Dear DaniNew Dear Dani

Need impartial advice some might consider harsh? Dani-K may not be licensed, but she’s been giving out advice her entire life whether people want it or not. As a result, famous people often ask for advice because they are surrounded by a bunch of “yes” people. Not Dear Dani. Currently, she is completing her degree in Psychology through a on-line university and doesn’t have time to coddle your feelings. You are welcome to submit questions for advice, but be prepared to hear it straight. Dani’s professor and mentor, Dr. Imareal Emdee will be weighing in from time to time if Dani’s advice is incomplete, incorrect or insensitive.

Dear Dani,

Before we begin, I wanted to offer you a Jello-shot. It’s the new flavor, Weary Cherry. And don’t let that bitter taste throw you off, it’s yummy. The real reason I’m writing you is I’ve gone through a struggle where it seemed like the entire world was against me, and have come out on top. I have persevered after the persecution. But I am not a young man anymore, and there’s only so much time left before I am tested again, so I wanted to share this wealth of knowledge because its my duty to help athletes and married men to avoid certain pitfalls. I’ve done this once before about men pulling up their pants at the many colleges who are now rescinding their honorary degrees once bestowed on me. My question is, I can make a heck of a lot more money if I sold beer during the symposiums, and I’ve got bills to pay, but it might be considered bad taste. What should I do?

Signed,

You Know They Wanted It

Dear Loser,

Here’s the truth, you drugged women not only because of your sadistic streak, but because most of these women never would have had sex with you to begin with. Some night have, because let’s face it, every dog has its day. The fact that you had to conquer so many women even though you were “happily” married shows deep levels of insecurity and narcissist tendencies. I hope you spend the rest of your life having done to you what you’ve done to others.

*A special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Loser – We here at Dear Dani cannot diagnose your personality based on a letter. Though you seem to display narcissistic tendencies, tests need to be conducted to verify these findings. Please consider donating your brain to science so that it may be dissected, probed and pricked, though don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing.

Dear Dani,

I live in LA so I went on a television dating show because a friend suggested it. It’s nothing like The Bachelor. Basically you go on three dates and then go on this show and talk about it. So, the first guy showed up over an hour late; the second guy couldn’t stop looking at himself in the mirror; and the third guy hasn’t come out of the closet yet. For some reason I was really nervous on these dates. Enter: lots of alcohol. The only thing I can remember about these guys is each thought I was “so funny.” It’s a blur after that. Should I just drop out of the show? I mean, on the one hand, I’ll probably be humiliated and embarrassed on national scale. But on the other hand, this could make me famous. People get famous for way stupider stuff than this. What should I do?

Signed,

Career Connection

Dear Connection,

Basically you can hope for the best as long as you prepare for the worst. What would your worst look like? Are you an angry drunk? Are you the type that cries? Or do you lose control of your faculties and wet yourself? Blackouts are tricky like this – you literally can’t remember shit. Unless you can guarantee that you were the fun drunk, you shouldn’t go on the show. These three men will at best tease you about your inebriated state. You’ve got to be able to take it in stride and not get defensive. And keep in mind if you were nervous on the dates, you are going to be doubly nervous on the television show, and this can be a career ender. Good luck!

 Dear Dani,

Recently I quit smoking pot and unfortunately it’s become a big deal. Here’s the deal, I’ve reached a point of clarity and passion and feel truly inspired. So now I just drink. Everyone knows drunks are way more fun than stoners. Stoners just sit around, staring at their pet pig. I smoked a ton of weed, and when I say I was a total pothead, believe me, no one smoked as much ganja as I did. Know what I’m saying? My question is, should I have just kept this information to myself and not made an announcement? Now I feel people are watching and waiting for me to spark one up on a subway.

Signed,

Banana Fontana

Dear Banana,

Good for you for quitting something that was controlling you and not the other way around. It’s important to show the ego who’s in charge from time to time. However, my recommendation would have been to cut down on the amount of cannabis you smoked, instead of quitting entirely. Perhaps one joint per day at 5:30pm, if you aren’t subjected to random drug screening at your place of employment. But I get it, some people are the all or none type. Maybe that’s you. I’m just making this decision based on years of data on the failed attempts versus successful attempts. So in the event you do return to your favorite pastime, don’t let it wrecking ball your life.

Dear Dani,

I know you hear this all the time, but I’ve met the perfect woman. We are compatible in almost every way, and the ways we aren’t, complement us. We met through work, though we are in totally different departments. I’m in IT and she’s in admin. “Helen” is kind and funny and our chemistry is off the chart. Seriously, a guy like me doesn’t usually get this much sex. But as you know, there’s always one caveat. Helen has been embezzling money from the company. She doesn’t know I know, but I know. I was wondering what the best course of action would be? Cover up her tracks because I know how to? But that would make me an accomplice. Or should I report her to security, but wait a month. We’re going to my cousin’s wedding and I usually don’t show up with a hottie, but this time I want to be able to wow the family. Which one should I select?

Signed,

Idiot or Savant

Dear Idiot,

Wake up and smell the fraud. You are being used. If you bring this woman to the wedding and she is later charged with this crime – that will become the narrative for the wedding. Years later people will still say, “Hey, remember the crook Cousin Idiot brought to the wedding? What an idiot!” The safest thing you can do is leave breadcrumbs for security to catch her, but stay out of it. The whistle-blower is often treated poorly and if the company were to discover you two had a sexual relationship they might jump to the conclusion that you were in collusion. No matter how good the sex is, it’s not worth going to jail.

Dear Dani,

I am not a liar. So, nannie, nannie, boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo. I smell vindication. But what are you going to do about the haters and leakers, they will always be there, trying to take you down like a Russian hacker. I have found Twitter is a huge help in shooting down these people because everyone knows you can’t trust the lying media liars and the lies they spew with their fake news. (Except for Fox News) One-hundred and forty characters is all I need to covfefe my message. My question to you is, when people come after me extra hard, when is it okay to throw them in jail for terroristic threats? And before you answer, think of all the jobs that will be created building these special new jails. Frankly, it’s a win/win situation. 

Signed,

How Did I Get Here

Dear How,

If you can’t take the heat, perhaps you should get out of the kitchen. That’s why it’s lonely at the top and if you want a friend, get a dog, preferably one that does not bite the hand that feeds him. It’s important to understand that action speaks louder than Twitter and you just can’t please everyone…or in your case, anyone. Keep in mind, what doesn’t kill you, like a sniper, makes you stronger. So keep strong, carry on, and ignore the hilarious comedians that are writing skits, doing stand-up, staging improv, and testifying before Congress. Remember, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em in making fun of yourself.

Dear Dani,

I have a situation on my hands that I need help with. I’ve been creating my dream house on Pinterest for some time now. It’s been a laborious but worthwhile chore selecting items for my dream kitchen, furniture for my dream house, and landscaping for my dream back yard with pool. So last week when I went to a friend’s party and saw that she had purchased the same stove for her home you can totally understand why I became visibly upset to the point of having convulsions. How dare she! That was my stove. Sure I don’t own a home yet and still live at home, the point is my so-called friend purchased the stove she knew I wanted. I really don’t think I can ever forgive her. But the thing is, when I left the party after throwing my drink in her face, some of the guests looked at me like I was the crazy one. Tell me you understand that this was a massive breach in our friendship.

Signed,

She Stole My Stove-y

Dear Stove,

Please tell me this is a fake letter, but in case it’s not – you really want to end a friendship over a stove? Especially since you don’t have a kitchen to put said stove in. I just can’t fathom how this is a breach of your friendship. Was she supposed to ask your permission to purchase a stove that hundreds of people purchase every day? Next you’re going to be writing to me complaining that one of your pregnant friends stole your baby name even though you aren’t pregnant, don’t have a man in your life, or the occasional one-night stand. Please get yourself into therapy before you find yourself climbing into your dream stove.

Dear Dani,

I’ve kind of been in hiding, trying to become a better man, attending counseling sessions with top gurus, participated in soul-searching meditation,  and a stint in rehab, I feel I’m ready to get my job back – any job back. Believe me, no one can punish me more than living in a house full of women. That’s why the rehab was so great. My life has been a roller coaster ride that you can’t get off. There are days I want to throw up and days I say, “Weee isn’t this fun!” Though there haven’t been many of those in the seven months since my life caved. At first I was like, big deal, it was a long time ago, we will work through this. Damned I know why people got so upset at me yet forgave the real jerk. Life can be so unfair. And to be the butt of all the jokes was the worst, but I couldn’t stop watching the coverage of myself because I am a narcissist. Nar-Cis-Sist. It took me 30 days to learn how to say that, proof I’m ready to get my job and my face back out there. I certainly don’t want to be like Brian Williams. You never see that guy anymore. What I did wasn’t near as bad as lying about your hero status. My question is, how long does it take for people to get over things?

Signed,

Bushel and Peck the Pussy

Dear Bushel,

Unfortunately, just like Brian Williams, when you lose the public’s trust you may never come back. And it sounds like you still have work to do since you don’t understand why forgiveness hasn’t been given. Perhaps you haven’t sincerely stated how sorry you are, hiding behind your tall gates and gurus, publicists and attorneys. So to answer your question, how long does it take for people to get over things? However long it takes, that’s how long. In the meantime, maybe you should write a book, but whatever you do, don’t attempt your own reality TV show. Unless its going to be called, Insipid.

Dear Dani,

I’ve met the greatest guy. Problem is I don’t remember meeting him. I have a slight problem with blackouts, though this was mostly just a brown out. I’ve had pink outs and blue outs, but can usually recall some details from those. From what he tells me we had the greatest conversation about today’s economic challenges of inner city children, something he’s passionate about and something I know absolutely nothing about. In fact, I don’t give a shit about inner city kids at all. The way I see it, we’ve all got issues. But here’s the important part, he’s super cute – on his social media accounts. My question is two-part, is it okay to forget that I forgot about him and should I curtail my drinking on our first date?

Signed,

AA Real Gem of a Girl

Dear Gem,

You should definitely be yourself. Life is too short to mask the real you, which sounds like a real gem. I mean, distinguishing from pinkouts to brownouts to blackouts, sounds like you have this color-coded view of your alcoholism all figured out. The sooner he sees the real you, the better.

Dear Dani,

I am heartbroken. I made a little comment about smoking pot with my adult kids and you’d think I admitted to drowning a bag of kittens. Listen, my kids grew up in California. Don’t you think they’ve seen worse? And it’s not like I’m saying, hey kids, let’s go get high, but the judgment of my mothering skills breaks my heart. Getting high with your kids is way better than drinking with them. Besides my adult kids are under the drinking age, so I’m sure they aren’t drinking yet, at least not with me – yet. Besides it’s not like this is an everyday thing, it’s just when anyone has good dope. So how do I move past this and get people to talk about what really matters and that’s people in prison for drug possession?

Signed,

Come to My Window with Help

Dear Help,

Where do I begin? I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, but what others think of you is none of your business. So from that aspect you are relieved of that responsibility. However I get that as women we value our mothering skills and hope to receive positive feedback from others, unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. People will always pass judgment on mothers and hold them to a higher standard than dads, provided there’s a father in the picture. Which brings me to single-parenting and what a tough job that is. But here’s what you need to do in order to move past this – live on a hypothetical island. Only let people onto your island who love and support you. Those who bring negativity and chaos need to be kicked off the island. If you need to close the bridge to the island and make your kids stay home for the night, you have that option as well. As for the people in prison, I will leave you with some wise words: if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

Dear Dani,

I have a great boyfriend, but he has this one annoying habit – he never shows up on time. If I tell him to pick me up at 6, he shows up promptly at 5 or 7. He is either early or late, but never on time. We’ve discussed this many times and I’ve explained to him how much this bothers me. It literally goes in one ear and out one of his many piercings. The other day my childhood friend was in town and wanted to meet him. So I made a nice dinner and invited him over at 5 for cocktails before dinner. Well, he showed up at 4 and was mad we weren’t there. He left a note saying he must not be that important and left. He eventually returned but there was a lull in the air. The reason we weren’t at my place at 4 was my friend wanted to give him a gift so we left to buy him his favorite beer. My friend was disappointed that I would allow someone to control and manipulate me so she wouldn’t let me give him the beer or mention it. So what’s going on here? Which one is overreacting?

Signed,

Is there Gas in my Light

Dear Light,

The fact that your boyfriend disregards something you’ve brought to his attention and then blames you, is manipulation. At the very least, it’s inconsiderate. There are many reasons people are consistently late such as attention, anxiety, being unorganized or uninterested, but being early like this is something else. Is he trying to catch you at something? What we are talking about here is respect. You need to have one final conversation with your boyfriend about his imperfect timing. If he continues to do it, then move on and find someone who’s punctual. And consider getting rid of the childhood friend. Not giving him the beer was childish.

Dear Dani,

I am currently participating in a competition and everyone hates me. What’s a stay-at-home mom to do? They say I’m too good, can you believe it? It’s simply not true. There are a few others that are worthy opponents. Without giving too much away, because I’m getting kind of famous now, I’m trained in a certain area, but not in the area the competition is in. And it seems like there is a black cloud over my participation and now my partner, the one who was helping me cope with the negativity, is injured. It was a freak accident that just popped out. He’s trying very hard to get “un-broken” but it could take a month and I don’t have a month with everyone trying to step on my toes. Here’s my question, is it okay to resign and insist they bring me back next year when this thing dies down and my partner heals?

Signed,

Bee Hive Five

Dear Bee,

With many competitions there are these things called rules. I’m sure they are already in place and you will be given a fill-in. Do not resign because you will be viewed as a quitter. Just dance on through this difficult time like your life depended on it. I promise you in a year no one will remember they hated you.

Dear Dani,

There’s a girl at work I want to meet. She’s talented, driven, smart, kind, but doesn’t have a clue I exist. I’ve been okay with liking her from afar, but I heard she broke up with her boyfriend. Here’s the thing, I don’t want to be her rebound guy. Know what I’m saying? I broke up with my long term girlfriend and the next girl in my life was the rebound girl. It’s the one that you have a bunch of sex wit, but as time goes by and you get over your breakup, she becomes the reminder of that breakup. This other co-worker and I have a plan that he will be the rebound guy and break up with her after two weeks then I will come in nda show her what a great man is like. Do you think this will work?

Signed,

Concerned Cad

Dear Cad,

I hope not.

Dear Dani,

I’d like to start by saying I am not going to kill anybody. By strangulation or any other manner (unless it’s self-defense). But I feel that none of my so-called friends are supporting me with my new online boyfriend. Sure we haven’t met, but I feel like I really, really know him, like a long, overbearing hug. We will meet soon in the Big Apple even though some of these “friends” question if the gorgeous guy in the picture will show. But I definitely think he’ll show up. How do I know? Because it’s on my dime. And I know what you’re thinking, he’s a catfish. To that I say, time will tell. If my famous family and my incredible hair aren’t enough to lure him there – then it wasn’t meant to be. Here’s the thing Dani, I have a knack for inserting myself in other people’s business. That’s why I know he’ll show. My question is, when I’m waiting for my new lover in the one hotel room, should I be fully naked or semi naked?

Signed,

Real Recovery

Dear Recovery,

It’s interesting that you think he’ll show up. Here’s my prediction: something catastrophic will prevent his trip to NYC. Like the death of his sister; an arrest for not paying taxes; or an emergency hernia operation. Hell, it might even be a car wreck on the way to the airport. The point is have a Plan B. Do you have any real friends in the Big Apple? Do you enjoy museums? And don’t forget that wonderful woman, The Statue of Liberty. Pencil in things to do when you’re all alone in case something comes up for your new lover. If on the off-chance you do meet him, be fully clothed in the lobby and order your own drinks.

Dear Dani,

Recently I signed up to do some volunteer work. As a total coincidence, my exes new girlfriend is also volunteering. It’s for the American Heart Association. We’ve been to a few 5K runs and hand out the water and/or margaritas at the finish line. It’s kind of fun. The thing is, I know who she is, but I can’t tell if she knows who I am. My ex reportedly burned and/or deleted all my photos, but I have every social media account known to man, and in this day and age you’d think she’d have gotten curious and/or demanding about his past. My real question is, there’s a very cute guy who also volunteers and is flirting with her. Would it be wrong to encourage her to pursue him? I’m not doing this to be mean and/or vindictive, I’m doing it because this guy is way better than my ex. He’s kind, he’s rich, and he’s cute. What do you think?

Signed,

He Drives a Porsche

Dear Porsche,

Okay, let’s say you’re right and this guy is her soulmate. If you stay out of the way the correct outcome will naturally occur. If you stick your nose in it, the trajectory could change. But something tells me you are going to encourage and/or support this budding romance no matter what I say. You need to first tell her who you really are and why you are qualified and/or competent to provide this input. But something tells me you won’t and/or can’t.

Dear Dani,

I am writing to you about my on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again divorce from my husband. I think it’s important to always keep trying, no matter what, even if your husband would prefer to go gambling in Vegas than hang out with you and the kids – unless the babysitter is around. I’m trying to set an example for our kids…what example that is, I’m not exactly sure. The truth is we are not officially back together but we are not officially getting a divorce, either. We are in creative limbo. Am I exhausted from doing all the heavy lifting here? You bet. My question is, there are many people cheering us on, how do I tell people to back off and still keep my girl-next-door image?

Signed,

44 Going on 4

Dear 44,

How nice that people are cheering you on. Most people in times of divorce receive a lot of “I told you so’s” or “He’ll never be tamed” or “He’s still in love with the ex.” So congratulations to you on that note. One thing you shouldn’t do is put out the obligatory “please respect our privacy” when you have flip-flopped on your decision to move forward, or to stay in “creative limbo” as you put it. Be real and know you are right about one thing, always keep trying to be a better version of you – forget about him.

Dear Dani,

I have met the perfect guy. He’s thoughtful and kind and handsome and content with life. He just exudes this sexy calmness. There’s just one thing. (Isn’t there always!) It’s his occupation. He’s a hypnotist. There’s nothing wrong that per say, he helps a lot of people who are trying to quit smoking or conquer a fear of some sort, it’s just that I kind of suspect he may be using his powers on me without my knowing. For example, typically I drink coffee all day long because I love coffee. My new guy says it’s unhealthy and two weeks later I can’t stand that third cup. Another time, a guy was flirting with me at my work and I slapped him. That is so unlike me! And this one time, at a bar with my girlfriends, he called me and mentioned the word rosebud. I left my friends to go home even though it was only ten o’clock. I’ve asked, but he’s denies hypnotizing me and got mad at me for suggesting it. Am I crazy like he suggests or is there something to my theory, even though I’m probably completely wrong?

Signed,

Gas Light on High

Dear High,

Two words for you: bedroom surveillance. Go to Radio Shack today and get a stuffed Teddy bear or glass figurine, a small camera that won’t be noticed, and start recording what happens after you go to sleep. Warning: don’t film everything that occurs when the lights go out. Then casually mention to your new guy you wish you could stop eating pizza. Turn the Teddy bear on and see what happens. If you see him whispering sweet nothings into your ear break up with him immediately and report him. Think of the possibilities. He could have you robbing banks or streaking across town. If not, maybe your new guy is a catch, but sleep with one eye open.

Dear Dani,

Recently I wore a nice dress to a business meeting. Some thought my off-the-shoulder ensemble was an inappropriate choice to wear to this meeting. Let me just say a few things about this. First, there are so many other subjects that need our immediate attention in this world, lour veterans, public education, border security, and not to mention that HUGE Oscar flub. Frankly I don’t think we’ve discussed that one enough. But these are the issues we should be talking about.

Second, I, like so many women, are moms and working women, and we must prioritize and pare down our to-do lists. To not have to change outfits after the “meeting” to attend many, many glamorous parties, is simply being smart, which I am very. And the “meeting” was after 5:00pm. You see, different rules apply before and after this time. And different rules apply when you’re wearing a $4,000 dress.

But one thing is certain, we shouldn’t shame women for working or wearing a dress designed by someone born in France. Non-American is not the same thing as Un-American. And to truly globalize unity, we must stand together and stomp out exclusivity, unless they are bad immigrants – then it’s okay to kick them out.

And third, as busy women, when preparing for an evening out after giving the nannies instructions, it’s best to simplify. By not having to change outfits between events pares down the to-do list. Just like when certain so-called department stores drop your merchandise, use this as time  to slow down and regroup. Thank you for your time and attention.

Signed,

More Power than the Wife

Dear More Power,

You’re welcome. I guess you don’t have any question for me, which is why people typically write in, but you sound like you got this under control. This is a non-issue and you shouldn’t react to the chatter going on behind your very affluent back.

