Friday, February 03, 2006

Looking for Touble

Looking for Trouble wrote:

Dear Cassandra,

Months ago when I found out who my ex (Blake) was dating I looked him up on a popular dating Web site because I knew that’s where they’d met. This is the guy that Blake told me he was supposedly in love with. Well, I had my suspicions that they were no longer involved...only to be confirmed when I saw the boyfriend's (Clay) profile on the Web site.

So one night about a week and a half ago I came home drunk and devious so I sent Clay a “wink” on the aforementioned popular dating web site…which is simply the equivalent of letting someone know that you think they might be cute, but not enough for a full out e-mail. Clay e-mailed me the very next day, all about how he’d just moved (hours earlier) back up to his hometown of Harrington, Delaware after more than a decade of living in the city. I, deciding to be even more devious, began a dialogue with him over the following days. We’d e-mail maybe once a day, and I was asking questions of him that I might not normally ask because obviously I was picking for information, seeing what he’d say.

So it turns out that Clay is definitely a nice guy, pretty funny actually. He doesn’t even mention Blake in his short list of “ex’s”. We did, however, talk on the phone a couple times and he mentioned that he used to dog sit for his “friend” Blake. So I got all the info that I wanted and then some. But now he’s coming back to the city for a visit this weekend and really wants to get together. We’ve talked a few times and exchanged quite a few e-mails. I just don’t want to be a complete $#!% and just not respond to him. Normally I’d have no qualms, but he really is a nice guy.

So my question is…how can I let him down and not see him without either revealing why, or giving him a shot to his ego? Also, is there any scenario where I could actually hang out with him, get to know him a little, and not have it backfire big-time?

Yours Truly,

Looking for Trouble

Cassandra replied:

Dear Looking for Trouble,

How incredibly "Melrose Place" of you. Amanda Woodward would be proud. This is a potentially messy situation. It is only human to want to know about who your ex is involved with, especially when he made a point to tell you all about how happy he was in his new relationship. If you want to play it safe and avoid any chance of either your ex or this new guy finding out about where you fit into the picture, I might advise that you tell him that you are actually out of town this weekend, so you won't be able to meet up with him. If you do decide to meet up with Clay, you need to be absolutely 100% certain that you want to get to know this guy better because you feel a genuine potential connection, and not just because this will give you a better glimpse into your ex-boyfriend's recent love life or because you will be getting back at your ex. If that is the case, you stand to really offend Clay. You also want to avoid any chance that he might mention you to your ex. After all, it is plausible that they maintain regular contact with one another. My opinion is that overall there is very little chance that this flirtation with your ex-boyfriend's ex-boyfriend can lead to a long-term fulfilling committed relationship. There are also so many other people in New York you could meet and find attractive and sleep with that would not entangle you in such a messy potentially emotionally volatile situation. But if you feel an intense connection with this guy and feel a need to explore it and can actually separate him from his past with your ex, perhaps you can give it a shot. But proceed with extreme caution. After all, this guy is completely unaware of your past with your ex, and thus he stands to be hurt should things be revealed. Besides, didn’t you say he lives in Delaware? Regardless of where you live, I doubt you will desire to make frequent visits there.

Looking for Trouble replied:

Well put, Cassandra. Ultimately, the further along I take this, the stronger the possibility that my original agenda is revealed. Clay is definitely nice and certainly cute, but overall I’m not THAT interested in him and he lives in Delaware.

I guess I’ll say I’m out of town unexpectedly for work…ugh

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Immersed in Office-inappropriate Behavior

Dear Cassandra,

Over the past few months, I have found myself irritated, bewildered, and disgusted by my co-worker's poor office etiquette. This co-worker speaks with his outdoor voice when on the phone, loudly and messily devours food in the middle of business meetings, and is always dressed like he should be attending a football game, not working at the office. I won’t even go into the things he says when the office gets together at TGI Fridays during Thursday Happy Hour. The other day, this co-worker talked for about five minutes about his recent bowel problems. And another co-worker chimed in about fiber treatments that have worked for her. What can I do to remedy this situation?

