Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!
SINGLE MOTHER STRUGGLING
Dear Willie D:
I am a single mother of two teenagers and one preteen. I sometimes find myself at a point where I don't think I can make it anymore when it comes down to providing for my family. Both of my daughters lost their fathers to violence a few years back, and my son's father is in his life but I receive no child support. My family and I are not as close as a family should be.
I often wonder if I should get a second job, but with three kids at home -- one who is only 11 and at the age where he needs me home more to give him the attention that kids need at that age -- I don't know. What's your best advice to me on how to get through this single-mother struggle?
The first thing you should do when money is tight is cut back on your lifestyle. Look around and eliminate anything costing you money that you don't need: cable TV, cigarettes, alcohol, cleaning services, credit cards, Starbucks, name-brand clothes and anything else you can think of. Take your lunch to work, don't eat out, and if you drive an expensive car downsize to something less expensive but reliable. Get the son's father to help out voluntarily or put the courts in his life.
I admire the fact that although you're thinking of taking a second job, you're considering how the time away from home might affect your kids. Lord knows in this day and time we need more parents spending quality time with their kids. With so many people having success working from home today, that may be a good option for you also. If everything works out, you might be able to quit your first job and work full-time from home.
Remember, whatever you decide to do your situation is temporary, not permanent. You just need to make some adjustments until you can get on your feet. I know life seems gloomy at the moment, but it gets better. Sometimes we have to crawl in the dark before we can walk in the light.
MY DOCTOR IS OUT OF CONTROL
Dear Willie D:
I went to the dentist to have my wisdom tooth removed, and my dentist was so distracted by his wife serving him divorce papers that he injected Lidocaine in the wrong area and proceeded to pull my tooth without properly numbing it and the surrounding tissues. As I was lying back on the lift chair kicking and screaming, he told me to stop acting like a baby.
When he was done he washed his hands, and stormed out of the room; no after-care instructions; no have a nice day -- nothing. The stupid nurse who was in the room just stood there shaking her head, telling me to excuse him because his wife is divorcing him.
Well, guess what? I'm suing him for malpractice. Injecting anesthetics in the wrong area for surgery and telling the patient to stop acting like a baby because she is crying out in pain: who does that?
Kicking and Screaming:
Just be glad your doctor's name isn't Conrad Murray.
More Ask Willie D on the next page.
ALONE WITH NO FRIENDS
Dear Willie D:
I'm a big fan from Oregon and I need advice. Since I ended a friendship with a certain female I seemed to have lost all my friends -- from people talking behind my back, lack of trust, etc. As a result I've become a recluse, and not very social with people as much as I used to be. What can I do to be more social again?
Step out of your comfort zone and be yourself. Being social is much easier than you think. Your goal is to become comfortable interacting with new people, so gender doesn't matter. Since most people's favorite topic is themselves, when you go to the grocery store and see someone pick up an item off the shelf that you may have thought about buying you can say something like, "I was thinking about trying that. Is it good?" If you're at a club or a party and see someone jamming to a song you can ask them, "Who is that artist?"
Sporting events are also a great place to socialize, especially if you're rooting for the same team. People at sporting events are generally chatty. They will strike up a conversation and high-five anyone. Just start talking about the guy who just made a great play or failed to make a play and you're straight in. If the team needs personnel improvements, talk about who you'd like to see hired or fired. The more you socialize the more social you'll become and the more friends you make.
Practice may not make you perfect, but learning to socialize can be optimized if you're willing to work at it.
Dear Willie D:
My wife and I raised our kids to be self- sufficient since day one and now it's hard to tell them anything. My wife is pissed that I'm not more assertive with advising them. Am I wrong?
The only thing you're wrong for is using an oxymoron: self-sufficient kids.
PREVIOUSLY ON ASK WILLIE D
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS