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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

314

Idle Friends, Gawky Roommates, and the Nap Dream

Last New Year's Eve, a drunken me revealed to a friend (we'll call her Janice) that I thought a guy was really cute (we'll call him Chandler). The next day Janice and her sister made a huge point of informing me that Janice had been interested in Chandler for a while now and knew him since their college days, and blah blah blah, and implied dibs without ever really calling them. Girls are so passive like that. Anyway, I was a nice person and a good friend. I said, "Oh, you should totally go for it! I don't see him very often, I just think he's cute," which was basically true, except that I know that Janice is all wrong for Chandler even if she doesn't see it. She is not his Monica. But whatever.

Fast forward almost a year. As she herself frequently puts it, Janice is a chicken shit idiot and can't/won't initiate hardly any conversations with him, let alone flirtations because, despite being in her mid 20s, she is a 13-year-old girl. Meanwhile, on the rare opportunities I get, I really want to get my flirt on with Chandler but am reduced to normal conversations because I am a nice person and a good friend. I need to know two things: a) is there a statute of limitations on gals calling dibs on guys? and b) is it horrible to make a move when she hasn't yet? Would I have to talk to her about it beforehand, and be all like "bitch, your time is long past up, I'mma go flirt now?" Help!

When did ‘calling dibs’ become a thing? Is it even a thing? I mean, I get it. Friend groups (I’m assuming you and Janice and Chandler are all part of the same larger circle) are a delicate ecosystem and sometimes it becomes necessary to let your ladyfriends know you’re into someone and would like the chance to pursue that someone without interference, but that isn’t a forever thing — dudes (Dudes?) are people, too! BUT! Before I give you my blessing to go forth and flirt, I have a few questions you have to ask yourself.

1. How close are you to Janice? If she’s a friend-acquaintance (I’m going to let you interpret these social taxonometric definitions as you choose) you don’t feel especially close to, that’s one thing, but if she’s someone you’d call in an emergency or invite home for holidays, or she's been honest with you about a lipstick color that looks terrible on you BUT IN A NICE WAY, it may be worth casting a wider net and writing Chandler off. Basically, are you prepared to lose her as a friend? Because based on your description of her as a 13-ish-year-old girl, it sounds like that’s a possibility.

2. ‘Get my flirt on’ is a nebulous term! Do you want to take Chandler back to your impossible-to-afford-on-a-twentysomething-salary apartment and have your way with him, or do you think this could turn into something serious? Again, if it’s strictly fun you’re looking for, it may be wiser to look elsewhere, especially if your circle is tight enough that details (details) might get back to her.

If you can answer those questions in a truthful and satisfying factor, feel free to sit next to Chandler at the coffee place I assume you guys hang out at all day instead of going to actual jobs.

I'm a girl and I have two roommates, a lady and a man. I get along very well with both of them, but I have problems with man roommate. Despite the fact that he is super messy, I think he is quite funny and smart and I appreciate his friendship. However, I am feeling more and more uncomfortable with the way he pays attention to me. He has a tendency to stand too close and touch me when it is not necessary. I am a very affectionate person — with some people. I have a lot of male friends, and I am touchy with several of them, but it's not sexual and it makes neither party uncomfortable. I think he might see the way I am with them and want to have that kind of relationship with me.

If he wants me to move, rather than use his words or tap me on the shoulder, he will sort of squeeze my waist or the small of my back and I don't like it! My whole body tenses up, and somehow he doesn't read my body language at all. He scratches the top of my head when he walks by me and if I'm lying on the other roommate's bed and he wants to come talk to us (which of course is fine), he will move stuff out of his way and then put it on me in what I can only liken to grade-school flirtation. He is not great with women in the romantic sense, and he has been a jerk to male friends of mine more than once. He is nice and funny, but sort of confrontational with other men if they come off as cocky or confident with women. He doesn't have a lot of friends, and most of his are girls, but he's only like this with me from what I've seen.

I am a pretty private person, and I also work in customer service, so I am talking to people all day. When I get home, I generally like to be alone for a while and I close my room door. He knocks, comes in, flops down on my bed and complains that he is bored, and then expects to be entertained or something, when I just want him to respect my personal space.

The thing is, I am worried that he has a crush on me. If he does, and I ever have to deal with it, it will be bad/awkward, and I hope I'm wrong and it never happens. If he doesn't have a crush on me, then why does he touch me so much? It's possible he just doesn't know how to interact with women but why is it all funneled toward me? How do I get him to stop without making a big uncomfortable cloud in the house, when the three of us are really good right now? Ideas?

Here is a fact about me, A Lady — I have never lived with a non-familial Dude! Part of this is because I went to a school without them, and part of it is because my dad told me they would end up hitting on me, and even though I think that’s silly it’s an idea that stuck!

Okay, what are we going to do about this!? You talk about not wanting to make the living situation uncomfortable, but it sounds like it already is uncomfortable for you, and that’s all I need to know to say that this has to be addressed. Usually I would tell you to get your other roommate (which, does she feel the same way about Dude Roommate?) to drop some sort of hint during morning kaffeklatsch, but I think this is a situation in which passive-aggression will only make things worse in the long run. Next time he comes into your room uninvited, tell him politely but firmly that you’d rather be alone. Next time he touches you in a way you don’t like, tell him politely but firmly that you’d rather not be touched in whatever way he’s touching you. Any Dude that gets actively upset about those things is probably not that great, as a friend! Also, this way if he does drop the crush bomb on you, you’ve got a conversational trail of not sending mixed messages.

I know this is hard and scary, but remember that even when roommates become friends and friends become roommates, you’re not here (here meaning the home where you pay rent and utilities, because you are an adult who can handle adult conversations) to make friends.

So I'm not sure this is an appropriate ask the lady question, but I don't know who else I would ask (if I were a dude, I wouldn't have this question!). I am a single 23-year-old female who lives by herself in a suburb of DC (decent apartment building complete with families with children). It is a safe area, but this last weekend a man in a uniform knocked on my apartment and said he was there to "winterize and secure the unit." I will add that I was hungover, so not thinking my clearest, but was very confused why he was there. I called my management company who has no record of any work order/ever requesting service, and they said if he comes by again call the police.

My question is, should I have not answered the door? He said he was ready to change the locks, and looking through the peephole only showed a man in a service uniform, so I had no idea why he was there. Obviously if he comes again, I won't open the door/will call the police, but I am a bit freaked out? Like, was he casing  my apartment (not that I have anything of value ... but please don't steal my cats!)? Basically, I'm a little freaked out by this, and was wondering what other females who live by themselves would do.

