Ask Michael Cohan

Mimi ON Aug 04, 2010 AT 11:44 am

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

By Michael Cohen

I’ve been dating this guy for a few weeks and it’s amazing summer lovin’. This weekend, we are heading out on our first romantic getaway to Cape Cod and–you may laugh–but all I can think about is ‘how am I going to use the restroom?’ Seriously, I’ve always been sheepish on the topic of bowel release and now I have worked myself into such a state that everything about sharing a hotel room with my paramour is freaking me out. Tell me, what should I do because this could literally hold me back?

Name Withheld, Boston, MA

Honey, don’t hesitate. Start packing your bags and GO! There are remedies for your, uh, bowel dysfunction. So stop worrying.

I hear what you’re saying, it can be awfully strange–and weirdly, more intimate than sex–to actually go away and share a room with the object of your affection because, of course, you don’t want him to think you go to the bathroom just like everyone else. Problem is: you do.

There are though, only two options. The first: utilize bathrooms everywhere else–the lobby is a perfect example of a great “number-two pit stop”. Ok, it may have you running up and down in the elevator at odd times, not to mention having to make up convoluted stories to explain said disappearances, but albeit. Worst case scenario, your lover will just think you’re a tad crazy. Either that or he’ll bust you on your potty-time masquerade.

However, I personally think you should go for option number two: step up to the bowl and use your room’s designated bathroom for what nature intended. Make a joke of it if it makes you feel better and declare ‘you need some private time.” It’s understood. Just take precaution. The old strike-a-match trick is always a smart choice to eradicate the smell. And simply line the bowl with toilet paper to absorb sounds (not too much, you don’t want to add insult to injury with a clogged loo). Just don’t try and “mask the movement” with a hot shower–there’s nothing worse than a door opening only to give way to the smell of soap and steamy poop.

My wife and I recently stayed the weekend at my parents’ house in the Hamptons. It was a really wonderful weekend except that my parents know no boundaries. Meaning, when my wife and I were sleeping my mother would do the double-knock and–before hearing a reply–would open the door and announce that breakfast was on the table. I feel it’s a total invasion of our privacy but I don’t want to upset my mother. How do I get her to respect our space even though we are staying in her house?

David A, New York City

Tell your mom “when the sock is on the door, come back after lunch.” No, seriously. How old are you? At age 13, your mom should stop barging into your room with little more than a knock. (I guess she never caught you masturbating, eh?)

In short, you just need to set some boundaries. In all fairness to your mother, she’s probably quite happy to have you and your wife as guests but amidst the excitement she has forgotten that you’re an adult and there is a grown woman in your bed… who is your wife.

With that said, you need to pull your mom aside and give her a lesson in Privacy101. Simply explain that although you are her guests, you are a grown man that does grown things and–yes, scare her (just a little)–tell her next time she may see some things that she may not want to see. I think she’ll get the point.

I just started a new job that I’m really excited about. I love the company, the people are great and it really is my dream job. The thing is, I really don’t like to mix work and pleasure. I don’t want to answer questions about my spouse, friends and what I do on the weekends. I usually turn down drinks with colleagues after work, and I definitely don’t do work lunches unless they are business. People already think I’m a bitch but I’m not. So the question is: how do I maintain privacy without getting a bad rap?

Louise B, Chicago

Get the stick out of you’re a*ss. Seriously. You sound like Bipolar Betty meets Debbie Downer on a really bad day. On the one hand you love your new dream job and on the other you’re behaving like a person with so much to hide. You’re very confusing. But let’s take a stab at sorting out this mess.

An executive like you is probably spending as much time with co-workers as at home. So, with that said, I think you will be happier if you make some changes that might have you faux-socializing with–gasp-your coworkers.

Here’s what I suggest. Try lunch once a week with one or two people from the office and do it on Fridays when (maybe?) you can be more relaxed. You really don’t have to say much and there’s no reason to talk about anything personal. But be pleasant. Instead, discuss mundane and banal things such as the incredible food at Table Fifty-Two, or what happened on last week’s Real Housewives (when are they going to make a Chicago edition?!). There is always something to talk about–just know when to hold them and fold them.

Submit your questions about advice from your heels to your home on my website or in the comments section here.

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