“Ugh. My back is killing me. My head feels like it was stomped on. What the hell happened last night?”
“You realized what we had to do today and tried to drink yourself to death. Normally, I applaud that sort of behavior, but when I started criticizing your technique, you just threw a bunch of bottles at me.”
“Well, clearly, if your technique was worth anything, you’d be dead by now, wouldn’t you? And since you aren’t, neither am I, which means we’ve got to do this shit again.”
“Oh, come now. Let’s have a bit of a positive attitude, eh? One should savor these rare opportunities for sentimentality and romance. After all, it won’t be too long before we all find ourselves too busy for simple whispers in the dark and roses left on bed and we’re forced to pay people to slap us in the face and call us filthy names just to see if we can remember what it feels like to be in love again.”
“…what the fuck happened last night?!”
“Our first letter comes from Carl, who asks…”
Catch 22. Rock and a hard place. Chocolate … It’s always the damn chocolate!!! So, my lady is perfect in my eyes. But not in hers. She seems to believe that she is getting a little too round. Pfff whatever, right? She wants to lose weight for HER. Excellent I say. She’s become much more picky about what she eats. Chocolate is on the nope-not-eating list. Chocolate is what I have given her every year for some time. If I don’t do it this year I might somehow send the message that her fears about her self body image are correct. If I don’t, all of a sudden I don’t listen. I don’t really KNOW her. Either scenario could start a fight. What do I do?
“There’s your first problem: chocolate is full of sugar. Makes you slow, weak. A good relationship is a partnership. And if she’s going to provide, you need her lean and angry. Try giving her meat. Chicken or other fowl is best, for efficiency. Cow’s too domestic. If you want something hoofed, turn to venison. That’s the good stuff.”
“However insane it might sound–and I beg you, gentle reader, don’t turn away at my next words–I agree with my…company, I guess you’d call her.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of benefit to lying to just about everyone: the authorities, the merchants, the girl at the tavern down the street who’s always wanted to ride in a carriage so you stole one and said it was yours…but rarely to someone you’re hoping to court. Trust is paramount is any relationship. And if she says that she’d rather not have chocolate, then you should listen to her.
“That said, you’ll definitely want to escalate things elsewhere. Consider taking her out for a nice meal or, perhaps, even cooking something for her yourself. Even if you’re terrible at it, she’ll appreciate the effort because you’ll have listened to her and, trust me, she meant what she said. Women love that kind of crap.”
“And if she doesn’t like the meat, well, she won’t complain if she gets chocolate next year, will she? Anyway, our next question comes from Cam, who asks…”
I would like to know which is the best way to propose to a women and with what.
“What do you mean with what? You use a ring, obviously.”
“What? Why a ring?”
“To show your dedication and affection, of course. It’s a timeless piece of artistry that symbolizes–”
“Do you eat it? Is it made out of something?”
“No. It’s usually gold or silver and set with a gem that–”
“Oh, I get it. The gem’s sharpened to a fine point and when you get in a fight–POW! Suddenly you’re throwing fists and people are losing eyes.”
“That’s not it at all, you backwater barbarian. The ring is a symbol of perpetual and undying love, the suggestion that, even though our mortal frames will one day give out and turn to dust, the loves we forge never shall.”
“So, you can’t eat it, can’t hunt with it, can’t use it to defend yourself. But you keep it around to remind yourself of how quickly you’re dying and how your love was summarized by a shitty piece of metal that’ll probably be melted down and turned into coin for some shithead to buy something useful with.”
“Look, you’re giving him the wrong impression, it’s more–”
I have an absolutely awful question about love. How do I court my mailman who looks like a fucking angelic model from heaven? Thanks
“This isn’t too hard. Humans always think their fancy mail protects them, but I haven’t seen a human problem yet that the right arrow couldn’t solve. First of all, get a little closer than you normally would. The arrow will have more impact and you can see if the man is wearing anything under the mail. If he is, your best bet is to aim for the unprotected parts, like the eyes or–”
“That’s not what a mailman is.”
“A mailman is a guy who delivers letters.”
“Like the one who brought these to us. So, yeah, shooting still seems like a good idea.”
“…anyway, dear reader, you’re not giving us a lot to go off of here. Has this mailman introduced any feelings towards you? Does the conversation come freely? Stiffly? Approaching people in a professional capacity is always risky–if you go looking for romance on the job, you usually end up with a knife in the gut. Metaphorically or literally, depending on your line of work. If you’re intent, though, and have reason to believe that your feelings might be reciprocated, just be straightforward. Go take him somewhere and nurture whatever feeling he’s put out there.”