First and foremost, good for you for calling your management company to check things out. You were obviously right to trust your gut on that one, and also to be with-it enough to think, ‘hmm, have I scheduled this? Is this person supposed to be here?’

As for the opening the door thing, I wouldn’t find fault with yourself. I am a habitual reader of crime novels and watcher of the various Laws and Order, and so a big part of me wants to scream “never open the door, ever, even if it’s someone you know!”, but at the same time I think it’s important to recognize that you’re an adult woman who lives on her own in a big city and that you are capable of making safe and smart decisions (calling to check) but also not being afraid to open your door. It’s a hard balance to strike, you know?

I just want to know, are wet dreams common among ladies, a lady? Because I am a lady who has these dreams and they are amazing and I wish to discuss these things.

Oh, you call them wet dreams? I call them nap orgasms!

Which is to say, yes, they are common, which is to say, yes, I have them, too! A survey of friends and the Internet (don’t image search ‘female wet dream’ at work or school, BTW) says it’s hyper-regular and totally unpredictable — some ladies have them every time they drift off, others say it only happens once in a while, and also based on this highly scientific survey they don’t seem to be tied to how many awake orgasms you may or may not be having!

Really though, I think we don’t talk about this because different ladies call it different names, and female sexual arousal is so unique to the individual and sometimes it doesn’t, um, come to a conclusion and you wake up sweaty and confused and heart-poundy, symptoms which at the very least should make you think about Victorian literature in a different light (seriously, Victorian ladies are always waking up with nap orgasm symptoms in the middle of the night or the morning).

Previously: Namesakes and the Air Force.

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Lady?

Photo by Elzbieta Sekowska, via Shutterstock



314 Comments / Post A Comment

emilylou

LW1: No... what?? NO. Almost a YEAR? Just go after him, clearly your friend isn't really that hellbent on this. And how good of a "friend" is she to you if you are calling her a chicken shit idiot?!?!
I don't even understand this.

noodge

@emilylouise - yeah, i agree - if she's really immature, etc etc, and not a long-term family friend/person you would call if your mom died, then you probably won't be friends for years and years as well.

Katie Heaney

@emilylouise right? Like, you are "a good friend" who just happens to call your pal "a 13 year-old girl," a "chicken-shit idiot" and "so passive" ??

martinipie

@emilylouise Guessing maybe these people are around my age (ie, college) or even younger, when this shit really IS A Big Problem (or at least seems like it).

martinipie

@martinipie Whoops just saw "mid-20s"...nvmmmm

beanie

@Katie Heaney dibs past a year does not exist! LW1, get on with it already! I think you know this already, especially since it's obvious you think it's a little bullshit they told you she liked him AFTER you had already mentioned it.

wharrgarbl

@emilylouise Yeah. Statute of limitations expired long ago on that one. You had your chance, Janice.

PistolPackinMama

@emilylouise A Lady is pretty much giving LW1 the same advice an A Dude gave a LW a while ago. A Dude said he tells friends and gives them a 45 day period before the Statue Of Macking Limitations sets in, and then he goes for it.

Go for it, LW. 45 days is long since gone.

Pizzahut

@AnthroK8 I agree with this. Maybe tell Janice she has a month to make a move? It seems a bit harsh but she needs to make a move or find someone new to like.

mbeth

@AnthroK8 Let me get this straight. LW1 is being very harshly critical behind her friend's back, yet is still calling herself "a nice person and a good friend". And somehow her friend and "girls" in general are the ones being labelled passive? Oookay.

Katie Heaney

@mbeth That's mostly what I took from this too, which I know isn't the point of the letter and I agree she's probably free to make a move, but still: yikes.

Lily Rowan

@mbeth They are definitely not Actual Friends, because come ON. Also there is no dibs.

Also, @martinipie, from my advanced age, "mid-20s" is about the same as college-aged....

mbeth

@Katie Heaney Yeah, the question could easly have been posed without all the friend-bashing.

PistolPackinMama

@Katie Heaney yes, that also.

In addition, LW. Don't be mean about it, on the internet or anywhere else. A friend of mine is dibsy about boys and it's annoying and makes me feel... herded by a sheepdog... and it is not one of her finer qualities and I can occasionally find it hard to be nice about men with her when she talks about them like... like... emergency rations she doesn't want to open unless she has to, or something. Eventually I stopped letting her think mentioning a crush was the same as reserving a seat at a restaurant and now I feel better about it.

That allows me to enjoy her company and not deal with that unlovely quality in her and I don't have to be mad at myself for letting her get away with it.

Also, now I don't really want to trash talk her incompatibility or her being unwilling to go after boys she likes. The only attitude/behavior I could do anything about was my own. So I did.

It's a nicer place to be.

[ETA: Everyone else but the trash talking internet girl... 45 day statute. Good rule to live by there.]

mbeth

@AnthroK8 This probably goes without saying, but I can't not say that "girls are so passive like that" actually makes me cringe. Awful.

maevemealone

@Katie Heaney Why do I suspect the guy in this situation has no idea these two girls exist?

PistolPackinMama

@mbeth Especially since I am, in fact, not passive at all. Unless that means I am not a girl? I suppose that's possible.

Yeah... my life got a lot nicer when I stopped making things that I could fix by acting like an adult other people's fault. And it is not very adult to explain why you should get to ask out a guy you like because your friend is somehow not as worthy of his attention as you are... It also won't solve the problem.

thebestjasmine

@mbeth Yes, I think that anyone who says "girls are so passive like that" is someone who I would never want to be friends with, and I sympathize with poor Janice here who is friends with this terrible person. But I don't think that she's terrible for wanting to hit on Chandler, though she should take note of how she's so bitchy to her friend and calls her passive and then can't even woman up and say something to her about this.

leonstj

@maevemealone - I KNOW. Speaking as a guy over here, can I say to all of you ladies "PLEASE TELL US WHEN YOU LIKE US". Believe it or not, we don't go around trying to assess whether every single lady we know would be willing to go on dates with us, and then just ask out all of the possible contenders (well, my friend Rico does, but HIS NAME IS RICO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?). Dibs? You can't call dibs and then not use dibs. You also cannot call dibs on things which can't be owned. AND YOU CAN'T OWN A BOY we are freeeeeee as a bird.

