Ask Grandma Anything: I Left Him, Now He Wants To Get Therapy

Dear Cutie,

I’m an early 30s woman who has just left a seven year relationship.  We always had a lot of fun and a strong chemistry, but about two years ago I learned he was having an emotional affair with another woman.  

It hurt me a lot to lose my friend to someone else. We argued about it. He always said he loved me and he would end that relationship to be with me, however it was hard for me to feel confident in our relationship again. Plus, that relationship never really did end, as far as I know. I finally became strong enough to leave our relationship, even though it’s not the way I wanted things to go. Now he admits having relationship issues he’d like to work out–he comes from a divorced family. He is going to therapy and wants me to go with him. He insists he wants to work things out with me.

Is this worth trying to work things out? Will our relationship really be stronger and heal with professional help? Or is it just time for me to start
fresh?

signed,
Wavering

Dear Wavering,

You’ve got to decide for yourself whether this relationship is worth trying to save. It sounds like you are hurt by his behavior and it is going to take a lot of work on his part to gain back your confidence. Are you interested in walking this path with him? There is no shame in walking away from a relationship that has not fulfilled you.

There are people out there who can respect you in a relationship. He may not be there yet. Take some time away from him to think about your options, and then make the choice that feels right for you right now. 

Love,
Cutie

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Ask Grandma Anything: His Friends Won’t Be Nice

Dear Cutie,

I blew it in the “making a good first impression” department with my boyfriend’s clique. This was 2 1/2 years back. I’ve really sweated trying to make it good, but it’s not going to gel. It’s simply not fun for me to go to his parties, I try to chat with his pals and they can’t get away from me fast enough.  It puts him in a situation where he is compelled to choose between me and them.  

For now, we’ve just settled on this:  he goes to his parties alone, and I do my own thing (much to my relief). It’s tough for me to visualize how our
relationship can develop deeply if I am so much at odds with his people. He’s been tight with his crowd for 15-20 years. I always encourage him to go hang with his pals and I never press him to choose me over them.  

Lately, I think this is taking a toll on our relationship because its been tough for me to keep my composure. I have been asking him constantly “What am I saying wrong? What am I doing wrong?” I’m bugging him. Cutie, what should I do?

signed,
Unpopular

Dear Unpopular,

This does sound hard. If you do go to another gathering, don’t try to win them all over at one time. Approach one or two of the friends individually and try get to know them better. Let them get to know you better. Make a joke about getting off on the wrong foot. Then just be yourself. If you are a nice person, it will show up. 

If that doesn’t work, you don’t have to force it. Sometimes people don’t click. They must, however, treat you with respect. Even if there is not a deep connection, you are have a right to feel comfortable around them. 

At the end of the day, this is a situation that you have to resolve with your partner. It is up to him to instruct his clique to treat you with respect. You can have a long and happy relationship together if you are both on the same page. But don’t worry so much about the long term. If you can find a way to make it work today, the rest of the days will take care of themselves. 

love,
Cutie

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Ask Grandma Anything: Bride With Cold Feet

Darling Cutie,

I have been dating an older man (I’m 27, he’s 40) off and on for about three years and we recently got engaged. This man is caring, loving, loyal and providing and my best friend

My family and his are extremely excited that we are engaged and I have no doubt in my mind he will be a great husband and maybe even a fantastic father one day. But recently I have been having MAJOR anxiety over us getting married. Here is why:

1. We don’t have sex often. He wants to but in the last year I have majorly lost my sexual desire with him. Is this normal? Should we not getting married because of this?

2. Is our age difference too big to realistically make a marriage work?

3. I have anxiety thinking married life is going to be boring.

Are these signs that I should be paying closer attention to, or am I just being a worry-wart (which I am known to be)? Is there always over anxiety before getting married?

sincerely,
Stressed Out

Dear Stressed Out,

My answer is an emphatic YES– you should slow down and heed the signs. You have concerns and this does not make you a bad person. You can care for him, even love him, but that does not mean you are ready to settle down just yet. 

Why not take an afternoon to just consider the options? The truth is that married life can be as exciting or as boring as you want it to be. If you are interested in going out and being a young, single gal, then you may not be happy with what marriage has to offer. But, if you are ready to marry and commit your life to another person, you have a whole world of fun in store for you. You can still be your own person in the relationship. You can go out with your girlfriends. But it is different once you marry. Be sure that this is what you want.

Be honest with yourself about what you need at this stage of your life. The worst thing you can do is go into something when your heart is somewhere else.

love,
Cutie

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Ask Grandma Anything: How To Meet A Mate

Hey Cutie!

This question is for a friend of mine. He’s a 24-year-old living in NYC, and he just can’t figure out why girls don’t want to date him. He’s one of the kindest guys I know, and he’s a brilliant mathematician. He dresses well, he does lots of interesting things in his spare time, and he’s got a great job.

I’m wondering if maybe he’s scaring some girls off because he is so darn intelligent? He said that in the past year he’s gotten two second dates, but no third dates. He said he’s tried church singles activities, joining new clubs, and asking friends to introduce him to their friends. Unfortunately most of his single friends are in the same boat — they’re intelligent, sweet guys who just can’t catch a break. He’s even tried hanging out at bars to see if he can meet someone.

Do you have any suggestions that I can pass along to him about where to meet a good girl? I worry that he thinks something’s wrong with him, but I really don’t think there is.

thanks,
Jen

Dear Jen,

This is a good question! And it is nice that you care so much for your friend.

