mummybear

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Strap yourselves in folks — preferably with a silk scarf or something comfortable — because this mailbag is a wide-ranging cornucopia of heartbreak and hard decisions. I hope you enjoy it.

Got a question for the mailbag? Email us by Wednesday night, and we’ll try to include your letter.

Dear KSK,
Fantasy first: Let’s talk bye week strategies, specifically for fantasy teams with multiple players on the same bye week. I’m currently 4-2 in a standard H2H 14 team league with a short 3 person bench.

That is goddamn insane.

My kickass roster is just that, kickass (Brees, Gordon, VJax, Wayne, Rice & Richardson as starters with Gronk, Colston & Zac Stacy on my bench), except for bye weeks fucking me over the next 2 weeks. I have to find replacements for QB this week and TWO running backs next week (Rice & Richardson both on bye week 8). I feel ok dropping Stacy for a bye-week QB fill-in (well, dropping my kicker first for the qb replacement, then dropping stacy saturday morning for a replacement kicker so no other team can use Stacy this week) but what about next week when both Richardson & Rice are on bye? Do I keep my roster intact and play next week with just one RB, hoping for better times later in the year? Or do I drop one of my excellent WRs for a shitty one week RB rental (Rbs availble on the WW include Jacquizz, Brandon Jacobs, Ryan Mathews, other pieces of shit)? Basically, do I try to win the next two weeks by rostering a full lineup or take my chances and worst case be 4-4 with a stacked lineup going into the 2nd half of the season?

There’s actually a whole fantasy strategy built around aligning as many of your players’ bye weeks as possible, and just posting a big zero the one week where they’re all on bye — the theory being that it’s better to have a full roster every week except one than to have a roster continually weakened by byes. It seems a little impractical given the fluid nature of drafts, but I like the principle.

Keep your lineup intact. All you have to do is make the playoffs.

Sex: My girlfiend has hinted over the past few months of her interest in bondage/being tied up during sex. I have NO experience in this.

You have tied a knot before, yes? Then you have SOME experience.

We introduced some soft neck ties this past weekend that were used to tie her legs to the bed so they were spread open and her hands tied together above her head. It was fun for a few moments but eventually just made everything more difficult (hard to switch positions, she couldn’t move herself down the bed to be more comfortable, maneuvering was difficult with ropes in the way). Any advice for a bondage newbie?
Majestic Rybear

Don’t tie her legs down; you need those to move around a bit for your mutual enjoyment. I would recommend binding her wrists together at the headboard, which keeps her restrained but still allows for some changes of position. It might also help to peruse the fetish section of the Museum of Sex’s online store, which has affordable products that can (A) make the bondage easier and more comfortable, and (B) give you some ideas beyond “Uhh, guess I’ll tie you to the bed?”

And a final thought on the matter: I’m no expert in BDSM, but I believe it will be more fun and sexier if you’re more confident in the dominant role. Your girlfriend wouldn’t have suggested being tied up if she didn’t want to play the submissive, so take charge of the situation and tie her up the way YOU want to tie her up (within reason, of course).

**********

Dear KSK,
Fantasy first I guess; picked up Terrance Williams since I’m short a WR with Rowdy Randy Cobb out.

I have never heard him called “Randy Cobb” before. Great porn name.

Was also offered Brady and Fitz for my Romo/T Rich/Sproles. Non-ppr, and I’d still have McCoy/Knowshon/Mathews as my RBs. Thoughts?

So you give up an awesome fantasy QB and two effective running backs, and in return you get two of the biggest fantasy disappointments of 2013? Pass.

Relationship. Been dating my girlfriend for 7 years, since the end of college. Other than the long-distance spell years ago, have never had any complaints. We almost never fight, make each other laugh, have sex pretty regularly, she’s my best friend etc. Perhaps the best thing is that she’s always been crazy about me. I probably waited too long to get down to business about proposing, despite her not-so-subtle hints over the past year or so. Because it’s been so long, I’d been formulating a plan for proposing in as special a way as possible, was beginning to make those plans, even began to lock something in on Sunday and am beginning to get very excited about marrying the love of my life.

