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Pleased To Meat You
I get some nitwits writing to me, like this woman who turned 38, "was feeling unfulfilled," didn't want to encounter any men, so, what did she do? She went out to a bar! Just posted another Advice Goddess column. Here's the woman's question:

I turned 38 last week, and through some introspection, realized I’m unfulfilled. I thought a girls’ night out might help. The last thing I wanted was attention from men. Of course, at the bar, I ended up getting hit on by a 50-something overweight man. Shortly after introducing himself, he told me I have a lovely figure and began guessing my height, weight, and measurements (including bra size!). Then he asked me my age! Outraged, I said my stats were none of his concern, and that if he’s in the habit of treating women like sexual objects he should take his chauvinistic attitude elsewhere. Then I slapped his face, and told him it was on behalf of all the women who’ve had to endure his offensive pickup lines. He walked sheepishly back to his laughing buddies. My friends gave me “you go, girl” high fives, but said I seemed a little on edge lately. If they’re right, do you know some good techniques to find inner peace?


And here's my answer:

Common sense is getting rarer every day. My neighborhood grocery store just started tagging cheese with the sticker “CONTAINS: MILK.” A Welsh regulatory agency said Smoked Welsh Dragon Sausages should be renamed so it’s clear they’re made of pork -- not dragon. Surely your local pickup joint will soon post advisories on the door, like “Contains drunks” and “To avoid attention from men, hold girls’ night out in a convent, not a bar.”

I’ll hazard a guess as to what really went down last week. A man approached you at the bar. Although you consider men who judge women by their looks chauvinistic pigs, you noted that he was not a 30-something blond Adonis but a 50-something fat man. He noted that you noted this -- probably because you shot him the high school mean girl death ray for daring to even dream of hitting on you. Okay, fine. If he couldn’t get you, he’d at least get a rise out of you. You didn’t disappoint.

Naturally, you assumed he was a foot-soldier in the vast conspiracy to keep women down -- not just some obnoxious drunk. Asking apparently uptight girls in bars their age and bra size -- isn’t that what obnoxious drunks do? Come on, you know that, but acknowledging it isn’t half as satisfying as flapping your wings and squawking about being “objectified” (as if people in bars are on the prowl for inner beauty and spiritual depth). Finally, to show him how the civilized half lives, you cracked him one. Just a thought, but if a guy did that to you, would you be slinking sheepishly back to the girls -- or feverishly dialing 911 to have him incarcerated for life?

As for what you could’ve done in response, you’re a girl who was supposedly loath to engage. Didn’t ignoring him occur to you? Or, if you wanted to give back in kind, since it was a fat guy going troll on you, when he asked “What’s your bra size?” you could’ve looked down at his chest and said, “I dunno, what’s yours?” You only became a victim when you started acting like a victim. You’ll probably continue to feel like one until you figure out what’s missing from your life, and take steps to change -- instead of taking out the feeling something’s missing on the nearest aspiring toxic bachelor. As for how to find inner peace, Krishnamurti’s Freedom From The Known has some pretty good guidelines. As for where; there’s no paved path that I know of, but for best results, try standing by a babbling brook instead of a beer tap.

The original posting, and some comments, are here.

Posted by aalkon at March 28, 2007 9:54 AM


Listen, I don't do personal advice, but a woman that old who goes to a BAR and gets offended like that is testing old fears, right? She's tickling the dragon's tail.

> and through some introspection,
> realized I’m unfulfilled

There's a certain emotional removal at work here.

You have a fun job.

Posted by: Crid at March 28, 2007 8:22 AM

I just love it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2007 8:32 AM

If she's made it to 38 without ever having been hit on by an obnoxious drunk before, she must not get out much. She sounds more like a gal with a chip on her shoulder, trolling for a target.

Posted by: deja pseu at March 28, 2007 9:52 AM

Since you encapsulated wisdom in one pithy bit, I'll point it out : "Stand by a babbling brook rather than a beer tap."

