Dear Jody

No coffee in bed

Q: I have a problem that you may think is not all that important, but it is important to me! I mean that I realize that I'm not living in Lebanon being bombed or in Iraq being threatened by suicide bombers. I know that this is a little thing, but it is an everyday thing and those sorts of things, in my mind, add up.

I guess I need to stop beating around the bush and get to it. My partner, "John," refuses to bring me a cup of coffee in the morning when I'm in bed just trying to wake up. He is up, anyway, as he is getting ready for work. He has made the coffee and even has the nerve to bring his cup of coffee into the bedroom while he's getting ready. I beg and plead with him, but to no avail. He says that if I want coffee I need to get "my ass out of bed and get it!" Those are his exact words, every morning. He doesn't usually speak to me like that.

I think that he is being rude, unloving and lazy. Here he has a chance, with little effort involved, to show me that he loves me. I mean, what does it take to bring a person -- whom you say you love -- a cup of coffee in the morning?

It is especially upsetting because I lost my job five months ago and have felt pretty depressed since then. I sure could use a little TLC! This wasn't an issue when I was working because we both got up at the same time. Why do you think that a man who says he loves me would refuse to do a simple thing like bring me a cup of coffee?

No Joe, No Go

A: You have told me so little about your relationship that I have very little to go on. However, it wouldn't surprise me if John would like to see you get out of bed and look for work, and that's his way of telling you. Whatever the reason, I don't think that "bringing you coffee in bed" is the real issue. Hopefully, you and he will seek help to learn to communicate more openly. Otherwise, your relationship is pretty well doomed.

Son won't settle down

Q: I'm a father of a gay son. He has told me that I could write to you, so that's what I am doing, and that he would read your response. I have been very supportive of "Rick." Unlike many dads, I am OK with his being gay. I know that that is just who he is.

My problem is that he seems to have too many boyfriends. He's 26 and still plays the field. I think that it is time for him to settle down with one man. He keeps bringing home all these different guys. I guess that I'm also afraid of him getting AIDS. If he would just settle down, that would not be such a concern for me. Rick says that he always practices safe sex, but I still worry about him because nothing is fool proof.

Rick is a good guy and I'm proud of him. He has a good job and is very responsible in all other ways, just this one thing upsets me. How do I get him to see that he needs to settle down with one man?

Worried Dad

A: My guess is that if AIDS weren't out there in the world, you would not be concerned about a young man of 26 who is still "playing the field." Twenty-six is young these days as far as settling down is concerned, so Rick is pretty normal in his behavior of dating different guys. Besides, my guess is that he hasn't found the right guy yet! I think you have to trust Rick that he is being sexually responsible and hope for the best. Rick can't run his life to make you feel better, even though I sure understand you're concerned for your son. Letting go of our children is hard. I do want to say that you sound like a great dad and Rick is lucky to have you for his dad!

Have a problem? Send your letters to: "Dear Jody," c/o Between The Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail:

(Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The "Dear Jody" column appears weekly.)

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