One day later, Monday night, she says we need to talk. Apparently, she needs some space. I am completely blindsided, foundation rocked, feel nothing but those terrible anxiety stomach pains. The gist is that for a few weeks, she hasn’t felt “excited” to be with me like she always had. Admittedly, the sex has probably gotten a bit stale after so long. She doesn’t want to see other people or anything, doesn’t want to break up, still loves me, still thinks she eventually wants to get married — a lot of the platitudes that mean nothing once the initial point has been made. She thinks she’s just having something of a “third-life crisis.” She also hasn’t talked to anyone else about her feelings, since it’s so accepted from our friends and families that everything is rosy, though she now plans to talk to someone. We’ve never really been “in a rut.”

Now, we live together. Two bedrooms, so I’ll sleep in the other room I guess and generally “give her space,” but this isn’t ideal for either of us obviously. Maybe I’ll leave town on the weekend. I have moments where I think maybe this is for the best and we’ll come out stronger on the other side. Mostly I have those heart-sinking moments where I think I’ve lost my favorite thing in the world and can’t help but think that this would have never happened if I’d just pulled the trigger on proposing sooner. Since when has “taking a break” actually worked? I know I should let her have the space she wants but I also don’t want to go down without a fight, so to speak. Thanks for the brief therapy of allowing me to write this, I don’t expect anyone to read it. I don’t know if there’s really a question, I probably just want someone to tell me there’s a chance things will work out.

And a second email:

Brief update a day later. I was probably overdramatic with the wound so fresh. After the initial conversation, we went to bed separately and didn’t talk until the following night. That conversation was much, much better. We both agreed that things have probably gotten a little stale, we’re in a holding pattern and we do need to work, together, on not taking each other for granted. We’re still very committed to the relationship and I think we will be ok. Huzzah for better communication.

Well THAT was anticlimactic.

Just a general note to dudes out there: if you have dated a woman for more than five years, and she drops obvious hints about getting engaged, and you know you want to marry her, FUCKING PROPOSE ALREADY. Like, say what you will about the institution of marriage, but getting engaged is a fantastic way to break out of a sexual rut.

**********

Greetings, Ufford
I’ve got a complicated relationship question, so I’ll start off with football. I am in a 8 team,

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO

1 point ppr league. I’ve got two football questions:

1. Which QB should I play this week? I’ve got Aaron Rodgers vs. CLE and Tony Romo at Philly. I’ve been starting Rodgers every week, but should it be more of a matchup-based decision since Romo has been playing better fantasy-wise through 6 weeks?

Ugh, 8-team league questions. “I’ve got LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Reggie Bush, but I can only start two! Help!”

Rodgers is throwing for more yards per week, but Romo’s 14/3 TD-INT ratio is better than Rodgers’s 10/4. Fantasy-wise, it’s hard to argue that Rodgers is the clear-cut starter. And given the injuries to Green Bay’s WR corps and the matchup against Joe Haden & Co, I think Romo’s the better play. The Eagles D is a sieve.

2. I have three WR spots and a W/R flex spot to fill out of these receivers: Andre Johnson @ KC, Blackmon vs SD, Hakeem Nicks vs MIN, Keenan Allen @ JAX, Vincent Brown @ JAX, and Vincent Jackson @ ATL. Who would you play? I’m leaning towards the first four. I had David Wilson in my flex spot for a few weeks. Ouch.

Start Jackson, Allen, and Blackmon for sure. I have serious doubts about Andre Johnson against the league’s best pass D with a quarterback making his first career start on the road in the World’s Loudest Stadium™. That leaves either Nicks (blech) or Brown (ehhh), neither of whom inspires much confidence, and now maybe I want to bring Johnson back into the discussion.

Here’s how you can talk yourself into any of the remaining three:

  • Johnson: “Keenum will be under pressure, so he’ll go to his first read, and Johnson had a big game against the Seahawks, so he can obviously handle a tough secondary.”
  • Nicks: “He put up 70 yards last week, he just hasn’t gotten into the end zone like Cruz and Randle. That should normalize against a terrible Minnesota defense.”
  • Jackson: “One of the SD receivers HAS to have a big game, and playing both of them is the best way to hedge my bets.”

If it were me, I’d probably play Johnson because he’s the best player of the bunch, but I wouldn’t like it. For more of my Week 7 fantasy thoughts, check out Keepers:

Sex: I am married to a great, beautiful, kind woman. We’ve been married for 3 years, together for two more, we got married when we were 20, and we’ve only ever been with each other.

She has recently been fending off a pair of attractive nice guys that she works with. They have been flirting with her at work, trying to get her to go out on the town with them, and they chat quite a bit via text. Now, up to this point, I’m like “Cool, it’s not just me that finds her attractive and pleasant company.” I’m a pretty relaxed person and I don’t want to be up in her business over her having male friends. I trust her. Then, she told me that they named their band after her.

