Guidance Counseling: Ex Hex

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Published  January 2015

antigravity_vol12_issue3_Page_07_Image_0001Mary Timony has built quite a following over two and a half decades as an active, touring musician. Launching her career as a vocalist for Autoclave in 1990, Timony was also part of Green 4, the Spells, and Wild Flag. Her current band, Ex Hex, combines 70s power rock riffs and swagger with modern sensibilities and production; their current album, Rips, is considered far and wide to be one of the best albums of 2014. In Ex Hex, Timony joins forces with vocalist/guitarist Betsy Wright (of Fire Tapes) and drummer Laura Harris (of The Aquarium). The trio makes a stop in New Orleans on January 14th at One Eyed Jacks. We had the chance to speak with Laura and Betsy prior to the start of the tour and they were kind enough to take on our readers’ questions. Take it away, ladies!


 

I came out of the closet early in college and I’ve had a handful of relationships since then, but none have lived up to what I had with my first boyfriend. We were amazing  together and madly in love; the relationship ended because he cheated and I met someone else, but we both know the breakup was impulsive. As I come to my late 30s, I’ve realized that I’m still in love with him. He’s with someone now, but I gather from his Facebook that he’s not all that happy. I want to approach my ex about giving us another shot, but I don’t know how to do this tactfully. Should I pursue a rekindling of our friendship first, or just tell him how I feel?

Laura: Sorry to hear about your heartache—that really is the worst. It’s great that you had real love! There’s nothing like it, right? I guess in my super humble opinion, I would suggest that you stop looking at his Facebook page (impossible, I know) and ask yourself if you still feel that way about him, or are just fondly remembering a time in your life when you did something as cool as coming out and falling in love. I know that sometimes I confuse nostalgia for a past relationship with nostalgia for my cooler younger self, you know? That being said, if you really feel like you won’t be able to go on without knowing for sure, then I guess I would encourage you to reach out in a friendly way. Social media is deceiving and, for all you know, this guy could be bummed about something else. Or he could just be a cheese ball that cries on Facebook  and you are too good for him. Suss it out, I guess—with absolutely no expectations, if that’s possible.

 

My fiancée and I have been together for close to 5 years. When she asked me to marry her last year, I was initially elated and we jumped immediately into living together and planning the wedding for next summer. Living together has brought out the bickerer in both of us, and it’s getting so bad that I’ve started to have strong reservations about marrying her. She’s determined to power through what she thinks is just a “phase” in our relationship, and she dismisses my concerns as pre-wedding jitters. I love my fiancée but I really need to know that she takes my apprehension seriously, and I need to know that we can work past all the fighting before we take our vows. How can I make her understand what I need?

Laura: Oh man, classic! I don’t know where I stand as far as marriage goes nowadays. What if you put the wedding off? Sit tight for a few months. Living together is hard; marriage is hard. Live together for a while without the ominous wedding hanging over your heads. Share the bills and laundry etc. before you feel like you have to let your whole family in on it. I do love weddings and I am a HOPELESS romantic, but sometimes that’s all it is: a great big wedding. I bet you guys will be able to think a little more clearly about what the both of you want/ need without this deadline.

 

My partner and I have both been 4:20 friendly since we’ve been together (about 4 years). We recently found out that she’s pregnant (yay!), hence, she’s giving up the herb. She wants me to give it up as well, but I have to say I’m against it. We are both excited about being parents, and of course I plan to support her and be there and all that. But still, why should I have to give up smoking pot just because she does? If I could have half the baby, I would, but circumstances dictate that she is pregnant and not me. Who’s being irrational here?

Betsy: Dude—give it up! Have some respect for your partner. She’s carrying YOUR BABY for God’s sake! Also, it’s pretty annoying to be in a relationship with someone who’s high all the time when you are not. She’s going to start noticing things about you that are different when you are high, because she won’t be. It will affect the relationship; trust me. Also, show some support, don’t be so selfish! Is it really that hard? You might discover that life isn’t so bad when you aren’t smoking pot all the time. It’s only nine months— soon you can get back to smoking your brains out!

 

I am a male college student, and I spend some of my evenings and off-days tutoring middle and high school students. The level of respect and engagement among my students varies, but most of them see me as another teacher. However, one freshman girl has been a consistent problem: she has a crush on me. When it became clear to her that I would not reciprocate, she confessed her love. I explained that while her feelings were natural, it would of course be inappropriate for her to act on them. It was probably the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had. I have not mentioned her behavior to anyone else because I don’t want to embarrass her further, but she seems downright angry, and frankly, I’m worried about what suspicions may arise if she speaks to someone else about it before I do. Should I notify my tutoring coordinator and the school, possibly subjecting her to more shame than she already has, or spare her feelings and risk the rumor mill?

Laura: Just tell her that it’s inappropriate and that’s it. Stop tutoring her. Never mind her feelings about it. She will get over it. Screw the rumor mill. You didn’t do anything wrong. This kid needs to learn personal boundaries. Tell her that and then leave her alone. Don’t plead your case to anyone; just leave this kid alone.

 

Recently I saw a documentary about Susan Sontag and in it she’s quoted saying “The white race is the cancer of human history.” This put into perspective how I’ve been feeling as a white person lately, which is to say pretty fucking bad, like my very presence is creating havoc and misery in the world. Cancer, at least, is curable. What do you do when you find yourself part of the problem, by way of birth?

Betsy: You have no control over what race you were born into. Self-hatred does nothing good for anyone. Just be the best person you can be and help other people. You don’t have to be a part of the problem just because of the color of your skin! Instead of sitting around feeling guilty about it, get up and take action. Do something helpful for the community or for your friends or for the people in your family. Embrace who you are and spread the love!!!

 

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