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When Good Advice Goes Bad


Some people thank me for my "tough love" approach to advice. In this case, I told the woman that her sense of entitlement -- her notion that all men owe all women commitment and financial support and their lifelong lust -- was all wrong, and counterproductive to getting and keeping a man. I don't know why women don't understand this, that men don't want complainy, demanding women.

Also, in response to her complaint that she and her friends don't get respect from men, I never experience that (except for the occasional "fuck you!" from a person I suggest should stop shouting into their cell phone) -- perhaps because I act like I expect respect, and will put up with no less. Of course, it helps to not be desperate for a relationship.

If I didn't have Gregg in my life, I'd probably be alone, and stock up on a few boytoys. Being good in a relationship starts with being okay alone. If you're not comfortable being alone, you're going to be a misery to be with, and you're probably going to settle for some creep so you can try to substitute having a relationship for having a self.

As I've written before, to have a happy relationship, it takes three things. First, though, you have to find a good guy, which means you have to make ethics a priority, and wait to get to know him until you see he has them. And you have to have them yourself to really be able to identify them. After you get the good guy, just do these three things:

1. Be sweet to him.
2. Don't gain 300 pounds.
3. Give him blow jobs.

Back to my recent pen pal, let's just say she was less than grateful for what I wrote her -- perhaps because I didn't share her sense that women are entitled to anything. As I wrote about myself, and how I see what men "owe" me: "I'm entitled to shit."

Now, I happen to have a very sweet, generous boyfriend, and my worry, if anything, is that he does too much for me, and I don't want it taking him away from his work. But, perhaps I have that boyfriend because I see everything he does for me as a gift, not some obligation on his part.

Her mileage, apparently, varies:

ONE OF HER EMAILS: I don't believe you have a boyfriend. You're not entitled to trash other people. I don't believe you could be nice to a man and then such a mean stupid bitch to a stranger who did what you asked. You lied about needing a question. You don't have our permission to publish. You're not entitled to it. That was just a ruse to start some shit. I've lived life long enough to know. You're a phony - a fake. You've lost readers. No wonder you're worried about getting canned. You will be! No doubt about that. No one could stand to be married to you. You're too mean and foul-minded! Plus, you hate people and have no compassion. At least you havn't touched me. Crazy people do not touch me and you're not even in the ball park. Sianara loser. You're lost.

I WROTE BACK: You asked for my opinion, and I gave it, in hopes of helping you with your problem. You didn't like my answer, but I was honest with you, not cruel. You read my column regularly; you know I don't pussyfoot around, and asked me for my opinion knowing that. If you want somebody to be not that straight with you and not think very hard, there's Dear Abby. I would never do the kind of cutting to a person you do, with all this "Cianara, loser," and the other nasty stuff you say above. What I am at the moment is somebody who finds you quite frightening. There are people I don't like or have contact with in my life, but I don't wish them ill. I just wish not to see them. I find your increasing level of hatred and bile quite frightening, but I still don't want you to get fired or be lonely or unhappy...or write me again. Why not read those books? Maybe I'm a phony, and an idiot, and maybe there's really no boyfriend in my life, but Krishnamurti sure knows a thing or two.

Another email from her...about my response to her previous email suggesting I "have my period"...(eeeeuw...tacky!):

FROM HER: Great then the whole world can see what a fool you are!

MY REPLY: Oh, I'm not afraid to look like a fool. I frequently am one.

This comments and the crack about my recent therapy shows a meanness just under the surface in you that I find pretty ugly and shocking. Often that sort of thing comes from fear. The books I recommended could help you address that, if you're interested.

I went to the therapist my friend Sue Shapiro wrote about in Lighting Up, because he helped her with her writing productivity issues, and he seemed to really be wise. Not a lot of therapists are. I'll always invest in becoming a better person if I can. I mean, what better thing is there to spend money on?

I don't wish you ill. I just wish you'd get your mind out of my vagina.

Note to self: Next time, don't write back.

See how I learn?

Posted by aalkon at April 21, 2006 11:53 AM

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The Goddess writes:

1. Be sweet to him. 2. Don't gain 300 pounds. 3. Give him blow jobs.

I hate getting blowjobs. There! I said it!

Posted by: Patrick at April 21, 2006 3:20 AM

> If you're not comfortable being alone, you're going to be a misery to be with,

Nonsense. People that are totally comfortable being alone feel invaded when they share their living space. That's when they become miseries.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at April 21, 2006 6:58 AM

Stu, I don't mean it as a space thing, but as a head-space thing. But, it is awful, if you're a solitary person, to be jammed into a space with somebody else -- even if you love them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 21, 2006 7:17 AM

If Patrick doesn't want his, I'll take them.

Posted by: eric at April 21, 2006 7:20 AM

I, for one, am shocked --SHOCKED I tell you-- when I find a man who doesn't care for blowjobs.

Luckily, my husband likes 'em. And I like him. You can guess the rest.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at April 21, 2006 7:48 AM

Hmmm, know what my pen pal would say: "How can we be sure you actually have a husband?"

