The Perfect Life #55

Dear Dr. Perfect,

I’m in love with my cousin. Only thing is, I’m afraid to tell him because he might think I’m a cliché. Do I risk it to get the biscuit?


Family over Everything 


Dear FoE,

Is this Jerry Lee Lewis? Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’ll save the Woody Allen jokes for the next letter, which is a real doozy. Being attracted to your cousin can be tricky. Being in love with them can be disastrous. Claiming them on your taxes can also be troublesome. What else are they good for?

Asking your cousin to senior prom can be awkward. I learned this the hard way after my date ditched me at the last minute for the track team pretty boy. 

I was no match for his thick blond bouffant or those muscular legs below his low-cut gym shorts. Hell, wanted to date him, but he was taken. Thank you very much, Sheila Reynolds.  

I couldn’t go to the prom alone. I had already rented a tux, booked a limo, and reserved a room at the Shady Shack Motel, a local favorite. Days before, I posted a sign-up sheet on the school bulletin board, where potential prom dates could leave their contact information and a 2×4 glossy.

The winner would accompany Roosevelt High’s most eligible bachelor to the prom and reap all the benefits therein. It was a long shot, but I was confident.

Unfortunately, saboteurs saw fit to write-in phony prospects, like our eighty-year-old school librarian, Ms. Dudley, Mr. Russell the gym teacher, then-President Jimmy Carter, and Farrah Fawcett, among other luminaries. I needed a ringer stat. 

I called my cousin that evening, remembering she was attending college two towns over. “All you have to do is pretend to be my date for the evening,” I told her. I even promised no funny business at the Shady Shack. “I suppose I can help,” she said, “but you’ll have to get me a nice dress.” 

When I protested the shakedown, she suggested that I hire a call girl instead. The notion of paying for female companionship sent me into a rage. “I’ll have your dress–just don’t be late!” I said, slamming down the phone. The plan was perfect. 

I stood outside my house on prom night, waiting for the limo and my cousin in her fancy new dress. They never arrived. Instead, the bastard limo driver eloped with my cousin that very evening.

They married a few years later, and I had the privilege of delivering the toast, while regaling the audience with how I alone was responsible for their union. And she better not forget it. 

Your cousin love does border on cliché, and I haven’t even brought up the South yet. I’d rather explore the underlying reasons behind your profession of love. Is your cousin good looking? Does he make a lot of money? Does he know any magic tricks? What else is there? 

If the feelings aren’t mutual, you risk humiliation and admonishment; at the very least, a guest spot on Dr. Phil. Talk to your cousin. Ask him something like, if I wasn’t your cousin, would you date me? This is all icky stuff, but fear not, Dr. Perfect is always willing to plunge the depths of decency to assist. 

This whole cousin thing might just a phase. Perhaps you’re attracted to the scandalous nature of a forbidden love affair. Whatever the reasons, don’t send him nudes–yet. Every time someone tells me they’re in love with someone, they assume a barrage of nudes will seal the deal. That’s not always the case. 

Some of us should never be seen naked. We’re not all chiseled hunks with flat abs and broad shoulders like mister senior track star who stole my date!

I’m over it, honest.

Best of luck to you and your cousin. May you both find love with someone outside the family perhaps. If not, it’ll be one weird wedding. Put me on the guest list. Dr. Perfect is not one to turn down free food and dancing at any event.


Dr. Perfect has slung advice across the globe for the last two decades due to his dedication to the uplift of the human condition.

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