(Note: This is just about dates. We have pictured our sexual compatibility w/ all of our single lady friends. Good news, it's a match! Every time! ((really just kidding)))

wharrgarbl

@maevemealone Because one is a giant chicken-shit and the other feels like she's not allowed to make a play because of the other one? I mean, why would he, if he hadn't independently developed feelings for one but been too much of a chicken-shit himself to say anything?

atipofthehat

@emilylouise

I think the jist is, woman objectify men and then trade us like playing cards.

emilylou

@atipofthehat Truth. I just traded you plus @Too Much Internet for @saythatscool.

wee_ramekin

@leon.saintjean I expect to finally figure out WHO! shot! WHO!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@emilylouise whoah, an stc is basically a honus wagner

nyikint

@atipofthehat The jizzst.

bangs
bangs

I did this once, I think there was even a 45 day expiry, but it turned out they may have been in a secret relationship (or at least my friend imagined they were? I don't know.) So we're not friends any more.

atipofthehat

@nyikin

Patsy Cliner!

atipofthehat

@emilylouise

That's it. I'm changing my name to "Boy of Density."

saythatscool

@emilylouise You got gyped, lady.

travelmugs

@emilylouise Ugh. I had an old "friend" like this, only she'd call passive aggressive dibs on every guy in our not-so-big friend group.

Me: "I think I have a crush on [GuyFriend1.]
Her: "Oh, I've always thought I've been compatible with him. I've been meaning to make a move."
Me: "[Guyfriend2] looks cute tonight."
Her: "Yeah, I was going to try to hook up with him tonight."

Can we just declare a complete all-time end on dibs?

saythatscool

@saythatscool I just realized that you could read that 2 ways. Tip and Too are worth waaaayyyy more than an STC. That's what I meant. But thank you for the compliment. When the Time of Purification comes, I will remember those who were with me.

kaleidoscope

@Xaxa Same--the secret relationship thing has happened to me, and it is too real.

Lizanne07

@Lily Rowan I would think that "college aged" kids nowadays don't have such an intimate knowledge of Friends? I mean, reruns, but still.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@leon.saintjean: "Speaking as a guy over here, can I say to all of you ladies "PLEASE TELL US WHEN YOU LIKE US" "

Not sure if I agree Leon; it takes two to dance, and it's not up to either party to resolutely declare anything (or rather, be the possesor of the entire social burden).

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

WAIT I am being traded!? I am not a party to this!

wee_ramekin

@Too Much Internet She traded you to me. Now we can stare menacingly at each other with only one of our eyes all. day. long.

bangs
bangs

@kaleidoscope I swear, she sent me an e-mail saying I betrayed her and I KNEW she was trying to get a commitment from him... HOW?!

bangs
bangs

@Too Much Internet I have a friend who decided she didn't like a guy after going on a few dates and told me I could have him. Earlier she had described how blah making out with him was. No thanks.

Lily Rowan

@Too Much Internet Anyone should tell anyone when they like them, no? (Assuming it would be appropriate for them to date.) In the Modern Era, people of any gender or orientation can be as awkward as any other, so everyone should think about stepping up!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Xaxa TBI (Tongues Batted In)?

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Xaxa: Hahaha. Wow. "My kissing palate is too advanced; perhaps you can make some use of this."

kaleidoscope

@Xaxa Well DUH, your internal ladydibs sensor must have been broken. You should get that checked out, along with your sense of propriety.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Lily Rowan: Oh, no limits or social boundries, no. I guess I was speaking in more of a... hmm. It's hard to put into words. I love the Leon and want to go pubbing with him muchly. But sometimes I think he's distilling down certain aspects of relationship etiquette and play into something deceptively simple (and not necessarily true).

Lily Rowan

@Too Much Internet Absolutely -- I mean to be agreeing with you. I think there are still women waiting around to be asked out by men, and men too afraid of rejection to do any asking (and vice versa and etc.), so everyone should just try to get over all of it.

bangs
bangs

@Too Much Internet That's pretty much how she put it. She is one of my favourites :)

@kaleidoscope :( I was born without one.

leonstj

@Too Much Internet - Oh, I know what I'm recommending is pollyanna-ish and oversimplified, and way hard to do. And of course, I'm not suggesting people just start walking up to people in bars and saying:

"Excuse me, but I was sitting over there, and I saw you, and I am attracted to you. Can we have a lighthearted conversation to determine if we seem, at surface levels, compatible? If we do seem to be so, I'll ask you out on a date, in which we'll have slightly more substantial conversations. These conversations would, ideally, escalate both our attraction to each other and awareness of said attraction, physical consumation of said attraction, and perhaps even an interpersonal bond consisting of intimacy, romance, and a suitable degree of sexual activity."

I mean, I want to suggest that. I want to just write that on index cards in my favorite type (Avenir) with my name and phone number at the bottom (Palatino) and hand it out to people. But unfortunately, you are right and there are societal norms I must obey.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@leon.saintjean Yo, but Palatino, bro, Palatino...

(I would only want to get w/ a woman who digs Palatino like she digs the Oxford comma, which is to say: a considerable amount)

emilylou

@Too Much Internet It's true, it's true, I traded you to my wee_rammie. I didn't want to, I tried to trade my @Jasons_Johnson to her instead, but she was having none of it, so I acquiesced.

Lily Rowan

@leon.saintjean There is a way to do that in our culture, actually. You say, "Can I buy you a drink?" And then the rest is understood.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@emilylouise Ugh, a 2k11 Jasons_Johnson is pretty much like an '89 Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card! I don't blame her!

El Knid

@emilylouise You can't put a statute of limitations on someone's feelings. A person's feelings aren't contingent on rules, they just are, and can't be legislated out of existence, nor can a person's obligation to exercise some human empathy for other people's feelings be mitigated by technicality. That's all a bunch of b.s. rationalization.

That's not to say LW1 shouldn't go after the guy. She just shouldn't do it under the illusion that her "friend" isn't going to be hurt by it, or that these hurt feelings don't matter because said "friend" hasn't acted within a certain time frame. Being a grown-up about it means recognizing that there's no such thing as "dibs" OR "statute of limitations," just a decision to be made about whether she feels that going after the guy is worth the consequences, straight up, without resorting to some sort of made-up justification.

sevanetta

@leon.saintjean I ALSO ALWAYS WANT TO DO THIS LEON. Why won't the world let us do this? Whyyyyyyyyy. Why is communicating your exact intentions through writing so very socially unacceptable? Why must we operate in this haze of unknooowwwingggg.

One time, on a very short flight (35 minutes), I wrote my number and 'Coffee in Canberra? - [sevanetta]' on an old bus ticket and gave it to a hot air host. Once you get past the initial heart-pounding fear it was actually a billion times easier than online dating.

