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Dear John: My Boyfriend Grosses Me Out!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


What’s your problem? Write to John at [email protected].

Dear John,

What I’m about to describe makes me so nauseous I feel like I’m going to be sick. So, if you have the same reaction, sorry! I have been dating a new guy for a few months. Things are going well. I don’t know how serious it’s going to be (maybe not very, now) but I like him and we have fun together. Well, we go to the beach a lot and he got a bad sunburn. Days later, I happened to be in the kitchen – he thought I was in another part of the house – and I happened to look up and see him in the next room peel a good size piece of skin from his shoulder and EAT IT! The image still makes me shudder – literally sick to my stomach. I quietly left the room and went into the bathroom to compose myself. I wanted to ask him what on earth he was doing, but I didn’t want to embarrass him. Is this normal?? I haven’t had one interaction with him since that time when I wasn’t picturing his hand going to his mouth in slow motion with a big piece of skin in it! Sooooo gross! So like I said, is this normal? Is it a guy thing? Should I just fess up and tell him what I saw? I feel like that image is burned into my brain!

Cannibal’s Friend

Dear Cannibal’s Friend,

I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to do weird bodily things when they’re alone – or think they are. And I suspect that yes, it’s probably more a guy thing, guys being the grosser sex. I’d say (barring some kind of compulsion, of course) it’s perfectly normal. I think you can see it as an extreme, revolting version of biting his fingernails. I don’t see what good can come of telling him what you saw. It will only serve to embarrass him. He thought he was alone. As long as he doesn’t do something like that among other people, I’d try to forget about it. And stay out of the sun.


Dear John,

I think my best friend must be having an affair. The other night my phone rang. It was her. It quickly became clear she did not mean to call me, though. I could hear her and a guy having an explicit sexual conversation. (Although I could not hear his part of the conversation very well, I could fill in the blanks.) She had called me earlier in the day, so I can only assume she “butt-dialed” me – sat on her phone or somehow called me without intending to.

I don’t know what I should do. We’re very close and we share just about everything, but I’m not surprised she wouldn’t tell me this. Her husband and mine are good friends and all of us socialize with each other all the time. I want to come up with an innocent explanation but I can’t. Should I just ask her straight up what’s going on?

Bad Call

Dear Bad Call,

Ordinarily I’d say to mind your own business, but that’s what you were doing when she accidentally called you. This upsetting information was foisted on you through no fault of your own, so I think it’s fair to ask for an explanation. I’ve heard of this same thing happening many times and I’ve experienced it myself. With a little bad luck, it’s frightening how wrong it can go.


Dear John,

Please weigh in on a disagreement between my wife and me. We have been happily married for almost 15 years, and we have an 11-year-old son. Raising him has been a pleasure – he’s a fantastic kid, and my wife and I have been on the same page since the day he was born. This is the first issue. Because now that he’s old enough to do more things, my wife is having more and more fears about the perils that lurk out in the world. For example, he wants to go to a summer camp that has one sleepover night, but my wife won’t hear of it because of generalized fears of pedophiles preying on kids at camps – the “perfect opportunity,” according to her. I don’t know where this is all coming from. It’s a bit of a surprise as she has not been an overly nervous or worried parent thus far. Nothing has happened in our lives to account for this anxiety. I’d appreciate your thoughts.


Dear Concerned,

Accepting a child’s increasing autonomy can be a challenge for any parent, and it sounds like your wife is having an especially hard time with it. Of course, parents have to be cautious, but there comes a time when we have to be satisfied that we’ve taken all reasonable precautions, let go, and hope for the best. The worst thing about what your wife is doing, albeit with the best intentions, is teaching your son to fear the world around him. Beyond whether or not he goes to summer camp, the ramifications of that could be with him his entire life.

As you have probably learned, rational responses (like talking to other parents about their experiences with this camp) don’t assuage these apparently baseless fears. I would talk with your wife about it. Let her know you’re worried that her fears are going to not only deprive your son of fun kid experiences but affect how he relates to the world as an adult, too. Try to ease things along – for example, has he ever slept at a friend’s house? Does he have a friend whose family is trustworthy enough to take this step with? The loss of parental control as kids grow is something that takes getting used to, and perhaps small steps will reassure your wife that things will still be okay even if she’s not in control of a situation. If she is adamant that these experiences aren’t worth the “risk,” though, I would urge you to explore family counseling, both for your son’s well-being and your wife’s. Fearful is no way to go through life.


John is a middle-aged family man from Providence, Rhode Island. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at [email protected].


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According to Zagat, Massachusetts' best pizza comes from the North End of Boston; the Giambotta at Regina Pizza.

Read GoLocal's coverage of the Zagat's Best Pizzas in New England Here.

Another publication, The Daily Meal, released a list of the 101 Best Pizzas in America for 2013.  On their list, 12 pies came from New England, with 6 coming from the Bay State. 

Read GoLocal's Roundup of the 12 Best Pizzas in New England here. 