NOTE: The emailer included a link to one of the band’s songs, which is indie/acoustic emo garbage.

Next, while out at a nice restaurant for our anniversary, she had a few more drinks than usual, and she said that one of the guys made a definite pass at her at a recent work outing, and they’ve made other, less blatant attempts. She said that they get jealous when she shows more attention to one over the other. I’ve met them, so they know she’s married.

I am not sure how to feel about all this.

I know how I’d feel. Murder-y.

I told a few close-ish friends from my work about it. Their consensus was that I should go and lay a beating on them, at least verbally. However, they are mostly a bunch of losers when it comes to relationships, and they have quite a macho mindset. I would turn to my dad who I’m close to, but I don’t want any close friends or family thinking that she is running around on me, or that I don’t trust her.

One reason why I don’t think anything should be made of this is that we both come from a socially conservative background – her family, who she is extremely close to, would crucify her.

If what? If she cheated on you or got a divorce? I assume that’s what you mean.

I think that she has recently discovered that she is attractive (even though I tell her so a dozen times per week), likes the attention, and enjoys being friends with the two of them.

Does her behavior warrant suspicion? What can I do to not appear as a pussy to my friends at work when (if) I tell them that everything’s fine? Do I need to step up my game?
Please advise,
Davoine Shower-Handle

You have no reason to be suspicious. She wouldn’t be telling you that her co-workers are making passes at her if she were interested in them.

GIVEN: the guys hitting on your wife are shitheads. ALSO GIVEN: physical violence opens up all sorts of adult bullshit you don’t want to deal with, such as physical injury, the police, lawsuits, and/or medical bills.

Your best route here isn’t “stepping up your game,” but — typical mailbag advice coming up here — establishing stronger communication with your wife. Talk to her honestly about how this situation makes you feel. If the same things were happening to me, I’d feel violent anger towards the guys, but I’d also feel insecure. Why? Because she obviously hasn’t said, “That’s really inappropriate, and you need to stop.”

I’m sure you’re right: she probably does appreciate a little extra attention from the opposite sex — I think we all do — but her co-workers have crossed the line several times. She needs to put a stop to it — or have HR put a stop to it — out of respect for your feelings.

In the meantime, enroll in the martial arts class of your choice, and let the violent revenge fantasies fuel your training.

**********

Ahoy Captain!
Fantasy: I just don’t know who to start at WR anymore. 2WRs + 1 FLEX (which I’ve been using a WR for, because my other option is CJ2YPC). Standard scoring, no PPR, but we get an extra point for a 40+TD rec, 2 points for a 50+ TD rec, 1 point for a 100-199 rec yds/gm and 2 points for 200+ rec yds/gm.

Stupid. But okay.

My choices are Megatron (v CIN), Jordy Nelson (vs Cleveland), Josh Gordon (@GB), Greg Jennings (@NYG), or Kenbrell Thompkins (@NYJ). I’m leaning towards Nelson/Gordon/Jennings since Megatron is hurting and Jennings is playing the Giants. WHAT DO I DO?

I concur. Once Megatron’s healthy, you can safely play him, Nelson, and Gordon every week.

Sex: My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over 4 years, having lived together for almost 2. For the year and a half or so, she’s talked about how she’s always been a little bi-curious and wants to explore it. I’ve gone back and forth on it, having come to the conclusion that I would be okay with it, as long as I know about it before hand and it doesn’t involve any other guys. She’s pushed back a bit on the ‘alerting me beforehand’ part of it; saying that if she’s going to do it, she wants it to be spontaneous and isn’t going to want seem like she’s asking permission before doing it. I feel like if I am aware that it’s happening as it’s happening, it won’t feel like she’s cheating on me/betraying me. Am I just being an asshole here and subconsciously hoping that if she does come to let me know she’ll invite me along?
Yours truly,
Needs More Moutheyes

First things first: monogamy is monogamy. Some people have open relationships, and if that works for them, great! But you’ve spent the last four years not “exploring” your curiosity for other women (or so I assume) because that would have broken the trust of your relationship. The fact that your girl is  bi-curious or open to a lesbian tryst is moot: if she’s interested in getting orgasms from someone besides you, that changes the dynamic that was firmly established in your relationship when you moved in together. In simplest terms possible: it’s cheating. And if that’s what she needs to explore, then she’s not firmly committed to her relationship with you.

