Shortcuts: “My Boyfriend Has Not Sent a Christmas Gift Yet”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I have been in the hospital for the last four months with cancer, yet I still sent to Trinidad – which was very expensive – over £100 worth of presents for all my boyfriend’s family and him. When I came home from hospital – I live in England – he still has not even sent me a Christmas card. When I wrote and said I feel very hurt and upset, he said, “I am not arguing with you; it’s Christmas. Goodbye.” What do you think of his behaviour and mine? Perhaps I should have given and not expected anything back? But surely a card is not asking too much. What should I do? — Gift-less

You just got home from spending four months in the hospital getting treated for cancer and your boyfriend not only didn’t so much as send a card, but he hung up on you when you expressed your hurt feelings? MOA!!!

I’m a college senior who has just started dating this guy, and he’s wonderful. Our relationship is progressing along normal lines, including our physical relationship (he’s not the problem). My problem is my roommate. She’s very conservative about sex and physical relationships, while I’m more liberal about it. This hasn’t been a problem before, since this is the first person I’ve dated since we’ve lived together, and one-night stands have never been my thing. How do I bring up the fact that my boyfriend will inevitably be spending the night occasionally? I don’t want to be asking permission, since I don’t share a room with her (we live in an apartment), but at the same time I want to try to be considerate. — Confused in College

Say, “Hey, roomie, things are going well with ‘Kevin,’ and I’m sure at some point he’ll be staying over. Please let me know if we’re ever inconveniencing you or making you uncomfortable and I’ll be happy to work out a compromise that’s fair for both of us.”

My birthday is coming up and I’ve been working with a friend of mine to celebrate it. I went to a science museum a while ago and was inspired by a butterfly exhibit they had. I decided to make this the decoration theme for my birthday. Here’s the problem: one of my friends is terrified of butterflies. She’s had this phobia for many years and she can’t even stand to see a picture of one or see them on TV. If she does, she screams or gasps and looks away while breathing heavily. She said, before I had started planning, that she’d be out of the country for my birthday. Since she wasn’t going, I went ahead with my theme plans. Now she tells me that the trip has been cancelled and that she can go to my party after all.

I don’t know what to do! She’s obviously welcome, but she doesn’t know about the theme and, of course, I have to tell her. I wouldn’t let her show up without knowing, but I also know she won’t come when she finds out. I don’t want to seem mean, but I really love how my birthday bash is gonna look and my other friend and I have done a lot in preparation. I understand how she feels about butterflies because I have my own fear (snakes), even though I can at least keep my cool when I see one on TV, but there’s not much time left until my birthday and she gave me the news just recently. What to do? — ButterflyBash

Tell her that you’d been fantasizing about a butterfly-themed party for a while and, when you learned she’d be out of town for your birthday, you decided this would be the perfect opportunity to plan one. Now that she’ll be there, she’s more than welcome to join in for part or all of the party, but you’ll understand if she can’t make it and maybe the two of you — and even some additional friends — can go out to dinner that week so she can still celebrate your birthday and catch up with you. But, seriously, fear of butterflies?!


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. this might be the weirdest grab bag of shortcuts ever! cancer, christmas, conservative roommates, birthdays and a fear of butterflies!! wow.

    LW1, i agree that in this situation you should be more concerned about the hospital stay/cancer then christmas.

    LW2, WWS. awesome.

    LW3, WWS also. and, ill echo: a fear of butterflies? like a crippling cant-see-them-on-tv-fear?

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      she probably died when she saw the butterflies that nut job on Silence of the Lambs would plant in his victims’ throats. yulch.

      i really hate frogs. eww, if they are hopping around i’ll get really scared… that said, if you want to throw a frog-themed party i’ll still come. if there’s booze and food.

      1. haha, ok: funny story. i was going to have my graduation party at this place call the Butterfly Pavilion in colorado- its like a bug musuem, sort of. theres a room where butterflies fly around and theres a bunch of plants, and then you can look at the different stages of the cucoons through glass, and theres like a tarantula you can hold (ew). and when i went there to look at the place to hold the party, i kind of did freak out. like, flying bugs- everywhere. and some of the butterflies are huge! so i get not wanting to be around a bunch of flying insects…. but im assuming this is like, butterfly balloons and stuff. butterfly themed napkins. i dont understand that.

      2. Sue Jones says:

        I LOVE the Butterfly Museum! It is also a great place to take little kids! The boys LOVE the creepy bugs and the girls and boys love the butterfly room!

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        We went to one of those this year. So cool! No butterflies landed on me, but they did on basically everyone else. Some great photos from that trip.

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My niece loves this bug zoo that’s in my city and she wants to go every time they visit. It’s all stick bugs, tarantulas, millipedes and other grossness. She loves it though and is fascinated so of course we have to indulge her interest in learning but my husband and I just stand in horror in the middle of the room. It’s been like 6 times now and I still can’t stand it.

      5. As someone who has been alone in the butterfly room at the zoo, and heard-but-not-seen the surprisingly loud wing beats of thousands of butterflies, that shit is straight up terrifying.

    2. My best friend can’t be around moths. She says it is thier erratic flying pattern. But I think fake ones on tv or decorating on walls would be fine…but people really don’t decorate with moths.

