no accounting for taste

by Natalie Dee

Q: I'm marrying a stripper. We're in the process of planning the wedding and finalizing the invitation list. I have a few reservations about my family attending the wedding. They have been known to be quite overbearing and extremely opinionated more often than not. The last thing I want are certain members of my family interjecting their opinions about how incredibly retarded I am for marrying a stripper (which may or may not be true) and just accept the fact that I am finally happy. If I don't invite these people, word will get back to them, and then I'll have to hear about how inconsiderate I am in addition to being a retard. Is there anyway I can head this issue off at the pass, maybe put a foot note on the invitation that says "don't be an asshole" or something?

Ehhh, I don't know if I would go that far, but if you are that concerned about it, you can always try to talk to them beforehand (GASP!!) A simple call to say "Hey, dude, I know you have issues with my relationship with What's Her Face, but I am happy and would like to invite you to my wedding because you are family and important to me. However, I would appreciate it if you could refrain from criticising the relationship at my wedding, but if you can't, I would prefer you not come."

Really, no reasonable person would have a problem with that. It would be a real dick move to go to some cat's wedding and just dis him to his face all night, and letting them know that will probably make them feel dumb and they will cool their jets. And if you are not on super-friendly terms with the relatives who have a problem with your relationship, have your parents talk to them. If your parents can't even talk to them, I think you could probably feel free to not invite them.

Q: I have a dilemma. I really like my best friends older brother, and I am pretty sure he likes me too. He and I have been hanging out a lot lately, and that has weirded her out. She talked with her brother and she said she would not be weirded out if we were hanging out just as friends. I don't know what to do, I feel like I should have some say in what is happening. I really like her brother, what do I do? Is it worth it?

There is an old adage that I feel applies to this situation: BROS BEFORE HOS (jeez, it goes both ways. You know what I mean.) Your friend clearly told her brother that she is cool with it if you are just hanging out AS FRIENDS. If your intent is to be more than friends, you would be making your friend uncomfortable. Why would you risk your friendship so you can maybe have a boyfriend, then probably just break up with him eventually anyway. It doesn't make any sense. It is an awkward situation, but it seems like your friend's brother has already figured out that his relationship with his sister is more important to him than a romance with you, anyway.

Besides, if you went against your friend's wishes regarding her brother and dated him anyway, your relationship would take a major hit, and its likely you would lose a friend. Then, when you and the guy break up, you're gonna really wish you had someone to talk to about it, and realize what a shitty decision you made.

Q: I've always thought of society has sort of...a car. A big car. And somewhere, recently, that car wrecked....coming to a screeching, metal bending, aw-inspiring halt. AND, somewhere on the dashboard, among the the rubble, next to celebrities auctioning themselves off and the cease of Lego popularity, is Scripted Reality Television. I just kind of wanted your opinion on whether the crap should be allowed to continue, or whether we should throw network executives in a dirt arena and let force them to duke it out on live television?

Well, there is no accounting for taste... There is a reason there are so many cheesy reality shows, and the reason is that people like watching reality shows. You don't like them, that is fine. A lot of people don't, but the vast, vast majority of people do, that is why they are on every channel all the time. It is super easy to just not watch them.

Even if you don't like something doesn't mean you should try to pee on everyone else's parade, though. Mainstream entertainment has pretty much ALWAYS appealed to the lowest common denominator. You can't turn on E! and expect to find them discussing Voltaire. And making a point of telling everyone how mainstream popular culture sucks makes as much sense as your proposal to fight reality TV shows with a reality TV show.

Q: I have this totally awesome new mascara that works really well, and stays on the whole day. The problem is, I have the hardest time getting it off at night. The bottle says to "remove with soap and water", but it just seems like a dumb idea to rub soap in your eye. What do you do to get mascara/eye makeup off without blinding yourself?

Soap and water is pretty much the way to go, dear. The catch is that you have to keep your eyes CLOSED when you soap up. That should eliminate any chance of face-washing-induced blindness.

Natalie Dee is a Columbus-based artist and writer whose work can be seen at To Ask Natalie, e-mail

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