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Dear John: My Boyfriend Grosses Me Out!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 

What’s your problem? Write to John at dearjohn@golocalprov.com.

Dear John,

What I’m about to describe makes me so nauseous I feel like I’m going to be sick. So, if you have the same reaction, sorry! I have been dating a new guy for a few months. Things are going well. I don’t know how serious it’s going to be (maybe not very, now) but I like him and we have fun together. Well, we go to the beach a lot and he got a bad sunburn. Days later, I happened to be in the kitchen – he thought I was in another part of the house – and I happened to look up and see him in the next room peel a good size piece of skin from his shoulder and EAT IT! The image still makes me shudder – literally sick to my stomach. I quietly left the room and went into the bathroom to compose myself. I wanted to ask him what on earth he was doing, but I didn’t want to embarrass him. Is this normal?? I haven’t had one interaction with him since that time when I wasn’t picturing his hand going to his mouth in slow motion with a big piece of skin in it! Sooooo gross! So like I said, is this normal? Is it a guy thing? Should I just fess up and tell him what I saw? I feel like that image is burned into my brain!

Signed,
Cannibal’s Friend

Dear Cannibal’s Friend,

I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to do weird bodily things when they’re alone – or think they are. And I suspect that yes, it’s probably more a guy thing, guys being the grosser sex. I’d say (barring some kind of compulsion, of course) it’s perfectly normal. I think you can see it as an extreme, revolting version of biting his fingernails. I don’t see what good can come of telling him what you saw. It will only serve to embarrass him. He thought he was alone. As long as he doesn’t do something like that among other people, I’d try to forget about it. And stay out of the sun.

 

Dear John,

I think my best friend must be having an affair. The other night my phone rang. It was her. It quickly became clear she did not mean to call me, though. I could hear her and a guy having an explicit sexual conversation. (Although I could not hear his part of the conversation very well, I could fill in the blanks.) She had called me earlier in the day, so I can only assume she “butt-dialed” me – sat on her phone or somehow called me without intending to.

I don’t know what I should do. We’re very close and we share just about everything, but I’m not surprised she wouldn’t tell me this. Her husband and mine are good friends and all of us socialize with each other all the time. I want to come up with an innocent explanation but I can’t. Should I just ask her straight up what’s going on?

Sincerely,
Bad Call

Dear Bad Call,

Ordinarily I’d say to mind your own business, but that’s what you were doing when she accidentally called you. This upsetting information was foisted on you through no fault of your own, so I think it’s fair to ask for an explanation. I’ve heard of this same thing happening many times and I’ve experienced it myself. With a little bad luck, it’s frightening how wrong it can go.

 

Dear John,

Please weigh in on a disagreement between my wife and me. We have been happily married for almost 15 years, and we have an 11-year-old son. Raising him has been a pleasure – he’s a fantastic kid, and my wife and I have been on the same page since the day he was born. This is the first issue. Because now that he’s old enough to do more things, my wife is having more and more fears about the perils that lurk out in the world. For example, he wants to go to a summer camp that has one sleepover night, but my wife won’t hear of it because of generalized fears of pedophiles preying on kids at camps – the “perfect opportunity,” according to her. I don’t know where this is all coming from. It’s a bit of a surprise as she has not been an overly nervous or worried parent thus far. Nothing has happened in our lives to account for this anxiety. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Concerned

Dear Concerned,

Accepting a child’s increasing autonomy can be a challenge for any parent, and it sounds like your wife is having an especially hard time with it. Of course, parents have to be cautious, but there comes a time when we have to be satisfied that we’ve taken all reasonable precautions, let go, and hope for the best. The worst thing about what your wife is doing, albeit with the best intentions, is teaching your son to fear the world around him. Beyond whether or not he goes to summer camp, the ramifications of that could be with him his entire life.

As you have probably learned, rational responses (like talking to other parents about their experiences with this camp) don’t assuage these apparently baseless fears. I would talk with your wife about it. Let her know you’re worried that her fears are going to not only deprive your son of fun kid experiences but affect how he relates to the world as an adult, too. Try to ease things along – for example, has he ever slept at a friend’s house? Does he have a friend whose family is trustworthy enough to take this step with? The loss of parental control as kids grow is something that takes getting used to, and perhaps small steps will reassure your wife that things will still be okay even if she’s not in control of a situation. If she is adamant that these experiences aren’t worth the “risk,” though, I would urge you to explore family counseling, both for your son’s well-being and your wife’s. Fearful is no way to go through life.

