading your last column, my boyfriend has become increasingly interested in anal sex. When he first brought up the issue, I was reluctant and told him I was too scared of the pain. However, he quickly corrected me. "No," he said, "I want you to penetrate me." Any advice? Frankly, I'm a bit revolted (is he gay?) but that said, what is the best way to proceed? What's the deal with dildos, strap-ons, butt plugs, and so on?

Bumming Out

Dear Bummed,

Some people feel that taking it up the bum is in some way related to homosexuality or homosexual desires. Lila Pearl thinks: This reasoning is primitive, sexually repressed and silly. According to The Guide to Getting It On: "Rectums are hungry little orifices"—regardless, presumably, of their sexual orientation. Dildos? Strap-ons? Butt plugs? Plenty of pleasure to be found there. The question, my dear Bumming Out, is whether you can find pleasure there. Perhaps you should explore your feelings of disgust concerning anal intercourse before you blow 100 bucks on a jade dildo.


Lila Pearl

Dear Lila Pearl,

As the slightly-less-frigid air of springtime rolls into Chicago, many of us have had to fight off laziness, put on some sweatpants, and head out in search of new apartments. But herein lies the real heart of the dilemma: you want to live with your good friend, but your friend wants the significant other to room with you as well. Given the fickle nature of romance—like a beautiful flower that may fold at the slightest touch—is it a good or bad idea to move into a three- or four-bedroom apartment when two of the roommates are dating?

Contemporaneously Confused

Dear Confused,

Anything is possible, but picture this scenario: it's a Tuesday night. You're relaxing, having a beer, reading a couple hundred pages of Kierkegaard (you know, the usual) when your flatmate-lovers burst through the front door. They're fighting, again. The screaming goes on for roughly two hours. Your headphones are powerless against the sounds of breaking dishware. Finally there's a moment of silence. Ahhh, you think, as you lean back into your chair and resume reading. Then, the make-up sex begins. On the living room floor. So there you are, trying to turn a fucking page of Either/Or while lines of dialogue drift down the hall: "I'm SO sorry!" "I love you SO much." "Fuck me SO much harder."

So you decide to go the library (because you can't stand it for a second longer) but then you realize that it's mid-February and well below freezing out, and Suicide Prevention Day has come and gone, and you still haven't killed yourself, and you hate your life, and nothing—not even Søren Kierkegaard and a whole truckload of beer—can make it better. (Well, maybe the beer could. But that's really a temporary solution, unless you're an alcoholic—in which case you should transfer, because this isn't a good place to live if you're into escape.)

If Lila Pearl has one suggestion for you, it would be to abandon the roommate search altogether, drop out of school, move to Germany, and join a coven of witches. That, or buy a beach house somewhere and learn, finally, how to connect with nature.


Lila Pearl