Dear Dani,

My friend and I want you to settle something. How long does the couple have to be broken up before someone can date their friend’s ex? Keep in mind we live in a small community and are not exactly in the “dateable” category. Not that we don’t deserve love like everyone else on this planet, just that it’s harder for people to get past a few obstacles that some people in our “community” are facing.

Signed,

Caged Heart

Dear Heart,

This is a case of TMI is I ever saw one. If you would have just submitted the first to sentences I wouldn’t feel the need to judge your situation. I might have said ‘as soon as all three adults are able to deal with it without hiding the relationship.’ But now you sound like you’re incarcerated, so to that I say, don’t worry about rules since so many confine you already. But do worry about shanks and dark showers.

Dear Dani,

Honey, I am back. Who cares that I dated a pedophile a few times and lost my meal ticket because of that. I am back and better than ever, Boo. I knew all along there was a skinnier person inside of me – because I ate her – but now she’s here and I have completely changed. My employer was stupid gracious enough to help me with this process. All it took was hard work and determination…and a gastric sleeve, a stomach removal, a chin lift, boob lift, and the excess skin cut from both arms. That’s it! I hope to be a role-model for others who want to lose weight. My motivation was my ex who was gettin’ married. I can’t say his real name so let’s call him Salt Lion. Anyway, every time I thought of Salt Lion gettin’ married it made me want to throw something instead of eat something. That’s called progress. And I’ve gone From Not to Hot. But here’s the best part, in three years when I put all the weight back on cuz I haven’t really learned a thing, I’ll have another job called From Hot to Not. Or maybe From Hot to Rot. The possibilities are endless. My question is, is revenge weight loss something that works long term?

Signed,

Here Comes Mama

Dear Mama,

The short answer is no, but I applaud your tenacity and cleverness. Sometimes the end justifies the means, but now the goal is to keep the weight off. It’s best if you don’t allow a man’s rejection to be your sole reason for losing weight, but agreed we all need some form of validation from our peers.  Good health should be your motivation, but let’s get real and just admit that you want male attention. Nothing wrong with that. If that’s what it takes, rather than drugs or more surgeries, I say go for it.

Dear Dani,

A few weeks ago you gave Blue Balls terrible advice. Not only were you sarcastic, but you basically told him he was a terrible person. All he wanted to do was go to the Super Bowl, a bucket list item for many people. But instead of giving real advice on how to handle the two women in his life, your snarky response insured that the two women would be hurt. Show some compassion!

Signed,

You Suck

Dear Suck,

From my years of giving advice, I know when I come across either a fake letter or someone who only wants their excuses validated. Have you heard of tough love? That’s what I have to do sometimes – like now. The reason you have a problem with this letter and response is because it must strike a nerve. You are either in this situation or were in this situation and broke up with someone over something petty. You are a cad and you need to look in the mirror and admit it. Change is up to you, but at least be honest about your excuses in life.

Dear Dani,

Currently I live in London, but I’m from California. Basically I was the girl next door, turned wonderful wife, turned business woman extraordinaire, turned super mom of three. It’s hard keeping up the façade of being perfect, but somehow I manage. Now my husband wants to chuck our fabulous lives in London so he can do some California dreaming. I don’t want to go back to America – especially now after the election. Plus our lives are glamorous here, why would I want to walk away from that? How do I convince him that this will be a mistake, but make him think it’s his idea, so I can still come off as the supportive wonderful wife?

Signed,

LOL in UK not USA

Dear LOL,

Your life sounds exhausting by what little I have learned. First of all, you don’t want to manipulate your husband on something this life altering, that’s not being a supportive, wonderful wife. If you really want to come off as the supportive wife instead of just the appearance of perfection, go to California, don’t sell anything in London, set a time frame of one year, and go enthusiastically with your husband. He is a hunter/gatherer and if you quash that you risk quashing his spirit and ego. Something to keep in mind, perfect people are boring.

Dear Dani,

My girlfriend and I are in Washington DC but for very different reasons. I am here to witness my first inauguration. She is here to protest her first inauguration. Basically we flew here together and will sleep in the same hotel room, but I won’t see her for the duration of our stay. And I’m glad. I don’t want to be around her and her holier than thou friends who will save the world one protest at a time. I will be  hanging with people who are there for the historical significance of ushering in a new president, not to stir controversy or cause a commotion. Also attending in the group with us is a very nice woman who has views that are more in line with mine. Would it be okay not to mention my girlfriend and see if there’s chemistry between the two of us?

Signed,

Swearing In and Out

Dear Swearing,

You said that you are not going there to stir controversy or cause a commotion, and yet, that’s exactly what you’ll do if you tell a lie of this magnitude. And yes, you are in Washington DC where everyone lies, including presidents, but you claim to be above this. Keep quiet or be honest so you don’t have to deny having sexual relations with that woman – whichever one you are referring to.

Dear Dani,

Shit happens. That’s all I can say, other than, sabotage, but that’s a different story all together. Yes, I’ve had problems with live performances in the past, but shit happens when things are live and it in no way reflects my God-given talent. I’m a perfectionist and can’t help it if others are not professionals like me. And yes, I parted ways with my creative director. I hate to use the word fired, so I won’t. He made a bad decision he will regret the rest of his life. But haters saying mean things like it was a “disastrous” and “career ending” performance are idiots. I have nine lives, like a cat, but better, like a diva cougar. My question is, how long to I have to pretend like I give a shit?

Signed,

Ashamed But Not to Blame

Dear Blame,

Yes, shit does happen, but for those who have it happen more often, instead of blaming others, perhaps it’s time to reflect within and accept some of the responsibility. If something’s not working, and hasn’t worked in the past, discard it, whether it’s an earpiece or a too-skimpy outfit. Having things go wrong is part of life. Since you are a self-proclaimed perfectionist, be ready for all things that can go wrong, that way, when they do go wrong, and they will, you’ve got a backup plan and don’t blame the backup dancers and everyone else.

Dear Dani,

My wife and I were at a New Year’s Eve party where my wife had too much to drink. No big deal, that’s what NYE is for, right? But while she was drunk out of her mind, she didn’t notice that her best friend was hitting on me. It started with a playful swatting on my butt, then led to her rubbing her hand on my thigh, quickly followed by telling me how cute I am. When my wife passed out, I transported her to the car to go home, but forgot the casserole dish we brought. So I trudged back inside the house to get it. This is when her friend pulled me into the bathroom and proceeded to give me a mind-blowing welcome to the New Year, if you know what I mean. Here’s the problem, when we came out of the bathroom, several people saw how disheveled we looked. When my wife woke up the next morning and couldn’t remember a thing, I told her no problem, we would set a reset button for that night. My question is, what if other people tell her what they saw? This is my wife’s fault for getting blitzed, right?

Signed,

Innocent Party

Dear Not-So Innocent Party,

You are a complete jerk to think you’re innocent. Here’s why I know that, after you left the bathroom, did you remember to grab the casserole dish? Probably not. This is called premeditation. Who cares about the freaking casserole dish? You did this on purpose because you knew in your wife’s condition you wouldn’t be getting your mind blown, if you know what I mean. Do not tell your wife this was her fault. As your punishment you should walk on pins and needles and live with the uncertainty if one of her other (hopefully better) friends tells her about your co-ed trip to the bathroom. If this happens, my advice is to not pull a Bill Clinton and deny having sexual relations with this woman. Say it was a terrible mistake triggered by alcohol and the two of you may want to consider going to AA together. Happy New Year.

Dear Dani,

My marriage is a flop. Things fell apart right after our second child was born and we just can’t flip this thing around. It seems as if when times were tough, we pulled together, became strong, and struck it rich. But I have learned the old adage, money doesn’t buy happiness. Money might buy a yacht, but like our marriage, yachts take a lot of work to keep afloat. So life as we know it will soon come to a foreclosing end, except in reruns. My question is, can a couple who have had no problems finding other people to hookup with even though we haven’t officially filed for divorce yet, continue to work together?

Signed,

Hellolva Goodbye To Vanity

Dear Vanity,

The answer to your question is: it depends. First and foremost should be finding a way to successfully co-parent your two children. Having said that, a lot of couples have difficulty working together in the best of times, so I’m not sure that you two will be able to pull it off in the worst of times. Counseling would help establish boundaries, and you’re going to need them because the people you so easily hookup with most likely won’t like how much togetherness will be required if you two continue to work together. Perhaps you’ll need an assistant to help with this. Having said that, it should be made clear that this assistant is not available for hookups or listening to your complaints of each other. That’s what a counselor is for. In the end, I suspect, you two will go your separate ways and not work together, but since life is filled with surprises, maybe you two will rebuild and surprise us all.

Dear Dani,

My girlfriend just dumped me four days before Christmas and I’m devastated. I’m not sure why, she didn’t give an answer, other than we need a break. I don’t know what we need a break from? I’m a very attentive boyfriend. I’m with her all the time, and when I’m not with her, I call or text her all the time. In addition to that, I stop by her work at lunch time and show up at her happy hour with friends. I mean, how much more can I show my love and support. My question has to do with her Christmas gift. It’s a surveillance system for her house. She lives in a somewhat rough neighborhood and as a loving and caring boyfriend I wanted to keep her safe. Should I give it to her anyway or wait, in my car down the street, for when she tells me the break is over, and give it to her then?

Signed,

Always By Her Side

Dear Always,

You are a stalker. You have issues. You should seek help. You need to stay away. You are a scary. The best gift you can give your ex-girlfriend is your complete and total absence – and a lobotomy.

*Special Message from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Always – Lobotomies are no longer performed on individuals, however, there are some very good drugs available that may work. Consult a physician as a Christmas gift to yourself.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I have never written you but I am so sick and tired of the tabloids, I wanted to let everyone I know how awful they are. I am physically hurting due to their lies and it’s a real drag on my energy. Sure it was me who put our very large family under a microscope known for extracting one’s integrity and dignity, while sucking the life out of your soul, but hey, you gotta pay the bills. When stories are written about me claiming that I’m mean, this has an adverse effect on my children. And when I punish them, they threaten to call the tabloids, so it’s a no win situation for all moms. I could do talk shows all day long, every day, for the rest of my life – and I will just call my agent – but it wouldn’t change the public perception of me created by tabloids.

And while I’m at it, another thing I’m sick and tired of is dead beat dads who constantly text me for information about our kids when if he just followed the custody agreement set in place by the courts, he would know everything he needed to. It’s about being uplifting, and messing up, but then being uplifting about messing up. My question is, this would make a great show. How do I get this dead beat dad to participate in his children’s lives?

Signed,

Eight and Can’t Date

Dear Eight,

Here’s a fun fact: did you know that women typically use 5,000 words per day (men use 2,000)? I mention this because from this sample I think you use more like 8,000 words per day. Maybe that’s why he is reluctant to “participate” in your lives. Which is a shame because the role of dad is so important no matter how underachieving he seems to be. My advice is to give up some of the power. When we cut a man’s balls off it makes it difficult for them to actually be men. Give it try, though something tells me you won’t.

Dear Dani,

I have a Christmas conundrum. Last week was our company’s Christmas party. My supervisor brought I guy I used to hook up with to the party. Everything was cool, this isn’t one of those, I got too drunk and slept with my boss’s new boyfriend. However, he did contact me afterwards to tell my how great it was to see me and that he thinks of me often. I haven’t responded yet, but was wondering, how bad would it be if I slept with him just once. I’ve hit a bit of a dry spell and would like to hookup so I don’t pick up some random loser after drinking too much this holiday season.

Signed,

Come All Ye UnFaithful

Dear All Ye,

While I can appreciate your predicament, you should only sleep with your ex hook up buddy if you single-handedly want to torpedo your career and possibly lose your job. You know that saying, hell hath no fury? Well it also has no boundaries or limitations. A random hookup with a total stranger would be less destructive.

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I like to spend money. Everyone knows this, it’s no secret. Saving is for suckers because we could all die tomorrow. See, I’m no basic bitch. Me and my many, many kids must live a fabulous lifestyle, despite my husband being laid-off. It’s so stressful not knowing when your husband’s going to get called up and if we’ll have to move tomorrow or if he’ll ever get a job. But I’m most concerned with my oldest daughter who may or may not like girls. If I’ve taught her anything about life it’s that men are the ones who will buy our love. Why has she not gotten this through her thick mini-me head? I’m starting think I may have to fire my cook, but then how will be eat?

Signed,

Late For Everything

Dear Late,

Before you fire your cook why don’t you get her to teach you and you’re out of work husband to cook. You will find yourself a real basic bitch real quick if you and your many kids become homeless. And start saving your money now because it’s the people who don’t save who live longest.

Dear Dani,

Thanksgiving was a nightmare. In hindsight perhaps my wife and I shouldn’t have announced our divorce to our adult children during dinner. For the record, we had finished the main course but had not yet eaten dessert. Normally our kids ignore us, never include us in their lives and underappreciate what we’ve given them over the years. Color us crazy that they actually cared. The thing is, they started yelling and throwing what was left of their food, one of the kids even cried. Now they’ve asked for a family meeting. Here’s the thing, if they’d just paid attention they would have noticed I moved out months ago with my girlfriend and my wife recently rekindled a relationship with someone she went to high school with. Should we agree to this meeting even though it won’t change anything?

Signed,

Thanksgiving Throwdown

Dear Throwdown,

The short answer is yes. You should agree to this family meeting because now that your adult children have had time to deal with your inappropriately timed announcement, they have questions. Listen to what they have to say. Remember, they didn’t become who they are by themselves. And of course they care their parents are getting a divorce. You shocked their world. Sounds like you’ve raised entitled children who took for granted that mom and dad would always be together. This is a good life lesson that life throws curveballs and though they can’t change the outcome, they can change their attitude about life’s guarantees. Also, I recommend you not serve food or drinks at the meeting so they have nothing to throw when the conversation doesn’t go their way.

Dear Dani,

I am engaged to the perfect man. He is fine. He is attentive. He is loving. And he is good to my daughter. There’s only one problem, he is incarcerated. And it’s his wife’s fault. Or soon to be ex, but that bitch set him up and then turned away when he needed her most. If it wouldn’t have been for her constant need to keep up with the Johnson’s, my man wouldn’t have committed the fraud, or at the very least, she would be sitting in her own jail cell. But it’s cool. I will wait forever, but thankfully I only have to wait 7 more years. My question is, my ex has cut off child-support, telling me I can’t take my daughter wherever I go, even if that’s to a prison twice a week. My questions is, should I get his ass locked up for this?

Signed,

Where’s My 15 Minutes

Dear Minutes,

Let me get this straight, you are bringing your young daughter to a man’s prison? Are you stupid? And she’s visiting a man that’s not even her daddy? Are you stupid? Seven years is forever, girl! Are you stupid? But let me put it to you simply, is this man behind bars more important that the Benjamin’s? If you said yes, you really are stupid. Perhaps your ex can watch his daughter while you visit your jailbird fiancé. That’s for you to figure out. And don’t get your baby-daddy locked up because then you’ll have no money and dragging your ass to two jails.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Minutes – You are not stupid, but when we know better we do better. Hopefully you now know better.

Dear Dani,

I am worried about Thanksgiving. I’m bringing my girlfriend from college who didn’t go home because of scheduling conflicts and she couldn’t join her parents in St. Bart’s. Here’s the thing, I haven’t told her something about my family that’s very embarrassing. She knows we don’t have the kind of money her family does, but I haven’t told her how…eclectic my family is. For starters, my mom and dad are amateur magicians. For her entire stay they will pull quarters from her ears, ask that she pick a card, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they opened her expensive purse and pulled out a rabbit. Next is my brother who thinks he’s the world’s best ventriloquist. His puppet is a very dirty Kermit the Frog. And my sister, what can I say about my sister, she’s quite fond of her baton. Did I mention I was adopted? Anyway, I really like this girl, so should I just let Thanksgiving unfold naturally or should I come up with a last minute fib about being quarantined with the flu?  

Signed,

Abra-Ca-Lamity

Dear Abra,

Can I come over to Thanksgiving dinner at your place? Your family sounds awesome. Try sitting at a table of intellectuals, arguing about the existence of global warming, who refuses to pass the mashed potatoes unless you agree with their point of view. The point is, we’ve all got family issues. But at least yours really does put the fun in dysfunction!

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I’m in such a blacked-out mood, it makes me want to roar! And I cried so much, my eyelashes nearly tore. Do not sit still. Do not weep. For we as a nation will come to our feet. May the new song be, four more years, and then we will, wipe away the tears. The Tears. The Tears. We will wipe away the tears. The Tears. The Tears. We will wipe away the tears. Do not misjudge the power of the people, next time the candidate will be on the steeple. For if you give us an itch, we will rise again, and give you Kanye West, for karma is a bitch.

Thanks for letting me vent!

Signed,

Tiger In My Eye

Dear Tiger,

You are welcome.

Dear Dani,

I work at a company where there’s lots of room for advancement. It’s very exciting to have this as my first job right out of college and I feel at home in the short time I’ve been here. But, here’s the issue, several times I’ve noticed while in the bathroom at the same time as my boss, she doesn’t wash her hands afterwards. Like, this is so gross. Then she hands me work to do and I have to touch what she’s touched. It’s all I can do not to gag. I thought about wearing gloves, but being the practical person I am, realize in the summertime this would be difficult. Then I thought about sending her some articles anonymously explaining why washing your hands is so important, but she’s pretty smart and for all I know, will find a way to trace it back to me. I’ve decided to be up front and just tell her it’s a disgusting habit she needs to change right away. Like, honesty is the best policy, right? Here’s how I plan to say it: Nancy, do you realize the bathroom is the most disgusting place on the planet. And the germs a person can pick up in there can make them and others very sick. Is it okay for me to hang a sign in the bathroom telling coworkers it’s like mandatory they wash their hands? What do you think? See how I made it about the greater good?

Signed,

The Clever Germaphobe

Dear Germaphobe,

Four things I want to mention about your “clever” speech. First, you can’t make it mandatory unless you work in a place where food is prepared. Second, make it less about you and more about loss of productivity due to sick time used. Third, some germs help you build a resistance to other germs. And four, why not keep a jar of hand sanitizer on your desk? Farmers are some of the healthiest people on the planet and where do you think their hands have been?

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I need help. There are rumors that my wife is going to file for divorce soon and I don’t want her to leave me. For one, my parents and dozens and dozens of brothers and sisters will disown me. And two, I don’t want to miss out on a paycheck. Here’s the thing, I’m a horny guy. Sue me. No wait, that’s already happening, please don’t sue me. Just try to understand that when you grow up in a small world, lines get a little blurred. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at the naked body, it’s art. Adam and Eve were naked and they also ran into a few problems with temptation. But I am ashamed of the double life I led and no matter how long it takes, I will continue to attend faith-based rehabs to rid myself of sin. My question is, my wife has now moved into this angry phase and I don’t know how to deal with angry women, unless it’s in the bedroom, but she’s never angry there. How do you suggest I deal with this unfeminine trait?

Signed,

The Happy Hypocrite

Dear Hypocrite,

One thing’s for sure, you do need help. Anger is a basic human emotion that is experienced by all people – typically triggered by an emotional hurt. Here’s the thing, I’ve got no problem with horny people, but when you break vows, there are these things called consequences. Maybe divorce, though tragic, is what’s best for everyone. Your wife could find someone who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Your kids can learn that happiness can be achieved but it is the responsibility of the individual to pursue joy and not just hope God drops it into our lives. And third, you can find yourself a woman willing to take a bite out of the same apple as you. Keep in mind, there could be a worm in that apple.

Dear Dani,

I’m so excited! I’m pregnant and will deliver in nine days. What’s most special is I got pregnant by praying for it. I’m having a baby boy and the voices in my head told me he is the son of God. I guess that makes me a modern day Mary – who happens to suffer from schizophrenia. Nobody’s perfect. My stomach is huge and I can feel the baby kicking. The problem is, nobody believes I’m pregnant. Not my family, not the doctors, not anyone in America, and not anyone in their right mind, but I’ll prove them all wrong soon. My question is, are there social security benefits for giving birth to Jesus Jr?

Signed,

Big Box of Crazy

Dear Crazy,

Even though I don’t believe in name calling, I don’t believe this is a real letter from a real person who is seeking real help. This sounds more like someone who is lost, troubled, confused and has a propensity for attention. But just in case this is a real letter, don’t worry, you will either prove them all right or all wrong in less than two weeks.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I just turned 18 and for my morning birthday celebration with just my parents they announced their divorce. Not kidding. After I opened my three-carat solitaire diamond earrings my dad said, “By the way, Princess, you know how you’re always telling us to get a divorce already, we’re heading your advice. Pass the gluten-free muffins.” I am devastated. Yes they argue all the time. And yes there are plenty of nights when my dad doesn’t come home. And yes my mom drinks too much. And yes they haven’t said a nice thing to each other in years. But couldn’t they, like, wait until next year when I leave for college? Sigh. Now my father is moving in with his girlfriend, and get this, he wants me to help pack his clothes and meet his girlfriend. Call the movers, I screamed, running from the room, earrings in hand. Now he’s saying if I don’t meet her he won’t pay for my college. Dani did I mention I’m attending a private Ivy League school next fall? I spoke to my school counselor about receiving a scholarship, but apparently my parents are like too rich for me to qualify. Life is so unfair sometimes. My counselor recommends that I meet the wench. What do you say?

