Daddy dearest 

Q: I've had a serious girlfriend for a year and a half. Early this fall, before she went away to her first year of college, she and I agreed that we'd spend every weekend and all school breaks together. Suddenly, she's complaining that she isn't social enough and is missing the college experience because of our visitation pact and because I am opposed to her going to big drinking parties. I do trust her to drink responsibly. I just worry about the possibility that she'll get sexually assaulted or taken advantage of by some scheming slimeball. I told her that if she really wants to go to some of these parties, we can go together when I'm up visiting her for the weekend. I think I've offered a reasonable compromise. She says that I need to let her have her fun. Also, she says that when she comes home on the weekend, she wants to spend time with other friends who still live in the area, not just with me. For me, the sun rises and sets with her. I know she loves me, but sometimes I feel like an afterthought in her life. —Worry Lines

A: Just ground her. We know, we know ... it's for her own good, it hurts you more than it hurts her and no daughter, oops, girlfriend of yours is going anywhere near keg parties with vats of grain alcohol punch that make furniture polish go down like a cosmopolitan ... not without Daddy on hand to protect his delicate little petunia from the scheming frat rats. Yes, indeedy, it's a cruel world out there — one your little flower needs to learn to navigate without a daddyguard at her side at all times. She's made it thus far without getting trampled, so the prognosis is good — even if she doesn't live by wondering aloud at every turn, "What Would Daddy Do?" or "What Would Mary Tyler Moore Do?"(the latter being my personal preference). Yo, parental one...pop a Pepto, loosen those Sansabelt slacks buckled up over your waist, and set your stern, fun-unloving self down for a listen: You're no afterthought in her life; you're an anvil on a rope she's dragging around campus, and you're about 22 minutes away from formally getting cut loose. Setting aside your tooth fairy-esque belief in the postcollegiate survival of a precollegiate coupling; your boo-boo numero uno was casting yourself as the senior partner in this relationship — Michael Landon as Mussolini; how charming. Perhaps your clock is running a mite slow, but this isn't the 1850s or even the 1950s. These days, men don't get to run the relationships anymore — not the good relationships, anyway. No sooner did your girlfriend trade Little House In Suburbia for Cramped Dorm Overlooking The Quad than she outgrew her need for a daddy (or two, counting you). This coincided rather miserably with your panic to maintain an iron grip on her life ... stopping just short of enforcing an 8 p.m. curfew and lights out (in the name of love, of course). Clearly, you need her. And you thought that setting yourself up as authority figurehead would make her need you back. If you really loved her, then you'd want her to do whatever it is that makes her happy — even Jell-O shots with a grout-cleaner chaser with some frat boy who isn't you.

Q: I have a heterosexual male friend who has gotten into the habit of wearing makeup — just foundation to make his skin look smooth. It looks really good on him; he has gotten countless compliments on his appearance since he started using it. Do you think women would be against this? He doesn't have a girlfriend right now, but he wants one, and he's wondering whether he needs to lose the foundation to pick up chicks. —Concerned Friend

A: I think I'd draw the line at dating a man who can get his false eyelashes on without messing up his eyeliner. Perhaps that's just the competitive spirit in me raising its ugly, makeup-smeared head. While I wouldn't have a problem with a man who tops off his enlarged pores with a bit of barely beige, numerous women I polled were overwhelmingly outraged at the idea. "Not in my bed," one sputtered. "A man who spackles is not a man for me," huffed another. "What's next, 5-inch stilettos?" Perhaps they have too much imagination or not enough, but they all picture your friend coming off like the long-lost third wheel in Siegfried & Roy — nobody's hot hetero boy role model. Your pal might get away with a little Cover Girl after dark, but in bright lights, "modern" girls by the dozen will reject him for worrying his pretty head about softening fine lines instead of running around pounding his chest while slaying bears.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com

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