We Alaskans

Kicked in the nuptials: Advice for an Alaska marriage

EDITOR'S NOTE: Libby Bakalar and Geoff Kirsch hold no professional therapeutic credentials of any kind; we're actually not even sure they're married, though they do live in Alaska — as evinced by the number of cracks in their windshield and Barbara Lavallee prints on their walls. Accordingly, Libby and Geoff cannot take responsibility for any damage caused by their expertise. However, they do remind everyone that Alaska is a no-fault divorce state. So at least there's that.

Dear Alaskan Marriage Experts:

My husband is a good man: Always lets me hold the remote, puts the toilet seat down, saves me the last drop of French Vanilla Coffeemate. But lately, he seems distant. What's more, he spends hours and hours away from home — sometimes days — and when he comes back, he's got lipstick not just on his collar, but all over his shirt. Is he having an affair?

— Distraught in Dillingham

Dear DiDi:

You like how we did that, "DiDi"? Shortened your signature in a playful manner suggesting familiarity even though we really could care less about your problems as long as people like you keep writing in, supplying us with free advice column content? You're welcome. As for your husband … Most men are distant — isn't that right, Geoff? Geoff? Hello, earth to Geoff? Most likely your husband's just pondering schematics for a woodshed he's never going to build or brooding over the new Cabela's catalog like someone else I know. Now, about the lipstick on the shirt …

Alaska women don't wear lipstick (OK, except Sarah Palin). Are you sure it's not fish blood? Geoff doesn't own a hoodie that's not stained with entrails. Isn't that right, Geoff? Geoff?! Geoff?!!! See? Distant. Of course, if your husband is cheating, you should compost his ass — plenty of other dudes up here. You hear that, Geoff?! See, now he's paying attention.


Dear Real Alaskan Marriage Experts:

With all this global warming, my wife and I find ourselves coming to bed wearing less and less each night. Since it's been so long since we've unzipped ourselves from our individual Arctic-rated sleeping bags, what can I do to, you know, aid in the thawing process?

— Turgid in Tok

Dear Turgid:

First off, don't ever refer to yourself as "turgid." Also avoid the words "moist" and "slacks." If you really want to turn your woman on in bed, try changing the snow tires. Or cleaning out the crawl space. And take off that fish blood-stained hoodie.

Of course, many couples spice things up with marital "accessories." In Alaska, you may need to improvise. But relax; there's nothing you can't fix with tarps, WD-40 and duct tape. Finally, why not try role-playing? For example, your wife could be a Fish and Game officer and you could have exceeded your bag limit for personal-use sockeye. Naughty boy — looks like you need a citation. Remember: always pick a safe word, like "cheechako!" or "Marmot Day!" Have fun, you crazy kids. And be sure to use protection — a .44 should do the trick. There's lots of bears around.

Dear Real Alaskan Marriage Experts:

We're broke.

— Laconic in Lake Iliamna

Dear Lil:

You and us both. In fact, we've spent a lot of time brainstorming about how to grow the marital fisc — and few brains are stormier than ours. First and foremost: tanzanite. We're not even sure what that is, but the tourists go crazy for it. We all should be eating a big ol' slice of that pie — slathered in metaphorical Cool Whip.

And while we're on the subject, four words for you: "bear claw salad tongs." Also, is there some way to monetize all the dog turds on Alaska's hiking trails? They're an abundant, virtually untapped natural resource — and most importantly, completely renewable (as long as the barge-loads of Eukanuba keep coming). We also advocate devising an investment strategy. For instance, while real Alaskans spend their PFDs on PTVs (or curved-screen plasma TVs), you can also use your dividend to pay down debt. Or park it in high-yield securities. Like tanzanite and bear claw salad tongs.

Dear Real Alaskan Marriage Experts:

My husband snores, and I mean I can hear him from the next room … at our cabin on the Kenai River. What can I do to get him to stop?

— Sleepless in Soldotna

Dear Sleepless:

Sounds like your husband needs a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, machine, prescribed by your local sleep specialist. Should you not have a local sleep specialist, make your own CPAP with a snorkel mask and a pneumatic tool compressor, much in the way you can perform your own home liposuction surgery with a steak knife and a Shop-Vac. Just be sure to have plenty of tarps, WD-40 and duct tape on hand.

Libby Bakalar and Geoff Kirsch are Juneau-based writers and humorists.

Libby Bakalar

Libby Bakalar is an attorney and freelance writer who blogs at One Hot Mess Alaska. She is a former assistant attorney general for the state of Alaska.