Signed,

Sucks to Be Me

Dear Sucks,

What a dilemma. I can see my younger self standing my ground, refusing to meet the girlfriend, getting a job and paying my own way through college. But I’m not sure this is something in your wheelhouse. Would you consider switching to a community college? Would your father want that for his daughter? You need to decide what’s best for you, however, if it were me I’d call his bluff. If nothing else consider this a lesson on how not to live your life. Good luck.

Dear Dani,

I am a man in his late 20’s and have some credit card debt I’d like to pay off. My father has offered me $250 to vote for Trump. I know it’s wrong, but I could really use the money. When I told this to my mom, she was horrified and shocked. Then she offered me $500 to vote for Hilary. Like I said, I have credit card bills to pay, so is it wrong for me to go back to my father and let him know the new price in case he’d like to up his offer?

Signed,

It Could Be Rigged

Dear Rigged,

Seriously? I think you know it’s wrong to sell your vote to the highest bidder. It becomes a matter of integrity. Do you have any? What will you auction off next? Your soul? You’re probably thinking this is different because it’s your mom and dad. No it’s not. It’s a slippery slope. I encourage you not to sell your vote, but something tells me it’s too late.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I write to you on the condition of complete anonymity. You see, there’s no one else I can speak with about the concerns in my head and my heart about my father. I can’t share this with my two brothers because they see nothing wrong with our father’s constant locker-room behavior. But here’s the truth: I think my father has lost his grip on reality. And though he’s always displayed delusions of grandeur, he now keeps saying things like everything is rigged. Also, he claims to have great respect for women, but then the next thing out of his mouth is usually some demeaning or offensive comment to women. He’s always been my champion. If only he could treat women with the same respect he has for me, then this country would be great again. But it isn’t likely that he will get to show our country anything, and I’ve accepted this. My question is, is it wrong for me to set into motion an exit strategy to save myself?

Signed,

I’m With Me

Dear Me,

We can’t choose our family like we do our friends, and that is unfortunate. Of course you can save yourself. It’s your life and you need to be accountable to you. You sound like a smart and thoughtful daughter and I’m sure however you decide to handle your father, you will do it with tact and grace. Just because he’s your father doesn’t mean he gets the only vote on how to live your life. That would be a rigged system!

Dear Dani,

I have close friends who are getting married on my birthday. When they were tossing around dates a few months back, I mentioned this to them, but they decided the day was so special, they wanted it for themselves. This year is a very special year. I’ll be turning 29 and it’s my last year before I become officially old. And they knew how important this was to me. Some of my friends have indicated that if they had to choose between my birthday weekend celebration and our friend’s wedding, they would choose the wedding, which I think is really rude. And please don’t suggest I celebrate my birthday on another weekend, I had this date first. But being a reasonable person that I am, I would like to know if it’s okay for me to have a table at the reception with a birthday cake and champagne marking my occasion.

Signed,

It’s My Day Too

Dear It’s Not Your Day,

I am shocked you have friends to celebrate with, actually. Once you surpass the age of 18, no one cares about adult birthday parties. It’s normal to move on to weddings and baby showers, then you start the birthday process over again, but it’s not about you. I repeat, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. No you cannot have a table with cake and champagne and the reception. The bride and groom will each have one of those. And I’m surprises you didn’t mention presents for yourself, but that was probably an oversight on your part. If you go to the wedding do not mention that it’s your birthday, but something tells me you will.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

My world is literally falling apart and all because of something that happened 11 years ago. I mean, obviously I’m ashamed and embarrassed, but I was a just a 34 year-old kid back then. Is it fair that I be held to such high standards for just doing my job while the other person who actually made the “locker room” comments is not? You see, my job is to make others comfortable so they will say stupid things. And that’s exactly what happened. Besides, I’m pretty sure who was out to get me. Certain coworkers are jealous because I got a certain scoop on a certain swimmer at a certain Olympics, but I won’t say exactly who that is because I’m not entirely certain. Just so you know, I’m married with three daughters of my own so obviously I care about women being portrayed as more than sex objects. But there little so I’ll deal with that in another 11 years. For now, I’m considering my options such as suing the pants off whoever leaked this in the first place. I mean, just because I was bragging about the tape’s existence while in Rio, doesn’t give anyone the right to exploit me, I’m not a woman. My question is, I’m getting all kinds of offers for employment, what do you think about a reality show covering my comeback?

Signed,

I Hate NBC and Everyone There

Dear Hater,

Have you met Karma? Turns out she’s a real bitch. And sometimes she’s quite slow, but make no mistake, she always shows up. I don’t think a reality show is a good idea because I don’t think you have a real personality. You seem to take on the personality of those you interview, which only makes you a chameleon. Hopefully you have saved lots of money because for now I think you should pack your bags and move out of the county. But not Paris because they have their hands full with another set up that took place in their city. Keep in mind, the best apology is changed behavior.

Dear Dani,

I recently won a lot of money from a scratch-off. $20,000 clams! I’ve gone shopping a few times and got me a new 60” TV, a new propane grill, a new shotgun, and new floor mats for my F-150. Here’s the thing, my wife wants to know where I got this money to buy all this stuff. I told her I opened a credit card in my name to help my credit score, but she wanted proof so I got a friend who’s good at computer stuff to make me a fake bank statement showing the purchases and how much I owe. Damn it if that woman didn’t call the fake bank and find out it’s fake. I came clean and now she wants half. Did she purchase the scratch-off? No, she did not. Did she scratch-off the scratch-off? No, she did not. I don’t think she deserves half. Besides, she’ll just spend it on stupid stuff like shoes. Because I’m a big fan of your straight-talking advice, I agreed to let you settle the matter. What say you, Dear Dani? (Who I think is really, really cute and can ride in my truck anytime.)

Signed,

It’s Mine, All Mine

Dear Mine,

If I get to decide, here’s how it’s going to be divided. By my calculations you should have spent around $2,500. Give your wife the same amount you spent to do as she pleases. Shoes aren’t stupid. Then take the remaining amount and put it in your savings account. Don’t have one? Open one together. This will help your “credit score.” Plus, you will likely need this money when you receive your tax bill for the year.

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I’m pregnant! With my fifth child! It was a total surprise! I mean, who knew at 43 it would be so easy to get pregnant. Typically I have health issues, have been hospitalized many, many times, and nearly died when our last baby was born, but this happened at the absolutely best time! My husband said he thought we were done with diapers, but evidently not. And to think he was going to get a vasectomy after our last child was born. Thank goodness we couldn’t afford it! In fact, we can’t afford much of anything with neither of us working and my shopping and hoarding addictions. And I owe American Express $40K that a mean old judge is making me pay. Here’s the thing, I was born rich and my kids should also know that kind of luxury. My question is, don’t you think this would make a great reality show?

Signed,

Mommy Dearest Won’t Pay Up

Dear Won’t Pay Up,

Congrats on your pregnancy. But the truth is, I don’t think it sounds like a very good reality show. It sounds kind of sad and scary with your fragile health. And I don’t agree that the kind of childhood you had dictates the kind of childhood your kids should have. It means you should live within your means so your kids feel secure.

Dear Dani,

Recently I got a new job that is a step up from what I’m used to. I work in a nice office, but find I’m the butt of a lot of jokes. I can’t afford to dress like a million bucks just yet. I have student loans that I’m trying to pay down and I’m saving for a condo. Unfortunately a couple of women in the office, who are twenty years older than me, think it’s funny that I’m plain. In fact, one woman, whose husband makes tons of money, is the cruelest. There is no HR I can go to and my boss is so busy I don’t want to bother him with this petty stuff. Recently, I saw the cruel woman pull into a mall in her fancy car and go inside. I put on the hoodie I was wearing and keyed her car. Boy did that feel good. At work on Monday she was crying about her car and threatening to sue the mall if they didn’t give her the surveillance video. I started freaking out, but luckily they sent it to her and you can’ tell it’s me. Whew! I don’t really have a question, it just feels better to get this off my chest. Thanks!

Signed,

Karma is a Bitch and So Am I

Dear Bitch,

Keep that sentiment in mind when karma bites you back. And it will.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

Our presidential debates are very important, even if one of the two candidates will never be president. This is a very tough time in our nation. One of the candidates has a misogynistic orange anus – and that’s a problem. Clearly he’s not healthy enough to be president. Even still, the choice is clear, I’m with her, figuratively and literally. So what if he thinks I’m an unattractive slob and disgusting loser. Sticks and stones, mop-head. I could care less what he or any man thinks. Shame on him. He is not in a league of his own. Secretly I think he wants to cuddle with me, but for some reason he has the temperament of a two year-old throwing a tantrum after not getting his way. My question is, should I be flattered or insulted my name was mentioned during the debate?

Signed,

Sleepless in Washington 

Deer Sleepless,

I’m going to go with flattered. Think of all the fun you can have with this, all the stories you can tell. Is this a comedy or a tragedy? You get to decide, but have fun with this. As they say, laughter is the best medicine and this nation’s likely going to need a lot of medicine come November.

Dear Dani,

I’m married to the best woman ever. I don’t know why she chose me, but I’m so happy she did. Lately, though, I think she’s been trying to get me killed. We’ve only been married six months, so obviously we’re still in the honey moon phase and I may not be seeing things correctly. Two weeks ago she ran a stop sign and we should have been hit on my side, but thankfully the other car managed to swerve and missed us. Last week, she served my favorite meal of red beans and rice and I bit into a chunk of glass that was on my plate, and not in hers. Now she has asked me to go hiking tomorrow, and frankly, I’m a little nervous. We live in an area with tall mountains. I suggested bowling instead, but she was adamant. She’s never hiking before, so I don’t know what this sudden interest is all about. Am I reading too much into this?

Signed,

New Wife, New Life (Insurance Policy)

Dear Life,

This is what we refer to in psychology as a red flag. Do not go hiking tomorrow even if you have to fake a sprained ankle. Also avoid boating, zip-lining, motorcycling and foods and liquids for the immediate future. Perhaps you should go to the police station and look up your wife’s criminal history. Hopefully she doesn’t have any, but if she does, run, don’t hike, to the nearest attorney and draw up divorce papers.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I recently got engaged after a wonderful vacation in paradise. Although no one really likes my fiancé because they say he’s a player who’s emotionally abusive and can’t commit, I love this man. He makes me feel special. And so what he makes the same noises whether he’s kissing me or eating pizza, he’s still an amazing man. And not just when the cameras are rolling, but when they’re turned off, too. The problem is my ex. Now that I’m happy and another man is in my children’s lives, suddenly my ex wants more time with our two daughters. I think his motives are all about money. What should I do?

Signed,

Lost After Paradise Found

Dear Lost,

By all means put your children first in everything you do. And don’t fight through other means than your lawyers. Look at it this way, more time with dad could be a good thing. I mean, you’re the one who chose to have two kids with this man. He must have some redeeming qualities. But of course, maybe your judgment is off when it comes to men. Maybe you should just take time just for yourself. Or maybe you should date 20 bachelors not-so carefully selected by people who may or may not have your best interests in mind, and see what else is out there. Good luck in whichever path you choose.

Dear Dani,

I have a real conundrum. I am a huge Angelina Jolie fan. My name is even Angie. (Unfortunately my mom didn’t give me the more glamorous version on my name.) I consider myself a humanitarian just like her and fight for the underdog, just like her. I didn’t have my breasts removed, though, because I didn’t test positive for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene. Darn! But I have lost 20 pounds and married a great guy named, Brad, and together we adopted three cats and three dogs. I don’t know what to do now in light of yesterday’s news of their divorce. My Brad hasn’t cheated. And if I did file for divorce, I’d need to ask for some kind of support to help me land on my feet. It’s hard taking care of six animals. Do you think it’s time to leave Team Jolie?

Signed,

Where’s My Vial of Blood

Dear Where,

Please tell me you are not this pathetic? In the event you are, yes it’s time to abandon your incredibly unhealthy attachment to Ms. Jolie. In fact, you’ll most likely need to enlist the help of a good therapist to help you find and enrich your own personality instead of scraping together the residuals of a Hollywood star who is not what she seems. Continue doing your humanitarian work, but only if you believe in the causes. And definitely do not divorce your Brad. Consider yourself lucky that you found a man who puts up with gets you.

*Note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Where – I do not condone the use of the word: pathetic. Everything else is spot on.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I am back. I never really went away, other than jet-setting to Ibiza, but I am finally relevant again. Now that my 20th perfume scent has just come out, that’s a claim no one else can make except Estee Lauder, Lancome, and a handful of others. My favorite is my new one, because I no longer remember what the others smell like. I am so busy. I mean, so busy. I don’t even notice how alone I am. Someday I’d like to find a man now that I no longer talk like a baby, but what can I say, I’m so busy spinning music and pointing at perfume bottles, it’s a tough life running a multi-gazillion dollar business empire. When I was little, I had no idea I’d be worth this much. Seriously. I totally thought I’d only be worth millions. Life is wonderful with surprises like that. Did I mention I’m so busy I don’t even watch TV anymore? That’s busy! My question is, when people ask me about my days of inventing reality TV, how do I explain that I’ve moved beyond that and I’m totally way more complex now?

Signed,

Life’s Not So Simple

Dear Simple,

Glad to hear you’re busy. So busy. An idle mind is the devil’s playground. Hey, maybe that should be the next perfume line you point at. As far as reality TV goes, you are right. It’s no longer as simple as two girls getting drunk and acting a fool. Bummer! Unfortunately these shows are now so scripted you can tell that things aren’t real anymore, even if they are just claiming to be simple housewives. Go forth and do your thing with your new low voice.

Dear Dani,

I have a confession to make. From my kitchen window I can see my next door neighbors having sex. Let me tell you, my kitchen is extra sparkling clean because I’m always in there. Unfortunately my husband noticed one evening and wants to tell them to shut their curtains. I told him not to because it will make things weird, but really what I want him to do is watch and learn a few tricks. Of course, when I said this out loud, he got mad, isn’t speaking to me, has cut me off sexually, and placed cardboard in our kitchen window. I don’t know what to do. Should I go over to my neighbor’s house and see if I can join in their fun? I’ll bring the muffins.

Signed,

Disparate Housewife

Dear Disparate,

Sometimes in a situation like this it’s best to imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes, or in this case, sheets. How would you feel if your neighbor asked to have a threesome out of the blue with you and your husband? You need to go slow with this. First, remove the cardboard from the window because that’s tacky. Next, ask the wife if she’d like a glass of wine. After the second glass, casually bring up what you saw. One of three things will likely happen: 1) she will be horrified you saw them having sex and close the curtains from now on, 2) she will know full well you saw them as this is part of their foreplay, or 3) your husband will go get something to eat in the kitchen and see the three of you going at it. This will get a reaction out of him. Good luck with your divorce.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I think porn is for losers. Never mind I was a sex-symbol 30 years ago, the Playboy record holder for nude pictorials, and filmed a sex tape with my ex-husband. The point is, porn should not be a replacement for loving human interaction. This doesn’t make me a hypocrite. Because when we know better, we do better. And now that I am approaching 50 and no one wants to see me naked anymore, I know better. It’s time that I advocate for an end to porn. My thoughts are porn is for lazy people and we must educate our sons – because I don’t have daughters thank goodness – that time spent pleasuring yourself after looking at photos of me circa 1980 is wasteful. It’s time to reap the rewards of a healthy sexuality. Whatever that is. My question is, do you think I should write a book and should that book have pictures?

Signed,

Aged Out But Still Got It

Dear Aged Out,

I’m not sure I agree with you that porn is for losers. I subscribe to the “everything in moderation is okay” theory. Whether that’s eating cake, shopping for shoes, and even watching porn. I agree, if you only eat cake, you won’t be healthy. The key is balance. And there’s a way to incorporate all of this and still have healthy adult relations.  And who doesn’t love cake, shoes, and sex? But your question is about writing a book and should it have pictures, to which I say, no and no.

Dear Dani,

I have a “what would you do” situation. I recently found $800 in the park I was jogging through. I stopped because I’m a bit obese and this jogging thing is killing me. So as I was hunched over, gasping for air, I noticed some green tissue. Turns out it wasn’t tissue, but cold hard cash. I looked around and didn’t see anyone, so I stuck the money in my pants pocket to keep it from blowing away. As I trudged back to my car, the thought came to me that this was the answer to my prayers. I’ve been wanting the gastric-bypass surgery, but didn’t have the money for my portion after insurance. Now I do!  This money was heaven sent from the angels so I can get my much needed surgery. But later that night as I was watching the news, I saw a story about a robbery gone wrong not too far from the park, but the amount was $1000 stolen from some one’s home. So, I’m thinking this isn’t related to my money because the amounts are different. Plus, I’ve already scheduled the surgery. But I was wondering, what you would do?

Signed,

Thinly Veiled Reasoning

Dear Thinly,

Of course it’s the same robbery, you idiot. The robber either got away with $200 or dropped it somewhere else. Please do not go back to look for the rest. Personally, I would turn it back in, but that’s just me – an honest person. Ask yourself, if this kind of money was stolen from you, would you want someone to turn it in or go get a gastric bypass? Never mind, don’t ask yourself that. Just move forward with your life and hope karma doesn’t come calling.

*Special note from Dr. Immareal Emdee

Dear Thinly – You are not an idiot, but the likelihood of angels leaving the money hidden in a park for you to find and get this surgery is highly unlikely. Let your conscious be your guide. There are other ways to pay for your surgery that don’t include complicit larceny.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

It’s been a rough summer, I’m not going to lie…about that. When someone strips your job “title” away because of other people’s lies, that’s not okay. But now I feel validated because my version of events were investigated and they believe me. All I want in the world is world peace, and yet I find myself in a world filled with lots of violence. I was there for a job interview, people, so what it was three in the morning, that’s how dedicated I am to the craft of whatever it is that I do. I mean can you understand how scared I was, minding my own business, admiring someone else’s jewelry, and a gun was at my head. Sure that admired piece of jewelry might have found its way into my pocket, but I was just keeping it safe. People need to wake up and share the love…and the jewelry.

Signed,

Keeping My Crown

Dear Crown,

I’m not sure I understand the reason for your letter. Is it to announce you feel “validated?” Great. Good for you. Interviewing for a job at three in the morning is a bit unorthodox, but good for you for trying to find another job after your last one was stripped from you.

Dear Dani,

I’m so excited, I’ve met the perfect man. He lives in Jamaica but wants to come be with me on the K1 visa that will allow him to stay for 90 days. If everything goes right, and I’m sure it will, then we will marry. Our love story began when we met at a resort while I was vacationing in his hometown. He was the charming man who brought me my towels. I’ve gone back several times to visit and know he’s the one. I know this because I’ve been married four times, so I’m getting pretty good at spotting the red flags. What makes him so special, you ask? He is so dedicated and affectionate with his sister and her kids. I mean, he really loves them and will do anything for them. He wants to come here, get a job and send back most of his money to his sister, because he’s so dedicated to her, while I work to cover the rest of our bills. My question is, I don’t live in a resort town, what job do you think my almost fiancé should pursue once he gets here?

Signed,

Bride to Five

Dear Five,

Part of me thinks this letter isn’t real because who could be so blind, but in the off-chance it is, let me be frank. STOP! Do not have this man come here. Do not get engaged. And do not marry him. He is using you and most likely his “sister” is his wife. For many, being alone is a scary thing, but in your case, it’s a necessary thing. Sign up for some community classes on how not to be a constant victim. And most important, find another place to vacation.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I’m very upset. For the longest time I was trapped in a loveless marriage to a woman who was pretty much a drill sergeant. She called all the shots. Everything. Especially when it came to our family planning. I had no say-so and was merely the sperm donor. But I broke free and have tried to assemble some kind of life, though it hasn’t been easy. Now my ex is slamming me publicly and has poisoned our kids against me. It’s shocking the things coming out of their mouths. In fact they’re starting to sound like their mother. I haven’t seen however many kids I have at the same time in a long time. I work a lot because of all the child support I owe. I’m pretty sure I’ll be paying ten years after my death. The point is, my ex should encourage the kids to see me, but instead she wants her little soldiers lined up on her side. What’s a dad to do?

