Doctor Love

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 33            September 12, 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 on almost anything except religion and 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, E-mail at sanpdrosun@btl.net or fax 226-2905.

Dear Doctor Love,

My wife and I have a condo on the island and we are here for three months every year. There is a restaurant here on the island that I like very much but my wife refuses to go there anymore because she says the service is so bad. The waiter is very surly and short-tempered and we have seen this in his actions more than once. We always tip him well and sometimes he is fine but at other times he is just more than we are prepared to handle.

I have mentioned the problem to the restaurant owner but the owner says it is just because the waiter has never had proper training. I think the

problem is that the owner has never had the proper training.

Isn't there some sort of organization that provides training for employees in the tourist industry? Perhaps they could even give training to bartenders to teach them to play music that is pleasing for people other than just the local people. I realize that it is important to play music for locals as well as tourists but surely there must be some common ground somewhere between the hip-hop with filthy language and Jimmy Buffet. Since the service industry is the largest in the country, the government should provide some kind of training for employees in the business.

/s/ Part-time

Dear Part-time,

The Belize Tourism Board Training Unit and the Belize Tourism Industry Association offer seminars from time to time for service employees. It is up to the business owners to make sure their employees attend. Perhaps the business owners themselves should be the first to sign up.

Dear Doctor Love,

My family has had a lot of bad luck lately. My brother's boy had trouble with the police and now he is in Hattieville for a while. My other brother got in a fight and his arm was broken so he can't work for three months. Now, my oldest girl is pregnant. My mother thinks somebody has done "obeah" on the family and we need to visit the lady in Bullet Tree that takes care of this kind of thing. I think it might be something to do with what I saw on TV about Mars being close to the Earth. Primer Impacto says that this is the closest Mars has been in a long time and everybody knows that kind of thing causes trouble.

What should I do?

/s/ Unsigned

Dear Unsigned,

The first thing you need to do is learn to distinguish between bad luck and natural stupidity. The only bad luck you seem to have is being born into a family that seems to be cursed with making seriously bad decisions.

Dear Doctor,

I am pregnant with my second baby and my first baby is still too much for me to take care of. I would like to have an abortion but my husband says

that abortion is wrong. He does not like to use birth control because he says that is wrong, too. He is not a bad guy but he has trouble with some things that are so obvious to me. When I had the first baby, I had to quit work and my husband could hardly support us. He works when the building jobs are going but when there are no jobs it is hard for him to make any money. The money I made was steady and it was enough to get us by in the hard times. If I could go back to work, things would not be so hard for us. I know that if I have this baby things are going to be even worse for us when my husband is out of work.

I need to convince him that I need to do something before it is too late. The doctor says that I have about two more weeks to make a decision. I have made my decision and now I need some way to change my husband's mind.

Thank you for your help.

/s/ Concerned

Dear Concerned,

You might want to start by reminding him that he is not the one who is going to have the baby. You will carry it, you will nurse and care for it. As soon as he is capable of doing these things, then he should have the final decision. Better yet, he can have a baby of his own.

It's your body. You make the final decision.

Perhaps the two of you should consider marriage counseling.

Dear Dr. Love,

My good friend has a dog that she treats just like it is a person. That little dog sleeps in her bed, sits in the chairs all over the house and goes everywhere she goes. I have tried to tell her that this is not natural. Dogs are not human beings. She says how do I know that all animals are not the same. What makes us any different than any other animal?

Well, what does?

/s/ The Friend

Dear Friend,

According to science, the main things that separate humans from the lower animal forms are that we have opposable thumbs and the ability to reason. Having opposable thumbs means that, unlike other animals, we can grasp things. This makes us able to use tools to make things and defend ourselves. Reasoning ability allows us to plan.

Looking at the evidence seems to suggest that the big difference between us and lower life forms is that we can play Nintendo and they cannot.

Dear Dr. Love,

    My husband who lives in another country is in jail. He will not give me a divorce and we have not lived together for almost ten years. I married a man here and I have two babies with him. The reason I married him is because I was lonely and my babies needed a father. When my friend found out that I was never divorced from my first husband she was very upset. She said that if anyone ever finds out I could get in big trouble.

    Is this true? It is not my fault that he will not give me a divorce. In Salvador, the man has to say yes or there will not be a divorce. My husband from Salvador will never come here and now I am a Belize citizen. As long as my husband does not find out I do not see anything wrong with it. What is so wrong with me getting married here?

/s/ Unsigned

Dear Unsigned,

    What is so wrong with it is that you are breaking the law by being married to two men at one time. Now that you are a Belizean citizen, you can legally divorce your husband from here. Try it. It can save you a lot of trouble.

Dear Doctor Love,

    When I was seventeen my girlfriend got pregnant. I knew that the baby was mine but I fought against it and told everyone that the baby could not possibly be for me. The reason I did this is because I did not want to get married when I still had my whole life ahead of me. The best thing for me to do was to leave so I did. I went to school in Mexico and then I went to the U.S. While I was working in the U.S. my family moved there too. It has been six years since I have been in Belize. I came here to do some business for my family's property. A few days after I got back here I was in a restaurant in the neighborhood where my family's property is and a little boy came running in the door. I knew he was my son as soon as I saw him. His mother came in and she was just as beautiful as I remembered her. I said hello and she picked up her son and walked out of the door just like I was not even there. I ran after her and told her who I was just in case I had changed so much that she didn't remember me. She said she knew who I was but she had nothing to say to me. When I tried to ask about my son she said I had no business talking to her about anything like that. She said that the baby is not mine. As far as she is concerned I am just someone she used to date when she was in high school. She said to leave her and her child alone or she would get a restraining order and have me thrown in jail.

    I talked with some people and I have found out that she never got married and she hardly ever dates. Whenever somebody asks about the baby's father she says he is dead.

    I called my mom and told her that I would have to stay here in Belize for a little while longer and I have been spending almost all of my time trying to make some kind of contact with my ex-girlfriend. I am not foolish enough to say that I still love her because when she was my girlfriend I was too young and stupid to know what love is. I am twenty-three years old now and I am not the same person that I was when I was seventeen. I do know that I cared for her a lot when we were together and I believe that if I was given the chance I probably still care for her just as much as I did then. Even if we do not love each other the fact is that I am still the baby's father and I should have some kind of rights as his father. I am willing to pay child support if I could have the opportunity to see him but she does not need the money. Her family has plenty of money.

    How can I get through to her that I am a changed person and that I am willing to take some kind of responsibility for my actions?

/s/ Running Out of Time

Dear Running,

    All of us make bad decisions at some time in our lives. Those who are smart try to take care of the problems and do what they can to minimize the damage. Sometimes we simply have to live with the consequences of a bad decision.

    Your worst decision was your refusal to acknowledge the child as yours. Your second worst decision was to disappear for six years. How do you expect a girl to feel when she is abandoned by the man who fathers her child? Don't expect to just waltz back into her life and take over where you left off six years ago.     A good place for you to start in your situation is by paying child support. Even if she returns the checks at least she will know that you are sincere. If she ever starts to cash the checks you at least have your foot back in the door. Don't blow it this time.



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