ask e jean
Tormented? Driven witless? Fear not, help is just a short letter away
BREAKING (INTO) THE CODE
DEAR E JEAN, First-world problem: I hate my job. I don’t hate the company I work for, my co-workers or my boss. I hate what I do! I’m an executive assistant. I’m 34, and if I have to schedule one more meeting, pick up another lunch for my boss or put together another Powerpoint presentation, I’ll lose my mind. I’ve given notice and will be leaving at the end of the month. I have money saved up, but my question is: what can I do now? I have no idea what being an executive assistant for 12 years qualifies me for, except being an executive assistant. I’ve learnt I’m not a people person. I’m quite introverted, I like maths and the less I have to deal with people, the better. Am I just being a cranky bitch? I dread going to work every day. It’s not a stressful job, yet I always feel on edge and aggravated. – A Girl’s Gotta Find Her Passion GOTTA, MY GLADIOLUS Sign up for a course and learn to code. You have the time and maths skills, not to mention the mesmerising introverted personality, to code like a mofo. But forget the short programs. In my opinion, coding well requires, at the very least, a few months to attain even fledgling level. Find yourself a mentor and prepare to spend an additional four or five months interviewing for the best jobs. If enough women enrol in enough coding programs, we’ll soon be writing the code that will create the algorithms that will rule the men who used to rule the world. Not to say there isn’t some bright, introverted 15-year-old in her bedroom writing the code that will end the world as we know it next Thursday. Read Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near, about how technology will soon “transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity”.
SEX AND THE SINGLE-MINDED BOYFRIEND
DEAR E JEAN, Today I got incredibly mad at my boyfriend when he asked for sexy pics to “tide [him] over” until we see each other tomorrow. It’s not the idea of pictures that got me worked up, but the fact that our sex life has become increasingly about him meeting his desires. I feel like a blow-up doll. I want romance! I want a compliment! I want foreplay! I want him to
take time! I want him to actually kiss me! The few occasions I’ve broached the subject, he’s rebuffed me in a teasing manner. So now I feel uncomfortable even bringing it up. How do I get him to become conscious of my needs in the bedroom? – This Doll Is About To Blow Up ABOUT, MY DARLING Let’s make a list of what your boyfriend is or is not doing and come up with ways to get him to do the right thing. 1. He can’t end a sentence without asking for a topless selfie. Tell him you’ll be delighted to show him anything he wishes (and a few things he hasn’t even thought of), but first, he must give you three compliments. Then don’t budge until he hails you as the queen of all women. 2. He can’t romance. Haul the tedious blockhead out of the house and go camping, dancing, roller-coaster riding, etc. It will bathe his brain circuits in dopamine and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters that cause the butterflies to flit in first love. Hell, just going outside and turning a somersault can flutter the buggers. 3. He can’t kiss. At the next party you both attend, play Kissing Charades – each couple acts out a famous movie kiss and the couple who get the most correct guesses wins (and will find the make-out pump is well-primed). 4. He doesn’t take his time. Here’s the rule: no wham-bam until he thanks you, ma’am. He must entertain you with fancy caresses for 15 minutes before you even consider taking off your clothes – and every woman knows that keeping her clothes on and rolling around on the bed with a cute person is sometimes sexier than taking her clothes off. 5. Skip numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4, and tell him exactly what you think. The dude is not all-powerful. The less seriously you take him, the better. You say you feel “uncomfortable even bringing it up”? You say he “rebuffs” you? Ha! Shout at him! Pelt him with epithets! “You worthless oaf-boy! You self-aggrandising premature ejaculator! Dud! Rookie! Botcher of orgasms!” Tell him what you want. “I want long, slow, dirty, life-destroying foreplay, and I’m bored, bored, bored with you!” This is only half of what you’ll yell when you decide you’ve had enough and leave him.