Ask Aunty Alex: cat dating and pompom crafts

Got a problem that you just can’t solve? A niggling worry? Some existential angst? 
Never fear. Alex is here to help.  

My dog leaves tufts of fur everywhere. Please help me think of easy ways to keep them cleaned up or craft ideas to use the ‘baby husky’ puffs.
Any craft activity which stipulates pompoms could apply here. Attach the fur-balls to earrings, string them together to make garlands, sew them onto pillowcases. Leave trails of fur-balls from the front door to your living room to help guests find their way. Alternatively you could buy a broom and spend a few minutes each day sweeping the fluff into one corner of your house. Hopefully, over time, this will form a tower of fluff high enough to scale like a mountain.
How do you say “no I don’t want to have coffee with you because you’re a mega douche” nicely?
Mega-douches are only worthy of so much niceness. Sure, you want to be polite because you, unlike them, are not a mega-douche but if necessary I think it’s ok to be a bit blunt. Try the standard “Thanks but no thanks” approach. But if they continue to pester you, it’s ok to be firm and tell them that you’d rather not have coffee and no, that’s probably not going to change.
How can my cat find a cool boyfriend with a really good coat and nice spots?
It seems that, largely, cat dating is a two-for-one deal. But if you’re willing to open your heart to love, then there’s hope for both you and your feline friend. Try this site. Also this one [WARNING: ANNOYING TALKING WOMEN GRAPHIC]. And if Internet Dating isn’t your thing, you can always try old-fashioned methods. Help your cat into something slinky and go and hang around nonchalantly in places where attractive cats are known to frequent. Like jazz clubs.
I have a bunch of books I regard as crap. Is it unethical to donate them and foist them onto unsuspecting Vinnies customers?
People who go to Vinnies in search of quality fiction are doing it wrong. I’ll admit to having stumbled upon some pretty great books at op shops but stumbled is the key word. You don’t approach those shelves expecting to find anything other than dog-eared Mills and Boons and Goosebumps. Far from being unethical, by slinging your crap on the heap you’re merely helping to build the haystack from which the needle-like gems of quality can be excavated.  
Why am I so shit at saving money?
Maybe you should stop buying things? Hide all your cards. Disable the internet. Live purely on a diet of rice. Get huge jars and put all your coins in them. Alternatively you could take up investment banking. Or marry rich. Both of these things should help.
If I’ve got a track record as a generally unreliable person, how can I convince people that I’ve changed and that it’s okay to trust me again?
Be on time. When you say you’ll come to a thing, make sure you do. Remember birthdays. In this case, you might have to prove that you’ve changed. And that might take a while but I think if you’re just quietly persistent then people will start to notice.
How do I explain to a friend that I don’t want to share a house with them (without being a jerk)? #dirtydishes
I’m assuming this friend is already hinting that they’d be keen to share a house with you? In which case I think deflection is your only option. If they bring it up, suggest vaguely that you’re not sure what your plans are. You’ve got a long-lost aunt who’s on her death bed and she might be leaving you a mansion in her will. You’re thinking about moving to Canada to become an au pair. The seas might have risen and drowned us all by the new year, so there’s really no point in planning ahead. Hopefully they’ll get the message.
This is a situation where you might just have to accept that you’ll tread on a few toes. Your friend might feel hurt initially but hopefully they won’t hold this against you for long. Hanging out sometimes and permanently cohabiting are two very different things after all.
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December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year