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Go Ask Aunt Becky


Hi Auntie Becky!

I hope you don’t mind my calling you that because I see only one aunt on my mom’s side because of distance, and the relatives on my dad’s side of the family except for my Uncle Steve and his wife Heather consider me the spawn of Satan. I also have one honorary aunt and uncle. So I have three people who allow me to call them “Aunt” or “Auntie.”

I would consider it the utmost honor if you were to contemplate being my fourth aunt I’m allowed to claim. My twin brother is allowed to claim the 13,000 or so (I would say 144,000 except that they’re Mormons and not Jehovah’s Witnesses) on my dad’s side, so your inclusion would help to even the score between my brother and me ever so slightly. Please don’t agree to be my twin brother Matthew’s Aunt Becky because absolutely nothing would be gained in the name of approaching equality if you were to do so.

I told you a convoluted story earlier that I assume reached your site (primarily because someting to the effect of “your message has been received” popped up after I clicked on the “ask” button) concerning multiple fractured bones, an attempted sexual assault, a broken prom date from last year, and another proposed prom date for this year. (If for some reason the message did not reach you, consider yourself lucky. It’s a truly depressing saga.)

I’m a bit unsure as to the format for receiving answers. Are questions addressed in your regular column on a more or less weekly basis, or does it happen more randomly, or do the replies appear somewhere other than at this site?

Are you able to answer most of the questions submitted to you, or are you so inundated, as was the late “Ann Landers” AKA Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer,*** that receiving a reply from you is a “luck of the draw” sort of thing, the odds of which are the approximate equivalent of getting one’s hands on one of Willie Wonka’s much-coveted golden tickets?

If I seem not quite in possession of the few faculties I ordinarily possess, it is because a therapist at my inpatient mental health treatment facility just gave me Klonopin because I had an especially vivid and persistent flashback nightmare. I’ve been granted access to my laptop while we’re waiting around for the Klonopin to kick in and have its usual effect of making me fall asleep.

I usually can’t have my laptop between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. I’m not usually under the influence of mood-altering substances because my psychiatrist believes that the figurative demons that haunt me are best treated with forms of cognitive therapy.

He prescribes drugs only for extreme situations. An extreme situation is defined around here as one in which the staff manning the main desk between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are required to put down their People magazines, smartphones, or TWIGHLIGHT novels and deal with problems we adolescent***** patients are experiencing.

We are expected not to experience problems during these graveyard hours. We’re supposed to be asleep now so that the facility can maintain a light staff during these times and so that the staff who are inconvenienced by having to work these hours can be compensated for the incovenience of working the graveyard shift by being free to use their Smartphones, to read their books or magazines, or to sleep at the front desk in relative peace. They should not be supervising or dealing with crazy adolescent***** patients during these hours.

If we had any manners or any sense of decorum whatsoever, we would have the decency to schedule nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks between the hours of 7:00 a.m and 10:45 p.m.

The reason I am pestering you at this hour, in addition to the simple fact that I can, is that I am sincerely interested in seeking your opinion regarding the advisability of accepting the prom date offer that has been extended.

The boy who invited me deserves a timely response. This does not mean, of course, that either your customary schedule for the delivery of replies or your usual method of selecting which questions merit responses should be altered in any way. My emergency is not inherently your emergency.

If there is, however, a way I can be informed as to the likelihood of a forthcoming reply, as well as the time and site at which said reply might arrive if indeed my question is selected to be adressed by you or your staff of worker bees, such would be highly beneficial both to me and to the boy who was kind enough to extend the prom invitation.

This is, of course, assuming the prom invitation was extended sincerely and was not just one more big fat joke created for the purpose of making my otherwise miserable existence even more pathetic than it already is. The last comment, by the way, was facetious in part, although is also reflective of the level of paranoia that plagues me from time to time.

The boy is more nerdy than I, if it is possible to be more nerdy than I. The one thing in this whole mess of which I should be relatively certain is that his invitation is sincere.

Still, what should be and what actually are sometimes are not necessarily one and the same. The weird set of circumstances that have befallen me have caused me at times to question, sometimes jokingly but at other times with more than a hint or seriousness, whether the universe is truly out to get me.

