America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Of Pigs, Pot Heads, Dirt Bags, and Roommates

Dear Nicole.

last night - actually 4:15 this morning, I woke up to the sound of a pig having a complete mental breakdown outside of my bedroom window. I live on the second floor in an urban block near a very busy street so this was, by no means, usual. I was in a deep sleep and rather bleary eyed at the time- - the pig continued to scream bloody murder until 4:20 am but I stayed asleep because I was on my delicious new latex-blend mattress from Mattress World in Jantzen Beach who are, by the way, very gay friendly. I was convinced that it was part of my dream, which was actually about me writing an R&B mega-hit( a recurrent dream).

Anyways I finally dragged my ass over to a window and looked out to see what the heck was going on. I saw what I THOUGHT was a couple of people trying to load a a screaming pig into the back of a red minivan. However my eyes were coated in the cotton candy of a deep summer sleep and I really had no idea. I lay back down and called 911 with my eyes closed. I said, " I think someone is abusing an animal in front of my house." ( please understand that this new mattress is like a drug - I had no idea if I was dreaming or what- I mean I should have been yelling a the people but I was trying to remember the line to the song I was writing in my dream ( Hey boy -why you gotta leave me!? La LA LA LALA) - anyways the cops were en route and i texted my post-goth neighbor " yo girl. what up? are you killing a pig in your front yard?) and passed back out hard.

When I woke up in the morning my cell phone had erased all of my text messages and call log. Blank. All gone. So I had no idea if anything was real. I was worried that the cops were in on a conspiracy with my neighbor and had used the patriot act to erase my phone. No, too nuts, I chalked it up to an elaborate dream. I showered, drove to work forgot about the whole thing - but around 11am I started to think that maybe I should check. What if my post-goth neighbor had actually been murdering a child in the front yard in some pagan ritual! ( not totally out of the question) I called T-mobile and told them I was having trouble remembering if I called 911. The person on the phone seemed pretty uncomfortable but told me that I had!!!

I called my neighbor and asked her what was up and she replied, in a very matter of fact tone,: "it was no big deal - just a couple walking their pig and the pig sat down and decided he didn't want to walk anymore - and then they were trying to get him to walk - but he didn't want to and started screaming so they "called a van to come pick him up." ( is this a normal service i don't know about? 1-800-pick-up-my-screaming-pig-in-a -van?) I asked if they seemed cracked out, given that it was 4am. She said "No, not at all- just having a hard time with the pig I guess."

Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm..... do I believe her? What the fuck is going on?

love - pigging out in Portland

Dear Pigging Out,

That is one amazingly woven tale, my friend.

I know that pigs can be very loud, from my days working on a farm. My job was to spank them out of bed every morning. They didn't want to leave their warm straw beds, and so screamed like the wraiths from Lord of the Rings. If you were here I'd do my impression for you. Really scary! Really intense! The point is, if a pig doesn't want to do something, he will be vocal about it. He will scream and dig his little hooves into the ground.

It's plausible that somebody who didn't know about pigs (i am guessing they didn't know about pigs since they were walking down the street in PORTLAND with a pig on a LEASH) tried the trick of walking their pig (who was undoubtedly rooting up their plants and carpeting with his nose because he was a PIG in an urban environment who was trying to do natural PIG things and since pigs are NOT MADE TO BE PETS...) down the street in the middle of the night and did not have the mental abilities ,charm, or the brute strength to get the pig to move.

So, it could have been a pig.
You need to trust that if it was NOT a wayward swine, the police handled the situation. That's all you can do. Tuck this story in your pocket for parties, and don't worry about it.

P.s. Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer is obsessed with a Pig Man he saw at the hospital? This is a lot like that story.

P.p.s. If you haven't yet caught on, i HATE the idea of urban pigs as "pets". A pig wants to be on a farm with other pigs. Not on a fucking LEASH walking down goddamn Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard at 4:15 in the Morning!!!! If you are a pig pet owner , go find some land and another pig for your pig to befriend and stop torturing them (and yourself) by keeping them indoors because they are a novelty. They are a pig. They are a barnyard animal. Fuck you, get a dog.