      1. Moths totally creep me out. Butterflies to a degree, but moths especially. I think I do blame Silence of the Lambs.

      2. I remember in Silence of the Lambs. I was like 11 years old and it was my first real scary movie. I remember watching that moth thing and was like. “They can do that?” scared for years.

      3. Addie Pray says:

        The first time I saw that movie I was on a submarine – for real. To make a long story short, my family and I got to have dinner on submarine and afterward we got to watch a movie – and it was that one. I was a teenager at the time but I was scared. There were all these doors/compartments all over the room, top, bottom, and sides, and I was afraid something was going to jump out and kill me. Ok, not seriously afraid but you get it. It was such a cool experience.

      4. that sounds awesome. See I was at a slumber party. The party was of teenage girls and I was the friend of the younger sister. So we didn’t want to seem like babies. Scared the crap out of me.

      5. Submarine?! I think that in itself would scare me.

      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        All these really tight passage ways that go down and down and further down and it’s so dark in their, you have no idea which way is out. Yea, it’s scary. I’ve only been on one once, for that dinner and movie.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        There;s a dirty joke in there somewhere that I’m too prude to come up with.

    3. My best friend is terrified of butterflies, so much so that if one is in her way while she’s walking, she’ll calmly walk out of her way to avoid them, and you don’t realize what she’s done until it’s over. But if one takes her by surprise she has a full on panic attack. Nicole Kidman is apparently terrified of butterflies too.

  2. LW1: I don’t understand much about this letter (long-distance relationship, I guess?) but MOA. And good luck with your treatment/recovery.

    LW2: WWS. You sound like a very considerate roommate.

    LW3: Again, Wendy nailed it.

    Although, if you DO feel like being mean…you could just NOT tell her, let her show up anyway, & then turn your party into a birthday bash/therapy-intervention session 😉

    1. re: birthday bash/therapy-intervention… lol… oh wow

      1. I’m joking obviously, but part of me is sort of getting the feeling that this LW secretly just wants to throw her friend into a roomful of butterflies & be like “Deal with it! Muaha!” (or…maybe I’m projecting my own desires, haha)

        I mean, I’m slightly claustrophobic & I’d freak out if somebody—I dunno—trapped me in an elevator, but I’m finding it hard to take the butterfly thing seriously!

      2. So, my irrational fear is spiders. I’m terrified. I’m paralyzed for a few moments when I see one. Also, I’m slowly killing myself with raid because if I see a spider in my apartment, I have to raid it until it is dead. Then wait for the area around it to dry. Then sweep it up and put it in the trash. I can’t even use a paper towel. Pathetic.

        I’m sure there are tons of people who want to throw me in a room with spiders.

        Although I did have to laugh at the butterfly fear.

      3. I’m terrified of spiders, too. This fear was exacerbated by my first car, which seemed to attract them—from August to Novemeber-ish, whenever I’d drive at night, they’d come out & creep across my windsheild, over my sunroof, crawl out from behind my sideview mirrors. It was like a nightmare.

        Speaking of, I also have recurring nightmares about spiders (the other night, I dreamed that one was dangling down from the ceiling, & all of a sudden, it swung like a pendulum directly onto my face. Annnnd I’m getting chills now relaying this to you…)

        But butterflies are so pretty & they don’t even have an erratic flying pattern (like moths do, as csp mentioned above) Also, I’m not afraid of Halloween spider decorations or anything, so this girl’s friend has a pretty debilitating fear.

      4. That’s awful! Absolutely awful! No wonder you’re afraid. I can’t even imagine. A spider must have had babies somewhere in your car.

        Do you get night terrors? I do. And they always either involve spiders or some kind of mutant rodent slithering in my covers. Sometimes people. I wake up in the middle of the night screaming and when it’s mild, I can usually fall back to sleep. When it’s bad, I have to search my bedroom to make sure nothing is there but then I can’t get back to sleep unless the lights are on.

      5. Aw man, I get the same thing—I woke up gasping after that spider dream, & my other dreams usually involve bugs too. Or people trying to kill me, or car accidents. And this one time I dreamed that my cat leapt into the open oven while I was baking (so weird, but it scared me so badly that I woke up yelping, again).

        I never classified them as “night terrors” before, but a few weeks ago, I was taking some online anxiety quiz (yes, this is how I spend my time…) & one of the questions was “Do you experience night terrors?” I was about to absentmindedly check “no”, but my boyfriend (who was hovering over my shoulder) was like, “Um, YES YOU DO.”

        If he’s with me, I can usually get back to sleep easily, but when I’m alone, I do the same thing you do (turn on lights, check everywhere)

      6. Yep. Night terrors. And they’re totally different from nightmares. I’ve tried to research the subject, but there is not a lot out there. I do know it happens in a different stage of sleep than nightmares. Most people who report them, report seeing spiders or something slimy or some kind of figure. The only reason I wake up is because I scream myself to wake and my heart pounds. I had a really bad one earlier this year and my heart was racing so fast. I never exerienced that before. Also, it happens in the same stage as sleepwalking. The two are related. Finally, it’s hereditary.

        Yep, you totally have night terrors.

