Sensitive boyfriend says sexist things while sleeping

sleeping_manby Terry/Terri Garibaldi

Dear Terry/Terri,

I’m 22 years old and a student. This month, I’m graduating cum laude with a BA in English from a prestigious college in New York that my middle-class parents worked their asses off to send me to. They still live in the small Texas town where I grew up, and I’m going to move back in with them until I get a job elsewhere. My problem? Now that I know a lot of about books and I’m terribly cultured, I’m don’t know how I’ll be able to handle my parents. They still celebrate Christmas, for crying out loud. Help me!

Parents Are Stupid Twits

Your situation, PAST, is one that’s common to many young people who move away and become very intelligent by the age of 22. As much as you might want to thank your parents for funding your education by allowing them to bask in your glow, you shouldn’t. Crash with some friends in New York until some awesome job is offered to you, and totally cut off contact with your parents. I know this may sound harsh, but your parents are clearly backwards-thinking hicks. Unless you want to regress and lose all the knowledge you’ve gained from your liberal arts education, don’t even call or email them. They’ll get the hint one day.

P.S. Christmas? Ewww! Let me guess: your mom decorates her drab little house with blinking lights?


Dear Terry/Terri,

I need your advice. I’m a hetero 31-year-old fitness instructor and for a year I’ve been dating a great guy I met online. Everything is good so far except one thing: he talks in his sleep. Talking I can handle, but much of what he says is not only gobbledygook, but sexist gobbledygook. He’s a very sensitive man with progressive ideas, so it’s hard for me to believe he’s sexist. However, if he is a member of the patriarchy, I don’t want to further empower him by letting him have dreams in which women are inferior. What should I do?

Partner Is a Sexist Sleeper

You know what, PISS? There’s nothing more telling about a person than what he or she mumbles while in the depths of sleep. I was once in a poly relationship with a couple who both mumbled the most paranoid things while they slept. Guess what they eventually did? They moved to Idaho and founded an anti-government separatist militia. Last I heard they were in prison.

You might think your boyfriend is modern, but clearly he’s a relic of the oppressive past. I wish I could suggest that you register him in sensitivity training courses, but I’m certain his sexist ideas are permanent. Here’s my advice: record his sexist sleep-talk and then email it as an MP3 file to everyone he knows. That’ll teach him an important lesson.

P.S. Fitness instructor, huh? I’m in need of some aerobic exercise. Interested?


Dear Terry/Terri,

My girlfriend and I were invited to my nephew’s baptism, which is going to be in a Catholic church. The problem is that we are atheists. We don’t want to be hypocritical by showing our support for a silly water ritual, and we’re particularly fearful of being asking to hold hands in prayer with the others — which, in the middle of flu season, is utter stupidity. I suggested to my sister that she and her husband have a secular celebration instead, like at the ice rink, but she refuses to budge. Doesn’t’ she know her antiquated religious belief is the source of poverty in Guatemala? Anyway, should we go to the baptism and bite our tongues, or take a stand for rationality by refusing to go?

Rational Uncle in favor of Science and Health

What a predicament you’re in, RUSH. On the one hand, you could decline the invitation and state your reasons for doing so. On the other hand, you could report your sister and her husband to child protective services. Your nephew is already intellectually abused by his cobbler-brained progenitors. Now your sister plans to physically abuse him in some cult-like initiation. Let’s just call it infant hazing, because that’s what it is. My advice? Turn in your sister and brother-in-law and let the professional decision makers in the court system decide what to do.

P.S. Atheists are sexy.

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