P.p.s.s. I just remembered that I know some people who live near your neighborhood and adopted a stray pig last year. Maybe it was them. Is that a weird detail to throw in at the end of my three paragraph long diatribe?

Dear Nicole-

I am 25 and have been w/ the same person since I was 14 (yup- 11 years). Now, right before we got married, my partner started smoking pot every day, stopped bathing on an every day (or even every-other day) basis, and I found these new habits disconcerting and unattractive. It's been 2 years since this started, and although the bathing has since been improving (mostly), the pot use is an every day occurrence. (Let me say I don't have a problem w/smoking pot, however, I do mind it as an every day habit when I wholly dislike the personality that comes through in the smoker). Even though I've voiced my concerns and my feelings (ie "I don't like your personality constantly high. I like you less..."), I was told that I, "don't have a right to say what,or how much of something goes in [his] body". SO...

It's continued ever since. I feel very separate from my spouse because I need to block out his personality and annoying behavior when he's high, and I don't feel sexually attracted to someone who throws hygiene to the wind (which I've told him). What should I do? Do I stay in a very long term relationship because we still like each other, or... what? *I've never been single, and wonder, what if this is the best I could hope for?*

-Bummed and Confused

Dear B&C,

Today I was listening to The Doctor Laura show while walking my dogs.
A woman called and told Dr. Laura that her fiance was nice, etc etc, but could not stop staring at other women when they were out.
This bothered the caller.
It got to a point where she would intervene and say "Are You Undressing Her With Your Eyes?".
"It almost feels like adultery, Doctor Laura!" the woman cried.
When confronting her fiance about this transgression, he would say something like "it's none of your business" or "you're being controlling" or something.
Basically, d.L.'s advice was "Fuck that guy. He's not ready to be married to you, because he is being so inconsiderate of your feelings. He doesn't care, and in order to have a marriage, you need to compromise and have some communication and trust with your partner, not a toddler-ific I Can Do What I Want attitude."

While i may think that the woman caller was making a big deal out of the looking, I DO think that in general, d.L's advice was correct.
If you bring up an issue with your partner (who you want to marry) and they are cemented into their position, even though it hurts you, then it's time to go.

It sounds like you don't want to be married to a marijuana addict.
I think that is a fair thing to want and to expect for yourself.
If marijuana (and all the trappings that go with pot addiction, including lethargy, depression and no showering) is a non-negotiable and he refuses to compromise on the issue or seek treatment, then this does not sound like your soul mate.

In your ideal situation, does your soul mate treat you this way? Does your life partner have trouble with hygiene in your wildest love fantasies?

If i were you i would give it a last go by asking him to enter Couples Therapy with you. Because you've been dating for such a long time and it would probably be comforting to know that you tried everything you could think of before making a final decision.
If he's unwilling to go, then I think you should find the partner you deserve, who is willing to work on things with you.
Sometimes it's such a giant act of bravery to leave a long-term situation that's gone sour, but you have to live in the present (what he's giving you now) and go with it and as uncomfortable as leaving might be, you'll ultimately be better for it (when you're saying "Schwoo! I'm so glad I'm not married to an addict!" someday).

Good luck.

As shitty as singlehood probably sounds right now, it is an amazing relief and breath of fresh air if you haven't breathed it for a while. Especially if you've been carrying around someone else's baggage. Take off that heavy back pack and let your shoulders do some breathing!
you may not think there are better fish in the sea right now from where you're standing , but keep in mind that you haven't even thrown your pole up in that ocean for ELEVEN YEARS! And you're still so young! There are so so so so sooooo many fish in the sea. Some of them will blow your mind and your expectations. I promise.