      7. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I use bleach. Well, fantastic with bleach because that’s what I have in spray form. My sister says that it’s cruel- to bleach a spider. Then she goes on to tell me that SHE uses windex to kill them. WTF? I says. Bleach would kill it way faster and windex would be a slow death. We’re still undecided whose the winner. But clearly, it is me.

      8. I think you are the clear winner.

        I’ll remember that when I run out of raid.

  3. LW1: I have the sudden urge to fly to Trinidad to smack the shit out of your “boyfriend”. He can’t be bothered to send a card to his girlfriend in the hospital with cancer? He is the definition of a jackass and you shouldn’t contact him anymore. I hope that your cancer treatment goes well. We are all rooting for you!

    LW2: WWS and thank you for being a considerate person.

    LW3: I’ve never heard of a “theme” for an adult birthday party. Is this a thing? I guess people have themes for their weddings and I didn’t, so maybe I’m just an oddball. Personally LW, I would make my theme “birthday party” and just have a good time with my friends.

    1. yea, i mean, i know not everyone are “card people”, but really, christmas notwithstanding, he didnt do anything for you while you were in the hospital? did he at least call? something?

    2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      I don’t understand themes for weddings- mine was wedding themed. I thought, I’m getting married- is that not interesting enough? Why do I have to make it vintage movie themed too?

      1. im torn on themes for weddings. i think they are/cant be fun, and like i would love to pull some things from my favorite disney movies to add, but at the same time, i dont want a disney themed wedding…

      2. are/CAN be fun

      3. I went a little bit theme-y for my 30th birthday party last year. It was on Friday the 13th, so I WANTED to have an all out superstition theme. I made “reserved” cards for my tables (this was at my friend’s bar, open to the public) with black cats on them, and I had a happy birthday banner with black cats and other stuff on it, and black cat cupcake toppers. If I had done everything I wanted, I also would have incorporated broken mirrors, open umbrellas, and a big ass ladder in front of the door so everyone entering would have to walk underneath it. Haha.

        LW3, you should just turn your party into a PHOBIA theme! Find out what all your friends are scared of and incorporate it! Include all the basics too: spiders, snakes, and clowns…. and of course butterflies. Make all your friends face their fears. I, for one, would find it hilarious.

  4. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

    LW1: I hate to break it to you- but I think you have a con-artist, not a boyfriend. MOA, and I hope that your treatment is effective and (hopefully) succinct! Good Luck!

    LW2: WWS. Also- Kudos for being so considerate of your roommate.

    LW3: My boyfriend’s dad is an entymologist (bug scientist). I hate spiders, but when I go over and visit, bf’s dad is like OMG look at this amazing photo I took of Wolf Spider with a million babies on it’s back and YOU GUYS check out this Brown Recluse I found in the garage and CALLMEHOBO would you like to hold my Rose-haired Tarantula?

    The point of this story is that spiders are awful. Although he does have some pretty awesome butterflies.

    1. SweetPeaG says:

      Ugh… my parents live in a rural-ish area. They always get wolf spiders at their house. They are hairy and huge and disgusting. That being said, I am the designated spider killer in my household. My fiance can’t stand them, so I usually take care of matters.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I’m currently stuck in the hell that is North Central Florida and there are some seriously nasty bugs here. Fire ants, the most aggressive cockroaches I’ve ever encountered, lizards (ok not a bug), love-bugs, spiders galore. It sucks. Oh and there are like mutant fleas. Nothing kills them or keeps them off of my indoor only cat.

        The alligators are pretty cool though.

      2. The one summer I lived in Knoxville, I encounted sprickets. Half spiders, half crickets. Those things are effed up.

        I also think palmetto bugs are kind of gross. Have you encountered those GG? I frequently saw them while I lived in Stuart, FL.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes, I had a palmetto bug walk in under my front door (we live in an apartment where you go in one door then there are all the apartment doors so no weather strips on the interior doors) when I first moved down. I flipped my shit and jumped up on top of the couch screaming. My fiance then chased the bug around the apartment with roach spray. It sucked and we ened up high on roach spray. The bug was like 4 inches long!!

      4. they’re really hard to kill. you can’t just stomp on them either. Yuck gg!

      5. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I will take our bears and cougars any day over your bugs. Yuck.

      6. A hint to all: Don’t google Palmetto bug. You’ll regret it.


      7. I already did! And I do!!

        I also googled ‘spricket’. And this is why I will continue to live in MN, despite threatening to move every winter.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        You lived in Knoxville, ktfran? I lived there for four years during college, and one apartment I lived in was absolutely infested with those things. Windex works to kill them surprisingly well. I hate those things though. They’re so freaking ugly. And they can only jump forward, so if you scare one while it’s facing you, it’ll jump on you. Gross.

      9. I did for a boy. It was in college and we had met the summer before while working in Yellowstone. The next summer, I stayed with him and interned at the zoo with their special events. He was my first love. Barf.

        Oh my god, they never jumped on me, but one was in my shoe once and I didn’t discover it until it was on. It was disgusting.

        I didn’t go to a big football school, so I’m a Volunteer. Go Vols! I’m assuming you are too!?!

      10. theattack says:

        Well technically I am, but I’m not really a football fan. That’s so cool that we lived in the same city though! When did you live there?

