Ask Grieves: My Relationship or My Personal Dreams?


Grieves is a Seattle-based rapper signed to local hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment. He recently released his fourth album, Winter & the Wolves, and will perform two shows at First Avenue October 10-11. You can ask him anything by emailing him here.

Dear Grieves,

I have been seeing this great guy for two years. We are both in university at the moment, but I'll be finished in four months, whereas he still has another semester to go. He's completing a very difficult program, and wants me to stay relatively close to him when I'm done. The problem is that ever since high school, I have wanted to take some time off and spend some time racing sled dogs. This seems like the perfect time to do it, but it would mean that we'll be spending upwards of eight months apart with limited means of communication. I am afraid that if I put it off any longer it will just become a wistful dream as various other responsibilities take hold. I don't mind the long distance too much (we're used to it), but my partner is adamant. The idea of moving to a huge city center and giving up this plan to maintain a relationship really scares me. Any advice?

Sled-Life Crisis

Dear Sled-Life Crisis,

It's very hard to follow your dreams without any kind of sacrifice. It sounds like there's going to be sacrifice on one side or another. I think you're looking at this right -- maybe it does end your relationship -- but if this is something you care about, you already have your answer. When Cuba Gooding Jr. found out that he was adopted in the movie Snow Dogs, he didn't let his fear of the unknown hold him back from leaving his successful Miami-based dental practice and discovering himself in the warm, tender embrace of a purebred Alaskan Malamute. It's totally natural to be afraid of uncertainty or of losing someone that you care about. It's a total human feeling and everyone's going to experience that.

When I moved to Seattle ten years ago, I had to make a similar decision. It's really easy to fall into complacency when you're in your comfort zone, but it's those comfortable things that can sometimes prohibit us from taking the leap.

If I were you, I'd sit down with slam piece and talk it out with him. This isn't the first time you're going to want to do something that he doesn't want you to do (or vice versa). You could go, and lose your relationship. You could go, and try and make it work long distance. Or you can stay, but you have to stay because you want to -- because staying for him will lead to resentment. Either way, there's a risk involved.

Hey Grieves,

How do you go about making your significant other smell better without saying anything or doing anything outright? I'm not a fan of confrontation and I'm not assertive enough at this point so let's get crafty with this. Thank you, homie.


Hi Anonymous,

When I was 21, I was in a relationship, and my significant other had to confront ME about the way I was dressing. We were shopping together and she would make a lot of suggestions, saying, "that shirt would look sexy on you" or "I think that jacket looks handsome." When I wasn't picking up what she was putting down, she had to be blunt with me, and she said, "I love you and I like being with you, but you dress like a bum. Don't you want to look good for me?" And god damn. I did.

That's always stuck with me. Honestly I wasn't even that embarrassed; in fact I really respected it. I didn't quite know how to achieve what she was looking for, but we broke up shortly after when she realized she was a lesbian anyway.

I think you should go with the same approach that she took -- the advice part, not the lesbian part. (Unless you are a lesbian, in which case, carry on.) Recommend some body wash or soaps that you think would smell good on him, and if he's not biting, be frank with him and tell him what you appreciate about him, but that sometimes he doesn't smell great and you want him to.

Also, try shower sex.

Hey Grieves,

My dog seems to love everyone in my life. She is a 52-pound, all-muscle pit, rot, greyhound, pointer mix but is a total lap dog. Only one issue, she won't let anyone else in my bed except me. It has been just her and me for a couple years and she has always had free range in bed. Now though I just ask her to give up a little space and she gets growly. Even if it's just one of my girlfriends she lets us know she isn't cool with it.

Should I kick her to the couch or let her keep her spot?

Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dear Sleeping Dogs,

Kick that bitch to the couch.

Note: Wow! We received an overwhelming amount of emails in response to this and I sincerely want to say thank you. It's pretty humbling.

Write in to askgrieves [at] citypages [dot] com with whatever you want. It can be serious, or it can be funny. We'll print our favorite questions with my responses.

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