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 21, 2006 8:12 AM

Hmm...then again, with remarks like that, if you don't have one now, you should have plenty of volunteers.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 21, 2006 8:14 AM

I'm one of those solitary people who is happier when I don't live with anyone. But I do enjoy company from time to time!

Posted by: Pirate Jo at April 21, 2006 8:19 AM

Hmmm, know what my pen pal would say: "How can we be sure you actually have a husband?"

Well, I could post a picture, maybe?
Of the husband, I mean.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at April 21, 2006 8:55 AM

"I hate getting blowjobs."

Patrick --

I have some ideas about why you hate getting blowjobs. But before I offer them, I thought I should give you the floor.

So. Please explain.


Posted by: Lena "Drain Me" Cuisina at April 21, 2006 10:34 AM

I hate getting blowjobs because then it's all awkward the next time you make eye contact when he's saying mass.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at April 21, 2006 3:15 PM

Jim --

Will you marry me? Keep coming up with lines like that, and I'll blow you on a daily basis.


Posted by: Lena at April 21, 2006 4:08 PM

As to your three points regarding keeping a man after determining that he makes a good match (which also is excellent advice);

Point one, absolutely, be sweet, but stay honest.
Point two, obviously some extra girthiness as you grow old together isn't only expected, but probably desirable, but when you let that get out of hand then of course it would be a big turn-off.
Point three, you sure do have a pretty mouth.

(sorry couldn't help myself)

(hopefully you'll take that comment as a playful compliment as intended, and not some sort of veiled threat)

Posted by: XWL at April 21, 2006 5:32 PM

Eric, you're welcome to all the blow jobs anyone's ever wanted to give me.

Deirdre B., I didn't say I "didn't care" for blowjobs. I said I hated them, thank you very much.

Lena, now I'm curious as to what your theories are. I'm hoping one of your ideas isn't, "Well, that's just because you never had a good one." (There's no such thing as a good blowjob.)

But since you asked, it's quite simple. Lovemaking for me, is an interactive sport. I don't care to be idle while someone else is doing all the work. I'd rather have someone within reach to show my affections. "Getting serviced" with a blowjob keeps a person frustratingly out of arm's reach when I'd rather have them in my arms. There.

That said, you call all keep your blowjobs to yourself. Or give them to Eric, since I said he could have mine.

Posted by: Patrick at April 21, 2006 8:47 PM

i broke up with my ex for pretty much the exact reason you've cited: she thought our relationship would make up for her unhappiness with herself. what she needed was to achieve success and independence on her own.

she wasn't too generous in the blowjob department either.

Posted by: g*mart at April 21, 2006 11:42 PM

"Will you marry me?"

Hmmm... I guess it's never too late to switch!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at April 21, 2006 11:51 PM

"Lovemaking for me, is an interactive sport. I don't care to be idle while someone else is doing all the work."

You don't have to be idle while someone's blowing you, Patrick. You can grab them by the hair and yank their head back and forth while they choke on your shaft. It's very interactive and sporty.

As for my theory of why you don't like getting blowjobs: I thought you might be a raging pig bottom who wants to do all the servicing (while being called demeaning names, of course).

Posted by: Lena at April 22, 2006 12:42 AM

a bottom eh?
i don't think patty's a bottom.
he never claimed to be a marine

Posted by: g*mart at April 22, 2006 4:48 AM

g*mart, in reference to me, writes: "patty's."

Hey, g*mart, BLOW ME!

Posted by: Patrick at April 22, 2006 5:44 AM

Patrick....Two words....Sixty nine.

Unless she's violated Rule #2 above, in which case you may want to work from a Sideways angle.

So many geometric possibilities...So little time....

Posted by: SteveHeath at April 22, 2006 9:46 AM

I personally don't care much for the female equiv of a blowjob, but it's because it simply doesn't do anything for me.
I appreciate the effort, but I'd rather it went somewhere constructive.

One of you girls can have my blowjobs.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at April 22, 2006 6:21 PM

"One of you girls can have my blowjobs."

Thanks, Deirdre. By the way, I'm also collecting spare rimjobs, just in case you have any you're not using.

Posted by: Lena at April 22, 2006 8:10 PM

Thanks, Lena!
A Lady through and through.
I like rimjobs, though-- if they're simply a precursor.

Posted by: deirdre B. at April 23, 2006 6:48 AM

"Hmmm, know what my pen pal would say: 'How can we be sure you actually have a husband?'"

Hey, you can relax. Since you're not married, she doesn't have yours...

Posted by: Radwaste at April 23, 2006 6:59 AM

So, Amy, and chance of your pen pal's missives to you actually making it to your "Love Letters" column? Sounds like interesting reading.

Posted by: Patrick at April 23, 2006 11:22 AM

TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX VEGAS. Rated "mature." For the Microsoft .....

Posted by: Izaiah Marrero at December 31, 2006 6:30 AM

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