In conclusion to this bizarre missive, which if read by any of those who have power to impact my course of treatment, may result in my inpatient treatment continuing until I reach the age of thirty-one, I have a simple request.

If you have an opinion as to whether a school prom is a place a person should go who was physically injured, had a prom date broken off as a result of the physical injuries, and then was physically attacked in an unrelated incident, with an attempted sexual assault thrown into the mix, followed by a brick projected through my bedroom window, the benefit of your wisdom would be appreciated.

If you find any or all of this difficult to believe, you are not alone. My therapist at this facility found the story so incredulous that she wouldn’t even take my parents’ words as adequate validations. My high school counselor had to vouch for the authenticity of my story.

Your loyal reader,


Dear Alexis,

I should hope that I can adopt you, seeing as I think you’re not only incredibly hilarious, you’re Mormon, which means you might actually stand a chance at getting these tired bones into Heaven some day. And I will refuse Matthew’s request to be HIS Aunt Becky because, well, obviously.

I don’t generally have any order to the questions that I answer and unless the answer is something that eludes even my magical fingers, I answer everything I get. Eventually.

Also: I don’t believe I received an email from you before or I’d have answered it. Because we’re related and all that shit.


Should you accept a prom date after your hideously disastrous prom last year?

I say yes. Prom, I remember, was a lot of fun. Although, I missed one of the proms because I was too wasted to get there.

(this is me telling you not to drink or do drugs, lest you end up like Old Aunt Becky.)

That said, I can see how prom might bring up old memories and make you feel all flashbackish and that, of course, is no good.

So I think you must make a Pro/Con list and figure out if it’s better TO go than to sit at home and not go.

You can even COLOR CODE it.

(my inner nerd swoons)

Let me know what you decide to do. Hopefully, I’m not too late. I’d planned to write your question last weekend but was stuck, incapacitated on the couch, vomiting into a hat.


Pranksters? Any advice for our Prankster friend? Should she go to prom after a vicious assault last year?

Also: in an entirely unrelated question, what constitutes an “emotional affair?” I’m not asking for me or anything, I’m just not sure I understand the term and I want to before I answer a separate Go Ask Aunt Becky.


posted under Go Ask Aunt Becky
30 Comments to

“Go Ask Aunt Becky”

  1. On May 1st, 2011 at 12:18 am Sheryl Says:

    I personally think that Alexis should go to prom. If she does not it could be something she regrets in the future. Maybe explain to your date in as much or little detail as you want about what happened last year. Tell him that you may or may not feel uncomfortable and would he be ok with leaving if at some point you just do not want to be there….

    Aunt Becky an emotional affair to me is anytime you get close to someone of the opposite sex with out it being physical. When my husband and I were having problems, I had a guy friend that I became to close too, someone I thought about too often and spoke to every chance I got. He would lie to his wife, go outside just to call me. I did the same things. We were very sneaky about it so to me it is just as bad as a physical affair. Emotional is worse in some ways, as this other person knows everything about you, your life etc.

  2. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:05 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yes. Good call!

    Still understanding the emotional affair bit. Trying to, rather.

  3. On May 3rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm Allison B Says:


    I think you should go to prom. I also think you should write a book, and make sure you tell me the title so I can buy it. Your writing skills rock.

    Best luck!


  4. On May 1st, 2011 at 12:41 am Amy Says:

    **Big Hug for Alexis**

    I think a pro and con list is a very good idea. I also believe that if you decide to go, it would be a very good idea to have an escape plan. Have someone who is willing to pick you up at a moments notice. It sounds like your parents are being pretty supportive…I hope they are anyway…

    If the loud noise of the party gets to be too much for you, know the location so that you can step out with one of your friends and just chill.

    and if you decide not to go, plan something fun to do instead, so that you don’t feel regrets for not going 🙂

    I’ll keep you in my prayers, I think that’s all I can do.
    But you’ve got a whole internet behind you, hoping you will be able to enjoy life as a normal teenage girl (whatever that is ^_^;;


  5. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:08 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Good call! I love the idea of an escape plan.

  6. On May 1st, 2011 at 1:00 am jon Says:

    Alexis’ letter to Aunt Becky seems much rather she likes pot than K! lol it makes perfect sense!

