Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.


Dear Miss Information,
I recently read the Nerve profile of an amazing-sounding girl and emailed her. She wrote back saying she was leaving the country for a year, but that I should tell her about myself. I’m prone to saying more than I should, particularly when I’m interested, so I wrote her a pretty long, rambling email. I closed by saying we should get together for a quick drink before she left. She didn’t write back. Did I fuck this up beyond repair? I don’t really care about not meeting her before she leaves, but I’d like to cultivate a friendship with her to whatever extent that’s possible. Is there any way to do that without seeming nuts? — Long-Distance Beginning


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Dear Long-Distance Beginning,
You didn’t fuck anything up, but you are being a little dense. I know the idea of a long, slow courtship sounds really refreshing, like an electric fan on a naked ass, post-shower on a summer day. But very few people have the time and energy to email their family and friends, let alone establish an email courtship with someone they’ve never met. A woman who’s about to leave the country is not one of them.
    It has nothing to do with you, Long Distance. I’m sure you’re swell. But even if you wrote the most perfect email, the kind that made baby angels fill their diapers with rainbows and kittens cry velvet tears of joy, you probably wouldn’t stand a chance. You’re geographically undesirable, and therefore low on her list of dating priorities.
    Send her one more email if it’s going to keep you up at night, but keep it to three sentences max. The first acknowledges that there was a previous email sent but doesn’t rehash its contents: "Hey, I wasn’t sure if you got my previous email, I know you’re getting ready to leave for Italy/Timbuktu/BlowingMeOffizstan and you must be really busy." The second requests ongoing contact without making it sound like you’ve already picked out matching plots at the local cemetery: "So the timing isn’t ideal, but I’d love to be able to exchange emails once in a while and see how you’re doing in your new home."
    That leads us to closing sentence number three, which gives her a graceful way out while laying the groundwork for future contact: "If you don’t have time for that kind of thing right now, I’ll hang onto your email address and maybe we can look each other up a year from now and see what’s happening."
    If she writes back, great. If not, hit her up a year from now. Things could be way different. Or not.

Dear Miss Information,
Two months into our relationship, I told my boyfriend I could no longer be cool about the naked pics of his ex that were framed and hanging in his bedroom. He took them down and begged my forgiveness. But then a few months later I came across a binder on his bookshelf with more naked pictures of her (they’re still good friends), some of the two of them together. Admittedly, there are some self-esteem issues on my part. She’s younger, prettier, and a dancer. But he and I been together almost a year, so shouldn’t the pictures go away? I could destroy them myself and he’d probably never notice, but I’d rather he did it. — Holding the Matches

Dear Matches,
It’s okay to want those pictures out of your boyfriend’s bedroom, but it’s not okay to play sexual vigilante. I understand the urge to destroy them, and I’m surprised you made it this long without chucking that binder at his skull. That kinda shit wouldn’t fly for a jealous-but-working-on-it chick like me.
    Your guy does deserve some credit for complying with your request to remove the pictures from plain sight. Still, it’s kind of irritating he didn’t do a clean sweep of all offending imagery the first time around. Ask him to get rid of the binder and any other extraneous nudie shots he may have lying around. If he resists, ask him to pare down the collection to one or two favorites that he keeps well-hidden, or allow him to keep the photos in a more neutral location such as a storage facility or safe-deposit box.
     I know it’s hard not to get insecure when someone’s ex is hotter than you, but think back on all the guys you’ve dated. I’m sure there have been some that are hotter than the one you’re with now. Does that mean you’d drop your guy for any of them? Probably not. Don’t you think it’s possible your guy feels the same way?

Dear Miss Information,
I’ve been getting massages from the same LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) for two years now. She does a great job and we’ve become very friendly during the sessions, discussing everything from vacation plans to relationship issues. However, a month ago, I went in for a massage in a lousy mood and didn’t feel like talking. My LMT picked up on this and the session was mostly silent. Maybe because I didn’t have the normal conversation to “distract” me, when she started on my glutes, I got aroused. I tried to think it away, but when it was time to turn over, I had a full erection. I felt extremely embarrassed to have my erect penis practically poking a hole in the sheet. My LMT was great about the situation, simply ignored it and did what she normally does. After the session was over, I paid for the massage but couldn’t even make eye contact. I was noncommittal when she asked if I wanted to schedule my session for next month. Am I making too much of this? Do I need to find another LMT? Does my LMT now think I’m the sort looking for something other than a simple massage? — Massage-Table Manners

Dear Table Manners,
There’s a big difference between the accidental erection of an otherwise well-mannered client and the "Look At Me!" boner of a guy who’s trying to get a little something extra off his masseuse. Your LMT has been in the business for more than a few years; she can tell which wang is which.
    Like any strenuous activity that involves the manipulation of major muscle groups (yoga, sex, ice hockey, etc.), massages can evoke unpredictable physical reactions. Some people laugh, others cry, some get a little turned on. None of it’s intentional. Good masseuses are hard to find, so get over yourself and book another appointment. She actually asked you to book another session, right? If she thinks you’re skeevy, she wouldn’t have volunteered.
    If you-know-what comes up again, just try to ignore it and stop fighting your body’s natural reflexes with thoughts of dead childhood pets and grandma sitting naked on an ice floe. Bodywork is supposed to be about mental and physical relaxation. If it’s not, you’re wasting your money and might need to move on to someone new.
 

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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com