Doctor Love

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 42            October 25, 2001

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Dr. Love is the island's and possibly the world's greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at 02-77451.         

    You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Belize, fax 026-2905 or e-mail at sanpdrosun@btl.net

Dear Doctor Love,

    I have been going with the same girl for over two years. We are not officially engaged but everybody thinks of us as a couple and they expect us to get married. My girlfriend and I have never even spoke of marriage but I know she thinks it will happen sometime soon. I want to marry her but so far I have been afraid to propose to her. What my girlfriend doesn't know is that she is not the only person I am seeing. There are two other women, both married, that I visit on a sort of schedule. I see one of them one week and the other one the next week.

    I really love this girl that I am going with but I cannot seem to stay away from the other two. I care for both of the other women but I could not say that I love them. Because of our situation I have even stayed away from them for weeks at a time but I always come back. I just can't seem to help myself. I know that what I am doing is dangerous but I am always very careful and so far I have been lucky enough not to get caught. I am afraid that sooner or later this situation is going to blow up in my face. If it does I will probably lose my girl and maybe even get physically hurt by someone. I want to get married and I don't want to lose her. What can I do?

/s/ Can't Help Myself

Dear Can't,

    You are playing a dangerous game that can certainly backfire on you. It is not, however, anything new. This kind of behavior has been going on from the time our society developed into one of monogamy. Choosing a single mate for life is part of our accepted behavior but it does not take into account our born drive to reproduce as much as possible. For some people that drive is so strong that they are willing to take risks that would be unacceptable to the rest of us.

    What you have to do is assess the situation exactly as it is and then make your decisions. Ask yourself this: If something happened to your girlfriend would you be willing to spend the rest of your life with one of these other women? If the answer was "yes" you would probably have already taken steps to separate these women from their mates so you could have one of them for yourself.

    At least you have been wise enough so far to avoid marriage. Keep avoiding it until you make a decision that you can stick with.

Dear Dr. Love,

     My mother was born in the United States and even though I have never become a U.S. citizen, I identify with them very much. Ever since the bombing of the World Trade Center I have been angry that such an attack could happen. Some people think these things do not affect Belizeans but right now my family is hurting because of the loss of tourist business. I would like to join the U.S. Army so I can go and fight these people who have done such terrible things. I am nineteen years old and in very good physical shape. Do you think the U.S. could use me for a soldier?

/s/ CD

Dear CD,

     The U.S. rarely turns down young people who want to serve in their armed forces. For many Belizeans this is an appealing option that gives them a chance to travel while they are getting paid and see the world that they might never get to otherwise. If they want U.S. citizenship, it is automatically granted after they have served in the U.S. services. The educational opportunities are unlimited. If you join at your age you can be retired by the time you are 38.

    On the downside, there are a lot of people out there with weapons and they would like to kill anyone wearing the U.S. uniform. Overall, though, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The chances that you would ever see combat are extremely slim. For every soldier who actually fires a gun there are ten soldiers playing support roles. These jobs range from truck drivers, mechanics and cooks to lawyers and ministers.

    You are young. It could be your life's greatest adventure.

Dear Doctor Love,

    I returned to the island this morning after beating a hasty retreat to the mainland when we started getting hurricane warnings. I really did not want to go but after surviving Hurricane Keith, I had no desire to have my family face another Category 4 hurricane. In the two days we were in Belize City, we spent most of the money I had saved up for an emergency.

    I think that if we are going to live on this island our government should think about building a hurricane proof shelter that would hold up to anything nature can throw at us. Only then will we be able to survive September and October in peace.

/s/ Survivor

Dear Survivor,

    The Doctor will let you in on a secret. There is no such thing as a hurricane proof building. The strength and vagaries of nature are such that no such building is possible. After all, we have seen that hurricane forces can cut an island entirely in half. What would stop it from washing away the very island that a hurricane-proof building's foundation is sitting on?