      11. Ages ago. Summer of 2002. You?

      12. theattack says:

        Ohhh, the past four years for me. I just left this summer. I was wondering if we would have collided, but I guess not. 🙁

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        Um, if 2002 was ages ago, I hate you for pointing that out.

      14. Ugh, fire ants! The last time I went to Florida (near Orlando, when I was about 15), I wound up stepping on a fire ant hill. I didn’t realize until I felt this horrific burning sensation… the entire ant family biting into my poor feet 🙁 HORRIBLE

      15. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Growing up in the north I had no idea what fire ants were until I had an unfortunate incident while visiting my fiance. I stepped/stood on on a huge nest while hosting a BBQ birthday party for him. It sucked.

      16. aggressive cockroaches, yes! here in SC too. only here they like to call all roaches Palmetto bugs with a southern draw so that they seem acceptable when really they are just giant and gross and attack when you’re trying to kill them.

      17. also yes to fleas that don’t die and fire ants. so many gross bugs! not to mention the giant evil mosquitoes that live year round. bleh!

      18. theattack says:

        That is horribly disturbing. How common are they? We were thinking about vacationing in the area, and I could not handle that. (See my irrational roach phobia description below). If I went on a vacation there, how likely is it that I would encounter one?

      19. I’ve really only ever seen them at my house (usually dead, thank you mr. exterminator) and at friend’s houses. you should be ok at hotels, etc. the further south you go especially towards the coast where it is wet it’s always a possibility that you might see one, so I don’t want to say you definitely won’t, for fear I might be wrong!

      20. I like the lizards! Granted, I am not from FL so I’ve only ever had to deal with them on vacation. Once, in Mexico, there was a lizard on an overhead light fixture and it fell into my hair when I flipped the light on. Only the knowledge that it was a lizard and not a giant insect or something worse kept me from running and screaming full tilt into the night.

    2. There is something called a wolf-spider??? That so can’t be good.

      1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        DON’T GOOGLE SEARCH IT. I know they are harmless, but DAMN, those are some scary-looking dudes.

      2. i thought wolf spiders were poisonous? no? are those the ones that “hunt” and thats why they are scary?

        i think im getting my scary spiders mixed up. now THAT is a real problem.

      3. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        Not poisonous! Which is good, because they are a very common type of spider. I think you are thinking about Brown Recluses- their bites ARE poisonous and can cause tissue necrosis.

        I don’t know what area you live in, but in the south the bad spiders are
        Brown Recluse- small, brown with a violin shape on the abdomen
        Black Widows- medium, black with a red hourglass on the abdomen

      4. Those are the same 2 spiders we have to be afraid of in the NE too. I think that a lot of these bug issues have to do with the warmer weather not killing things over winter, so the critters are growing more and more… I know the stinkbugs in the mid-Atlantic have been getting much worse. so icky.

        Also, I completely understand the phobia of bugs, spiders (even butterflies, but I put them in the lady bug, cute bug, category so they don’t bother me) but how does that translate to pictures? What if it was a cartoon?? I get not wanting butterflies on you or flying around you, but unable to wipe your hands with a butterfly napkin seems like a bit much 🙂

      5. SweetPeaG says:

        Oh, I did google them! Even though I’ve seen them in person. The range where they live is pretty much EVERYWHERE on earth (other than Antarctica). So, there is officially no escaping them.

      6. SpaceySteph says:


      7. omg, I almost vomited. that was the scariest thing EVER.

      8. why didn’t I listen to you? why must I always do the thing that people tell me don’t do???

      9. I think I’m sort of inured to spiders. What terrifies me is tar sand beetles. You mostly find them up north in Alberta near the oil rigs (hence the name – not it’s scientific name). They’re like a huge black flying cockroach with 3″ antennae. The sound they make when they fly (short distance and erratically, for maximum possibility of landing on your chest) is like when you split a card deck and shuffle it together – thwwwwwppptt! They’re also impossible to kill. We’re talking grown men in steel boots flipping out and stomping on them impossible. Yergh.

    3. Oh my god hobo, i just gasped when I read about the spider with babies on his back. I’m freaking out a little just picturing it.

      1. And that’s actually my worse fear if I have to kill a spider, a million babies will come out of it. Which is why I use raid only.

      2. That happened to a friend of mine in Costa Rica… Only it was with scorpions. They had to move out of the house for a month or something!

      3. That has happened to me a couple of times, so creepy!

      4. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        I’m not going to lie to you- I had nightmares about it.

        The worst part? He sold the frickin’ photo to a textbook company. OUR CHILDREN WILL BE UNABLE TO ESCAPE TRUE TERROR.

      5. If I were in a class and opened to that page, I might throw the text book down. Just say’n. Poor, unsuspecting kids.

    4. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      I couldn’t agree more about spiders being awful.

      1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        landygirl, where have you been lately? We’ve missed you!

      2. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        Working my little fingers to the bone to clear off my desk before Christmas! My company is closed for two weeks and I had a lot to do!

        Merry Christmas!

    5. Eagle Eye says:

      Can I just say, first of all, that while I HATE bugs, your boyfriend’s dad sounds adorable?

      1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        He kind of is. He holds a “Bug Camp” every year for local kids and teaches them about all kinds of bugs and brings in exotic bugs for show and tell.