Craftastrophies

@emilylouise Wait, does that mean you still HAVE the johnson? The ramifications (hee) of that are too awful to think about.

It also sounds to me like this guy doesn't know they exist. Could she not just start being friends with him and see where that's going? And maybe be nicer to her 'friends'.

emilylou

@Craftastrophies Nobody would take it. I was pissed. I finally took it to a pawn shop where I traded it in for a fistful of used Pogs. Wasn't much, but I guess anything's better than the Johnson.

Myrtle

@wharrgarbl Yeah, name one of your kids after her. Maybe a middle name. Or call her ol' spinster ass up to babysit. (Note: I am an old spinster)

Decca

@leon.saintjean You know, I could lay a big line on you and we could do a lot of role-playing, but the simple truth is, is that I find you very interesting and I'd really like to make love to you.

HappyBeet

@leon.saintjean (and his explicit stage direction of love): When it's written out like that it seems insurmountable. There are so many steps! So many! And it also feels like the steps are constantly moving? It's like a love stairmaster?

whereismyrobot

@leon.saintjean You have inspired me! I will quit being chicken shit and flirt with that guy I like (online).

wharrgarbl

@El Knid See, I read that sort of thing as less rationalized bullshit or a sad attempt to absolve yourself of blame for hurt feelings and more a way to navigate an already-messy situation with minimized conflict. If you and your friend both really like the same person, and you're not poly, or you are but you can't handle that sort of relationship, there are going to be some hurt feelings. It's a done deal. It's inherent in the situation. Even if someone does the noble thing and steps off completely, their own feelings are hurting.

What you're doing when you carve out a certain amount of time before you take your shot is saying "Look, be fair, you know I want to try to date this person, you can't sit here and not want me to try to date this person while also not doing anything to get with them yourself. If you haven't done anything in the next month and a half, while knowing that I'm waiting in the wings, I have to assume that you're not ever going to do anything, and I'm sorry, but I really like this person, and I do want to try to date them."

Keep in mind, we're grown-ass adults, but we can still--every so often--get our feelings all knotted up and hurt over completely unreasonable things and feel irrationally entitled to have everything just as we want it, other people be damned. Part of being a grown-ass adult is learning to evaluate the situation when other people are having one of those times and handle our shit when we're having one of those times.

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin Who is the person who got/liked my 'Copacabana' reference? Because I love that person and I call dibs on them, wherever they may be.

rabswom

@wee_ramekin It wasn't me, but I also appreciated your Copacabana reference. [I might know all the words to Copacabana and be able to sing it at a moment's notice, even if I haven't heard it in years.]

Lily Rowan

@wee_ramekin I definitely liked it, but don't remember if I liked it-liked it.

Hellcat

@wee_ramekin This has always confused me. Wouldn't they all know "who shot who" simply because, well... one person was shot and the other wasn't (or is Lola also a suspect here? I dunno)...

packedsuitcase

@AnthroK8 Yes yes yes! I have a friend that gets super dibsy on guys, and it drove me nuts. We had to have the "tell me which ones you actually like and not the ones you are holding onto just in case" talk so that I know to switch from flirty to wing woman. Likewise, she had issues with me always being flirty with everybody (I can't help it, unless you're in a relationship, you are Grade-A flirt material!), so the talk eliminated both of our frustrations.

Basically, what I'm saying, LW1, is stop being such a jerk about your friend and have an honest conversation about this! You both will feel better afterwards.

saythatscool

LW3: Sorry about the confusion when I showed up. I meant to say that I'm the "security dude" and I'm there to install cameras in all places you make toilet. That way if you slip, I can come save you. I already called the management company and they totally confirmed I'm legit so please leave your door unlocked for me tomorrow so I can get things set up.
Lotsoflove,
Cool
P.S. Your lingerie drawer was like that when I got there.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@saythatscool dude, you are like a thief in the night [day]! plz try 2 b more consistent in your commenting for all our sakes. kthx

saythatscool

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Have you ever gotten a Serbian Plunger©, Stu? I can assure you that they are a delight. Also, I am feeling a little rusty at commenting. Sorry!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@saythatscool I have never heard of that butt the name sounds intriguing. I am open (lol) 2 all kinds of experiences if you know what I mean...

as with everything: practice, practice, practice

noodge

dreamy sexy times! yes! I have these and love these and wish I could make sure all women have these! I wish I could have one every night!

She Saved The World, Alot

@teenie last night I had a dream like this about Nosferatu. So weird. But also, so incredibly sexy. Like, there were heaving bosoms and everything. But I mean...Nosferatu?? What does this meeean?

Orange_prose

@pastina Since Dracula was about everything Victorians were afraid of (sex, foreigners), it makes perfect sense.

slutberry

@teenie My first one was really cool! I was looking through my parent's bookshelves and I found this old book. I opened it and there was this sort of DaVinci-esque engraving of, like, Adam and Eve lying on a bed of swirls and scrolls? Those old engravings where Eve basically looks like a man with fat hips and tiny breasts.(they speculate DaVinci never saw a woman IRL) ANYWAY. I turned into the Eve engraving and was writhing around on my bed of scrolls for a while and then I woke up in a pleasantly dishevelled Victorian state.

martinipie

This A Lady's picture makes me think she's sitting on a beach chair in a sandy place doling out this advice over some kind of tiki cocktail. AKA, advice I want to take!

Michaela Daniel@facebook

@martinipie I get a Grey Gardens vibe. Still the same feelings!

Decca

@Michaela Daniel@facebook Imagine either of the Edies being A Lady.

"If you can't get a man to propose to you, you might as well be dead. " could be the answer to every query!

noodge

oh, and LW2 with the touchey roommate, practice saying what you want to say to him (A Lady had good examples) when you're alone. go in your room, look your teddy bear right in the eye and say it. it's an important skill that you will use for the rest of your life - you shouldn't ever have to put up with people touching you in ways you don't like.

HillsideHoyden

@teenie Good idea with the practicing. FWIW I have had the "please stop touching me all the time" convo w/dude friends before and it turned out ok, and we are still friends. Do it now where you can be matter-of-fact about it; don't wait until it's driving you so crazy that you are like AAAH DON'T TOUCH ME EVER I HATE YOU! Harder for the friendship to come back from that.

MrComment

@HillsideHoyden "I'm not your girlfriend" might be a useful bit to include.

PistolPackinMama

@HillsideHoyden I was going to say... practice. Practice on a friend if you want. Practice in the shower. Make it part of your conversational muscle memory, and part of your feeling of entitlement to your own personal space.

