Hey Alma, I met a great guy online. We talked for a long time before we met and really got a chance to know each other. He is funny and kind and I totally enjoy being with him. He’s tall and handsome and has a great job working for the government. He has a condo and a nice car. I mean, he has it going on. We have the same mutual interest and I really want to see us work it out, but there’s one thing. He has terrible gaps in his teeth and some are crooked. When he smiles, he looks homeless. I know he has insurance because he has a professional job. I don’t want to stop seeing him, but I can’t stand it when he opens his mouth. What do you think I should do?

Mizz LaRose

Hey Mizz LaRose, You ain’t said nothing but a word. I cannot tolerate a man with a jacked up grill. I know dental costs are expensive, but if your car and your home are plaaya, how in the world can you walk around with tic-tac-toe teeth? What a super turn off.

Now, let me back step a minute and say, I do admire your persistence and ability to focus on all the positives, he has to offer and not dwell on a negative that can be corrected.

I also agree with you, he should have insurance, but maybe he’s afraid. You know many people are, surveys show 75 percent of Americans admit to being afraid of the dentist. Let’s help him get past that.

You gotta tell him, cause you really like him.  In a nice way, there’s no need to be brutal or hurtful. Have him over for dinner, or go out, whichever you prefer. At the end of the evening, after the kiss, right before the goodbye, hand him a card to your dental office. Mention you just recently had your teeth cleaned and your dentist is looking for new patients. Use the word “we” not “you” as you continue with, “We all need to keep up with our dental hygiene.”  Boom, there you go. If he goes, then he’s interested in getting the work done. If not, he doesn’t mind the way his teeth look or again, he may be afraid. Give him a few weeks and check on his progress. If the relationship is still on the right track, tell him you’re going to make his appointment and go with him, providing the encouragement and support he needs. Remind him, girl, how handsome he is and how professional he’ll look when this situation is corrected. Oh, and after his teeth are repaired, don’t forget to kiss him every time he flashes that great big beautiful smile.

Dear Alma,

I was married for 12 years. I raised our son and his twin daughters from his first marriage. When we separated and divorced I was heartbroken. But all the children remained with me. They are adults now, all finished college, married with children and living wonderful lives of their own. I’ve never remarried. Recently after all these years my ex-husband married a very young woman. It works well for the local political life that he lives. He has a high-ranking position with the city and is constantly busy and on the go. Because of his career, I’ve always remained close to his mother, who is in her late 80’s, a widow, who raised her only son and everyone else on the block. She’s the nicest woman you could ever meet and has helped single mothers in our area with childcare for years. I lost my mother when I was young, so I’ve really enjoyed the bond that we share. She recently told me that, “I’ll always be her daughter-in-law (DIL) no matter what.” I’ve always shopped, cooked her meals and taken her to her doctor appointments, but I understand this has to stop. My ex and his new wife should take care of her now, although I don’t see that happening. My problem is, now that my ex is remarried, I want to step out of the way when it comes to my mother-in-law (MIL). How do I get them to recognize their responsibility to step up and start taking care of his mother?


Dear Robin, I hear you Robin, but I don’t believe you. You don’t wanna let go, nor should you. You love your MIL like you would your birth mother, and that’s fantastic. What a blessing you two are for one another. Sadly, your marriage didn’t last but your obligation to family remains unmovable. Maintaining your role as a stepmother and DIL was not an easy task, I’m sure. There’s a reason you did and it’s bigger than you and your ex-husband.

Listen, the truth of the matter is the new DIL is not interested in caring for her MIL or she would have stepped up or paid someone to do it by now. In the same breathe, your ex couldn’t find his mother in the forest for the trees and that ain’t gonna change any time soon. When and if your ex and his new misses want to make a change, they’ll let you know. I’m sure both don’t find it broken, so there’s no need to fix it, at least not for now. Not to mention, your MIL probably wouldn’t welcome the change anyways. That’s why she told you your role, in her heart, will remain the same.

I say, continue to be her caregiver. I know this isn’t ideal, but it’s doable. Do it out of love for family, not as a favor to your ex. Your MIL is in her 80’s, commit to loving her delightfully for the rest of her days. I promise you, your heart will be glad you did.

Alma Gill

Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail.com, follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.