 

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence, Rhode Island. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at dearjohn@golocalprov.com.

 

Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Food Stories in RI in 2013

Here are the Top 13 Biggest Food Stories of 2013:

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13 Rhody's Best Burger

The culinary experts at Zagat named each state's best burger in its 50 States, 50 Burgers awards, and Providence's Harry's Bar & Burger took the prize in the Ocean State for its sliders. Haven't tried them? Stop in for one… well actually, they come in twos or threes.

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12 James Beard Awards

Two high-profile chefs in Rhode Island, Farmstead's Matt Jennings and Champe Speidel of Persimion in Bristol, were named semi-finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation 2013 awards in the category of "Best Chef: Northeast". The James Beard awards are considered by many to be the "Oscars" of the culinary world.

Another Ocean State restaurant, Cook & Brown Public House in Providence, was also named as a semi-finalist for its bar program.

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11 Best Pizza in America

Providence's Al Forno made The Daily Meal's list of the "Best 101 Pizzas in America," coming in at #10 overall (#3 in New England). 

Despite this national accolade, Al Forno was left off the list of Rhode Island's Best Pizza Joints, compiled by GoLocalProv food experts, Ann and Michael Martini.

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10 Cooking for the Pope

Master Chef Walter Potenza cooked at the Vatican for Holy Father Pope Francis in November. The event was part of a fund-raising collaboration between the Association of Professional Italian Chefs of the Region of Lazio, and the Hunger-Relief Mission of the Vatican toward the “Barrios” of South America. Potenza was the only chef from the United States to participate.

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9 Most Romantic Dining

Three Rhode Island restaurants, Newport's The Spiced Pear and Restaurant Bouchard as well as Basil's of Narragansett, were named by OpenTable in their list of Top 100 “Most Romantic” Restaurants in the US.

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8 Ben Sukle's Birch

Johnson and Wales graduate chef Ben Sukle once worked in what many consider to be the world's best restaurant, Copenhagen's Noma. After returning to Providence and the kitchens of La Lattiere and the Dorrance, the culinary master opened his own downtown eatery, Birch, across from Trinity Rep in 2013. 

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7 #2 Ice Cream City

Providence was named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the 2nd Best Ice Cream City in America in their July issue.  Whether you prefer the great gelato available on Federal Hill, or the hipster favorite PVD Pops ice cream cart, Providence certainly has its finger on the pulse of frozen treats.

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6 Food Trucks

Some argue that the food truck craze started in Providence, with the 1888 establishement of Haven Bros.  In 2013, Providence saw the opening of a food truck park on the city's West End. 

See Ann + Michael Martini's list of the best food trucks in New England here.

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5 Foolproof Brewing

Rhode Island's newest craft brewery hit the scene in 2013, and they hit the ground running.  Nick Garrison caught the brewing bug after getting a home-brew kit for Christmas, and went on to craft the beer for his own wedding.  He then teamed up with professional brewer Damase Olsson to start the Foolproof Brewery, which quickly became a favorite among Rhode Islanders.

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4 America's Best Taco

Providence showed off its diverse mixture of high-quality dining options when Olneyville's La Lupita Tacos Mexicanos was named by the Huffington Post as one of The Best Tacos in America in March.

See Ann + Micheal Martini's picks for the best Mexican food in RI here.

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3

Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard

Alex + Ani's Carolyn Rafaelian purchased Sakonnet Vineyards in late 2012. And in 2013, the new ownership released its first wine, Blessed Blend, to positive reviews. A great year kept getting better for the Little Compton vineyard when the Boston Celtics named Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyards as its official Team Wine

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2 America's Best Bakeries

With great coffee, and even better breads and pastries, it is not uncommon to see lines stretching out the door at Providence's Seven Stars Bakery.  Which is why few were surprised when The Daily Meal named them as one of the America's 50 Best Bakeries in 2013.  

GoLocalProv Food experts Ann + Michael Martini certainly agreed, as they included the bakery's Rumford location in their list of Rhode Island's Best Bakeries back in January. 

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1 Health Code Violations

Not all of Rhode Island's food stories in 2013 were good news.  In 2013 GoLocalProv went through the health inspection records for Providence-area dining establishments and unveiled a list of the worst offenders

Two of the restaurants had more than 30 violations each, with many others racking up numerous trangressions each. The violations range from minor observations to the more serious; including cross-contamination, lack of proper food storage, employees not wearing gloves when handling ready-to-eat food, hand washing, or sick employees at work.  

See the full list of violators here.

 
 

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