Miss(ed) Manners

January 16, 2008

Ask Dave! Vol. 19

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave — missedmanners @ 2:21 pm

Dear Dave,

I’ll be frank. My birthday is five months away, and I’m wondering how I can actually get my boyfriend to get me a gift I’ll like.

Now I bet you’re wondering why I’m asking this now if my birthday is five months away, and that’s a valid question. You see, the guy is a little bit thick. Sometime in August, I started dropping blatant hints to him that, for Christmas, I wanted a white gold pendant with a little sparkle to it (that means diamonds). I wasn’t looking for him to spend a fortune, the ones I was pointing out were all under $150, but my point is that for months I was pointing out white gold (or silver) pendants that I liked. So Christmas rolled around, and I unwrap a yellow gold birthstone ring. This may not sound like a huge deal, but one would think that after dating me for the better part of the last six years he might realize that I never ever wear rings (this one now sits in the box on my shelf where jewelry goes to die), and I don’t own anything that is yellow gold (I loathe yellow gold). This wasn’t the first time he’s been totally off the mark when giving me a gift (which is why I started hinting
early). I’m wondering if there’s anyway to actually teach him to get me a gift I might actually love, or is he a lost cause and I just need to work on pretending to like what he picks out.

-Not Satisfied in Nova Scotia

Not Satisfied, I am going to answer your letter in two parts. Please read both.

Part #1:

You are what is wrong with male/female relations.

What’s the point of trying to influence someone’s decision on what type of gift they’re going to get you? Suppose he did get you this little white gold bauble, what then? Congratulations, you got something you wanted that required no thoughtfulness or emotion on his part. He’s the robot you’ve always wanted.

Gifts are not about trading material wealth. When you get someone a gift it should communicate a message to that person about how you feel about said person. For example, for Christmas, my little sister got me a silver bracelet engraved with my initials from a craftsman in Senegal. She had to haggle the price in broken Senegal-ese or whatever it is they speak over there. It’s the best gift I’ve gotten in years because of the thought that went into it and the story behind it. When you just grab someone something from Spencer Gifts at the mall no one cares, even if it is a novelty dildo.

Where’s the surprise? Why would you want to know what you’re getting for your birthday? Explain that to me.

Part #2:

Having said all that you’ve piqued my interest. I’ve always said that humans are just as trainable as pets, as long as you look at them that way. If you’re intent on pre-determining your beau’s actions, you need to realize that what you’ve got here is simply an under-trained schnauzer.

Once you accept that reality, you’re going to have a lot more success. Males are notoriously forgetful. They don’t remember birthdays, anniversaries, eye color (funny story, I actually only remembered an ex’s eye color because it was her screen name), dress size, coffee preference, etc. This doesn’t have anything to do with how much or how little they care, it’s just that to them these facts are erroneous to their existence. How would knowing that you hate rings affect his ability to survive? Assuming you’re not looking to gun him down over this transgression, it doesn’t.

So if he’s not remembering details about you why would he remember details about what you want? Gift suggestions rate somewhere between the annual rainfall of Chile and the winner of Miss North Carolina 1948 in their importance to men. What you need to do is make it important.

How do I do that, Dave? You may ask.

How do you house break a dog? I may answer. And I did.

Simple. Reward good behavior and punish undesirable habits.

I’m going to go ahead and assume your boyfriend isn’t a fan of doggy biscuits and that smacking him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper might raise an eyebrow or two. It’s up to you to find out what would qualify as reward and punishment. I could be so obtuse as to mention provision and subsequent denial thereof of sex as an obvious suggestion.

But every guy is different, the key is to tailor not only the rewards but also the level of subtlety. Some guys might pick up on what you’re doing, they may or may not care. Other might need to be let known that they’re being trained. For example tell him you’re going to quiz him on what kinds of jewelry you like, and then reward or punish accordingly.

If he is as dense as you say, then what you need to do is make it clear how important this type of behavior is to you and make it even more clear that there is incentive act in a certain way. People don’t change simply because you want them to, men least of all.

Hope that helps.

October 25, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 15

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 11:18 am

Dear Dave,
This is my dilemma: My birthday is coming up this month. I want to have some friends join me at a restaurant for dinner, but I am in no financial position to pay for everyone. Would it be rude to invite them and expect them to pay for their own meal? If not, what should I say when I invite them?