I’m running into a peculiar issue while adventuring that perhaps you can help with. It doesn’t really matter if I’m killing horrific beasts, helping the common man (for a price – look, a girl’s gotta eat), saving the innocent, you know, *doing important things* – everyone keeps assuming I simply don’t exist. And by that I mean they pretend I’m not there at all.
And whenever *he* talks to me, do you think I get a thank-you for saving his ass? Nah, we’re talking about the peculiar and beautiful luminescence of the moon or some shit. Do I get any credit for lopping off that bedazzled eight-foot land shark’s back left fin so it didn’t, you know, consume half the party and that random group of lumberjacks that just wanted to “hang out”? Nah, we’re talking about my eyes, or how we “feel,” or more specifically how *he* feels about *me*. Do I get to discuss how maybe I deserve just a little more pay for almost losing my finger garroting the latest assassin? Nah, let’s talk about “us” instead.
Weirdly, this seems to apply to everyone else in the party, too, by which I mean every time they talk to me, they’re talking about him. And how it’s so nice he’s found someone, by which they mean me for some reason, although I’m not quite certain how he’s “found” me as I’ve been standing here the entire damn time (except for that one time where I was standing behind them and jamming a mechanism for an avalanche that would have buried them all alive – long story).
It seems as though this malaise has stricken everyone we encounter as well. They spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out that it’s “so sweet to see him with someone” and “I’m really good for him” and “you two look so good together” as well as something about ships that I’m reasonably certain has nothing at all to do with the business of sailing. Merchants don’t ask me what I want, they just throw out a collection of dresses, paint for my face, jewelry and noxious perfume, and look at me oddly when I tell them to show me their selection of daggers, swords, explosives and other assorted weaponry.
I’m not sure where they have gotten this impression, because I’ve certainly never said anything of the kind. It’s beginning to feel like I’m in some sort of bizarre alternate universe in which I am destined to be bound to this idiot forever, which is certainly not my intention at all. I can’t get a sentence out of another person without them mentioning it. I can’t have a reasonable conversation with anyone without them saying something about it. But “it” doesn’t exist. And apparently *I* don’t exist without *him*, according to everyone else.
So my question is: Do I just kill him and take back my own destiny, or should I be looking at the entire party instead? And is it considered poor etiquette if I just, you know, take their stuff? I mean, they aren’t going to be using it.
Destiny can go hang itself
“The moon? Feelings? What the hell does he think you’re doing out there?
“Here’s the problem with humans–and I assume you’re surrounded by them, since your friends sound like idiots–they don’t want to work for anything. They built their big stupid cities and sprawled out their big stupid farms so they could grow their big stupid vegetables and now they don’t appreciate what goes into hunting and hurting anymore.
“Destiny is just a word they made up to justify that laziness. Funny thing is, people only seem to recognize destiny in hindsight. No one ever thinks it’s their destiny to be eaten by wolves, but it happens, anyway. Remind your dumb friends about that.
“Sure, let them fawn over you, give you stuff, whatever. But then just let them handle themselves for a bit. Hang back, see how they deal with stuff on their own. With him, though, you might need to take a more active role: shove him into a pit or drop a rock on him or some shit. Make him appreciate that it’s not destiny that keeps his ass out of trouble, it’s you. He’ll either toughen up or die. Either way, your problem’s solved.”
“There’s something inherently romantic about struggle, isn’t there? Back in the day, you’d need to work hard to woo someone: bring them tributes of gold, kill a monster, find a rare flower on top of a mountain. Nowadays, everyone just sort of gets drunk and slaps ass in an alley. While charming, it doesn’t really make things endure.
“I’ll agree with our shictish friend. But I’ll add that you should always keep an eye on their shit, in case the going gets good. After all, if they didn’t appreciate their loot enough to protect it from you, it couldn’t be that important, could it?”
What is the best way to earn a women’s respect, kindness, kill her enemies, defeat a beast or craft her a fine weapon.
“What? Why does everyone assume I know this stuff?”
“I mean, whatever the rumors say, you are a woman.”
“So? I’m not the only woman. There’s Asper, Kwar, Blacksbarrow, Xhai…I mean, a lot of those guys want to kill me, but you get my point.
