Letters to Darika from her readers who need advice

Question of the Day

Dear Darika,

I need your advice. I have been living with my boy friend for seven years. He and his family are not on speaking terms, and I have never met his parents. Nevertheless his mother has taken to sending me presents once or twice a year for no obvious reason. I don't like her taste and want to throw away everything that she gives me, on top of that I hate having to write thank you notes for things that simply clutter my house. My boy friend suspects that she does it out of spite to upset him. How can I stop her sending me presents?

Dear Cluttered,

Since people do not often send Darika anything except their miserable problems I have to admit that I am a bit jealous that you get regular gifts from a stranger. What motivates your friend's mother is a mystery. Although nobody is on speaking terms she will always be his mother and her gifts may be her way of rewarding you for taking care of her boy. Or she could just be a miserable manipulative bitch who has embarked on a life-long mission to clutter your life with her dreadful junk. You are only encouraging her by sending thank-you notes. I suggest you find something truly hideous to send her like fake vomit, or an autographed photo of Darika. Or you could just get rid of the boyfriend. That would do the trick. If you have been with him for seven years it's probably time for a change anyway. Let me know where to send the photo.

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Dear Darika:

Every month we "your loyal readers" look forward to your insightful columns. Your wisdom and sound counsel are second to none.

But what about you, Darika? What are your fantasies and how do you achieve them? What are your fetishes? Do you still visit places where people wear towels? Do you still frequent go-go bars to acquire real flesh? Do you still hang around male restrooms late at night to solicit blow jobs? How old are you? And can you still get it up?

These are the questions that we demand answers to. Go on, Darika. Let it all out.


Gentle Reader

Thank you. Darika is blushing. Actually, I have a real job. I am a Stanford MBA who runs a company with operations in nine countries. Stanford MBAs do not have fantasies. (We have objectives.) I work 14/7, am a trained chef, a prolific author, a pilot for almost five decades, and somewhat involved in technology and television. I bake every weekend. I am single and love it. I have never hung around toilets and have never been to Lumpini Park after dark. I take friends (most often women) to go-go shows when they visit from abroad, but never on my own. Booooring. I occasionally wear a towel around the house. Normally I prefer be naked. I'm over sixty and, sadly, fully functional. There seems to be more "flesh" than I really need ringing my door bell when I least expect or want it.

If you do not know Darika's fetishes by now (taxi drivers, policemen in uniform, and expensive plus-size lingerie) you have not been reading my advice very carefully. Please do not annoy me again with your careless punctuation. You and Darika shall never lunch together. Show me your "flesh" and I will tell you if I have any interest.

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Hey Darika,

Have been reading you for a few months now. It seems like there is a contest going on to ask a question that you have not heard before. Haha! Here's mine:

I really love my iPhone. Actually, I only have six apps. What I really love is (a gay social networking app for mobile devices that allows you to find nearby gay men who use the same app, and displays a photo and a brief profile). I am online 24/7. I wake up in the middle of the night and I look through profiles to see who wants to chat. It's the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night and I my eyes and fingers are glued to the phone whenever my boss is not looking. I have only met a couple of guys and they did not work out too well. I need to make some friends. I have only been here for eight months to work and really don't have any.

I am beginning to think that what I am doing is pretty weird, like I am addicted. Is this a problem?


Gentle Soul,

Actually, I was stumped by a question only a few weeks ago from a gentleman who lives abroad. He had just returned home after his first trip to Thailand. He is apparently mature, and while in Pattaya met a lad about a third his age. Then he met the young man's friends. Soon thereafter he returned home, leaving behind his self esteem and all of his money. I was shocked. Surely things like this never happen in the Land of Smiles. I am still trying to formulate an appropriate answer that he will not find any more traumatic than the experience he has already endured.

Darika is quite familiar with the trendy application you enjoy so much. (I chose to delete the name from your letter to make our lawyers happy.) I have an iPhone, too. My favorite app is a Mahjongg game I play while I am in taxis. It distracts me from being tempted to indulge in either violent or seductive behavior with the driver, depending on the circumstances. I have won 1,174 games in a row, which proves that I am not senile yet.

I admit that I occasionally use the app you enjoy. It is full of temptations. However, I have come to learn through personal experience that many of the other users are extremely immature, lacking in social skills, liars, thieves, rude, cruel, or merely arrogant pricks. Although it is meant to help find guys nearby, I have been "found" by young gentlemen in Singapore, KL, Luang Prabang and Hanoi who appreciate mature gentlemen who are built for comfort rather than speed. I have been corresponding with them several times a week for as long as a year. It's fun but not a substitute for friends who I come face to face with when I can.

What concerns me most about social networking apps and websites is that they have become replacements for personal communication. When is the last time you wrote a letter with pen and paper? I personally know dozens of people who use Facebook as their primary or only form of communication with the rest of the world, and have hundreds of "friends" who are nothing more than photos and statistics. All of this technology is depriving us of the opportunity to actually meet people and form personal relationships. You have no friends because your telephone has become safe yet artificial replacement for real people. Actually meeting people who you might enjoy requires effort. You actually have to become a part of society, go out, network, smile, shake hands and occasionally give a stranger a word of kindness.

Are you addicted? If there are not already support groups for people who are obsessed with two-dimensional social networking media there eventually will be. Until then, develop your own strategy to use your app in a healthy way. Block everyone who is headless. Block everyone who you would never, under any circumstances, sleep with. Block everyone who is visiting for a few days. Block everyone whose interest is only "chatting" but not dating or relationships. Block everyone in an open relationship. Block Darika. Do this for at least two weeks, then see who is left and initiate conversations that are more than "Hi." Non-sexual compliments work nicely. Block everyone who does not answer you. After another week if you have not had a reasonably intellectual chat with someone who agrees to meet you or have a phone conversation, send your app into the trash. Get a life. People have been meeting each and forming relationships for thousands of years before you got a telephone to protect you from them.

Why not get some apps like CNN or BBC, the New York Times, the smashing Rolls Royce or Louis Vuitton Trunks apps, and maybe an English/Thai dictionary to help you to make Thai friends. I have a Bangkok traffic app that is so dazzling that it has helped me get into the pants of at least a half a dozen taxi drivers. Otherwise, there's Mahjongg. I dare you to beat my record.

Love, Darika

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Dear Darika,

I had the strangest dream last night. My mom and dad and my Aunt Betty and I were traveling through Montana. I have never been to Montana and father has been dead for 20 years. We went to an odd restaurant with a rusty screen door where I ordered a big steak. Before it was served, two policemen dressed as cowboys handed me a thick stack of papers and said I was under arrest for stealing head stones from cemeteries. What does this really mean?

Dear Dreamer,

I am publishing your question just to prove to my readers how much idiotic crap people send Darika via the modern miracle of email. To tell you the truth, I had exactly the same dream last last night--probably because I finished the huge steak about 15 minutes before I went to bed. Try a salad two hours before bed time and see how that works out. Obviously you have some issues to deal with about your dead father, rusty screen doors and cowboys. Get some help.

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