People should not touch you without permission.

Nap orgasms! Where are my regular nap orgasms?! Waaaaahhhhh...

leastimportantperson

@teenie It also helps me to acknowledge ahead of time that I'm in for a wave of bad feeling when I have to tell someone off. Like, okay self, you're going to feel awful during/right after, but just do it anyway. Doesn't mean something bad is happening.

wharrgarbl

@teenie It can also be useful to do a non-confrontational but firm "Please don't do that"/"That's making me uncomfortable" whenever he does one of the things she'd like him to stop. Kind of like you do with little kids when they're boundary testing? Consistency is key, as is shutting down any whines about why not? or why can't he just...? ("Because I asked you not to" and "You trying to argue me out of being uncomfortable with that is not helping.") The response guys have to a simple "Please don't do that" can help you weed out the creepers from the merely clueless.

noodge

@leastimportantperson yeah - i see what you're saying, but i don't want the letter writer to think she's about to "tell someone off" - this is just navigating personal relationships, and telling someone that they're crossing a boundary with you. i'm hoping the letter writer will feel great afterwards, although if she's inexperienced with drawing these boundaries it may be scary going into it.

telling people not to touch you as much as they are is an important life skill, and doesn't make you a bitch, and it doesn't need to be a scene. just do it.

E
E

@teenie No kidding! Lady, you are not unreasonable AT ALL. If that guy was my roommate he would have woken up from a nap to find me standing over him with a cleaver. And then when he freaked out, I'd say, "Oh I'm sorry, I figured you didn't care if I invaded your personal space, since you are always invading mine."

I tell my boyfriend all the time not to touch me, and he's one of maybe 4 people who are allowed to touch me at all. I'm always saying, "Ugh, move over! Your arm is too low, move it to here! Oh I'm comfy, but move that hand! Wait! No hugs till I put my things down!". You gotta get assertive about touching.

Last weekend I went to a show and guy touched my elbow and I yelled , "SIR DO NOT TOUCH ME!" and he said, "No I was just trying to do this..." and I yelled again, "I DO NOT CARE. DO NOT TOUCH ME". And then we nearly threw down, but my friends got in between me and that guy and made a "do not touch her wall" and also a "she will claw your eyes out so let's not start" wall.

wee_ramekin

@leastimportantperson LW #3, I had a male roommate who I needed to set boundaries with. His weren't about touching me, so YMMV, but they were about him talking about things I didn't want to talk about and about coming into my room uninvited.

Honestly, I was forthright and what felt like overly harsh with him, and he did act a little butt-hurt after the encounters. But then I told myself, "Wait a minute, he's in my room without my permission! I don't have anything to apologize for!", and it helps the bad feeling go away.

I honestly also think my roommate wasn't used to having someone express her boundaries in a clear way. I literally had to tell him three times during one conversation to stop talking about the thing he was talking about, with my politeness level decreasing each time I had to restate my position. It did not feel great, and he went and pouted in his room, but I can also tell you that after that, I only had to tell him once when I didn't like something / felt uncomfortable.

You will probably feel mean, as @leastimportantperson says, because it's not every day that we have to clearly tell someone that they're crossing boundaries. You might feel bad right after it happens, but remember that you are not responsible for his emotional well-being. And once time passes and the awkward rubs off, I bet you will also feel pretty empowered! Nothing like some good, boundary-defining communication to give a lady some napgasms!

wharrgarbl

@wee_ramekin Yes! It is very important to keep putting any assholery that's happening back on him. You having boundaries is not the problem; him refusing to acknowledge and respect those boundaries is the problem. Anybody who can't/won't accept your boundaries vis-a-vis your person and the fucking room you are paying for is bad news. Make him own it if he sulks or pouts about not wanting to respect that.

leastimportantperson

@wee_ramekin It is so true. I only brought up the "mean" feeling because it has prevented me from doing things that needed doing. Like, "I know I'm right, and this person is wrong, but I am going to feel bad saying so, so I guess I just won't because I hate that feeling." But it totally passes, and you're right, it leaves you empowered when you're done.

I was unclear, I don't at all think the LW is being "mean" in any way. And I react strongly to confrontation, so I'm probably overstepping by predicting other people would feel "mean" standing up for their completely reasonable boundaries. Just something I could've stood hearing in my life!

bangs
bangs

I worked with a guy who did this all the time and thought he was super creepy and hitting on me, til I noticed he did it to everyone. Even guys. He was just really touchy. It's still creepy though.

BoozinSusan

@wee_ramekin butt-hurt? Because of his assholery?

atipofthehat

@BoozinSusan

I think she spanked him, too.

MrComment

@leastimportantperson I don't think it has to be that big of a conversation. When he does it, just tell him, "Stop it with the touching. It feels like you're creeping on me." He definitely knows he's doing it. Whatever his initial outward reaction is, he'll probably be embarrassed.

MissMushkila

@wee_ramekin I had a roommate like this, and I highly advocate harshness. In my situation, I lived with 2 other girls and a guy from their dorm sophomore year. We all thought he was a nice guy prior to living with him, but then he started sharing things. One day when I was there he felt the need to share that he had just lost his virginity with his girlfriend, but it wasn't very good, and he thought that now that he had done it he had to "trade up" for someone hotter.

I was sitting in the living room getting ready for a class and just told him that he was a terrible person. But this encouraged him or something (?) because he went on to reveal that he thought I was really hot and wouldn't it be convenient if we had lots of sex? I laughed awkwardly and left for class.

But he took this conversation to mean that I also secretly had the hots for him and started sending me messages on facebook (seriously) about how hot I was and he couldn't control himself etc. It was distinctly creepy. He even followed me to work one night.

So I gathered my girl roommates for consultation and sent him an email that stated that everything he had said and done was entirely unacceptable, and by the way you still have a girlfriend, and if it doesn't stop immediately I'm going to speak with our landlord. I'm not actually sure what our landlord could have done, but these were college days (our senior year). BUT if he stopped right away I would pretend it never happened. And anyway, that threat was effective. He apologized profusely and never hit on me again!

angelinha

@leastimportantperson Yes! So empowered! LW2, practice what you're going to say, say it firmly without beating around the bush, and don't apologize. I had a coworker making comments that made me uncomfortable once, and was really nervous about approaching him, but then I did and he was so stunned that I felt like I needed to fill the silence by dismissing the situation/making it less severe than it really was, etc. BUT I DIDN'T! and I felt SO good after. I just kept staring at him and he sputtered, "This isn't sexual harassment, you know! I don't mean anything by it, you know!" and I just repeated calmly, "It makes me uncomfortable. I don't feel comfortable" over and over until he agreed to end the conversation. And then he was fired for unrelated matters!

leastimportantperson

@klibberfish Not apologizing is SO KEY. And not filling the silence! Preach.

sevanetta

@teenie Yes! LW2! You can do it! One time, I yelled 'No touchy! Noooo touchy' at a guy who wouldn't stop touching me or a number of my friends, in a bigger friendship group. It was awkward for 2 seconds but he got it AND everyone else was really happy I did it because he eased off on everyone.

