DEVEN GREEN

"Well Hello!"

Advice Column

For entertainment purposes only.

  • Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - October 2018
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Dear Deven:

My husband and I are trying sailing for the first time. I'm better with giving directions but he thinks he is. I already regret it. How do I bail?

“Mate”

Slow your roll. No one is playing captain in this scenario because neither of you know what you are doing. I don't need to tell you that there are rocky shores ahead with this relationship.

 

Dear Deven:

I was on the Marta “Green Line” and spotted the love of my life. Our eyes met but he vanished. I have gone back again in hopes of seeing him. I know he was the one. What do I do now?

“Union”

If your magnets were meant to reconnect they will. It's romantic that you believe in love-at-first-sight. Some may say it is superficial because it was based on appearance, but only you know that there was an intangible spark of true feelings that happened in the moment. He's looking for you too.

 

Dear Deven:

My neighbor is a Jazz musician who records his music after he comes home from his day job. He's good but too loud. I can only take so much Jazz. What do you suggest?

“Debase”

Write a note or talk to him in person indicating that it's not his music that is the problem but the hours that he is playing. Always appeal to common sense and civility first. Hopefully, you won't need to lodge a complaint with the landlord, management or police.

 

Dear Deven:

We are two households combining into one. The thing is that I like my stuff. My betrothed likes his stuff. I can't part with some items. I just can't. So, do we rock, paper, or scissors this out?

“Merging”

Congrats! He feels the same about his valuables. So, explain why it has sentimental value and decide together. Release what you can when you are ready. Do you really want to pay for storage?

 

Dear Deven:

I have feelings for a party boy and am happy to spend money on him. He makes me feel special when he is with me. Am I in trouble?

“Profligate”

Yes you are in serious trouble. Never pay for someone to treat you nicely. RUN.

 

Dear Deven:

My boyfriend and I worked out a way to mildly cheat at cards. It actually brings us together because now it's our “thing.” Harmless right?

“Lay”

Just because you confessed to me doesn't exonerate either of you. Find some other trouble to get into – although I'm pretty sure you already have.

  • Deven Green with Ritchie Andrew
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - September 2018
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

Guess who fell in love with a stray that my roommate brought home? Me. I am the one feeding and spending all my time with him. I'm in love. “Envy”

I will assume that you are talking about an animal and not a human. Ask your roommate if he feels he has bonded with the pet. If not, maybe there is better match for your roommate thereby leaving the stray in your loving care.

Dear Deven:

Is global warming really real? “Soylent”

Climate change is not a faith-based question. It's a scientific fact.

Dear Deven:

Do you believe in luck? “Clover”

I have faith in myself, hope for the future and love everyday.

Dear Deven:

I want to go to a place where I have a chance. Where is that? “Emerald”

After you see it in your mind you can create it in your reality.

Dear Deven:

Fluorescent clothes should have stayed in the 80's, right!? “Neon”

Everything is based off of something else, isn't it? Some reiterations are improvements of the original while others are just disdainful repeats.

Dear Deven:

What is better? Staying in one place or roaming? “Moss”

Stay because you wish to not because you are obligated. Roam because you are curious not because you are running.

Dear Deven:

Can you be allergic to kissing? “Pistachio”

It's called “the kiss of death” for a reason.

Dear Deven:

Do stars and constellations really align to tell our futures? “Hunter”

No. Not if you don't believe in it.

Dear Deven:

We have a cabin-themed house but my bear of a husband sprays everything to smell like the outdoors. It is too much wilderness! “Pine”

You need natural wood. Open a window and let nature enter as opposed to artificially creating it.

Dear Deven:

Why won't the camouflage pattern go away? “Army”

Because it blends so well into everything that it is hard to see thus making it hard to capture and eliminate.

Dear Deven:

Best martini? “Olive”

For zest, add lemon. For umami, add a pearl onion. For salty, just rim it.

Dear Deven:

In school did anyone make fun of your last name?  “Deven”
I would say, “I'm Deven Green Beans” before anyone else could, thereby beating them to the punch. Make smarter choices about whose words you care about. I'm glad you are listening to me.

  • Deven Green with Ned Douglas
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - August 2018
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

You know what's funny? When my boyfriend openly flirts with girls in front of me. We all laugh, but in a way isn't he using girls for our amusement? “Macho”

His flirting is not a gateway gesture to bigger actions in this instance. Both parties are having a harmless moment. He is not being secretive and you aren't being disrespected. Nothing more.

Dear Deven:

Has anything really changed in society since the first humans? “Mankind”

Everything has changed yet the same issues are repeated.

Dear Deven:

I left a great company to work at a start-up. The investor balked and now there is no money so I am literally working for free. How can I get back with my former company? “Piper”

As a boss I would never take you back. You had your chance with the former company and left. Now you want to leave this new company when they need you the most? You didn't stay when it was good and you didn't stay when it was challenging. Take care of your own loyalty.

Dear Deven:

I just helped a close friend go through a horrible break up, but it was me cheating with his ex. They are over so what is the point in telling him? I'm just being honest. “Snake”

How about you not use honesty as a weapon. What you lack in emotional sensitivity you have made up for in drama. You know that this was a classless move so I will suggest that you distance yourself from the situation and find a better “you.”


Dear Deven:

My gym buddies say my body is too big. Can a guy be too big? “Giant”

Which part?

Dear Deven:

My partner was growing distant so I asked him to be truthful and tell me if it was something I did. He said I was controlling, humorless, and not active enough in his life! I'm not a monster Deven. “Stone Cold”

When you ask for someone's opinion you can't pick their words or how they will deliver their message. Even though his response was blunt, that was his interpretation of the situation. You can only control your reaction. Be earnest with yourself and heal your ego.

Dear Deven:

I just started dating a Mensa member. He's so odd socially but he's adorable and his mind just thinks differently. Do opposites really attract? “Brain”

You two probably have more in common than you think. It's always a smart choice never to date a moron.

  • Deven Green with P Murray
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - June/July 2018
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Dear Deven:

We visit my partner's mother every month for Sunday dinner. There is something odd about how he fawns and coos over her. I know she is jealous of me. It's a sticky situation. “Mamma Mia”

A lesson from nature: never come between a mama bear and her cub. That is how their relationship is whether you are there or not. A clever man would win her affection so he could enjoy twelve Sundays a year.

Dear Deven:

I got “Liza” from a kitten adoption 10 years ago. She recently had a seizure and now needs medicine four times a day on the clock. I've turned into a nurse and cannot leave the house. I love my little fluff-ball but I can't really live a normal life. I am stuck at home because I love her so much. Help. “Cats”

I'm so sorry you both have to go through this. You need to find balance with your schedule by getting additional help. Show a trusted neighbor, close friend, or pet service how to administer the meds so you can get a physical / mental reprieve. It takes a very strong person to be a full-time caretaker of a human or a pet.

Dear Deven:

Remember when Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett? People didn't think twice about commenting that she married an “ugly” guy. I married the best guy ever but I'm told he's an “ugly” guy. Why do I have to defend him/myself that it isn't always about looks?

“Beauty and The Beast”

No need to convince rude people of anything – they happen to be ugly on the inside. Sometimes you get involved with someone and others just don't “get it” at first. Well, it's not for them to “get.” It's for you to enjoy.

Dear Deven:

My colleague at work just started wearing make up and a wig. It has created quite the stir.

How do we all handle it? “Hairspray”

By showing respect. Offer them a safe environment to discuss it with the group when they are ready. The only office gossip should be how you can support them.

Dear Deven:

I haven't told anyone that I go to church. I zone out most of the time because I'm really just there to sing.

Am I going to hell? “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Yes dear, and you are taking all of us down with you.

Dear Deven:

I got my boyfriend the specific gift he requested for his birthday. He said “thank you” but there was a sideways comment of, “was that the only color left?” Uugghh. “Oliver”

Gift. Card.

Dear Deven:

I get controlled by others and give up my will a bit. I always thought that was the “compromise” in a relationship.

Am I too passive? “The Wizard of Oz”

You can only be hypnotized if you are willing. When you wake up, you will take better care of your brain and heart which will give you courage.

