Advice

Miss Information

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Want to play Miss Info for a day? Send an email to erin@nerve.com with a 350-word-or-less response to the question at the end of this week’s column. Next week I’ll post the winners.
1st prize: Membership to Nerve Premium
2rd prize: Jumbo assortment of UTZ brand snacks (The NYC junk food of choice — accept no substitute!)
3rd prize: Gift certificate for iTunes so you can download the latest young-people internet album.
Obviously there’s a lot at stake here, people. All entries must be submitted by noon on Monday, November 12th. Good luck!


Dear Miss Information,
Last year I dated a girl whom I met through a dating service. I ignored all the warning signs she had given me — emotional volatility and drug use— and continued to see her. After all, she was cute and seemed to adore me. I broke up with her several times because she could not control her self-destructive behavior. Long after we broke up, she showed up at my house and attacked me in my doorway and front yard. My public image was bruised more than anything. My new girlfriend, who was at my house when this happened, forgave the incident and still dates me. She did, however, start to search for my ex-girlfriend online.
Quickly my new girlfriend found a six-month-long blog featuring the most intimate details of my sex life, penned by the crazed ex-girlfriend. I had no idea that this was being written. I was disgusted and angry. The entire blog is a self-rationalization of my ex’s bad behavior. Through attorneys, I was able to have my name removed, but I am still furious over the misrepresentations. Though I have managed to go a whole year without doing anything, I am finding myself compelled to post a scathing comment on my ex’s blog. How bad of an idea is this? I just want my side of the story heard and her lies dispelled. Is there a self-help remedy, or is it best just to avoid her? — Blog Fodder


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Dear Blog Fodder,
This is a Spruce-Goose Pluto-Nash of an idea, Blog Fodder. For the following reasons:
1. You’re pissing off an unstable person.
2. You’re lowering yourself to her level.
3. You’re giving potential girlfriends even more negative Google fodder. The only thing crazier than a crazy person online is the other crazy person who engages them.
4. You’re taking all that money you spent on attorneys and throwing it down the cybertoilet. Should she decide to sue you back, any self-respecting legal defense is going to laugh you out of his office.
Your ex’s blog is not the right place to air your side of the story. It’s a biased, captive audience, there for ego-stroking and circle jerks (not that those of us who write blogs don’t appreciate those loving strokes — both ego and otherwise — very, very much). Do not call this woman. Do not email her. Do not send her cookie bouquets. Do not read her blog. Change your phone number and keep any personal information offline.
If there are a few close friends to whom you feel you must defend your reputation, talk to them in-person or send a short neutrally-worded email saying something to the effect of, “Miss Crazy and I went through some tough times. I value our friendship, and hope you’ll continue to do so as well. If you have any questions about what went down or anything that troubles you, I’d be happy to talk.”
You can basically tell prospective girlfriends the same thing: “I dated this person. We had some issues, she posted about them online. I hope you won’t read them, but if you do, that you’ll consider that there might be another side to the story."
You know what that is? Class. One-hundred percent. The dirtbag’s in the details, so don’t offer them up.

 

Dear Miss Information,
I am a single male. Why should that be considered an open invitation for all of my female friends to practice their matchmaking wizardry on me? I live in Seoul, South Korea, and single women are quite abundant. But a single guy who has a good job and a large apartment is expected to go out on an oat-sowing expedition whenever he’s not at work. I hate being rude to my friends, but I love having the bachelor life. How do I get them to back off? — Solo Seoul Man



Dear Solo Seoul Man,
I don’t like to dance. It takes away from the two things I enjoy most about being in a bar: sitting still and drinking. You know who loves to dance? My friends. Yep, it’s 1992 forever, and they’re all jumping around like gay ravers at the Burning Man School for Performing Arts. Come dancing! Come dancing! No. Come dancing! Come dancing! No. Come dancing! Come dancing! Fine, but only if you promise to let me just chill at the bar. And of course we all know how this one ends. Grandma winds up forced onto the dance floor.
It only got better when I learned how to be direct. “Sorry, not my scene,” replaced “Sorry, I’m busy.” Instead of, “Gosh, that sounds fun,” I’d respond, “I’d rather spend a day in a fart-filled conference room with a blazing hangover doing team-building exercises.”
Friends are kind of cool. You need them for when you get locked out, lifting heavy items, looking after your cats, heavy items that fall on your cats, and so on. So make sure to follow up your stern rejections with either a reciprocal gesture of friendship (“Hey, not interested in Sue Lin, but let’s hit the beach or grab some barbecue”), or a graceful change of subject.
Once they lay off, as my friends eventually did, reverse psychology will kick in and you’ll probably do a 180. I’m still not the first one out there, but nowadays you put on the right tune and I’m out there shaking an ass feather. My dancing reluctance and your girlfriend reluctance are kind of a great metaphor for relationships. You’re always so much more confident and into it when you arrive there on your own.


Miss Information For A Day Question:
Dear Miss Information,
About three months ago, after ending a very long, serious relationship, I decided to give internet dating a try. I’ve gone on dates with about eight different people, and have had meaningful correspondences with several others too far away to meet. I don’t have much problem getting dates this way.
The problem? I’m not getting any second dates! I’d say I’m honest and upfront (without being negative or bitter) and my pictures are recent. I’m smart, I’m cute, I’m funny. (Seriously!) I think I have meaningful conversations with my dates, and we have a good time. A few make-out sessions have resulted, and they all say things like "I had a really great time, I’ll call you."
Then they never call! I have no problem if we just don’t “click,” but I don’t really appreciate it when they say they’ll call and they don’t. I feel like a person’s word is extremely important, and I feel like I’m being lied to. You’d think that some of them would have been interested in seeing me again. . . even just as friends. What’s going on here? — Not Calling


 


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