On the other hand, if she’s looking to explore her bisexual feelings in a threesome, that at least takes place in the construct of your relationship (although it needs its own set of ground rules before you go through with it). That would let her explore her feelings without excluding you, which seems like a lot fairer deal for someone who’s committed four years to a relationship.

**********

CC,
Fantasy: should I start Dwayne Bowe (HOU), Bilal Powell (NE), or Mike Wallace (BUF) at the flex? I would prefer not to start Powell, since I’m a Patriots fan. However, if his shoulder holds up, it seems like he’s the best option.

Blech. Bowe’s been useless, and Wallace has been hit or miss. So yeah, I’d say Powell is the best bet, given the injuries on the Pats’ line and Mike Goodson’s ACL/MCL tear. But if you don’t want to go against your team, then Wallace is a perfectly acceptable play — a little too unreliable for my taste, but certainly a nice ceiling.

Sex: Semi-recently (read: over a year ago), a long-term girlfriend (whom I thought I would marry) broke up with me. Now, in retrospect, I realize that I also had misgivings about the relationship and it was not meant to last. I’m also still young (23), so I am now glad that I have the freedom to explore myself. Two questions, though:

1) This girl was the first person I ever loved more than myself (I guess she’s the only person I’ve really loved). I had never felt pride towards a person until she graduated from college. What I’m getting at: despite the fact that I’ve moved on and accepted that this relationship was not going to work, my formerly strong feelings have lingered in a muted fashion. Do feelings for someone whom you truly loved ever completely go away?

I’m sure there are tumultuous relationships or bad break-ups that can provide exceptions, but in general, I’d say that you’ll always retain a fondness for past loves. My wife reads this column, so you’re putting me in a tough spot with the anecdotes, but here goes anyway: since graduating college, I’ve been in love three times. The first two times I ended up heartbroken, and the third time is presently in year #2 of marriage. Do I still have feelings for those exes? Yes, in that I wish them the utmost success and happiness, and that I choose to remember them fondly (rather than dwelling on, say, the months/years of misery they ultimately caused me).

I get the feeling, though, that the “feelings” you refer to are something stronger. Don’t sweat that. Nothing washes away the lingering yearning of lost love by falling in love with someone new. You’ll find a better fit in time.

2) I’ve been out with a number of girls since and have felt very little. In your experience, how long does it take before someone comes along who makes you go, “Whoa?”
Thanks,
/ Dick Joke Here

There’s no hard and fast rule. The palliative I remember from my younger days is half the time the relationship lasted (e.g. an eight-month relationship would take four months to get over). But that’s crap. Some people can get out of a ten-year marriage and slide into a new relationship seamlessly, while I managed to be miserable over a seven-month relationship for something like three years (not recommended).

Just relax and embrace your life as an individual. The more you do that, the sooner you’ll find yourself with someone who can win your love.

**********

Oh Captain my Captain,
How’s it going?

Our government’s broken and a massive asteroid could end life on our planet by 2032. Other than that, pretty good.

FF first: I spent this evening obliterating a league mate with the following trade: His Jeffery and Sproles for my Larry Fitzgerald (and Snelling as fodder), while simultaneously talking him out of Harvin for Sproles from another league mate.

However, I’m now left with a pick’em dilemma this week. Pick 3 from: Welkah (@Indy), Keenan Allen (@Jax), Antonio Brown (vs. Ravens) and Jeffery (@Was). Welkah’s obvious, and Allen’s matchup should be strong… But I rate Jeffery most when Marshall is locked up, which he certainly won’t be in Washington, which is why I’m leaning towards Brown. Solid reasoning?

Solid enough. Until Jeffery shows an ability to deliver solid numbers every week, Brown’s the better play.

Sexytime: I wrote in a little while ago, complaining about finding a girlfriend to see to my emotional and bedroom needs while I bust my arse studying a masters degree in the Netherlands. I took your advice and stopped worrying about it so much, and within a week had bedded a fun girl I met at a party a short while prior. Good times.

Another satisfied customer!

