Ask e jean

TOR­MENTED? DRIVEN WITLESS? FEAR NOT, HELP IS JUST A SHORT LET­TER AWAY

ELLE (Australia) - - The Elle Gift Guide 2018 -

THE ELE­PHANT IN THE ROOM

I’m so em­bar­rassed! I saw my co-worker’s pe­nis. We have small, pri­vate-room bath­rooms where I work, and I opened the door without knock­ing and walked right in when he was uri­nat­ing. I screamed, “Sorry!” and ran out. When he reap­peared, he was ex­tremely red, and nei­ther of us brought it up. That was two days ago, and we’ve sort of avoided each other ever since. The thing is, I’ve al­ways thought he was hot and we’ve had flir­ta­tions in the past. Has this in­ci­dent ru­ined it?

— SHOULD I BRING IT UP?

Up, honey. Oh, for God’s sake. It’s just a pe­nis. There are 20 tril­lion of them on the planet. No need to men­tion it, but recom­mence the flirt­ing – per­haps greet­ing him with a “Hi, Dick! I mean… (insert real name).”

SMALL TALK

Please help me be­fore I end up stock­pil­ing from the liquor store! I’m too quiet. I don’t know how not to be quiet. I have a hard time start­ing con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple in gen­eral – not just guys I like, but friends I’ve known for years. It’s even worse with my co-work­ers. How do I talk to peo­ple? Oddly, I’m not in­se­cure. I don’t lack con­fi­dence – I lack peo­ple skills, and I’m afraid it’s go­ing to ruin my chances for fu­ture achieve­ment and hap­pi­ness.

— THE QUIET GIRL IN THE COR­NER

Quiet girl, my kumquat. Who says you have to talk? Just mumble a few “Mmmm-hm­mms,” throw in “You’re kid­ding!” and “I put my Spanx on back­wards this morn­ing.” Add a few head nods, and that’s it. When you ex­cel at the “Mmmm-hm­mms,” move on to im­prov class. You’ll be ter­ri­fied at first, but you’ll learn a thou­sand new ways to be spon­ta­neous. Read Tina Fey’s Bossy­pants and Su­san Cain’s Quiet. You can thank me – loudly! – later.

GO­ING THE DIS­TANCE

I’m mostly wary of men be­cause I have a his­tory of sex­ual abuse. This past year, I met a man and have fallen very deeply in love. (I didn’t think I was ca­pa­ble of it!) He’s ex­tremely kind, gen­er­ous, pas­sion­ate, con­sid­er­ate, at­trac­tive and ad­ven­tur­ous. But he is soon mov­ing abroad to pur­sue his ca­reer. I am happy that he will be do­ing what he loves, Miss Eeee, but I’m so sad to lose him! He feels the same about me. I’m not in­ter­ested in a long-dis­tancere­la­tion­ship – it seems ir­ra­tional to com­mit to some­one when we have no fu­ture plans to live in the same area. I’m so frus­trated by it all! He wants to be in the moun­tains, and my life is by the sea. What are we to do?

— OCEANS BETWEEN US

Miss Ocean, my luv. What the hell are you talk­ing about? Didn’t you sur­prise your­self when you fell in love? Your ex­act words: “I didn’t think I was ca­pa­ble of it!” And now you’re so hip, so slick, so wise in the ways of love you won’t even con­sider your boyfriend’s hap­pi­ness? You refuse to try – re­peat, try – a six-month long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship? Woman, pull your­self to­gether and give it a whirl.

UN­DER AGE

My hus­band said I look older than my sis­ter, who is six years older than me. I’m very hurt. What should I do or say? — WILT­ING HERE

Wilt­ing, my tulip. This is a prob­lem that has plagued woman for thou­sands of years. Aunty Eeee has come up with a so­lu­tion.

1. Never be­lieve what a hus­band says about your looks (un­less it’s a com­pli­ment).

2. Never care what a hus­band says about your looks.

3. Never ask your hus­band what he thinks about your looks.

4. If you want a man’s opin­ion, ask Tim Gunn.

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