Teenager trouble

By Carolyn Magner
[email protected]

Dear Carolyn,

I want to be a good father, I really do. But there’s times when it’s a drag to go home and other times when I can’t wait to get back on the road. We have three teenagers, and it’s always something. The girls have boyfriend problems; the boy has school problems. My poor wife has to deal with it most of the time, and when I get home, I pick up where she left off.


Dear Jack,

Ah, three teenagers – you really do have it rough. It’s why I highly recommend puppies over babies. Puppies just grow up to be nice old dogs, but babies have a bad habit of eventually turning into teenagers. Just remember: it’s their job to torture you. That way, when they finally fly away from the nest, you’ll be glad they’re gone.

This is my No. 1 living-with-teenager advice: Don’t take any of it personally. Believe it or not, they eventually become humanoids.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I have a hard time meeting women. I’ve been set up on blind dates before, but the stress of it makes me so nervous I break out in hives. My mom puts the word out at church, and my buddies are always on the lookout for me. For some reason, it never works out. I used to think it was always them, but now I’m worried. Maybe it’s me?


Dear George,

No, no, it’s not you. Well, I don’t really know if it’s not you, but let’s work with what we’ve got here – a failure to find available women. I suggest you cast your net a little further. Take dancing lessons, go on a trip, join a civic organization. Try some of the online dating services. I get a lot of letters from trucker couples who met online. You sound like a nice guy, and in spite of what you might hear otherwise, nice girls like nice guys. If none of these suggestions work, maybe it could be you. But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I have no idea how I got myself into this mess, but somehow here I am. I’ve been driving team with “Pete” for five years. We are always together, working, sleeping, working and sleeping. That’s about it. I want to get married and eventually have kids. He says he’s not ready. I’m starting to have a bad feeling about this. When is he going to be ready? Ever?


Dear Jane,

Oh goodness. He’s not ready? After being cooped up in a cab together for five years? I don’t want to be the one to clue you in, but it’s very possible he’ll be ready – never. So here’s what you need to do.

Get a solo gig. Get your own place. Those things will keep you very busy, and soon you’ll have your answer. He’ll be ready or not. But you’ll be ready to move on.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My wife is a great woman, and I really love her. The problem is, I’m not “in love” with her. Is this a bad thing? Should I be worried? We’ve only been married a year. Maybe I made the wrong decision.



Dear Frank,

Oh, my dear young man. Nobody told you about this? Pity. This is the thing. The “in love” kind of love is the stomach-cramping, bone-jarring, obsessively thinking, pulse-racing part of new love. And then, after a few months, it settles down into mature love, which is way better and lasts longer – it’s just not romanticized as much.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing the two, or you’ll spend the rest of your life chasing that particular buzz. Which is a lot like eating a powdered donut – tastes great but leaves you hungry after the rush wears off.

I’m just say’n.

Confidential to “Yankee Boy Toy”: Yes dear, I’m married.

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. Nothing shocks her. If you are really in trouble, please call someone who has gone to school for a long time. E-mail her at [email protected].

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