        Also- one day I went to visit, and his dad was outside with a large tupperware container that had some sort black substance in it. I was walking up and was all “Hey, whatcha got there?” and he smiled and casually remarked- “Oh, just some ticks.” He had a tupperware filled with THOUSANDS OF TICKS. And just when I was about to get a little grossed out, he goes- “What can I say? In college I used to bring in the girls, but now I’m just a tick magnet.” And he walked away. I almost died laughing!

      2. Eagle Eye says:

        I don’t know whether to laugh or just shudder after that story!

        Ugh, especially since you really only need to get Lyme disease once to have an ever lingering fear of ticks!

  5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    LW1 this story screams to me that you “boyfriend” is a scammer.

    LW2 If she really is that conservative you will not find a compromise other than having all of your sleep overs at your boyfriends. Go ahead and prepare yourself for that.

    LW3 Butterflies? Really? Are you 7?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I thought the butterfly theme was also a little young. I have a friend that is obsessed with butterflies and it’s kind of strange. The only way I can think of this being grown up is if you have different specimens of dead/preserved butterflies in glass cases around. These can look classy as decorations. On the other hand…who are we to judge. To each his own!

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Your right, I shouldn’t judge. I’m just so taken a back that an entire letter to Wendy is based on butterflies…

    2. i was watching 4 weddings last night and there was a butterfly themed wedding, and i kind of had the same reaction…

      1. Actually, butterflies are a popoular theme for weddings because they symbolize new beginnings. Not sure about the birthday. Guess it depends on the birthday?

      2. *popular* Ah, morning.

    3. I was thinking that, too…maybe it depends on if she grew up during that time when butterflies were A Thing or not (I remember having several shirts in middle school with big, glittery butterflies & hair clips like this:http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=12210370 and this: So basically, now I can’t think of butterflies without thinking of that trend.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        There is a girl, well I should say a woman because she’s 32, at my work who wears butterfly clips in her hair (like the ones I had when I was 12) TO WORK. She may also indulge in weird buns. I have no idea how someone hasn’t said something yet.

    4. I don’t see why people are assuming the guy from Trinidad is a scammer. Because he’s from a developing country? There are assholes and dick boyfriends in every country. If this guy actually was a scammer he would at least pretend to be considerate, don’t you think? Way to jump to an offensive and unwarranted conclusion.

      1. That’s interesting, because as far as I can tell, YOU were actually the first to comment on his nationality. This is naturally not about how he’s from Trinidad, nor would it be about him being a Newcastle-upon-Thyne native, were he such. It’s about how he allows a vulnerable person to stay in the illusion that they are in a relationship, for his own financial gain. Which is pretty scammy, if you ask me.

  6. LW2– It’s great that you’re trying to be respectful of your roommate! Some hints for keeping the peace:
    1- Don’t have him over every night, or even close to it. 3 nights a week MAX
    2- Don’t give him a key to your apartment
    3- Don’t let him stay there while you’re not home (ex- if you leave for class in the morning, make sure he leaves when you do)
    4- Don’t have loud sex while your roommate is home. EVER.
    5- Make sure he is fully clothed while your roommate is home (ex: If he goes to the bathroom, make sure he’s not just wearing boxers)
    **I speak from experience- boyfriends overstaying their welcome can RUIN a good friendship/roommate situation**

    1. Great rules!

      Maybe the max number in #1 should be negotiated, though, especially if #4, ever, er, “inadvertently” gets broken!

    2. Forgot two!
      6- Don’t let him eat your roommate’s food
      7- Make sure he doesn’t leave messes around the house.

      Ok, I’m done.

    3. I remember in College, My roommate wass in her room getting it on and I had a friend over watching movies. my friend was like, “Is there a yapping dog.” and I was like, no, that is my roommate. She sounded like a dog. Yip Yip Yip Yip.

      1. O M G!

      2. yea, this LW is way more considerate.

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        With our last roommates our bedroom was right over the garage and we could hear all the goings-on of my roommate hanging out down there (which was all the time with friends). Well one night we were laying in bed and I was complaining how I couldn’t sleep from the noise and my husband says that the noise goes both ways or something like that. It had never clicked to me that since we could hear them that they could hear us and my reaction was something like “OMG they hear me when we’re doing it????” and he was like, yessss…. I was so mad, like why didn’t you say something???

        Our roommate was no better though. I never heard them but I once found a USED condom on a shelf in our linen closet. WTF

      4. wait, a USED condom in the Linen closet? Did they bring it to a closet to get a towel, put it down and forget about it? WHAT?

      5. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        We didn’t even use it as a linen closet- it was just storage! My husband said he would be switching the guys laundry over and condoms would fall out. I’m pretty sure he just left them where ever he was when they were done.

      6. Ah jeez I have a used condom story too. When I was with my very first boyfriend, I was still living in my mom’s basement. We had sex one time and apparently – somehow – as he was sneaking out that night he dropped the used condom on the stairs AND DIDN’T REALIZE IT. My mom found it the next morning.

      7. You can’t stop THERE!

      8. Ummm talk about creepy? Once with my ex we apparently had really loud drunk sex and his roommate listened the whole time and jerked off.

      9. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Oh ew. No they just drank beer and laughed about it. Pretty sure they were high-fiveing my husband.

