I have been dating someone recently who I think is a zombie. (We have not been intimate, so I am not sure.) He does not talk, although he mumbles, and he drools quite a lot. (I think it is drool, although in candlelight it looks yellow a little.) His eyes are very sunken and his skin flakes off during dinner. Once he looked at me funny and started to bite my elbow. Otherwise he seems like a nice guy. Am I being superficial by letting all of this bother me? (Also, he walks very slow. Sort of a shuffle.) His name is Joe.
Answer: First of all, I think I should tell you that you are not dating a zombie; you are dating somebody who is pretending to be a zombie! There have been a lot of T.V. and movies about zombies recently, and some people who do not have high self-esteem have tried to pass themselves off as zombies in order to seem sophisticated. Joe may have been traumatized growing up by a sense of being different. Maybe other kids laughed at him. It is one step away from such childhood abuse to pretending to be a zombie. Some college fraternities in the Midwest are composed entirely of young men who are pretending to be zombies. They dig up the campus and pretend that they live in graves—which fools no one. They give very boring parties where they spill alcohol all over themselves and throw up a lot.
Fred Neuman, M.D. is the Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center. After serving as Associate Director for 21 years, Dr. Neuman assumed the directorship in 1994. Educated at Princeton University and the NYU College of Medicine, Dr. Neuman specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. He is the author of the following books: Caring: Home Treatment for the Emotionally Disturbed, Fighting Fear: An Eight Week Guide to Treating Your Own Phobias, Worried Sick?: The Exaggerated Fear of Physical Illness, and Worried Sick? The Workbook. Dr. Neuman is also the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles on the efficacy of Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Dr. Neuman is a member of the American Psychiatric Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Science. Dr. Neuman is also the author of the following novels: "The Seclusion Room," Viking Press. "Maneuvers" Dial Press "Come One, Come All," "The Wicked Son," "Detroit Tom and His Gang" "Superpowers." All these books are available from Amazon.