A number of people have suggested to me recently that I would make a good agony uncle.
Now over the years, indeed I have been a confidante to more than a few troubled souls and continue to be so to this day. Mostly women. Now when I was younger I was told many times that I was a "good listener". However I never took this that seriously as it usually went hand in hand with various other stock phrases that women use such as "I really value you as a friend", that in fact are just nice ways of saying "I don't want to shag you".
But over the years, I have been there for many people in their hour of need and people do genuinely seem to believe that I can help them. What I do that's different to other people, well I have a few ideas.
Firstly I try to avoid using cliches that everyone uses that don't mean anything, e.g. "don't worry" when clearly there is everything to worry about, "it will be alright" - er, no, it won't. Or even worse "You know where I am if you need me" from people who mysteriously have something better to do as soon as you attempt to take up the offer.
I also try not to tell people what to do. I don't say "leave her", "keep the baby" or whatever the issue is. Instead I normally try to present a range of possible options and the possible consequences and let them try and work out the best course of action from that.
So maybe I should try a little trial of being an agony uncle. If you've got a problem, then come on here and share it via a comment on this link. Remember to click anonymous when you post though. As if you were to start a message along the lines of "Hi, I'm a man in his early 40s and lately I have developed this obsession with trying on my wife's underwear while she is down the shops...etc" and then accidentally sign it M.Fulford of Bicester then people might work out who you are.
Either that or email me at email@example.com
Now amazingly, my status on the subject today has already garnered a couple of responses and I present them here, with my replies.
I'm a happily married woman in her early 40s with two grown up children. I love my husband but he works away a lot. The other day I was cooking an evening meal for myself as I was home alone and the doorbell rang. It was the gas man, a new one that I had not seen before, and a real hottie. He reminded me a bit of a young Colin Firth. Anyway, I asked him if he would like a cup of tea, and we chatted. Well I don't know how it happened but one thing led to another and we ended up ripping each other's clothes off and making love right there on the kitchen floor.
Anyway, just as I was recovering from the throes of passion, laying on the floor next to the cooker, I noticed that the oven bulb had gone. I took it out, and went down to Wilkinsons for a replacement. However, it seemd they don't do the one that I need. My husband in due home on Friday. Jay, please can you help?
Worried of Bicester
I know I normally don't like to say "don't worry" but in this case, you really needn't. Tesco in Sheep Street sells the exact bulb you need, so your husband need never know.
I am a contract gardener in his mid 20s and my work keeps me pretty busy. The other day I was sent to do some work at a large country house just outside Bicester. It was quite a warm day for the time of year and the work I was doing was rather hot and sweaty so I took my shirt off, revealing my body, which is not dissimilar to that of Captain Jack from Torchwood. Anyway, the lady of the house called me up to the house to offer me some afternoon tea, and as soon as I had made my way through the French windows she pounced on me. Well things got pretty hot and steamy. I was just about to part the curtains when there was roar of an engine and a very smart Mercedes pulled up onto the gravel drive. "It's my husband" exclaimed my lady friend. "If he catches you here, he'll kill you!" Run, quick out through the back kitchens. So I did as she instructed and ran for it. Unfortunately I wasn't sure exactly where I was going and when I got to the kitchens I took a wrong turn. Instead of the back door I found myself in a large walk in pantry, and what did I see? Right in front of me was a six pack of Roast Beef monster munch. Now I did not have time to ask the lady of the house where they came from, they don't sell them anywhere in Bicester and it has been tormenting my soul ever since.
"Tormented" of Bicester.
Do not worry yourself any further. Six packs of Roast Beef Monster Munch are available in Sainsbury's in Kidlington, retailing at £1.49.
Well that's it for today, keep those problems coming in and remember "Don't worry".
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