    (sorry if my comment is wordy, I’m in a similar boat)

  7. On May 1st, 2011 at 1:27 am gaylin Says:

    Alexis! Or should I say Aunt Becky’s niece Alexis,

    To Prom or not to Prom. If it is important to you, then go, have a back up plan in case you decide to bail – even before going. Ask your parents if you can plan a fun evening at home if you do decide not to go and invite your date to stay with you or go to the prom if you don’t want to go after all.

    I second what Amy said, if you go, make sure you have an escape plan, keep your cell with you and when overwhelmed retreat to the nearest girl’s bathroom and take a few moments for yourself.

    Take care!

  8. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:09 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I so needed you guys when *I* was in high school.

  9. On May 1st, 2011 at 3:07 am Maria Says:

    I will call her Becky, and when I call you, I will call you Al.
    (no, scratch that. Alexis it is).

    If this is you on Klomopin, then I have all the faith in you feeling better soon. <3

    About the prom, I can't say anything – we don't have them as such, here in sunny Sweden. But it sounds like your young man is a nice one, and you are a lovely one, and the other two pranksters have good advice too.

    It sounds like you had a really rough time, from what you tell. Was it all related to the prom time of year? I just feel full of questions. But which ever way you choose to go, give yourself a good hug, and tell yourself that your (also) new aunt Maria told you to.
    And I will throw in another long distance hug from Sweden. Here: ((hug))


  10. On May 1st, 2011 at 3:10 am Maria Says:

    an emotional affair… I would guess that is when one, or both parties, feel romantic about eachother, but don’t physically make out or have sex. “Affair” makes it sound like both feel this. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be a crush?

  11. On May 1st, 2011 at 5:02 am Emma Says:

    An emotional affair is when two people love and rely on eachother as if they were a couple. They talk all the time, and when they are not together they miss eachother a lot. The Affair part means that one or both of them is married/otherwise spoken for. There has not been any physical contact (kissing/shagging) either because they think it’s wrong (they don’t want to commit to having an affair, and hurting others) or because they haven’t had opportunity to (distance).

  12. On May 1st, 2011 at 5:45 am Sheryl Says:

    Very Well Said Emma:)

  13. On May 1st, 2011 at 6:06 am Sarah S Says:

    Ok, so personally, as someone who struggled with PTSD for years after a sexual assault I feel obligated to point out that being back in the situation that caused you so much grief will probably be extremely difficult and painful. That being said, there can be a certain amount of healing in facing your nightmares. I think you should go if the aforementioned prom date is aware of your situation and willing to be there and support you as you need it. Also, he needs to be willing to leave if and when you’ve had enough. I hope you go and have fun and that you have the prom every teenage girl dreams of!

    I think an emotional affair means being in love with someone else. You think about them and fantasize about them and spend inappropriate amounts of time talking to them about things that you really shouldn’t be talking about with someone other than your spouse/partner/whoever.

  14. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:11 am Sarah Says:

    My ex would tell you that an emotional affair is when a woman is attracted to a man that is not her husband. Even if the other man has no clue.

    Dumbass ex.

  15. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:13 am Melissa Says:

    I’m all for getting back on the horse. So yes… I think she should go to prom. If not with a date… then with friends.

    As for an emotional affair… I believe it’s when people develop feelings for each other with or without physical “interaction” so to speak. Like a when a married person falls in love with, or develops feelings for someone other than their spouse, but maybe not acting “physically” on those feelings.

  16. On May 1st, 2011 at 9:23 am Smaaaaaash Says:

    You’re in a place where you can get advice, no? So go get some advice. Hahahaha.
    But I’ll give my two cents either way. If the dude seems legit, and _you feel safe_, then have at. Proms can be fun. But again, only if you feel ok with it. No one knows what you feel better than you. Do what you feel good with.

  17. On May 1st, 2011 at 10:21 am Misfit Mommy Says:

    I totally think Alexis should go to the prom! And, swear to God, if that little weasel really IS pulling a ‘big fat joke,’ I say we all gather out pitchforks and torches and find the little fucker.

  18. On May 1st, 2011 at 10:55 am Jennifer Says:


    I’m older than Aunt Becky, though just barely, and I would be so honored to let you count me as an aunt also. Anyone who can write that post on Klonopin is *da’bomb.* I also grew up Mormon so I could relate to some degree all with all that too. I hope that you have an awesome time at prom and that you do have an escape plan so you can leave if you need to. I’d love to see pictures of you in your dress! (Aunt Becky can totally shop Wonder Woman’s face onto you… LOL.)

