Advice by Pepper Mackay

Sagebrush, Nov. 3, 2000

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Dear Pepper,

My parents are trying to control my life, even though I went to college to escape them. How can I get them to back off?

-Stifled in Reno



Dear Stifled,

Don't be fooled by the employment statistics ­ the main reason why people come to college is to get their parents off their back. Why else did everyone you know from high school in Vegas come to the University of Nevada, even though it's in Reno? Because they hate their parents, as all healthy post-adolescents do. Everyone who stayed at UNLV, well, they'll never really grow up. Just look what they did to that cannon.

There's a lot of good tactics to get your parents off your back. Remember the "eight ways to say no" that you learned back in D.A.R.E. in fifth grade? Well even though they didn't work to keep you off drugs, they can work to help you say "No" when your parents call you everyday.

Here's a quick reminder:

1. Say "No Thanks" : "Thanks, Mom, but I'd rather not talk to you."

2. Give an excuse or a Reason: "Oh, I'd love to talk Dad, but Juniper Hall is on fire."

3. Broken Record: "No Mom. No Mom. Mom, no. Mom, no. No, Mom. No."

4. Walk Away: Say "Hold on one second," and then leave the phone hanging and go to the library.

5. Change the Subject: "Why haven't I called you? Uh... hey, did I tell you I got an A in WT?"

6. Avoid the Situation: Unplug your phone

7. Cold Shoulder: Don't answer your phone

8. Strength in Numbers: "Mom, no one else talks to their parents this much."

Keep at it. It's hard to resist your parents, but there's lots of reasons to. It can get you in trouble, it can make you sick, it can even land you in jail. DARE to avoid your parents, and Just Say No.



Dear Pepper,

I am desperately, heartbreakingly lonely. Everyone around me is getting love and romance, and I'm left alone like some kind of reject. Am I just destined to live my life alone, or is there anything I can do?

-Lonely at UNR



Dear Lonely,

Are you some kind of freak? If you are, then I suggest the Internet as a solution to your problems. It's been the greatest help for freaks to get sex since the invention of alcohol. Nearly every freak I know who has turned to the Internet has found love within a matter of weeks. Well, okay, actually they've found nookie within a matter of weeks, but love within maybe a year or two.

One reason why the Internet works is that, just like a six pack of Keystone, the Internet makes looks a lot less important. But there's more to it than that. The Internet gives you access to millions of people, increasing the chance that you'll meet that one person who is actually weird enough to find you attractive even as you find them attractive.

Sure, there's some pretty scuzzy people on the Internet, but most of them aren't that scuzzy, really. It's just that all those :) smiley faces make your eyes look beady.

All kidding aside, the Internet is highly recommended to those who can't find love in person. Cyber-nookie is better than no nookie at all. Just be careful when meeting strangers in the flesh.

And if you're not a freak, and you're just a normal-thinking, normal-looking person, and you still can't meet someone of the opposite sex, than I advise you to get out of Manzanita Hall more often.