Well, the good Dr. Freud does not usually make house calls, but there is a noder out there in distress. Letting this poor, hapless chap's life deteriorate like a late-night writeup by --OutpostMir-- is just unacceptable to an honest therapist, such as myself. I won't mention this noder's name, but it begins with an R and has a very nasty word as the last four letters. (I don't think anyone got that, do you, 'Spoon?)

Now, the problem at hand is a spouse or a live-in partner (we call those harlots, where I came from, but I'm not casting any stones here; I know it's a Brave New World) who is not comfortable with the amount of time her (or his, I guess, if that came up, but it hasn't yet) husband spends at this Black Hole of a website. And, make no mistake about it, there is a certain point which everyone reaches here where E2 becomes a sucking monster that Ross Perot could only imagine in his little sweaty midget dreams. Scientists have not yet determined the exact point at which this happens, but current theories suggest that it is somewhere between Level 6 and Level 7. (If any of you are at Level 6 right now, I would think long and hard before I did whatever it took to get to that next plateau. . . LONG. . AND. . HARD!)

Back to the problem at hand: Is E2 worth a divorce? Well, it need not come to that if you can train your spouse correctly. Now, all of this will depend on how long you've been together, if there are kids involved, and how solid the relationship is outside of E2 (although, after Level 6, there really is no "outside of E2," is there?).

The first step in the training process comes when she first discovers that you have a new hobby which is taking up the time you used to spend doing something else, such as making hot monkey love to her; or, in my case, playing golf. You must sell her on the idea that this new hobby is somehow beneficial to not only you but to the marriage itself. For instance, when faced with this problem, your trusty therapist told his wife that he was writing a book. When confronted with details, he backed off of that and said it was more like an autobiography, but that it could "turn into" a book. One that would make money, even! (Lying is not optional here.)

This may or may not work for a while. If it doesn't, you'll just have to make a choice. If it does, then you're still not out of the woods. Because, as you have already noticed, it begins to take up more and more of your time. You get up in the morning and log on first thing to see if any of your witty banter /msg's have been responded to. You check your XP. You quickly go to the ENN to see if any of your literary masterpieces from the drunken night before have been responded to. You flash by the Page of Cool to see if the head dicks have found something you've done worthy of honor. You immediately go to the Cool Archive and plug in your name to see if any of your old stuff has found a worthy vessel of a reader. And this is just on your first cup of coffee. The settling in and chatting and reading and noding hasn't even begun yet. That, of course, will take you well past your normal bedtime. Work? You do not work any longer, except for E2. Pay? You better have a freaking Trust Fund.

This is the point at which you are going to have to find your spouse an equivalent hobby. With me, it was Julio, the yard boy. With you, it might be reading mystery novels. Hey! I can't live your life for you, can I?

Oh, would you excuse me; I think I have a new /msg! Please just make the check out to Nate.