First World Problems: Sketch Your Way To Middle Ground


Feb 11, 2016


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy (confidentially!) at contact@theswaddle.com if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: I am a talker. My husband, however, thinks quality time is sitting together in silence. We know this about each other, and theoretically appreciate it, but it doesn’t keep us from having a stupid fight once a month or so about me needing to talk, and him not wanting to. Where’s the middle ground for us, Judy?

Pictionary! Your middle ground is Pictionary. He gets the silence, and you get the chitchat. If he’s nice and plays along, you could even spice things up and draw something suggestive once in a while. *Meow*

Alternatively, there’s always the bathroom mirror. It’s what the companionless do; you should try it. Especially when you need a good cry. The soft lighting, the handy tissues, the eyeliner streaming down your face — very cathartic. You could even turn the drama up a notch and play Fix You while you’re at it. After a couple of times, you’ll wonder why you needed to talk to your husband. About anything. Ever. At which point, I suggest you see an actual therapist and not write to me.

PROBLEM: I was at a party, chatting with a friend, when a message popped up on her phone screen. She moved it quickly, but I saw it: It was a fairly mean/complaining message about me from a mutual friend sitting across the room. I acted like I hadn’t seen it, but it’s bothering me and I don’t know what to do. What to do?

Heh. If I were you, I’d keep them wondering: Did-she-see-it-did-she-not? I’d make a little game out of it so I’d have something to amuse myself with the next time I’m at a party.

But if you’re going to be touchy about it, why don’t you just confront her? Just make sure she means that much to you, though, or it’s just going to be embarrassing for everyone. Because it’s completely unnecessary. Haven’t you ever vented about a friend to another friend in a moment of drunken rage? Or because you watched this show that reminded you of some bitchy thing your bitchy friend did and you decided to bitch about it to a mutual friend?

No? What is wrong with you? Was your childhood happy or something?


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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