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    Becoming Barnyard Buddies?

    Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and “unusual” social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website.

    Hi Tim,
    I’m a professional woman in my 20’s and live with my boyfriend, 30’s in his house for the past 9 months, in a neighborhood that is being gentrified. He owns a beautiful, scenic piece of property with a private pond behind the lot and a barn about 200 feet behind that. He has a few animals and keeps a rooster who crows without mercy every morning, frightening me awake on a regular basis. He has had the rooster for several years, and claims that the neighbors have never complained, but when it wanders into our yard it believes it owns the place, crows at and chases me; I’m ready to strangle the thing after one more run in. I keep waiting for neighbors to complain because the lots are not that far apart, but nobody says anything! Am I being unreasonable to ask him to cook it, or at least find it a new home? — Rural Reconsideration

    Hi Rural Reconsideration,
    Are you sure Green Acres is the place for you? Unless your man is a vegetarian, I suppose you could put herbed rooster on the menu but it sounds like there is an emotional connection, too. The neighbors have not complained, even to you in 9 months about this cantankerous cock. Invest in some earplugs and chicken wire because good fences make good roosters. Enjoy the peaceful scenery, toss some goodies to the cranky old man — I mean the rooster — every once in a while and who knows? You too could be eventually become barnyard buddies.

    Oddly Obligated

    Hi Tim,
    I am a woman, 30’s working in an office that just happens to tolerate office romances, of which there have been plenty. So, not to be left out I started a flirtation with a really cute guy who turned into kind of an “office husband,” and we spend a lot of time together in the office and out. My problem is that he recently decided to attend a conference in an exotic location where he can take a guest, and he wants to take me. We would have separate rooms, but it is clear what he is expecting; to take our relationship to a physical level. I like him but I recently came out of a four-year relationship a couple of months ago and I am not ready to start another one. How do I tell this nice, cute guy with lots of potential that I do not want to go if there is anything physical expected? — Oddly Obligated

    Hi Oddly Obligated,
    Directly ask work hubby if anything physical is expected. If it is, state the answer as no but reserve the option to change your mind later. If something physical is not expected, be prepared to have to remind him of that and walk away to the hotel bar if necessary, but go and have a great time. No means no means no, period. It simply does not matter if your office has developed a culture of being a part-time dating pool. As an autonomous human being in the world you are not obligated to do anything except your job.

    Old Fogey

    Hi Tim,
    What advice do you have for a teacher re-entering the workforce after a 15 year retirement? I’m a man, almost 80, and lost my wife 2 years ago. I’m in counseling and a support group and got plenty of help with the grieving, and I have even been dating a special lady. But I was recently offered a temporary position teaching for a year, with the likely option to go permanent, for a high school after running my mouth about being bored. The more I think about it, the more I realize I am out of touch with the young world and how ridiculous I will look. I know about technology and social media, but I want to be able to connect with kids and even my grandkids have kids, none of whom I see a lot so how do I get with the times before I get with the job? — Old Fogey

    Hi Old Fogey,
    I often say that the gap between old and young need not be divisive. If we all spent more time together we would both be so much wiser! So, spend time with young people. Volunteer, spend more time online just getting to know what kids are talking about and responding to today. Find those grandkids, who surely cannot be far above 30, and spend time with them too because they are not terribly far removed. Read up on trends in teaching magazines, newsletters and blogs. You do not need to “get hip,” you merely need to be prepared to meet kids where they are at technologically, educationally, and socially. It will come naturally to old pro of an educator like you.

    Editor’s Note: The opinions offered in this blog are the author’s alone. Tim White, and any experts he may consult and/or quote in responses to letters, will never provide medical or psychological advice, diagnoses, treatment, or counseling of any kind. General advice, opinions, and suggestions may be offered with no obligation on the part of readers to accept or act upon the content published within this column. Anyone in immediate crisis and/or mental/physical distress should call 911 or related resources of assistance.

    Photo by Fotolia/paolofusacchia

    Published on Dec 9, 2014


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