Ask A Worry Wart – July Edition

“Tell Me Your Secrets”


My parents are coming to visit, and they want to meet my BF. That’s not the problem. The problem is choosing which one… I didn’t mean to have 20 boyfriends at the same time, it just sort of happened. How do I pick one and not hurt the others?

-A Modern-Day Snow White

Hi Snow White,

I understand your dilemma, and rest assured that it is a common one. Many women today suffer from, “Yes, Man Syndrome.” Not “yes man” but “Yes, Man.” When a man asks you for your number, and you’re too worried about hurting his feelings to say that you’re already seeing someone (or 8 or 12 or 20), you give him your number. The next thing you know: 20 boyfriends!

Your parents, being from a more conservative generation, are assuming that you have a modest number of boyfriends (5 or less). So don’t worry about eliminating all of them – that would be too overwhelming for now – but try to trim them down to a more reasonable number. Start by being honest with yourself and with your boyfriends.

Listen closely to the things they talk about. If one of your boyfriends casually mentions that he’s committed a misdeed, say murder or arson, have an honest talk with him about how you’d like to be with someone more mature, and someone who’ll take good care of you instead of murdering you if you displease him. At first he will be upset, but you stand your ground, Missy! As he leaves your house pouting, let out a sigh of relief. You’ve said goodbye to your first demise! I mean, boyfriend!

Other possible misdeeds include torturing animals, stealing kidneys, or kidnapping. All these are things to keep an eye out for if you’re looking to trim your beaus.

When it comes down to the final 10, that’s when it gets really tough. By this time you’ll be dealing with guys who are pretty ok and you’ll have formed quite an attachment to them. Now you have to look closely for your mental abusers, your cheapies, your uglies and your cheaties.

Once you cut these men, you’ll be down to a solid 4 or 5, a much easier number for the modern-day Snow White to introduce to her parents. Good luck with everything!


A good friend of mine wants me to read her short stories and review them. I love reading, but truth be told I find this exhausting. I want to encourage her, but the writing is awful. How do I tactfully tell her I don’t want to read her writings anymore?

-An Overwhelmed Friend

Dear Friend,

Ah, this is a feeling I know all too well. I really identify with this because having ADHD, I pick up certain stories, amateur or not, and if the opening line sounds like this: “Once upon a time in a garden that everyone loved to visit..” I have already closed the book and started doing something else.

It’s much tougher with a close friend, because they’ll say, “so WHAT DIDJA THINK?” with big, watery eyes, looking as sensitive as a game controller for Gran Turismo 2. That’s right, you’re dealing with a car that could be smashed into a guard rail at any moment and explode.

I think I will call your friend “GT.”

Everyone is sensitive about his or her writing. For instance, GT knows she likes what she wrote, but she already knows the story in advance. She doesn’t get the chance to actually be surprised by twists or wonder how it’s all going to turn out. Hoping the story will have that “suspense” effect on other readers, GT asks you to read her story, grasping her leg tightly with one hand, biting her knuckles with the other, and wrapping up fearfully into a fetal position.

And she waits.

And you read.

And she waits.

And you read.

And as you read, you daydream about going to the zoo and feeding the bears, and doing all kinds of things you actually like doing.

So how can we fix this scenario?

I told my friends once, “hey, if you want me to respond to a text message within 24 hours, just start the text with, ‘some baby huskies are going to die and ONLY YOU CAN SAVE THEM! All you have to do is correctly answer this question:'” then you type “what are you up to this Saturday?” or whatever you were planning to say. It has worked EVERY TIME.

So applying the Husky method to GT’s writings, gently ask her to write about things you really care about. What are your interests? Mine are huskies, Hello Kitty, movies, science fiction, koi and other colorful fishes, Chardonnay, Futurama, space documentaries and Metric.

So find out what your interests are, and gently let GT know that she needs to include more of those things into her stories. Car chases? Romance? Advice on gourmet food preparation and dinner parties?

Don’t mention that you prefer to read about these things. Use phrases like, “it’s all the rage,” and “these days people only want to read about….quadratics.” And you can throw in whatever you’d like.

I think this method will make both you and GT happier. And you might be able to pick up some nice cooking tips along the way! 🙂


Why do bad things happen to good dinosaurs?

-A Concerned Animal-Lover

Dear Concerned,

I’m going to assume you’re between the ages of 25 and 35. If that is the case, you are most likely dealing with the post-traumatic stress of watching “Land Before Time” when you were young.

I see this all the time. One day you’re doing fine, the next day you have the shakes and you go pale as a ghost.

