Advice

Miss Information

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Hey readers: two delicious bits of news for you this week.

1. Enter our new Reader Contest, with merchandise and prizes for whoever’s most adept at self-shaming. (Don’t worry: names can be changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.) Details at the end of this week’s column. Get your entry in by 12:00 noon on Sunday, November 9.
2. Miss Information is moving to Tuesdays. Same great taste, now with one-hundred percent less Wednesday! Make sure to notify loved ones and your immediate family.



Dear Miss Information,

After months of searching, I recently landed a nice job at a small company. I went out for drinks with one of the partners, a man I hoped would become a mentor. We were chatting about work and familyhe is divorced and has kids my age when suddenly his pursed lips were coming at me! I panicked, threw up my hands and yelped, then told him that getting involved with people at work is a bad idea. He ignored me, rambling about how he was attracted to me and how we could run away together. I said we were probably drunk after five beers each, and tomorrow we could act like nothing had happened. But the next day, he kept talking about how much fun he had, and how he’d like to go out again. I am friendly, but dress conservatively and have been very careful to not give out mixed messages. I planned on working here for at least a year, and enjoy what I do. My guess is that he sees me as easily replaceable. Either that, or he’s crazy. What do I do? — Anti-Office-Ho-Bag

Dear Anti-Office-Ho-Bag,

promotion

Crazy? More like predictable and horny. I understand the office is small and you’re just trying to make friends, but remember that you are brand-new. Fresh meat. Young and, I’m guessing, attractive. No one’s sick of your face yet. Once a few months roll by and they see you on laundry day, watch you snack on mustard packets and hear you on the phone, fighting with customer service over a refill for your psoriasis condition, you’ll be seen as less of a sexpot and more of a real person.

There’s also the small-office equation. Limited choice theory. The more taboo the situation and the fewer the people, the more likely someone is to develop an attraction. It’s a small office, he’s older than you and in position of authority; you’re the Megan Fox of the spreadsheets.

Don’t go out with him again, except in a group setting. Be friendly, but busy. Have a multitude of all-purpose excuses handy, and throw a pic of a cute boyfriend-looking guy on your desk or screensaver. You might want to also look into your drinking. Five beers and you’re still guessing if you’re drunk? High tolerance or no, that’s quite a few for platonic after-work beers. Dial it back a bit and save the boozing for your real friends and less volatile situations. Who wants to waste a drunken good time worrying about doing something that will endanger your job?

 

Dear Miss Information,

I’ve been on the dating scene in a small town for the past few years. The results of this dating, simply put, are "cling-ons" — guys who, after I say I don’t want to have a relationship, start to infiltrate my personal life, befriend my friends, force proximity and in one instance, try to turn friends against me. Others will wait until I’m drunk and sleep with me; then I’ll wake up and realize I’ve fallen into a guilt trap. Once, an ex-date talked to me at length about how lonely he is and how I’m the only person he’s ever liked kissing. Then he looked at me expectantly. I’m starting to garner a reputation as a "player," but I know I’m not! I don’t lie, or mislead.

The city I live in may have slim pickins when it comes to gay men, but are they all really that desperate? I may be a catch, but I’m starting to feel like the biggest fish in a miniscule, oxygen-depleted pond. I just want to have fun without all the guilt-mongering. I’m in college, so moving isn’t an option. Any advice? — I Wish I Was an Asexual Sea Cucumber

Dear I Wish,

I’ve never met a player who thinks he’s a player, but I’ve met a ton of people who are accidental players in word and deed. More redeemable than the Intentional Player, but still capable of gross twatitude, the Accidental Player is a study in contradictions:

Accidental-Player Behavior #1: They open up shop and put out the wares, then are surprised when customers come knocking.

You’re a hot guy with good social skills, in an area where gay men are in short supply. Of course you’re going to attract attention, including attention from gentlemen ready for serious relationships. You’re going to have to make adjustments for that. Visit some place like New York and you’ll have an easier time slutting around, hassle-free.

Accidental-Player Behavior #2: They are passive in social situations.

Someone waited until you were drunk, i.e. shoved the drinks down your throat. Someone slept with you, i.e. you didn’t sleep with them. Someone infiltrated your friend group, i.e. there was no way you could’ve found new friends or told your existing ones it’s either this guy or me. If you’re so bothered by these cling-ons, trying being proactively unavailable. Just disappear. Don’t pick up your phone. Go to new hangouts.

Accidental-Player Behavior #3: They want to practice advanced-level, black-belt dating, but expect others to make it easy.

Everyone’s out for themselves. Dating’s a tough game. Regardless of what they say, people who like you — like the ex who’s telling you he’s lonely — are after every piece of you they can get. Including kisses. That’s why it makes sense to practice good emotional hygiene. You shouldn’t be hanging with your exes, and if you are, you should be stopping them long before they get all schmaltzy. Change the subject or tell them point-blank, "I’m sorry you’re feeling bad, but let’s not go there, okay?” In order to be kind and clear, you have to be a little mean.

Does any of this strike a slimy chord, Sea Cucumber? Perhaps by looking out for these three behaviors and exploring a new dating pool — think older, non-local, and more experienced — you’ll be able to escape the wrath of the cling-ons. By the way, you know that "asexual" animal you picked? Pour yourself a big cup of fail and click here.

Dear Miss Information,

I had an awesome hook-up with a guy I’ve had a crush on for a few years. But it ended in disaster: as I got out of bed to get dressed, I looked down and there it was — a period smear on his sheets! He saw it too, but didn’t say anything. He kissed me after he took me home, and texted me later, but I’m still mortified. I think I’ll stutter if I actually have to talk to him in person again. Ugh. Please help. — Cursing A Red Streak

 

Dear Cursing A Red Streak,

You got menstrual fluid on his IKEA Hümpin bedspread. Big freakin’ deal. Girls leave period stains, boys lose boners. I’d call this one even as far which is more embarrassing. You may not have witnessed a loss of erection this time, but that’s because it’s the only time. Rest assured he’s been through that with other females. He knows you’re feeling like a nerdy slattern. The kiss and the text are his way of showing you he’s still attracted. Now it’s up to you to react with an equal level of maturity. You waited a long-ass time for that hook-up, so stop avoiding him like a ninny. Either acknowledge and exploit the humor in the situation, or commit yourself to total denial and act as if it never happened. It was some other girl, some other guy. A story a coworker told you. A really bad dream. Invite him somewhere where you won’t have to talk for the first few hours. Head to a bar and see a band, or catch a movie. For the latter, I suggest something overtly stupid or suffocatingly twee. This will help you skip past the awkwardness and go straight to the bitching. When you’re bitching, you’re bonding. When you’re bonding, you’re fucking. And, like salt bagels from Brooklyn and cats in fanciful get-ups, that makes Miss Information very, very happy.

Who’s got a tale that beats the period-stained panties off of Red Streak? Who — besides Miss Info — has met an officer of the law halfway through a handjob? Who’s done the Walk of Shame in a Barney Rubble costume, post-Halloween? Send an email to erin@nerve.com by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 9, to and tell me, in 350 words or fewer, your most mortifying bedtime story. (Don’t worry, dear readers: you can use a clever pseudonym or your initials. In the event that you can’t think of anything clever, your name will not be revealed.) The winner will be published in next week’s column. They’ll also win a twenty-five-dollar Amazon gift card as well as a subscription to Nerve Premium.


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