Best Regards,

Immersed in Office-inappropriate Behavior

Dear Immersed in Office-inappropriate Behavior,

Indeed, you are correct. The office seems hardly the place to discuss one's bowel problems. Such topics of conversation should be reserved for visits to your doctor. This reminds me of a similar situation when I was working in an office in a corporate park just outside of Syracuse. One of my co-workers would come over to my cubicle to tell me all about her bowel problems. After realizing that this was not just a one-time occurrence, but rather a weekly ritual (usually after she had lunch at the local Mexican restaurants, The Acapulco), I decided it was time to stop this colleague in her tracks. One day, as she began to describe her most recent bowel movement, I simply said "Hah! You think that's bowel pain. My first husband's ex-wife disemboweled him with a sword (a bit of an embellishment since most accounts state that she beheaded him, but I needed to shut her up). From the body to the floor…Now that's what I consider a serious movement of the bowels." After that, she stopped coming by to tell me about her latest GI problems. Perhaps it was because she realized that in comparison to my dead husband, her bowel problems were really quite trivial. In any case, perhaps you might want to try this technique on your co-worker. And if "one-upping" him does not work...just invest in an iPod as a means of drowning out the stories.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Desperately Seeking Self Confidence

Dear Cassandra,

I have always been taught that men should be the ones to initiate conversation. But when I am out at bars with my friends, I am rarely approached. Does it have something to do with my body language? What can I do to make men notice me?


Desperately Seeking Self Confidence

Dear Desperately Seeking Self Confidence,

The first thing you must realize is that we are living in modern times. This is not 800 B.C. You can't expect that some big hunky Greek soldier is going to sweep you off your feet, make you his concubine, and have you bear him twins. I had to learn this the hard way too after my first husband's psychotic ex-wife set into motion a series of unfortunate events (but that is a whole different story) that left me on the singles scene once again. Indeed, it took a few hundred years before I could even think about striking up a conversation with another guy. But one day when I was at a “taverna” having some wine with friends, a cute man caught my eye. After inspecting to see that he did not have a wedding ring (I certainly wasn't going through that whole ordeal again), I approached him and said "Quid est prenomen tibi?" Although his Latin was not as good as mine, he replied "Prenomen mihi est Troy. Et tu?" And the rest is history. Troy and I began dating and just a few years ago, he and I moved into a nice aluminum-sided condo just outside of Albany. Indeed, one must adopt a more proactive approach to be noticed these days. So take a chance. Next time you are out, go talk to the handsome man standing alone at the end of the bar. He could be a serial killer…but he also could be your next boyfriend.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A 60% Chance of Raining Men

A 60% Chance of Raining Men wrote:

I've been having exchanges with two guys I met on a popular dating Web site this week. Eventually, I gave my phone number to each of them. Both said they would call me early this no word from either boy. Apparently my cell phone number has a very perverse effect on boys. Both seemed at least slightly interested and then slightly nothing...if I see matchelor #1 on IM should I drop a line or should I give it another day? Where is the fine line between pushy and disinterested?

Cassandra wrote:

This is coming from someone who has very minimal patience for anything, and extremely little in terms of dating. However, with both of these guys, you must play it cool and calm. They are obviously both interested, but you need to give them some time before you give up on them. After all, they might be intimidated by the idea of meeting someone online. With something like this, there are no time constraints. Since you have plenty of time to coordinate things, just let everything flow as it may. I do know how you feel though. Waiting for someone else to make the next move is excruciatingly painful and it can really have an adverse effect on how you see things. Just remember, you've done a good deal by giving out your cell phone number. It is now time for one of these guys to make the next move. Most likely, at least one will.

A 60% Chance of Raining Men replied:

How is it that you packed about 80 million years of wisdom into about 200 decades? You're right. I'm the least patient person when it comes to anything, nevermind dating. I'm just a little concerned that one guy asks about coffee. I say yeah sure and stop hearing from him. Then, the next one...get like a slew of contact...hand over my digits after a bit of a hint...and, voila, nothing. I'm starting to think that my digits are a little cursed. Hmmmmm. I gave it the old college try...might be back in line with my long-term spinster goal. :) hee hee hee
You're the best Cassandra!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just Ask Cassandra

Are you faced with a troublesome situation? Do you already have your mind made up that you will deal with your dilemma in a most inappropriate way? Do you still want to hear good advice for how to deal with this situation, even though you have absolutely no intention of utilizing this wisdom to reach an acceptable resolution? Then you have come to the right place. Tell me about what plagues you (relationship drama, family dysfunction, job-related woes, etc.) and I'll purvey sound advice for how to handle your problem. But, please...don't take my word for it...