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!
SHE KNOWS I'M NOT RICH, SO WHY DOES SHE ACT LIKE I AM?
Dear Willie D:
I've been with my girlfriend for a few months. Things are mostly really good in the relationship except one thing: we argue about money occasionally. I'm divorced with kids, and have been struggling just to make mortgage payments since I no longer have a spouse's income to help with the bills. My girlfriend makes more than I do and doesn't have kids to support, and she's aware I have a lot more expenses than she does.
At first we took turns paying for dates, but lately I'm picking up the tab more often than not. It came to a head recently when she offered to pay half the hotel bill for a weekend trip that was my idea. I accepted her offer, but later she let me know she was pissed. I ended up paying for it and just about everything else on the trip, and she was happy.
She is an independent woman in a lot of ways, but she wants to be taken care of. I think it's comforting and makes her feel secure. I'm kind of old-fashioned myself and ideally I'd be reaching for the check every time. But I'm living check-to-check myself and there's no promotion in sight anytime soon. She's cool with staying in and us cooking at one of our places some nights, but other times she'll say she'd rather go out and I usually pay even when it's her idea.
I don't want to be a cheapskate, but I don't want to shortchange my kids because I had to pay for dinner, a movie or concert, drinks at the club and brunch the next day. What do you think about my situation?
You're dating the wrong girl.
A MOTHER & HER WILD KIDS
Dear Willie D:
I absolutely hate people who let their kids run amuck in public. I live in Los Angeles. While waiting at the gate on my connecting flight from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., I observed three of the most disruptive children ever. I'm assuming they were siblings because they all had sandy-brown hair and looked alike. As they ran around the terminal bumping into passengers, stepping on toes, and screaming, their mother just sat there shaking her head. Occasionally she would cry out "Stop it," "Don't do that" or "Say excuse me." But other than that she seemed clueless as to what to do about her untamed munchkins.
I gave the little rugrats a hard stare a few times and shook my head at their mom in disgust which is about all I felt empowered to do to indicate my disapproval of her kids' behavior. I'm interested in knowing what you would have done had you been in my position.
Disgusted With Disruptive Kids:
I hear you. Not only do I hate people who let their kids run amuck, I also hate the kids [laughing]. No seriously, I love the kids.
I was at a theme park recently with my son, my sister and her daughter. As we waited in line every few steps I took a little girl kept stepping on the back of my sandal. I gave her the mean mug a couple of times. Then after the umpteenth time, I looked down at my feet then gave the dad a scowl. Still he was totally oblivious to what was happening. I gathered myself and the next time she did it I turned to the dad and politely said, "She keeps stepping on my feet." The dad addressed it with her and that was that. Problem solved.
Oftentimes parents are so overwhelmed with making sure their kids are safe from strangers that they forget to protect strangers from their kids. The next time you feel someone's out-of-control kid is invading your space, address it with the parent. In most cases as long as you're tactful you'll receive a favorable resolution. Parents don't like giving people excuses to chastise their kids.
p.s. I think some kids are just predisposed to acting like animals in public. Why do you think the equipment they play on is called a jungle gym?
I FEEL LIKE A FAILURE
Dear Willie D:
I'm a 37-year-old woman with a master's degree. I make good money, live in a nice house and drive a luxury vehicle but I feel like a failure. I don't have any close friends and I'm distant from my family. Occasionally I will go on dates with guys, but I haven't met the one that I feel is right for me. Society teaches us to set high standards for ourselves and follow through, which for the most part I think I've done. What am I missing?
You're missing the human connection. Cars, money and nice houses are great but in the end it's all just stuff. When death is imminent no one asks to see their house or car one last time. They petition people: a spouse, a mother or father, a sister or brother, an aunt or uncle, a nephew or niece, a friend or someone who has made an impact in their life. I would imagine it to be a lonely feeling to climb to the top of the mountain of success, look around and have no one to share it with.
Continue to reach for the stars but don't get your head stuck in the clouds while you're up there.
THE BAD GUYS ARE WINNING
Dear Willie D:
Two days ago a friend of mine was robbed at gunpoint in the driveway of her home as she was removing her baby from the carseat. It was later discovered that the robbers followed her home from the bank. I watch the news and read about these kinds of incidents happening all the time so I'm not naïve. But I live in a gated community with $1 million homes. That's just not something you plan for.
With all of the home invasions, armed robberies, and senseless murders, it seems like the bad guys are winning. Why do you think society is so much more violent today?
Once I was at home and received a call from my next-door elderly neighbor. She asked me did I know who was driving the brown car parked outside my house because she had never seen it before -- she had already taken the liberty of writing down the license plate numbers. I looked out of my window, retrieved my weapon and stepped out the door to confront the man who was sitting in the driver's seat. It turned out that the guy was waiting on his wife who was a housekeeper for our neighbor a few houses down.
The moral to the story is we have to look out for each other; not just when it appears that a crime is in progress but well before one takes place. Many of the bad guys are a product of neglect, low self-esteem and limited love. The only way to effectively reverse the trend is to instill compassion and respect for self and others in the youth before they become dangerous. Contrary to popular belief, building prisons and locking millions of people up is not the answer. That's like putting a Band-Aid on gangrene.
Society is sick, and as with any illness, prevention is the best treatment.
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
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.