Perplexed in Pensacola

Dear Perplexed:

Money ruins everything. It’s a shame, but it’s true. You name it, and money’s dragged it into the street and laid a steaming hot turd in its mouth, which, unless that thing is a Japanese porn star, would effectively render said thing ruined. It is at the center of every single geopolitical crisis since the beginning of time. Even all the things we love to blame on the ugliness of fanatic religion is really about money.

I don’t mean to try to diminish the importance of your question, but rather to just put in perspective the galactic level pain in the ass that financial concerns place on things so simple such as friendship and birthdays.

In a perfect world everyone would know it’s your birthday and flying puppies would jump out of the ground with magical little cupcakes and serve you and your friends fancy vittles as you sing Feliz Cumpleanos to lutes and various fantastical instruments. But we don’t live in a perfect world, puppies don’t fly and cupcakes aren’t magical. Unless you get them in Amsterdam.

Inviting people out to a group dinner is well within the realm of politeness even without the special occasion of birthday. People do it all the time. The only thing that manners and taste dictate is that if you’re not in the habit of rolling with millionaires you should pick a restaurant that is competitively priced. Meaning that if your friends are anything like the rest of the suffering middle class of this country you should stay away from places that require credit checks upon getting a reservation.

The only time it’s expected that you foot the bill for your own birthday is if you’re having a party at your house, or at a special location. I had a brief run in over the summer with a group of extremely well off individuals. We had dinners, a few parties, etc. It was a pretty interesting situation because they all came from money, so money did not enter into situation. There was no splitting of the check, someone always picked it up. They didn’t have birthday parties at dirty little dives like the rest of us mere mortals, they rented yachts and circled Manhattan. In cases like that, it’s definitely assumed that the thrower of the soirée is going to cover all costs.

In your situation, you can most definitely ask people to pay for their own dinner. In fact, I’d go so far as to assume that they’d probably be expected to pay for your dinner as well, though that’s just generally the case with the people I know.  You don’t need to offer any extra information, except perhaps mentioning in your invitation that the restaurant you’ve chosen is “very affordable” or something like that (which it ought to be).

Happy Birthday!

July 24, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 6

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 4:24 pm

Dear Dave,

I don’t know what kind of advice you give, but I’ll give you a shot! I have a ‘friend’ that I’ve known for over 20 years. Throughout the years I’ve made it very easy for her to walk all over me. When we were young, I wanted nothing more than the life she led, so we did whatever she wanted. Now, her life is in shambles, she’s a mediocre mother at best, a volitile wife, and very self centered. I’ve helped her through the mourning of her brother and mother, just a few years apart, I’ve picked her delinquent child up from school when they ‘just couldn’t handle him any more’ and been her marriage therapist. All of her other friends stopped associating with her a couple of years ago because they refused to deal with her drama. I would never turn my back on what are genuinely times of need for her, but I don’t go out of my way to call her, or go out with her when she calls and wants to go hang out. When we do talk, it’s all about her, her life, her problems, her, her, her. I’ve
been her best friend, and she’s been my worst friend, how do I let her know this without a massive amount of drama? I’ve tried in the past to tell her that she couldn’t use me as a door mat and that she had very little if any respect for me, and she just laughed it off. Our families are extensively connected, and I could never just write her off completely. I miss sharing my life with her, but she only seems interested in imposing her life on me, how do I make her a better friend, or at least get her to shut up long enough to share some of my joys and troubles with her, without her taking a phone call, text message or just flat out running me over while I’m trying to share? I will add, that of all the friendships I have, this is the only one that is all give, and no take.
Regards,
Spineless in Seattle.

Oh Spineless! What a nice long letter. Believe that the reply is going to be crazy long and involved, out of respect. We’re talking Kierkegaard long and involved (I just patted myself on the back for a good five minutes for spelling that right the first try).

Let’s tackle that first question really quick. What kind of advice do I give? I give the right advice. In fact, I’m right about everything, all the time. You know how some people measure the passing of time with days, weeks, months and years? I measure mine in “I Told You So Moments.” I live for these.

Seriously though, I like to think that any stranger can give better advice than your friends and family if only because of their distance and objectivity to the issue at hand. Since I don’t know you at all, I’ll be making plenty of generalizations and possibly even some misogynistic comments (these are mostly for humorous effect). You should then take whatever positive information you can glean from my sarcastic ramblings and apply them to your situation. Shall we begin?

