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November 15, 2002

Bad Advice From Bigwig I

Bad Advice From Bigwig

I read the "Dear Prudence" section in Slate every week, without fail, normally. So, with fail, occasionally, I suppose. That wasn't really my point here, but Ellen Degeneres seems to have more of an impact on me than I realized.

My point, and I do have one, is that I like Pru. I even wrote her once about the discrimination inherent in the "families with children" parking spots before I became one of the breeders. In case you're wondering, I still park in them, regardless of whether Ngnat is with me or not.

The problem with Prudie, or indeed all advice columns as I see it, except perhaps Dan Savage, is that she's too damn concerned with being nice. Case in point;

Dear Prudence,
I've been very close with a woman for several years, and over the past couple years we have become intimate. One thing that has happened four times this past year is that she has called out her ex's name in the heat of passion. While I'm sure they are not seeing each other, this last instance was too much for me to take. She claims it's from years of "habit," but I feel it has more to do with where her mind is. Am I overreacting, or is there something to this?

—Shame in a Name

Dear Shame,
The situation you describe certainly makes the case for that frequent bedroom declaration, "Oh, my God!"
...
The point you raise, though, is interesting because it brings us to the subject of fantasy—often a part of sexual interaction. (It's just too bad your lady friend had to identify hers out loud.) It is up to you to weigh the various aspects of this relationship so that you can decide what this particular slip of the tongue means to the overall picture.

GONG!

Wrong. Speaking as a male, Prudie, we ain't interested in understanding the phenomena or thinking about it for longer than it takes to actually say this sentence in your head. We're interested in stopping it. This happened to me occasionally, back in my single days, but it never happened more than once.

Now, Mr. Shame, let's call this girl, "Trudy". Next time Trudy is the throes of passion, and calls out "Biff" or "Danny" or "Zambito" or whatever name she happens to prefer to mis-address you by while you're laboring away down in the trenches, respond with a nice "Oh, Martha, you're so hot!", where Martha is the name of one of your exes (preferably one she's just met), or her best friend or her sister.

Or her mother.

Or your mother.

It doesn't have to be immediate, so give yourself a couple of seconds to come up with the best name for the situation. Just be sure it's one she'll recognize, or you'll have to explain yourself. Which means you've lost. Better not to have opened your mouth at all.

Believe me, the message gets delivered loud and clear. Call her by her mother's name just once, and she'll either stop the mistaken identity bullhockey or leave you. Either way, problem solved. Calling out someone else's name is an asshole move, and deserves an asshole response, and her excuse of "habit" is bullshit. Unless you're leaving her unconscious with la petite mort on the bedsheets, she know's exactly what she's doing.

And if you are, she's coming back for more no matter what, so what do you care?

And finally, I've been very close with a woman for several years, and over the past couple years we have become intimate. What's up with that? You got a hunch or something? A man who takes more than a few months to get a woman who's not "saving it" (an ever decreasing percentage of the overall population) into bed deserves what he gets.

Now, get in there and take back that relationship power, you wuss.

Posted by Bigwig at November 15, 2002 01:25 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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