  • Deven Green with Dorian Wood
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - May 2018
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Dear Deven:

My friends have a weekly TV viewing party but there is one magnetic personality who just uses the time to “hold court.” I'm so bugged by him. Why? “Monopoly”

You can't have a king without jesters. Others are choosing to listen to him. Perhaps you like the spotlight and are jealous he is lording over your disciples.

Dear Deven:

I was slowly working on reducing my decades-long, outstanding debt. My new husband feels like I should continue to pay for it myself.

Can't he help? “Uno”

You sound like you are shocked that he isn't fixing your problem. Your past is your past and sometimes people will offer an assist but, baby, you need to know how to handle your business all on your own.


Dear Deven:

When we go out for drinks and socialize I have one friend who makes up facts and then gets upset when we look up the real answers on our phones. Why is he committing this easily verifiable unforced error? “Balderdash”

He needs attention and wants to be perceived as being smarter than others. He has gotten away with passing off erroneous information before you called his bluff. The scam is up and he feels attacked. It is ponderous when people choose to be willfully ignorant.


Dear Deven:

My former friend just said he wouldn't accept my apology until I told him exactly what I had done wrong.

Isn't saying “I was wrong” enough? “Sorry”

Not today and not for him it isn't. You had better come up with more words and actions to fix this mess. Then, you should both agree never to bring it up again.

Dear Deven:

My parents like my sister more than they like me. She gets their attention and praise while I have to beg them to be noticed. How do I change my fam? “Connect Four”

It's meeting/therapy time because this is not about your parents. It is about your competitive relationship with your sister. Work through this so the four of you can really get along as a strong family unit. This needs a resolution or it will affect all your relationships.

Dear Deven:

My friend always has a scheme he is running. The last one was about investing money in a new product that was already on the market! I laughed, but deep down I am worried. How do I give him some direction? “Mastermind”

He has a get-rich-quick personality but lives as a paycheck-to-paycheck guy.

Consider having him work for you legitimately...in the sales department.

Dear Deven:

A guy I kissed earlier in the night ended up making out with a girl later on! What is that about? “Taboo”

NO WAY! Honey, some people just like kissing and some people just like judging others. Guess which one you are.

  • Deven Green with Edward Oz
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - April 2018
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Dear Deven:

I am currently dating an older gentleman that talks Shakespearean when he is around his friends. How do I tell him that it's mortifying to me? 

“Old Fashioned”

Don't worry! You won't be dating him for long. He is too good for you and your petty judgments.

Dear Deven:

I live with a “handyman” (my husband) who will watch a home repair program then think he can do it himself! It costs me more to fix it later. How do I get him to change the channel?

“Screwdriver”

I say, “put him to work!” Be a project manager and use his services for smaller more realistic jobs to do around the house/yard. Give him credit for trying.

 

Dear Deven:

I get a “free night” once a month outside the parameters of my relationship. Can you help me out?

“Hot Toddy”

1) I'm not a hook up site. 2) I'll bet there is an online app for this type of activity. 3) Make sure your partner knows the nature of your relationship.

Dear Deven:

I had taken myself off the market last year for personal growth and found that it was more frustrating than anything else. Totally pointless. What is the best way to make up for lost time?

“Absinthe”

I hope you learned that if something doesn't feel right you need to change it pronto. Realistically you can never make up for lost time, you can only double up on your efforts moving forward.

 

Dear Deven:

I've recently moved from Atlanta to NY for work. I'm very enthusiastic about how much I love my home city but someone ends up taking offense. How can I stop these “my city is better” comparison arguments?

“Manhattan”

You are homesick, honey. Atlanta is everything to you but there is something in your delivery that is making others defensive. Find the beauty where you have to be until you can rest where you wish.

 

Dear Deven:

I'm in a long-distance love affair but I hate flying. Are we doomed?

“B-52

I'm sure you phone, text, and video chat, but the real test is the day-to-day experience. It seems very fulfilling for what you need right now emotionally, but, if you want more you will ultimately end up drifting apart.

Dear Deven:

I'm a morning person. He is a night person. Will it ever work out?

“Tequila Sunrise”

Agree that you are both good for a nooner and everything will be just fine.

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - March 2018
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Dear Deven:

My nieces and nephew are monsters. Can't I wait until they are in their 20s to spend time with them?

“Spoiled”

Dearest, all children are monsters, but they are not your monsters. Be the fun uncle that always has to leave immediately. Let them know they are loved in short, palatable intervals.

Dear Deven:

I just ate a whole sleeve of cookies. That is one serving right?

“Indulged”

Yes, of course! But, sugar is not a reward and ultimately will not comfort you.

 

Dear Deven:

When I was younger I used to massage every whim and ego of my mentor. Now that I am older I find myself doing the same thing with my boss. Why am I like this?

“Pandered”

You were taught to be a sycophant from your mentor. When you raise your own personal standards of worthiness you will increase your confidence. You can admire someone without kissing their ass.

 

Dear Deven:

My parents are well-off so I have lived a pretty charmed life until I REALLY over- spent and they cut me off. I can't lead the lifestyle I am used to anymore. What do I tell people?

“Mollycoddled”

Boo. Hoo. Hoo. You were wasteful and self-indulgent when you could have created your own empire. Your parents have given you the gift of an amazing life lesson: To be able to tell people you are independently wealthy.

Dear Deven:

Is it weird that two grown men call each other baby names in public?

“Cosseted”

Oh sugar-muffin, poodle-head, peach bottom, of course it is! So what.

 

Dear Deven:

I think I am with a Momma's boy. We will be watching a TV show and he will ask me to get him something from the kitchen. He's not rude, it's just that he EXPECTS me to just do it for him. Should I?

“Catered”

Would it help if he called you sugar-muffin? If it's bothering you that much then make a snack platter together before you both sit down.

Dear Deven:

I get my nails buffed and polished. A “youth” questioned me on this practice. How can they not get it?

“Pampered”

I know! “Youth” have so much to learn from you. I'll bet he was curious enough to try it himself.

 

Dear Deven:

I buy everything related to a certain musical. I have to have it all. Stop me!

“Wicked”

You will never “have it all.” So just buy what you love. This applies to most areas of your life.

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Feb. 2018
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

I was at my Grandmother's funeral and started laughing uncontrollably. I was embarrassed and obviously apologized.

Am I an awful person?

“Out Of Place”

Yes, you are awful...awfully human. You experienced an anxiety break which is totally common and happens at the most inappropriate times. You can't control it so excuse yourself until you settle down. Sorry about your loss, honey.

 

Dear Deven:

I really like my brother's new boyfriend but I keep calling him by the former boyfriend's name! He was with his ex for so long I have it ingrained in my mind. How do I switch over to the new name?

“Foot In Mouth”

I see you have made your brother's relationship all about you. Maybe YOU are missing his ex!

Pull the new boyfriend aside and apologize then call him “buddy” from now on.

 

Dear Deven:

I was at a small dinner party and our friend, who is a vegan chef, brought out appetizers. They were awful! Everyone thought so.

I spit mine out and the chef got upset. What was I supposed to do?

“Tasteless”

Have some class in dealing with unpleasant things in your mouth. No one else said anything because they were grateful for his efforts.

Next time, take a smaller bite and chew with your mouth closed.

 

Dear Deven:

I have wanted to date this guy for years but he was always with other people.

I heard he broke up so I swooped in but he rejected me! Why do I feel so mad?

“Ill Timed”

You should be mad at yourself for acting like a vulture. If you considered him a friend and not a “thing” to subjugate, you would have given him some breathing room and then connected.

 

Dear Deven:

I'm in a workplace soccer league. We eat and drink socially after our games.

One guy keeps trying to conduct business when we just want to unwind. How do I address his desperation?

“Left-field”

He's offside so tell him your communal goal is fun. Defend your position by inviting him to a business meeting at the office. If you are uncomfortable doing it one-on-one, then make a group announcement at the start of your social time.

 

Dear Deven:

My close friend is now a fan of wearing caftans – those loose dresses. He keeps asking me how it looks. How do I lie?

“Ill-Suited”

You give him a little truth syrup such as, “you are one-of-a-kind and look so very comfortable.”

Either join him or let him have his fun and be free.

 

Dear Deven:

I was invited over for a first date and he didn't even clean the sheets! I just COULDN'T so I didn't but then HE got mad! What?