You’ve got a frienemy.

A frienemy is the type of person who’s become so involved your life that you cannot extricate them from it no matter how hard you try, no matter how much damage he/she is doing to you and you can’t help but constantly be there for them. Bravo to you for having the socially ingrained politeness that leaves you paralyzed from action.

Normally I’d take this time to say a little spiel about the difference between male and female best friends. How men bond for life and have these great relationships forged in steel and iron and shit like that and how girls habitually stab each other in the back just for the hell of it. Unfortunately, it’s just not applicable here. Frienemies are both male and female.

So we know what she is. She’s a self centered, self righteous, needy, greedy, whiny drama queen who’s become your responsibility. All of your mutual friends have jumped ship and headed to the sandy shores of emotional maturity. You’re her last hope, her only connection to the sane world that she’s long since departed to live in her psycho-centric  galaxy where everything revolves around the strenuous gravitational pull of her massive amount of crazy.

Short answer? Leave this walking baggage claim disaster and move on with your life and be happy. Never look back. Take the path of least resistance and just stop all contact, ignore her calls and slowly drift out of her field of view until she’s all alone more bitter than a Pirate’s fan in September.

But you can’t do that, can you?

At this point you get to make the obvious choice between continuing with the status quo of being doormat number one in front of the outhouse of her life… or taking a stand and saying “No. I will no longer dry the urine stained feet of your problems and issues.”

The choice is clear because urine smells. Especially if you like Vitamin Asparagus Protein shakes like I do.

Let’s make a stand together. First, before we make the figurative emotional stand to her, let’s do an actual stand. Slide the chair back away from the computer, so you don’t hit your knees, that could affect your ability to make stands of any kind for a while. Tense your leg muscles and pull yourself vertical. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Now that you’re standing, go get a drink.

Get me one too. Vodka, rocks. Thanks.

Have any cigarettes? I left mine at the office.

Thanks again, you’re a doll.

You can be seated for the rest of this, I don’t usually require calisthenics from my advice seekers.

Now let’s talk about this confrontation. How do you do it in such a way that she doesn’t go all Lord of Flies on you? This is the hardest question because I’m not so sure that it’s possible. Everything you’ve said in your description of her leads me to believe she’s a grade A psycho who flips off the handle like it’s a diving board and she’s an ornery Greg Louganis.

There will be drama. You cannot tell a self centered person to move the center to a spot equidistant between the two of you and expect for there not to be. What you need to do is take all the emotional distress, draining talks, long phone calls, trampled emotions and wasted days of just giving giving and giving until you have nothing left in one hand… and in the other put the possible drama that could ensue from you telling her that she’s been a selfish, horrible friend for over twenty years.

Betcha one hand seems lighter, doesn’t it?

Now, you want her to be a better friend? That’s easy. Tell her you want her to be a better friend. Tell her how much you value her presence in your life and how you used to look up to her. Tell her the truth, it’s just that simple. Tell her you want to continue being there for her whenever she needs you, just not like this. Not any more. You are not an outhouse doormat (do they even make those?).

She’ll either get loud, angry and upset and then walk off in a huff, or she’ll go completely silent, start laying on the guilt and then start texting an imaginary friend; depending on which type of crazy she is. Either way you should get out of there as soon as possible. Let her know again that you want to still be friends, but that she’s got to start pulling her weight. Then leave her alone to think about it.

That’s the key to this situation, your absence. Put the ball in her court. You make the first move and then let her decide. The most difficult thing for a self centered person to do is something that is expressly the request of someone else. If she takes the initiative to come to you, then she’s coming with intent to change, on behalf of your friendship.

If not, then you’re better off and you can safely say you did all you could.

If the friendship ends there, at least you can look at the situation and say you were honest with yourself and her, which is more than most people can say or do. Get this one right. Life’s too short and complicated to spend it figuring it out for someone who doesn’t appreciate all that brain power.

July 11, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 5

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 3:25 pm

Dave

I guide my medical care by the thoughtful and insightful commercials by pharmacutical companies. I figure if they didn’t care about my well-being, why would they invest billions of dollars in R&D and informative broadcasts, right?

