Written by Sasha

Dear Sasha, I work in an office with three dudes. I don't work with them, they're just around, running their company. Today, when i went to the bathroom, I went to turn on the tap to mask any sounds, like I usually do - and there was no water. Like, taps were dry. Okay. I went back out, told everyone, and attributed it to some construction that had been going on all morning next door. And sat back at my desk to torture my bladder some more. But then after an hour I couldn't take it anymore, and checked if the water was running. And it was. Hurrah! In I went to relieve myself - but then I realized that the water coming from the tap - and into the toilet - was brown. Like, sitting in the taps brown, not from me, or anything.

Anyway, what could I do? I flushed a few times but - still super-amber. Like looks-as-though-you-forgot-to-flush Amber. What should I have done, Sasha? Explaining would seem to be too much talk about bathrooms to guys I don't even work with - but it was awfully embarrassing! Signed, G

Zoinks. Isn’t this the worst?! But G the comforting thing is everyone has a story like this.

One of my all-time favorites is when my friend M took a big ol’ D one day at work. Of course when it was time to flush that sucker down, the automatic flusher didn’t work. Even that tiny default button didn’t do squat - he pressed it in intervals, held it down, waved at it…nada. So after full freak out mode he decided to make the escape. He zipped up his pants and scurried the F out. And who’s waiting to get into his stall right after? A very well-known Canadian celebrity. The celebrity walked in, looked down and immediately turned out of the stall, and just as my friend was making a b-line for the door, their eyes met in the reflection of the mirror. Celebrity was super grossed out. This story brings me a lot of joy because these two people still run into each other in the bathroom to this day.

I have another friend (and by friend I mean husband) who flushed a toilet at a party and when it started to overflow…. he emptied out his beer cup and used it to bail the water out like he was in a sinking boat. So you see? This stuff just happens. At the end of the day it is what it is.

But I get how you must have felt, because not everyone can free form talk about the consistency of their sh-t like Lainey. Sure you could have come out of there and said that whatever amber crap was in the toilet was not from you. But then, it would have been even weirder. Chances are these guys a) wouldn’t even notice or b) are smart enough to figure out that it had something to do with the construction. I was going to give an option C and say that men are actually more disgusting so who cares, BUT when it comes to bathroom etiquette, women are actually a lot sicker. Women’s bathrooms are some of the rankest places on earth. They even beat Chinese takeout bathrooms. So ladies - let’s get it together.

G, I don’t know if I’ve made you feel any better but even if I gave you some advice on how to deal with it the next time, the poo gods would find another way to sh-t all over you.

My parents were married until I was 10 years old, during which time my gentle mother put up with my dad terrorizing her, my older brother and me without ever saying a word to him. Anything could set off one his rages, he screamed at our mom and made her and me cry, everything nice she tried to do for him or us was wrong, he was extremely verbally abusive and never apologized or admitted to anything.

So then he left my mom and they were finally divorced when I was 13. You'd think things would get a lot better, right? They actually got a million times worse. Now I was ALONE with him and suffered all of his abuse. (My brother was away at college) and every time my dad would call me or see me on the weekends I would get yelled at for some imaginary "disrespect" or something and I would end up crying. Every vacation, every holiday - he ruined it and made me feel like shit and cry and he never apologized or admitted anything. My mom and brother did nothing.

When I was 18 I started trying to talk to my dad about it and he would get extremely angry, basically call me a liar and say that he never went into rages, the amount of denial is unbelievable. I tried for 10 years to talk to him. Finally a family fight happened and I decided that was it. I couldn't take that amount of hurt anymore, it just wasn't worth it! And guess what having a father like that did to my ability to trust men?

I was in therapy for about 6 years and cried literally billions of tears about my dad but nothing ever got resolved. So for the last 2 years while I have cut him off, he has sent me emails, but the first couple I read were very angry about how I had "ruined" that holiday where we had the fight and I was so angry I stopped reading them. HE ruined every holiday of my life! How can anyone possibly be that blind and hypocritical?! Even my mom and brother, who lived through the torment with me, don't support my decision to cut him off.?

Bottom Line: My dad has ruined my life by making it impossible for me to trust men, and has left me without a father. The loving father I deserved. But my life is not improving by keeping him out of my life. I feel damned no matter what I do. What do you do with a parent who will never apologize or change, but makes you out to be the bad guy because you cut them out of your life?

