Doctor Love

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 4            February 6, 2003

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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 227-7451.         

    You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Belize, fax 226-2905 or e-mail at sanpdro

Dear Dr. Love,

    First of all I must inform you that I am not from the island, but I look forward to reading your article every week.

    Dr. Love, I have a situation I want to place in front of you. I have been dating this man for a year and two months now. He is 14 years older than me. He says he loves me, he cares for me and he has good intentions for me but yet he doesn't show that love he says he has for me. I think he is seeing other girls because people says they see him out, but he says to have trust and faith in him because people will talk. When I ask him to go dancing with me he goes, then he claims he is sleepy and tired and wants to go home early. Yet, every weekend when he is with his friends, they are up till late and he doesn't even know what sleeping is.

    I think he takes me for granted because he knows deep down inside his heart that I am at home waiting for him. He doesn't even call me during the day. I have to be the one to call him. It's like I have to remind him that I exist. I give him cards even when there is no occasion; he hasn't given me a card yet and it's over a year we are dating now. I am 27 and I think I am being taken for granted. He knows that I love him with all my heart, soul and mind.

    Dr. Love there is a lot of guys after me that wants to give me more but I love this one. Dr. Love, do you think I have placed my all too fast in this? What do you suggest I do? Thanks.

/s/ Heartbroken

Dear Heartbroken,

    There are some things you need to examine and questions you need to ask and answer before making any kind of decision. Ask yourself what makes this man so special that you reject others for him. Is he more handsome than them? Smarter? Richer? Is he a better lover? Look inside yourself and find out why you want him so badly.

    If you are just going to date someone for a short time there is no need to ask these questions. If you know the person is only going to be in your life for a short while you simply enjoy their good qualities for the moment. That is how short-term relationships become engagements and marriages. The reason you must ask these questions is because you are contemplating a long-term relationship. Truth to tell, you are already in a long-term relationship because fourteen months is a good-sized chunk of a twenty-seven year-old life.

    Every good relationship is based on the give and take of mutual need. None of us are perfect so we compromise on the give and take. A woman who needs a lot of attention might be willing to forego some attention if she knows her man is out working hard. A man who prefers to have a beautiful spouse is often willing to accept one who is less than beautiful but highly intelligent. The way it works out is that each party in the relationship gets something out of it.

    It is time to rationally assess what you are getting out of this relationship. Do you want a family? Do you want a home? Do you want a forty-one year old man who stays out every weekend? Do you want a man who takes you for granted without making the slightest effort to please you?

    What is it about this man that makes him so special to you? Is it worth denying all of your needs just for him? What are you getting out of this relationship that you can't get elsewhere?

    After investing fourteen months of your time with this man where do you see yourself fourteen months from now? Will he be more loving? Will he be more attentive? Will the relationship be moving forward or will he be exactly as he is today?

    When you have answered these questions to yourself it will be easier to see which direction to take.

Dear Doctor Love,

    I bought a pair of shoes last week in Chetumal. They are special tennis shoes with built-in instep support and I have not seen a pair like them on this island. I wore them home on the plane. It was raining when I got back to San Pedro and they got wet and slightly muddy. I slipped them off at the door and left them on my porch. When I got ready to go out an hour later they were gone.

    This weekend I went to a disco and my yard cleanup man was there with some of his friends. One of his friends had my shoes on. Like I said, these are special shoes and I knew them. I started to get mad at my yardman but then I realized that he didn't even work that day so his friend could not have got them from him. Then again, his friend would have never been by my house if the yardman was not his friend.

    Should I fire the yardman?

/s/ Peeved

Dear Peeved,

    Not if he's any good. You can always get another pair of shoes but a good yard clean-up guy is hard to find.

Dear Doctor Love,

    I understand that the town council plans to close off Barrier Reef Drive to traffic. I think this is a wonderful idea and it would be great for business and for the town's image. I can't help wondering, though, if this has really been thought out completely. Right now, in the middle of any given weekday there are seventy-five to one hundred golf carts either parked on the street, moving down the street or parked in one of the alleys going to the beach. What is going to happen to all of these carts? They will not magically disappear just because the street is closed. People who live outside of the heart of town will still have to drive into town to conduct business. Where are we going to put all of these carts? Has anyone thought about this?

    One more question, as long as I am at it. If Barrier Reef Drive is closed to traffic, how will the businesses on the street get serviced, especially those on the dock? How will basic supplies be delivered? There are people who live on these streets. How will they get their vehicles home?

    I hope someone has put some thought into these problems before they close off the street.

/s/ Concerned Golf Cart Owner

Dear Concerned,

    Your concerns are probably misplaced. If you look a little deeper you will probably find that the street is only going to be closed off to large vehicles such as trucks and taxis. Golf carts and bicycles will still be allowed.

    Of course, this leaves us with the problem of how people are going to transfer their baggage from vehicle taxis to water taxis. A large percentage of our tourists either arrive by water taxi or must take a water taxi to get to their resort. This means that exceptions will have to be made.

    Businesses on Barrrier Reef Drive will have to be serviced also. Products must be delivered to restaurants and stores so the businesses can survive. This means that exceptions will have to be made.

    In the long run, the only thing that will probably change is that the street will look much nicer.

Dear Doctor,

    Next month marks the end of my first year of living on the island. Last January I remember being surprised at how cold the weather got for short periods of time. It was nothing compared to the surprise I've felt for the last two weeks. Three times I had to break out my woolies and socks just to putter around the house. Is it unusually cold or is it my imagination?

/s/ Freezing

Dear Freezing,

    If it's your imagination then the Doctor's imagination is just as cold as yours. This January will probably go into the books as the coldest on record. It's not the wettest, though, so we should be glad for that.

Dear Dr. Love,

    My sister just had a baby boy and everyone in the family is so proud of it. I went over to see the baby and it was the ugliest little thing you have ever seen. It was wrinkled and the skin was peeling. There was something wrong with the hair, like skin was coming off under the hair. My mother asked me what I thought of the baby. I didn't want to say anything because I could not think of anything good to say. She pushed me though and I told her exactly what I thought. Now, my sister won't speak to me and the rest of the family is angry, too.

    My mom asked and I told her, just like she has taught me to do. She has always said that I should speak the truth and say what is on my mind. What was on my mind is that this is one ugly baby. I did say that maybe it got its looks from the father's side and now his family is angry, too. I had to say something. What was I supposed to do? Lie?

/s/ Wicked Stepsister

Dear Wicked,

    Truth is a wonderful thing and all of us need to be truthful. There is, however, truth that is spoken and then there is truth that is left unsaid. A wise person learns to distinguish which truths to use and which to discard. When in doubt, say nothing.

    The Doctor once knew an extraordinary woman who lived on Ambergris Caye. Because of her job and the position she held, she was a person that everyone wanted to talk to. People told her the most outrageous and improbable stories that the Doctor has ever heard. She listened to all of them. She gave the speaker her full attention and would say, "That's interesting," or "Really?" The speakers always went away feeling satisfied that they had put their point across.

    One day she listened to a tirade from a local would-be politician and as usual she gave him time and attention and made her comments. When the man left the Doctor asked her how she could sit there and listen to that and only say, "That's interesting," or "Really?" She explained that in her youth she had attended an all girl's finishing school. Among the things they taught her was that saying, "That's interesting," or "Really?" is much more polite than saying, "Bulls**t."

    Learn to let other people make the first comment. Then you can tell them how interesting their point of view is.
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