Signed,

Not Doing Gr-8

Dear Not Gr-8,

I don’t have much sympathy for whining exes complaining about how controlling the other ex can be. You are free. Your children are not and it’s up to you to be a constant in their life. Not for the ex to sing your praises, though it doesn’t sound as if you have many.

Dear Dani,

My husband and I need you to settle an argument. Recently, I threw a dinner party for some of my husband’s coworkers and their wives. Out of the ten guests, I didn’t realize that one, just one, was a vegan. The dinner I served was surf and turf, and not inexpensive, mind you. So fine. I allowed her to go through my refrigerator and pantry to find something she deemed edible. It took forever, so we started without her because that’s what her husband said to do. Not only did she complain about what she chose, she complained about my leather covered dining chairs. Then she went into a diatribe about how awful the treatment is of the “carcasses” we were dining on. Pretty much everyone lost their appetite. I thought dessert would be safe, my mother’s award winning homemade tres leches, but no. Apparently milk and eggs are bad as well. So I did what any self-respecting woman would do and told her to leave. Now my husband wants me to apologize for the sake of his career. I told him to get a new (high paying) career. Who’s right?

Signed,

Top of the Food Chain

Dear Chain,

I wish I could have been a cow on the wall. Normally vegans know this may come up and either call and ask about the menu or bring their own food. Personally, I would have devoured my surf and turf, then asked if I could have had hers. I think a sorry-I’m-not-sorry might be in order, since your husband has asked. Invite her out to lunch, order the steak tartare, and tell her it won’t happen again. Then smile with bloody steak in your teeth.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I’m writing to you because life isn’t the fairy tale I thought it would be. First of all, I married a wealthy guy after breaking up his marriage, but he completely ignores me. He works out of town every chance he gets. He wasn’t even there for me through my IVF journey and gets this glazed look on his face anytime I talk. And recently friends took me to dinner to celebrate my last night of drinking before my turkey baster appointment and a huge fight broke out among the girls. This night was supposed to be about me! Do you hear me? Me! But it wasn’t. Growing up, I was always told how special I was, but I don’t feel special, though everything I do is a concerted effort to be special. My question is, how to I get people to see how special I am without trying. I’m tired from my pregnancy and just want the attention to come my way like it used to when I was 18.

Signed,

Why Did I Marry An Older Man

Dear Why,

I often feel parents do a disservice when they tells their kids how “special” they are. It should be prefaced, “You are special to us, but to the rest of the world, you are average.” Welcome to your life. After you have a child, get ready to take a back seat and have everything not be about you. You will never have the attention you received at 18. Get over it. As your beauty fades, this is the opportunity to expand your mind, but not with drugs. I’m just saying read a book or take a class and let go your need for excessive attention.

Dear Dani,

I have been working on being more assertive. I have a history of letting people walk all over me, but last week I tried it, and it didn’t work out so well. I was getting a manicure at my neighborhood salon which I bring my own nail polish to. I don’t like the idea of someone else’s nails being on that little brush and then being on mine. So, this woman walks by and grabs my bottle because she likes the color. It was coral. Very summery and goes with just about everything. Except pink, which I don’t wear too much of because an ex boyfriend once told it makes me look like a child. So anyway, I expected my nail girl to say something, but she didn’t. So I said, “Excuse me, but that’s my color.” She said, “And now it’s mine.” I don’t think she understood my use of the word “my color” so I tried again. “Actually, it’s not just the color on my nails, but it’s mine that I bought and paid for.” To which she said. “You shouldn’t bring your color if you don’t expect others to use it.” And I was like, “Bitch, give me back my color or you’ll need an enema to remove it.” Long story short, I have been banned from the nail salon. Am I right, Dani? But shouldn’t the nail girl have spoken up from the get go and this never would have escalated? I mean, so what she can’t speak English. She should have physically pried the polish from that woman’s dry, wrinkly hands so I didn’t have to.

Signed,

Blood Red Nails

Dear Blood,

I think you’ve conquered being more assertive. Now work on dialing it down.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I am writing to you so the whole world can know, since they are apparently still in my business which is none of their business, that I am just fine. I especially want my hypocritical and dysfunctional father who would do anything for a buck, to know. Furthermore, he needs to stop talking to the press about me. In the meantime, dear friends, I’m good and well. I have a good heart, and sure, sometimes the men (and women) in my life have chosen to stomp on it, but I should have been more clear minded and not exposed certain private matters. See? I’m taking responsibility for my actions. And they said it wouldn’t happen. But, this is the world we now live in – where everyone wants to know what I’m doing. Maybe things can be fixed, maybe not…probably not, but life is good in Italy – or wherever I am. The bottom line is, life is about love and light…whatever that means. I read it in last night’s fortune cookie.

Signed,

Drifting abroad

PS – I am not pregnant. Can’t you people take a joke?

Dear Drifting,

Is that your question? Can people take a joke? Sure. When it’s funny. But when that joke is a screaming attempt for attention, it’s not so funny. In the meantime, have you ever heard the saying “living off the grid?” I think you should give it a try.

Dear Dani,

I have met a great guy. I am newly divorced and my friends tried to tell me to wait a year, but why wait? He’s a few years younger, ten to be exact, but we are a perfect fit in every way, and I mean every way. One issue has come up though that I would like some advice handling. He, though charming and handsome, is in tremendous debt. College loans, credit cards, his sports car – the man owns nothing outright. I’m trying to teach him about money, so I helped him consolidate his loans into one and co-signed that note. My friends are appalled, but keep in mind, they are jealous. So, the next logical step of course was to take a much needed vacation from the negativity. He said if I’d pay for the trip, he’d cover our expenses once we got there. Never mind that we stayed at an all-inclusive resort, when I wanted him to take me shopping for jewelry, he refused at first, but then surprised me with a strand of puka shells. Puka shells? My friends would die laughing, so I did what any normal woman would do, and that was to purchase my own gold necklace so I can tell everyone it’s from my boyfriend. Was that the right thing to do?

Signed,

Blue in Hawaii

Dear Blue,

Where do I begin? Simply put, your friends are right. It’s too soon, he’s too young and too broke, and you need to re-consolidate that loan to-morrow. Write this off as your foray into single-dom. Take some time to be alone and reconnect with yourself. Also, it’s a good idea to take a money managing course so you understand the implications of exposing your “assets” and what will become of your money when you break after buying.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I vant to first make clear I am writing this letter to you by myself. No vun is writing it for me. You see, it vas the best of times, it vas the verst of times for me. And maybe it vasn’t a dark and stormy night outside, but it vas inside. I don’t steal other people’s verds. It just so happens great minds think alike. And I have a dream that someday people vill see dis. My husband is a great man, and many people try to take him down, but they vil fail. My question is, vhy aren’t they talking about how fabulous I looked? Who cares about a speech, those are just verds. Fashion is forever.

Signed,

First Voman

Dear First,

Verds fail me. But if you want people to talk about the way you look, rather than the substance of your character and the quality of your moral fiber, then just keep doing what you are doing and it will happen.

Dear Dani,

When is it too late to fire a bridesmaid? The wedding is next weekend and to make a long story short, a girl my mom made me pick to be in my wedding just doesn’t measure up. She’s my mom’s best friend’s daughter, her name is not important, but we apparently played together when we were two. She’s like twenty pounds heavier than the rest of my seven bridesmaids and must live in a cave because she hasn’t gotten a tan in like forever. The color of the dress is blush, so obviously you can see my dilemma. Basically, I will have to get rid of one of my fiancé’s groomsmen, but he won’t care if it’s my cousin. My question is, I was thinking of lying and saying it was my cousin who quit, so therefore I have to even things out. She can keep the dress, but I will need her to wear something else. And though you’re not supposed to wear black to a wedding, I will give her permission. If she likes, she be in charge of the guest book. I’ll just have two people doing that. Here’s the thing, my cousin has a big mouth and might blab the truth. So I was wondering if it would be okay to pay him off to keep quiet. What do you think?

Signed,

Bridesmaids of Babes

Dear Maid,

Isn’t that sweet of you to still let her, the girl whose name isn’t important, keep the dress. Quick question – are you on the show, Bridezilla? You should be. This is horrible. You are horrible. No one is going to care that one bridesmaid is of regular weight and the other seven are anorexic. You should not change anything, except your ridiculous attitude.

*Message from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Maid – When planning a life with someone, it’s best to focus on the future marriage, and not so much on the wedding day. And while it is your day, it’s also a lot of other people’s day. Don’t make any last minute changes, the chaos that would ensue could be life-long, instead of the nuptials.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

What’s wrong with a sweet, innocent kiss for a child? I’m tired of the mum-shaming going on in the world. Who says you can’t kiss a child on the lips? Is that a rule no one told me about, because it’s an idiotic rule? I mean, call the Queen, for goodness sakes. For the record, my family is affectionate. Sorry if all the up-tight Europeans and Americans see it differently. Sorry if the sickos out there see it as making out. And while everyone was so up in arms about the kiss, no one even noticed my daughter was topless. How’s that for a bunch of wankers.

Signed,

Spicy Birthday Girl

Dear Spicy,

You are correct, we live in a sick world with bored people who have nothing better to do than to bash loving moms across the world. Don’t even get me started on the bashing they do about women’s weight, age, or marital status. However, one way to fight back is to not share private moments like this on Instagram or any other social media outlets. What do you care what they think? And if you do care what they think, that’s even more reason to shut it down. Keep these moments sacred and to yourself.

Dear Dani,

My friend’s husband is cheating on her. I know because I saw him with the other woman when I was minding my own business. I even snapped a few photos of them. I’m worried that “Chantel” will hate me if I tell her. I asked my boyfriend what to do and he said stay out of it. I asked my mom what to do and she said to tell the husband to tell the wife. I asked my boss what to do and she said I had a moral obligation to tell the wife. I asked my co-worker what to do and he said she might already know and I could cause further damage. I asked my pastor what to do and he said figure out how I would like someone to handle this if it were me. So now I’m asking you and I promise I will do whatever you say. The thing is, I also had an affair with her husband years ago, so it might look like I’m seeking revenge, but I’m not.

Signed,

Last to Know

Dear Last,

Good Lord, woman. I’m concerned that by asking so many people what to do, the rumor mill is now working overtime and the wife may have already heard about her cheating husband. The real problem is how you have zero confidence in making decisions. Here’s one of my favorite, yet simple, rules: When in doubt – don’t. It’s just that simple. I think at this point because of your indecision and your history with the husband you need to just stay out of it. But I’m sure you’ll ask a few more people like your hairdresser and your garbage collector.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

No one understands how difficult it can be living a life of luxury. It’s hard work, but if this is what you are accustomed to after 13 years, then that’s what you deserve for the rest of your life. And $262 million is not even close to half.

The good news is, I found a bargain of a house for $73 million! And the icing on the spectacular cake is it will only run about $8.7 million to redecorate. However, some of my friends have been suggesting that maybe I don’t need 55 pairs of shoes per year, and to that I say, please keep in mind this is a combined total of boots, flats, heels and sandals. And that vacation on a yacht for two weeks for $647,000 plus $6,439 crew tip – something we always do and shouldn’t change just because of something as trivial as a divorce.

And finally, security is incredibly important to me and my daughter, who is very sad about the prospect of becoming poor, and so $454K for staff is paramount. There’s statistical proof that you really can have a good night’s sleep when you know you’re family is safe.

You may be wondering why I’m fighting so hard? Simple. I’m standing up for women everywhere. And when I’m not, I’ll request more money to pay for someone else to stand up for me. List it under philanthropic endeavors.

My question is, Dear Dani, how do I change public perception about myself?

Signed,

I-Put-the-Super-In-Model

Dear You-Put-the-Pain-in-Champagne,

To put it bluntly, my qualifications are limited with someone like you, but I do have one piece of advice. If your daughter is feeling anxiety over “becoming poor” your first and only job is to reassure her that no matter what, everything will be okay.

*Special Note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Put – If you’re feeling philanthropic, the keep in mind our Mindfulness Center can always benefit from a donation.

Dear Dani,

My dad keeps stealing my girlfriends. I’m 28, he’s 65. Yes, he’s a silver fox with plenty of cash on hand, but he needs to find his own hook-ups. Most of the time I really don’t care. The real problem is, he feels guilty afterwards and ends it with the girl, completely ghosting her. Then, that girl will usually cry on my shoulder – which may or may not lead to sex. The thing is, I’ve met someone very special who I don’t want to introduce to my father – ever. What should I do?

Signed,

Ghost Dad

Dear Ghost,

This is a sick, sick cycle you and your father are stuck in. He definitely needs a long-term commitment with a great psychiatrist, and you could also use several visits with a good therapist. After a couple of visits, invite your girlfriend to come along. With the therapist’s help, you can share this information about your father with your girlfriend. Trust is the key that will need to be firmly in place between you and your girlfriend in the event you do have to/need to introduce her to your father. Avoidance, something you seem to resort to, will not serve you well in this case.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I’ll admit it, I don’t like to fly. Many people don’t like to fly, right? And so I mixed alcohol with medication. Oops. When you know better you do better. I am really ashamed, and this isn’t who I am normally. Plus, there is some misinformation I want to clarify. First off, how can I be kicked off a flight when the flight has reached my destination? And second, the medical attention was mostly due to dehydration. Hey, after a vacation in the sun, it happens. I deeply regret my outburst and want to apologize to the passengers and crew if I freaked them out. Perhaps I am the only one in the world, but I am flawed. Okay! It happens. Though I don’t remember exactly what happened, I do not recall saying the following: 1) He burns my private parts. 2) He won’t let me eat or drink. 3) He beats me. 4) He’s going to kill me. I don’t even know who “he” is. I think what might have triggered this “outburst” was being asked repeatedly if I was Kris Kardashian, but like I said, I can’t totally recall. Again, I am truly very sorry.

Signed,

Montezuma’s Mia Culpa

Dear Mia,

Sometimes I advise people who punish themselves too much. It’s rare, but you are one of those people. Normally people have their heads stuck so far up their asses they don’t realize they are at fault or take accountability for that. Congratulations, you are owning it! We can’t always control what happens to us but we can control how we react when it happens. Being asked repeatedly if you are Kris Kardashian is enough to send anyone into a meltdown. I completely understand. But guess what, we are all flawed and I give you permission to put down the bat and stop beating yourself up over this. $hit happens.

Dear Dani,

I have a problem that I need your help with. I have my twin girls for two weekends a month and I cherish our time together. That’s not the problem. The problem is my girlfriend who just moved in, competes for my attention when the girls are here. I only have four days with them, but several times “Tiffany” has arranged a babysitter for us to go to dinner without them. I tried to tell Tiff how special my time is with my girls, but she makes it about how special she is. Did I mention Tiffany’s a swimsuit model? But don’t get me wrong, she’s smart, too. She’s studying to be a dental hygienist. Or was. I think she may have quit because “teeth are gross” but she told me the story while modeling a new swim suit. So anyway, I forgot my point. Oh yes, right now the girls are only three years old and can’t really complain to their mother yet, but one day they will. My question is, how long do you think I can keep this thing going before I have to ask my girlfriend to move out?

Signed,

Dozed and Confused

Dear Confused,

These two precious children come first – bottom line – not when they can articulate what a lousy dad they have. You need to ask your selfish swim suit model to move out right now, but you sound weak and I have little faith that you’ll do it. In that respect, I hope your ex-wife reads my advice column and recognizes your situation. She needs to hire a private investigator to get pictures of you dining out with your girlfriend and show them to the judge. Then she needs to have your visitations switched to supervised – but feel free to bring your swim suit model along. I’m sure she’ll have fun manipulating everyone’s attention, from the caseworker to the assigned supervisor, in her direction while you play with your daughters on someone else’s floor. And when the girls grow up and learn to hate daddy because he always puts his girlfriend’s first, good luck dealing with that. Maybe mom’s next husband can walk them down the aisle.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I’m having trouble with my friends. Yes, I like to party and I’m usually the life of the party, but lately they haven’t been including me in the party because of a business decision made by my partners. Not me. People are taking sides when they should stay out of it. But I’m listening to some of the advice and decided to quit drinking and sleeping with younger men. And for the record, I am not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of woman. The men and/or boys always come back for sloppy seconds and thirsty thirds. And now that my va-jay-jay has been remodeled, unlike my townhouse, I’m ready to take it for a spin. The question is, how do I enjoy sex without being drunk?

Signed,

A Real Topsy Soberwife

Dear Real,

Your letter is a little confusing. You start out describing the trouble of being left out by friends, but your question is about sex. Are you sure you’ve quit drinking? My advice is simple. Keep doing you. Works for both situations, wouldn’t you agree?

Dear Dani,

I am being blackmailed, but I don’t know by who. While my wife was recently out of town, I sent a nude photo of myself to a woman after she sent me a few of her. The following day I was told if I didn’t send $5,000 to a bitcoin account by the end of the day the photo would be sent to my boss and co-workers. At first I thought it was someone from my workplace because they obviously knew where I work. I ignored the deadline and it was sent to everyone. I am pretty f**king humiliated. I was up for a promotion, but that’s not going to happen now. Talking this over with a buddy, trying to figure out what kind of psycho would do this to me, he suggested the possibility that it’s my wife blackmailing me. So far I’ve kept this from her, but I’ve received another request for $5,000 and if I don’t pay they will send the photo to her. What should I do?

Signed,

The Ultimate Extortion

Dear Ultimate,

Wow, that sounds like a great plot for a novel. Is your wife acting different in any way? Like, slightly calmer or slightly cattier than normal? The thing is, if it’s not your wife, who will they send the photo to next? Your mother? Your pastor? Perhaps you should just come clean and ask your wife what to do. If she says pay off the blackmailer and comes home with lots of new clothes, you have your answer. If she says not to pay, but by the way, she wants a divorce, save that $5,000 for your attorney because one way or another, you will pay.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I’m tired of being called the villain. I’m not very happy with these people who say this. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. Disappointed I can’t hurt these people for saying this. And don’t think this is over because it is not. Soon I plan to take care of every one of these people. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, with ripped abs, and can do upside down crunches, and drink milk. I was stuck in this place with stupid people asking stupid questions, lying that they loved someone when they didn’t even know this naggy woman. I was the only honest person in the house. And what’s with calling in a security guard? Big deal I tore some cheap ass shirt. $20 should cover it. Also on my list is the “host” for setting me up. Here’s the thing, Dear Dani. I was used. For ratings. For my good looks. And when I was supposed to be sent home, I wasn’t. They used me again. Stay tuned for what happens there. My question is, are you a hot woman who would you like five minutes of fame from hanging out with me?

Signed,

Vapid Villain

Dear Villain,

No thanks. You sound like a prize for no one. Get yourself some therapy and find out why you are so angry. I’ll give you a hint: It has to do with hating yourself.

Dear Dani,

I have a problem with my next door neighbors. Apparently, when I swim at night, they don’t like that I prefer to skinny-dip. First of all, its pitch black, but I don’t light up the pool or the outside lights. Secondly, there are tall spruce trees separating our properties, not to mention, a fence. And thirdly, it’s my backyard. I ignored their first request which was a hand-written note wedged between my door and door frame, asking me not to bare myself so publicly. I repeat, this is my backyard. Now they’ve upped the ante and gotten signatures from two other neighbors, one who can’t even see into my backyard. They even referenced my skinny-dipping as pornographic. We live in 55 and up community, so it’s not like little kids or teenagers are around. I’m worried that soon this will be in the newsletter. What would you do if you were me?

Signed,

Happy Go Buffy

Dear Buffy,

If it were me, first I’d check the community by-laws. If it states no skinny-dipping in your backyard, then you must abide by that rule. Your letter didn’t mention the neighbors calling the police, but I checked with an attorney about your question and this is what he said in the chance this elevates to that status. There are three elements of indecent exposer. 1) Exposing or exhibiting his or her sexual organs, 2) Being naked in a public place or the private premises of someone else. 3) Intended exposure is meant in a lewd, indecent, or lascivious manner. You are clear on 2 and 3, but 1 might be a concern. Having said that, courts have ruled that a mother breast feeding their infant is not considered exposing oneself. Perhaps it’s time to sit down with the person, with a mediator present, and see what’s really at the heart of the matter and if an accepted timeframe can be agreed upon. Some people, based on their religious or personal beliefs, have a problem with nudity. But it doesn’t have to be your problem, too.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

Normally I don’t write to advice columns because I have a tendency to come off as robotic. But I don’t understand why people blame the victims. You see, victims just want to get out of the toxic relationships they are in after taking years and years of abuse. They don’t want to bury their partner, the just want to walk away – with 50% of the marital assets. Is that too much to ask? Seldom does the victim want to drag the police in – unless they have to because their lawyers say so. It’s tough when people have a distorted version of a person they love, but don’t really know, and can’t picture that person getting drunk and abusive, so they automatically blame the victim, because they think on some level it’s her fault. It’s not. How can we change this?