So here I am, a guy of “a certain age” who is just perplexed by two new drugs.

One such drug (Avodart) is for a swollen prostate and they warn that women should not take this drug…Why are women considering taking this drug? I have to wonder who are these women with swollen prostates?

Another (Detrol) is for older guys who have frequent urges. I have frequent urges but evidently not the kind they are discussing. While it reduces the need to urinate, they mention that it has a risk of reduced semen. By my thinking, the last thing most “older” guys want is an unfortunate pregnancy so this is a good thing…right?

So – if I mix these drugs, will I find myself with less semen when I urinate or …. oy.

Any guidance?

Oh my.

Mr. Any Guidance, you’ve come to the right place!

I know absolutely nothing about following things: Prostates, Women and Pharmaceuticals.

I do however, know loads about semen.

*snicker*

First of all, you’re right to get all of your information on drugs from pharmaceutical company advertising. Due in no small part to their tireless research efforts, big pharma has over the past decade recognized close to a billion new syndromes and have named them with two or three letter acronyms. Thank God because I just wasn’t comfortable calling my erratically jerking legs “Jimmy Feet” anymore. Now it’s RLS, or “Restless Leg Syndrome.”

The best thing about these McSyndromes is that they’ve all got drugs specifically designed to combat them! I mean talk about kismet, right?

So, to the fleshy underside mound of your question. Sounds like you’re entering into that period of male life that we all assume will never happen because we all figured that by 2001 we’d be giant babies floating around in space. Well shit, here you are and your butt nugget is swelling to the size of a grapefruit and you need to choose which drug to take.

Sounds like you’re suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH in pharmobrandingese. I did a little research on Avodart and it doesn’t sound like there are many side effects, though they did mention the whole no women situation, without offering any reason as to why the women would want to take this drug in the first place.

Here’s why I think they might a la David Lynch: Gender confused mother of three sees a horrible murder take place one night and reinvents and alternate personality named Gary who’s a 65 year vigilante. Gary can go places she can’t, he can fight crime like she can’t and he can pee standing up. However, since she’s a woman, she’s got a bladder the size of a thimble and needs to urinate like every fifteen minutes. Now in Gary’s newly developed mind this is a symptom of the early onset of BPH and she gets some Avodart on the AARP grey market.

Now this second drug. The sperm killing one. Funny that they’d name it “Detrol” right? Steer clear of this one. Pardon me while I get graphic: It’s bad enough you’re starting to reach that age where you’ve got to get a camera stuck up your ass every now and then, don’t let them take away the unmitigated joy of propelling ropey jets of man juice all over the place. In fact, don’t take that drug and start doing kegels. Right now.

In a world where the emasculation of the Male sex is happening all the time all you’ve got left is your spunk rocket. We’ve got ED, BPH and the Bravo network. The Greatest Generation is so drugged up you could take one of them, shake them over a Phish concert and get the entire place high. The last thing you need is for your bladder control drug to start working against your manliness. Look into every other kind of therapy possible.

So go get a prescription for Avodart, a target, some magazines, and get to work. All us 20-somethings are pulling for you.

*This installment of Ask Dave has been made possible due to a grant from the GlaxoSmithKline Company

June 25, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 4

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Ring — missedmanners @ 12:11 pm

Dear Dave,
A few days ago my ex-husband announced he was looking for a ring for his new girlfriend. I told him good luck and all the other nice things people are supposed to say when someone gets engaged. He followed up with the question “Do you still have the ring I gave you?” I told him yes, I am saving it in my jewelry box for our daughter if she wants it one day. The ring holds no sentimental value for me and I can’t hock it for more than $500. Then he asks for the ring back since I am the one who ended the relationship (after I found him in bed with another woman). He actually plans on giving the girlfriend the same ring that he gave me. I was amazed by the request and don’t know if I should give it back to him or hold onto it like originally planned. My friends are all biased and I would like a no-nonsense answer to this rather odd request from the ex.
Amazed

Oh good God.

Amazed, I’ve actually mentioned your story to a few friends if only for the intense comedy value that is contained in each carefully crafted word, like so much high pressurized Nitrous. I actually wondered if this might be a joke, written by one of the handful of women I’ve slighted by various means of douchebaggery that I was so prone to in my earlier years. Regardless, my reply to your story would be the same.

This guy is kidding right?

