Honesty (12/8/05)

Dear Zelda,

A few months ago I took your advice and tried computer dating. However I have to admit that after looking at the men who were listed I decided to "fudge" a little on my age.  It seemed that all the men my age were looking for younger women so I just subtracted 10 years from my "true" age.  Now I'm in a pickle because I met someone I really like and he keeps referring to me as his "younger woman."

Help me Zelda.

In A Pickle

Dear In A Pickle,

Fibbing about one or two years is definitely "fudging it" a little... fibbing about being TEN years younger is a whole big pan of "fudge!" It's a regular fudge cake! But before you get too embarrassed, let me just say...YOU GO GIRL for being able to pull it off! I'd need five quarts of botox and a small detachment from the Army Corps of Engineers to manage that one.

Now, anyone one who gets online and plays the "internet dating game" knows that there is a certain amount of anonymity that one must keep to avoid the three S's: spam, stalkers, and psychos (hey...no one said I was a spelling bee champion). Venturing into one of those dating chat rooms, it's impossible to miss the faint hum of "little white lies" taking flight from countless keyboards. What most internet daters forget, or choose to forget, is that this is the PERFECT opportunity for you to be completely honest about yourself and what you're looking for, because you don't have to face the prospect of a harsh facetoface rejection. It's is a great way to let possible suitors read your profile and decide from there whether a conversation should ensue, and a great way for you to do the same.

At the same time, I understand the temptation to fudge, especially when you feel you are missing out on the legions of eligible bachelors who screen out people above a certain age. The problem is, your plan actually worked! Now you're stuck with the reality that you may have nabbed a catch who, in turn, thinks he caught something else. Unfortunately, your "fudge" is about to reach its expiration date. He'll find out sooner rather than later, and hearing it from you, in all your youthful glow, will hopefully help to soften the blow. You need to be honest NOW, because if this relationship has any chance of going anywhere, he'll need to know sometime, and the sooner the better. If he's been doing the online dating thing for a while he may give you a little slack, but don't count on it. No one likes to be deceived. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "A relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust." No really, it is.

We're all wishing for the best, but in the future, you may want to put your online dating on a fudgefree diet, or at least cut the recipe in half.


Dear Zelda,

I have a brother who can't admit when he's wrong.  No matter what. Last week he invited my family to dinner at his house.  We were all talking and having such a good time that he forgot about the turkey in the oven.  You guessed it, the turkey was blackened by the time he remembered to check it. Instead of honestly admitting that he made a mistake, which we were all very aware of, he blamed the oven.  This is just one example.  It has been a lifetime habit of his and we don't know how to tell him that we would trust him more if he could just tell the truth. Can you help us with a little Zelda Wisdom?

Honestly Don't Know What To Do

Dear Honestly Don't Know What To Do.

"Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!"  (What does that mean? Do liars wear flammable pants?) Wouldn't it be great if we could take all the people who have chronic lieatosis, give them a big cupful of truth serum to gargle, and leave them with that breath of fresh air known as "reality"?

You ALL must be exhausted from a brother who's had a whole lifetime of always being right. Chronically needing to be right is merely a defense mechanism for avoiding confrontation. However, the fact that you and your siblings have not confronted his lies headon has reinforced the ease with which his lies flow; how much longer must you all float down the river of "deNile"?

Changing such deeply ingrained habits is no easy task, but you have to start somewhere. Though it may be hard to bring up the subject, there are ways to lovingly and gently confront him without being too judgmental.  Explain how uncomfortable it is for you, as well as everyone else, and that it's no big deal to be wrong. Tell him that you have a hard time trusting anything he says, and that although he may think he only fudges the truth, his small lies erode the common ground between you until you're standing on opposite shores. Tell him that you and your family love him, and want to continue to spend time with him if he can work on being more honest with himself and with you.

I find that if someone has the selfconfidence and courage to admit when they're wrong, I have much more respect for them.  If I were in your shoes...I would lead by example and be honest with him. It's still the best policy.


Dear Zelda,

Do you know any place that lists pet friendly hotels?  I keep smuggling my 2 dogs into motels when we travel and I wish there was a book, pamphlet, or whatever, that lists hotels and motels that allow dogs.

Huntin' for Hotels

Dear Huntin' for Hotels,

Unfortunately hotels and motels didn't get the "Paris Hilton Memo" that we pooches are not just pets...we're also indispensable accessories (much like luggage, the verrrrrrrrry expensive kind), and therefore should be accepted as such. There's no reason we should have to train like Navy Seals and map out our undercover plans in the middle of the night just to have a warm, fluffy place to rest our heads.

I want to be pampered and I want to be primped! However, the cruel truth is that your luggage IS probably a little less likely to leave a surprise under the sheets than your pooch, and as such, pleasant accommodations are not always prevalent. Wouldn't you  think that all those fancy hotels and motels that try to make you feel like you're in a "home away from home" would understand the value of having your beloved pets by your side (you know...just like at home)? Well, wait no longer... it's Zelda to the rescue!

Before your next trip, check out one of these little goodies: Pets Welcome: A Guide to Hotels, Inns, and Resorts That Welcome You and Your Pet, by Kathleen and Robert Fish; and Travel With or Without Pets: 25,000 PetsRPermitted Accommodations, Petsitters, Kennels and More!, by M. E. Nelson. For some quick and simple solutions, check online at www.letsgopets.com, which lists over 18,000 pet friendly places, or try out Pets Welcome online at www.petswelcome.com, which is by the same people who wrote the book, and has over 25,000 places listed in North America as well as loads of travel tips!

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