“Unbecoming”

You, being a man of cleanliness, should have moved your party to the shower. Let him be mad because your record is still spotless.

  • NELSON ASPEN with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Dec. 2017 / Jan. 2018
00:00 / 00:00

 

Dear Deven:

It has been a tough year dealing with the daily news. I need a reason to feel better.

“Here Comes The Sun”

It is all cyclical. Eventually storms pass and skies are blue again.

Be happy when you have sunlight and find a way to have hope when it is dark.

 

Dear Deven:

I'm glad this year is over. I've never felt so angry and isolated. How do I not stay this way?

“I Want To Hold Your Hand”

Your nature is to be social and not alone. When you reach out to connect, someone will always reach back.

Dear Deven:

I tried living “out with the old and in with the new,” but had a tough time letting go of the old. How do I cut ties?

“Hello, Goodbye”

Try either a quick break or a slow dissolve to move forward.

Some elements just naturally fade from your purview and others pivot abruptly. These are both growing pains.

 

Dear Deven:

I buy the least expensive item anywhere for everything. My closest friends say I'm cheap. What am I?

“Penny Lane”

You are a handful! If you pay the lowest price now and the item doesn't last long then you are essentially paying double.

When you thoughtfully factor in your end-game you may work your way up to being frugal.

 

Dear Deven:

I can't stop thinking about my last love. I can't really get over him. I want everything to be the way it was. How do I do this?

“Yesterday”

You don't. If you dwell in the past how can you be with anyone, including yourself, right now?

Conversely, if you fret about the future you will miss all the opportunities of today.

 

Dear Deven:

I took your advice and talked to someone about “me” and not fixing “us.”

I feel stable for the first time in a long time and our relationship is solid. Thank you.

“We Can Work It Out”

It looks great on you. I'm glad you are enjoying what you knew was inside of you the whole time.

 

Dear Deven:

I work so hard at love. How will I know when it is authentic?

“Real Love”

When you freely give your time, heart and best efforts to another person perhaps that is the closest ideal to real love.

Of course, it is also the person that annoys you the least.

 

Dear Deven:

I love you.

“All You Need Is Love”

I feel it. Please let others know how much you care by telling them. Happy holidays friends, I will meet you under the mistletoe. I love you.

  • JACK MACKENROTH with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Nov. 2017
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

How do I know if the choices I am making are best for me or if I am inadvertently sabotaging myself?

“Choosing”

If you find yourself justifying your choice over and over again, then something isn't quite right. You need to honestly feel at peace with your decisions.

 

Dear Deven:

I live a lot of life but most times I feel empty like I am just filling up the time with “stuff.” I need something extra. What's wrong?

“Nourishing”

It is time to take personal inventory on what you have experienced and then metabolize those lessons. You are not filling yourself up with what you need, you are simply consuming whatever is there. This is akin to “empty calories.”

 

Dear Deven:

I always ask for advice from all my friends, but they never ask me for my advice. Don't you think that is a bit rude?

“Picking”

Yes. YOU are rude by relying too heavily on their value system instead of having your own. You need to start making your own decisions, then you can ask them for their opinions, not their answers.

 

Dear Deven:

I'm an idiot. I made a horrible choice at a bar. How do I forgive myself?

“Regretting”

I forgive you if that helps but be good to you by not putting yourself in that position again.

 

Dear Deven:

We fight over the stupidest things. He constantly says things like, “MOVE OUT!” but I don't think he really means them. I can't let go of these arguments though. Should I stay or should I go?

“Deciding”

There are consequences to what we all say. Mature adults argue but come to a point of agreement without cutting the other person down. If he doesn't mean what he says, then why are you still listening?

 

Dear Deven:

I am dating using online sites, but there are just so many choices I honestly can't make up my mind. Any guidance?

“Optioning”

Try one of each.

 

Dear Deven:

I ended up getting pressured AGAIN into buying clothes I can't afford by a sales associate. I feel guilty if I don't buy them. Why can't I walk away?

“Exiting”

They are emotionally blackmailing you and it is working. You need to ask yourself why you need the approval of a complete stranger. If you walk away empty handed I can guarantee that they will happily greet you the next time you return. Choose YOU not them.

  • ANDREW BRADLEY with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Oct. 2017
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

I want to make my honey a special birthday gift. He likes very expensive, old books. I'm stuck!

“Delight”
Find an inexpensive, online copy of one of his favorite books and record an audio version of a chapter for him. This way he can enjoy two of his favorite things at the same time: other people's words from your mouth.


Dear Deven:

I have an adorable problem: My boyfriend has the worst singing voice. Even he acknowledges it, but he is so happy singing. I know that you sing. Can you help me out here?

“Glee”

Encourage him by purchasing a home karaoke machine and set the dial to auto-tune.

Dear Deven: I am making out my will and have no immediate family. I need some help navigating where to leave my money. “Generosity”
Every person reading this just said, “leave it to me!” Assign your money where you had love in your life. If you loved pets, donate to a shelter. If you loved art, donate to a museum. If you loved your community, then donate to charity. Please put your express wishes in writing.


Dear Deven:

I have a milestone birthday coming up. I'm healthy and not messed up like I probably should have been. I don't want a party, but I want to be around friends and have fun. What do I want?

Rejoice”
Have a get together with friends and just don't call it a party.


Dear Deven:

My parents, of all people, referred me for an interview and now I have my dream job! How can I pay them back?

“Exuberance”
With a percentage of your paycheck! Spend time with your parents in any way you can. Seeing you happy and off the streets is all the thanks they want. Congratulations, now get to work!


Dear Deven:

My partner is working overseas for three months and I want to send him constant reminders that I miss him. Help me out.

“Bliss”
Create little videos of mementos from around the home and post them privately online so they are easily accessible to him 24/7.


Dear Deven: I now live as modern minimalist. How can I share the intrinsic beauty of this lifestyle?

“Elation”
Just shine, honey. The act of “being” is indeed sharing.


Dear Deven: My tribe of friends just helped me through a tough breakup. I owe them a solid but not sure if it should be funny or sincere. What do you think?
“Gladness”

I think you should be there for them when they need you ... and when they don't.


Dear Deven:

I'm in love. Will it last? 

“Euphoric”

Yes. Over and over.

  • CHIFFON DIOR with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Sept. 2017
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven: 

My husband has kept a personal journal of discovery. He has it under lock and key but we are now married, so what's his is mine now, isn't it?

“Compunction”

Your husband isn't an acquisition so let him share his personal property and reveal his private writings as he feels comfortable. Don't go snooping around either or you are asking for a lifetime of mistrust.

Dear Deven: 

Our office manager is professional and a nice guy, but after-hours he is loose and gets around in the clubs. I am tempted to sleep with him. Is it such a bad thing to get ahead this way?

“Twinges”

I'm sorry you don't feel that your own quality of work will get you the rewards that you deserve. Realistically you may end your career and reputation in one fell swoop. Remember, if he sleeps with you, imagine how many others in the office he has already slept with!

Dear Deven: 

I'm falling for a new guy and want to take a “well day” instead of a “sick day” tomorrow. Can you help me write me a note to get out of work?

“Shameless”

“Dear Boss: Unfortunately I will be unable to attend work today. Hopefully, I will be back tomorrow.” Have fun, but don't make a habit of it. As a reminder, you will go to work when you are not feeling well to make up for today.

Dear Deven: 

I just got a double order of candles when I ordered only one. It was their error so I don't need to return it, right?

“Conscience”

Did you pay for a double set? No? Then let the company know. Let THEM give it to you. Don't take what is not yours or you will get burned.

Dear Deven: 

I am house-sitting and am two seconds away from looking through the drawers and cabinets. I want to look so badly! I'm not going to take anything.

“Second Thoughts”

What if I told you that the entire home had cameras filming everything. You might not be “taking” anything but how about “giving” the homeowners some respect. At a friend's housewarming, I curiously opened their medicine cabinet and read this note: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

Dear Deven: 

My best friend's boyfriend just came on to me. I'm freaked out.

Do I have to tell my friend?

“Reluctance”

Where does your loyalty lay? That is your answer.

Dear Deven: 

I'm a bad boy. I always will be. It is just my nature. Why change?