      10. wasn’t that in a Sex and the city episode

    4. Eek, my college boyfriend & I could have used a list like this when we were dating. At one point, I was over his apartment basically every single night. I ate all of their food & would use like, 27 dishes for one simple meal (and then leave them in the sink). We had sex in the bottom bunk while his roommate was studying in the top bunk, a la that Lili-and-Marshall flashback scene from HIMYM . AND I was constantly walking around with only a blanket for clothing, because I couldn’t be bothered to throw on some pants. The three of us had been pretty close (and I did do the entire sink-full of dishes at the end of the semester!) but still. We were assholes!

      1. Just be glad you made these mistakes when you were young 🙂

    5. LindsayLu says:

      Ugh, I had a guy stay over a couple of times who tried to leave my room to go to the bathroom naked. I had to snap my fingers at him like he was a dog and tell him to come back and put clothes on. Personally, my roommate and I are OK with guys in boxers as long as it’s the middle of the night (we’re both blind in the dark), but I can see how that would not be OK. And I wouldn’t want to see guy in boxers at like 11 a.m. or basically after sunrise.

  7. SweetPeaG says:

    I’m a jerk and a bad person. I am admitting that right now. I understand there are legitmate fears out there. And I can even understand a weird fear of butterflies. They do kinda have gross little faces. BUT, I don’t understand the people that freak out when they see something on tv. If they are a normal functioning adult, they should have come to the firm conclusion that things can not come out of the television, right? I think that a grown woman who freaks out over seeing butterflies on tv is looking for attention in a major way. Feel free to berate me now for being insensitive!

    I do hate slugs and snails. I passionately hate them. This is because I once stepped on a slug barefooted (gross, right?). It took a lot of scrubbing to get that slime off of my foot. But, I wouldn’t “freak out” if I saw one on tv.

    So, what are all of your weird “fears” (if any)?

    1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

      I can’t watch anything that involves eye or fingernail injury. It’s weird. Like that part of “The Ring” in the video that shows someone breaking off a fingernail? Makes my skin absolutely crawl…

      That being said- the bf can’t handle anything medical. When I tell him hospital stories (and let’s face it, all the good ones have some degree of gross-ness) He covers his ears. He absolutely shuts down when you get into the blood/guts/vomit talk.

      1. Related to hospital gross stuff, I absolutely can´t watch those birth shows on tv, it grosses me out so much. And I´ve had 2 natural childbirths, and I preferred it that way,but still, watching it? Ew.

    2. kerrycontrary says:

      I stepped on a slug barefooted this fall! I hate slugs too…but I agree that people with fears like that are often overreacting and looking for attention. Unless they have a true phobia in which case they should be a) medicated or b) seeking therapy

    3. I have a rule: if a bug has visible body hair, it is too big. As for creepy things on TV, check out zombie snails.

    4. I mentioned my paralyzing fear of spiders before. But that’s really in person. I don’t freak out when I see them on tv or in a book or you know, a fake one. I might turn my head. Heck, I don’t even freak when I see one outside. It’s inside that I freak. Like they want to trap me or something.

      I’m also afraid of the dark. Not really the dark, per se. But walking into a dark room. I also won’t look in mirrors in the dark because of that stupid bloody mary game. I really don’t want to see a ghost lurking behind me in the mirror. Stupid? Yes, but there you have it.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        omgz…my worst fear is when I am washing my face/hands and I look up into the mirror and someone is standing behind me. I usually shriek when this happens.

      2. I lol’d for a full minute. Thanks for that! And I totally get it. After watching a scary movie, I wash my face extra fast because you know, all it takes is 30 seconds for some murderer to pop up behind me.

    5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I’m afraid of being bitten by an animal while in the water. So I don’t go in the ocean or lakes or anything like that.

      I was bitten by a few crabs at once when I was younger so that’s where this all comes from.

      1. oh yes ill second being afraid of oceans/lakes. you have literally no idea what is under you. terrifying.

    6. I think if it’s unexpected it can be alarming. I also like ktfran have a paralyzing fear (good term) of spiders. I have a recurring dream that is just awful where I can’t get away from spiders and their webs and it ends with me seeing one crawling from my pillow on to my face and I can’t even scream, it’s awful. So, when I’ve seen a big spider on tv and it’s not expected, I’ve reacted before.

    7. That’s what a phobia is though. It’s an “irrational” fear. It’s not based on something you can understand. Her friend may really have a phobia that she needs to deal with.

    8. I hate crossing the street. I hate it. I obey all traffic laws and signs. My dad used to say “don’t be worried, it is safer than crossing the street.” now I fear the street. You would think there were crocodiles in the middle or something.

    9. LindsayLu says:

      I’m terrified of the movie/tv show “Beetlejuice,” and I’ve never even seen it. Won’t watch it. Hate seeing people dressed up like Beetlejuice for Halloween.

    10. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Not a weird one at all but I’ve gotten REALLY paranoid being pregnant. My husband has been working graveyard shifts (last night was the last one, yay!) and I have been so crazy at night by myself. Constantly hearing things and having to talk myself back to sleep and sometimes, even checking my closet before going to bed. Well, last week I woke up and thought I heard something downstairs. I tell myself, you’re just being crazy, its nothing. So I haul my ass up (it really is hauling at this point) and stand up to go pee. Then my door pops open just a smidge and I’m paralyzed standing there. Then it slowly opens and I say something like “Mr. Grass, is that you?” in like the weakest voice ever. It was, btw, I’m not murdered. He was let home early and decided not tell me in advance and wanted to surprise me in bed. There was no going back to sleep.

