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How To Be Seen, Not Turd

I’ve been seeing a woman for four months. For two months, I’ve been staying at her place on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. I work the remaining nights, but in a couple weeks, I’ll be off nights for good. I’d like to see her more frequently, but she’s nervous about “upping the ante.” How do I manage my upcoming free time so I don’t make her feel smothered?

--Spacer Instincts

Smart retailers understand that the perception of scarcity elevates desirability. Just advertise, “SPECIAL OFFER! FIRST FIVE CUSTOMERS ONLY!” and people will run each other down to buy laminated dog poop mounted on teak. The law of supply and demand extends to relationships as well. If you want this woman to keep supplying you with her presence, don’t demand any more of it than you’re already getting. The idea is to make her miss you, not the long hours you were working.

As for the big white patches soon to appear on your calendar, there’s no time like a couple weeks from now to pick up a seriously time-consuming hobby, such as sculpting the architectural wonders of the world by gluing together varnished moose droppings (available by the jar in Sweden). Or, as the Taschen book “Extra/Ordinary Objects” suggests, “If you don’t want a whole jar, go for the dangling clip-on earrings made from them.” Copy them, and expand the line to bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Not only will you be conserving your relationship and the planet, it could mark the beginning of a whole new career for you, as the Harry Winston of the excrement repurposing industry. Your motto? “Any guy can give a girl a diamond.”

Copyright ©2003, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.