“I don’t know what you do to earn a woman’s respect. Probably you start by realizing she’s not just a woman, she’s…you know, her. Does she want you to kill a beast? Did she say she wants a nice weapon? If you’re just doing stuff in hopes of winning her affections, then you’re probably just going to annoy her.
“…wait, what kind of rumors are there?”
My boyfriend ate the last of the curry. Where should I dump his body?
“All right, this one I understand.”
“Yeah, who would have thought you’d be able to answer a question about inappropriately retaliating for someone taking food like a gods damned animal would?”
“You’re just mad no one wrote you anything.
“Anyway, dear whatever, if you gut him, you don’t have your curry back and the guy who took it isn’t getting you any. Presumably, since he’s your boyfriend, you can count on him to do stuff for you. So, the law’s pretty simple: he took your curry, he either gives it back or you get to take something of his.”
“That’s not the law.”
“NO ONE ASKED YOU!
“You want my advice, though, I’d take something of his just on principle. Something dear to him that’ll make him think twice about taking your stuff next time. You can always make more curry, after all–it’s a human recipe, so it can’t be that complicated. And if you do that, he won’t take your stuff anymore and you’ll have more curry and his stuff.
“Also he’ll learn empathy or some shit.”
What do you do when sex in your relationship becomes soul-crushingly dull and utterly predictable? When 9:17 is go time, and 9:23 your partner is snoring in satisfied contentment?
“Have you tried hitting him?”
“Why you got so many letters, I’ll never understand.
“Not that anyone asked my opinion, but if I had to weigh in, I’d probably say that you should only be forthcoming with information at three times in your life: on your deathbed, when you’re writing your will and when you’re about to go to bed with someone.
“Communication is what’s key. People are always so proud of the idea that they’re fantastic lovers or so terrified of the idea that they aren’t that no one ever tells anyone anything. It’s a conspiracy of silence between both people when it should be one of the most honest times in their lives. If the sex has become mind-numbing, then the first step should be to bring it up to your partner and ask for their help in progressing forward.
“All the toys, tricks and techniques in the world won’t save you if you can’t be honest with your partner. Let them know and work from there. It’s not like it could make things worse.”
“And if it does, just hit him.”
Dear Kataria (and Denaos I suppose, but mostly Kataria),
I’ve been a lone Shict for years now, but every now and then, I tend to yearn for someone to have a good tumble with; However, there are a couple problems that arise from this yearning.
First and foremost is that I have been burned too many times and have learned to not trust others. In fact, I don’t really like other beings at all. I just sometimes want someone there as another sexual being to connect with from time to time. I know it doesn’t make sense. Of course, as you well know, Kataria, the anger can definitely increase the fun and pleasure, but it still tends to leave someone with unreal expectations, thinking that they can continue to talk to me and be in my presence. Annoying.
Second, I love myself a lot. Like A LOT. To the extent that I wonder if loving someone else, even temporarily, would put me in the middle of a love triangle with myself. Let’s be honest, no one knows how to make love to me better than myself, so sometimes I wonder why I even bother looking for someone else, but I guess it comes down to the fact that touching yourself will always feel slightly different than being touched by another.
So, I guess my question is, how do I stand someone long enough to make love to them, and how do I do it without making myself jealous of myself?
“Makes perfect sense to me. You want someone sometimes, but not all the time. You hunt alone, but eat in a group. Don’t beat yourself up too much over wanting to sleep with someone from time to time.
“As for making yourself jealous? Well, that’s just overthinking it, isn’t it? Same concept applies here. You hunt by yourself because no one else can keep up with you. You eat in a group because it’s lonely eating by yourself. Different needs, different people. Loving yourself is something you’ll always do, no matter who you get together with. No need to worry about that. You’ll always be there for you. Letting someone else in just lets you have a break now and again. You kill the meat, they strip and prepare it.”
“That’s actually rather insightful. Why all the references to meat, though?”
“I am hungry. All I had last night was a bunch of grilled leeks. That’s not even real food! I think they just made it up!”
“Well, fortunately for you, that was the last letter. So I’m sure we can go root around in an alley and find a rat for you to eat or something. But before we do, I’d like to extend our thanks to our gentle readers for thinking us worthy of answering your queries. As ever, you make this time of year precious.”
“Wasn’t there supposed to be a book given out or something?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, there’ll be a message sent out about that to the winner. Do you want to eat or not?”
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!