It’s that time again. Time for us to gather round and share our innermost turmoil and strife. Or, a place to bitch and moan about unimportant things that keep us awake at night because #firstworldproblems. Today we’re tackling the issue of significant others who are a huge pain in the ass, whatever the reason. So, sit tight, grab a cocktail (I don’t care if it’s before noon) and let’s get this show on the road.
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I’m an expat who has been in BA for a couple of years now, and since I work freelance I’ve stayed in town after meeting my boyfriend (he’s a porteño). In general, I take pride in my appearance and I like to look good. I work out, eat right, try to stay fit overall, and lately I’ve been considering taking advantage of my stellar medical insurance plan by maybe getting some very light plastic surgery done. When I told my boyfriend about this, he got really enthusiastic about the whole thing and started telling me about all the things I could do. To be honest, it kind of took me by surprise, and now I’m starting to doubt myself and am insecure. Should I tell him? Is this a red flag of some sort? –Self Conscious
Dear Courtney Stodden,
Yes, I am sad to say, this is a warning sign. Well, unless you are interested in getting multiple procedures and surgeries to achieve that natural carefree look of your dreams. It also depends on your definition of “light plastic surgery” but I assume you are considering a small tweak and not some major overhaul.
I applaud you for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle in the land of facturas and giant Styrofoam buckets of helado. Props to you, fo’ real. Also, there’s nothing wrong with a little nip or tuck here and there if you’re trying to really look your best. To each her own, rockstar. I’m too scared of needles to even think about elective surgery. Have you ever seen what the process of a chin implant looks like? Warning: It will haunt your dreams. No, really, do not click if you are interested in avoiding PTSD.
The issue here is your boyfriend treating you like his own personal lady Frankenstein, getting all giddy with the scalpel and telling you just how fabulous you’ll look only once you get you full-body lipo done. I’m definitely getting a Christian from “Nip/Tuck” vibe here, which in my world, is not necessarily the best thing.
Let me tell you a little story. I dated an Argie gentleman who once grabbed the skin around my collarbone/armpit area, looked me in the eye and said: “You’ve got the perfect body for implants, what with all of this extra skin up here to make room for them.” True. Story. Imagine how my psyche dealt with that kicker. Not a good day (or year) for my self-esteem, to be honest. Hey guy, thanks for the memories.
My point here is that you shouldn’t really let some guy whose image of a perfect woman is this or this take the reins regarding your physical appearance. We all know that plastic surgery isn’t as taboo or looked down upon here as it might be in other places, but I’m not sure if “when in Rome” is the path you want to take. It might be hard to adhere to that, what with everyone having their own personal on-call esteticista to put on those scary boots whenever the need arises, but try to stay true to your own principles.
If you really want to make an impact, try responding to your doting novio that if he’s so hell-bent on your getting some work done, he could have his hour in the sun – ergh, in the OR – too. I’d start by suggesting he opt for the penis enlargement that you’ve always been waiting for.
My boyfriend and I have a pretty solid relationship: We don’t live together (yet) but spend all of our weekends and nearly every weeknight together, and we have overlapping groups of friends and multiple shared interests. He’s wonderful, kind and patient and generous on many levels. I honestly think he is the one and that we’re meant to be together. There’s only one problem, though. His mother. For some reason I just feel like she hates me and thinly veils her disdain for my presence in her son’s life. Before we move forward in our relationship I feel like this needs to be addressed. What should I do? – Unloved Nuera
Ah yes, the suegra dilemma. We’ve all been there. Some people spend their entire lives there, now that I come to think of it. I’m not certain if scientific studies have been conducted on these tenuous relationships, but I bet they’d prove that shit gets real when you’re dealing with in-laws.
Though I will say that your saying that you and your boyfriend don’t live together “yet” is directly linked to his refusal to leave the womb, where his underpants are ironed and folded on a daily basis by the empleada and where Thursday nights always mean milanesa for dinner. I don’t know you, nor do I know the charming creature that is your future mother-in-law, so I cannot be certain who is the real freak of nature here. However, I’m willing go give you the benefit of the doubt because let’s be honest, suegras, amirite? *High five*
This woman most likely believes that you are not good enough for her little precious snowflake of a child, no ma’am. Your strategy here should not focus on distancing your beloved from his Mama Bear, no sir. A trite little phrase such as “keep your friends close and your batshit crazy in-laws closer” would apply here. You’re going to need to suck it up and dive right in to this situation. Buy her fancy chocolates from Dos Escudos (it’s a go-to spot for these types) or bring her flowers (again, not those turquoise-dyed pieces of crap that cost 10 pesos) next time you get together. Show an exaggerated interest in whatever she has to say, even if it’s just gossip that she picked up while at the peluquería where she spends four afternoons a week. Basically if you aren’t making yourself nauseated with your attempts at bonding, you’re not doing it right.
Watch out for traps, though. Suegras argentinas are known for their ability to weave fantastical webs of manipulation, leaving nothing but destruction in their wake. (Let it be known that I do not think that all mothers-in-law are horrible people. I think that should go without saying, but I’m sure one of you will be happy to point this out to me via some pretty badass hate mail.) She might try to set you up for failure, so watch where you tread and if the language barrier is an issue, act dumb, no matter how much it bruises your pride. Better to be taken for a boluda than a home wrecker. Trust me on this one.
Be sure your boyfriend is on your side and is ready to back you up if need be. Blood may be thicker than water, but unless you’re ready to get hitched to this boy AND his mama, clear lines need to be drawn. If he’s unwilling to cut the cord, or at least stretch it out bit by bit, save your time and pack your bags. Surely your man will get over the heartbreak soon enough, sleeping in his tiny twin bed well into his 30s.