Signed,

Not a Platinum-digger

Dear Digger,

I am so sorry for your pain. We can change this by standing up for ourselves from the beginning. Often, we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but here’s the problem with public perception – you can’t win. Get what you need, get out, and get a life out of the public eye for a while. Here’s another thing about the public – they have a very short attention span – almost as short as some Hollywood marriages. Good luck. No woman ever deserves to be abused. Nor does a man, a child, an animal or a planet.

Dear Dani,

I’ve decided to take a lover. Ha-ha. I’ve always wanted to say that. But seriously, here’s what happened a month ago at a party. To begin with, I was minding my own business, drinking a margarita, dancing with some friends. It was an afternoon party, so you know that day-drinking is relatively harmless, and this kind of cute guy who’s kind of one of my husband’s friends, whispered in my ear to call him anytime I wanted. At first I was like, “In your dreams,” but then, that little seed he planted grew into a mighty fern. Here’s what I’m thinking, my husband is going out of town next weekend for a bachelor party. And we all know what happens at those things. So I figure, what the hell, what’s good for the goose is good for swan. And this beautiful swan that wants to take a walk on the wild pond before I’m too old to swim. Know what I’m saying? I’m sure this guy will keep his mouth shut and it’s not like I’m hurting another woman, because at the moment, he doesn’t have a wife or girlfriend – that I know of. So my question is, should we go to a hotel or should I just go over to his house? I’m kind of a germa-phobe and have this thing about clean sheets. I would have him over my house, but I realize this would be crossing a line. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Signed,

The Fuschia Letter

Dear Letter,

Please let this be a fake letter because you are so vapid it escapes my capacity for compassion. To think that you are married and someone actually wants to spend their life with you is confounding. And if you think hotels have clean sheets you are sadly confused, but that’s hardly the concern. If you can casually contemplate this affair, with or without germs, it’s time to conclude your marriage. Because if you think he’ll keep his mouth closed you are even more of a crackhead than I thought.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I’d like to set the record straight with all the haters out there. Recently I gave a moving and dynamic tribute to a friend of mine. It was met with mixed reviews, I feel, because of my skin color. To those idiots, I say, deal with it. I’m not anyone’s bitch so don’t hang your shit on me. If you think you can do better, go the fuck ahead and try. And just so you know, I like canes. It makes me look hip and has nothing to do with aging hips. The bottom line is, I showed up on time and have more money than you, so shut the fuck up.

Signed,

Not A Virgin

Dear Not,

Since you have no question, I will only point out that you seem a little defensive. If you think you did a “dynamic” job then go with that and disregard the rest. Haters gonna hate, it’s what they do.

Dear Dani,

I am a college professor in my mid 40’s. So far, I’ve managed to dodge the marriage bullet, though I’ve come close a few times. Recently, colleagues have set me up on a date with an adjunct professor. She’s attractive, smart, and a little quirky, but we’ve gone out several times and I thought we were a match. However now I feel I must end it. She made a mix tape for me of songs she thought I would enjoy. Boy was she wrong! These songs are terrible. I have essentially lost all respect for her because her taste in music is incredibly juvenile and simplistic. Obviously during our three dates she has not gleaned one iota of the depth of my personality and character. My question is, can something as crucial as differing tastes in music be overcome? I’m doubtful, but I’m not getting any younger and it would be a shame to let my sperm go to waste.

Signed,

Music Prodigy Wanna-Be

Dear Wanna Be,

Where do I begin? Yes, please end it with this generous woman whose only fault was to create something for you she hoped you might like. You don’t say how you’ve managed to “dodge the marriage bullet” but gleaning through your letter, I’ve been able to perfectly read into your character. Allow me to share some history with you. My boyfriend once gave me a bouquet of flowers that made me sneeze. Should I have ended it with him? Another time, he surprised me with a night at a comedy club. This was a comic I couldn’t stand. Should I have dumped him because he couldn’t read my mind? And finally, my boyfriend once had the nerve to give me a ring that had my birthstone in it. Pearls bore me. I totally should have kicked him and that ring to curb for this juvenile and simplistic action. Please keep your sperm where it belongs – in your hand.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Wanna-Be – You should further explore if this shallowness you display is really a deal breaker or just  your aversion to commitment. Sometimes couples don’t agree on movies or food choices, but don’t end relationships over these issues. Get help.

 

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I’m pregnant! He-he. I wasn’t planning on going public with the news so soon, because I’m only four weeks along, but after posting it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snap Chat and placing a call to my momager, I figured, why not tell the world. Some things are out of our control, right? Like being married to a man 35 years older than me. I did the math (with the help of a calculator) and my baby’s daddy will be 74 when he or she is 18. That’s kind of gross. Something else that’s gross, my mom falling in love with my husband because they’re the same age.  My husband hasn’t been able to find work because everyone considers him a child molester. To them I say, get over it people. Age is just a number and since he has the mind of a child, we are actually closer in age than him and my mom.  This is a bittersweet time right now and I can’t handle anymore stress. I’ll have you know, just because I’m pregnant, doesn’t mean I can’t still be sexy and wear 10-inch heels and have new reality show. Don’t you think I would be a fascinatingly subject and should get my own show?   

Signed,

Child Bride

Dear Child,

Congratulations on your life-changing event, I think. Here’s what I do know – hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Make sure your husband’s life insurance policy is in force because you might be a single mom sooner rather than later. And forget about a reality show. Just focus on your bundle of conflicted joy. Also, you may want to find a different baby sitter than your mom. Good luck!

Dear Dani,

Years ago, when my husband and I were dating, I cheated on him. It was because “John” said he would never get married and I met someone who wasn’t afraid of commitment. When John found out, he didn’t want to lose me, so we married the following year. We’ve been married five years, have a little boy, and now John wants an open marriage. I do not. I have told him that if I find out he’s cheated, my son and I will be moving out. Well, I found out. How? The skank contacted me and sent pictures. Every time I close my eyes I see the two of them going at it. So now I’m with my son, living back at home, and my husband is begging me to come back. I am so angry, but I think I’ve found a way to get over it. My childhood boyfriend is also living back home for similar reasons. I want to have a heated affair with him, but keep it a secret so my husband won’t use this against me five years later and I can remain the victim in this scenario and milk it for everything it’s worth. What do you think?

Signed,

Revenge Is Like a Dish of Ice Cream

Dear Ice Cream,

I can promise you that dish won’t taste nearly as sweet as you think it will. And it won’t make you feel better, in fact, you’ll probably feel like yesterday’s trash. You need to grow up. Maybe if you didn’t have a child, I’d say go for it, knowing divorce will be the likely outcome. But you need therapy. And so does your husband. Do this before you cheat, before you uproot your son yet again, and return to your husband. I’m guessing somewhere along the line he felt railroaded into your marriage. And I sympathize with you having the proof he cheated that you can never unsee. But cheating again is not the answer. You have two options, get an attorney or get a therapist. Or possibly get both. But don’t drag a guy who’s going through his own drama into yours.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I write this to you as I sip from a glass of spiked effing lemonade. I have decided to leave my cheating, aging, health compromised husband because I can no longer put up with his shit shenanigans or keep living like this. Most people think I should have kicked him to the curb, and I did, but like a British boomerang, he came back. So I kicked myself to the curb. Though I have not decided on a divorce yet, and I’m still wearing my wedding ring, there is nothing to cry about – except getting my hair done now will be a horrid reminder of the effing betrayal. I just need time to think about what to do for the last chapter in my book of life. I cannot thank everyone enough for their love and support and for taking my side. At times, I admit, I can be an effing terror to live with, but my question is, my cheating husband can’t live forever. Should I just hang in there so I can be the grieving widow, a role I deserve and will exploit, or set an example for the wronged women of the world and divorce the son of a bitch?

Signed,

My Talk or His Walk

Dear Talk,

First let me say I’m sorry for your pain. This sucks. But my question to you is why not shed a few tears? It’s cleansing. And so is burning a few of his treasured items. Furthermore, take off the ring and go buy yourself something bigger and flashier. No matter how much of an effing terror you are, you didn’t deserve this. Also, sell the house. Don’t let the SOB move in his new lemon-headed biotch. But as for your question about waiting to become the grieving widow, don’t waste one more second. If your health-challenged ex becomes even more health challenged it will become your problem, because let’s face it, that interloper will be out of there after his first stroke. Get an effing divorce.

Dear Dani,

Decades ago I was a high school bully. The kind that stuffed kids in a locker, gave wedgies, spread vicious rumors, and beat up a few defenseless nerds.  You know that saying about karma? Well that bitch is back. My son is now getting picked on relentlessly. I want to go ape-shit on these parents who have raised such heartless pricks, but then I think about my own sweet parents whose only fault was they were older than dirt when they had me and couldn’t control me. I’ve considered moving him to a new school, but he doesn’t want that. Short of duct taping these kids’ ass-cheeks together, I don’t know what else to do. Can you help?

Signed,

Sins of the Father

Dear Sins,

I’m sorry to hear that your son is reaping the inadequacy of having you for a father. Of all the potential solutions you could only come up with switching schools or taping butt cheeks? How about talking to the school’s administration. Putting your son in therapy. Signing him up for self-defense classes. Having a sit-down with the other parents.  Spending time discovering new hobbies. Asking him what he’d like to do. Sharing your history and explaining that deep-down you were a scared little loser. Do something, anything, that doesn’t involve violence and give your son a big hug. Whatever you do, don’t make like more miserable for the poor guy.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I am someone who will do anything to earn a paycheck. Even wear embarrassing and unflattering underwear. But recently I have come under fire for responding to the haters and trolls of the world, and it’s not fair. I don’t “stir shit” to keep jobs, I could care less about that. Baby, I stir shit because this is about me being authentic and taking responsibility for other people’s actions. For God’s sake, who cares why I care about something that other people don’t care about. So what if I had a moment where I snapped? I can say whatever I want. Last time I checked, I was still living in a free country and married to an A-lister…for now. And for the record, saying the “M” word was not my idea, though no one believes me. My question is, why don’t people love me?

Signed,

Misdiagnosed & Misguided

Dear Mis,

You seem a little all over the place. As for people not loving you, why do you care about these “people” if you have the love of your family? And if you’re going to attack the “haters and trolls of the world” there’s a life-long job you will always be employed with. Perhaps a new career path should be considered. One where it isn’t all about you, but about helping and caring for others. Now, that might be a stretch, but I do feel you are “misunderstood” and a work break might do you good.

Dear Dani,

I’ve met the most wonderful gal. She’s pretty. She’s sweet. She’s funny. And the sex is out of this world. There’s just one problem. She has this hobby called bedazzling. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it but she hot glues all kinds of sparkly shit to shirts and jeans. I’m not exactly the sparkly kind of guy. I fish. I bowl. I drink beer. I’m pretty simple. The other day, without my knowing, she took my bowling league shirt and glued all this colorful crap to the shoulder area. And because I had a game that night, I had no choice but to wear it. I tried to pull those things off, but dang it if they weren’t nearly cemented on. I don’t have to tell you that I was laughed at all night long and threw gutter ball after gutter ball. Needless to say, I ordered a new shirt. When I got home that night, she did the same thing to my lucky fishing hat. Obviously I’ll never catch another fish again. How do I tell her to leave my stuff alone without ruining what we’ve got?

Signed,

Bedoesn’t Dazzle

Dear Dazzle,

When you say, how do you tell her without ruining what you’ve got, I think what you really mean is how do you not ruin the out of this world sex. Negotiation, like communication, is an important part to any relationship. Perhaps you could provide new shirts and hats for her to decorate that you only wear around her. Perhaps you could provide more manly items like nuts and bolts or leather and camo for her to use. I mean let’s face it, sometimes bowling shoes are quite laughable, but you wear those. Just sit her down and tell her that while you like how talented she is, and that like you, she has a hobby that fulfills her, you just aren’t comfortable wearing rhinestones. If this kills the sex, then just man up and wear the pretty clothes in public.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

Until recently, I was at the top of my game. I naturally give 110% percent to anything I do with the ease and control of an eagle soaring. But this eagle needed to land and gather her thoughts due to the heartbreaking secrecy and betrayal that took place among some co-workers. Everything’s fine now. I’m not going to quit and throw away 26 years, but I’m not going to lie – it feels like I was cheated on – that’s how special my work life is that I consider this an infidelity by my work-husband. But, after a quick trip abroad, I have come to realize this is a huge opportunity. First upside was the pay bump. Thank you very much, but let’s face it, I’ll be handling the majority of the work until the second upside, and that is to hire the person I wanted all along. But here’s the deal, I’ll try not to drift too far off message or be hit with a tranquilizer dart, but I have two besties in mind who I adore equally and are equally, yet uniquely qualified for the job. One could lend the show credibility and one could bring the fabulocity. I’ve thought of flipping a coin, but that seems so prepared and forced, not to mention, shallow. How would you proceed?

Signed,

Great Midlife Attitude

Dear Attitude,

I admire your spunk. 26 years is a long time. I’m sure by now you have put two-and-two together about some hushed meetings you weren’t invited to or memo’s that didn’t make it your way. Take a deep breath and let it go. You weren’t really cheated on. No one really took their clothes off. You are right about this being a chance to revamp and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes. The question is, do you want to inform or do you want to entertain? When you know that, you’ll know the answer.

Dear Dani,

I wanted you to know you gave terrible advice to Leveraged Future last week. You told her when in doubt, don’t? Okay. So thank God the Wright Brothers didn’t follow that pearl of wisdom. What about Abraham Lincoln? Or Henry Ford or Steve Jobs? Doubt is just the beginning stage that forces you to learn the parameters. You can’t break the rules if you don’t know what the rules are.

Signed,

Get Another Job

Dear Job,

When you have your own advice column, you can tell people what you think’s best.

*Special note for Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Get Another Job—

We welcome any and all opinions. Thanks for reading.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

I’m writing to you because sadly I have no one else to talk to. I’ve considered therapy before, but feel my secrets won’t be safe. When I first met my wife through work, I was married to someone else who wasn’t as committed to human rights as I was. So naturally when I met my now wife, it was ka-bam! because everything clicked on so many levels. But fast forward 10 years and I can hardly stand to be in the same room with her, and except for our many kids, we’ve pretty much been living separate lives. At first I admired my wife’s stoic, non-needy boldness, but now I find her quite cold. She doesn’t listen and does whatever she wants. Our fights have been vicious, though we keep it away from our many kids, but my wife’s way of coping with the stress is to not eat. And this makes her even grouchier. I mean, I just want her to eat a cheeseburger or something. The rumors of me cheating are not true. Are you kidding me? My wife would cut off my manhood if I strayed. Even though we are both very busy with our careers, I can’t live with this constant unhappiness, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. My question is, do you believe in karma? I think this is happening to me because of how I ended my last relationship.

Signed,

No Team For Me

Dear Team,

I absolutely believe in karma, but I’m not sure the disintegration of your marriage is the fault of karma. Sometimes what we think we want and want we need are two very different things. I’m sorry to hear there’s no one you can trust. Don’t you have a guy friend you can reach out to who will empathize with your need for privacy? Sometimes we cast aside friendships for new relationships, and so my first piece of advice would be to contact these old friends and hang out with them. That should boost your spirits a bit. But your wife’s health is paramount. Can you get her to a doctor? And about your many kids – you think you’re keeping the vicious fights from them, but trust me when I say kids are smart, know what’s going on, and have a tendency to blame themselves. So it’s up to you how long you want to prolong your unhappiness. Sometimes the kindest thing to do for everyone involved is to go your separate ways. If you continue to work on putting the children first and not drag them around at the whim of your careers – things will work out for the best. They want a happy mom and dad even if they are happier apart.

Dear Dani,

I am strapped for money. I’ve been robbing Peter to pay Paul and now it’s catching up with me. I’ve got three credit cards maxed out, crushing student loan debt, and a new car I never should have purchased. I’ve been offered a great job, but it’s in another country that’s not exactly safe. But are we really safe? I could walk across the street tomorrow and get hit by a car. Or I could get on a plane and it crashes. Or I could be the victim of a home robbery. Or I could be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Any advice?

Signed,

Leveraged Future

Dear Future,

Okay, stating all the possible ways to die is not a way to plan your future. Before you accept or turn down the job, meet with a financial advisor. They might have suggestions to consolidate your loans, sell your car, and find a secondary job to dig yourself out of this financial mess you’ve created. But my simple advice is this: when in doubt, don’t. This job sounds like a big, fat don’t.

Dear-Dani-Icon

Dear Dani,

My life is horrible. I’ve lost custody of most of my kids, even though I love them so much. It’s not fair. My babies’ daddy’s go off and find women to date and they take care of our kids. It doesn’t work like that in reverse, at least not with anyone without a criminal record. But now this thing with the Humane Society? Just because I locked the family cat my devilish kids put in the car while we watched the school choir performance? We were late due to the fact that my kid left her tie at home. I had to turn around once already to get it, like I’m not going to turn around a second time. And I left the window partly down, wasn’t  that the humane thing to do?  It was over an hour later and we went home. Big fucking deal. The cat is safe at home. People need to get over themselves. Right?

Signed,

Older Than a Teen

Dear Teen,

I’m trying to figure out how you don’t realize there’s a cat in the car until you get to your destination. How distracted were you? Smoking? Texting? Music? All three? When I read your letter, I thought you were going to tell me the cat got out the open window, glad that didn’t happen. But this is a case of mom missing the performance because she had to return home, yet again, and clean up her mess. You are distracted to a dangerous degree. Get into therapy. Like now. Or change jobs if that’s the source of your all encompassing distraction.

Dear Dani,

I am so ashamed. I stole a dog. Many times when I jogged by this house, the owners left it chained outside for most of the day. I  want to keep the dog. She’s so sweet and cute and grateful. But what if the dog is chipped? Will I get arrested if I eventually take the dog to the vet? What should I do?

Signed,

Help

Dear You Need Help,

Return the dog. Go to the nearest dog rescue group, by breed if you want, and explain what you observed. You could be first in line to adopt, after a thorough screening, but don’t steal the dog. You didn’t say, but what if kids will miss her and forever wonder what happened to Lucky. And because karma is a bitch, rest assure you will run into them one day when you least expect it.

Dear-Dani-IconDear Dani,

I’m so excited to announce that my husband and I have decided to start planning a family. Sure, I’m almost 50, but who cares, my husband is very, very, very rich. I recently had to “delay” working at a particular job because I was told to rest up by doctors. And that’s the only reason. It has nothing to do with no one turning up to see my particular job. I have not forgotten these wonderful friends and sent them a special and personal message, and will continue my job after the family planning has ended – because then I will have an entire team to take care of things. And for those who think I’m too old to have a baby, know this, I have total “control” over my stamina. So how do I get my friends to continue to see me as unbreakable?

Signed,

Will Burn It Up Later

Dear Later,

I will admit your planning seems a little off if you were right in the middle of a job and decided now would be a good time to start a family. Also, what does having a very, very, very rich husband have to do with family planning? Are you buying a baby? If not, I hope you stored some eggs when you were younger. Ultimately, though it’s not about what others think, it’s about what you think. So how do you ensure people will see you as unbreakable – fake it `til you make it – like you’ve been doing.

Dear Dani,

I’ve been told I suffer from nomophobia. Don’t know what it is? That’s because it’s new. It has to do with the separation anxiety people feel when they don’t have their cell phones. On my new app it says I check my phone on average 225 times per day. Apparently that’s a lot. My wife says I need a phone-detox and should try going one day without my phone. Has she lost her mind? One day?! It’s not just personal, it’s professional. Not to mention a safety aspect. What if someone’s robbing a bank and I don’t have my phone to record it? What if my car breaks down and I get murdered because I can’t call for help. She’ll feel bad then. What do you think about this?

Signed,

No Mo Nomophobia

Dear Nomo,

What’s one day? Give up your phone on a day you don’t have to leave the house. That way your car won’t break down and you won’t witness a bank robbery. I feel that people are missing out on a lot because they are so invested on what’s happening elsewhere. Who cares that you miss out on knowing your buddy is going to the grocery store or that someone you barely know is bragging about the life they don’t actually have. It’s a real problem. Try replacing the word “phone” with “drugs” and think again if you have a problem.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

My ex and I have been broken up for over six months, but people won’t let it go. He’s over it, I’m over it, but no one else is over it. For the record, I don’t know what “Caspering” is, or whatever it’s called, but I didn’t do it. I would never just stop speaking to someone. Believe me, when it’s over, I’ll tell you. Closure will be instant. There isn’t some crazy fucking dramatic scene. There is no script. You just have to accept the situation and part ways with as much class and dignity as you can. When it stopped working, we separated. That’s it. I guess I don’t really have a question.

