Author: Amy Alkon

Frisk management

I’m being tormented by a co-worker’s husband. He visits our office often, flirting with me every time, but it’s gone from “Hey, good lookin’!” to getting right in my space and whispering “Hot butt” or “Lemme see your cleavage.” He’ll come up behind me at my computer, so I’m trapped. He’ll put his hand in my hair or on my neck or shoulders, even when his wife’s there. She’ll snort and call him “a perv,” but he doesn’t stop. I talked to my boss, and she said just ignore him, don’t encourage him, but I haven’t encouraged him at all. When he touches me, I try to duck away. When he says dirty things, I put my hand up and say, “Don’t even start.” It’s gotten to the point where I’ll hide in the back room until he leaves. He’s not an employee, so my boss’ hands are tied. And I don’t want to cause tension with his wife. Short of yelling at him (a bad idea, since I can imagine the fiery-tempered redhead comments), how do I stop this? — Manhandled Why be known as the “fiery-tempered redhead” when you can cower in a supply closet until they start selling the “hostile workplace” companion to the Post-it-dispensing highlighter, the Post-it taser? A pity you’re a white-collar worker, not a gold-lamé G-string one, since strip clubs generally have strict...

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Once more with fleeing

Once More With fleeing This girl I’ve known for six years is visiting me. We live on opposite sides of the country, and once a year, have weeklong “dates” (the polite word for it). I thought we had a no-strings-attached arrangement. Then, two days ago, she said, “I love you.” Yikes. I just like her a lot, but felt bad saying that, so I lied and said “I love you” back. She’s since said it three more times. So, I lied three more times. How do I get myself out of this? Pinocchio Nothing makes the apartment walls close in like an unwanted declaration of love. You’re just dying to turn around and see if maybe, possibly, the person who made it could’ve been talking to somebody else: “Please, God, let an intruder be standing behind me.” Even worse, an unwanted “I love you” is like a mouse infestation. Where there was one, pretty soon there are three, then six, then the extended family’s scampering over and counting on you to set out cheese plates. The problem is, there’s an expected response to “I love you,” and it isn’t silent terror. Those Three Little Words come flying at you, and all you can do is bat them right back, maybe figuring you’ll pick them up later and attach the part you left off: “Uh, what I meant was …...

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Stopwatch in the name of love I met a guy a little over seven weeks ago. Days later, we were hanging out constantly, sharing life stories and sleeping together. I began to \\\”fall\\\” but didn\\\’t say anything about love because he didn\\\’t. Finally, on a trip, we had a talk about how we felt. I explained that I wouldn\\\’t have slept with him more than once if I didn\\\’t see a future for us. He said he couldn\\\’t begin to think of \\\”love\\\” for many months and isn\\\’t very verbally demonstrative anyway. He basically wants to see where this goes and thinks I\\\’m kinda nuts for \\\”moving so fast.\\\” Yet, every boyfriend I\\\’ve had said he loved me within a couple weeks of sleeping together. I feel sleazy for sleeping with a man five days a week and never saying more than \\\”Have a nice day\\\” afterward. Am I headed for disaster? —Put Off There\\\’s falling in love and there\\\’s trying to have yourself shot out of a cannon into it. Too bad human emotion doesn\\\’t run on a bus schedule: \\\”Let\\\’s see … two weeks, you love me, seven weeks, you let me measure you for your cage.\\\” Out here in the confines of the real world, loving somebody takes actually knowing them, otherwise, what are you actually loving? Hmmm … perhaps how well they fit into your...

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  Sowing Her Mild Oats   I’ve always gotten terrible crushes on exciting, ambitious, bold men who never want anything to do with me. I gambled that being with a good, reliable man would cure me of my pointless crushes, and married my best friend. He’s in love with me, and I love him as a friend and figured I’d grow to love him as a husband. Besides, I want kids and I’m short on time. On a recent business trip, I met a man with everything I’m attracted to; for example, big manly shoulders, a confident bearing and wit. My husband’s the opposite, pulling his shoulders forward like he’s trying to hide his head between them. While he’s funny, he’s timid and socially awkward, and only mutters witticisms under his breath. Luckily, the new man doesn’t threaten my marriage, but only because he doesn’t want kids. My husband sensed something was up, and now worries whenever I travel. Could I eventually develop an attraction to my husband? I’d hate to lose my best friend over this. —Crushed By Crushes I love asking couples how they got together, but, in your case, I’ll guess: "I just got super-tired of drunk-dialing business executives (I mean, they all eventually block my number), and at that moment, I happened to glance at my watch, and went, ‘Holy moly, I need sperm!’" Some...

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