Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions to caity.weaver@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."

I recently got out of a long-term same-sex relationship and now I'm looking to have a fling with someone of the opposite gender to remind myself what it's like and to have a little fun. There are a couple of guys at work that I think are pretty cute and I've been flirting with them both. I told my female friend at work that I was interested in making out with either one of them and she's been really weird about it; telling me (with little explanation) that it's a bad idea, trying to set them up with other women in front of me, and constantly referring to me as a lesbian. She's married and has a kid, so I don't know what the big deal is but I feel she's really harshing my game. It's making me feel really insecure. The four of us hang out a lot all together but I feel like I have no chance while she's around. I want to start making plans that don't involve her. Is that okay?

Thatz okay. But I think you might be misunderstanding her motivations.

You go to great lengths to emphasize the gender and sexual orientations of the figures in this tableau, which suggests you believe your coworker may be cockblocking (that is: blocking cocks from you) over some objection to your bisexuality (intermittent or otherwise). While that's certainly possible, I read the situation a different way.

It seems to me that she objects to you making out with either of your suitably cute coworkers just for funsies/the getting back of grooves because these cuties are your coworkers. Not because your ex is a girl.

Think about it:

You have a little fun, make out a little with some dude you work with; doesn't even particularly matter which dude – many a dude will do. You drop the dude quickly because he was just "a fling." Now you, the dude, and your female friend (maybe even dude #2, if he's aware we was in contention) are all stuck working together in the muggy, post-hookup haze.

Her cockblocking shouldn't make you feel insecure; if anything, it should do the opposite. Her machinations show she has full confidence in your abilities to pull off this little ploy. She's (probably) resorted to repeating over and over again that you're a lesbian in an effort to deter the guys from making a move, not to convince you that you're a lesbian.

You're perfectly free to hangout with your coworkers without her, assuming the four of you have not signed an official Pact of Best Friendship which lays out harsh penalties for those who dare to reconfigure the group for secret hang-outs. In fact, if your friend is the only married one, it seems natural that she would occasionally have things to do other than hang out with you guys. If nothing else, she should feel compelled, from time to time, to spare her husband the work talk/talk of how you're totally gonna meggout with one of these gentleman.

Having said that, be warned that if she feels you are intentionally excluding her, her feelings might be hurt. With fair reason. You are intentionally excluding her.

Since it doesn't seem to matter too much which of the world's dudes is your opposite-gendered fling, might I suggest searching for someone outside of your workplace? It doesn't sound like you're looking for a boyfriend, so your options are limitless. Unboyfriendable men can be found in many public places, as well as private social clubs.

You can go out, find yourself a dude, French kiss him with light over-shirt fondling, and return to work the next day to a peaceful environment in which no one is flinging with their coworker. Your friend won't be around to harsh your game and you also won't be excluding her to hang out with your (and her) mutual friends. If you exclude everyone but yourself, no one is excluded. You are Doing You.

Hopefully once she feels you are no longer a threat to workplace harmony, your friend will ease up and stop constantly reminding everyone that you are a lesbian.

(Even if you decide to ignore all this advice and go for the low-hanging co-worker fruit, you're still well within your rights to request that your friend stop bringing up your sexual orientation to everyone. It's not her place. If it makes you feel a little uncomfortable, let her know. AND MAKE OUT WITH HER HUSBAND FOR REVENGE.)

In two weeks it will be our daughter's first birthday. We have found the perfect party hats and matching plate/napkin sets, as well as sent out invites to a few of our close friends. Our parents are planning to travel 6 hours to be here for her special day, while my sister-in-law and her family are coming from 2 hours away. It will be a full house and we are excited to be sharing the special day with our friends and family.

Out of the blue yesterday, my mother received a call from our weird aunt (doesn't everyone have one? Ours lives the next town over), saying that they might just drive up for the baby's one year to see everyone. They were not on the invite list and didn't play a big part in my life while I was growing up, so I'm not sure what the interest is now. They guessed that my parents will be here and plan to stop in for a visit.

Can we turn off all the lights and pretend not to be home during our child's 1st birthday party in a house full of friends and family so that our weird aunt doesn't come? Is that okay?

Thatz not okay.

I'm sorry that your weird aunt wasn't there for you growing up, when you needed someone weird to turn to. Perhaps if she had been, she might have casually mentioned one day—out of the blue, as is her wont—that staging an elaborate fake-out to deter undesirables from attending your highly exclusive baby birthday party is not a good look.

In your letter, you profess not to know what your aunt's interest is in attending a gathering at your house, then, in the next breath, add that she and her husband(? Footman? Lapdog? Whoever constitutes the remainder of the "they") guessed that your parents will be in town. So you are sure of what her interest is: your aunt wants to visit your parents, whom she likely does not often get to see because they live six hours away. Also, maybe she heard the rumor floating around town that, in addition to perfect party hats, you were also going to have matching plate/napkin sets. When you throw yourself a party on such a glam scale, you're bound to get some hangers-on.

And, make no mistake, this is a party for you that happens to coincide with the anniversary of your daughter's birth. A one-year-old doesn't particularly care about party hats and tablescapes and guest list politics – ONE YEAR OLD BABY DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT DRAMA. The adults present will not make or break this party for your child unless one of them is dressed as a clown, in which case the experience will be scarring.

I have to think you weren't serious about turning out the lights and pretending not to be home, but, just so we're clear, this is a bad idea for the following reasons:

  1. It is rude.
  2. Your mom, improperly briefed on the wretched weirdness of your aunt, may have already let the cat out of the bag and admitted your parents will be in town.
  3. Even if your friends are close to you, they will definitely remark post-party that it was weird when you turned off the music and made everyone sit in the dark wearing party hats while a kindly older couple rang the doorbell and called "Hellooooo?" over and over again.
  4. The baby might cry and blow the whole thing.
  5. It's best not to get into the habit of teaching your child to hide when something undesirable happens.

If you're determined not to have your special day ruined by your family, you can always call your aunt and invite her to come out for dinner afterwards, or to lunch the next day (assuming your parents plan to spend the night). If you go this route, you should probably downplay the bumpin' party aspect of this bumpin' party. Maybe it's not a party at all. Maybe it's just your parents wanting to visit with their granddaughter a little bit, and then a group going out to dinner afterwards – you'd love for your aunt to join so she can have a chance to catch up with everyone.

But, really, I would just let her come to the damn party. If you're short a hat, give her the baby's. No one loves wearing birthday hats, babies especially.

The worst that could happen is that your weird aunt shows up and burns down your house and steals your baby and change's your daughter's name to her name and raises her to be hyper extra weird. But that is the worst that could happen! What is much more likely to happen is that your aunt will bring a gift for the baby (a soft toy or a $50 savings bond) and repeat this gesture every birthday and major holiday either until she dies or your child turns 18. And don't get me started on being remembered in the will. Your baby could be walking away with a nice chunk of change for minimal effort here.

Have fun teaching your daughter to be a gracious hostess!

Submit your "Thatz Not Okay" questions here. Image by Jim Cooke.