Craftastrophies

@MrComment The trouble for me is that it doesn't have to be a big conversation for the mean feeling to happen. Just saying one sentence is enough. Hooray socialisation of women to be polite and accommodating, plus emotionally abusive mother who made me feel selfish for having agency! But that advice to acknowledge that it's going to suck is good. You will feel mean, but you aren't, and don't apologise. Not apologising is HARD, man, but I always feel so proud of myself when I manage it. Also, don't accept an apology unless you mean it, either. I mean, don't say 'that's ok' if you're still mad.

I also have one friend who I call and she tells me I am not mean. I do the same for her. It sounds ridic, but sometimes I just need to be reminded of all the reasons why I am allowed to have boundaries, and people who don't respect those are the mean ones, not me.

I have a similar sitch with my mother. She gives me these greeting/farewell hugs that are more like headlocks, and when we're somewhere like a family gathering she'll come up behind me and lay her hand on my shoulder in what I'm sure she thinks is a loving touch but feels more like I'm about to be arrested. I have had great success with the 'please don't do that, I don't like it/it's uncomfortable'. No accusation, just a simple statement of what I want her to do and why. I noticed my cousin doing this with her mother last time, too. It's something I'm trying to practice because I'm going to need to start doing it with less easily identifiable, physical things. E.g. please do not verbally abuse your new boyfriend while you are in my house, it's distressing and I do not condone that shit.

sceps yarx

@wee_ramekin I know this comment is going to be really far down the thread, but wee_ramekin, I LOVE that you used the term butt-hurt! I say it all the time, and sometimes people are like, "huh?" But it's such a handy term for all the post-modern emo men-folk in my life.

wee_ramekin

@sceps yarx Heeeee! Isn't it great? It's so vulgar, but so innocuous seeming since you're saying "butt" instead of any of the more colorful terms you could use.

packedsuitcase

@leastimportantperson YES! Do not apologize, do not fill the silence, and practice your stare. Because if you need to, you want to be able to stare him down. Not in a confrontational way, but in a "This is what I expect, and you will respect it or there will be consequences" way. (You don't have to know what the consequences will be yet, but implying them with a look gives you time to think them up.)

HillsideHoyden

@Craftastrophies I have the same kind of friend! But she tells me nobody is mad.

Craftastrophies

@HillsideHoyden And usually they aren't!

QuiteAmiable

I'm a single lady, and I have a front door and a screen door. Usually, if it's someone that looks professional, I will open the front door, but not the screen door, when talking to them. If it's someone sketchy looking, I talk through the door. (They can totally hear you!) Not opening the door at all/pretending like you're not home might have worse consequences!! Guess I've seen too many scary tv shows.

I also make sure I stare at the people at my door straight in the eyes. Make sure they know that you are sizing them up and can give an accurate description if it comes to that.

saythatscool

@QuiteAimable I'm the purse inspector. I'm here to make sure there are no used feminine hygiene wrappers in your purse. Please open the screen door and come out to the van to help me with some equipment I have in the back.

emilylou

@QuiteAimable I do the screen door thing, too. One time a guy came to our door at like 11pm on a Tuesday and said that he got locked out of his apartment, he asked if he could "borrow some money for a locksmith or come in to use the phone" and he got angry and agitated when my roommate and I refused.
Maybe he was really a guy in our neighborhood who needed some help. But, probably not. Sucks to be that harsh when it's possible a person is in need, but you don't want to end up in a ripped-from-the-headlines episode of SVU.

wharrgarbl

@QuiteAimable You can also call your landlord/property person and get their policy on notification for any inside-the-apartment work. Most places have a minimum set by the rental agreement, but they also tend to give more notice than absolutely necessary.

Get the numbers for who coordinates normal repairs and emergency repairs and keep them handy so you can check before letting someone in.

If your door doesn't already have one, see if you can install a slide-lock or a chain-lock that will let you open the door a certain amount to talk but still have a really obvious "you can't come in" thing going on. (Buy longer and sturdier screws than come with the lock if you install it yourself. Those little things don't work for shit.) They're too flimsy to keep an axe-murderer out, but someone who's still hoping to finesse the situation isn't going to be able to just power straight past them without getting the cops called, so it provides a psychological barrier.

Sassafrass

@QuiteAimable As a single lady myself, if I'm not expecting you, I do not answer the door. Ever. I just let my dog bark at them. They can leave a note if needed. This is in part because I'm totally not trusting of folks; and also because if I'm at home enjoying the day I don't want to be interrupted by someone trying to sell me something.

QuiteAmiable

@Sassafrass Dogs are usually good crime-deterrents. I live in an area notorious for break-ins, so I make sure I'm aware of my surroundings and have renter's insurance! Our local police urge you to call the non-emergency number if there are random people in your neighborhood because of the high robbery rates. I've learned not to be scared; I just make absolutely sure that the sketchy folks see me looking at them. I stare HARD.

I did have a man show up at 10:30 on a cold Wednesday night a few years ago. The first thing out of his mouth was: "I know it's late", and I (boldly) said back, "If you know what time it is, you know better than to knock on my door. Now please leave". And I kept the door open as I watched him walk up the street.

saythatscool

@emilylouise Just remember that if the guy has a 10 lb plaster-of- Paris cast on his forearm, then it's totally safe to open your door for him, because he's injured. So how could he possibly hurt you if you're injured?

Also door-to-door knife salesmen is totally a thing. So make sure you're polite and open that door all the way up so you can get a good gander at that suitcase of machetes he wants to show you.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@wharrgarbl Yeah, in my state/city, it's 24 hours at least. And my property management usually lets me know by mail, phone, and a note on the door! They can come in with their key if it's something dangerous like the gas got shut off and they need to relight the pilots.