Signed,

Much Better Off

Dear Much,

I actually love that you don’t have a question. You are certainly your own women with options and talent. My only suggestion in reference to people’s inability to stop talking about your failed relationship, don’t say a word for a few beats, then say, “You have my answer.”

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Much Better Off – There is no such thing as a failed relationship. You simply learned all you needed to know quickly.

Dear Dani,

My sister and I have always had a choppy relationship. She has now uninvited me to her wedding because she’s mad at my husband. So I said, fine. It’s not like it’s her first. The thing is, I got a call from the dress shop saying the flower girl dress is ready for fitting. If I’m not going, my daughter’s not going. It’s just that simple. My husband could care less. He’d rather sit at home and watch reality television than be forced to sit through my sister’s wedding. And my other sister isn’t any help, either. She’s volunteered to chauffer my daughter back and forth, but I don’t trust her driving. Don’t they get it? Do you get it?

Signed,

Does Anybody Get It

Dear Got It,

I have lots of sisters that I argue with and it’s not un-normal to stop speaking with one of them from time to time. A break can be good. But always keep trying. I wish I knew more about your husband and why he doesn’t care. The thing with your sister, is it business or personal? Makes a big difference. Your parents are probably tired of being the referees, so of course they want what’s easiest. Put your big-girl G-string on, pick up the phone, call your sister, and nicely tell her the situation. Like this, “Sally, I want to come to your wedding, but also, if you want my daughter to bravely walk down an aisle with a two-hundred people staring at her, you’re gonna need my help.”

This should nicely get the point across.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I used to be a top celebrity, but haven’t worked much lately so I decided to do something to revitalize my career…unfortunately it isn’t working out as I hoped. I can’t say what it is because I don’t want people to know of my deep embarrassment, but I regret this decision so much. The “powers that be” should be more encouraging instead of the big, bad meanies they are, trying to get a sound bite that will be replayed and replayed and replayed, because they like the sound of their voices. The training has been so overwhelming and I ache all over. Here’s the thing, I’m not even the worst one, but I’m being treated like I am. This is such a rough ride and I find I’m hangry all the time. Like my new word I invented? It’s hungry and angry. I am so clever it scares me. But back to my new endeavor, how do I hold my head high as I walk around in front of the audience?

Signed,

Two-Left Feet

Dear Left Feet,

Have you heard the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Take it to heart and don’t dance around the idea that you’re embarrassed. Embrace it and hop on over to the idea of “fake it till you make it.” Each chance you get to perform for the “powers that be” think of it as your opportunity to two-step your way to a new outcome. Sure, sometimes when we try to trip the light fantastic we actually trip and turn out that fantastic light, but cut that rug right out of your mind. Just keep saying, “I think I can, I think I can,” as you whirl, not walk, around these unfamiliar surroundings.

Dear Dani,

When my husband and I first met he was an atheist. I don’t know why I found this intriguing, but I did. The conversations were so interesting, however, flash forward four years and I no longer feel this way. Since the birth of our daughter I find myself praying all the time. Please keep her safe. Please make her stop crying. Please help me cope. I’ve even started going to church secretly. This weekend my new church is hosting an Easter egg hunt and I want to bring my daughter to it. She’s only three and probably won’t tattle on mommy, but she might be upset when I throw away her basket, candy and colorful plastic eggs. What would you do?

Signed,

Belated Believer

Dear Believer,

Lord have mercy! Do not bring your daughter to this event if you are going to throw everything away. That’s not fair at all. If it were me, I would tell my husband that we are going to attend and he can either deal with it and join us or stay home and pout. The bunny and egg hunts and have no religious significance to this holy day of Easter. He probably will acknowledge this. If nothing else, think of all the intriguing conversations this will lead to as you find your voice and declare your new opinions.

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I was dumped in a major way. MAJOR! Trust me when I say the whole world saw it. Afterwards I spent a lot of time in reflection and licking my wounds and calming down my brothers who wanted to kill the guy responsible for breaking my heart. Now I have the biggest opportunity to get over this depression I’m suffering from not being chosen by the love of my life. My question to you Dear Dani, do you think it’s possible to find true love twice in one year?

Signed,

Runner-Up No More

Dear No More,

Anything is possible, but some things aren’t probable. They say you find love when you aren’t looking for it – so if you are in a situation of forced romanticism the reality is you likely won’t find true love. You might think you’ve found it, but it can be smoke and mirrors. I think you should take advantage of this opportunity, but look at it in the context of an adventure. Be open to everything, but if you don’t fall in love like you think you did the first time, admit it to yourself and the world if you have to.

Dear Dani,

I suffer from chlorophobia. This is the fear of the color green. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and I am freaking out. I would call in sick to work, but I have a presentation due and missing this would be disastrous for my already fledgling career. I don’t want to wear green clothes, drink green beer, or people kissing me because I’m Irish. I’ve been this way all my life – ever since my brother threw a green garden snake at me. When I think of giving this power-point presentation to a room full of people wearing green, I break out in a sweat, can feel the hives crawling on my skin, and feel like I’m going to puke. I don’t know what to do. Would it be okay to take a valium for this 10:00am meeting, plus a shot of tequila for good luck?

Signed,

It’s Not Easy Seeing Green

Dear Green,

Consider your presentation tomorrow as an experiment in aversion therapy. This is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed and subjected to some form of discomfort. This may involve people who fear flying being placed on a plane, or people who fear bridges having to walk across a bridge, and in your case, people fearing green facing a roomful of people wearing green. If you must take a valium, I recommend only taking half and save the tequila shot for afterwards when you join your fellow co-workers at a bar to celebrate your successful presentation. Green additive to your tequila is optional.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

Waaa. Recently I posted a nude selfie of myself and now I’m receiving backlash. The thing is, posting nude selfies is what I’m known for so I don’t understand why this is a problem now for people. This one woman, like she’s really old, older than my mom and she’s old, is picking on me and it’s not fair. I am empowered by my body and by my sexuality and by flaunting it to the world. I’m married to a genius who has made his mark on the world and this is how I am making mine. Why can’t people just let me be me? Why do women judge me? Why can’t they just enjoy the art I bring to the world?

Signed,

Jealousy Sucks

Dear Sucks,

I too am bothered by women who are critical of other women because this does nothing to advance women. Another thing I am bothered by is your feeling empowered by your body and sexuality. A better question to ask is, why do I feel the need to objectify myself? You are more than your body and your sexuality. What about your intelligence? What about your character? What about your level of compassion and ability to relate to others? No matter what extreme measures are taken eventually gravity hits us all. What I’m trying to explain is, if you put of all your eggs in your body-basket you could find yourself with nothing but scrambled eggs. Diversify. Challenge yourself to become more than your body. Put down your phone and pick up a book.

Dear Dani,

I’ve got a dilemma and really need your help. I can’t sleep because I’m overwhelmed by what color to paint my house. Currently it’s light brown, but I was thinking of going bold and choosing a medium brown. On the other hand, tan might be nice too. And while I’m thinking about it, ecru could really make a statement. My sister suggested gray, to match the roof, but that’s way out of my comfort zone. What color do you think I should paint my house?

Signed,

Color of Confusion

Dear Confusion,

Really? If this is your biggest problem in life consider yourself lucky. You shouldn’t lose sleep over paint color. In the future say this to yourself. “Is this the end of the world?” Meaning if you choose the wrong paint color, is it the end of the world? No it is not. I would encourage you to think outside of the brown box, but if you can’t, you can’t. Here’s the great thing about paint – you can change it.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I’m my mom’s best friend. She’s like a famous reality star who’s gotten by on her looks, but, like the problem is, those looks are starting to fade. No big deal. It’s part of life. The problem is, well, it’s not really a problem, but the weird thing is my mom keeps hosting Botox parties for me and my friends. I don’t think I really need it, I’m only 19, but apparently I do. My mom keeps using words like “preventative” and “I’ll thank her someday.” Her husband tries to intervene, but we just tune him out. He’s got like a million other kids to deal with and he’s like gone half the time. Here’s the thing, if I had a daughter, I would never stick a needle in her forehead. How do I tell my mom I need a break?

Singed,

Just-a-little-pin-prick

Dear Just,

Find that voice inside and ask your mom for a party at a museum or a girl’s night out an art gallery. Share time with her, but try to elevate your surroundings other than shallow endeavors. Give your mother what you wish she could give you.

Dear Dani,

I carefully selected my wife after going through a check list of what I was looking for. This may sound cold and detached, but I am a perfectionist who suffers from a low level of O.C.D. and require a high level of order in my life. So  when my wife and I met ,and we checked most of the boxes, especially politically, I was relieved not to be alone for the rest of my life. However, now she’s voting for Trump and I want a divorce. Who knew I would feel so strongly about something. Is it okay to ask for a divorce on these grounds?

Signed,

All-Tistic Love

Dear Love,

Why not wait it out a bit? Trump hasn’t won yet, and marriages are often paved with cobblestones, not cement. Ride it out and see if this is something you can get over. Divorce will always be an available avenue.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I am not a poor little rich girl. Yes, I did grow up with extreme wealth and privilege, but that is not my life now. Not only am I broke, I’m in debt. My family and I have moved 5 times in the last 7 years and the stress is killing me – so much so I should be earning mileage from my frequent hospital visits. I love my husband so much, though no one else does, especially my mom, who could change my life with a stroke of pen on a fat check. But she won’t. Our relationship is complicated, to say the least, and I know my father wouldn’t want me to struggle so much. The fact is I don’t want to depend on her. I want to work. I’m not afraid of hard work. The problem is, although I can get the auditions due to my last name, I can’t book the job due to my last name. It’s so unfair. I’ve put myself out there to a humiliating degree and I no longer want to do that. I want to work behind the cameras. Problem is, I need someone to give me a chance. I don’t mind proving myself, but don’t know where to begin. Do you have any suggestions?

Signed,

Wrong Zip Code

Dear Zip,

I like the fact that you want to work, but you need a thorough business plan. Do you have an area of expertise, say living on a budget or a husband that’s a handful? Get some people you respect, not friends that will say yes to any idea you have, but people who are doing what you want to do and brainstorm with them. Which ideas out there are working and how can you make yours better. I wish I could reach out and hug you because you sound vulnerable – and maybe that’s your angle. People like you, ex poor little rich girls, and document their transitions. In the beginning it may not pay a lot but you’ll pick up street cred and respect – things that can’t be bought with the stroke of your mother’s a pen. Good luck!

Dear Dani,

I’ve met the perfect woman. She’s everything I’ve dreamed of – beautiful, smart, makes good money, likes sports and can cook. Jack pot! There’s only one problem, she doesn’t like dogs. Something about being bit by one when she was four. Like, how does she even remember that? I want to have her over for some something-something, but she won’t come over as long as my dog is there. And here’s the irony, I can’t go to her place because she has three cats. I don’t hate cats, but I’m allergic to them. If it were just one, fine. Two, maybe. But three? Forget it. How do I convince her to get rid of her cats and fall in love with my dog, who is a harmless Pitbull?

Signed,

Dogs Rule, Cats are Fools

Dear Fool,

First thing – there is no such thing as a harmless Pitbull. And she may be the perfect woman, but you are not the perfect man. This is a big deal. Animals are family members and you want her to get rid of her children. Why don’t you get rid of your child? The fact that you haven’t thought about boarding your dog for the night, shows you lack problem solving skills. The fact that you haven’t thought of this from her perspective of being afraid of dogs, shows you lack compassion. The fact that you only are thinking about how this affects you, shows you are selfish. I wish this perfect woman had been the one to write in so I could tell her to unleash you immediately.

Dear Dani IconDear Dani,

I am a wise man, got it. I put the art in artist, thot it. I need access to more money for my beautiful ideas, otherwise I’m liable to open pizzerias. Yes, I am rich and can buy furs. But I’m 50 percent better than all the chauffer’s. You can’t control me or use debt against me, because my wife is rich and idolizes me. I can finally admit, my enemy is my ego, plus all the people who live in Montego. I am ultralight beaming right now, so Mark Zuckerberg, take a bow, and together we can disavow, the haters and traitors, and manipulators.

Singed,

Positive Energy

Dear Energy,

Words fail me, but apparently they don’t fail you. Continue to work hard, focus only on yourself, and quit asking others for money. Good luck.

Dear Dani,

Great news! My ex-boyfriend has contacted my once again and says he’s had a change of heart and wants to get back together. He broke up with me two weeks before Christmas, right after I hinted about the gift I was making for him. It wasn’t anything extravagant, just a wind-chime made from some of his empty beer cans. I was heartbroken through the holidays. I had no one to stand under the mistletoe with, no one to kiss on New Year’s Eve, and no one to celebrate Valentine’s Day with. But now all that will change if I agree to give our love another chance. What do you think I should do?

Signed,

Lonely Hearts Club Member

Dear Lonely,

Your ex did what a lot of cheapskates do, and that is, break up with their partners during the holidays so they don’t have to fork out money for gifts. How about this, tell him you’ll consider getting back together, but you want a re-do on those three holidays. If he’s willing, then maybe he really did miss you and getting back together could make you two a stronger couple. However, if he balks, then he too is just lonely, but with an added ingredient – lazy.

heart-1126843_640

Welcome to this special, last minute edition of Dear Dani.

Dear Dani,

I have met an interesting man who’s really into me. I think. He sits in my station almost every day. He comes by at ten in the morning. I bring his coffee and eggs while he reads the paper. This has been going on for three weeks now. He makes small talk. We flirt. He’s older by fifteen years, but I don’t mind. The thing is, he never comes in on Sunday because he takes his mom to church. I know which church it is. What do you think of me surprising him there for Valentine’s Day? It would be so nice to sit with him instead of always being on my feet.

Signed,

Immaculate Beginnings

Dear Immy,

Listen, if you show up at the church unannounced, I’m sorry to tell you, but chances are, you will run into the man and his entire family – wife and kids included. Three weeks isn’t that long. Don’t give into the pressures of a commercially popular holiday that symbolizes manufactured love. Talk to him on Monday.

Dear Dani,

My neighbor is cheating on his wife. He’s married to the most wonderful woman ever. If I told her, I know she would hate me. But if she were to find out, say, by an anonymous source, would that be alright? I promise to listen, while I’m consoling her.

Signed,

Dirty Deeds DDC

Dear Dirty,

Here’s the thing, sounds like this marriage will implode with or without your help, and those close by usually get hit with shrapnel. You say she’s wonderful, then back off if you envision a future. But if you just want to lower yourself to her husband’s standards, go ahead, because what you’re doing is called cheating, too.

Dear Dani,

Like thousands of other people, I’m supposed to be proposing to my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. To me, it’s lame, but it’s my girlfriend’s dream. So fine. My problem is, lucky for me, my grandmother is giving us the ring my grandfather gave to her. Shortly before they divorced. Unlucky for me, my soon-to-be-fiancé wants to have the ring like totally redesigned, but my grandmother said no. My not-yet-bride then said she would do it the minute the old bitch dies. My question is, is okay for me to buy a fake ring and not give her my grandmother’s ring at all? Just in case things don’t work out.

Signed,

Cuban Zirco

Dear Zirco,

Sure. If that’s your question, to purchase a fake ring, by all means, follow your gut. Now if your gut tells you not to propose, and wait a bit longer, listen to that. Or if your gut tells you that if she’s like this during the wedding, what’s she going to be like during the divorce, and you’re thinking of holding off, then listen to that. And if your gut tells you that you have no clue what it takes to make a marriage work, and you’re thinking of running for the nearest exit, by all means listen to that.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Zirco – Please understand what you are experiencing with your girlfriend could be considered a red-flag. It is, however, your decision to explore your truth and no one else should project their truth onto you.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I may only be six-years old, but my family thinks I’m a baby. Recently my mommy went away to write a book, but I think everyone is lying to me. Why would someone miss my birthday, and my sisters’ birthdays, to go write a book at a women’s camp. At least that’s what they called it. To me, it seemed like a jail because of all the high fences and policemen carrying guns and people crying. My friends at school say my mommy was in prison, but I ignore them and play along with the “writing a book” story because it seems to make everyone happy.

Now the new story is my daddy will be going away to “work.” He will be away a lot longer than mommy was, and further away, but they say we’ll still visit him like we did mommy. Which I hated doing because the other people there scared me. My question is, I know lying is wrong, but do I just go along with this lie or do I tell them I’m not a baby anymore and can handle the truth. (I saw that in a movie our daddy let us watch.)

Signed,

Turning the Lies

Dear  Turning,

I have found that children are very smart – and you are certainly proof of that. When parents lie to their children, they see it as a form of protection, not as deceit. Telling the truth is always best and it builds trust within kids. Nationwide 7.5 million children have one or more parent in prison, so you are not alone. And since honesty is the best policy, I think you should set an example for your parents and let them know you know the truth. You will always be their baby, but it might be a relief for them to know you are growing into a very smart girl.

Dear Dani,

After being married for 16 years, my wife and I divorced. She wanted kids; I did not, so she chose to get out before her eggs dried up, as she put it. So not wanting to stand in her way of becoming a mother, I agreed to the divorce, giving her most of what she asked for. She’s a terrific woman, but I’ve heard she hasn’t met anyone and isn’t pregnant. I may have a solution. A young woman I had a brief fling with told me she’s pregnant. She says it’s mine, but I have no intention of marrying her. She originally thought she wanted the baby, but now she’s changed her mind and the time to abort has come and gone. Neither of us wants the baby. Would it be okay to suggest that my ex-wife adopt and raise the baby provided we don’t have any future responsibilities whatsoever?

Signed,

Cruel to be Kind

Dear Cruel,

I’m so glad your ex-wife got out when she did. Here’s the problem with adoption as told to me by countless adoptive hopefuls – young mothers, and sometimes fathers, change their minds. The baby is placed in the adoptive mother’s/parent’s arms, and when the time period is up for finalization, when everyone has a routine and functioning like a normal family, guilt or loss prompts the birth parent(s) to change their mind. How do you know this young woman you had a fling with won’t do this? She’s already changed her mind once. On the other hand, if you really think your ex-wife would make a great mother, albeit a single parent, then mention it first to the girl you impregnated. It’s imperative you conduct a DNA test to make sure you are in fact the father. That way at least we can count on you to legally shirk your responsibilities. If the young mom agrees, sit down with your ex-wife alone and ask her. If she agrees, involve a therapist and lawyer right away. Though this is messy, it might have a happy ending. And by the way, one more person to involve would be a urologist. Get a vasectomy for god’s sake. If you don’t want children, man up and be responsible, for once.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I wish everyone would just get off my case. I don’t live my life according to what others think. What’s wrong with living life to the fullest? I am committed to everything I do, whether it’s playing craps in Vegas or playing in the…office. Now I hear I might be fired for going out and celebrating life during one of my off days. I am so mad! Who do these people think they are? I know what you’re thinking – why not disguise myself so not to cause attention? Been there, done that, saw the pictures. Guess what? I don’t care if they fire me. And I don’t need more rehab, though it would help if my on-again-off-again girlfriend would stop calling the cops, but other than that, I don’t care. I can name five other companies who would jump at the chance to hire me. Why should it matter that I’m just living a normal life, if I’m achieving my main goals?

Signed,

Who’s the Poor Sport Now

PS – I really don’t care what you think either.

Dear Poor Sport,

I believe you have a problem, and that problem has nothing to do with your job. It’s a problem when no one walks to work with you and it’s a problem when you think you are bigger than the business. Perhaps a sabbatical for soul-searching season is a good choice for you.  

Dear Dani,

I hate football. I pretend to like it because guys like it. It’s the same with fishing, hunting, bowling, rock climbing, swimming, bike riding, running, working out, playing cards, golfing, volleyball or throwing darts. I am busy all the time doing things I hate and it hasn’t helped me find my soulmate. I’ve been invited to a Superbowl Party with an entirely new crowd of people who don’t know me. I’ve been thinking about being myself and telling people the truth about my hobbies. The truth is, the only thing I like to do is take funny photos of my seven cats, but I worry people will think I’m weird. You don’t think I’m weird, do you, Dani?

Singed,

Cat Lady Extraordinaire

Dear Lady,

In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think you’re that weird. Perhaps revealing your true self at this party isn’t the best game plan. Try a different strategy so you don’t fumble. Why don’t you have some hang time, eat the snacks, have a few drinks, watch the commercials, and let the evening form naturally. Don’t blindside someone with a bunch of information they don’t need to know. Guys like a great listener, so close your mouth, open your ears and maybe you’ll meet an eligible receiver and score in the end zone.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I am a mom first and a woman second. You betcha, I take offense when my kids come under attack because of my notoriety. Although they do have the occasional brushes with the law, make  the occasional bad choice, and don’t always practice what they conservatively preach, who does, ya know? We Americans are hard-working people and tired of this lame-stream media misconstruing and misjudging and misplacing good ole American values. I for one love my freedom, and those who don’t should just move from our great nation, but I think there should be limits on what people can say about one’s family. Enough of this pussy-footing around already. When will we tire of the dire, sitting in the mire, ready to become a liar, because they don’t command fire? So, you tell me, Dani, shouldn’t children be off limits?

