Ups and Downs

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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 am a single mum, 30’s, raising a 14 year old boy who’s well behaved and makes good grades. For the past 2 years, he’s also been an elevator enthusiast, meaning people who ride all types of lifts round-trip, document or videotape the experience and then share later online with like-minded people. He has a good friend, a girl who shares this passion and somehow they managed to find each other in this big world. Now they explore the city in their free time, always collecting lifts. I try to be cheery about his hobby, watch his videos and thumb through his massive scrapbook with him, but his fascination does not seem to be waning and I’m wondering if this is normal? — Let Me Off Here

Hi Let Me Off Here,
You must surely be grateful that your little darling did not become an Urban Explorer or a Chernobyl Stalker. Elevator enthusiasts have become a full-fledged subculture through online videos, and there are thousands out there to watch. The movement even inspired a documentary titled Elevated: An Uplifting Community(2011). Apparently, these folks have a keen appreciation for every detail of the machines: buttons, lights, doors, décor and views. We would likely not question a stamp collector or model vehicle enthusiast, and certainly not the avid birdwatcher. They do no harm by celebrating the craftsmanship and iconic functionality of these vertical transporters; you really have to admire this quirky community for pursuing what they truly enjoy.

Torn Over Telling

Hi Tim,
I think my best friend’s Dad is cheating on his wife. I am an intern at the office where my friend’s father works. He is very close to his female coworker, and she calls him her “work husband.” They go to lunch together a lot. I have heard about and witnessed this, and recently I found out they have gone to a spa on their lunch hours and gotten massages together! As far as any of us can tell, they go to their respective homes separately, but they could easily be meeting somewhere so of course we are expecting to catch them leaving together. Should I mention something to my friend so that she can talk to him? — Torn Over Telling

Hi Torn Over Telling,
There is nothing to tell your friend. You all have seen nothing other than a couple of coworkers getting on like peas and carrots, joking and — gasp — eating and heard about them getting individual rubdowns. Typically, spa patrons do not massage each other! Whoever else is included in “us,” meaning the office gawkers who gather to track every movement of these seemingly innocent coworkers, you must call a Meeting of the Snoops immediately, and henceforth disengage from one another. Get back to work!

Stuffed Piggy

Hi Tim,
I’m a woman, 29 years old, married for 4 years and I blew my very healthy co-diet of 46 days with my husband. He was out of town for work that week, I had a very stressful work deadline, very little sleep, and I just went crazy with take-out and ice cream and “treated myself” for meeting the deadline. My husband would never understand and would be so critical, shame me for cheating and never let me forget it. I was back on track the next day and never told him. Thankfully, there is no way to find out what happened because I paid cash for everything. But technically, I cheated and I should own up to it, or what kind of partner am I? — Stuffed Piggy

Hi Stuffed Piggy,
A better question is, “What kind of partner is he?” The kind who shames his spouse for the most minor mistakes, and reviews her receipts? Forty-six days of success and a rapid return to restraint ought not to be erased by one indiscretion. Your mini binge is hardly shame-worthy, and you are an autonomous adult.  Dieting is ultimately personal, and just because your husband has committed to being your partner in diet as well as life, that should not mean you must report every single calorie. I hope you decide to congratulate yourself for the progress you made and let this trifle go, which is what he had better do if you still feel obliged to tell him.

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.

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