~ Always Crying

Ugh. I’m so sorry you’ve had such an unhealthy relationship with your father. But here’s the real annoying thing: sometimes when you make the right decision, it doesn’t mean you’ll be rewarded for it; it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy; and it doesn’t mean you’ll be praised. Sometimes you make a decision because it’s the lesser of two evils and AC, this is where you sit right now.

I wish your family supported the decision but they don’t. I wish your dad had the ability to look inwards and make a change, but he won’t. These, as unfortunate as they are, are the realities you’re faced with. So what are you going to do about it? When do you get to reap the benefits from the decisions you’ve made?

AC, you can continue to feel angry, sad, slighted, etc…but that’s not going to do you any good. At some point you’re going to have to let go and start living your life. Your dad controlled you with his negative behaviour for ALL these years, so don’t let him continue doing that to you. When it comes down to it I think your dad loves you very much. Is that good enough? Obviously not. I think you’ll always feel like the bad guy around him, you’ll always be ‘wrong’ in his eyes BUT that’s his definition of you…..it shouldn’t be yours.

The purpose of cutting him out was so you could avoid the pain, so what good is it if you’re still hanging on to it and letting it still affect you? I know it’s easier said than done and I know it’s going to take a lifetime of therapy, but you gotta try and turn this around.

AC, it’s either: start living a life that you want or continue to sit in misery. If it’s option B, then you might as well make-up with your father and call it a day, because there’s no difference. But if you choose option A (YAY!), then you can finally start heading down a positive path.

Dear Sasha, I am 28 years old and I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 2 years. About a year ago I moved into my boyfriend's house with him. We are definitely in love, but we both work very long hours everyday and we've lost some of that lovey-dovey attitude with each other. More importantly, he hasn't proposed yet. We've talked about it numerous times, and at first I thought we were on the same wave-length and schedule, but now it seems that he just keeps telling me he isn't ready yet. Each time he assures me that he does not question his love for me and he knows he wants to be with me forever and that he is committed to me. At this point, I'm not sure what to do. I know I want to be married and have children, and I know that I want that with him. But I worry that I might stick around longer hoping he'll be ready and then learn (when its too late) that he never will be. Am I crazy for thinking he should have proposed by now? Or am I crazy for waiting around? In the meantime, while I wait, I find myself pulling away from him emotionally, preparing myself for a breakup. What should I do? Thanks much, C

You’re gonna hate me, but in my honest opinion C you’ve got chill for a moment.

Hear me out.

C, my spidey senses tell me that the main reason you want this proposal is so you can feel safe in the relationship. From what I gather, you’re feeling a bit unsure right now. You have all these silent doubts and I have an inkling you think a proposal will mean it’ll make you guys stronger.

Unfortunately you and I both know it won’t.

Plus, buddy is only 28, that’s a whole lotta commitment for a dude that age. So for right now I say put your energy towards getting your relationship back on track. Start heating things back up in the sack, start going out on dates – concentrate on reigniting the spark instead of loading on the pressure.

A proposal should really not be forced. And I know as I say this, the eyes of my family members are all rolling right now. Here’s why:

As I’ve told you all before I’m a time FREAK. Like, if sh-t don’t get crackin’ when it’s supposed to, I’ll have a full on meltdown. So when I thought it was time for Cory (husband) to propose and he said he wasn’t ready, I well, FREAKED. Internally at first and then outwardly as the months went by. But in my defence Cory was 35 at the time and if buddy wasn’t ‘ready’, I wasn’t going to stick it out until he was. So I definitely put the choke hold on him. Do I regret it? No. Would I advise you do the same thing? NO. By no means was it the cool way to go, but I literally had no choice. Cory is like Benjamin Button….so if I didn’t plant the seed and make that proverbial plant grow, he’d be shitting in diapers right now, ya dig?

So C, here’s the dilly. You’re still pretty young and I think it would be a good call to take advantage of this time to figure out if he’s the right one for YOU before rushing into anything.

C, I’m not saying deny how you feel about this guy, because he could very well be ‘the one’. All I’m saying here is just give it some more time and let your foundation grow stronger.

Hope this helps C! Keep me posted! xx