“Scruples” 
Be you, but as my mother told me, “don't hurt others or I will kill you.”

  • JINKX MONSOON with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Aug. 2017
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven: 

I correct my friends’ grammar online. They are irked, but when I see non-words like “anyways,” I don’t want others to repeat the same mistake. Am I wrong? 

“Exasperated”
You are not wrong, you are incorrect. When you see words such as “anyways,” privately message them. When you correct others publicly, there is a hint of superiority and shame and less of wanting to kindly educate them.

Dear Deven: 

I don’t mean to be rude to customer service people on the phone but I just lose my temper very quickly. I spend hours on hold then get no resolution so I have to call back. In this sitch, it’s okay to let loose, right? 

“Aggravated”
If you mean making a smart choice by taking your business elsewhere, then yes. Try calling back a few times and eventually you will find an employee who can actually help you. If not, call up the competition.

Dear Deven: 

I haven’t been sleeping well because of anxiety. Any thoughts on getting some rest? 

“Vexed”
Yes, have no thoughts at all! If you spend so much time indulging anxiety in your bedroom you must spend an equal amount of time alleviating it by doing things such as taking a long bath, exercising, getting a massage or discussing the root of it with a professional.

Dear Deven: 

My partner and I are getting married this summer and would like a classy way to exclude kids/children/infants/toddlers. What words do we use? 

“Annoyed”
“Both the ceremony and reception are strictly adult only / no children.” This is very clear with no room for confusion. Even more exact is to put specific names on the wedding invites with no “plus 1” next to it.

Dear Deven: 

I’m dating a younger guy and thought it would be nice to take him on a walk through Piedmont Park. He was on his phone the whole time filming it instead of enjoying it live as it happens! What do I do? 

“Exasperated”
Hold his hands so he can’t use his phone.

Dear Deven: 

I’m in a musical choir, and one of the performers is brown-nosing so much I worry that he is going to get some benefits. I feel like I should start doing it too. I need your advice! 

“Over It”


Stop competing with him. You loathe his behavior, so don’t emulate it. The musical conductor knows what is going on. Have faith that talent will triumph. Now go sing your heart out!

Dear Deven: 

I am a simple man in a new relationship with someone who does not say, “Thank You.” This may be a deal breaker. Worth sticking around? 

“Bothered”
Some people truly don’t know good manners. Give him the “My Fair Lady” approach: Simply show him by being a good example.

Dear Deven: 

The walls are thin, and the neighbors are loud at bedtime. Call the police or the landlord first?

“Nettled”
Make your own night music.

  • KATYA with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - June/July 2017
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Dear Deven: 

I moved back home for a bit, and my younger brother plays horrible music. How can I get him to listen to good music? 
“I Can’t Go For That”

You aren’t identical twins nor should your audio choices be the same. He can’t make you like his music, obviously, and you cannot make him like yours. Get some earphones you snob.

Dear Deven: 

I hate metal music but started casually dating this guy who actually goes to metal concerts ( I know!). Other than that he seems so cool, but this one thing is really out of left field on his profile. I worry that in the long run it will break us up. Will it? “Nothing Else Matters”
Conversely, if he said he was breaking up with you because you didn’t like his music that would seem ludicrous. Give him a pass.

Dear Deven: 

I’m dating a DJ, and I know he is hooking up with other guys at the end of the night. Should I just accept it? 

“Tainted Love”
It sounds like he is in an open relationship and you are not.

Dear Deven: 

My boyfriend is a theatre actor, and he has a female friend that comes to all his shows and acts like they are together. How can I eliminate her? 

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
They were friends before you came on the scene. She wants to be associated with a winner – you get to go home with one.

Dear Deven: 

I feel slighted when I am on the dance floor and people turn their back on me. We are all dancing in a group together and not in pairs, but I get snubbed. The hell? 

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
Your intense fear of being ignored may be the exact reason people are turning away. Try being the one to turn around first. Or, keep moving and dance in all directions so you won’t put yourself in the position of being rejected.

Dear Deven:

I sang karaoke for the first time and I thought I was awesome. My friends recorded me and it was horrible. How do I get over this embarrassment?  

“Like A Virgin”
Karaoke is meant to be a fun, stress reducer. Laugh at it. No one is there to give you a record deal so take it as such. The more you get up and sing the better it will be… hopefully.

Dear Deven: 

What’s good to listen to while making out? 

“The Way You Make Me Feel”
If he’s going to take you on all night long, I hope he’s not too shy to melt with you. Whatever you hear, I’m sure you will have the time of your life.

  • FRANZ SZONY with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - May 2017
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Dear Deven: 

I think the cute guy who bags my groceries is coming on to me. How do I ask him out while he is working?  

“Yin”
Maneuver around the counter so your bodies are perilously close. Take your hand and brush it up against his dewy skin as you both reach for a mesh bag. Then, you snap out of your daydream and ask him what time he finishes work so you two can grab some supper.

Dear Deven: 

I think the cute customer who smiles at me while I bag his groceries is coming on to me. How do I ask him out while I am working?  “Yang”
No need, I’m sure he will ask you out!

Dear Deven:
I am a high-end, health food store manager. I was interested in a guy and enticed him by giving him the employee discount. Nothing came of it, but he still comes by and gets the discount. How do I take it away? 

“Perquisites”
By not giving it up so quickly at the start. Let people earn your “gift.” Tell him the store policy has changed. You aren’t lying – you are the manager and you changed your policy!

Dear Deven:
I lose my temper trying to park at the grocery store, so I honk and swear at other drivers. They seriously cannot park. Then we both have to walk in and shop. There is an air of hostility. What do I do?  

“Unstable”
Have your groceries delivered.

Dear Deven:

I feel like people are looking in my shopping cart judging me on what I am buying. Do others feel like this? 

“Malcontent”
Yes, of course you are judged, but you also judge. Lots of people have anxiety because of this. Others could care less. If it bothers you, then place your items underneath a bag that you lay over top of everything. Consider doing a self-check out. People match up what you’re eating with how you look or behave. I said in jest once, “Only shallow people don’t judge by looks.”

Dear Deven: 

When my partner and I go grocery shopping, he is embarrassed that I use coupons. He always reaches for the most expensive of everything. May you tell him to stop it?  

“Vouched For”
Stop trying to convince him. That is his issue to figure out. Consider setting aside all the money saved, and go out to dinner together. I don’t think he will shy away from that.

Dear Deven:

I heard that if you can actually smell the seafood section in a store it’s no good.  

“Carpe Diem
If it smells like a fish… It’s fishy!

  • BRETT LOUDERMILK with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - April 2017
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Dear Deven: I was told, “never work for free.” Do you believe that?  

“Sovereign”
NO. If you need to prove yourself and subsequent jobs are paying then offer one “complimentary” job. If you feel the credit or association by doing a free job is worth it, then do it. If you are always giving it away then it is just a hobby. Value yourself.

Dear Deven: I’m self-employed and feel obligated to say YES to everything so I don’t miss out on an opportunity? Is that right?

“Scratch”
NO. If you are clear on who you are and what you do then it makes no sense to say YES to offers which have no meaning to you or you aren’t passionate about. As a goodwill gesture pass the offers you say NO to on to someone else who may say YES. You know, like your leftovers!

Dear Deven: I am successful in my field (finance) but I don’t love what I do…I think I am supposed to right?  

“Bank”
NO. Just because you are talented in a field doesn’t mean you have a passion for it. It’s either what you do or who you are.

Dear Deven: Do I have to spend money to make money?

 “Capital”

NO! Although you can pay me a consultation fee!

Dear Deven: There are so many people in the interior decoration field that I don’t know where I belong. It was suggested that I find another field.? If the market is super saturated, should try something else?  

“Loot”
NO! Find your niche and angle in your chosen field! Remember that every single person thinks that at some point in every single field. Yes there are challenges and competition so your real job is to create where you belong.

Dear Deven: I gave myself a one-year time limit for my business to start making money. It’s two years and I’m breaking even. Time to quit?  

“Tender”
NO. It’s time to put your time in. Keep at it. I want you to succeed and a big part of that is showing up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It’s not how long you have been at it, it is how committed you are to what you started.

