Say Gerv? My friend is always making off color and insensitive jokes about everything. Some offend me, should I say something?
Sean, Boston MA
Sean my big brother used to say, “There’s two ways to handle this. The easy way or the hard way. Please choose the hard way”. We won’t be using his version for this, thank goodness. Look you probably don’t like confrontations like most people, but the times have changed. We are now in the world of if you see something say something and if you see something do something. Now if you’re laughing and going along with your friends jokes you’re co-signing his A-holeness which may make others think you feel the same way as your friend. So what you can do is pull your buddy to the side and let him know how you feel. Tell him his jokes make you uncomfortable. That may not stop him from telling offensive jokes, but it should stop him from saying them around you. We all need to do better and do our part to make this world a better place. Sometimes that starts with just speaking up Sean. Now’s the time.
Say Gerv? I bought my son a car for his 17th birthday. Now he’s making rules about it that’s annoying me. Should I remind him that I paid for it?
Stacy, Burlington MA
Stacy, yes you did pay for the car and yes you did give it to your son. So now it’s his car which means he makes the rules for it. You can’t give someone a gift and then proceed to tell them what to do with it. That’s moving into control freak territory. Once you gave the car to your son it officially became his property. I know this will sound crazy, but if he wants to paint it purple with yellow stripes, make a no chewing gum in the car rule or drive it into the ocean he can do it because it’s his car. Don’t hold the fact that you paid for it over his head because that can lead to some serious resentment. Your son wants to do things his way and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s all a part of the growing up and becoming a man phase that all teenage boys go through. My dad always told me to pick and choose my battles. This is one battle that you can let your son win. Trust me Stacy save your ammo for the why did you sneak this girl into my house battles or the who’s condoms are these battles. Those are the ones you definitely want to win.
Say Gerv? My girlfriend’s ex lied to her all the time now she thinks that I’m going to do the same. What can I do to convince her I’m not a liar?
Mike, Newton MA
Mike what you can do is the obvious, not lie to your girlfriend. If she sees that you’re always honest with her eventually you’ll break down her “I don’t trust you” wall. You see when we get hurt in relationships we tend to drag that pain into our next relationship. But your girlfriend needs to start off with a clean slate with you. If she is constantly thinking that you’re going to lie to her then you’re in a losing situation. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle that you may not win. I know this is going to sound crazy to your girlfriend, but she has to give you the opportunity to screw her over. If she doesn’t then she’s not giving you 100% of herself and that’s unfair to you. That’s just part of being in a relationship. You have to open yourself up to getting hurt which is tough to do since that’s the one thing you don’t want to happen. She’s spending to much energy on worrying about you lying instead of on you. That will just lead to a lot of fights and arguments and that just leads to you finding another girlfriend.
Say Gerv? I know a man is supposed to pay if he asks a girl out, but how long does that last before she starts to chip in?
Dean, Cambridge MA
Dean, that’s up to you my friend. I know some guys that pay every time they take a lady out. I also know some guys that will go Dutch the first date and then decide from there depending on if there’s a second date. The way I handle it is if I ask I pay. If I ask her to a ball game, movie, strip club or dinner then I pick up the tab. Now if she asks me out I’ll still bring money to pay if she doesn’t. Look if you take a girl out and she never reaches in her pocket to pay you can assume she’s not. You really have to feel out the woman you’re with or even “God forbid” talk about it. It’s not a taboo subject. Believe it or not there are plenty of women who pay the bill or will split it with you. Look Dean, if you’re strapped for cash be honest about it. There’s nothing wrong with skipping the fancy restaurant and grabbing burgers instead. If she thinks you’re a cheapskate then maybe she wasn’t the best girl for you anyway.
Gervase Peterson has made history as the first African-American male in the #1 all-time reality series Survivor. Hollywood is no stranger to Gervase as well after appearing and co-hosting with several national television programs.