Check your city and state government webpages, they will have tenants' rights sections if it's a place worth living!

fabel

@Sassafrass Same. I feel a little crazy, but usually I'll just pretend to not be home. If you open the door, they can push you inside or whatever.

melis

@saythatscool You know what's great? When all of your house are made of knives. Big knives, small knives, serrated knives, knives. This year, there's an emphasis on KNIVES. People will definitely notice and smile! Also, blood acts as a natural lubricant. For whatever your lubricant needs are.

atipofthehat

@saythatscool

The important thing is to have a screen door between you and the bad people. No one can get through a screen door without at least a gentle push.

contrary

@Sassafrass When I lived alone I tended to do that too, because the one time I did it was the Jehova's Witnesses and they busted in (only to the foyer) and told me my apartment was messy and that my copy of "The Origin of Species" was the devil's text. They only left when I said they could come back another day, and I always knew to ignore them because they would call out "Contrary! We back to talk about Jesus!"

Sassafrass

@QuiteAimable I'm impressed by your boldness. I like the idea of a hard stare. Perhaps I'll add that to my routine. My neighborhood isn't sketchy, sketchy but it's also not completely safe. Not that anywhere really is.

feartie

@emilylouise Urgh, the other day I heard someone rattling the letterbox...I think I saw fingertips coming through too. Luckily my friend was hanging out with me at the time, so I opened the door. It was a drunken homeless-looking man, asking about the tv downstairs (been left in the hall forever). I told him to ask them, not me. I was not nearly forceful enough, just sort of teachery, as I dunno, it seems to work quite well.

Like the time I was in Pamplona with my husband and saw someone coming towards his backpack in a thievy manner. I just told him "no! what do you think you are doing?" like he was a bad dog. After he skulked away, my husband said, you didn't see the razor blade he had in his hand (for cutting open the bag, hopefully not meddlesome humans)

wharrgarbl

@atipofthehat Pretty much anything that forces low-level malefactors to announce themselves as Officially Up To Some Shit will prevent a lot of bullshit. Not that bad people are like vampires and can't come in unless you let them, but a lot of people will try to just bulldoze past you and rely on your natural inclination to not body-check them like a motherfucker in order to slide past. If they've done this before, they're aware that if the cops are called they can probably just plead pushy and get off with a warning. If there's a lock they busted or a screen door they broke or let themselves in past, not so much.

Sassafrass

@contrary Totally. I once broke my rule for some kids selling some magazines or something. Got suckered into buying it from them, only to Google the organization and find out the whole deal was a scam. After canceling my check, I (firmly) reinstated my no-opening-the-door rule.

saythatscool

@atipofthehat Put one of those metal hooks on it. You may as well be standing behind a shield of rapist kryptonite, ladies. That's how powerful a screen door with a hook is.

gladfanny

@Sassafrass Oh man. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who just never answers the door. I was beginning to think I was too untrusting and paranoid (which perhaps I am, but at least I'm in good company?)

Alice Prin

@emilylouise If he really was a guy who needed help, he would've retrieved his money to pay a locksmith after the job was done!

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@saythatscool: "The signage on the side of the van? Oh, I give out free candy as a side job - that has nothing to do with my purse inspecting."

QuiteAmiable

@gladfanny @Sassafrass @fabel Not trying to alarm you, ladies, but here, it's encouraged to show some sign that you are home when someone knocks on your door. If no one answers, they are likely to break in. Door-knocking is the way they case the home to see if anyone is there. At least in my neighborhood. So even if you don't answer the door, maybe make some noise or turn on a light or something??

KeLynn

@Sassafrass My dog doesn't bark but when I open the door I definitely play up the "holding my dog back so she doesn't viciously attack you" thing, when in reality I'm just holding her back so she doesn't attack the stranger with kisses and love. They don't need to know that.

gladfanny

@QuiteAimable Good to know! I almost always have music playing and lights on (even when I'm not home). Now if only I had a ferocious cairn terrier . . . sigh.

cinderellen@twitter

@emilylouise I truly tell them through the door that I do not know them and that I am not opening the door. If they keep milling around on the doorstep I tell them to go away. I've never had to go farther than that.

Emby

LW2 Yeah, it sounds like he might have a crush on you. Doesn't make him a bad person, bad friend, or even necessarily a scuzzball (though pulling that shiz surreptitiously on a roommate is ill-advised at best). But A Lady is right, you've got to put the kibosh on that now before it goes any further.

For all we know, he's right now writing into A Dude: "A Dude, help me out here. I've got this major crush on my roommate, and I know that's wrong, but etc. etc. etc. I've tried to flirt it up a bit, little things, to feel out the situation, but I just don't know!"

Nip that in the bud, LW2.

Michaela Daniel@facebook

@Emby Nip nip nip indeed. I didn't with one friend because of cluelessness, and now we are ex-friends. :c

Leon Tchotchke

@Emby This. I was also wondering if he might be a socially awkward guy in general. As someone who spent his early 20s getting over severe social awkwardness/fear issues it sounds like EXACTLY the sort of crap I'd have resorted to to act on a crush back in the day (and would have come across as a severe creeper in the process). This might also just be projecting, tho.

Bringing it out in the open and politely (but firmly) asking that he not do it is definitely the way to go. If he does have social issues, it might come as a big shock, but it also might help. I could be assuming way too much here, though.

mabellegueule

@Leon Tchotchke
I think you make good points, but I'm really just here to say I like your username!

Non-anonymous

@Emby I'd say LW2's roommate definitely has a crush on her, rather than just being a sleazebag. His acting that way towards her alone, not other women, is a clear giveaway. (Though maybe she should confirm that "not other women" part?) Anyway, this is actually a good thing. It means that if she politely but firmly tells him to stop, he might actually do it without putting up a fight, in order to demonstrate that he really likes her and isn't just a sleazebag. Of course he might also nurse the futile hope that after this demonstration continues for a while she will eventually fall in love with him, but hey, that's his problem.

Craftastrophies

@Non-anonymous Yes, and look at it this way. It's for his own good. No, really! If he's socially awkward, he's probably looking for cues, and also that the cues might need to be a bit bigger than normal to register. Sure, he probably wants them to be positive cues, but he's going to have to learn to take rejection if he wants to not be a rapist (I don't mean that touching her is that, just that not learning to take rejection gracefully means that real consent is difficult, and that is a slippery slope), so that's a good lesson, too. Surely it's better to be taught these lessons by someone who has your best interest and experience at heart, rather than by some random stranger?

nyikint

Oh man, I feel for Janice - I'm quite similar.

But nonetheless no guts, no reward so LW1, go for it!

nyikint

@nyikin GLORY. That's what I meant. No guts, no sticky, chunky, clumpy glory.