     You should start saving up again for next October. The Doctor does not see government parting with any of "their" money to build a decent shelter in San Pedro or anywhere else soon, after all, elections are coming.

Dear Doctor Love,

    My wife spends a lot of time buying clothes. She buys them from the house money that I give her and she seems to get a new dress or something every week. When I ask her how she can afford it she says that she does it with payments to the boutiques. She gives them a little bit each week until it is paid for. When I really started digging, I found that she is spending $25 to $30 a week on clothes. I only give her $100 for the house money but she is always finding an excuse to get more, like the children have to have special things for school. Sometimes she comes to me and says she needs to buy a new dress or something and I give her the money.

    I don't really mind if she buys clothes but she is spending a lot of our weekly budget on them. If we went out all of the time I can see how she might need them, but we only go out once or twice a month. I think what really bothers me is that she has been doing this without telling me for a long time. I am starting to think that she is maybe seeing somebody else because what she wears does not really matter to me. I always think she looks good. This has been on my mind a lot lately. Do you think I should worry about this?

/s/ Unsigned

Dear Unsigned,

    Here is a news flash for you. A wife does not necessarily buy clothes for the benefit of her husband or for any other man. She buys them so that other women can see them and see how good she looks. You may not have been noticing every time she wears a new skirt or blouse, but you can bet that her friends notice.

    This is not something that men understand very well. For most men, clothes are just something you wear to keep from being naked. There is another group of men who wear clothes to impress the ladies but men rarely dress for the benefit of other men.

    If you can afford to spend this much of your household budget each week on her clothes, then you might as well let it ride. Tell her to keep you informed though, just in case the spending gets out of hand.

Dear Doctor,

    What is the deal with the concrete speed bumps that have been set up all over town? These things are ridiculous and in some cases they are downright dangerous. I watched a kid on a bicycle hit the one near the Yacht Club and fall right off his bike. Do we really need these things? Do they really slow people down?

/s/ Bike Rider

Dear Bike Rider,

   Yes, they slow people down. As usual, it is the wrong people that must slow down, but it is nothing new. The Doctor will now give a short science spiel: When an object four inches high stands in front of a ten inch golf cart wheel, it presents a good sized obstacle because, after all four inches is 40% of the height of the tire. That golf cart had better come to a complete stop or risk losing the front end of the cart.

    If the four-inch high object confronts a fourteen inch taxi tire it is about 29% of the tire's height. This is high enough that the taxis have to at least slow down. This is good, because they are the main offenders of the speed limit.

    When that same object is placed in front of a forty-inch truck tire it is only 10% of the height of the tire. 10% is like that truck driving over a small stone in the road. There is no need to even slow down.

    Some good has obviously come from these "topes" or "sleeping policemen" as they are called in Mexico. They are called sleeping policemen because they supposedly slow down traffic while allowing the live policemen to sleep. (For those who cannot tell the difference, that was a joke.) All of this could be avoided by sticking those guys in the orange jackets on the street side to ticket speeders.

Dear Doctor Love,

    I have never been very good at taking advice and I never ask for it. I am getting ready to start a business venture and everyone I know keeps giving me advice. The friends I have met here tell me I'm crazy to even think of going into this business but I feel like we have a real need for it here. Even my mother-in-law, who hardly speaks to me, says that there is no way this business could work.

    I am starting to get really cranky about this because everyone wants to stick their nose in my business. Doctor, is there a nice way to tell them to just butt out and leave me to make my own decisions?

/s/ No More Mr. Nice Guy

Dear No More,

    There is no nice way to tell people to butt out of your business. This is a small town and for some reason everyone here seems to think they are qualified to give you advice. The Doctor even gets paid to give it.

    The best thing to do is to smile politely when people give you advice. Nod your head and look thoughtful, as if you are pondering this wonderful advice. Then go out and do whatever you want to do. If your are not sure how to do this, observe a politician for a few minutes; they are experts at this maneuver.



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