Signed,

Rogue Momma

Dear Rogue,

Although your question is a bit all over the place, yes, I do think children should be off limits – if by children you mean persons under the age of 18 and not disabled (bad choices don’t quality as disabled). However, has it occurred to you that you may be using your children as a platform to spout your agenda? Probably not. From this point forward, just don’t answer questions from the media, however lame they are, about your kids. In other words, when they pounce, denounce and don’t announce how you feel, then bounce from the room.  

Dear Dani,

I may only be ten years-old, but I don’t get all the arguing over the Oscars. My piano teacher, Miss MacIlvey, says she used to give out trophies to the best performers but had to stop because people argued with her choices when she was trying to do something nice. Those complainers ruined it for the rest of us. Why don’t they just take away the Oscars and stop the arguing, it seemed to work for my piano teacher?

Signed,

Lack of Gold Statues

Dear Gold,

I’m sorry not everyone is as smart as your piano teacher. Keep practicing the piano because all that matters is how you feel about your contribution to the arts. (Unless you happen to join the symphony when you grow up, then they will be more demanding of your skills.) Good luck.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I am misunderstood. This happens to me quite a bit. People think I’m a fun dude who likes to party when in fact I’m a very serious man who wants to save the world. Recently, I had the opportunity to try “experiential” writing. While I don’t have a “license” to write, since any bozo can do it, I decided to give it a try. Here’s how it works, you find a subject and write about your experience with that subject. You don’t have to bother yourself with facts about this person, like if they’ve murdered people or are wanted by officials, unless these things take place while you are conducting the interview. The thing is, I’m just trying to put out my point of view and so-called real writers – who are a bunch of hypocrites – don’t see how my experience is a pillar for a new type of reporting. My question is, how do I stop the haters from ruining my reputation and making a mountain out of a, what’s it called, an ant bed? Thanks for your help.

Signed,

The Shorty End of the Stick

Dear Stick,

There isn’t really a license for writers but there are definitely credentials. Perhaps you stepped on a few toes in pursuit of your “experiential” writing – something I’ve not heard of until now. Part of what you describe sounds irresponsible, fact checking and including those facts are a very intrinsic part of reporting to show a balanced point of view. What you’re describing is more of an essay. Please know, writing concise and cohesive articles is NOT something any bozo can do. However, your question is how to stop the haters from ruining your reputation. There’s a saying in this business called “Don’t feed the trolls.” What this means is you do nothing. The more you say or the more you react, the more your reputation will continue to take a beating. Also, an apology will go far. Hopefully you aren’t too serious of a person to see that you aren’t the only person trying to save the world.

Dear Dani,

You know the saying, always the bridesmaid, never the bride? Well, for me it’s, always the guest-book keeper and never the bridesmaid. Yesterday I opened another e-vite to a wedding and with it was a note asking if I would mind handling this task. How rude! Not even a phone call. Part of me wants to hit the “Can’t Go” button, but this wedding will be classy, held at a dance hall, and not in someone’s backyard like they usually are. The bride is really marrying up – he’s a lawyer who handles accident claims. If I go, maybe I could meet someone of his stature. But if I don’t go, then I’m teaching people to treat me with respect. Which road should I take?

Signed,

Not a Guest Book-Zilla

Dear Zilla,

Sometimes in life we have to decide between our heart and our head. Your head doesn’t like being ignored, but your heart doesn’t want to miss out on the potential fun. Personally, I would love to be in charge of the guest book. You don’t have to buy a dress you’ll never wear again or be at the bride’s beck and call. Dream job! Should the bride have asked you in person? Sure, but in today’s technological society, this is not unheard of. It comes down to how close of a friend the bride is. Is she a childhood friend? Is she a casual acquaintance? And take out of the equation the groom’s friends. For all you know they could be married. Now do you want to go? When the heart and head are in conflict, go with your gut. And I think your gut wants to party at a dance hall.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I am a woman of means, but no matter how much I give to my son, he keeps getting into trouble. A couple of years ago he was in trouble with the law and though the event was super tragic, he was punished for it. However it wasn’t enough for some people.

Recently I took my son on a little vacation which caused such an uproar you’d think we weren’t allowed to take a break from the constant watchful eyes of society. We tried to phone his “advisor” but because I didn’t extend my cell phone range the “advisor” apparently didn’t receive the message that we would check in upon our return. My bad. Now everyone really has it out for my young and impressionable son.

My question is, would it be okay to bring the new designer bag I purchased on vacation to my court appearance? I’m worried other people’s jealousy could influence the judge. Also, how do I explain that this was my fault, not his?

Signed,

An Affluent Mom

Dear Affluent,

My first impression is you don’t sound like a mom, but more like a friend, the kind of friend you don’t want your kid to hang out with. If he is above 18, this is both of your faults. But your concern over the bag, rather than your son, takes the cake. In times like these it’s important to remember karma. Whatever you say or do will come back to you. Good and bad. Clearly you both need to a healthy dose of tough love in the name of jail time and financial loss so you’re no longer infected with this type of sickness.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Affluent Mom – We do not wish any particular harm to your situation, only that you have a fair trial and face the consequences head on. However, with todays court systems in turmoil and capable of sending innocent people to jail, it’s not guaranteed.

Dear Dani,

I’m about to be married for the third time – hopefully this will be the charm! The only problem is my daughter does not get along with my soon-to-be wife. Which is weird because I thought since they are roughly the same age, they would. I’m not saying “besties” as the kids today say, just good friends. I’ve done everything I can think of to help. I took them ice skating. I took them shopping. I took them to the movies to see “Star Wars” but each time my daughter has grown more hostile. And it’s not the age thing. My daughter has always been exposed to the young women I date. My question is, how can I help them get along?

Signed,

Loving Dad

Dear Dad,

Although I know this will spark a reaction from Dr. Dock, Loving Dad, are you that dense? Do you not see what you are doing? Do women closer to your own age intimidate you? Are you more comfortable with girls  who are your daughter’s age because you seem wiser and like the power this gives you? Run, don’t walk, to the nearest mental health care professional. The problem is you, not your daughter.

*Special note for Dr. Imareal Dock

Dear Loving Dad – I concur with the diagnosis and recommendation.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I am an educated woman who believes in southern values. Due to my husband’s less than honest living, he is incarcerated and I am raising our two, beautiful sons on my own. I don’t know what made my soon-to-be ex choose the devil’s path, but I’m sure it was difficult living up to my many successes. I’m just about as perfect as the Lord’s Sunday afternoon and this was probably hard for him to compete with. At this time I don’t feel I should take our very young and very brilliant sons to visit their father in prison, which is several states away, but many of my so-called friends are of the opinion that I should. What say you, Dear Dani?

Signed,

A Real Single Mother

Dear Mother,

So this guy, your husband, chose a life of crime and imprisonment as a way to compensate for your successes? Let me get you a ladder to help you climb down from your high horse. You didn’t say how long your soon-to-be ex’s sentence was for, but if it’s longer than five years, I say you have time to decide. If your gut tells you now is not the right time, listen to it. In time if your brilliant boys want to know their criminal father, you should listen to them. Tune out your friends because they won’t be living  with the aftermath of raising two young men without a father – you will – southern values or not.

Dear Dani,

I just learned that I may be a millionaire! It’s about damn time. In the next week I will receive a check, according to the lawyers, after I sign some paperwork, I need to make some big decisions. The first decision I’ve made is I’m not sharing one red cent with my family. They are rude and I don’t agree with the choices they have made in life. Second decision I’ve made is to move far away. I think once the family knows how rich I am they might try to snuff me out. My question to you, Dani, should I use some of the money to buy a few guns?

Signed,

No Heir to Win

Dear Heir,

Whoa there. Stop everything you are doing and sit down. I have something to tell you and you need to listen. You are not the winner of a million dollars. You are most likely the potential victim of a scam. Is there anyone in your life you do trust, besides your family, like clergy, doctor, or police that you can show this documentation to? Certainly before you move away and burn bridges behind you. I wish the people who prey on the innocent receive a special kind of hell, but in the meantime, don’t add to their list of success stories, don’t give them any of your money or your information, and don’t, I repeat, don’t purchases any guns.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I’m going to a party for NYE where I won’t know anyone and I’m thinking of backing out. A work friend, who always seemed like a pretty cool dude, asked me to go and split Uber. No prob. The party sounds cool – these rich people go all out with a rock band and an awesome buffet – but two days ago I found out something that has me worried. A different co-worker saw him at a bar a few weeks ago and he was trashed. Knocking over a table and yelling at some waitress. I want to go to this party, but I’m finally on my way up at this company and don’t need this hassle. My question is, could I go and if he gets stupid, put him an Uber by himself? And who pays?

Signed,

Don’t Stop the Party

Dear Party,

I guess you can try that, but what if he won’t go? He sounds like an angry drunk and they aren’t fun. You need to have a talk before you go to the party about expectations, but if you aren’t the talking-with-your-buds type person, and you really want to go, have a Plan B. On the way to the party, in Uber, plant the seed that you might need to leave early. It’s NYE. Plans change. People hookup. No big deal. If you have to kick in a couple of bucks for his ride home, do it. And while it’s not your job to monitor your co-worker’s alcohol intake, it would be nice if you encouraged him to eat something.

Dear Dani,

I have met the most wonderful man ever. He checks 27 of the 34 “must haves” on my list of character traits a man must have to be considered “marriage material.” That’s the most, so far. The next closest was a guy who had 24, but that was two years ago and he left me for his ex-girlfriend. Seems I was just his rebound girl. We dated for two months, did things couples do, and then – poof – he was gone. From that point on, I only came across guys in the high teens and low twenties, and the relationships ended around the six-week mark by one or both of us.

So back to this new guy. I want to ask him to a New Year’s Eve party at this hotel. It’s kind of fancy, he would need to wear a suit, and I’m not sure he would agree to that. Of the boxes he doesn’t check, fashion is one of them. I don’t mind so much because I know I can change this and help him become the man he’s supposed to be. I’ve met other men who’ve been off the charts on fashion and have even given me tips, but soon learned they weren’t into me for “other” reasons. It’s nice to know this time around I don’t have to worry about that.

Another box he doesn’t check is gift giving. That’s important and one of my “love languages” but again, that’s trainable. Men sometimes need a little encouragement to give gifts. And I’m not talking expensive jewelry, just some handpicked flowers, a thoughtful note, an unexpected visit. Simple things like that. My question is, should I invite him to the party? And should I casually suggest that he let me help him choose something out of his closet? And if he wants to do something different, but together, should I cancel my plans?

Signed,

The Stylish Stylist 

Dear SS,

No.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

Thank you for taking last minute holiday questions, I can really use your help. My boyfriend “Bobby” just dropped by my mother’s house to give me his gift before leaving town with his family. We are each in our early 30’s and have each been married and divorced once. He has no kids, mine are teens. “Bobby” just gave me the worst gift ever. It’s a fake high-heel shoe and it holds a bottle of wine, but the cheap-skate didn’t even give me a bottle of wine nor did he wrap the shoe. At the time he stopped by I hadn’t finished wrapping his gifts yet so I said to get it later. Now I don’t want to give him anything. What should I do?

Signed,

To forgetaboutit or not

Dear Forgetaboutit,

As you know, we are all busy this time of year so I’ll be brief. Yes, you should kick “Bobby” to the curb. Normally I don’t condone breakups over material items but he has definitely shown you what he thinks and feels about you. First, he got you a gift probably from the Walgreens just up the street. So there was no thought, other than the five minutes it took him to roam the aisles. Second, he didn’t wrap it. Everyone wraps gifts at Christmas time to heighten the surprise. And third, the fact that while at Walgreens he didn’t go one aisle over and get a bottle of wine to go with the shoe, says in no uncertain terms that you aren’t worth it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but stop wasting your time and energy on this guy and go find a real man whom you deserve.

Dear Dani,

My kids are driving me crazy and my husband is no help. I want to run away. What are some suggestions to making it through the holidays without screaming until I lose my voice?

Signed,

1-800-Missing 

Dear Missing,

Are you a drinker by any chance? Ha-ha. That was just an attempt to make you laugh. Hopefully it didn’t make you start packing. I don’t have kids, though I do have a few nieces and nephews who can by trying on the nerves. But here’s what my mom did when we were growing up. Whenever we were on the naughty list and our dad wasn’t helping, she would repeat this phrase over and over again: “This too shall pass; this too shall pass.” And it wasn’t just for Christmas, this phrase came in handy throughout the entire year. These times won’t last and soon these kids will grow up and leave. (Fingers crossed.) When you’re feeling stressed out, put yourself in time-out, grab a glass of vino and step into a nice, hot bubble bath. Make dad help for 30 minutes while he watches football or whatever he does. Sometimes we need to ask for what we need and not depend on others to read our minds.

Happy Holidays – Dear Readers!

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I have been married to my wife for 5 years. Everything was magical that first year, but during the second year she was diagnosed with some kind of chronic fatigue syndrome. She has done everything under the sun medically in this country and a few others, but isn’t getting better, just deeper into a life of treatment. She even tried removing the silver from her fillings. To me, that’s not a big deal because where we live everyone has very white teeth, but some friends found it extreme. The thing is, I’m tired of her need for constant attention over her health and have decided it’s best to save myself from this prism of sickness and ask for a divorce. The thing is, we sold our house and she’s living in the condo I had before the marriage, and I need someplace to go. Hotels get expensive. Is it okay to start eviction proceedings? She has a rich ex-husband who can help her out more than I can.

Signed,

A Real Bachelor

Dear Bachelor,

I can hear in your words that you are done with a capital D. But do you really think pushing off your not-quite-ex on her other ex is the way to go? This is your marriage and you played a part in this “prism of sickness” though you seem oblivious to your contribution. I’m not a lawyer but I think she’s got squatter’s rights until the divorce receives a disposition. If you want her out of the condo you’re going to have to make sure where she’s going is nicer than where she’s been. And don’t be a jerk about it. You’ve stayed for 5 years, what’s a few more months.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Bachelor – As professionals we should not resort to name-calling, i.e. jerk, so I apologize on behalf of therapists. Having said that, try to exit the marriage with the dignity and respect your sick wife deserves.

Dear Dani,

I am super nervous about buying a gift for my new boyfriend. He’s totally awesome, but like, I don’t want to scare him off or give him the wrong impression by getting something that’s too nice. But, like, I also don’t want to look cheap and get something completely practical like cologne, like one of my totally stupid friend suggested. I was thinking of a gift card to the movies because we go a lot, but that seems selfish. I also thought about getting him a fish tank with some really cool fish, but, like what if he forgets to feed them? He doesn’t have a maid like I do that handles this kind of stuff. A different friend said to give him something risqué, but, like gross, we’re too new for that. He likes to watch football and I was thinking of giving him a coupon for one small party in our media room, but other friends said I was rubbing my family’s wealth in his face. Dani, what is the perfect gift that says, I like you a lot?

Signed,

Presently Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

Like, you are totally over thinking this. A gift card is the perfect way to go, but if you want to do something different, get several, in smaller increments (don’t overwhelm him with high $ amounts) and create a future date. Restaurant. Movie. Dessert. And if you really want to be creative, put the cards in a big box with a rock in it so he’s thrown off. Have fun with it and don’t get serious. Save that for next year, like, if you’re still together.

 

Dear Dani Icon

 

 

 

 

Dear Dani,

This weekend is our company party and I don’t want to go. Last year I made a complete fool out of myself including breaking a table while dancing and falling asleep on the toilet seat in the women’s bathroom. I’m a dude and have no idea why or how I got there. I didn’t lose my job and was able to move past the shame and humiliation around February. My co-workers are very much looking forward to what kind of ass I’ll make out of myself this year and even if I don’t go near the open bar, I’m in a no-win situation. Any suggestions as what to do?

Signed

Office Party-Pooper

Dear Party-Pooper,

Here’s why they are looking forward to your being at the party – no matter how drunk they were last year, no one remembers, thanks to you – and they like the freedom this allows them to drink. An open bar at a company party is a bad idea. They should hand out two drink tickets each. I think you should go, but have a plan in place like arriving early and leaving early. Have a drink or two, but that’s it. Let someone else take over the reigns for this year’s office party drunk.

Dear Dani,

I’ve met the perfect guy. He’s handsome, helpful, and an all around great person. The only problem is he’s 15 years younger, doesn’t have a job, and still lives with his mom. But other than that, he’s perfect. He’s great at handy-man projects so I’ve begun helping him get the word out, and little by little, he’s been starting his own business and earning money. The problem is, last week a woman who I thought was a friend but turns out she’s just a nasty old skank, hit on him. Now I don’t want him to work and think it would be best if he just watched after my four kids. What do you think?

Signed,

He’s-mine-back-off

Dear Back-off,

Where to begin. You are not his mother. It’s not up to you to find his career or redirect his career when something makes you uncomfortable. It’s not your place to control him because you are not his mother. Do not have this man watch your kids. Being hit on will happen because every dog has it’s day. What’s important is to build trust. He told you what happened, that should show you he’s trustworthy, but something tells me this is the least of your problems. My advice is to let him go because you are not his mother.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I did something terrible at my family’s house over Thanksgiving weekend. I guess you could say that I had one too many and I blurted out that my niece’s father is in prison. She’s seven years old and apparently thinks her father is fighting for our country. No one has told her the truth. I knew they were keeping some details from her, like the fact that he was convicted of fraud after stealing from our government, but I thought they were saying he was away at “work.” Over the weekend, every time the kid saw a photo of a soldier, she kept saying her daddy is hero. Dani, I may not have a job at the moment and I may have a slight drinking problem, but I am not a criminal or a liar, however, I am now the villain in our family. Could you please defend my actions so I can give my family the article? Thanks.

Signed,

A not-so-happy Drunk

Dear Drunk,

You’re probably not going to hand over my response to your family, but I hope you do. Most important, you have a drinking problem you need to tackle. So what the kid thought her dad was a war hero, it wasn’t your place to correct her, and now you’ve crushed the world of a seven year-old. Trust me, she would have eventually learned the truth about her father.

Since, it appears your family likes to support the underdog, here is some good news for you. If you check into a clinic or start attending AA meetings, they will probably forgive you, but you have to act fast. Maybe your drinking has something to do with why you don’t have a job, in any event, you have anger issues bubbling under the surface that come out when you drink. You need to address these. Then I suggest you pick out the perfect Hallmark card age-appropriate for your niece apologizing for your behavior. Keep it simple and give it to the mom – do not usurp her authority – I repeat – do not usurp her authority. You’ve done enough damage.

Dear Dani,

On Thanksgiving, in front of my entire family, the man I’m dating proposed to me. He got down on one knee and said the words, “Will you marry me.” My family was stunned. I was stunned. He didn’t have a ring, so I think he may have stunned himself. What I think triggered this was my family mentioning an exboyfriend who has moved back to town. I didn’t say anything, just nodded, but I broke up with him for a reason. The thing is, because I was so caught off guard when my bf proposed, I acted like it was a joke and for him to get off the floor. Now he won’t speak to me and has sent a text requesting his things from my apartment to be placed in a box and left on my front porch at a certain time and for me not to be at home. Any suggestions as to how to handle this?

Singed,

Rebuff regrets

Dear Regrets,

You don’t mention in your letter that you want to spend the rest of your life with your boyfriend and made a mistake with your hasty answer, so I’ll take that as a cue to how you really feel about marrying your boyfriend. I think you may be right that this was an impromptu gesture on his part, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been thinking about it, just not long enough to purchase the ring. I think you should honor his request, but place a note in the box explaining your thoughts and feelings. Your boyfriend is having a knee-jerk reaction to the embarrassment of being rejected. Don’t add to his embarrassment by forcing him to hear you out on your front porch.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

When I first met my husband he told me he didn’t want kids. Five years later he has now changed his mind and we are pregnant. I’ve never had that burning passion to be pregnant, but agreed because he’s promised to share all responsibilities like diaper changes, getting up in the middle of the night, and discipline. The only request my husband has made is that he doesn’t want to name our baby (it’s a boy) after him. He is “Abercrombie Doe IV” and doesn’t want his son to be “Abercrombie Doe V” because he was relentlessly teased for his unusual first name. Secretly, his parent’s have offered me $10K to convince my husband of the importance to continue with tradition. I really could use the money for a mommy make over after I give birth, and just because we place the name on a birth certificate, doesn’t mean we can’t give him a really cool nick-name. Is it okay to take the money?