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12. Best Restaurant

Worcester's EVO received three awards in 2013 for Best Chef, Albert Maykel, Best Organic & Vegan Food, and has kept its title as Worcester’s Best Overall Restaurant for the second year in a row.

The family-owned restaurant is run by siblings Albert Maykel III and Celeste Maykel Zack, and also received a Central MA Family Business Award from the Worcester Business Journal.

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11. Best Burger in MA

The third week in October was Burger Week at Zagat, and in honor of the legendary sandwich, they released their list of "50 States, 50 Burgers"; naming an "official" burger for each state.

Their pick from Massachusetts came from Cambridge, at Craigie on Main. According to Zagat:

"The relatively simple grass-fed beef patties are sandwiched between a homemade bun topped with sesame seeds. But in staying true to the restaurant’s elegant aesthetic, he dresses the burger with mace ketchup in lieu of Heinz."

See GoLocal's Coverage of the Best Burgers in New England Here.

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10. Not For Wine Drinkers

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While Massachusetts wine drinkers may love their local vineyards and wine shops, it turns out that Massachusetts pulled a failing grade - an 'F' - and ranked #44 overall, based on how friendly its wine laws are for consumers.

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9. MA State Sandwich

August was National Sandwich month, and in its honor, Zagat named Fluffernutter as the Bay State's official state sandwich.

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Read GoLocal's coverage of New England's State Sandwiches Here.

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8. Michael Covino

When it comes to restaurants in Worcester, one name stands out above the rest; Michael Covino, President and CEO of Niche Hospitality Group.

This hospitality entrepreneur is one of the minds behind the revitalization of the Worcester dining scene. His restaurants include: Bocado, Worcester's first authentic Spanish Tapas and Wine Bar; Mezcal, the southwestern/Mexican destination that first opened on Shrewsbury Street and has since added a new location in Leominster; The Citizen at One Exchange Place, a significant addition to Worcester's changing downtown landscape; The People's Kitchen, located above The Citizen and featuring a "home cooked meal" approach; and Rye & Thyme, an American tavern in Leominster.

GoLocal's Susan Wagner had the pleasure to speak with Covino in 2013, read what he had to say here. 

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7. Cupcakes for a Cause

After the tragic bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April, most of New England (and much of America) sought a way to help... and one Millbury woman found her own way to pitch in. 

With a goal of raising $1,000 by selling cupcakes, Anne King of Queens Cups Bakery was able to raise $2,350 in four days; giving $1,000 to the One Fund Boston, and the other $1,350 to Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG).

Read GoLocal's Coverage of this Cupcake Hero Here.

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6. Alina Eisenhauer

To those with a sweet tooth in Worcester, they know the place to go is Sweet, the dessert bar created by Alina Eisenhauer.  Alina has established herself as one of the biggest names in pastry in America after being part of several Food Network productions; Chopped, Cupcake Wars, as well as winning their Sweet Genius competition in 2011.

2013 was a big year for Alina.  She expanded her business at a new location, and saw her invention, the cronut (she called them Dosants) explode, and she sat down with GoLocal's Susan Wagner in December. Read their conversation here.

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5. NE Best Food Towns

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To assess its concentration of top restaurants, researchers utilized a set of awards and ratings: AAA's Diamond rating system and Mobil/Forbes' Startle Star rating system formed the basis for the pool. Restaurants that rated 4 or 5 diamonds/stars in the last 4 years were collected and filed by their location. From there, researchers logged every James Beard Foundation award winner for the last 4 years as well as the 2013 semi-finalists and applied those restaurants to the base of cities of towns.

See Which Towns Made Our List Here. 

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4. #4 Ice Cream State

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Read more on the states and cities that consume the most ice cream here.

For GoLocal's list of great Central Massachusetts ice cream and froyo spots, click here

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3. Worcester's Best Pizza

The best thing about pizza places is that no two are the same. But that also makes it hard to narrow down which spots are best to grab a great pie or slice.  So luckily, GoLocal's Emily Davies put out her list of the best pizza joints in Worcester this February. 

Do we leave out your personal favorite? Let us know about it!

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2. The Cronut War

Cronuts? Or Dosants? 

Whatever you choose to call them, they are delicious. But these tasty doughnut/croissant hybrids brought Worcester into the spotlight in 2013 over who made them first -- and GoLocal was there to get the scoop.

New Yorkers were flocking to a SoHo bakery owned by Dominique Ansel to get their hands on his new creation, the Cronut.  However, Worcester's Alina Eisenhauer had been making the same pastry for years, though she called them Dosants. 

Read about the delicious controversy here.

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1. Health Code Violations

GoLocal's biggest food story in 2013 was not necessarily a positive one. GoLocal went through all of Worcester's restaurant health inspections and organized a list of the dining establishments with the most health code violations.  

GoLocal created an proprietary interactive map that shows the health inspection records for all of Worcester's nearly 700 restaurants.  Be sure to check this out before selecting your next spot for a meal. 


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