Dear Deven: Are millennials taking up all the good jobs since the market is always youth oriented?  

“Bones”
NO! There will always be openings for those with talent, experience, and maturity.

Dear Deven: You always seem to have all the answers don’t you?!  

“Grand”
YES I do!

  • AUSTIN YOUNG with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - March 2017
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Dear Deven:

My partner is a chef who makes beautiful food, but a lot of it, and he wants me to eat EVERYTHING off of my plate. How can I say no?  

“Fowl”
You don’t need to put anything in your mouth that you don’t want to. You should not be eating for two. Eat for you. “No” means no means in any context. If he is that great, I’m sure he can make smaller portions.

Dear Deven: Should I eat meat?  

“Fauna”
That is an ethical question for you to answer not for me to tell you what to do. As you grow wiser, you make personal and physical revelations. Your beliefs may evolve as well.

Dear Deven: I am getting heavier being a vegetarian. Is there no winning?  

“Flora”
Yes there is no winning! I’m sure you aren’t gaining weight by eating broccoli. Maybe you are putting a spoonful of sugar in your pie hole? You can trick your mind, but not your body.

Dear Deven: Is there anything I should or shouldn’t eat before being intimate?  

“Feast”
Be intimate first, and then eat.

Dear Deven: Is there a way to have a “cleaner” diet?  

“Fruit”
Try fiber. But you understand that there will always be “a little dirty” involved.

Dear Deven: Why do guys use the eggplant (aubergine) emoji?  

“Flexible”
It has no other “meme-ing” than exactly what it looks like.

Dear Deven: I really want fresh produce all year long, but everything is seasonal. What’s a farmer wannabe to do?  “Frosted”
Buy some seeds and start planting in your home. Start with a sure thing like perennial or biennial vegetables. Trust me, I’ve never met a carrot I didn’t like.

Dear Deven: What is the difference between a fruit and vegetable?  

“Flame”
Seeds and roots. I’m sure you understand.

Dear Deven: When I am starving I over eat and put everything in my mouth. I feel awful afterward. How can I break this pattern?  

“Famished”
If you read the nutritional label on a package, that alone should stop you in your tracks. Try eating foods that have no label (i.e. a banana). If you know you get snack attacks, then be prepared with healthy choices! Be smarter than a bag of chips. And, as a general rule: If you have too much of anything in your mouth just spit it out – God knows I do.

  • JONATHAN KIDDER with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - February 2017
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Dear Deven: In my head, I want sick revenge on my ex. How do I release these nasty thoughts? 

‘Unforgiving’
Pointed, angry attention to your ex is at odds with giving and receiving love. Make revenge more about being a better you and living with an effortless pursuit of perfection. Being vindictive is simply beneath your usual high standards and will ultimately sully your good family name.

Dear Deven: I am still friends with my ex, but my new boyfriend is crazy jealous of him. How do I nip this in the bud? 

‘Disbanding’
Either your new boyfriend is creating drama for absolutely no reason at all, or he is picking up on something unresolved with your ex. The bloom has already fallen off the stem.

Dear Deven: I still invite my ex to everything, and he never invites me to anything – ever – other than sleep overs. What is that about? 

‘Scheduling’
He wants you there at night but expects you gone in the morning – that is his agenda.

Dear Deven: I’m trying to work it out with my ex, but he won’t go to therapy with me. I have anxiety every day until he calls. I’m a mess. How can I feel better?

‘Undermining’
Your self-esteem is based 100% on his whims. You have given him all the power in your relationship. Go to the therapist to heal you, not to fix him.

Dear Deven: I want my ex the more he says “no.

‘Coveting’
You didn’t ask a question because you are telling me a fact. The reality is that this situation is turning you on way more than it should. And the truth is that when he finally does say “yes,” you will shrug and walk away because you no longer want what you thought you wanted. Player.

Dear Deven: I fall in love again every time I sleep with my ex. I don’t want to, but I can’t help it. How can I keep it casual? 

‘Yielding’
Imagine you are sleeping with someone else! PS: Smarten up.

Dear Deven: Why did he give up on us so easily?

‘Hurting’
I know you are in pain, dear. Examine your reasons as to why you invested so heavily in him. If two people have very different expectations, someone will end up dissatisfied. You can’t figure him out, so figure you out. I won’t give up on you.

  • CHRIS DIXON with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Dec 2016/Jan 2017
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Dear Deven: I had a tough year, so I want to start 2017 in a better mind set. How can I do this? 

“Resilience”
Get some sleep, eat better, dress nicely, hold hands and walk more. Or pretend it didn’t happen. It is all about the choices you make from today forward.

Dear Deven: What is the best gift you have ever received? 

“Grateful”
This column is always about you, except for when it is about me. The best gifts have always been, and will always be, experiences with others.

Dear Deven: I want 2017 to be my breakout year. How can I ensure this will happen? 

“Effort”
It’s like this: If you ask others to help you with cultivating your talent, you are empowering yourself as opposed to asking someone to make you famous. Aspirations need harmony. For example, you can’t be lazy and rich.

Dear Deven: I honestly don’t know what I want to do. I know I need goals, but I don’t know what. 

“Intent”
If you don’t know where you are going, how can we follow and support you? Instead of wandering around aimlessly, try narrowing down what may interest you! Make some movement, any movement, and you will find that you will ultimately move in the direction you always wanted to.

Dear Deven: I am making a list of resolutions. May you help me? 

“Motivation”
Say “yes.”

Dear Deven: We didn’t do a bunch of things as a couple this last year because we kept getting distracted. Does that mean we really didn’t want to do them? 

“Focus”
If you wanted it badly enough, you would have followed through and made it happen. At least you both are on the same page about avoiding it!

Dear Deven: Regifting? 

“Flow”
Oh yes! If you will use it, keep it. If not, send the item out into the world to find its proper place. Although, if you personalize a gift with someone’s name on it, they can’t really give that away now, can they?

Dear Deven: I’m throwing a NYE party. Why did I do this? I want to cancel! 

“Simplicity”
Save the dramatics for a public display. You will not cancel. You will enlist the help of your friends to take over the details. They will throw a great party in your home and at your expense. Lesson: Surround yourself with those who care enough to make you look good.

Happy New Year, dear!

  • RIC BRUCE with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - November 2016
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Dear Deven: I’m aging and not happy about it. 

“Dorian Gray”
Then grow old youthfully.

Dear Deven: Why did I have such a hard time when I was younger with relationships and stuff? “Hansel”
Because you allowed others the luxury of poor behavior. As we get older, we have less tolerance for “stuff” that doesn’t fulfill us.

Dear Deven: My folks are getting older. How do I apologize to them? I put them through a lot.

“Charlie”
Just say the words in any way, shape or form. You know, they put their parents through a lot, too. I admire you for needing to resolve this in your family. You are doing the right thing.

Dear Deven: I get tired quicker, can’t drink as much, have to watch what I eat and can’t stay out all night. What is a good activity for me?

“Tremayne”
Sleeping.

Dear Deven: I suffer from baldness. 

“Elmer”
Figure out how to give others pleasure from it.

Dear Deven: I’m getting more negative the older I get. I hate being like this. 

“Waldorf”
I consider defeating thoughts an indulgent luxury. The positive energy that you carry with you is infectious. The more clarity you have in finding one nice thing will transfer to others. When you change your attitude, you will no longer use the word hate.

Dear Deven: I’m mad at myself because I keep forgetting where I left my phone. This is happening more often the older I get. Help!

“Rumpelstiltskin”
But you know you are forgetting it, so at least you are aware that you are forgetful! Keep your mind active by being curious enough to explore new experiences. This kind of learning will keep your mind high and tight.

Dear Deven: I want a tattoo. Is it too late?

“Popeye”
I think they close at 9p.m. No, it’s not too late. Careful about spur-of-the-moment ink though. You have lasted this long without one, so I suggest you create a temporary one first. If you still love it and want it after a month, then go for it.

Dear Deven: I’m afraid of my next act in life because I don’t know what it is. 

“Merlin”
None of us do. There is no set manual for you. Everything you have done in your life has lead you up to this point. You are not starting over, you are moving forward with the knowledge that you have. How exciting!