I mean, really?

Seriously?

He really wants the ring back?

Did he also shit on your lawn and then throw some of it at you?

Was this guy raised in a barn? If so, what model of barn? Was he with herd animals or horses?

I should stop for a second, because the actual issue really isn’t all that simple. Normally in a case like this wherein the relationship was ended due to infidelity you get “Hand” for the rest of time. “Hand” meaning that you get to build a castle on the moral high ground with a moat of subtle loathing and unicorns that shoot rays of dismissal out of their horns. Living in this castle, while not the most healthy place for a psyche to reside in, does give you the right to say anything this walking Choad does is idiotic, insipid and irrefutably dense. “Hand” is the single most valuable thing you can ever get out of a break up. I mean, half of a four acre plot upstate won’t get you pity sex or an invite to a dinner party.

Since you’ve got Hand you can write off this stupid request right off the bat in all cases but one. If the ring itself is some sort of family heirloom then you’ve got to take pause and possibly consider that he should have it back. Though, since you didn’t mention it, we’ll just assume that it was a store bought ring.

So, what do you do?

Simple answer is tell this disaster of a man to go fuck himself and that despite how hard he is trying to tarnish the memory of the good times that the ring possibly represents by taking it away from the daughter you had together to give to some floozy, you still want to be able to pass something of emotional value on to her as she begins her eventual married life; albeit hopefully not to someone with wanderlust of the penis.

Though on the flip side the more fun option would be to just give it back to him. Why you may ask? Well imagine new fiancee’s reaction when she finds out that the ring she’s sporting is actually a hand-me-down from a previously unsuccessful marriage. That’s the kind of rain cloud that follows a relationship around like Charlie Brown in hurricane season. Not knowing much about this other woman makes it rather hard to figure out the exact reaction, but I think we can all agree that’s a pretty safe assumption to make.

Also, if you needed any more consolation that you’re better off without this guy, I’d say this would be it.

There is of course the third option, which is never the fun one, as it involves zero schadenfreude and no tellings of “go fuck yourself.” In this option you’d remember that men are, as a rule, emotionally dense and lack the capability of dealing with anything more complex than air humping after a sports victory by their favorite team. You’d remind him of just how idiotically rude it would be to pass on a ring to a new wife, and how potentially hurtful it would be to your daughter. Then you could meet for coffee and bury the hatchet like on one of those incredibly unrealistic prime-time dramas they’ve got all over the place.

Then, if he still wants the ring, knowing all this. You should really just give it back, and throw in a little bit of option #1 saying, “go fuck yourself.” A few times, once in Spanish or something for added effect. Because, if he’s going to continue treating the situations, both past and future, surrounding the ring with such a lack of compassion, you’re probably better off without it.

June 15, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 3

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 11:34 am

Dear Dave,

Where I work, there is this girl who is completely cold to me for no apparent reason. I can only assume her adopted attitude solely lies with the fact that she is now Formerly known as the Prettiest Girl in the Office.
Before I was hired she lost 40 pounds and wants to lose another 15, or at least maintain her current weight.

FPG (As I call her) is pointedly rude to me, which is earning notice from my coworkers.

Short of covering her desk in candybars to torture her, how can I handle this situation tactfully?

Thanks,
The Prettiest Girl in the Office

Oh, this is good.

Dear TPGitO,

Unfortunately, the answer to your query is incredibly easy and short, and not all that fun. So what I decided to do was first list three things that you should not, under any circumstances, do out of reprisal to your catty Kathy. For the purposes of this posting, I will present them in the affirmative form as negatives, double negatives, single positives and thingies of that nature really confuse me.

1) Cut that bitch, cut her right above her bitch eye. Then drag her around the office by her formerly chubby ankles while shouting that you caught yourself a rhino. If you wear a pith helmet it will add to the effect.

2) Steal her stapler and replace it with a rattlesnake.

3) Whenever she leaves food in the refrigerator with her name on it, change the name to yours. Then forge a memo that says she has to move her desk to somewhere isolated, after she moves, take her former desk. Start wearing similar clothing as she does and change your hair to match hers. It’s very important that you do this slowly as you don’t want to arouse any suspicion. Finally, try to steal her man and have a violent showdown on a roof somewhere in the rain, bonus points if you’re the one who survives.

