Spill It! Tea and Advice with Auntie Alice

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Aunt Alice,

I have long lived on the other side of the country from my mother, which means in the last fifteen years she has only dropped in with less than a week’s warning twice. My childhood was not the greatest and while I can now be around her without instant panic attacks, I still have no real desire to see her or have a relationship. For work, I will be moving only a six hour drive away and she has already made a comment about being glad I’m moving closer.

When I have directly told her that I don’t like her and don’t want to be around her, she has always forgotten those conversations ever happened. Any advice for avoiding random visits?

Managing Mom


Usually I would recommend that you firmly explain to your mother that you don’t welcome her company. But a woman who considers a six mile drive to be well within “dropping in” territory is not someone to be negotiated with lightly. You have already told her that you do not want her to visit, so a repeat warning seems unlikely to work. Unfortunately, people play too gotdang much.

If it is possible to avoid giving your mother your address, do so. Make sure that any members of your family who have your address also not give it out to her. You may explain why, if you like, but you don’t have to. And those who would be casual with your details need to be left out of the loop as well.

Does your mother already have your address? Well then, when she drops by unannounced simply be “out”, Whether that means you are actually out of the house or simply reenacting season 1 of the Golden Girls while eating gelato with your cat, that is your right.

People who drop by unannounced have no right to demand your time. Don’t feel guilty for being unavailable. You are doing what you have to to maintain your happiness and your sanity.

Also, if the thought of visits from your mom are bringing you anxiety and stress, please consider seeing a therapist (if you do not already have one, or talking to your therapist about it if you are in treatment). Moving is stressful enough without adding in parental ambushes.

Aunt Alice,

Five months ago I met this really amazing girl. Neither of us make friends particularly easily, but we clicked almost immediately. She’s smart, thoughtful, opinionated, and kind. I’ve never met anyone like her. From the beginning she made it clear that she wasn’t looking for a serious relationship, which I was on board with, so we’ve been open and casual this whole time.

But this has been the only casual relationship I’ve been in where we’d spend almost all of our free time together. I fell head over over heels for her and wanted something that was, not necessarily monogamous, a bit more than “casual”. But when I’d try to bring it up she’d get frustrated or demur. The one good conversation we were having about it had to be put on hold because we were about to have a threesome, which ended up diffusing the tension.

This all came to a head a few days ago when we took acid together. It was a really lovely day seeing colors and kissing in the park and then heading back to her place to cuddle. But when we woke up we were both in a pretty terrible headspace. I brought up our relationship and, long story short, we cried a lot and ended things.

Part of me feels like this was the right decision. As much as I care about her, I don’t really think we want the same things out of the relationship. But the rest of me feels absolutely terrible and, through a mutual friend, I know she does too.

Earlier today she texted me saying she “wants to renegotiate”. Part of me is hesitant, but I feel like this is a once in a lifetime connection and I’m worried I’ll regret it forever if I pass it up. What should I do?

–Am I Tripping?


Y’all don’t want the same things, but you really like each other, and that is rough. Sandpaper rough. Licking a coral reef, kind of rough. And we have all been there. I have been there so many times I have reviewed all of the restaurants and seen all of the views. It’s a crappy place to be in.

Life and love can seem so random. Why is it that some of us find potential partners everywhere we go? Slipping in and out of relationships with new people the way fish move between currents. While the rest of us go long whiles without meeting someone that sparks our interest. So long it feels like we will never ever find the kind of person that we are looking for. And when you do meet a person who gets you, and your dumb jokes, and your silly obsessions, and your vulnerable body, it is completely natural to want to make it work.

But, y’all don’t want the same things. She told you this at the beginning of your time together. And she has told you this once more. This is fine, and her choice, and your heart is breaking. That is also perfectly natural. The reflex you are both having to try to jam the pieces of each other together until you “make” them fit, is also natural. (Especially after the come down from what sounds like a pretty groovy day, my dude.) But you need to resist and there is one very important reason why.

Babylove, you deserve someone who is not conflicted about their want for you. You deserve the relationship you want, with someone who is ready to take that dive with you.

So pack the pieces of yourself up, careful not to jostle them too hard, and walk away. Eat the food you like, pet a kind animal, wrap yourself in a forgiving book. Let’s call this “going into the woods”. Take some time apart. This is not the time to “renegotiate” anything. Y’all are feening.

You will be sad, and cry. You will be angry, and yell. You’ll also have the time to think about what you really want. Do you want a casual relationship with this person at all costs? Or do you want the kind of relationship that she is not willing to give you? Sort that ish out!

In time, when you’re not quite so full of need and leftover hallucinogens, you two may talk again. But that is no guarantee that her answer will be any different. All I can tell you is that the only way forward in life is to figure out what truly matters to you. And to hold onto that knowledge at all costs.

Regardless of what happens with this one person, I know that there will be other beautiful connections. Other loves. They will not be this one, because each relationship is it’s own delicate creature, but they will be just as true.

That is all for this edition, mon petit chou. Thank you to everyone who submitted a letter! Catch us here on Culturess every Wednesday and Friday, for tea and a chat.

Next: More Spill It!: Tea and Advice With Auntie Alice

Have a burning question for your Auntie? Send them to me via culturessadvice@fansided.com. Dying for my bon mots in the meanwhile? Follow me on Twitter @tea_auntie