I personally do like this movie, but I’ve just seen too many “Land Before Time”-related attacks, breakdowns and even suicides, for me to be able to condone a film like this for children.

The movie deals with issues that are far too sensitive and mature for a child’s mind: abandonment, racism, starvation, adventure and getting eaten by bullies. All these aspects of the movie stay in the child’s mind, and because he does not know how to process them, he suffers extreme reactions later in life.

My recommended cure: watch the Land Before Times: 2 to 13. It’s a whole saga of uninterrupted bliss. It’s the happy ending that just keeps going!

Invite your friends over, make some popcorn and grab some cool beers; it’s a Land Before Time Marathon Minus The First One!

By the end, you and your friends will be so doped up on warm fuzzies that you won’t even know what month it is!


I want to get coffee in the morning before work, but near my workplace there is only a Tim Horton’s, a Second Cup, a Timothy’s, a McDonald’s, a Coffee Time, a Letteri, a Starbucks and a Cinnabon. Do you have any advice for how to deal with this lack of selection? It breaks my heart a little every day when I walk by these stores, that I’m forced to drink low-grade coffee just because it’s convenient.

A Grief-Stricken Torontonian

Dear Toronto,

I am very sorry to hear this. That sounds like an existence scarcely worth living.

I googled “coffee shops in Toronto” and I read on a very serious and reliable and credible website, that by the year 2015, every major intersection in Toronto, by law, MUST have at least 14 different types of coffee shops.

This is good news for those citizens who want that exact flavor they are craving in the morning. For instance, they might be feeling a Peruvian Irish Cream with a hint of Mint Jelly and Lamb flavor that morning. Or a Mini-Short Cappucino, Hold The Foam, Replace With Sponge Cake.


About pertobello

I live in Toronto but I'm from the east coast originally. I like photography, psychology, writing, pictures, the brain, literature and the creation of, taking snapshots, therapy (of myself and others), manuscripts, digital renderings of events and places, exploring the capablities and workings of the human mind, transcribing my thoughts and stories into a readable format. Wow I have an impressive list of interests!!
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5 Responses to Ask A Worry Wart – July Edition

  1. mrglplx says:

    I love this serious line of inquiry and the insightful advice given in return. I only wish I had known earlier why dinosaur movies made me go catatonic. It would’ve saved me a lot of pain and uncertainty in my youth. Damn you Land Before TIme!!! Damn you….

  2. says:

    this woman has a concerned and caring look to her…as well she is holding a coffee cup…which leads me to believe she, like me, enjoys coffee. this is very reassuring. i feel as tho i can tell this woman ANYTHING

  3. andrew says:

    hilarious stuff you’re a natural at this – as sensitive as a GT5 controller – what tha? (lol)

  4. Ridel says:

    I have a question to ask a worry wart!
    Or, more like a desperate plea for advice.

    It’s like this see.
    Last week I got a phone call from this Indian call center. Something about my computer sending out an error alert or some such. Now, I seriously doubt that ever happened, because on the day of the call the computers had been turned off. Frankly, even if they’d been running all day the call would have had scam written all over it.
    However, having worked in a call center before and knowing how sickeningly depressing it is, I was very polite to the person. She appreciated that a lot, and we commiserated a bit about how crappy call centers are and so on and so forth.
    I was really sick that day, and had nothing better to do, so I let her talk and talk about this and that (none of it having anything to do with computer errors, as it turned out) and finally after like, 25 minutes, she finally hung up.

    “Well that was random.” I thought, and then went back to playing Portal 2.

    I didn’t think too much about it, but then on Sunday, after Ele and I had gotten back from grocery shopping, we got a call. So I picked up the phone, and who do you think was on the other end?
    It was that woman from the call center again. But she wasn’t calling FROM the call center, oh no. She was calling from home, at 2:30 in the morning her time. Apparently I was so nice to her that she took down my number, bought a cell phone plan that would let her call Canada, and called me back just to chat. D:

    Now being the polite, if not thoroughly flustered person that I am, I let her talk for a bit, but then excused myself, as my sister and I actually did have post grocery plans for the evening.

    Apparently she called the next day, too. Ele picked up, as I spent most of the day in bed. (First day of cycle + freaking huge ovarian cyst = weeping in bed for hours. )
    She called again last night too.

    Frankly, I’m a little freaked out right now. It’s not that she’s a bad person or anything, and perhaps under different circumstances this wouldn’t be so creepy. But… No seriously, she’s a total stranger and this is weird. :S

    How can I tell this lady that I don’t really appreciate her calling me at all hours just to chat, without hurting her feelings?

  5. pertobello says:

    Whoa! Intriguing!! I shall cover that in my next edition!


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