Dear Uncle Mat

I recently discovered that my boyfriend used to be fat. Really fat. There are all of these pictures of him with his family and friends in his apartment and I didn’t even recognize him! Last week I finally asked who the guy in all of the pictures was and he laughed, said I wouldn’t believe him and then told me it was him. I am shocked. I thought it was a cousin or a special friend. I am also more than a little turned off by the pictures. He is totally hot now and all I can picture in my head is this other huge guy. To make matters worse, I told my best friend and she has taken to calling him “Tubby.” Not to his face, but to me. I hate this. I was really starting to fall for him and now I don’t know what I want. If he was fat before and now he’s athletic, what type of kids will he make? If we are getting serious, can I ask him to put away the pictures or replace them with new ones of him how he looks now?

— Big Dilemma

Dear Big,

If you were a bathtub and he ever makes babies, it is safe to say that his babies couldn’t drown in you. You are shallow. He used to eat too much, not eat people. If you really like this guy and are contemplating having his babies, you shouldn’t care that he used to be overweight.

How long have you been dating? It never came up in conversation with him or one of his friends or family? I urge you to not make babies with anyone for a while. Do a little soul-searching, maybe some community service. And tell your friend that the nickname ends now. I guarantee that will come back and ruin your day.

You can’t ask your beau to remove his pictures from his apartment. Those are his memories, his life, and his apartment. Do you have a heart? You can start introducing new pictures to the mix. Give him a frame or two with new photos, but don’t try and remove any.

Gaining and losing that weight is part of what made him the guy he is now. He most likely has a lot of willpower and determination. I don’t know what genetic factors will be passed on to his kids, but that is a coin toss with anyone. His lifestyle change and current disposition should inform you greatly about his fitness for fatherhood. If you really can’t get over his previous weight, do him a favor and move on. Be honest, tell him you have horrible shortcomings, but don’t tell him you are judging him for who he used to be. That will only make everyone feel worse.

Much love and a little depth,

Your Uncle Mat

My ex-roommate from college has become obsessed with becoming a reality-TV star. It started with a dare in which we both sent auditions to Big Brother when we were seniors. That was four years ago and funny as a “Plan B,” but she is still applying to shows and they’re getting worse. (Think dating a former rock star.) We no longer live in the same city. I moved back to San Antonio and have started a career and family. She lives in Seattle now and is still waiting tables and making audition tapes. How do I convince her to leave this folly behind and grow up? Or at least to pursue a real career.

— Time to move on

Dear Move On,

Move on. I mean you, not her. A career as a waitress may be what your friend wants or she may not know what she wants to do yet. You and I may not agree with having sex with strangers on TV or finding love in a casting call, but it happens. Do you want to be buddies with the next “New York?” Maybe not, so then move on. She is not your responsibility. You live far away and it might be time to let go. Express your concerns, wish her luck, and you’ll either see her next on VH1 or when your lives start pointing in the same direction again.

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at
[email protected] or Myspace.comyourunclemat. Your true identity is safe with him.

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