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.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rapid Fire and Lengthy Advice.

What is the best way to deal with a friend who has been complaining about their girlfriend for years, saying the same things over and over and just sounding like a harsh jerk?

Tell her to quit her girlfriend or quit talking to you about it because it's making you feel weird about her girlfriend and/or just stressing you out.

How cougar is cougar?

It depends on your age.
If the younger person is under 25, I'd say around 8-10 years would officially be a cougar or chicken hawk situation.
If the younger person is over 25, you can boost that up to between 10 & 15 years.
Coug on.
Don't date anyone you've been in a mentorship role with. That's called grooming and it's inappropriate, Mary Kay Letourneau territory.

How do you cope with an obsessive worry about impending nuclear drift?

I have a couple of websites for you to look at.
This one is from the Radiation Network, an independent group measuring radiation around the U.S. .
The second is Oregon's webpage listing current hazards.
Oregon doesn't want their citizens to perish or look like Blinky the fish. Trust in them!

If it's still bugging you,
Have some miso soup with kombu, sprinkle some nori on your rice, and take a hot bath.
Go for a run or a bike ride to get it out of your head and know that you've done all you can.
In fact, why not take some of that nervous energy and transform it into something useful by wildly donating to the many Earthquake Relief organizations serving those most affected by the devastation in Japan.

Maybe a radiation preparedness kit would help sooth your mind. Then you'd know that no matter what happens, you can casually throw on your gas mask, choke down some Iodide, and start driving East, confident that you've escaped the rays.

A mostly straight girl and I have exchanged interest in dating and over a month and a half have developed an intimate friendship.. not physical though. I asked her out again and she sounds super ambiguous about it still.
Part of me wants to call it quits all togeths but don't know if i risk the chance of losing our friendship. I'm conflicted. Am I kidding myself by thinking I have a chance or am I being strung along?

I borrow from a sometimes-wise friend when I say:
Anything that's not a Yes is a No.

Don't try to get into her head or guess about how much she likes you. If she's being ambiguous, then she's not ready.

She's not into you ENOUGH to dash to the head of the line and put in her application.

So move her into the "No" pile and move on.
Keep the friendship light. Lite even.
But don't waste your romantic vibes on a trifling fool.

Advice Needed:
If a friend of a friend gives you a placenta from a recent birth so your food club can eat it, do you remain in semi regular contact with her? Xmas cards? Keep up with the baby? What is the protocol?

You are under no obligation to keep in regular contact, BUT a thank you card is required. A small gift for the baby or some flowers would also be a kind way to show your thanks for the gift of her organ meat.

Dear Nicole,

I need some advice...because someone wants on with my girlfriend! The 'someone' is a friend of a very good friend, so it's not really possible to avoid her completely. My g.f. and I are in a monogamous relationship, and I don't really have a problem with how she has reacted to this situation, though I don't really understand the whole "trying to out-butch each other" thing that she and 'someone' do. My girlfriend says she doesn't like this 'someone' either, but is still friendly when we see her (as am I - it's the Midwest in me).

So this 'someone' (who has a girlfriend, btw) does all the classic B.S. - ignoring me, being way too interested in my girlfriend, doing her favors, etc. She's also got that playa playa charisma - she can talk anyone into anything. It makes me feel insanely jealous and threatened when we are around 'someone' and feel like crap for days afterwards. I also know that I have trust and self-esteem issues and this situation is aggravating them. I don't know if I should say something to 'someone', or talk to my girlfriend more about it, or maybe say something to the mutual friend?

I feel like I could use some psychic armor to wear around this 'someone' too - any recommendations?

-Irritated in Irvington

Dear Irvington,

Well there is NOTHING worse than a would-be homewrecker.

Look, Portland lezzies, there are plenty of dykes in the sea. Start flippin over rocks and licking toads like the rest of us did to find our dates.
You need not tread on the monogamous!

With that said, Irvington, your psychic armor is this phrase: What Will Be Will Be, and if my girlfriend can be lured away by a philandering snake oil salesman, then I'm better off without her.
Fatalistic? Perhaps, but you'll be fine either way.

Anyway, In a tragic twist of fate, the worse you feel about this and the more you pester your girlfriend, the less attractive you will seem. Unfair but true.

