some fall in love. i shatter.

Advice Columns (#14)

In Stories Volume 1 on June 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

DEAR MR. MANNERS: I’ve read your column long enough to know that it’s not that uncommon for a man to fall in love with his girlfriend’s sister.  Well,  I’ve gone and complicated matters by falling in love with my girlfriend’s older brother.  I was upfront from the beginning about my bisexuality but also that when I’m in a relationship, I’m monogamous across both genders.  Then I met her older brother, who’s both gay and lives in the same apartment building as her.  We got along very well right away and though I made no moves on him and he understood my relationship with his sister, he made a move on me and, well, I fell for him.  So now I’m openly dating my girlfriend while secretly dating her brother.  Is there a manageable resolution to this?

 

GENTLE READER: Thank you for ensuring that Mr. Manners will never lack for interesting material.  While the genders may be shifted a bit from what’s been covered before, the story remains the same: you cheated on your girlfriend with a member of her family who was well aware of the situation.  He obviously doesn’t care much for his sister and frankly, neither do you.  You should leave both for the sake of the family but if you must persist in one relationship, the only one that stands a chance is with the brother.

 

DEAR MR. MANNERS: I followed your advice but when I tried to break things off with my girlfriend, she insisted that we could make this all work.  Since then, I’d been dating both the brother and the sister and somehow, things were going smoothly.  Then I met the younger brother.  He came over for dinner one night and though he knows about the relationships and claims that he isn’t gay, we hit it off and much like before, he made a move and I fell for it.  Now I’m openly dating the two siblings and secretly dating the third, who I’ve supposedly turned gay.  I feel like this is going to end poorly.  Please help!

 

GENTLE READER: Now we know what happens when you ask for but do not heed Mr. Manners’ advice.  The only reasonable course now is to leave them all behind.  You obviously don’t want to or you wouldn’t be writing me, but frankly, it’s too late.  Even if you could maintain one relationship, two would fail and become resentful towards you and whichever sibling has the dubious honor of winning you over.  The parents won’t like the way you’ve treated their children and you’ll end up with four of five family members against you (please tell me there are no other siblings).  You obviously have an issue with wanderlust so until you can control yourself, please only date those people without siblings.

 

DEAR MR. MANNERS: It’s gotten worse.  I tried to follow your advice.  I sat all three siblings down, laid out what had happened, and explained that I could no longer date any of them.  Too bad for me, each one of them had been prepared for such an eventuality and had bought a ring to propose!  Seriously, on the spot, all three of them proposed to me, each one unaware that the others had been planning the same thing.  I tried to insist that this didn’t change anything, that it was still a bad idea, but they refuse to take no for an answer and they insist that someone is getting married.  I tried sitting down with their parents but that only gave them an opportunity to give me their blessing for any of their kids.  They’re all wonderful people and truthfully I’d be happy to stay with any of the three.  So, I guess my question now is, is there any way to make this work?

 

GENTLE READER: Mr. Manners is at a loss as to why you continue to write if you continue to not heed his advice.  He steadfastly maintains that you should leave this family behind as quickly as possible.  There is something wrong with them that they must work through minus your presence.  Should you choose to stay – as it seems likely you will – be aware that due to an old loophole and a progressive electorate, the state in which you reside is friendly to both polygamy and gay marriage.  Mr. Manners does not suggest taking all three siblings to be your spouses but considering the path you’ve been on, he might as well be helpful.

 

DEAR MR. MANNERS: I can’t imagine you’ll publish this letter in our continuing communication unless the judge forces you to as part of your community service but just in case she does, I want it to be ready.  When you last wrote to me asking about the details of my hastily put together three-part wedding, I thought that you were simply curious.  And though I then invited you, you declined to attend.  So imagine my surprise when during the beginning ceremony, someone quite belligerently decided to voice an objection instead of forever holding his peace.  It took me, oh, a good two seconds to recognize your face and your oh-so-proper speech; I can’t believe you maintain that affectation in real life.  I don’t know how you snuck back inside the ceremony room of the hotel after the ushers forced you out, but husband #2 was pretty upset when you began yelling at us from behind that potted plant.  My to-be wife was jumpy throughout our ceremony she was so expectant that you would return to denounce her as well; we didn’t learn until afterward that Cousin Stevie had escorted you out and then detained you in the parking lot.  Good guy, that Stevie.  And then, the great centerpiece of your meltdown, when you came drunkenly careening into the reception hall.  Are you aware that was my great-grandmother, turning ninety-nine in four months, that you pushed onto the table and simulated sex with?  And what were you attempting to do with that slotted spoon?  Did you know Cousin Stevie is a former Marine?  I bet you figured that out when he tackled you.

Your lawyer’s assertion that I caused your breakdown by repeatedly seeking your advice and ignoring it was, at best, ludicrous. Nevertheless, should there be any shred of truth to that, I want to offer you some advice of my own: don’t be so tied to logic.  Everything that you told me to do made perfect logical sense and in an orderly world, events and actions would have broken along those lines.  But our world is not orderly, love does not always follow the anticipated pattern, and just because advice is given, it doesn’t need to be followed.  I’m sure that’s hard to hear when your job is to dispense advice but hopefully it’ll loosen you up a bit for the future.

Now, if you can keep yourself together, I’m stuck between two spouses that want to have kids and one that just wants a cat.  What are your thoughts?

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