But srsly…

First off, we don’t need to get into why she’s being rude. That much is obvious. We can ignore all the cliched stereotypes of newly lithe ladies and the territorial nature of being the sexiest person in a space (which I could talk for hours about *rubs knuckles on shirt*). This isn’t a case of one girl being rude to another, you’re locked in the epic struggle of Machiavellian office maneuvering.

Office politics are the only thing more lame and pathetic than real politics. However, instead of ruining entire residential areas because your senator got bribed into green-lighting a cement plant, in the office people most usually just call each other whores.

Also, the worst thing about office problems like these is that everyone will always say to you, “don’t sink to her level, it’s not worth it.” Which is the stupidest fucking advice that you could ever receive. Feeling high and mighty for not being equally snide back to someone who insists on making rude remarks to you isn’t going to stop her from being a bitch.

Unfortunately, while it’s the stupidest and most boring advice, when in the office context, it’s the only advice. We’re talking about securing the means to feed yourself here. When you take a step back and look at it from the perspective of not being able to eat, which would obviously be a problem for your friend, and having to deal with a post-porker’s dramatic self esteem issues, the disparity is immense.

The other problem with not turning the other cheek is that 99 times out of 100 the person who retaliates to office goading is the one who gets in trouble. Why? Because that old familiar mantra of “don’t sink to her level” is so ingrained into the collective mind that any boss will instantly blame you for not following it. The weaselly instigator is almost never blamed because they exist on that level that we’re all not supposed to sink to, we just assume that it is in their nature and it’s up to us to suffer them their affliction.

So what the hell can you do?

You said it right there in your letter, it’s earning notice from your coworkers. Make it earn more notice. If you can’t sink to her level, take a rocket and go orbitally higher than it. Go out of your way to be noticeably nice to her, and if she’s rude back to you, make it noticeable.

Passive aggression is what makes the world go round. Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was guilt tripped into existence over a period of several hundred years. Let the crushing weight of just how little you seem to care squash her petty rudeness. Once the entire office has noticed how rude she’s being to you, you won’t need to tell yourself not to do any level sinking, because they will do it for you.

Slightly nefarious, I know, but it’s way easier than trying to wrangle a rattlesnake.

June 8, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 2

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor,Romance,Sex — missedmanners @ 10:22 am

So, I’m 4 months shy of turning 40 of which I’m rather looking forward to. how come every guy I’ve met lately who has an interest in me is YOUNGER than me? yeah, I’m a hottie for my age, but that’s beside the point. What’s a girl to do?

Sincerely,

Forty and Foxy

Okay, so I added that last part on.

This is my kind of question! What you’re talking about is the oft documented, but seldom pan-gender discussed phenomena of the… duh duh daaaaaa… “Cougar!”

If you don’t know what a Cougar is, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last couple of years. The term has made a popular surge into the national limelight. Here’s a quick definition:

A Cougar is usually defined as a single woman in her late 30’s to early 50’s who craves the kind of man-love that only a young buck can provide. These ladies of the early evening hotel happy hour search high and low with a veracity usually associated with men. Any man who’s ever been courted, seduced or hit over the head with a crude wooden club by a Cougar can attest to the awesome sexperience that follows.

Now, I’m not saying that you ARE a Cougar. Most likely, you’re not out every night hunting for the young man essence that these creatures so desperately crave. What you’re experiencing is actually what I like to call the Cougar Resonance Effect. It’s a nationally altered mood about the feasibility of Fall-Spring relationships, primarily those involving an older woman.

Traditionally, older men have been the only group that have been culturally approved to grab a young trophy girlfriend. While some may look at it with disdain, there is not a man in the world who does not harbor a tiny bit of pride in their sex whenever they see that. Whenever a silver fox CEO saunters into a bar with what is most likely an exotic dancer of some sort on his arm, he gets a thousand invisible back pats from every dude around. That’s just the truth.

Now, with the advent, acceptance and popularity of the Cougar phenomenon, young men the world over have become open to the idea of dating older women. Why?

Because older women are about 50% less crazy than women in their 20’s. Ask any man who’s dated girls in their mid to late twenties, that’s a time that is RIFE with issues. You’ve got the internal battle with the biological clock, the whole career or kids decision, the search for self, etc. etc. It’s a turbulent time to say the least. One could say that all girls in their 20’s are ostensibly nuts, so why deal with it? Why not wait until they’ve got that shit figured out?