    11. I can’t watch rodeos.. I can’t even see a bucking bull in a commercial. I immediately have to leave the room or turn my head… Why? Because when I was about 8 years old, I was in the front row at a local rodeo and the rider was bucked off the bull and the bull came back around and stepped on his head. We’re talking way too much “real life” stuff for an 8 year old to see!!

      I don’t think that’s a “fear’ but more of a panic-inducing anxiety thing with me. So, I can give someone a pass about being “afraid” of an image.

      1. Also, the boyfriend is afraid of blood/medical things – there was one time he actually passed out by seeing it on TV. Makes it hard to watch Grey’s Anatomy..

    12. I definitely don’t think of it as attention seeking. I have a major fear of snakes, stemming from really terrifying nightmares ever since I was a kid. I have felt physically ill (e.g. almost wanting to vomit, shaky, etc) from trying to make myself watch a movie with snakes in it (HP and the Chamber of Secrets) and then I went home and had nightmares for a week. The point of a phobia is that it’s entirely not rational so even “normal functioning adults” will react in irregular ways to the things that scare them.

    13. Eels give me the creeps. Most ocean life scares me a little bit. Whenever I swim in the ocean I freak out if I feel anything brush my skin. One time I went snorkeling in Key West, and there were tons of fish, and they were used to snorkelers I guess so they would get up close. Between the water and the goggles, I couldn’t tell how close they actually were and I started screaming and thrashing in the water. Everyone thought I was drowning. OH and then there was a huge ass BARRACUDA chilling on the ocean floor. Talk about creepy!

    14. My worst fears (but theres a perfectly good explanation to each of them) are rodents, and birds (the beating of birds wings, to be more precise).
      When I was little I had several close encounters with mice, and also when I was like 2 I was walking down the beach with some dogs, and we came across a flock of seagulls, during nesting time, and the birds attacked the dogs, and I was caught in the middle. Of course I dont actually remember the incident, ,but from there on that sound scares me bad, I cant even go through the city parks that are full of pigeons and stuff.

    15. theattack says:

      Roaches. I am absolutely terrified of them. I have driven three hours on a week night around 1 am just to get away from one. I have attempted to jump off of a three story balcony to get away from one until someone stopped me. I can’t sleep for weeks if I see one in my living space. I’ve punched my fiance over and over again when we were sleeping multiple times because I was having a nightmare about them. All of my nightmares are about those things. I had a nightmare a few weeks ago where one came into our apartment and we were trying to hide from it, but it found us and shot us with a gun. Basically, I’m a lunatic when it comes to those. I plan on killing myself if I get into a situation where I can’t get away from them. The one and only concern I have about buying a handgun is that I might shoot if I ever find one in our home instead of doing something rational like using Raid or leaving home.

      1. Yikes theattack! Roaches are a big one for me, but maybe not that extreme. I worked at the library in college and the basement had roaches. I was teased by coworkers because I refused to go in an aisle that had a dead cockroach. I thankfully never saw a live one – I’m pretty sure I would have just refused to go back to that floor.

    16. AliceInDairyland says:

      Alright, secret confession time. I have an absolute TRUE phobia of ET. You know, the movie with the absolutely terrifying alien with the evil, evil voice. ET. I must have watched it when I was little and then ended up having nightmares/terrors for months afterwards. I think they were terrors because I remember being paralyzed on the bed and having him creep out from under my bed and strangle me with his creepy hands and his heart all glow-y. Or I would be watching TV on a couch in the middle of blackness, and then in the part where he taps on the screen he actually came out and tried to kill me. Ugh, I am freaking out just typing this to be honest.

      So I would LEAP into my bed from like halfway across the room up until I was like leaving for college. I still don’t stand directly next to the bed for any period of time because I get anxious he is going to grab my ankles. Luckily this doesn’t effect my life in really. However when they re-did the movie and it was coming back out I didn’t watch TV for a couple months due to the chance of a commercial. And one time someone in one of my classes had an ET pencil topper in college *WTF?!* and I honestly had to leave the class for the day. I just start hyperventilating.

      Of course if I ever tell people this, they instantly point their finger and use the EVIL VOICE to say “ET phone home” and it sometimes honestly makes me cry. And if anyone ever had an ET avatar I could no longer frequent this site. I don’t care if it’s irrational, it makes me way too uncomfortable. And now you all know, please please please don’t use this knowledge against me!

  8. Ok, so I had to Google this because I am a huge nerd like that but it is a legit thing: Lepidopterophobia.

    Also, I like butterflies but I absolutely HATE moths and think they are the most disgusting things ever. I wouldn’t say I have a fear of them but I do freak out if they are anywhere near me. It’s grossing me out thinking about it.

  9. I’m sorry LW1 that you are dealing with so much now. I wish you a full recovery and perfect health in the new year. Your ‘boyfriend’ though is scamming you. It seems he cares about what you can buy him and not about you as a person. No one who cared about you even just a little bit would have been so callous. How lovely you get to start the new year focusing on your health and having nothing more to do with someone so thoroughly wretched. Saying goodbye was the best gift he could have given you – you dodged a bullet.

