After I smacked Becky with a Yard Of Shortbread today ( look at her twitter for details), I was informed that I needed to make up for my pigheadedness by answering some Go Ask Aunt Becky questions this week. So I broke in to her website and am shamelessly sharing my even-less-qualified opinions with you. Enjoy!

Dear Aunt Becky The Daver,

I started a short fiction site recently called Fiction Five Hundred. I was wondering if you could check it out, and maybe spread the word a bit to people that you know of that enjoy fiction.

The site URL is .

I’ll pimp your blog and various projects in exchange if you’d like. Kinda like a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type thing.

Badass Geek

Dear Badass,

I have run your Fiction 500 site through my own, carefully-calibrated, artificially intelligent Site Rating Software. It crashed horrifyingly, spewing electrons all over my desktop. In short, your site is so good that it literally blew my computer’s mind. I’m pretty sure it’s safe for people though, I’ve been reading through it and my brain hasn’t yet come squirting out of my nose. Bookmarked!

Dear Becky The Daver,

I’m trying to type this on the sly so my boyfriend doesn’t come stomping in asking me what I’m doing and catching me.

So, my boyfriend and I have been together for a year, and it’s pretty serious. We live together and all that awesome fun stuff.
I would like to take it a step further and become engaged. We’ve talked about this before, and so I’ve ruined the surprise and he knows I would say yes.
But every time we talk about it he says it’s too soon.
I don’t know if he’s waiting for a blow job or if I should propose.
I’ve been thinking about proposing, I figure it would prove I’m serious, and I’ve even considered a speech to tell him I love him and I want to spend the rest of my life with him and I’m in it for the long haul and just because we’re engaged doesn’t mean we have to get married now.

Anyway, my question(s) is/are: is it okay for me to propose, how should I propose, and do I give him a ring?

-Listener of Beyonce

Dear Listener,

I totally understand where you’re coming from — when something Just Works, it’s an amazing, wonderful, excellent feeling, and it sounds like you’ve found someone you feel ready to put your trust in, who you are ready to take the next step with. Each of those steps feels lighter and more giddy than the last.

But hold on to it! Being married has a whole lot of baggage associated with it; more than living together, sleeping together, having a joint checking account, or even having kids together. It’s a commitment that has to meet in the middle, with both people reaching out to each other for support, listening to and appreciating each other’s ideas & feelings. And sometimes, you’ll find that what you discover about your lover is not what you wanted to hear. Different people feel different pressures about marriage, and chances are his concerns aren’t anything like what you would think.

If you’ve talked to your boyfriend and he says he’s not ready, it could very well be that he is nervous about the commitment that goes into being married; most guys (at least, the good ones) wonder if they’re good enough, prepared enough, if they make enough money and if they can afford to take care of you; if they have their lives figured out enough to make a promise like this.

My advice to you is this: if you’re talking about marriage, he probably believes you’re serious already. Listen to him, give him the space he needs to work out his thoughts on the subject, and give him the support he needs to feel comfortable reaching his arm out to meet you in the middle.

It takes a maddening amount of patience to respect that someone else takes a lot longer to come to the same conclusion as you, but trust me — it’s good practice for marriage. Becks figures things out that take me weeks (I made her wait a year for a wedding rather than just heading to the courthouse!), and I figure things out that take her forever ( she was meant to be a writer! ).

If he’s a guy who’s worth giving your heart to, then he’s a guy whose opinions, concerns, fears, and ideas should matter to you. Treat him that way, and I suspect you’ll do fine. But I’d hold off on proposals and speeches and rings until you’ve had a good listen to what HE really wants. Then, if he’d dig being proposed to, go for it with gusto. If he wants to be the one to get down on one knee, then make sure the restaurant has a carpeted floor for him.

Dear Aunt Becky The Daver,

I have a huge problem – I can’t say No. Need something baked/sewn/driven/picked up/cleaned/organized/written – I’ll say Yes. Most of these projects aren’t five minute deals – they are HUGE. Why can’t I say No???

Dear Can’t Say No,

Can you babysit for us this week? We could use a break.

I tease! Saying No is a learned skill for a lot of people, including me. Most people who have a problem with it don’t like to feel that they are disappointing someone, or don’t take the time to think about the trade-offs. Try this:

Think about what you won’t be able to finish if you say Yes to whatever you’re being asked to do. Now, think about whether you want to say No to that person, or the person in front of you. You don’t have any other option, because that is what will happen when you can’t get done all the things you committed to: someone won’t get what they were asking for. (And, worse, they will be more hurt by you saying Yes and not doing it than if you just said No to begin with!)

And don’t let yourself think that you can just stay up late or get up early or push something back: all of those are saying No to being 100%, being healthy, being prepared for your regular life. If you aren’t 100%, then you have to say No even more!

It’s uncomfortable, but true: saying No now, or saying No later when you can’t get it all done, you MUST say No. The question is whether you say it up-front and save everyone time, or whether you say it later — possibly at the last minute, when they can’t ask anyone else, or possibly to yourself (!!).

Hope that helps,

The Daver.

Did I do OK, y’all? Becky always says to share your advice in the comments, so I say the same. ‘Cause it’s, like, my first time and stuff. Happy Sunday!



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