It would be helpful for you to set up some boundaries together.
If your girlfriend agrees and can adhere to some boundaries within your relationship, that's all you can ask for.
If your girlfriend complies and you're STILL trippin', then you need to take a chill pill or go see a therapist on your own so you do not project all of this energy onto her.

Here are my suggestions of boundaries to make clear before moving on:

1. How much they're going to hang out

In my monoga-prude perspective, if someone's trying to get with your man, then your man need not hang out with that person alone.
I'm not saying they shouldn't be pals - You WANT your person to have friends, but one on one is too intimate and date-y to me.
It seems a little QUEER to me.

2. The favors

Your girlfriend needs to understand that these favors are not from some Good Samaritan trying to spread joy into the world, and the more favors she accepts from this person, the more she's feeding their boner fire.
a gentle non acceptance of favors isn't going to kill anyone.

Example: "Oh, you know what- I found someone to help me move. Thank you so much for offering, though... bro. "

Instead of:
"Wow, thanks for helping me move AND unpacking my stuff AND offering to try out my new bed for me! That is so awesome of you! You know what? I WOULD like a massage, after all. You wouldn't mind? Oh, that's great, that's greeeaattttttt......."

NOTE: These boundaries or interactions need to come from the mouth of your girlfriend to the ears of the dunce who is courting her.
You shall be elsewhere, enjoying your life independently as your girlfriend fields all questions, calls and come ons.

Good luck and take care.

(If all else fails, there's a great song called
"Hit That Bitch With A Bottle" that I like. Maybe you can listen to that on repeat as you hit a punching bag or try out kick boxing, so that you don't engage in any actual girl on girl violence. OR... just hit that bitch with a bottle. )

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mom Jeans, with special guest Katastrophe!

Hello! I have employed guest advisor & fashionable gent, San Francisco based rapper and producer Rocco Kayiatos (a.k.a. Katastrophe) , to step in and help with this very special question about Mom Jeans this week.
If you want to see Rocco's non-matron-like pantaloons in person, you can find him at Portland's Gaycation on January 15th (see flier below).

Until then, our question:

hi nicole.
I'm a queer lady who's been dating a super cute person for the last several months. things are great, there's just this one thing that is bugging me.
he has this favorite pair of jeans that are truly terrible.

i was spared from the jeans when i was falling in love with the person because they were in the mending pile.
they have since been mended and i can't take it!

they are total MOM JEANS. when i see my sweetheart in these jeans, i want to run away.
it literally hurts my eyes to see my date's cute little bod unflatteringly obscured in these jeans.
i feel like, "don't you know those are curvy WOMEN's levi's?"

my date is somewhat masculine-presenting genderqueer, i don't think he knows these are women's jeans, and also i think he doesn't know how weird they make his butt look. is there a way of getting him not to wear the jeans? i mean, you know, besides asking him to please stop wearing them?

Rocco Says:
I suppose this leaves you in a bit of a tough spot. If I were in this position I would propose one of two things.

1. Go shopping for new jeans together. Mention that you need new jeans and you would love to see your date in some new denim too. Then, while shopping, fawn over him and his hot bod in the jeans. Get him into a pair that hugs all the right areas and are flattering. Tell him his ass has never looked so hot and that you know he is loyal to his favorite pair, but that in all honesty these look better. Then get him the jeans. Small price to pay, I'd say.

2. Another more duplicitous and severe solution would be to aide in the mysterious disappearance of said pair of jeans, destroy and deny everything. I would not recommend this though, it is setting a precedence of dishonesty.

3. Depending on how close you guys are, you could just be honest and let him know that you think he has a gorgeous body and that those jeans just do not do it justice. Choose your words carefully though.
(Nicole interjects: "These Jeans Do Not Do Your Butt Justice")

Good luck! No one should wear Mom Jeans, even moms.

xo Rocco

And from Nicole:

In this instance, stay away from the hurtful truth route as much as possible. I have employed this "truth" in the past about a certain button-up, and found it only gave my then-date a complex that perhaps I hated ALL of her clothes, not just this one shirt.
Also, would you not smack the mouth of someone who tried telling you what to wear?
I might! (or weep in private. either or.)
Not the right path.