  19. On May 1st, 2011 at 1:10 pm Suniverse Says:

    Oh, Alexis, go to prom. The not going is always worse, because it keeps its hold on your FOREVER AFTER.

    Plus, sincere nerdy boy would not ask to give you a bad time.

    As to emotional affair – that’s when you turn to the other person more often than you turn to your partner. Where you discuss your feelings/dreams/goals/desires. Where you’d rather spend more time just talking to that person than your partner.

    Shit. I’m evidently having an emotional affair with everyone on the Twitter.

  20. On May 1st, 2011 at 2:28 pm Pam Says:

    I think accepting the prom invite is a good idea- if he’s sincere she’ll have a great time and if he’s not, the hell with him.

    An emotional affair, to me, is one in which someone other than one’s spouse provides emotional support–for example, if it was me it would be another male that I would be able to talk to, pour my heart out to, share my deepest thoughts/desires/etc. An emotional affair, I think, does not include a sexual relationship. Of course, I could be wrong.

  21. On May 1st, 2011 at 2:31 pm seekingelevation Says:

    Go to prom. You can always leave if it’s bad, so you have more options than if you don’t go at all. Options are good.

    I have a lot to say about emotional affairs. I think a decent definition is when you are emotionally over-invested in someone of the opposite sex, to the point where it interferes in any way, shape or form with your relationship with your spouse. Where you’re getting some of your marital needs met by someone else.

  22. On May 1st, 2011 at 2:52 pm Amelia Says:

    Alexis, I did not go to prom, or do many ‘normal’ high school activties, that I now kind of wish I had. Just because. That being said, I’m assuming prom is not anywhere close to worth it if it negativly affects your mental health. So unfortunatly, my advice would be; how do you feel? 🙂 Lame I know. Sorry. I would like to ask you a question though, do you write any where else? I’d love to read it if you have!!

    I agree with most of the emotional affair definitons.

  23. On May 1st, 2011 at 8:46 pm Pete In Az Says:

    This young lady needs to pursue a career in writing.

  24. On May 2nd, 2011 at 12:05 am Kristin Says:

    Alexis –

    I don’t know if you should go to prom. If you like this guy and think it would be a fun outing – especially if you can line up an escape with him if the prom is too overwhelming – then I say go for it.

    But what I really wanted to say is KEEP WRITING. And send me a link to your writing/blog/outlet whatever. Loved your letter!

  25. On May 2nd, 2011 at 3:18 am Alexis Says:

    Thanks, Aunt Becky, both for the adoption and for the advice. Thanks to Maria and to anyone else who offers to be my aunt. I don’t have a wealth of uncles who claim me, either, despite a whole lot of men who have technical “uncle-niece” relationships with me as far as their pedigree charts and four-generation sheets indicate. Mormons know what that crap means.

    The verdict: I am going to the prom. There was a plot by two sewer-dwellers to attempt to name us “Prom King and Queen” with tiaras purchased at Dollar Tree even though we don’t have any of that royalty bullshit at our prom, and the perpetrators were the ones who persuaded the boy to ask me, but he wasn’t in on the plot, and I’m confident that any harassing situation has been or will be cut off at the pass. Plus, as several of you suggested, I’m not staying all that long.

    I have a blog. My parents have recently granted me permission to curse tastefully in it. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I suppose I’ll find out when I throw in one too many f bombs and lose my laptop for a week or two. I’m linking a few random entries, but anyone can obviously read anything they wish. The editing is not complete in some places, as final edits aren’t due until June 1. I believe the blogs I linked have been edited.

    Thanks again for the help!

  26. On May 2nd, 2011 at 3:24 am Alexis Says:

    I forgot to add that my colorcoded pro and con list was a work of art. I may frame it to preserve it for posterity.

    I also forgot to add that the picture of me on my blog is very, very old. My parents want me to remain semi-anonymous, so it had to be an old photo or none at all. It’s significant to me because it actually made it onto a Mother’s Day card a couple of years ago. One of the uncles who no longer claims me took the picture. At the tender age of six I did not yet know the significance of raising one’s middle finger at a person to indicate disdain; the look was the best I could muster.

