The Source: Lucinda Rosenfeld, Friend or Foe, DoubleX.com
The Dilemma: “A couple of weeks ago, my two closest friends and I went to a small live-music venue to hear a band. While at the concert, someone ‘slipped me a mickey.’ I remember nothing about the rest of the evening, but I was told that the police officer found me lying alone on the sidewalk. I came-to in the hospital E.R. — alone…When my mother — who lives 2,000 miles away (and hopped on a plane the next day to be with me) — later called these two friends of mine to beg them to join me while I was recovering, they refused. It wasn’t until I told them that the hospital wouldn’t release me until I had someone to drive me home that they came to pick me up. They then angrily drove me to my car, and I drove home alone… Am I expecting too much from my best friends?”
The Advice: “Wow, that’s a tough call. A spouse or even a boyfriend? Yes, it would be his or her duty to haul ass to said hospital at 4 a.m. But your single female friends who are already, presumably tucked in their beddy-byes? I have to admit that, if I got a call like yours (or your mother’s) in the middle of the night, I’d do what I could from home, but would be hard-pressed to jump in my car until morning.”
The Rebuttal: Is it really necessary to rip Rosenfeld a new one, when her fuckups are so obvious and numerous and everyone seems to have done so already? In addition to the scads of irate bloggers, there are angry articles everywhere from Salon to Jezebel (and rumor has it she’ll be the subject of a scathing editorial in next month’s Cat Fancy). My criticism lies in her attempt to undo what she did. She makes some good points, such as: “I suppose part of me suspected that I wasn’t getting the full story… The fact that ‘Drugged’s’ friends were described as ‘angry’ the next morning made me think that there might be a back story we weren’t hearing… possibly she has asked favors like this more than once or twice in recent years.”
But then fucks it all to hell with this: “I know many of us assume we would jump out of bed after that call. But how many of you would actually, honestly get out of bed and get dressed at 4 a.m. and drive to the hospital to keep your close friend company while she recovered?”
Lucinda, brevity may be the soul of wit, but it also makes for a hell of an apology. Think more. Write less. Thank God for the healing power of pageviews and just lay low for awhile, if you know what’s best.
The Source: Mack Cassidy, Ask the Guys
The Dilemma: “If a guy calls in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream and can’t go back to sleep, is he calling because he sees me as just a friend? …I have known him for a month and went out once because of our busy schedules. He calls me on a regular basis which I enjoy. That just threw me off a bit and I’m not sure what to think.”
The Advice: “Whenever you’re trying to get into a guy’s head, really try to keep it simple. There usually isn’t some crazy confusing plot to follow. If he pays you attention, then he usually likes you and wants to be more than friends. He wouldn’t be making much of an effort to talk to you if he wasn’t interested. He’d be spending all that effort on some other girl who he *is* interested in.
Or he could be weird, cause if he doesn’t like you, calling in the middle of the night to tell you about a bad dream is pretty weird. But guys do lots of weird stuff when they like a girl.”
The Rebuttal: “All that effort?” He’s only seen her once. The rest of this pseudo-relationship has consisted of phone calls. If I were to follow Mack’s advice and “keep it simple” — because apparently having XY chromosomes makes you some sort of knuckle-dragging imbecile — I’d default to the second-most-popular male stereotype and say that this guy is thinking with his penis. He’s calling her in the middle of the night because he wants her to chase away the Boogeyman — with a handjob. I hate to admit it, but this is one occasion where the stereotype might actually be correct.
The Source: Deborah Cooper, San Francisco Examiner
The Dilemma: You’re on a first date. The check arrives, and he wants to split it down the middle. Should you two go out again, or should this gent be tossed in the discard pile faster than you can say UNO?
The Advice: “Never date a man who wants to go Dutch… What is it men are trying to accomplish by going Dutch? …And ladies, if you agree to pay half or even volunteer to go Dutch on a date, what message are you really sending to the guy? Mature women know that paying on a date is a mistake.”
The Rebuttal: What message is she sending? How about, “I just met you, and for all I know, you could be making one-third of my salary. I like you, I have plenty of cash, and I don’t want some outdated social convention putting you in the poorhouse?” There’s also, “My parents brought me up to ‘Do unto others…’ and I wouldn’t want my date to sit there like some spoiled potentate while I whipped out my wallet without making at least a cursory offer, even if I knew I was it was going to be turned down.” I could go on and on, but I’ll stop and say that “mature” women don’t measure their self-worth in free scallops and veal parmigiana.
The Dilemma: “Dear Yvonne: Are green M&M’s an aphrodisiac? — J.P.”
The Advice: “Dear J.P., The only way green M&M’s will turn you on is if you truly believe that they will. Your mind is your biggest sex organ, so you have the power to make anything in this universe a turn on, including candy. With chocolate in general, research has found that consumption doesn’t create an arousal response.”
The Rebuttal: Dear Yvonne: Is there really a place in France where the naked ladies dance? Dear Yvonne: Is it true what they say about the phallic dimensions of men from Nantucket? Dear Yvonne: Does your letter-writing demographic consist of gullible thirteen-year-olds who don’t know how to use a search engine, or is that just par for the journalistic course over at FOX News? Signed, Wondering.