Punchy AdviceArchives

July 1, 1995

Sophia asks Punjabi:
Punjabi, I have a boyfriend whose parents are from India. I am from a Northern European background. How do I get his mother to like me?
Punjabi Punjabi answers:
Here are some general guidelines:
  1. Take off your shoes when entering the home.
  2. Be conservative in dress and speech.
  3. Don't talk too much. Let the mother do the talking. Be a good listener.
  4. Bringing flowers would be a nice gesture
  5. Assist the mother -- offer help around the kitchen, washing dishes, etc.
  6. At the table and in other 'sharing' situations, offer to the mother first before taking for yourself, then take just enough food to get started. Do not begin with the quantity you think you want to eat for the whole meal.
  7. Be extremely helpful and humble.
  8. And most importantly: don't pretend to like sitar music.
Sophia, I'm sure you will do fine. May I say you must be a wonderful woman to show this concern. Your boyfriend is a very lucky man.

Bradley Bradley writes:
Dear Punchy Gang: I am having the best time, but I'm planning to start home this weekend.

I had this brilliant plan, if I do say so myself. I got a Calgary phone book and started calling all the people with a last name beginning with "T" and a first name of "Sarah" or initial "S". I identified myself as an employee of the service provider, inquiring about the bill for her "saraht" account. I got over halfway through the listings, and didn't find her, and suddenly I thought: "Why am I doing this? Why am I going to all this trouble for a woman that doesn't want me? Where is my self-esteem, anyway?

So I took myself out to lunch again, and met this wonderful woman who makes her living giving rides in a hot air balloon. She took me up at sunset. He-he-he!

"Flower Child" asks Punjabi:
I enjoy "experimenting." Back in my day we could basically "tune in, turn on, and drop out." How can I bring about peace, love, and happiness to the world without having the police banging down my door? Thanks for your advice. Peace and Love.
Punjabi Punjabi answers:
My friend, I find peace in turning off the television, planting my garden, and taking long hikes in the hills. I find love in the flight of the birds, the multitude of colors that speckle the hills, and in opening my heart to others.

It is perhaps characteristically American doublespeak to say you want one thing — peace and love — when it seems you are really looking for another — an isolating, temporary, and artificial euphoria. Clarify what you are searching for, then good luck.

Kelsey says she needs another day in bed.

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