However, it quickly became clear that she wanted a little more, and that I did not have the time for that (admittedly, if I was more interested, perhaps I’d have found more time). I don’t want to be a bad guy so said as much, and she agreed: she liked me but didn’t think I had the time for her – however, she felt the sex was so good (and it is) she didn’t want to give it up.

its_a_trap

I understand the trap-laden path that this is, and am very cautious. I haven’t slept with her again since, though this is 60% a lack of time to even consider it. However, the option is definitely still there. Should I continue to keep my distance, or take her at face value and continue to indulge in weekly romps? The safe play is not to, I know, but I have my wants and needs and lack of responsibility (yay being 22 and living in another country)… And my other options (seriously, your advice made me relax about the issue and suddenly everything went much better!) involve a girl at work or the best friend of one of my closest girl-friends (as in, future room mate when we join the real world), both of which are similarly pitfall ridden. I’d love your thoughts.
Vriendelijk groeten,
AnEnglishmanInNL

You’re young, she’s Dutch, and the sex is good. Enjoy it. There will come a time when her feelings will make the continuation of your casual hook-ups impossible, but that doesn’t mean you two shouldn’t have sex NOW. I say go for it.

p.s. You worry too much. Save it for when you’re in the real world.

**********

Greetings Counsel,
Fantasy: Injuries have pretty much decimated my team and I’m off to a 1-5 start. I lead the league in Points Against, and I’m dead last in Points For. Did I mention this is a money league? And the buy in was three figures? Why do I even do this shit?

It makes Thursday Night Football watchable.

At what point do you consider throwing in the towel? Have you ever been able to turn your season around from a hole this deep? Did I mention this was a money league? …. FML.

I have never had a hole that deep, but given your points-for ranking, it seems unlikely you’ll turn this season around. Still, I would always rather work the waivers and make some trades to field my best team than just throw in the towel, especially if it’s a keeper league where you can try to stock some players for next year.

Sex: My question is a little complex but I’ll be brief since I know you work hard and appreciate brevity. My girlfriend of two 1/2 years just told me she’s carrying a Mini-Me. I’m 27, she’s 21.

Oof, that’s a dagger I know too well.

While the news is certainly surprising, I’m on board with the idea of spending the rest of my life with her (I had actually been thinking about popping the question recently, was already looking at rings.) I have a decent job, a big enough place to live for the three of us, and I while I wish I had a little more time before possibly becoming a dad, i figure that if I was ready for marriage, we may as well throw in the kid too. Life just kinda dealt us this hand, ya know?

That’s a very mature position, and I commend you for it.

But, she’s not so sure having a kid is the best idea. She says she sees kids in our future, just not right now. She has goals and aspirations, things that I really respect about her and she’s rightfully tentative about having a kid. She’s really leaning towards having a shimorshion. I’m all for a woman’s right to choose and I certainly cant stop her. But I kind of want to. She doesn’t know that I was planning on proposing and under regular circumstances, I think she would’ve said yes. But now I think that if I ask her to marry me right now (like I was planning to do anyway) she’ll probably keep it. I could get what I want this way, but I certainly don’t want her waking up one morning resenting me or feeling like I forced her into motherhood by proposing. But to be clear, kid or no kid, I’m asking this woman to be my wife. However, I want her to offer her space to make her choice about the baby free of any strings or mitigating pressures.

So my question is this: should I wait to pop the question until after she decides if she wants to keep it? Would I be a bad person if I ask her knowing it would sway her decision about the kid?
-Down With Coathangers

Now is not the time to keep your cards close to your vest; that sperm-ship has sailed. You need to give her as much information as possible to make an informed decision about her future.

You don’t have to propose to her, just say, “Listen, we’ve been going through a lot, but I want you to know that before this even happened, I had already made up my mind that you’re the one I want to spend my life with. I already know that I want to have kids with you, and if it happens to be this one, I’d be okay with that. And if you’re dead-set on it not happening now, that’s okay, too, because I’m not going anywhere. I love you and I’m here for you either way, but I just want you to know that you shouldn’t feel pressured one way or the other.”

Get all that shit out in the open, THEN you can start facing life’s painful decisions together. And trust that no matter what you choose, you will feel that it was the right thing but harbor some regret. Have the baby, and your lives will be filled with the joy of bringing a new life into the world (bonus: being young parents means getting the kids out of the house before you’re super-old) — but you’ll still wonder what life might have been like with some more freedom. Get the abortion, and you can embrace that freedom by traveling the world and spending money frivolously on romantic dinners and good wine. But when you eventually have kids — or if, heaven forbid, you break up — you’ll wonder, “What if…?”

And that’s just life, man. “Life’s a bitch.” “Life’s not fair.” They’re not just clichés you say when something goes wrong. They’re essential truths to the fact that life is a real motherfucker. The best way to handle it is to find someone you love and trust, and try to face it together.