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why does it take an advice columnist to make people realize really simple, obvious answers??

I've been dating a guy for almost two years. We recently split because of his mother and his ex-girlfriend, who he was with for 12 years.

His ex-girlfriend lives in an apartment in his mother's house. This girl and her new boyfriend are "regulars" at family gatherings and even use the family vacation home! My boyfriend insists that his ex-girlfriend is a "member of the family" and "just a friend." My boyfriend's mother, who knows I don't approve, invites this girl to family gatherings knowing that I refuse to come if his ex-girlfriend is invited.

It's her right to invite whomever she cares to, but I feel that it's an insult to me for her to invite this girl now that I'm a part of her son's life. I was left alone on Christmas because I refused to take part of their family gathering knowing this girl would be there. Part of me feels that my boyfriend has been brainwashed by his mother into believing that this situation is OK. Any suggestions?

He's My Man Now

I have one suggestion: Grow the fuck up.

You may be a part of your boyfriend's life, but his ex was a part of his life - and, by extension, his mother's life - for 12 years. So when your boyfriend tells you his ex is a member of his family he's not feeding you some line of shit. After 12 years, his ex is a member of the family, you dolt. And if you want to be a member of his family, you're going to have to accept her presence.

Being around people you don't necessarily like is the price we all pay at holidays for having families. Asking your boyfriend's mother to be exclude (or evict) someone she's known and loved for 12 years, someone with whom she has a relationship independent of her son, all because her son is seeing someone who's manipulative and insecure isn't going to endear you to anyone. Given the choice between her son's pleasant ex-girlfriend and the manipulative, insecure little bitch he's dating now, your boyfriend's mother is going to chose the ex every time.

You obviously don't know a good thing when you've got it. Any sane person would be anxious to be part of family that doesn't turn its back on in-laws when a relationship doesn't work out. Your boyfriend's family sounds healthy and well adjusted. If that's not to your taste, there are plenty of guys out there with unhealthy, fucked-up families that might be more to your liking.

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Aha. Canned Beats is now the Phish Sanctuary's own Ann Landers. Write in with your emotional or family problems to Canned Beats, but don't expect a compasionate or caring response. Canned Beats will tear your heart out then eat it for breakfast, right after inviting you to throw snowballs at his window.

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Dear Beats,

I am a longtime reader, first time writer, and just want to say that I'm a big fan of your column. The reason why I'm writing to you is that recently my toilet has been backing up whenever my friend.... I'll call him whacky mole... comes over to visit. Now I should tell you that my friend whacky mole has a *special* diet consisting of roots, greens and dandelions.

Should I say something to him or should I just keep the mop handy whenever he comes around, or maybe I should just slip some good old red meat into dishes that I cook for him?!!?

Sign me

Mop stop

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