- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Advice compiled and condensed from actual sources by Kelly Jane Torrance, who composed the questions.

I’m at my wits’ end, and I don’t know what to do. I’m a young newlywed who’s spent most of her first year of marriage visiting her husband in jail. He’s been in the slammer for about nine months now. I guess I should have gotten pregnant before then - at least I’d have some company now. My love has finally been sentenced to a brutal 27 months. I can’t imagine being on my own for that much longer. I’ve tried to make the pain go away with drinks, with drugs, with other men. Nothing works. Why does being on my own make me do such crazy things?

- Amy Winehouse

Chere Amy,

There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.

- Colette

My career has been rising steadily. Lately, it’s felt like my personal life is getting stronger as well. I’ve got a beautiful girlfriend - you might have heard of her, her name is Reese Witherspoon - with whom I’ve vacationed in Paris, London and Rome. When we decided to move in together, I thought things couldn’t get any better. Now I’m not so sure.

You see, to move into her $5 million Hollywood home, I had to agree to a list of relationship rules. Some of these made sense - I have to apologize if I swear in front of her two children. But others make me feel like her third child. I can’t put my feet on her coffee table - or wear shoes in the house. There’s even a rule that I have to take the garbage out as soon as the can is three-quarters full.

Is this normal?

- Jake Gyllenhaal

Dear Jake,

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

- Oscar Wilde

I’ve been trying to get my life back in order. (I really could have used your help over the past year!) What had been worrying me the most, even more than my cameo being cut out of the new Pussycat Dolls video, is that I was facing a real, honest-to-God court trial next month. I don’t really do too well in front of judges.

My advisers - I have so many I lost count, kind of like the number of my little hit-and-run accidents - well, advised me to settle. So I finally gave up on trying to get any custody of my kids. My ex-husband has sole legal and physical custody of our boys.

I’m feeling really guilty about this. I have visitation rights, of course. But shouldn’t a mom be in control of her kids?

- Britney Spears

Dear Britney,

Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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