As young men the world over wrestled with that question, the Cougar made her ascent to national popularity. Here, now on the horizon, a generation of men adrift in a sea of eight year long engagements and flirting with people through ghastly means like Myspace or Match.com or whatever, have seen an alternative. And that alternative is stable, beautiful and probably makes more money than they do (which inspires the thought of perhaps… just maybe, a real dutch romance).

The rules have changed. You don’t need to date within your graduating high school year anymore. I’m terribly loathe to use a celebrity example, but hell, that whole Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher thing did wonders for this newly acceptable means of romance.

So there, that’s the reason why you’re meeting so many younger men. What are you supposed to do about it?

Keep an open mind to the possibility. Age is only as important as you make it and everyone loves a little trophy here and there, right? It’s certainly not something that you have to do, but just the fact that it’s accepted now is at least some social progress.

Take part if you like, but at the very least, revel in this little bit of sexual equality that has become all the vogue.

May 25, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 1

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 4:20 pm

So I asked that you ask and you asked!

Dear Dave

I lost my diamond from my engagement ring…Ok ask me how I lost it. Fixing the battery of my car..(never took it off) Looked high and low inside and outside of the car area. Even my neighbors joined me in the search, two hours and still looking five days later. The sentimental value was great (not because it was a big, just because it was given to me by my beloved) was thinking of replacing the diamond myself. Yes, he knows (called him)he is a work warrior – traveling mostly 250 days a year (I cried all night on the phone) Thinking of replacing myself dont dare to ask him..Should I replace myself or should I ask him?

Forever lost diamond

Dear Diamond:

First off, way to be all bad ass and able to fix a car battery. Ladies can only be made more sexy with car grease. This has been proven, like, four billion times in Playboy. (Sorry, had to get that little testosterone out of the way as I embark on this decidedly sensitive bit of writing)

Well obviously the most important issue here is settled: He knows about the gaffe. As we’ve all learned from watching that bastion of wisdom that is the American Sitcom you can never watch your best friend’s parrot, have it fly away and then go buy a new one, because that parrot knows how to sing the French national anthem, and the one you bought is actually a macaw and there is a huge difference between French singing parrots and macaws.

As you can see, we’re starting off on a high point, disaster averted, openness achieved. We’re ready to move forward.

Which way is forward, you say? The tricky land of Maleprideistan.

The problem with you getting a new diamond for the setting is multi-fold. Men need to feel like they’re providers. Now, I know that’s a line straight out of Cosmo, but it’s true. Just as gravity and most of the laws of thermodynamics are true (at least one of those was made up under the influence of pot, I’m positive of it), so is this.

So then how to proceed? How do we get a diamond back on that finger? How we resolve this situation without the years of guilt and passive aggressive behavior and sniping at the Thanksgiving 2036 dinner table where he casually mentions you losing the stone and the cyber turkey dishes start getting thrown?

It’s easy, really. What you need to do is assure both yourself and him that the stone is just a symbol of your love for each other. Sounds cheesy, but it has to be true. Did you spend all that time searching for it because it was worth some cabbage? Did you cry all night into the phone because you’d lost an investment? Nope.

See, the great thing about diamond rings is that they’re worthless. Sure, people like to say you’re supposed to spend a certain amount of money on a ring and the oohs and ahhs you get are directly proportional to the size of the stone. But did the thought of selling that ring at any time ever cross your mind? Did you ever sit down and dream of the really bad-ass tricked-out Vespa moto-scooter you could get if you hocked it? No, of course not. Ergo, the ring has no monetary value, whatsoever. Its value is emotional, which is evident from the intense reaction you had when you lost it.

Now that we’ve established that stone itself has no monetary worth we can proceed to the conclusion quite easily. What I would suggest is keeping the diamond-less ring itself on your finger at all times and loving it just as much as when it did have a stone. In fact, pretend it never had a stone. Next time you see your husband, make mention of how, stone or no, the ring will always be the same reminder of your love for each other. Not only do you need to say this, you need to believe it, because it’s true.

If you do all this, should your husband ever come bounding down out of the mountains of Maleprideistan with a new diamond for that ring… it won’t be a replacement.

It’ll be an upgrade. Because there was nothing to replace. You never lost a thing.

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