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,
    My boss recently hired a girl to work for the holidays. If my gaydar is correct, this girl is a lesbian, and a very attractive one at that. Normally, I wouldn’t waste any time getting to know her, but I work in a small, conservative environment. I really wouldn’t be able to say anything alone without someone overhearing. How can I drop hints that we play for the same team without ruffling any Republican feathers? — Sapphic Secret



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Dear Sapphic Secret,
    Two years ago I thought I was being all She-Wolf by escorting my drunk-ass office crush home from the holiday party. I knew nothing about his relationship status because I was too discreet (a.k.a. chickenshit) to ask, but I figured he’d fall in love with me somewhere on the cab ride back to Brooklyn. Not only did I not get any, I spent the next morning scrubbing his stomach contents off my living-room floor. Later that day, I discovered that he had a serious girlfriend. Lesson learned: Do your research.
    How will you do that, Sapphic Secret? By being ultra-observant of the clothes she wears, the food she brings in for lunch, her cubicle d├ęcor and the book that’s sticking out of her purse. You’re essentially looking for anything you two have in common that will provide an excuse for an out-of-office interaction.
    If it’s the kind of office where it’d be weird to do such a thing, try dropping a few gay pop culture or literary references and see how she responds. It’s not as direct as the first tactic (most of my gay friends can’t stand the Indigo Girls, and I know an equal number of straights who love the Pet Shop Boys), but it may help you ferret out some useful information.
    All that aside, if she’s only employed for the holidays, why not wait until after she leaves to ask her out? It’s much less dicey professionally, and your request for her phone number could be played off as networking, not girl scouting.



Dear Miss Information,
    What is the protocol regarding post-hookup "residue" that soils your bed partner’s linens? The last time I hooked up with the guy I’m dating, I was at the very tail end of my period. I assumed I was in the clear but noticed otherwise when my guy went to the bathroom and I surveyed the sheets. There wasn’t blood on them, but they were certainly messier than usual. Should I have offered to have his sheets laundered? Do I even need to acknowledge it? — Go With the Flow?


Dear Go With the Flow,
    I wouldn’t worry about it so much, GWTF. It seems you’ve hooked up with this guy before without any similar incidents, so it should be obvious you’re not some marauding sheet vandal who’s in cahoots with the gang at Linens-n-Things.
    Most guys have had some experience with period sex (we Detroiters call it “getting your Red Wings”), and the aftermath isn’t as shocking for them as it is embarrassing for you. They know a blood spot when they see one, and most men are mature enough to deal.
    You are not obligated to do his laundry unless you soiled an heirloom quilt that Great-Grandma Winnifred used as her only source of warmth during the Depression. Just as a party guest is responsible for putting his wine glass by the sink but not scrubbing down the entire kitchen with abrasive cleanser, you are responsible for picking up any stray condom wrappers, water glasses and balled-up tissues, stopping short of hauling his comforter to the coin-op. As the sex host, that’s his job, and when you guys screw at your place, you’ll have the joy of doing the same.

 

Dear Miss Information,
    My live-in boyfriend can be a little misguided sometimes. Our two-year anniversary happened to coincide with the launch of the Xbox 360, and instead of doing something with me, he went to the launch party instead (He’s a hardcore gamer and this was a huge event for him.) I was pissed, but I let it slide.
    Now Christmas is coming, and he tells me he’s gifting me with a Rabbit vibrator. I flipped out. I was expecting something sweet and romantic to make up for skipping out on our anniversary, not a battery-operated cock! Did I overreact? — Sulking Under the Tree

Dear Sulking Under the Tree,
    If you locked him out of the house and went all Gallagher on his gaming system with a snow shovel, then yes, you overreacted. If you said, “Gee, that’s sweet, but I’d also like something a little less naughty, a little more nice,” and offered some alternate gift suggestions (a homemade card, jewelry, a rare comic — whatever makes you mushy), then I’d say you handled this one just fine.
    Buying a vibrator is a brave act, so give the guy a little credit. I’m sure his choice of the Rabbit had more to do with his penchant for fancy electronics, combined with how amazing you are in the sack, rather than a lack of affection. Give him some additional time to find a replacement gift and try not to harp on the missed anniversary. It’s lame that he skipped out, but special occasions aren’t the only way he can redeem himself. Everyday actions count, too.
 

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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com