I agree with Rocco that buying your sweetheart a pair of jeans is a small price to pay in order to get rid of the motherly ones; but I have a couple suggestions of my own.

Try talking butt science with your date. Mention that the smaller & higher the pockets, the bigger (in a weird, long, flat way) your butt looks. Say you saw it on Oprah. Something about how larger , lower pockets are your favorite, and you've seen him wear some pants like that and his butt looked awesome.

If you must discuss the Mom-Jeans directly, like if they somehow become resurrected, I'd like to expand upon Rocco's honesty route of taking the angle that your sweetheart is too good for them.
You Are Hotter Than These Jeans.
You Can Do Better.

When I inquired with said date about the formerly mentioned button up, she did think one of these sentences would have softened the blow and boosted her self esteem instead of giving her a complex.

Good Luck,
and if those jeans disappear I promise not to tell.

Here's a Style Guide to Men's Jeans

And for the ladies

Hi Nicole,

I dated a pretty cool chick, who's a big part of a particular art/music/performance scene in (Big City Where Everyone Knows Everyone Anyway). It went really well, but one morning in early September she broke up with me out of the blue, with no reasons given or warning signs. I was devastated, but told her I respected her decision and we've cut all contact.

Thing is, I'm still in love with the art/music/performance scene that she had introduced me to (and had been a fan of the particular genre for years--it's one of the things we bonded over), and I miss going to shows. When, if ever, is it appropriate for me to start going out in that scene again?

Thanks ever so!


Hi, Not-A-Creeper.
First of all, It seems from your letter that you're very sane & you've stopped going to these shows. I'm glad!

It takes the bigger person to take the high road, and the high road is staying home and watching 30 Rock, hanging out elsewhere, or having one-on-one times with friends for a while.

Sometimes the drama-magnets among us try to claim It's Not Fair and
they Should Be Able To Go Where They Want (after a breakup),
only to then cry to their friends or raise a ruckus after seeing their
Ex with another person, or even alive.

But on to your problem!

Depending on the severity of the breakup & accompanying feelings/awkwardness,
I would wait 2-3 months to go out again.

And even then- I would either go to shows where she may not be (This girl can't be everywhere all the time), or choose wisely.

Like, make sure the show is worth it before you leave the house.
Is it a hit-or-miss dance night that happens on a regular basis? Stay home.
Does this band play regularly? Can you see them with ease another time? See 'em later!
Is someone coming on tour in a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Do It! Have Fun!

When you finally leave the house, go with a posse! Get some exercise so you're not all pent up, relax a little (with deep breathing or what-have-you) so when you see her, you feel groovy.

Then be cordial, attempt small-talk, and chill out on the other side of the room with your friends.

I wonder if inviting her to some giant event would help ease the tension.
Not as a one on one date, but as one person you're inviting to something where you've invited a lot of people.
Like if you hosted a giant party or art reception and invited her to come in a very polite way, just so she knows the olive branch is there
(but it's not a sexy, desperate olive branch).
Then when you see her you'll have something to talk about
"Hey, How Was that party, sorry I couldn't make it..."
"Oh, it was great! I won the limbo contest!"
"Oh man, I forgot how good you were at Limbo!"

It sounds like you handled the break up with grace. I trust that you can handle these social interactions the same way.

Dear Nicole,
I'm poor. I want to make money, and I already have a
job, but that's just barely paying the bills. How do I make some loot
without selling myself on the streets??

Well there goes my first response.

Selling yourself on the streets is underrated.

If you want to sell yourself at home, I suggest the lucrative field of phone sex, where you can make $18 an hour to "ooh" and "ahhh" while you watch t.v. with the captions on.
It's a ground floor way into the lucrative adult industry, and all without ever having to see someone ejaculate!

If that's not your vibe, you'd better start honing another talent.

Are you good at thrifting or fixing things up? Sell things on Etsy or to consignment shops!
Ask your friends if they need help with odd jobs, heavy lifting, house painting, cleaning, etc. Put your vibes out there, let people know, and they will respond.

When I needed extra money last year, I posted some ads on Mama message boards and started babysitting.

If you really want money , I would look around and see if any call centers are in your area, and work a night job.

Have I worked the 11p.m. to 4 a.m. shift at the Disney Catalog ?
Yes I have.

