Dear Margo: On Happy Bachelors and Horrifying Family Problems
Not Everyone Is Looking for a Mate
Dear Margo: I cannot figure something out. My husband has a friend from work who is single, attractive, funny and smart. He has no girlfriend. Whenever we've tried to fix him up, he always has an excuse as to why he can't make it. If he were gay (which I doubt because he's very masculine), wouldn't he just make up a girlfriend? He would be a terrific catch for some woman, and I love to play fixer-upper. -- Melanie Down in Dixie
Dear Mel: First, a bulletin: There are gay men who are masculine in affect. You seem to be working off of the old stereotype of the swishy gay guy with a sibilant "s," a lisp and an ascot. My bet is this chap from work is one of nature's bachelors and (correctly) feels he doesn't have to make up a girlfriend to decline your fixer-upper efforts. He could very well have a partner or might even be asexual.
I think a good rule of thumb for you in your matchmaking efforts is that after several turndowns you just cross that person off your list. Have you thought of volunteering? -- Margo, singly
Something Wrong Is Being Ignored
Dear Margo: How do I get my grandparents to get my 9-year-old cousin the psychological help he clearly needs? On several occasions, he has been caught trying to put his privates into another boy's privates. He has been doing this since he was 5. Even when he was a toddler, I could sense something was wrong with him.
Personally, I don't like the kid, but I do want to protect the boys who could be his victims. He has done it to another cousin who is younger, and now his mother refuses to let her two boys play with him because she's afraid he won't be caught next time. She's also mad because nobody is doing anything.
I've told my grandmother on several occasions that he needs help and that they shouldn't be surprised if they see him on the news in handcuffs for sexually molesting another child. She just agrees, but nothing ever happens. His father lives in the house, too, but he's afraid they would put his kid on drugs, and he doesn't want that.
I know he needs help, but nobody is listening. What is it going to take for my grandparents and his father to get him help before he ruins some family's life by molesting their son? -- Up Against a Brick Wall
Dear Up: I'm not sure why your grandparents are in charge when the child's father is in the picture. You don't say where the mother is. Any boy who has been acting out sexually since the age of 5 is seriously disturbed and perhaps was the victim of molestation himself. This is often the case; he did not dream up this stuff himself.
I am not pointing fingers, but there are two grown men living in the house with this child. Since no one in your family seems to be making a move, you or your cousin's mother should alert child services, and they may require the little boy to see a therapist. His father's fear of drugs is perhaps an excuse to do nothing; drugs are not the treatment for kids with this problem. Because your pleas to family are falling on deaf ears (I hope not for defensive reasons), you or the cousin's mother must step up to the plate. -- Margo, proactively
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