This Thanksgiving was a little different. My family, which emigrated from the Soviet Union, doesn’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving because, apparently, Squanto never helped any Commies. This year, however, my mom decided to try all those fun things Martha Stewart was showing her on TV. She did really well, despite some Soviet slip-ups. For example, instead of yams, we had beets. Russian people love Chinese food, so instead of cranberry sauce, we had sweet and sour sauce. But most impressive was the turkey, which was stuffed with five progressively smaller turkeys, with the last one revealed not to be a turkey at all, but actually a figurine doll of Vladimir Putin. Thanks, Mom! Submit questions to 

Would-Be Casanova Wonders When to Strike

Dear Igor, 
I met this really cool girl at a party the other night, and she gave me her number! I was so excited, but now I have no idea what to do. Am I supposed to text her or call her, and is it too soon to send a friend request on Facebook? What about following her on Twitter? All my friends are telling me different things, like waiting one day or three days, so I’m feeling completely lost. How do I contact her and let her know I’m interested without coming off as desperate? 
Contact Confusion

Dear Confusion,
Ah, romance. You meet a fine woman at a social gathering, she gives you her digits and off you skip, happy as a clam. But what to do the next morning? Is a call too awkward? Is a text too impersonal? Yes, absolutely yes. What you need to do is forget about all this fancy pants technology business and go back old school, 19th century style. Write her a letter. Have a well structured argument in which you express your feelings and why you two should hang out sometime. You see, women don’t want a man with a strong jaw; they want a man with a strong opening paragraph. Forget about your pectorals, and work on your penmanship. And brush up on your grammar, too, because when it’s bedroom time and the pants come off, you don’t want her concentrating on the wrong dangling modifier. 

“But letters can take days to reach their destination, and I want love now!” I can hear you exclaiming. You’re absolutely right, and if you’re brimming with passion, I suggest you take it to the source: her parents. Everyone’s home address is listed in the UCSB GOLD directory, so you really have no excuse. Sit down with Mom and Pop and explain that you met their daughter at a party the previous night and that even though both of you were inebriated, there was definitely a connection. They will likely break out the champagne to celebrate, but you should bring your own bottle just in case. I can’t guarantee you love, but I can guarantee that the girl will never forget the day she gave you her number.

Starving Student Looks to Survive Holiday Season

Dear Igor,
The holiday season is here, but this year I’m extremely low on funds. Do you have any inexpensive gift ideas? 
Cash-Strapped Christmas

Dear Strapped,
A lot of people will tell you, “It’s the thought that counts,” and they’re absolutely right. The more you think, the more money you’ll be able to count when the holiday season ends. And with a little creativity, you can save literally dozens of dollars this year. If you have a significant other, grab a large serving bowl from your parents’ kitchen and fill it with dirt, rocks and bird feathers. Tell your sweetie that the “sculpture” represents your first date together. If your first date was at the movies instead of a park, replace the bird feathers with DVDs. You can make a “sculpture” for all your friends and each member of your family, but make sure to mix things up by using different ingredients and mixing bowls. Otherwise, you’ll seem cheap and insincere.  

This is the last Dear Igor of the year, everyone. Have a krazy Kwanzaa!