  27. On May 2nd, 2011 at 8:20 am michele Says:

    Go to the prom for 2 reasons – 1 to prove to yourself that the atrocities from last years prom have no hold over you. In our house, this is known as biting the dragon back. Reason 2, like someone else said, not going lasts forever and there’s nothing you can do to go again. Unless you have children, and take one of them to the prom, but that would be creepy.

    Aunt Becky, an emotional affair is when your spouse has a problem (such as work related), but instead of discussing it with their spouse, they’ll call someone else of the opposite sex (assuming their hetero) and discuss it with them. Emotionally distancing yourself from your spouse. Marriage is hard work, and any time one of the partners would rather invest time and energy into a relationship with someone else, its an emotional affair. Also, a physical affair isn’t necessarily an emotional affair.
    Trust me, I know. My husband (no, not ex) had one of each. We are in therapy, and his only saving grace is he was being (mis)treated and self treating for severe depression. He made many stupid decisions while medicated, these were some of them. Were it not for the kids, I would have left. And I almost did anyway, but then he got clean and sober and started fixing mistakes – before he found out I knew about them.
    And this is a long-ass comment, and maybe should turn into a post at BBT :S

  28. On May 2nd, 2011 at 11:31 am Dawn Says:

    Should you go to the prom? What everyone else said about escape plans, etc. Also: Go through the process of going to prom in your imagination. Imagine getting ready, your date arriving at your home to pick you up, travelling to the prom, entering the venue, picture who you think you’ll see there, the music, the whole environment…

    And then go with your gut. If all that makes you feel excited, even if a little apprehensive, give it a shot. Bite that frickin’ dragon right on the butt.

    If it all makes you want to vomit and hide under the covers, then perhaps an alternate plan for that evening is in order.

    As for the emotional affair, I think it means you share things with the other person that you hide from, or just don’t bother to mention to, your spouse (plans for surprise party for said spouse excepted). It’s someone you don’t mention to your spouse or can’t tell them how much time you spent with them online or in RL. Someone who makes you all excited in that way you feel when you’re first starting to date someone fabulous.

    Assuming all other things are normal, i.e. your spouse is not a psychopathic asshat with out-of-control jealousy issues, if you have to hide the relationship and how much it means to you from your spouse, you’re probably having an emotional affair.

  29. On May 2nd, 2011 at 2:51 pm Ari Says:

    Good luck at Prom Alexis! I hope it is beautiful and happy and perhaps can over shadow some of the terrible memories from last year.

    As to emotional affairs, I am an expert on those. There have been lots of very good explanations here already, but I will add my 2 cents anyway. An emotional affair can be hard to spot without hindsight, the players may delude themselves into thinking that everything is aboveboard because no physical urges are acted upon, there is a blurry line between “emotional affair” and “we’re just good friends”. I think what crosses this line is when you put your emotional care and wellbeing into the hands of someone other than your significant other. For example, from the emotional affair I am currently the Dirty Mistress of: A couple of weeks ago, the boy suffered a tragic loss, one of his friends from High School had died suddenly from a heart defect. Still reeling from the news, he came to me for hugs and emotional support. While we were talking he got a call from his fiancee, and told her what was going on, and no, that she shouldn’t pick him up, he was going to stay and talk to me for a while. That is a perfect example of an emotional affair, when you are devastated you run to someone else for comfort rather than your significant other. I am positive he doesn’t think of it as an affair, or think that he is doing anything wrong, but I am his Person, not his fiancee, which to me makes it an emotional affair. See also Season 1 of Ally McBeal, her relationship with Billy is also a stunning example of an emotional affair.

  30. On May 4th, 2011 at 11:29 am vickilikesfrogs Says:

    Oh, sweetie…go to the prom! If you don’t, you will always wonder what it might have been like. The odds of something bad happening again are pretty astronomical, and your guy sounds like a keeper. I agree, you should have an escape plan just in case, but please, please, please go to your prom!

    As for emotional affair, mofoAB, I think everyone’s answered it pretty well! The only thing I can say is, I think an emotional affair is when the only thing stopping it from being an actual affair is the lack of physical contact.

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