Singular Solutions, Volume 5

Singular Solutions, Volume 5


Singles advice guru Marnie Macauley has humorous and savvy solutions for managing messy men, returning gifts and a guy with moles who has trouble finding a date.

Singular Solutions, Volume 5

Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo


Dear Marnie: I’ve been going out for over a year with my boyfriend and we’re seriously involved. There’s just one problem, he’s a slob. I’ve told him how much it bothers me. I am not talking clutter here! I am talking DIRT. I have offered to help when he finally breaks down and does it, but he waits so long it’s a Herculean task. He is wonderful, sensitive, intelligent, motivated, considerate, and a joy − except for this. Am I wrong to think there is something deeper here? – Kbird

: I couldn’t wait to swoop down on your e-mail, which I did after I flew over 12 empty Diet Coke cans and landed on moldy Oreo “middlestuff.” I realize your guy’s dumpster life may feel like a “slop” in your face, but don’t take your Porky personally.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

*First, this is not about you. The making of a slob starts early and the roots run deep. Have you seen his childhood digs? Does it look like a revival of “Babe?” Or maybe his mom Lysoled the plastic slipcovers, inspiring her rebellious son to claim the title Prince of Pig.

*Understand that no one has ever been hounded into being a good housekeeper. More so, if you nag him about it you may remind him of his mother, thereby deepening the muck on all fronts.

*You could try getting practical and barter. Trade your chores and rotten habits for his. If you’re a nail-biter, you leave a thumb un-chawed. In exchange, he cleans beard bits out of the sink. On the task front, he tunes up your car, you delouse his sofa. Bartering will level the battlefield.

Finally, like “The Odd Couple,” don’t expect your Oscar to become a Felix. If this is your DB (deal-breaker), go. But … you say this fellow is wonderful, sensitive, intelligent, motivated − a joy? Well, in my vast experience, ’tis far better to sanitize a sink than deodorize a skunk.


Dear Marnie: I’m a 38-year-old happily single female lawyer who can’t solve my own problem. For Christmas, my current boyfriend bought me a truly ugly armchair. Marnie, I have my own home and spent enormous effort making it perfect. Since he carried on about how much he paid for it, I’m not sure what to do. I’d love to return it and exchange it for something that will look nice in my house. What do you say? — Mena

Well, to start with, the Grinch has more holiday spirit than you, but that said, onto “business” — that odious chair. First, I’m hiding under mine. Yes, I know the season is about peace and love, but let’s get practical.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

*Lose it. (Happy angel?) Here’s why. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to shlep it to and from the garage every time he’s over. Do not sneak back to the store and get a credit. It’s cruel, it’s tacky, and besides, he’ll notice his gift is no longer gracing your presence.

*Your M.O. must be faultless! Say, “Wow! You knew I could use a chair. How thoughtful and generous!”  Once you lavish the verbal praise, the matter of “taste” becomes a bit easier to whack. 

*Tell him you loved his idea so much that to honor his intention, the two of you should pick out The Most Perfect chair together; one you will cherish almost as much as you do his generosity. Then treat him to a celebratory lunch, toast the new chair – and his splendid gesture.


Dear Marnie:I’m a 26-year-old guy who is having a problem meeting women. I have a few very prominent moles on the side of my cheek, which, according to my doctor, is not a health problem. Could this have anything to do with it, and should I have them removed? − MarkLA

MARNIE SAYS: Do it yesterday. OK, tomorrow. Now, I’m not suggesting we Hoover or hack every ripple and roll. And yes, in the long run, women of sensibility are far more dazzled by shining interiors. But, when venturing into the savage boot camp I jokingly refer to as “dating,” there’s something called curbside appeal. Unless you’re talking about a campy Russ Meyer film,  big things hanging off your face do not say, “Welcome to my world.”  So, if your surgeons say it’s safe, and a little chisel’ll do ya’, lop it. Much luck, brave warrior!

Copyright © Marnie Macauley /2013 Singular Communications, LLC

Marnie MacauleyAdvice guru Marnie Winston-Macauley — therapist, author, speaker — has been a radio, TV, and syndicated advice columnist and counselor for over 20 years. Witty, wise and totally irreverent with a self-professed loathing for psychobabble, she’s written over 20 books and calendars, along with  hundreds of relationship columns and features for prominent publications.  She has her MS degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work.  In media, her work has garnered her Emmy and Writer’s Guild Best Writing nominations. She is widowed and now living single. For personal advice, you can also find Marnie Macauley on or on Presto Experts. She invites you to join her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 
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4 thoughts on “Singular Solutions, Volume 5

  1. What good advice! Practical and sensible. Were I not happily married, I’d be courting you. Marnie is one bright and clever woman.

  2. With newspapers going out of business all over the country, a really good advice column is desperately needed. Now I know where to go for help! Thank you, Marnie!

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