Shutting Down a Whimsy-Stealing Copycat, Setting a Baby Trap, and Other Questionable AdviceS

Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions to caity@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."

To decorate my room, I put up letters spelling out "EXPLORE" on my wall and hung white Christmas lights around the ceiling. About 2 weeks later, my housemate—whose room is right next to mine—hung Christmas lights and put up letters spelling out "WANDER." Now my cool room is totally not cool anymore. Is that okay?

Thatz okay.

What are the odds that two carefree flâneurs, both alike in whimsy, would one day wander themselves right to the very same doorstep of the very same bohemian abode? One hundred thousand in a million, I'd say.

The most frustrating thing about somebody copying you is not seeing your "steez" splashed across someone else's canvas; it's being unable to complain about it in a way that doesn't make you seem like a petty, whiny baby.

(I come to work wearing a super cute Limited Too tiered lace tank top in my signature color—emerald green—and the very next day Hamilton Nolan comes to work in the exact same LTD2 tank, but I'M the one who needs to "grow up"?)

Such is the plight of a trendsetter. I empathize. But you do sound like a whiny, tiny baby.

So your roommate stole your words-on-the-wall idea that you stole from Pinterest that Pinterest stole from Esty that Etsy stole from graffiti. Worse, she one-upped you because her word choice is better:

"EXPLORE": Big angry "X"; harsh colonialist/imperial vibes; male space

"WANDER": velvety; patient; whimsical

Before you do anything, you have to get your wall word on the same level as her wall word. You put up letters reading "RAMBLE." She'll probably change hers to "MOSEY." You hit her back with "MEANDER." She'll retaliate with "PERAMBULATE." Finally, you flip the script with "STOP COPYING ME." If she's easily intimidated, she will admit defeat and relinquish all laser-cut wooden wall letters to you. If she's a contender, she'll throw up "STOP IMITATING ME."

Next, you buy a piranha for your room. She'll get an electric eel. You get a waterbed. She'll start sleeping in a flotation tank. You soundproof your room "so I can practice my drumming." She'll soundproof her room so she can practice her guitar, oblivious to the fact that, while string monkeys are a dime a dozen, a gifted drummer is always a hot commodity.

One night a few weeks later, creep into her room and remove her eel from its freshwater tank. Carefully place it inside her saltwater sleep chamber. The change in environment will agitate the animal, who will strike out at your roommate again and again, punishing her frail body with shocks of up to 600 volts a blow. As she bangs against the door of the tank for rescue, use your arm muscles—strengthened by hours of paradiddle drum rudiments—to hold the door shut. Once the banging has ceased, sneak back into your bed and dream of all the words, wonderful words, that will adorn the walls of your soon-to-be expanded room. Wait for another one of your roommates—one with her own unique style and aesthetic who doesn't feel the need to copy people all the time—to discover the body in the morning.

Alternatively, you could take down your letters and paint something like this.

Or just remind yourself that you probably won't have to live with this person for the rest of your life and let it go.

I have a friend that is involved with a great guy. He treats her very well, has a lot of great qualities and is a very successful man. She is also very successful and such a good person. They have exchanged I love you's and everything seems to be progressing very nicely. The other day she mentioned he isn't very "baby-minded." She would be an awesome mom and we're certain he would be a stellar dad. We are pushing the idea of trapping him with a pregnancy but she is resistant. We still think it's a viable option. Is that OK?

Thatz not okay.

I guess the first question is: Why do you care?

Are you nervous that the people of France will turn on your friend if she fails to produce a dauphin? Are you an aspiring eugenicist eager to tackle your first matchmaking experiment? Does your friend owe you a favor, and will you only accept payment in the form of "baby"?

It's. Not. Ya. Baby.

Maybe your friend is resistant to the idea of "trapping" her partner with a pregnancy because she enjoys knowing he is with her because he wants to be. Maybe your friend doesn't particularly want a baby either right now, but felt she had to blame someone because her weird friends are obsessed with the idea of her having one. Maybe the fact that your friend is hesitant to ensnare her partner in a life-altering trap is one of the things he loves about her, and one day he'll smile at her from across the table and think, "That is one non-crazy bitch," and suggest they have a baby.

Maybe they will just never sync up on the baby issue, and eventually she'll find someone who does want to have a baby and then she'll have a baby.

Whatever the outcome, it does not require your intervention.

It's not clear from your letter why you're certain he would be a stellar dad if he is expressly against having a child. Yes, lots of men who don't want to be fathers end up becoming great dads when the babies arrive, but let's assume they're the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes, the guy who will make the best dad is the guy who really wants to be a dad. Channing Tatum looks like he would be a great construction worker, but we still let him pursue his passion, which is stripping, and he's great at it.

Hopefully she knows not to accept any condoms (with holes poked in them) or giant birth control pills (they are Smarties™) from you.

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