Everything you need to know

Dear Rachael,

Last night when I tucked myself into bed, I felt more than prepared for the impending morning — my gym bag was packed, my clothes were laid out, and I’d even bothered to look up the page numbers of the homework I didn’t do! But then, when my alarm went off, my roommate’s hairy and generally unpleasant boyfriend was in my shower, preventing me from taking a piss and getting on my merry way in a timely manner. Seeing as his graduate physics class schedule appears to coincide with my own course load, I fear that our early-morning run-ins may become a bit too regular. How can I be happy that he’s keeping up a hygienic routine and stand up for my right to brush my teeth without a naked awkward physics TA on the side?

—Interrupted in the a.m.

Dear Interrupted,

Don’t you know that you deserve better? I’ve seen many a squabble based on the roommate-versus-the‑boyfriend problem, and I always say the same thing: Assert yourself. You shouldn’t have to suffer because your roommate wants to get it on at night. Try talking to her first — let her know that this is a problem, and tell her why. Maybe she’ll pass along the message, and tell him to get his hairy butt going by showering at night or waking up earlier.

If your roommate doesn’t pass along the message, go directly to the source. Let him know that his attempts at hygiene are cramping your lifestyle. Maybe use force. Or if he’s in the shower at critical hours, bang on the door and tell him to wrap it up. And hey, it’s still pretty early in the semester, so tell him to change his schedule. One of those should do the trick.

And maybe hand him some wax.

Wax on, wax off,


Dear Rachael,

When I like someone, I like them — warts and all. And by warts, I mean subtle physical or emotional flaws, not actual warts (gross!). But when it comes to myself, I’m always worried that I won’t be able to find someone willing to look past my flaws, or that, if they do, they’ll always be thinking: “Man, I like her, but I wish she was less pasty.”

I know that self esteem is more of a problem for 13-year-olds, but I guess I never really got over it. How can I feel confident while still knowing I’m not perfect?

—Warty in Wean

Hello Warty,

If you are indiscriminate in those you choose to like, don’t you think there are people out there who are the same? Believe it or not, most people are accepting of flaws, because every-damn-body is flawed. And if someone does judge you for your flaws, you don’t want to be with that kind of person anyway. Kick ’em to the curb!

Confidence, I think, relies on the knowledge that you aren’t perfect. A lack of perfection makes something (or somebody) more interesting. What was Van Gogh without his ear? Okay, maybe just Van Gogh still, but do you see what I mean? You should have confidence in yourself because you are pasty, or because you trip a lot, or because you can’t walk and talk at the same time.

Also, have you seen Christina Aguilera? Better to be pasty than orange, I say.

Hearts, stars, and horseshoes,