It’s his turn to plan V-Day
Q: Valentine’s Day is coming again, and again I’m sure to get the wrong thing or take my partner to the wrong place. I can’t seem to get it right.
I’ve been with “Jimmy” for almost eight years, and as yet, I’ve never gotten it right, according to Jimmy. I’ve tried candy, flowers, dinner out, romantic movies, plays, concerts. I’ve even cooked romantic dinners with flowers, champagne, the works. I’ve done luxury hotel packages for Valentine weekends.
I’m out of ideas. Jimmy never seems to like what I have planned for him, or what I bring him. I ask him what he’d like to do, or what he’d like, but he has no ideas and just says that “anything is fine.” And yet, he has let me know one way or another that what I have done is not that great. (He’s not this way about other holidays or birthdays.)
I just don’t know what I can do this year. Actually, I don’t feel like even trying anymore. Do you have any ideas for me this year, hopefully something that will finally make Jimmy happy?
A: I’m not sure why it is all on you. Seems like it has been pretty easy for Jimmy to sit back and let you knock yourself out, then unkindly judge your efforts. How did all this fall to you anyway? For starters, I’d tell Jimmy it was his turn to plan Valentine’s Day. Hopefully you will be more gracious, showing him appreciation.
Perched in fantasyland?
Q: I’m writing to you because I have no one to talk to about this. I don’t want to talk with my friends or family because I know they won’t understand and will tell me I am crazy. I want to get the opinion of someone who is not emotionally involved with my life.
The thing is that I have fallen in love with a women (I’ll call her Ginger) that is currently in prison. I began writing to her when I met her sister who told me about her, and how lonely she was in prison and needed to talk with someone. I decided to write to her just to be kind. We have been writing back and forth for more than a year.
About three months ago I started visiting her. Now I just can’t get her off my mind. I write every day, and call when allowed, and visit every week, if possible. She doesn’t know I love her, but I think she is feeling the same way about me because her eyes always light up when I come to see her, and she writes me all the time. She tells me everything. She still has five more years before she is eligible for parole, so I realized I have a while to wait before we could be together. But I am willing to wait.
Ginger has never said that she is a lesbian but she looks like one. I certainly think she loves me even though she doesn’t say she does. I am planning to continue my relationship with her until she is released; and then, we can have a real relationship. I don’t want to date anyone as I feel I would be unfaithful to her. My friends and family keep trying to get me to date and I don’t know what to tell them because I know that I can’t tell them about how I feel about Ginger.
So my questions to you are: What should I tell my friends and family about dating, and do you think I am crazy for falling in love with Ginger?
In Love With An Inmate
A: Because I assume your friends and family love you and want the best for you, I would tell them about Ginger. Lying to people whom you have a close relationship with is never a good idea, as trust and honesty are crucial components for any relationship.
I don’t think you are crazy for falling in love with Ginger, but I do think you are perched on the edge of fantasyland. She has never said she is a lesbian or indicated that she is in love with you. I think you need to get some facts here, like, is she lesbian? And does she have the same feelings for you? Then go from there.
P.S.: You haven’t talked about how Ginger landed in prison, but hopefully you have good reason to believe that she has learned something positive, and is planning to turn her life around.
Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The “Dear Jody” column appears weekly. Letters may be edited.