Posted by: opit at March 28, 2007 9:57 AM

Women like the one above where feeding me feminist bullshit as a teenage girl. You're already an emotional train as a teenage girl. Bad dating advice helps NOTHING, especially when men dont think like you dont understand their behavior.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 28, 2007 10:13 AM

Exactly Deja, and trolling in shallow waters, too. A rabbi would tell her to kiss a boy. $50 says Dad was a milquetoast, withdrawn personality, and that she works in an office of wordsmiths or routine paperwork (ie, she never interacts with guys from Sales or the loading dock)

Place your bets, we'll make Amy write and ask her

Posted by: Crid at March 28, 2007 10:15 AM

PurplePen's a GIRL!

That's cool, I just thought you were a boy. I mean that in the most flattering way possible. We can't see your rack. Or your pen.

No, I DON'T know why a man would use a purple pen... Never thought about it, it's just a blog name. Her approach to things always seemed admirably butch, that's all.

Posted by: Crid at March 28, 2007 10:24 AM

Place your bets, we'll make Amy write and ask her

You gonna give us odds?

Posted by: justin case at March 28, 2007 10:53 AM

No, but an additional $5 says she has more CDs by Pat Benatar and Patty Smythe than Madonna and Taylor Dane.

Posted by: Crid at March 28, 2007 11:02 AM

I think she watches too many chick flicks.

Posted by: Chris at March 28, 2007 11:29 AM




I am SO GLAD that I'm not single anymore...

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at March 28, 2007 11:38 AM


Growing up my stepfather had a business that was all immigrant men.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 28, 2007 11:52 AM

"Her approach to things always seemed admirably butch, that's all."

Aha! a penpal Paglia, Crid!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at March 28, 2007 11:57 AM

She went to a bar, got hit on, and SLAPPED HIM?? I have no pithy comment for that. No wonder some men think we're all nuts.

Posted by: Kimberly at March 28, 2007 12:02 PM

Ironically, if this woman went to bars for whatever reason (even girls' night out) repeatedly and did NOT get hit on, she'd eventually be writing a letter asking what's so wrong with her that no man (even a fat older one) wants her.

Women really piss me off sometimes. Here are the facts: Men love to look at women. Women expect to draw men's attention. This interaction occurs regularly at bars. Sometimes the man doesn't handle himself well and says something idiotic.

And sometimes the woman thinks she can rewrite the laws of civility and physically assault a man for no good reason.

I have never slapped a man in my life, and not because I'm not attractive and don't get hit on. I don't slap men because it doesn't even occur to me to punish a man for being one.

Posted by: Tess at March 29, 2007 2:12 PM

I've come to appreciate men's charmingly primal nature. That's what turns me on about them!

Posted by: Chrissy at March 30, 2007 6:20 AM

And for the next few years, please be patient with 50-year-old, somewhat overweight men who hit on you in bars.

Posted by: Crid at March 30, 2007 7:00 AM

Crid, I just married and had a child with a 50-something somewhat overweight man. We didn't meet in a bar, but we both spent enough time sitting in one that it could have happened that way.

And I assure you that he says idiotic things to me everyday. If he had hit on me that way, I probably would have liked him anyway. He's the most interesting human I've ever met, male or otherwise.

Posted by: Tess at March 30, 2007 7:31 AM

That's cool, but we liked you anyway, because you're named Tess. That's a cool name. Postrel did a piece once on how babies get named. When asked, 99.234782345154102% of parents say "It just sounded nice."

Posted by: Crid at March 30, 2007 7:47 AM

Ahem! I am NOT 50 or even 50ish!

Posted by: Guy Montag at March 30, 2007 9:26 AM

I like the idiotic stuff guys say, because it means that I'm making them all flustered 'cause I'm a girl!

Posted by: Chrissy at March 30, 2007 12:16 PM

Ah, Crid, I wish I could tell you that my parents gave me that name. Actually, in an attempt to save me from the flames of hell, they named me Theresa Marie. (Mother Theresa, Virgin Mary.)

I changed it legally to Tess years ago because it's weird and memorable and because I love it when people think I'm saying "Pess," which happens at least twice a week.

My mother, incidentally, has refused to acknowledge that I changed my name, although she does call me Tess and has since I was a young child. I think she's afraid she won't get into heaven.

Posted by: Tess at April 1, 2007 7:19 AM


Flustering men is one of the things I live for.

Posted by: Tess at April 1, 2007 7:21 AM

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