  • TOM GOSS with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - October 2016
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Dear Deven: I tried to date people from online, but when we meet in real life, they are just a bunch of weirdos. Isn’t this a waste of time? 

“Bytes”
Be more articulate for what you need and what you are looking for in your online description. Fact-check everything you can about the other person and video chat with them before you meet them in real life. This will make your time better spent.

Dear Deven: It’s all cute with my boyfriend, but I found out he is leaving nasty comments on videos and posts under another name. I’m shocked. Do I confront him? 

“Raw Data”
He is wearing a mask of anonymity online. He feels he can say anything without any consequences because it is harmless. It’s not. It is another form of bullying. He may be doing it for “fun” but there is aggression behind it. Be careful, because he is not a man who stands behind his words.

Dear Deven: I have to block all my exes whenever I get a new boyfriend. I feel kind of bad, but everyone does this right? 

“Firewall”
I know you want to erase your poor choices – we all do – but be aware that they have blocked you too.

Dear Deven: I’m with someone now, but is it OK to just fool around with someone else online only? 

“Encryption”
I’m pretty sure you can and already have.

Dear Deven: My husband is very close to his parents. Every time he video chats with them, he always wants me to show my face. Sometimes I am just getting out of the shower. How can I stop him?

“Motherboard”
There is no stopping him! He will always want to show you off because he is proud of what an amazing catch you are. Just holler, “Give me five minutes!” I would be pro-active though. When you hear them talking, jump into the conversation for a quick hello. Not only was this your choice, but you have fulfilled your “husbandly” duties.

Dear Deven: I found my perfect match! However, I am not sexually interested in him. Will this change? 

“Zip drive”
No, honey. Either you feel it or you don’t. He is your perfect friend-match. In the long run, it’s pretty great to have an excellent conversationalist mate, which is how most long-term relationships end up; but don’t start at the ending.

Dear Deven: I’ve never dated anyone I’ve met online longer than one month. Why? 

“Refresh Rate”
That is because you enjoy the “ice cream” phase of a relationship in which the initial mouthful tastes very thrilling, so you just keep replicating this particular scenario. When you want the “full meal deal,” the dating timeline will naturally extend. Try it. If not, go back to having your just desserts.

  • BILL GREENING with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - September 2016
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven: I think my boyfriend loves his cat more than he loves me! 

“Cat Scratch Fever”
He does. But you are first in second place!

Dear Deven: We were dinner guests, and the host kept feeding his dog table scraps. I wanted to scream. What do I tell him? 

“Animal Farm”
A vet once told me, “Table scraps can make your dog beg and only want human food. You really don’t want either.” So my answer is to sleep with a vet.

Dear Deven: My husband lets our Border Collie sleep on the bed, and he sheds. 

“Lassie”
Brush your husband.

Dear Deven: My baby wants to move in together, but says he’s allergic to cats. However, he isn’t sneezing. Is he lying? 

“Mr. Bigglesworth”
My answer would have been to create a cat-free area such as the bedroom, but you have bigger issues to deal with, such as trust. Please wait three more months before moving in. Seriously.

Dear Deven: I’m still living with my ex and am moving out soon. I fell in love with his dog and want to take him with me. How do I bring this up? 

“Argos” 

He’s not your dog, and it is not fair to remove him from the only home he has known. Pets are not pawns in relationships. You want to hold on, but it’s time to walk away and create a new furry family and life, OK?

Dear Deven: Can animals be gay? Like gay? 

“Snoopy”
Like do you really care if they are gay? Don’t you care if they are healthy, happy and have a sweet disposition? But the answer is yes, they can be. It’s nature and it’s natural.

Dear Deven: We wish to adopt a pet. Any thoughts? 

“Astro” 

You will go to a pet rescue or shelter. Take your time. Whether your adopted pet is old or young, they will let you know that they need only you, because they pick you.

Dear Deven: Parrot, dove or chicken? 

“Rio”
Try a cockatoo.

Dear Deven: We were going to take home a pot-bellied pig, but we couldn’t agree on a name. Stupid, right? 

“Babe”
Yes. Stupid. Hyphenate the name and then call it by a nickname so you both win and you both lose.

Dear Deven: I don’t know what to do. His dog almost bit me, and he won’t do anything about it. I love him, but I don’t want to go over there anymore. 

“Sirius”
Get a dog trainer immediately to step in and deal with this issue since both of you are avoiding it. Get the dog under control first. Then you two can work together on everything else. Let this lesson apply to the rest of your relationships: Address solutions together.

Dear Deven: I don’t know how to say good-bye to my 16 year-old “Charlie.” 

“All Dogs Go To Heaven”
Pet owners love on a deeper level. Charlie looked after you for 16 years. Do him this kindness and look after him now. We are all sending you our love.

  • RYAN KENNEY with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - August 2016
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven: I want to hint at moving in together. How can I guarantee he will say “YES!”? 

– Full House
Try over-reaching. If you say you want to get married, then his response will be, “Maybe we should live together first.” Or just let him know that you have made a copy of his house key and the moving truck will be there Saturday.

Dear Deven: My friend buys me thoughtful, expensive gifts all the time. I hate feeling obligated to buy him things. 

– American Gigolo
Sometimes the gift is more for the person giving it than the person receiving it. Just make sure he is not using it for leverage down the road. If you hear the words “you OWE ME nothing,” you will indeed owe him something.

Dear Deven:  I’m so lazy about dating. It’s so much work. What is the easiest way to date? 

– Reality Bites
Lay on your back. I’m sure someone will climb aboard. If you wish to place the onus of responsibility onto that of your friends via a blind date, you will have to swallow your pride and pretend not to be mortified at their choice of a “he’s got such a great personality.”

Dear Deven:  I’m not sure if I should date this new guy. He’s really awesome, but he has been divorced twice, once from a woman and once from a man. 

– Wild Thing
Re-read your question carefully. He just told you exactly who he was.

Dear Deven:  My siblings have left me in charge of my ailing mother because I am gay. I’m so tired. What’s the best way to deal with this? 

– Family Ties
They didn’t place this on you because you are gay. They placed it on you because you are a responsible, willing, good brother. Ask them for specific help such as everyone chipping in financially to get a home-care worker once a week to relieve you. Your mom raised a good son.

Dear Deven:  Here it is. Okay. I looked through my husband’s phone – he wasn’t cheating. I feel awful and am ashamed. 

– Wong Number
You found out exactly what you already knew. Your husband is a good man, and you are insecure.

Dear Deven: I expect a lot from a partner: Commitment, honesty, integrity, diligence, etc. I have never found it in someone else. 

– Great Expectations
You are looking for a prepackaged entity instead of enjoying the qualities that someone else has and building a partnership together from that. You can be a perfectionist with yourself, but give others some latitude.

Dear Deven:  I’m in a relationship, and I feel lonely. 

– Waiting To Exhale
Being with someone else doesn’t eradicate loneliness. They cannot heal or entertain you. Relationships should strengthen you to be a stronger person when you are alone. That void is only filled by you – and by me right now saying, “You are never alone.”

  • TODD & TRAVIS with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - June/July 2016
00:00 / 00:00

Dear Deven:

I’m a grown man and I can’t swim! 

“Soping in South Decatur”
I’m sure you know how to negotiate a sauna.

Dear Deven:

I’m hosting a pool party. Guidelines? 

“Particular on Ponce”
If you have great music, people will dance. If you have great food and drinks, people will devour them. If you have inflatable toys people will play with them.

Dear Deven:

The hubby and I thought it would be fun to drive across Georgia this summer. Any advice for not getting on each others nerves? 

“Tension in Tucker”
Fly.

Dear Deven:

I have a small backyard and want to have a BBQ. How can I make this space work? 

“Cramming in Campbellton”
Have indoor activities such as board games, decorating cupcakes, shaving ice and gossiping. To double your space, include your next-door neighbor!

Dear Deven:

I met a great guy. Amazing career, house, car, age appropriate, handsome, witty and charming. One catch: We are going to a summer retreat, and he’s into kink, which is unknown territory for me. What to do? 

“Perplexed on Piedmont ”
It’s always a challenge to expand your “repertoire.” Have some mutually simple rules, which truly apply to all relationships: No nude photos or videos are to be taken. Be clear on specific boundaries you already know. If you are curious about something explore it one inch at a time. Stretch before you go.