    1. Now, isn’t this letter premature? What is his present is just late, ya know?

      1. Don’t even joke…I’m already concerned she though it was her fault to expect her boyfriend to show some sort of basic decency.

      2. you are right, this is super wierd. This guy is a total dick. But wouldn’t you expect this letter after christmas?

      3. My husband’s friends are predominantly single. I will never forget, his friend “broke up” with a girl. Then she got him an Xbox for christmas. I was like, girls don’t spend $300 on thier exes for christmas. He was like, well, sometimes we still sleep together. Maybe I am that good. Head smack, what a dick.

  10. EricaSwagger says:

    LW3 – Fake or Real?!
    Sounds like somebody needs to go get some exposure therapy STAT.

  11. handy0318 says:

    I’m 51 and have had an acute fear of moths and butterflies ever since I can remember. I have to say that pictures of these horrors don’t bother me, but I can’t be in the same room with a live one. Even a dead one in the area sets in the creep factor until my hubby or one of the kids get rid of it. I’m not a fearful person, I don’t even kill spiders, I scoop them up on a piece of paper and let them outside. We own a 9 foot boa constrictor. But butterflies and moths…shudder… If her friend is so freaked out by them that pictures of them bother her, she needs to be told and without being shamed. It’s not like those of us with mottephobia aren’t embarrassed enough by it already. People are sympathetic when it comes to arachnophobia or ophidiophobia. With mottephobia, one just tends to be laughed at or treated like a 7 year old.

  12. Sue Jones says:

    LW1 – Have you ever even met your “BF” in person? Was this a pen-pal? I think he may be a scammer. Best of luck for your recovery from cancer.

  13. ah…LW1 kind of reminded me of the guy i dated who would not give gifts (EVER!)…we dated for 3 years…no birthday, valentines or christmas presents….our first valentines day together i gave him a box of chocolates and he yelled at me saying that i only gave him the gift to make him feel bad (and i kept dating him, i know, i know)…the very last year we dated over christmas i gave him a cd burner for his computer so a week later he gave me a burned copy of his favorite south park episodes…that was the only think he ever gave me the whole time we were together (not to relate my story to LW1, i can’t believe her boyfriend didn’t send her flowers or at least a card while she was in the hospital! ugh!)

  14. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    It’s cool of you for wanting to give your roommate a heads up. Unless she has a kid living with you guys or you’re dating a criminal though, it’s really none of her biznezz what goes all up in your room.

    Who throws a butterfly (or really, any) themed birthday party for themselves as an adult? Or was this a 7 year old writing in?

    1. A friend had a going-away party in our twenties that was a roller-skating rink party, just like we were in middle school. We drank, rocked some great outfits, and relived the glory days of the shuffle couples and no one managed to hurt themselves. It was a lot of fun! I have no problems with themed anything as long as I’m not “forced” to participate in the theme (i.e. I will attend, but won’t wear the mandated butterfly tiara) and the host(s) is willing to take on the extra effort. I think it’s fun to mix things up and do something different 🙂

  15. Wendy (not Wendy) says:

    People always think my boyfriend in Brazil must be a scammer. It gets really old. You’d need more evidence than this, and I so appreciate that Wendy didn’t suggest this.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Are you sending him and his family gifts with monetary value and receiving either no response or yelling? No? Then no one will suggest that to you here.

      1. Wendy (not Wendy) says:

        But, as someone pointed out above, this could simply be assholish behavior and not scamming behavior. Would you say the same if the boyfriend was also British, or was French or Canadian or American? When people suggest that my boyfriend is a scammer, it’s like they’re saying I’m stupid. People saying this woman’s boyfriend is a scammer (rather than just an asshole) are implying “you’re stupid” rather than “honey, you deserve better than an asshole boyfriend”, whether they mean to or not.

      2. Actually, I would say that. Why does living in South America have anything to do with it? It doesn’t.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I think it was one of many ideas. Sure, he could just be a huge asshole, he could be a scammer, his gift could’ve gotten lost in the mail, etc. I think its great to suggest scammer, in the case that he is and she needs her eyes opened to the chance that he is. If he isn’t, no harm done.

      4. An asshole is a boyfriend that hangs up on you after four months of cancer treatment. A scamming, asshole boyfriend takes money and gifts from you without so much as a thank you…. and then hangs up on you after four months of cancer treatment. It is the taking of the money and gifts without any acknowledgement that speaks to the scam. No one is saying she is stupid… Calling him a scammer is a commentary on HIM.

    2. yea, ill be honest, the scammer thing came out of left field for me… i dont know where you would come to that conclusion

  16. Maybe there’s something I’m missing but I don’t understand LW1’s letter. Its not Christmas yet. How does she know that her bf had actually sent something to arrive by the 25th and wasn’t just getting impatient by the questioning? Granted, he should be patient (and for all we know maybe he was– we don’t know what happened earlier in the phone call), but its not Christmas yet.

  17. I have to admit, I too have a butterfly phobia… They don’t bother me on TV or anything, but in person (even when they are behind glass) I get totally creeped out by then. I must say, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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