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Dear Uncle Mat

I am in love with one of my co-workers. She is the prettiest girl I have ever seen and I am sure will ever see. Her smile makes me feel dizzy and stupid, like I am high. I am too scared to ask her out on a date. I am not ugly or really stupid, but she is amazing. This may sound crazy, but I know she is the one. I want her to marry me, what should I do?

— Love Struck

Dear Stricken,

No Stalking! Seriously. Have you spoken to her? Save the make-believe for World of Warcraft or whatever.

There is this song about pretty girls, ugly girls, and being happy for the rest of your life. Which is not to say that pretty girls don’t make lovely wives, but besides her intoxicating smile, what’s up with this chick? Make yourself a list of what you know and like about her. Not spooky stalker-style things, rather obvious human things like she packs her lunch instead of going out to eat. Hopefully this will help make her a little more real and therefore approachable. Then ask her out. If she’s the one or even just a nice girl, she’ll say yes. (On a date, no marriage proposals yet!) If she says no, you can tell yourself you know the second prettiest girl in the world and she turned you down for a date. If she’s rude about it, consider memorizing the aforementioned song.

Much luck and love,

Your Uncle Mat


I ride in a vanpool to work. The van is a rental and some members take turns as the driver. I live closest to our office, so I do not drive because I am last picked up and first dropped off, but I pay the same as everyone else. One of the drivers wants a $30 (25-percent) discount per month because she drives. This is because she hates to drive. I think she shouldn’t drive if she doesn’t like it. She’s a bad driver and we are likely to have an accident with her harsh accelerating and abrupt braking. Why should she pay less when she is endangering us? The distance between my house and the office is almost half that of most members and I still pay the same. Why don’t I have a discount? No one in our group can agree on an answer. I’m not really concerned about the money I just think the vanpool should be fair and safe.

— The Complicated Commuter

Dear Van Boy,

Maybe you should take the bus? Or join another vanpool? Is there another vanpool? I didn’t realize Texans vanpooled. Are you sure it’s legal? Wow! Congratulations on your personal participation in cultural evolution. Go vanpoolers! I have obviously demonstrated that I have a complete ignorance of vanpool etiquette, but I will make it up.

I agree. Your rule is everyone pays the same, so everyone pays the same. I know money isn’t the issue, but if you want to pay less for less travel, start a vanpool of more localized worker bees and price according to your needs. As I understand it, the drivers are elected by their location or distance from the office. This makes sense. Each driver runs the risk of tarnishing their driving record, but safe driving adds no immediate cost to their personal insurance or vehicle. No extra cost equals no discount for the drivers. This labor balances the distance. To quote The Legend of Billy Jean, “Fair is Fair!”

There is no reason to risk everyone’s lives and limbs because Judy drives like Lindsay Lohan on a carjack. If everyone agrees that she is a poor driver, then she should not drive. If her location makes it necessary that she drive, then she should be dropped from the pool and replaced with a responsible driver.

There is one last option for everyone. Move within three miles of your place of employment or find a job within three miles of your home. No, not everyone in the world can do this, I’m not ridiculous, but some of us can and should. So shut it and start thinking, “How much better could my life be?”

Much love and fresher air,

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email Him or find him on Myspace. Your true identity is safe with him.


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