Dear Deven: 

I get cornered into long conversations at parties and can’t mingle. I don’t wish to be rude, but I also want to meet others. How do I get out of it? 

”Rocky in Roswell”
They are the ones being rude! A conversation has balance. If they don’t include you, then pardon yourself by going to the washroom and do not return to them.

Dear Deven: 

A close couple adopted two young boys, so now when I go over it’s kiddie chaos. How can I spend time with my friends without being a human play station? 

”Off kilter near Oglethorpe”
I don’t have children, but I deal with childish men all the time such as yourself. Your friends are the most loving people in the world. It takes a special kind of people to share their life with adopted children. Your energy is impactful and kids can sense resentment, so until you change your attitude don’t go over there. “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”

Dear Deven: 

Can I throw my own coming out party? 

”Free in Fairburn”
I insist! But, please be knowledgeable about your history as this was not an option that long ago. Truly, congratulations, I expect an invite.

  • JOEL BRYANT with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - May 2016
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Dear Deven: I will be going to my first formal dinner function. I need tips! 

“Dining in Douglasville”
Sit where you are seated. If something falls on the floor there is no 5-second rule. Don’t ask for a doggy bag or dipping sauce. Send a thank you note the next day.

Dear Deven: What is the best way to send my list of food allergies to the hosts of several parties I am attending? 

“Fussy in Fayette County”
Honestly darling, you are being high-maintenance. Bring your own food that way you know it is safe. You are going to their party not their restaurant.

Dear Deven: I am hosting a champagne brunch and just saw the price of champagne. How can I do this on the cheap? 

“Scrimping in Smyrna”
Offer both champagne and sparking water. Or, pour half champagne and half juice. Or, serve an inexpensive champagne and put a raspberry in it because that’s fancy.

Dear Deven: What is the best way to serve appetizers? 

“Forked in Fairburn”
With a toothpick.

Dear Deven:  I have a friend who is invited to EVERYTHING even though we know all the same <expletive deleted> people. I’m not always invited. It’s just not fair. 

“Sour in Sandy Springs”
The answer to your non-existent question is that jealousy is a disease. Examine one quality that your friend has and admire him for it as opposed to being bound to him with the sickness of envy.

Dear Deven: What is the best way to decline an invitation? 
“Backing out in Brookhaven”

You say, “It’s simply impossible.” You aren’t lying.

Dear Deven: What’s the proper way to let dinner guests know they’ve overstayed their welcome and need to head home? 

”Impatient in Ivey”
Be polite yet direct. Offer to walk them to their car or, give them a doggy bag that must be refrigerated or, better yet, come on to them – either they will leave immediately or you will both get a second dessert.

Dear Deven: We want to have an activity after our guests have eaten. Any suggestions? 

“Wondering in Winder”
Have them do the dishes! If you have great friends then activities are just options and not necessities.

Dear Deven: At the end of the day we just want to eat at home and unwind in front of the TV. Is it okay that we never want to go out? 

“Reclining in Roswell”
Move your chairs to the porch – now you are out. Instead of laughing at a TV show you two can laugh at the rest of the world together.

  • REED DAVIS with Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column -March 2016
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Dear Deven:

It took me a long time to grow my beard, and now it’s going out of fashion. Should I cut it off?  

“Bothered in Buckhead”
This is not an all or nothing situation. You have choices: trim it, then cut it into chops, then a mustache, then a mouche, then bare. Or, leave as-is because it will be on-trend again. Face fashion is cyclical.

Dear Deven: 

How can I stop my pants from creasing in my crotch area?  

“Crumpled in Coweta”
A) Don’t wear linen. B) Don’t sit. C) Don’t wear pants.

Dear Deven:

I like to be comfortable, but my new boyfriend said he was embarrassed when I wore my track pants to the club. Why? 

“Pouting in Peachtree City”
I think you meant to say your soon-to-be EX-boyfriend. Wear your gym clothes in the gym, and buy some party clothes that are comfortable to wear when you entertain or are the entertainment. If you are wearing anything athletic in a club, it better have the word “cup” associated with it.

Dear Deven:

I just noticed I had a wild nose hair. Why am I mortified? 

“Piliferous in Paulding County”
Because you are usually so well groomed that you consider this a “mistake.” It’s not. It’s just “European.” If it really bothers you, consider laser treatment from a professional (as opposed to home lasers).

Dear Deven:

I have nothing to wear.  

“Stark in Stewart”
Clean, repair, replace or alter what you currently have. Or go to a nudist colony and be with others who have nothing to wear.

Dear Deven:

Is there anything really new in fashion? 

“Current in Coweta”
Yes, your perception and appreciation of style and form.

Dear Deven:

I buy my new boyfriend clothes so he fits in, but he doesn’t seem very grateful. What should I do? 

“Mewling in Marietta”
When you met him, did you think, “You are everything I have ever wanted to change!” Is it your job to assimilate him into society? If not, please know that new boyfriends are not new “projects.” Take him as he is (with small refinements) or send him back into the wild.

Dear Deven: 

My husband thought he bought me a great shirt, but he doesn’t seem to know my taste at all.

You know what I am going to ask…  

“Mendacious in Metro ”
Take the shirt back because it’s “the wrong size” <wink>. Pick out something you will actually wear because the store didn’t have your size <wink>. When you wear your new shirt to a party, tell friends your hubby got it for you <wink>. A relationship based on half-truths is a whole lot of fun.

  • Deven Green
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - February 2016
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Dear Deven: 

I am dating an older man. Anything I should be aware of? 

“Coddled in Cobb”
Yes, your Daddy issue trumps your Oedipus Complex! You attract what you need to conquer, and it’s usually something that you never mastered in your childhood. Try not to completely use others for your own therapy.

Dear Deven: 

I have no motivation to clean up my place. Will you light a fire under me? 

“Burning in Buford”
Throw money at this problem by hiring a maid. I sense your place is cluttered, which is a direct reflection of where your mind is. Pick up one object right now. If you have used it in the past year put it down – it may stay. Keep what you need and let the rest go.

Dear Deven: 

I’m really into rich men, but I hate accompanying them on business trips. 

What should I do? 

“Tripping in Thomaston”
If you don’t want to be seen as arm candy, consider creating your own life and stop complaining about relying on the “kindness of strangers.” At least work on a skill so you have a fall back plan when this one expires. I’ve got it! Have these rich men pay for your education.

Dear Deven: 

I want to kiss my partner in public.  Is that so wrong? 

“Did It in Dunwoody”
You don’t want my opinion, you want to be “right.” My answer will only serve to feed your power control issues. A clever man can make even the simplest of touches titillating.

Dear Deven: 

I think there is a guy at work that likes me. Can I ask him if he is gay? 

“Occupied in Old Fourth Ward”
Take out your big magnifying glass and search for clues. No you cannot ask him! Work on a great professional relationship and chill out on being an office predator.

Dear Deven: 

My straight friends always want to give me dating advice even though they know I’m gay.

How can I tell them to stop? 

“Arrested in Alpharetta”
Be thankful that they care at all about your hook-ups. Does it matter what their sexual orientation is? As an example, I don’t take financial advice from people who make less money than I do no matter whom they sleep with. Check the source.

Dear Deven: 

I never get a full night’s sleep when someone else is in bed. Is this common? 

“Dozing in Doraville”
Yes, it is common when your mind is in overdrive. Lay there and think of one beautiful moment you are thankful for in your life. Close your eyes and be grateful. You may actually go back to sleep with a smile on your face. Then, when you wake up, you can figure out where the hell you are and get on home.

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - January 2016
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Dear Deven:

Would it be rude if I was intimate with my boyfriend in public for his Valentine’s Day present?  “Randy in Roswell”
It would be rude if I was intimate with him! Talk dirty in public, and take it out on each other when you get home.

Dear Deven: 

I want to throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party with all my other friends who are alone to fight society’s expectations of couplings and devalue this made up corporate holiday.

“Heartless (ironically) in the Heartland”
Thank you for the run-on sentence. Society never asked you to buy a card, and there is no punishment if you don’t. The real issue is your anger against couples. Have a “singles” party for you, not against them.

