Dear Honey, what do you think?

I’m just a college writer, living and learning every day. Write in your questions/problems, and I’ll give you my take on it. Because sometimes you just need to hear a different perspective.

Dear Honey,
Last year my roommate and I were good, great friends. But now I’m realizing that she’s, well, stupid. I have to dumb myself down constantly with her. She has no concept of basic knowledge, appreciation of deep thought, and NO common sense. How can I tell her nicely to read a book, or else I’m moving out.
-Anonymous

Dear Fed Up with Roommate,

   First off I want to be blunt with you; calling people stupid isn’t cool, especially when those people are friends of yours. Intelligence is all relative. Your roommate may not be up to par with your personal idea of intelligence but there’s no doubt in my mind this person has an area of expertise he or she would be considered smart in. Your roommate managed to get accepted to UMF so he or she can’t be that “stupid,” now can they? You mention you’re tired of “dumbing yourself down” for your roommate’s failure to understand “basic knowledge.” What does dumbing down require? Using shorter words? Talking about simpler thoughts and topics? The first thing you need to do Fed Up is think about what you consider an enjoyable conversation. Is it possible that you and your roommate just have different ideas of what’s fun to talk about?
Telling your roommate she’s not smart enough to live with you shouldn’t be an option, because that’s cruel. Suggesting some of your favorite literature to her/him is one way to expose your roommate to the kind of intelligence you admire in a friend; but, there’s no guarantee they’ll read it.
The end of the line is this: if you feel you’re too smart for your roommate and you can’t appreciate the way he/she thinks, than it’s best to move out. I don’t know your roommate and I don’t know you, but I do know that no one should have a friend who thinks they’re stupid.  To really create meaningful friendships you need to take people for whom they are and love them, flaws and all. If you can’t love your friend for his/her lack of common sense, than you aren’t being a friend. I hope you think hard about the past year, and weigh each memory aside the weight of the current issue. Is it worth losing a friend over? Is this person important enough?
Love, Honey.

Dear Honey,
I don’t drink. How can I convince my friends that I don’t hate them for drinking? They won’t talk about alcohol around me as if I’m going to scold them or if they do, they’re aggressively defensive. I’ve tried talking to them, and they roll their eyes! Help me save my friendships!
-Anonymous

Dear Nondrinker,
Being on the outside is never fun, especially when it’s because you’ve made a personal decision that’s important to you. But trust me, there’s a way back in. Talk, talk, talk to them! I know you said they roll their eyes, but roll yours back. If they’re good friends they’ll realize that keeping you in the dark about their drinking activities just makes you feel left out and that’s not a good feeling. Just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean the sight of alcohol will burn your eyes out. It’s everywhere; how could you avoid it? In college there’s a great deal of parties and drinking, drugs and sex; we’re young and wild and blah de dah. It’s easy to get lost in Thirsty Thursdays and weekend ragers. It’s easy to drink a few beers with friends in a college apartment. Alcohol is easy, unless it’s hard, like most things in life. Tell your friends that the next time they drink you want to hang out with them. Drinking is fun, but so is life. Get intoxicated by the laughter you can’t keep inside, get wasted on a fun night with friends. Watch them progress into the state of stupidity, slurred words, and hilarious anecdotes. You’ll show them that alcohol doesn’t bother you (as long as it’s not in your cup) and that you’re not an outsider, just a person who chooses to have fun without booze.