Should I keep fishing?

By Carolyn Magner
[email protected]

Dear Carolyn,

I’ve got a problem that may seem stupid and shallow compared to all the hard-luck stories you usually hear. I’m dating a very nice guy. He owns his own truck, makes a decent living and is good to me. I really like him, and we get along really well. There are no outward flaws to complain about. The thing is, I keep wondering about all the guys I might not be meeting because I’m with him. Does this mean that I ought to break up with him and keep looking?

Please don’t be mean about this question.


Dear Lilly,

Of course I’m not going to be mean to you. Goodness gracious, you ask a very good question and one that plagues many dating couples. The old “what about the other fishes in the sea?” question. Well, honey, you can’t date a fish. You can only work with what you have. You can also spend the rest of your good dating years left looking for “that guy” that makes you feel less like a minnow in the deep blue sea. But I assure you: he’s not out there. And if he is, you won’t find him because you’ll always have your eye on the fins around you.

So I suggest you love the one you’re with. Or buy some bait.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I can’t ever seem to get ahead. Every time I think I’m winning, I’m losing again. My wife left me for my best friend. I’ve gotten two speeding tickets in two months. My car was repossessed, and my mom blocked my e-mail. I’m hanging on by a thread. In fact, I barely have enough change to buy a stamp to mail this letter. Please help me get my life together. I’m living in the fast lane and want to get off.


Dear Woody,

You are not in the fast lane, you are in the oncoming traffic lane, staring straight into the grille of a giant big rig. First, find an exit ramp and get off the road.

After that, you have to do the hard work required to get back on track. Start by making an appointment with a credit counselor. Make lists of things you need to get done. And then do them. Let me know how it works out for ya!

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m having a hard time figuring out how to discipline my son. I’m gone all the time, and he’s driving his mom nuts. He’s only 9 years old and is generally a good boy. But I feel so frustrated that I’m not there to nip it in the bud when he starts mouthing off to her. Then, when I get home a week later, I’m not mad anymore and he can’t even remember what he said. Do you have any suggestions?

Mad Dad

Dear Mad,

Try this: Have a nice, calm conversation with him when you are home. Explain that you will not tolerate a disrespectful attitude and don’t expect it will happen again. However, if it does, he will lose a privilege. Pick something he really likes and take it away for a few days. Then make sure you back up his mother 100 percent. Keep it all very matter-of-fact and unemotional. Mouthing off means losing TV for three nights. No arguments, no discussion. The hard part is sticking to it. But the good part is raising a son who understands consequences to bad behavior.

I’m just say’n.

My dear readers,

Here’s a few of the pick-up lines you’ve sent in. I have to admit I can’t imagine them actually working, but keep sending them!

You say: Did it hurt?
She says: What?
You say: When you fell from heaven.

You say: Are your legs tired?
She says: Why?
You say: Because you’ve been running through my mind all night.

“So, what do you say we make like a prom dress and take off?”

“I’ve lost my e-mail address, can I have yours?”

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 Carolyn at [email protected].

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