Dear Deven: 

My relationship is almost over.  Is it wrong to break up on Valentine’s Day?  

“Heart of Stone Mountain”
Do it privately so you don’t ruin the day for others. Or, conversely, do it publicly so everyone is thankful they are with someone kind. Is there any perfect time to break up? No, just more appropriate times.

Dear Deven: 

Do you love me?  

“Muddled in Midtown”
Can you receive love? If so, then it is there for you to embrace. It’s easy to love someone.  The trick is to truly like them.

Dear Deven: 

We would like to invite someone else into our relationship. How do we do that?  

“Werking it in Winder”
With words and cash, my dear! I love that you two are on the same page. Pick the third person from outside your circle of friends. Limit any social contact so (s)he doesn’t emotionally come between you two. Keep it recreational, fun and safe.

Dear Deven: 

I’m in a long-term relationship, and I have run out of Valentine gift ideas. Do you have any?  

“Idea-free in Inman Park”
Propose.

Dear Deven: 

We want to get married next year on Valentine’s Day. Both of our families will be there. How can we acknowledge them best?

“Happy in Hapeville”
I am an Officiant / Celebrant, and will share with you what I say about parents in the ceremonies I perform: “Most parents have one simple agenda when their children are born, and that is they want them to be happy.” I then ask both gentlemen if they are happy – They respond in the affirmative. – Then I say, “Your parents have won. They have successfully raised two smart, creative, articulate, happy men.”

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Dec. 2015
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Dear Deven:

I’m an Aquarian, what is my horoscope?  

“Watery in Washington”

Do you feel that all the people in the world fit into 12 generalized categories? You tell this month what it will be, not the other way around.

Dear Deven:

I tried to quit smoking, but when I go out and drink I smoke. What to do?  

“Inhaling in Indian Springs”

Go out to places such as a park, running track, dog run, etc. where they don’t serve booze. Fill your mouth with something else to relieve that oral fixation. When you are ready to quit, you will completely quit.  No one can change your mind until you do.

Dear Deven:

I have breakfast with my friends at the same cafe every morning. Is it okay to try the place across the street?  

“Chewing in Chattanooga”

You are allowed to cheat on your waiter. You are allowed to eat anywhere you wish. Only you are placing emotional obligations on this scenario. In your childhood, you were punished for something of this nature and now your deep misplaced attachments are ruling you . . . I presume. You are allowed to walk away and walk back in again.

Dear Deven:

I want to feel like a “good person.” What can I do to make me seem kind-hearted?  “Reaching in Regina”

I appreciate your desire to be a human being. You want OTHERS to notice how kind you are, so your motivation will always be transparent and you won’t get the wanted results. Find a cause that actually resonates with you such as volunteering. It may take a couple of tries to find the right fit for your sensibilities, but when you do, you won’t need to tell everyone how good you are because you just will be.

Dear Deven:

I’m gay and I love to gossip! Is that sooooo bad?  

“Tattling in Toledo”

Thank you for coming out. You gossip to provide the illusion of closeness by revealing something you shouldn’t to others. If someone you trusted kept quiet about your particulars, maybe you should extend that same courtesy if it’s asked of you. The only harm is to you, since your reputation will be sullied. Gossip about yourself or talk less about others, dear.

Dear Deven:

I honestly feel like I am blending in with everyone else since we all shop at the same places and have the same aesthetic, same skin regime. How can I be different?  

“Heterogeneous in Homer”

We all fall into some generalized categories, but you, in your desire to fit in, lost yourself. Create your own identity in the group by personalizing one thing – such as your shoes. Have a diverse interest which requires you to look, feel, sound and be different; then you have fulfilled your want to be you, and still maintained the safety of your group.

Dear Deven:  

I let Jesus into my heart but I let another man into my bed. Do you think He’ll be upset?  

“Jacked”

Tell him that you and Jesus have an open relationship.

Dear Deven: When does it get better?  

“Yearning in Yonkers”

When you get easier.

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Nov. 2015
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Dear Deven:

I just don’t look good in the new Fall fashions.  

“Verklempt in Versace”

I disagree. Very few people can carry off ostentatious as seamlessly as you can. If you get called out on it, just reply: “Fall? I am wearing Spring, for I always dress several seasons ahead. You should too!” Remember, the best fashion is a face full of fashion.

Dear Deven:

I am a bit shy in social gatherings. Any advice on how to get over my anxiety? 

“Anonymous”

Two words: Vintage Banter. Memorize classic lines from seminal TV shows and films so you can quote them by heart. You will instantly connect with any group mostly because you are not talking about yourself but simply revealing what great taste you have. Trust me, I quote myself all the time!

Dear Deven:

Help! My friends have started treating me differently after I said I didn’t like pumpkin!!

“Peter Peter in Poughkeepsie”

They are “pumpkin shaming” you, dear. Next time, keep your piehole closed until the season finishes and eggnog shaming begins.

Dear Deven:

My boyfriend cheated on me. What do I do? 

“Faithful in Fresno”

Shocking! People are loyal until they are not. Look after your own loyalty. The door is now open for you to consider other prospects and/or benefactors to ensure that you have some place to go this holiday season.

Dear Deven: I have friends that revel in seasonal home décor. I hate it. How do I feign interest? 

“Going Baroque in Barstow”

I’m sure you have faked it before. Interject with these types of words whenever there is a pause in conversation:
“Rococo,” “Mid-Century Modern,” “matchy-matchy,” “chaise-lounge,” “stool,” and “minimal” (which is the new “basic”).

Dear Deven: I am feeling puffy. What should I do? 

“Frumpy in Florida”

I just came back from performing at the Gay Naturists – yes, everyone was male and nude (except me). Your body image is only under a magnifying glass by you. No one else really cares because they are too busy looking in their own mirror. Get a better mirror.

  • DEVEN GREEN
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  • Deven Green Advice Column - Oct. 2015
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Dear Deven:

I can’t stop eating! Help!  

“Mouthy in Montessori”

The first Thanksgiving lasted four days. Since I consider your mouth a vacuum, you are simply upholding tradition. Give your mouth some boundaries or have the fun challenge of losing five unwanted pounds.

Dear Deven:

I fly home for the holidays but don’t have much to talk to my family about so there are long periods of silence. What am I to do?

“Hushed in Hannibal”

Ask your relatives questions because everyone LOVES to talk about themselves, and it emits a facade that you care. Invite local friends to the table so you have an alliance; or go straight to the kids’ table! You will look like a hero keeping the youth entertained.

Dear Deven:

I don’t have much money and would like to bring something to the suppers I am invited to. Suggestions? “Cashless in Calhoun”

It’s rude to show up empty handed. Your hosts care about the SPIRIT of your offering. Bring Jell-O ($1) in a fancy mold ($1.50). String ($1) some maize ($4) into a bundle. Write a thoughtful and thankful note (free) for your host.

Dear Deven:

I receive dolls for gifts because I have a huge doll collection. How do I introduce my new guy to this part of me? 

“Raggedy in Richmond”

One at a time.

Dear Deven: 

I find it’s hard to make friends with men without them immediately wanting a long-term relationship or a quick fling. What’s a guy to do?

“Oblivious in Ohio”

I suggest you do them all since you never know how long this winning streak will last. Dear, you don’t really want a relationship since you are the one who is unavailable to them. Spray a different type pheromone to attract a different type of man, and then go home by yourself. I will see you in the friend zone.

Dear Deven:

I want my friends to pool their money together so I get what I specifically want for Christmas. How do I broach that subject?

“Necessary in Norwood”

You aren’t high maintenance at all! I rounded up all your friends, and we decided to give you a photograph with all of us together. That visual memory is the best gift for someone who is as ungrateful as you are. Now, smarten up. Take what you are given. Say, “Thank You,” and re-gift it like everyone else.

Dear Deven:

I’m down emotionally this time of year. How do I get out of this hole? 

“Sighing in Cincinnati”

I’m not a parent, doctor, or therapist, but, as your friend, I want you to know that you are not alone. Take my hand and listen: Extend yourself to others by writing an actual letter, helping in a soup kitchen, petting animals, reading to seniors, or anything to take the focus off of yourself. Most importantly, go see comedy in any form (online or real life) – it will always connect you with others.