time for love
is a cutthroat business
GZO Jones offers sage and candid monthly advice on life, love
and relationships. He corresponds from Brazil while recovering from
a series of health setbacks that may or may not be related to the
1960s. Find out more at the new GZO
Jones Town Web site, and feel free to ask Dr. Jones anything.
You got a problem with that?
Dear Dr. Jones,
My wife stopped shaving her legs. Whats the deal?
First off, if its a seemingly isolated event, no worries.
Im sure youll simply find out that shes been watching
Oprah, and Herr Doktor Winfrey said something to set her off. Or,
Cosmo decided that leg stubble is Euro-chic this month. You can
probably expect the underarm hair to blossom as well. If any of
this is the case, then before long youll hear a resounding
cry of Timber! from the bathtub. And all will be as
Nevertheless, Im remindful of a brief period, circa 1966
or 67. I was dating a certain rising young songstress for
a short spell exactly coincidental to a time when she threw
away her razor and started hitting the Jack Daniels pretty
hard. I have to tell you that, aside from a few whisker burns to
my ever-smiling face, I actually found it quite intriguing. And
I will say this: she grabbed more than just a little piece of my
heart. Point being? Give something new a chance and you might learn
to love it.
Do, however, make sure to watch for the following warning signs:
The public library calls to demand she return The Collected
Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt... Lists her gender as womyn
on official documents ... Attends Ani di Franco concerts more than
one hours drive away ... Says she is leaving you for another
If any of these occur, some sort of intervention may be necessary
and saints preserve you, my friend.
Dear Dr. Jones,
In school I was always a matchmaker, and I know that I give good
advice. Id like to help more people, so I thought of becoming
an advice columnist. How do I get started?
You have picked a thorny path to enlightenment, grasshopper.
This is a cutthroat business with no room for nice people such as
yourself at least in the big leagues. Modern-day requirements
for advice columnists are sarcasm, envy, a tendency to verbal abuse
and lots more sarcasm.
Sure, tough love has been in vogue for years now,
but I think its a different sort of game than most people
realize. Ginsberg once had a hankering to write an advice column
for a popular San Francisco rag, and called me when he was knee-deep
in letters. They werent pleas for advice like you might think,
but complaints about what he said or didnt say, or whom he
agreed or disagreed with. Did he help anyone in his two lucid weeks
of the column? Probably not.
To see if youre made of steely enough stuff, write a personal
letter to an advice column youre familiar with. See how you
like the response.
Ill be doing the same myself, just for kicks. Check next
month for my open letter to Pacific NW columnists and any response
I get. Cheers!