When I was younger, I went to a dancing group for the young people in my neighborhood. It was a great way to meet fun, outgoing people–in fact, my sister-in-law met her husband there! In my experience, more girls than boys like to dance, so if he learns how, he will be in demand–as a dancing partner, and maybe something more.

He is doing the right thing in joining groups to meet like-minded people with shared interests. Maybe he hasn’t found the right fit yet. But don’t get discouraged! There are wonderful, smart, beautiful and kind young women out there having fun, and they can’t wait to meet him. 

You sound like a nice, smart girl. Where do your friends spend their time? Send him that way.

Also, he should keep an open mind as far as his “type” of woman. He could be excluding himself because he has a preconceived notion about what is right for him. 

My message to your friend is: “Don’t get discouraged, young man! You are on the right path. Be patient, keep your heart open, and the right person will come along.” 

love,
Cutie

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Restaurant Review: Guelaguetza Oaxacan cuisine

Guelaguetza is a wonderful authentic Oaxacan restaurant in Korea Town that everyone should visit once in their life. It is a family restaurant where everyone from good babies and not-so-good babies to the best grandparents there are, and all the hungry friends in between, come to enjoy live music, specialty cuisine, and lively atmosphere.

Oaxacan food is different from the traditional Mexican food that I’m used to eating in Los Angeles. You will like it. I would say the biggest difference is the regional influences on standard items. While you might have a regular cheese quesadilla at your corner restaurant, you have to come to Guelaguetza to find a Flor de Cabesa quesadilla, which is especially yummy because it contains squash blossoms. Flowers can be food, and quite tasty food when they are combined with stringy cheese. I can’t wait until I have another one.

An appetizer of chips and salsa is enhanced by their homestyle Molé which, if you’ve never had it, is a sauce usually based in chili pepper mixed with almost twenty other ingredients, which can range from chocolate to garlic. I’m a big fan of putting sweet sauces on my savory dinner. In the Jewish culture, I put applesauce on my potato pancakes. This is just as good.

A nice thing about Oaxacan food is that you can share a few items family-style or order your own entree. This time, my granddaughters and I decided to share a little bit of everything. I was especially impressed by the guacamole, the sweet tamale, the cold, cactus salad, and their version of a thin-crust pizza which is topped with grilled mushrooms and black beans. Come to think of it, I was impressed with everything. And just because I give a lot of positive reviews does not mean that I don’t have high standards.

The beverages are really something to write home about. They are famous for their horchata, which is a rice-based cinnamon drink that they topped with nuts and strawberry. I usually don’t like cinnamon, and I was surprised to learn that they snuck it into my drink. But if they got away with it, its worth it. My grandchild ordered a fancy squash drink which reminds me of the Chinese Bobas that you drink with a big straw. Only this is better because it is made with fresh squash instead of processed jelly balls.

Be sure to save room for desert! If you have enough people at the table you can justify ordering their sampler desert platter which includes choco-flan, which I thought they invented at Tropicana Bakery in Downey, but happens to be very good here. It also comes with corn-based jello (which is really more appetizing than it sounds, in fact I loved it), and strawberries with salted cream. I’m a fan of anything with cream, so they had my attention from the beginning.

Next time, I will remember to order more food so I can take some home. The best part about this place is the overall experience of this friendly, lively place. It is not just a meal, it is a night out and that is exactly what we all look for. So get out and bring your best girl, and I know that you will enjoy it.
*
See this review and Cutie’s other dining adventures at Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/guelaguetza-restaurant-los-angeles-2#hrid:4g4-KcZcbF3WdbFhbwJMgg

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Ask Grandma Anything: Can’t Stop Worrying

Dear Cutie,

I thought perhaps you might be able to shed some light on something that I can’t get a handle on.

Despite having a great life, I struggle with anxiety. I think it is mostly due to my mom being sick for the bulk of my life (and dying when she was 54) that I have such anxiety about my health. I am SO SCARED of every little twinge, ache, pain, itch, mole.

Right now, I am extremely anxious about a mole on my face. I have seen my doctor, and she says I have nothing to worry about. Despite this, she has referred me to a dermatologist, who will likely say the same thing. My appointment with him is November 30th, and I have decided that this mole has to go, regardless of whether it looks bad or not.  

However, until then, I have to learn to deal with the anxiety over something that gives me no real good reason to be anxious about.

Do you have some words of advice?  I feel like I can’t overcome this recurrent anxiety. I feel like this is my kryptonite, my achilles heel.

Signed,
Nerves

Dear Nerves,

I know that you think you are upset about your health, but you might also be upset about something else in your life. Have you considered talking to your doctor about all the stress you are having? Doctors are familiar with this kind of thing and may have some good direction for you to take.

Anxiety can be overwhelming, but I have found that the best way to navigate it is to focus on taking care of yourself. Join a gym and work out your anxiety with exercise. Write in your journal. Take a soak in the tub (don’t forget the bubbles!). Talk on the telephone. Watch a good movie.

And instead of worrying, try to spend some time listening. To God, if you believe. To the wind, if you like that kind of thing. Just try to sit still and “be” without giving in to worry. It is your mind, and you can control it if you find the right tools.

I will think good thoughts for you and I trust that you will do what you can to take care of yourself.

Love,
Cutie
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