Signed,

What’s in a name

Dear

What’s in a name,

Apparently $10,000. Holly cow. This question is the equivalent to looking at a bad accident as you drive past. I don’t want to help you, but I feel compelled to do so. On the one hand you seem shallow and blasé, on the other, I wish someone would give me $10K for baby naming rights. I think it’s your intention to use the money for a “mommy makeover” that’s the tipping point to making this whole thing unsavory. How will you explain to your husband the ability to pay for such a procedure? Lottery scratch-off? And what if he (hopefully) prefers to put the money in a college fund, will you be okay with that? Just come clean with your husband. Tell him the truth and maybe he’ll be supportive. But be prepared if he’s not.

Dear Dani,

The most wonderful opportunity has fallen into my lap. I have been selected to go on a reality show where I, and 19 other women, have the chance to meet our Prince Charming. I’m all set to go, there’s just one thing…my nine month old baby girl. My momma has agreed to take care of her, and I’ll only be gone for one month (or less), my question is, at what point should I let him know about my child?

Signed,

Bachelorette Baby

 Dear Bachelorette, 

There are so many issues here, but I’ll just answer the guestion you’ve asked. If this were just a typical first date, dinner and a movie, I would recommend sometime over dinner. If he’s not impressed or doesn’t want children, why bother going to the movie. He’s not worthy. Now fast-forward to your “The Bachelor” situation. I’m sure you’re thinking if you tell him right away you won’t receive a rose. Maybe you will and maybe you won’t. You know virtually nothing about this man. Let’s say he is a prince charming, to use your words. These hook-ups rarely work out. So why bring a man you don’t know around your child? Why give away your power to a stranger and worry that he’ll reject you on the basis of motherhood. Personally, I don’t think you have any business going on a reality show right now, and if that’s where your priorities, I’m worried for you and your daughter’s future.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Bachelorette – We all have different priorities as we go through life and it’s best to not have regrets. If you think this is an opportunity you can’t pass up, be honest when asked about your life. If you’re sent home right away, consider it a blessing and not a curse.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

When I first met my husband in college, I made better grades, had more friends, was more involved in student activities, and had the support of a great family. He had none of those things. Truth be told, he upgraded his status by marrying me. Flash forward five years and he no longer treats me special. Sure, he’s gotten a great job at a great firm making great money, but my dad got him that interview. I recognize that my resentment at being able to stay home and take care of our son would be considered a privilege by some, but I’m losing my mind. I want to be the interesting person I used to be. I want my husband to recognize how lucky he is to have me. I don’t want to feel this way anymore.

Signed,

Prize Princess

Dear Prize,

You sound like a real catch. You resent the man you chose to marry for becoming successful and your equal. For most people who feel unfulfilled by staying home, I would recommend getting a job or doing volunteer work, however, I don’t think that’s what you want or need. I appreciate that you say you don’t want to feel this way anymore, but I’m worried all you really want is for someone to grovel at your feet. Instead of getting a job or getting involved, perhaps you should get help. You need to work through why you resent your husband. Would you prefer he get fired and start over at a lower position, perhaps forcing you to add to the family income? If so, own it. But you need to figure out why you feel this way before you can figure out how to handle it.

Dear Dani,

A couple years ago my girlfriend cheated on me with a guy she worked with. As typical, I was the last to know. My friends who knew all adopted a “it’s not our business” attitude and I didn’t find out until I literally walked in on them after missing a flight. Obviously I ended things with her, but now, this girl I work with who’s married with kids is having an affair with a co-worker. They make me sick. I have already reported them anonymously to HR, but nothing has happened except they are more sneaky. I don’t know her husband, but I’ve located him on FB and I’m thinking of sending him a warning. What are your thoughts?

 Signed,

Scorned Good-Guy

Dear Scorned,

My thoughts are you’ve done enough. You say you don’t know the husband, so coming from an anonymous source will diminish your believability. You are doing something in psychology 101 we call – Projecting. This woman is not your ex-girlfriend. Furthermore, you know nothing about her home life or her arrangement with her husband. Any why is that? Because it’s none of your damn business. Stay out of it, but understand that just like for you, eventually the truth will come out.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani, 

My girlfriend recently broke up with me after I offered to buy her breast implants. Most girls would love this, I’m pretty sure, but even if they didn’t, wouldn’t the normal response be to just say no. Breast implants are today’s roses and chocolates. I was thinking of trying to win her back but wanted to get your opinion first.

Signed,

Bigger is Better 

Dear Bigger (though I’m guessing you are not better),

You are lucky it’s a slow week otherwise I would have filed this question in my trash can. Breast implants are NOT today’s roses and chocolates. Please tell me you’re not really this obtuse. First of all, cosmetic surgery is not without risk and often involves a lot of pain. And that’s if everything goes right. But I will consent that some women would like this “gift” if they’ve been bringing it up. You don’t mention that your girlfriend ever expressed dissatisfaction in her cup size. How would you like it if she offered you a penile implant. After all, it’s the new cigar and liquor. Would that feel good? If you want to reach out and apologize to her, I think you should. But don’t be surprised if she doesn’t give you a breast of a chance.

Dear Dani,

I’m in debt. I’ve been offered a lot of money to donate my kidney to a rich, but complete stranger. I’m healthy, young, and only need one. This would clear my debt and put me at zero. Should I go forward with it?

Signed,

My Body, My Choice

Dear Your Body,

What’s up with the medical questions this week? As you probably know, selling body parts such as a kidney is against the law. But I’m not going to get into the moral or legal ramifications. Kidney donation is major surgery. You will be in the hospital for a minimum of three days and probably out of commission for an entire month. Sure, you’re young and the long term risk is minimal, but you will have little recourse should something go awry during recovery or later in life because you broke the law. If you were doing this for altruistic reasons, I’d still caution you about moving forward. But sense you asked me for advice, here it is: when in doubt, don’t.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear My/Your Body – A psychologist or other mental health professional may be required to break confidentiality in order to protect a client from harming oneself or breaking the law. Food for thought.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

Halloween is coming up and once again I am terrified. I’m nearly 30 years old, but after a childhood tragedy that left my sister injured on that very night 20 years ago, I dread this time of year. Please don’t tell me to go see an psychiatrist. Been there. Done that. Last year I left the country and fled to a place that doesn’t celebrate Halloween. This year I can’t do that. My plan is to stay home, turn off my lights, and read a book in the closet so I don’t have to listen to the door bell every time it rings. Hopefully there will be a thunderstorm so less kids will go trick-or-treating. Is this normal?

Signed,

No Trick or Treat

Dear Trick,

Visualize the picture you have painted – It was a dark and stormy night. A terrified woman turns off her lights and reads a book in the dark closet by flashlight, hiding from the world of ghosts and goblins.

Your version of events is more frightening. I’m sorry to hear that a psychiatrist wasn’t able to help you through the trauma with your sister. Sometimes therapy is like oysters – it’s not for everyone – but you do need to find a way to address this. Come out of the closet. Invite a trusted friend over, get some candy, and have fun answering the door and seeing all the fun costumes. Maybe it would help to sit outside in a lawn chair and greet the kids so you don’t have the added tension of not know what’s behind the door. At 9:00pm turn off your front lights, go inside, get out a good book, and read it in bed like you are supposed to. 

Dear Dani,

I think I may be the subject of last week’s Halloween costume question. I meet all the criteria, length of time dating, dressing like a girl, even the parties we planned to attend together. Your advice was right. It’s no big deal, I’m not a cross dresser, just a guy who grew up with older sisters. I haven’t asked her but it’s got me thinking, if she’s so uptight on the one night anything goes, maybe she isn’t “the one.”

Singed,

Bait and Trick

Dear Bait,

So you think you are “He’s a Woman Hear Him Roar” and your girlfriend is now uptight, but you’re not sure because you haven’t asked her. Quick question: why are you asking me about this instead of your girlfriend? Your choice of Halloween costume has nothing to do with the bigger picture. If you two are not “the ones” for each other, it will no doubt have to do with your lack of communication skills. Man up and talk to her about it. Preferably when you are not wearing a dress.

*Special note for Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Bait – Dani should have mentioned that determining if your mate is or isn’t “the one” by one single action is not the way go. Couples counseling will increase your odds of finding out. Your talk with your girlfriend should include this suggestion if you are serious about learning more, but again, without wearing a dress.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I have a real therapy question. A few months ago I was at a garage sale when I came across a yellow therapy dog jacket. It was the perfect size for Buster who I was thinking of getting certified because of his easy temperament around other people. In the past two months I’ve taken Buster to the mall three times, the movies once, six restaurants, the library, weekly trips to the grocery store, and an eye doctor appointment, all without incident. I don’t think Buster needs the actual classes because he’s so gentle. Is this okay?

Signed,

It’s a Dog’s Life

Dear It’s Not Your Dog’s Life,

No. This is not okay. Think about the liability. You say your dog is gentle with people, but what if Buster should encounter another dog? What then? You need training to handle these situations even if you think your dog does not. Also, why do you feel the need to bring your dog so many places? If the answer is because it soothes your anxiety, this is something you should examine deeper. But if nothing else, think of Buster’s anxiety, and stop what you are doing until further training.

Dear Dani, 

I’ve been dating what I thought was a great guy for a couple of months, but now I’m not so sure. “Pat” is smart, articulate, successful, generous and kind. We’ve decided that this year we’ll go as a couple to two Halloween parties – one with his friends and one with mine. The problem is the costume he’s wearing. “Pat” is dressing up as a woman. He then showed me pictures from three previous Halloween’s wearing his outfit. I’ll admit, “Pat” makes a very sexy woman. The detail he puts into his shoes, dress, and makeup are…unsettling to me. I absolutely can not bring him to my friends’ house. I’d die of embarrassment. But is there a bigger problem here? Should I be worried he’s a cross-dresser or sexually confused?

Signed,

He’s a Woman Hear Him Roar

Dear Roar,

I’ll admit, your question threw me at first, but after sharing it with Dr. Imareal Dock, she assured me this is a “somewhat common” thing for men to embark on once a year. Dr. Dock says it “doesn’t necessarily mean” that Pat’s confused, just that his sense of humor is different from yours. But I want to talk to you about boundaries on your comfort zone. Be honest with Pat that this confuses, disturbs, and embarrasses you. Maybe in a year this won’t seem so significant. For today though, it’s important that you are honest with yourself and Pat about your conflicted feelings. If it’s a deal breaker for him, you may have your answer, though it may feel like more of a trick than a treat.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I’ve been dating this wonderful woman for six months. In my past I was an admitted cad once or twice, but I’m older now, nearing 50 and never thought I’d feel this way again. Somehow I’ve stumbled onto true love that I don’t deserve. My friends find this very amusing and have taken to calling her “Karma” since it’s similar to her real name. No one has met her yet for longer than a few minutes, but next week we will be going on a short vacation with some of my friends and their wives. I’m really worried one of guys will slip up and call by the other name or tell her horror stories from my past. Should I come up with an excuse to back out of the trip? I get it. I don’t deserve her, bus since this could be my last chance at happiness, I don’t want them blowing it for me.

Signed,

Reformed Romeo

Dear Reformed,

Once or twice you were a cad? The nickname your guy friends have given your girlfriend is interesting. They apparently feel she will be the one to give you the heartache you gave to others. Have you ever heard of the term: self-fulfilling prophecy? You could be steering your relationship right into the collision course you are creating. You need to come clean to your girlfriend about your fears, and her nickname. Let your girlfriend into the real world. You’ve been dating for six months, I’m pretty sure she’s figured out you’re not perfect. Unless you are all-out lying about your previous indiscretions, your girlfriend should understand the past is the past. This could be something everyone laughs about months (or years) from now. Go on the trip and plan for a smooth ride of mind over matter.

Dear Dani,

This is in reference to your response to the woman whose neighbor was watering her lawn when she wasn’t supposed to. You were way off the mark, Dani. You are not the judge and jury if the rules may hurt an elderly woman’s feeling. This drought is so bad no one should be flushing the toilet if it’s just urine, people should turn off the facet while brushing their teeth, and showers should be limited to five minutes. Decades ago cities used locks on water meters if a resident used their allotted amount. Maybe that’s what they should do with her. Conserving water it the responsible thing to do and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks if you don’t try.

Signed,

Reversed Discrimination Blues

Dear Reversed,

If it makes you feel better to report the “old dog” as part of your civic duty, then do it. You wouldn’t have written in to me. The letter writer was conflicted so I provided information to her. Personally, I think it’s great that this elderly woman is active. It would cost the city far more money to help her if she were indigent or ill. Consider this as promoting good health. The real question you should be asking is would you really have tried to educate this woman or simply reported her. I admire you if it’s the first, but if it’s the second, you should get a ladder to climb down from your high horse.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Reversed – No need to purchase a ladder. This is unnecessary advice.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I need help deciding what’s the right thing to do. I live on a quiet street in a quiet neighborhood, in a part of the country that’s experiencing a historical drought. My next door neighbor is using an exorbitant amount of water in her backyard for her garden. She’s almost 80 years old, is kind to our daughter and gives us cucumbers and oranges. I’ve tried to explain the rules to her, but she simply puts her finger to her lips and says, “Shhh.” If there was a way to report her anonymously, I would, but she’ll know it was me. What should I do?

Signed,

Forbidden Fruit

Dear Forbidden,

My gut instinct is, what’s wrong with you? How could you report an 80 year old grandma? But since I don’t’ live in an area that’s experiencing a drought, I’ll take it at face value this is important to you. I asked a friend from the water department about protocol. He said some people are happily paying fines for more water usage. And the water department either knows about this or they’ll find out eventually due to the significant increase from the other homes in your quiet neighborhood. Enjoy your cucumbers and don’t talk while your mouth is full. It’s not polite.

Dear Dani,

My brother is involved in a huge lie. He told his rich girlfriend that he has cancer, when he only has pancreatitis due to his drinking. Yes, pancreatitis is serious, but it doesn’t come with the same sympathy that cancer brings. I only recently found this out by accident, and didn’t say anything. Now I feel compliant. My brother is begging me to keep quiet and promises he’ll say he’s in remission soon. Should I rat him out?

Signed,

I-want-to-divorce-my-brother

Dear,

You-should-divorce-your-brother,

If there’s ever a time when I want to believe in karma, it’s time like these. People who lie about their health should get the disease. But let’s just say you love your brother and want to help him. You could insist he go see a psychiatrist—with you for the first couple of visits. This is wrong on so many levels, but things don’t happen in a vacuum. He needs to dig deep and see what issues need to be addressed, and you can help. But no matter what, his girlfriend has the right to know the truth and have one less thing to worry about. And hopefully dump your brother. 

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear You – If references are needed, please contact my office.

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

About a month ago I lent my car to a friend so she could go to a job interview. She got in a wreck, and it wasn’t her fault, but she didn’t call the police or get any witnesses, and the guy lied about what went down. The other insurance company won’t pay so I have a deductible. I asked my friend to pay it, but she only sent half, $500. She said it wasn’t her fault that I had a high deductible. Should I take her to small claims court?

Signed,

Conflicted Claim

Dear Conflicted,

If you would have asked me if this is a deal-breaker for a friendship, I would have said, she has shown you her true character. But you didn’t, so I’ll address what you’ve asked. To file the paperwork at the courthouse it will most likely cost you half of your half. Don’t forget the cost of fuel and parking. And also important, time is money. You should kiss this money goodbye and accept that in every problem is a gift. Maybe the gift is you learned something about this friend or even better, something about yourself. Next time perhaps offering to pay for a friend’s Uber ride is the better way to go.

Dear Dani,

Two days ago my husband told me he wants a threesome for his 40th birthday. We’ve been married for 9 years and have two kids. This is so unlike him. Believe me when I tell you this. Is this a mid-life crisis? I have no intention of granting his birthday wish, instead I’m thinking of giving him a trip to Vegas, by himself, and let what happens there, stay there. What would you do?

Signed,

Free-Pass Birthday

Dear Free-Pass,

What would I do? Not that. Here’s the thing about threesomes and swapping that I hear from other couples, it’s never as good as the fantasy. Lots of conflicting emotions set in afterwards, so if you’re not into it, definitively don’t do it. But a free-pass to Vegas? Are you crazy? Sorry, but you don’t get to push off your husband’s fantasy onto someone else, like a chore to your housekeeper. Do something sexy together. Couples’ massages can be erotic, roll playing, too, the point is, use your imagination, woman! Once you open that door to a free-pass weekend, there’s no going back.

*Note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Free-Pass – Dani is not suggesting mental illness on your part by using the word, crazy. This is just a phrase that is considered sarcasm, which I am not a big fan of. I would agree, however, that the free-pass you’re considering will have complex consequences.

 

 

 

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I’ve started dating this new guy who is really cute, witty, and kind. Something has come up and I don’t know what to do. My head says one thing and my heart says something else. He is a huge football fan and has season tickets to our city’s (losing) team. For Sunday’s game, he wants to give me his other ticket and meet him there. He goes early to help grill the food. He doesn’t want me to be bored so he wants me to come just before the game time. I don’t feel safe going there by myself and he has turned it into an opportunity for me to challenge myself. Is this what they call a red flag?

Signed,

No Sunday Funday

Dear No Sunday,

Yes! This is what they call a red flag. In one sense he’s using manipulation to get what he wants by suggesting you challenge yourself by going to an event alone. That’s hard to do.  And like you said, potentially dangerous. And forget listening to your heart or head. Listen to your gut. Your gut is giving you an answer whether you want to listen to it or not. But if you’ve mentioned to your guy that it’s a personal goal of yours to accomplish things that normally scare you or make you uneasy, then maybe it’s not a red flag. Tail-gaiting can be lots of fun. And not to give you more to worry about, but instead of asking me if this is a red flag, ask yourself why he doesn’t want you there. By definition: tail-gaiting is usually referred to as a party.

 

Dear Dani,

I’m thinking of leaving my husband. We’ve only been married for two years, but we haven’t moved out of his mom’s basement like he promised and I’m starting to think we never will. She does everything for him. She doesn’t let me because I don’t know how “Jimmy” likes his clothes folded. One time I didn’t fold his underwear and now I don’t know how to fold clothes? Who folds underwear, anyway?! Any suggestions?

Signed,

Living with Monster-in-Law

Dear Living with,

I wish I had more information. Do you work? Then if so, use that money to put a down-payment on an apartment. When the day comes to move in, and “Jimmy” doesn’t pack his things and follow, you will be able to leave him. Don’t give an ultimatum unless you are willing to go through with it. If you don’t have a job, get one and start saving.

*Special note from Dr. Imareal Emdee

Dear Living with – Typically you shouldn’t give an ultimatum to your loved ones Tell “Jimmy” you are moving out and you hope that he comes with you. Don’t back your husband into a corner if you really want him to leave his mother’s house. She’ll not only have his back, she’ll pull up a nice chair for him to fall into.

Dear Dani Icon

Dear Dani,

I’ve been dating the most perfect guy for almost a year. He’s handsome, he’s generous, he’s funny. And he wants me to move in with him. The only problem is our dogs don’t get along and he wants me to give “Lucky” away.

Signed,

Not so Lucky

Dear Not so Anything,

Interesting that you list handsome and generous, not thoughtful and kind. Is that what matters most to you? And what exactly do you mean by, generous? Are you referring to his money or his bedroom abilities? So, basically, what do you expect from him if your level of character recognition in another person is limited.

But for argument sake, let’s say you two are soulmates and destined to be together until the end of time. I think it’s worth the money to hire a trainer and spend time correctly socializing the dogs to become housemates. If your “perfect guy” won’t do this, or gives up easily, this is what we call a red flag. I once knew a person that asked, after their tumultuous break up, “If only I’d known he was a… (fill in the blank). The hard truth is this is your red flag.

 

Dear Dani,

My wife is always late. We’ve been married for three years and she promised she would change, but hasn’t. I had an important family wedding to go to so I told her the time we needed to be there was one hour earlier. When we arrived, on time, she was livid. The rest of the reception she gave me the cold shoulder and would only speak if others were around. What gives?

Signed,

Punctual to a Fault

Dear Fault,

I think you better get used to your wife’s perpetual tardiness. It’s tied up in her need for attention and that’s tied into why you were attracted to her in the first place. So here’s my advice, stand your ground on giving her earlier times to events. I once knew a person that didn’t stand up to his wife, or really for himself, and it spilled over into other areas. And what it really boils down to is respect. By showing up on time, it shows you have respect for the other person. The hard truth right now is your wife doesn’t respect you.