Dear Gorgeous Georges:

I’m a single lady juggling 3-4 Gentleman Callers in and out of my luxurious bed. If someone I fucked is described as “a total dirt bag” by my girlfriends, does that mean I should go for it anyway if I’m attracted to him? Perhaps with an extra ounce of heads-up-caution, but… total dirt bag is code for “person who has lived life”, right? And if I’m not even “dating” the guy, how much does his dirt bag status even matter?


Town Whore Open For Business CLANG CLANG CLANG.

First of all:
"Person who has lived life"?
Town Whore, I've "lived life" and I'm not a "Total Dirt bag"! You've "lived life" and I've never heard you described as a "total dirt bag"!
Don't you use those platitudes with me , miss. I hate 'em.

Sure, nobody's perfect, but most people do not have a reputation as a Total Dirt bag.

If you have so many gentleman callers, why soil the batch with a chode? There's no need! You can have hot sex with plenty of people who are not guilty of douche-baggery, i promise you.

Close your eyes and imagine your ideal self. Seriously, your #1
"Here is What I Want For Myself. Here is Who I Want To Be".
Does that person settle for a-holes?
Does that person reward Dirt bags by letting them sweat all over her? I imagine, from wayyyyy over here in Portland, that she does not.

One time i was This Close (imagine my fingers really close to each other) to having a sugar mama, but the person who wanted to do the sugar mothering was a Dirt Bag who had gotten my number whilst still monogamously attached to another girl. I had to stop and think
"does my ideal self go to dinner with someone i think is gross just because they're going to buy that dinner for me and give me an expensive gift afterwards?"
The answer was no.

So. That's it. Don't settle. Do not fuck a dirt bag.
Be a feminist who supports other women by listening to their stories about what dudes have done to them or are capable of.
I believe in your powers of good, and, knowing that you are probably an awesome "lay", i say bestow that gift of Laying on somebody who's a decent human being.

Dear Nicole,
I am a shy person that warms up to people once I've known them for a little while. I am about to move to a new city and am very nervous about meeting new people, especially those I want to live with. Do you have any tips for acing housing interviews and keeping myself from becoming a trembling, stammering mess? My uncle thinks LSD would help me become more open, but I'm going to say no to that for now.

- shy-la

Dear Shy-la,

I would have to agree with you that LSD is not the best way to ace a housing interview.
But speaking of drugs, have you ever tried Kava Kava? It is this really trippy herb that is 100% legal and chills your jitters out intensely. Careful- if you take too much it has the opposite effect and gets you high. But if you take just some or put it in a smoothie (you can get it as a powder from a hippie retailer of fine herbs. {seriously, I'm talking about herbs, not "Herb"}) it will cool your bones down. (Once i had a crush so bad i could not eat and had butterflies in my stomach for weeks straight, and the Kava Kava let me exist as a normal human being until the crush subsided.)

Other than that,
I would preface your interview with "I'm sorry if I'm acting weird, I get SO NERVOUS! " or "i am really , super duper 100% shy at first, so forgive my quietness."

The fear with a quiet person at a housing interview is that they are either a snob, or really really dull. It's your job to somehow convey to them that you're not this way, but to do it in a fashion that won't give you a heart attack on the spot

Is there some creative thing you can do or show them that will win them over? Kill them with kindness?Like, could you make some cupcakes or cookies beforehand or bring them a copy of your zine or some other art project that you've contributed to? "Here's a mix tape i made. Thanks for the interview.I really want to live here. "
These are non-verbal things that are international symbols of Someone You Might Like To Have Around.

Do you have good references? If not, do you have a friend whose number you could put down as an old landlord or roommate who'd fake it for you? Like that Uncle of yours?
"Ahhh yes, Shy-la was my very favorite tenant. Always paid her bills on time and was such a charming individual. Yes, anyone would be lucky to have HER as a roommate. Yessir."

I believe you will find an excellent house, Shy-la. LSD Free. For every quiet person, there is a house with too many loud people. For every loud person, there is a quiet person who doesn't mind listening. Good luck!

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