Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 7 February, 2023
# dear fifi
Dear Fifi: It's quickfire questions!


What’s that coming around the corner? Spring baby!

This week, I’m blazing through the questions to clear out my inbox. But you know what that means… I need it to fill up again. Get at me confidentially and anonymously here


My cat isn’t talking to me cause I brought a rescue kitten home. The kitten is now gone (RIP) but my cat is still being unreasonable. How can I make her see that I am sorry?

Treats and time. Much like with people.

Whats the worst thing a guy can say on a first date?

Don’t mention the ex. Don’t say something creepy or forward “as a joke”. Don’t talk about yourself at length without asking any questions of the other participant.

I’m an American thinking of moving to Ireland for a fresh start. I have some distant relations there but no real skills (English Lit major). Could I realistically find work and support myself? Is this a really bad idea?

It depends. What do you mean by “a fresh start”? If you’re running from a situation you’d rather not confront at home, be aware that geography doesn’t always make problems vanish. Make sure you’re taking big steps for the right reasons.

From a practical point of view, you could probably get a job relatively easy in one of the major cities – my advice would be take anything you can get at first to get money coming in, then figure out what kind of roles are really up your street.

The reason I say that about money is because the cost of living in Ireland is high. Our rents and other necessary overheads are costly. They may be a lot more expensive than where you are at the mo. Take a look at, and take a look here for information on the nuts and bolts of acquiring a visa. Good luck!

A thirtysomething Irish man, I enjoy strolling around the city without a destination in mind. However when I cross paths with lone women, I often get the impression from the looks they give that they’re somewhat alarmed to see me, that I seem threatening in some way.

I know this has a lot to do with living in a misogynist society rife with male violence against women, but I’m concerned that I specifically am doing something to give off bad vibes to women strangers.

I’m quite introverted and almost never initiate conversation, or more than brief eye contact, and am careful to walk faster if I’m alone on a street with a woman. 

You’re over-thinking this! Relax. Once you make sure you’re not accidentally causing a woman to panic by walking behind her for a lengthy period of time in a quiet part of town, you’re all good.

I recently hooked up with someone on a college night out. However I’m a mature student and I’m not sure but I think this person could be 9/10 years younger than me. Age never came up on the night and we’ve been texting back and forth a while. We’re talking about meeting up again and I quite like this person but I’m scared she’ll get a shock when she hears my actual age. 

Get it in there discreetly ASAP. She probably already knows and therefore it’s not a problem for her – but there’s no harm in being transparent and open about things that may cause an issue down the line.

I moved in with my bae of nearly 10 months. All is great and wonderful. However, there is one thing – every time they eat they lick their fingers and make a sucky noise. Sometimes this is done mid course. I’ve been trying to ignore it but it keeps grating on me. Is this too much of a pedant thing to mention? If not what is the best course of action?

Holy fuck, tell them to stop. Do it light-heartedly, do it kindly, but do it today.

Recently I failed my driving test again. I know it’s not the end of the world but it feels like I failed at an important part of life. I don’t have the motivation to put the time needed to try the test again and can’t deal with the nerves during the test and I can’t deal with failing it again. So I am trying to accept the fact that I will never drive.

Although this has some benefits like not spending money on insurance, maintenance, etc. I feel like I’m missing out. How can I do the future school run with no car? How can I fulfil my dream of living in the country with no car? I hate the thought that I’ll have to rely on other people to get me places and go by their schedule be it someone else or public transport. If only life was easy.

You did not fail at an important part of life – you simply failed your driving test. It happens to lots and lots and lots of people. You’re catastrophising  - don’t let this spiral into a larger comment about you or your life. It isn’t. It’s just a driving test and it doesn’t speak to anything more major about you.

Say it after me: it’s just a fucking driving test!

Don’t worry about the future school run or your countryside plans. Worry about what’s in front of you. Take the test again when you feel recovered from the pain of failing it, or else look into cycling if you don’t think you can take the knock again. It will help to work on the root cause of your anxiety around the test as well as practicing driving.

Weigh up the pros and cons – the emotional outlay – of either trying the test again or never driving at all for life. Make the choice. Then stop worrying and act on it, either way. You’ll be grand. It’s just a fucking driving test. Don’t let it get to you.

Fiona, I’m really getting so down about how I see girls get with the loud obnoxious dickhead guys at parties. What’s wrong? Do I need to turn into that?

No, you don’t. But maybe you’re being a bit judgemental and people can probably smell it off you. You’re at a party, after all. Enjoy it and stop worrying about what other people are doing.


Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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