Taking Fashion Tips from Tim Curry and Other Matters of the Heart


LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to [email protected].

Dear Love FAQ,

I’m a 19-year-old girl looking for love. Meeting anyone through work isn’t an option, and I’m not into the whole bar scene, and even if I were, I’ve never actually had anyone come up to me in a bar, even just to talk.

My look could be described as geek chic meets Rocky Horror, but apparently that’s not attractive to the type of people I’m attracted to. So I guess my question is this: how do I meet/attract guys, without sacrificing what makes me ‘me’? (You have no idea how many times I’ve toyed with the ridiculous idea of dying my pink hair brown and throwing away all my corset tops.)

Miss Frank-N-Furter

Dear Frank-N-Furter,

There’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself. But if you indeed don your best Frank-N-Furter pearls and garter belt to hit the grocery store, then you’re not dressing to express – you’re dressing to intimidate. Clothing signals to strangers how we prefer to be viewed, and when taken together, your pink hair, corset tops, and other sartorial choices sound so stratospherically over-the-top that you practically scream “stay away”.

I’m not saying you should dye your hair platinum blonde or start wearing sackcloth, or in any way change what makes you “you”. But you’re already an awesome person, a free spirit with a great sense of humor and adventure – and excellent taste in movies. You don’t need to bash others over the heads with your awesome. People will get the idea, even if you don’t wear wacky clothing – in fact, your strengths will become even more obvious, because your clothes won’t distract people from seeing them.

That’s not to say you should torch your corset tops. Just rethink the way you integrate them into your wardrobe. Fashion is, ironically, all about balance. If you like corsets, then mix them with more conservative pieces: jeans, tees, jackets, etc. If pink hair’s your bag, then pair it with a modern wardrobe, so your hair becomes a natural accent instead of the exclamation point on top of your head.

And remember venue: Some sartorial options are more appropriate to certain situations than others. Just as you wouldn’t wear a hospital gown to the bank, you probably shouldn’t wear corset tops to class or work or, well, the bank. Fashion has both function and place.

Ultimately, however, they’re just clothes. And you are not your clothes. Changing what you wear doesn’t mean you’re changing you; it’s just changing the strips of fabric you’ve wrapped yourself in, that’s all.

Dear Love FAQ,

I have been dating this girl for 7 months and we have been living together for 3 months. I took her virginity and she was fine … until we got a place together. Then she got uber-clingy.

When I ask for space, she gets depressed, almost as if I’d told her that I killed her dog. She has only two friends, one of which hates me, as does her family. She never goes out without me and I cannot go out without her.

She spends all her money, only leaving enough for rent and groceries; I pay the hydro bill, internet bill plus my cell phone. I only have enough to buy a game once in a blue moon while she goes out and buys purses and tops galore.

I am not happy with her anymore. How do I remove myself from this before it’s too late? How can I be sure she will be alright without me to support her financially?

Dating Via U-Haul Truck

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Dear U-Haul,

Your first mistake was moving in with a girl after four months of dating.

Your second mistake was moving in with someone even though you weren’t ready for it.

Your third mistake was not drawing up a budget when you first moved in together.

What’s done is done, of course. You can’t change it now. All you can do is make sure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

As for how to get out now, the first thing you should do is start saving money now. Moving is expensive, not to mention your new apartment might cost more than your current living arrangements. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to draft a preliminary budget for what your finances will look like when you do leave, so you’ll know how to make ends meet without any nasty surprises.

Next, start listing your allies. Talk to your friends and family; let them know your plans and that you’d appreciate any assistance that they’d be willing to provide. Consider that you may also need to crash with a friend or parent for awhile, until you find a new place to live.

In the meantime, start trawling Craigslist or your local apartment pages for new digs. Start today. Don’t wait.

One final thought: It isn’t your problem whether she’s alright without you. Your primary concerns should be yourself and your own problems – including figuring out why you thought moving in with such a nutcase would be a good idea in the first place.

Dear Love FAQ,

I am a girl who is really into another girl. I go to the same school as her and have known her for a while. This year we’ve started to get closer, and she invited me to her Dungeons & Dragons group. I’m having a blast, not just with her, but with all her friends.

The problem is, she’s straight. Her boyfriend is the DM. I’ve accepted that nothing will ever happen between us, and I know that I’m young and there will be plenty more girls in the future. It still hurts though.

At this point I’m just terrified about her ever finding out. I really value her friendship and I don’t want things to be awkward with us, or with the D&D group. At the same time it’s tearing me apart inside, her not knowing just how much she means to me. Should I tell her, or keep my feelings to myself?

Wanting Jessie’s Girl

Dear Wanting,

Keep your feelings to yourself. You don’t tell someone you like them unless you expect some sort of response: acceptance, rejection, validation, etc. But she’s straight and already has a boyfriend. What response do you think she can give you?

It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bi, ace, whatever; she just isn’t the right one for you. Instead of mooning over this girl, who wouldn’t return your feelings even if she were single, find yourself someone who will.

Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor – just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don’t take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.

Got a burning question (or a question about burning) for LoveFAQ? Send your emails to [email protected]. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.

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