Other ideas:

Lemonade stand, everlasting yard sale, dog walking, pet sitting, chicken sitting, coop cleaning, tabling with your crafts at shows, entering karaoke contests.

dear nicole,
i have an amazing dear-to-me sweetie, and we're in a fulfilling and healthy open relationship.
i also have a really good friend that i'd like to make out with again, but am hesitant.
not sure why.
just a vibe, even though there's clear communication on all sides, and permission/encouragement from my sweetie.
underneath i feel a sense that yes, while it's totally fine, it would disappoint my sweetie in some way.
i've asked a dozen times if there are any issues to discuss and always get reassurance, but when there are in-person encounters with the three of us i see a bit of something in my sweetie's eyes that make me want to run over, give her a big hug, and tell her it's not worth it if she's really not okay.

do i believe her and make out, or should i ask a thirteenth time just to be sure?

reading into things

Hi reading into things,

Is it worth it?
If the amount of processing and pre-guilt that has already happened in a sign of what's to come, I would choose someone else to make out with who's less loaded.

Perhaps the fact that you're returning to this person makes your partner feel unstable.
Perhaps the friendship is the problem.
Maybe they feel weird because they know you'll be spending lots of time connecting with this person (as friends) when you're not making out, and that's threatening. Or they know making strict boundaries with the person (if things go wrong) is off the table.

Perhaps it makes YOU feel unstable & you're projecting onto your partner.

Who knows.
I'm just making blind stabs.
The bottom line is:
Is it worth the processing time?

Just thinking about your situation gives me the makings of an anxiety attack, and so I say no.
But that's just me.

Good Luck!
And may the Poly be with you.

Hey there!
OK so my question is...
I have a friend who is now currently making music.
She just learned how to play some basic guitar, bought a fancy ProTools thing for her computer, etc.
She now is obsessed with playing me her music.
I think it's great that she's learned a new skill and blah blah, but I really hate her music. The lyrics are terrible and trite, trying to be funny at times and failing miserably...the ONE time I even offered a slightly not-so-good reaction, she got really mad and it was a whole huge ordeal.

I could deal if this was like a once a month thing, but lately it's been every time we see each other (about once a week) the bulk of the time is spent with her playing her music for me and then looking at me for my reaction.

How do I deal with this? I really hate her music, but don't quite want to hurt her feelings. Thank you!

Hi There.
Good question, and How Horrible for you!
I once had a roommate who would corner me and play me his romantic acoustic guitar songs ("This one's inspired by Shakespeare") for 10-15 minutes a stretch,
I felt like an insecure dog, looking away and trying to break his gaze, all the while attempting to figure out what sort of face I was supposed to be making.

I'm going to break my advice for you into two parts.

1. The Music:

You're not going to LIE, per se, but you are going to avoid giving her a critical review.
Maintain courtesy & respect, and employ your cleverness to think of a way to respond.
"It's very You",
"You're very prolific lately. It's nice to see you so excited." ,
"Your songs have a really cohesive sound",
or pick a part you like
"Nice drum solo!".

Try to figure out a way to be her cheerleader without lying.
Because you like your friend and you want to keep her around. No one wants to hang out with someone who harshes their mellow.

Also, it's not like you have to put your name on the album (hopefully), and lots of people like bad music, so maybe she'll find a niche for herself.

2. Hanging Out:

Can you ask her to just make you a tape or something, so you don't have to sit there with a frozen smile the whole time?

She may not bite, so
You're going to have to meet out on the town for a while.

Movies, Art openings, out for drinks, and parties. If she tries to corner you into hanging out at home, tell her you're beating the wintertime blues by heading out on the town, or that you'd really like to show her this new place or great film!

Hopefully she'll find another friend to torture with her music, or will play a show and find a scene soon so you can go back indoors and be her normal friend again!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Call for Questions!

Hellooooo Out There.

Another school year is upon us, and so your faithful advisor has been laying low and letting you sort out your own sordid details.

Until Now!

A very important question came into my box, and I'm looking for a few more to beef up the column, so please send them in!

Want to know what to do while your roommate's have loud you-know-what?
How's about discussing beard hair left on the sink?
Want to make a pass at your postman ?


I'll be posting responses This Wednesday, January 12th.