Yeah, 2010, woo! In Russian culture, it’s proper to wish your friends and loved ones well for the coming year. I’ll do it for you since you’re reading my column, which automatically makes you my friend, if not my lover. So, in 2010, I hope that your dreams come to fruition, that the year brings you joy and adventures, memories spent with the ones you love, and success in all of your endeavors. This year, follow your dreams, never settle, and I can guarantee it’ll be one you will never forget.

Dear Igor,
So I love my mom and everything, but she calls and e-mails way too much. When I was a kid she was always really protective, so I guess she never quite let go. And it just gets worse after the holidays, because she starts missing me a lot when I leave. I’ve tolerated it for a while, but it’s starting to get really annoying. How do I ask her to give me some space without hurting her feelings?
Attached Mother Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,
Ah, mothers. The ones from whence we came. The milks of whom we’ve drunken. The vaginas from which we crawled. Of course she loves you! But from the sound of it, she loves you too much. She’s addicted to your conversation. You need to wean her off of you, like she weaned you off her breasts as a child.

After some heavy googling (images, too), I can now tell you exactly how to wean your mother from the hard nipple of your conversation. But first, know that it won’t be easy. Dr. Joan Clarke, author of Baby Bye-Bye, says “[Mothers] don’t like to be told what to do.” Recalling her own experience, Dr. Clarke shared how difficult the process of weaning can be. “[My mother] would get really angry and scream, often for minutes at a time. It was pretty difficult. Sometimes she’d punch me.”

Apart from the physical pain, be aware that there might be some emotional damage as well. Melissa Brown, mother of twin two-year-old boys, says, “when [mothers] look at you with their big, bright eyes, begging to suckle, it can be difficult to say no.” But stay strong, and if all else fails, try bribery. “Tell your [mother] that if she weans off of you, you will throw her a big party, with balloons and presents, even,” says Dr. Clarke. “This will let her know how much of an accomplishment weaning was and how proud you are of her.”

But honestly, just tell your mom to suck it up and get a hobby or something.

Dear Igor,
I hate buying condoms and stuff like that. Right now I’m out, but I’ve been putting off going to get more because it’s awkward at the store. I hate the way the clerk looks at me when I’m buying condoms and lube. It makes me feel like I’m some kind of a sex freak, which I’m not. I’m embarrassed but I want to be safe, so what can I do to avoid feeling shameful?
Shy Guy

Dear Guy,
You bring up my least favorite part of the sexual experience, with the exception of period time, which we all agree is the worst time. Buying condoms is ridiculous. I wanted to buy some during winter break, but then I thought, what if I run into my seventh grade teacher, or my mom, or the kids I babysit? Not okay. I’ve been to nightclubs before, cool ones, and in the men’s restroom sometimes I see a condom vending machine. Why aren’t there more of these? And why stop there? There should be pregnancy test machines, laxative and constipation pill machines, and vaginal growth machines, like for yeast infection stuff. For all you entrepreneurs out there, I think I smell a business opportunity. Or wait, that might just be the yeast.