Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: racial jokes can really hurt

RACIAL “JOKES” can really hurt, regardless of the teller’s intent.

Dear Marilyn,

This is a bit of a touchy subject, and I really need some advice. I live in a house with three roommates.

I had a few friends over, and we were hanging around, talking and joking around. One of my friends told a racist joke.   It really was “without malice” as he was just kidding. One of my roommates just happens to be black. He walked in just at the wrong moment.

He didn’t take it well. He knows that I am not a racist, but he is still not speaking to me. He saw me laughing at the joke. He definitely doesn’t want this group of friends over any more.  I really don’t know what to do. Should I just wait it out, and say nothing? Or, should I say something to him?  I really am sorry that this happened.

Signed, Roommate

Dear Roommate,

   You really need to talk to him. Don’t wait it out. Tell him that you are very sorry for the incident. He has a valid reason for not wanting these guys to come over to your house. Let him know that you understand, and that you won’t be inviting them over.

   He’s also probably very disappointed in you. Even though you weren’t the one that told the joke, you were laughing. You didn’t point out to your buddy at the time that the joke was really not funny, and that you have a good friend that certainly wouldn’t see any humor in it. Had you done that, your roommate probably wouldn’t be so angry.

   Hopefully he will accept your apology. However, be sure and learn from this situation. Never laugh at another person’s expense. It’s just not funny, it’s unkind, and it can be so very hurtful.

Dear Marilyn,

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year now. We have entered into a “comfortable zone.” Things are not bad between us. They are just kind of boring. I can’t help but miss the excitement that we used to share.

Is this the way it will always be? Or, is there any way to have a passionate relationship past the initial “honeymoon” phase?Do most people run out of things to talk about, and spend their evenings watching TV or surfing the net?

Signed, Bored Stiff

Dear Bored Stiff,

   Some people do run out of things to talk about, but most happy couples still have plenty of things to say to each other. There are a couple of ways for you to approach this situation. The first one is to consider that nothing is going to change without communication between the two of you.

   It is very possible that your boyfriend is perfectly happy with things the way that they are. He may not realize that you would rather do other things besides watch TV and surf the net.  There are a lot of folks that very much enjoy those activities after a long hard day at work. He may be one of them.

   As for the passion, you will want to talk to him about that as well. Once again, he may be very content with things as they are. He may not realize that you are so bored with your life. The next thing you need to consider is if your boyfriend is really the guy for you. You may want someone who likes to go places and do things, rather than stay at home.

   Since you are feeling bored, you may not be ideally suited for each other. But consider a few things before you make your final decision. Is he kind to you? Does he care about you? Does he treat you as a person of value and worth? Is he financially wise?

   If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then just remember that a great relationship is one that has those things. You will have to decide if the feelings of boredom outweigh the fact that he is a really good guy.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to Remember to include “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.

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