Miss Information

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

Dear Miss Information,

On New Year’s Eve, I ran into a girl I recognized from college. She told me she always had a crush on me. My girlfriend was with me that night, but I really wish I had gotten this other girl’s number. Am I a dirtbag? — Continuing Story


Dear Continuing Story,
No, a dirtbag would have bought his girlfriend copious amounts of alcohol and gotten the alumni cutie’s number while his sweetie was in the restroom exhuming the contents of her stomach. The holidays are a time of heavy drinking and heightened sentimentality. You pretty much have to take everything anyone says to you between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day with a grain of salt. Miss Alumni may be hot for your tater tots, but she might also have been drunk off her ass and/or caught up in the spirit of New Year’s Eve. You just don’t know.
Take some time to assess the situation before you do anything that might embarrass yourself or damage your relationship with your girl. Is alumni lady single? Does she live in your town? What makes her a viable dating option, other than her preference for tight sweaters? What do you know about her character? Temporary horniness is nothing to worry about, but if it’s a pattern or consistently focused on one person, you need to address it before it grows into something more. Being a dirtbag is highly preventable, but it takes self-control, self-awareness and a willingness to communicate with your partner.

Dear Miss Information,

My boyfriend has been rude lately, and I wonder if he’s cheating on me. He grabs his cellphone out of my hands whenever I look at it. I admit I snooped through his phone a month ago and found an innocuous text message from a girl, in response to a message he sent at one o’clock in the morning. I asked him about it and he got all defensive, saying the girl is ugly and has a bad attitude. There are other issues too — like his sister, who just came back from Army training after being away for seven months. He takes her calls but not mine, and gets angry when I call him on it. He’s really acting unstable; the other night he almost got into fistfights with two different men. When I bring this stuff up, he argues that we talk on the phone two or three times a day and it’s still not good enough for me. What should I do? — Celtic Chaos

Dear Celtic Chaos,

Your boyfriend is feeling harassed, Celtic Chaos. That’s why he’s not taking your calls. Looking through someone’s cell is the same as rooting through their diary, so get your mitts off his phone. You’re not going to find anything good in there, anyway. He’s on to you, and if he’s cheating, by now he’s taking steps to hide his calls.
You need to get off his ass about how he spends his personal time. He’s an adult. Let him make his own decisions. His baby sister just got back from the Army, and you’re mad that he’s giving priority to her calls? Are you kidding me? You’re talking two to three times a day — that’s plenty. If you can’t live with that, find something else to do. Learn a new language. Make a latch-hook rug.
Okay, enough of you. On to him. Is he cheating? Hard to tell. His behavior speaks to someone who’s emotionally distancing himself; whether it’s because he’s hooking up with text-message woman or just reacting to relationship pressures I don’t know. He definitely needs to work on his temper (fistfights = not cool) and quit fibbing to avoid conflict. He can’t tell lies, no matter how small, and expect you to trust him. That’s not how it works.
You both need to hammer out some compromises that will make this mess more livable. A sample policy might be: You agree not to be a snoop, he agrees to tell you whenever he has contact with this girl. He gives you a set window when it’s okay to contact him at work, knowing that all other times you will refrain from calling unless it’s an emergency. Being fifteen minutes late to call you is not an emergency.
Bottom line: compliment more, criticize less and stop rehashing every little imagined hurt. It’s just going to tear your relationship apart — painfully and slowly — and that’s an awful way to go. Trust me, I’ve been there before.

Dear Miss Information,

I’m a bi girl in a long-term relationship with a guy. I’m known for being uninhibited, but I believe in monogamy. That doesn’t stop my straight female friends from hitting on me whenever they’re wasted. It’s really irritating. I go out of my way to make sure I’m not doing anything to provoke it, but the minute they get a little alcohol in them I’m attacked by straight-girl tongue. My boyfriend hates it, and so do the boyfriends of these girls. I feel like it’s understood in our friend group that it’s okay to hit on me, but I don’t know why. What I can do? — Get Offa My Rainbow

Dear Get Offa My Rainbow,
I hate to put a crimp in your social calendar, but have you thought about spending less time in bars? If you go to a pool party, you’re gonna get wet. If you attend $2 shot night with your letchy female friends, well. . . you see what I’m saying. The circumstances aren’t fair but they are what they are. Sometimes you have to alter your behavior to achieve some serenity, even if the others are wrong and you’re in the right.
But are you totally right? You describe yourself as "uninhibited," and I’m wondering what that’s about. Are you the first to raise your hand when the magician asks the audience for a volunteer? Or are you constantly sharing the intimate details of your sex life? You can go on and on about your preference for reverse cowgirl. I won’t stop you. But realize that you may be sending a signal that you (and your boyfriend) have low social boundaries. We all have friends we can talk about sex around, and other friends with whom it’s uncomfortable and off-putting. Try emulating the latter and see what happens. When sex comes up, change the subject.
If you’ve toned down your act and it continues to be a problem, it may be time to call out the cavalry, i.e., embarrass the fuck out of them. The next time a tipsy girl tries to get lippy, say something like "Whoa, B.O.!" or "Damn girl, get a mint!" loud enough so everyone can hear. A blow to the vanity is a powerful deterrent and people seldom open themselves up to the same embarrassment twice.


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