Craftastrophies

@nyikin But I thought Glory was from Buffy, not Friends?

miwome

@nyikin The images you have planted in my brain, nyikin. THE IMAGES.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

umm also idk maybe it's just me but there's a banner for azn ladiezz at the bottom of the page and I'm pretty sure I don't search for that thing with this computer?

I mean I'm plenty happy to "get my smokey on" and all, but I'm not sure how much I have in common with 40kg Shuyu from Shandong without a proper introduction.

nyikint

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict It's the AZN, betta recognize.
I wish I had that banner - instead mine is just an ad for Converse.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@nyikin oh, I recognize all right, I went to UCLA

somethingobscure

Nap orgasms! Yes this is a thing!

I'm so glad this was posted because it happens to me a lot, and none of my friends have experienced it. BUT, even though it's normal, are you not worried about it happening in inappropriate places at inappropriate times because ......shit gets awkward. For the most part, I've basically had to stop sleeping on planes, family car trips, and any other time anyone is around me. Unless I'm super drunk and sort of just pass out, then I'm usually safe.

MrComment

@somethingobscure Why are you awake right now?

youresmalltime

Seriously, why is it always during the naps?!

noodge

@youresmalltime i don't get it during naps, just during long dream sessions at night.

dj pomegranate

@youresmalltime Naps and that weird part of the morning after you wake up the first time and before you have to actually get up, the dozey-time. It always happens then!

Craftastrophies

@dj pomegranate I sometimes get a mild version during naps, but only naps. I very very rarely have a sex dream at night and when I do it's more like 'we were all just hanging out and talking but it was really sexy?'

timesnewroman

@Craftastrophies Ahhh yes this I get the sexy talking dreams!! But never had a nap orgasm, so jealous :c

youresmalltime

@timesnewroman I am gonna have to agree with everyone else in the comments and say they are really not satisfying. It's more strange than anything else! D:

miwome

@Craftastrophies I had one of these last night! It was awesome because it was also very surreal and there was a lot of art and other dimensions you could enter through doorways. (Toward the end it seemed like a Mysterious Jewelry Shop was gonna get involved, but I'll never know now.) And the sexy talking was in the context of some sort of intensive seminar?

The only drawback was when I woke up, I realized my sexy-talking partner was wearing the seeming of this dude I absolutely despised in real life, and not in a "someday we will hate each other right into the sack and then live happily ever after" way. Sigh. Still a top-notch dream, though.

Michaela Daniel@facebook

So jealous of everyone's nap orgasms. *poutpoutpout*

wharrgarbl

@Michaela Daniel@facebook They can be weird and not-very-satisfying, though, so missing out is not always a bad thing? Also, you might be having them but not remembering well because of how we (don't) process sleep-memory?

fabel

They usually wake me up, but if it's the middle of the night I'll just go back to sleep & sort of forget about it by morning. Also, sometimes the dream happening right before isn't even sexual, so it's pretty weird (but awesome! I think that's unanimous)

BoozinSusan

@wharrgarbl Yeah, mine always happen when I take weirdly-timed afternoon naps (like 5-6? 6-7?) and when I wake up a) I'm confused by the dark and b) they're kind of unsatisfying so I'm like whaaaa?

toastercat

DC LW! I am also a female 'pinner in a DC suburb, often home alone (though I have roommates). My landlord sends people over to work on the house unannounced TOO MUCH but I think that he's happy we doublecheck? Especially considering the other day I was waiting for the bus directly across the street from my house and the bus-stop was blocked by a bunch of cars that turned out to be filled with police officers in swat gear, just waiting and watching for ???. Oh DC, even your "safe" neighborhoods named after SNL actors are sketchy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, can we have a DC Pinup in January since I missed the last one?

thebestjasmine

@toastercat Your landlord can't do that! In most places they have to give you notice in advance, I would look up the law and tell your landlord to stop doing that, because that is terrible landlord behavior.

PistolPackinMama

@thebestjasmine And makes it harder for a tenant to figure out if the dude at the door with the tools belongs there or not! So unsafe landlord behavior!

toastercat

@thebestjasmine Thanks for the heads up, I will look into that! Although he and his partner are great landlords in most other respects...just the occasional surprise leafblower or gutter cleaner on a ladder. It's also only happened when I'm home on a weekday, so maybe he just doesn't realize that some of us work from home sometimes. At least the house is kept up nicely!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@toastercat Yeah, if it's just a random suburb, be sure check your state's specific rental laws (they should be online). Leases are not always written to your local regulations. (I am not a lawyer, etc.)

toastercat

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Thanks! This is the first time I've ever rented without some overarching entity (college, abroad program etc)to regulate, so it's good to know that this is not just me living in somebody's house, but that There Are Laws. Thanks for the suggestion!

Beericle

@toastercat 1. I live in the same DC suburb that shares the SNL actor name, and NOT HAPPY to hear about the SWAT team (!?)
2. There is a plan for a second pinup in Jan. are you on the google list?
3. I once had a landlord that would show up, and key in unannounced. Happened one day when I was home sick, and another when my work schedule was shifted. Told him if it happened a 3rd time I would call the police, because it is scary to hear someone walking into your place. It stopped.

toastercat

@Beericle 1. Hello Neighbor! I'm assuming (hoping?) it was not much because there was no news, no excitement, no aftermath that I could find...Fingers crossed.
2. No I'm not! I will fix that immediately. Hurray!
3. Oooh the home sick part would make me mad. Sitting around trying to watch Golden Girls reruns and feeling like warm death, and then NOISES = I am fetching my roommate's weights and growling menacingly even after I find out who it is.

Pimento!

@toastercat Lived in the same SNL neighborhood with a landlord who would regularly go through my trash. However, he wasn't the reason I moved- it was the Australian chick across the hall who constantly asked me if I wanted to join her for falafels.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Pimento! Like restaurant falafels? Or homemade falafels? This is Important.

Pimento!

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict I see where we're going with this, but it was restaurant falafels. Come to think of it though, she never did tell me the name of that restaurant.

Mila

@AnthroK8 Oh my gosh, that reminded me of my worst landlord. Well, actually, we had a landlady but her husband did all the maintenance work on their rental (and she made it quite clear that rent checks should be made out to her, not him, so I don't even know what the whole story was). Anyway, one night, my husband and I are lying in bed, I think we had just had sex, we are lying in a dark room,I think it was like 9 at night, and then we start hearing weird noises outside. We are like "I am sure it is an animal or something." But then we start hearing metallic clanking sounds. My husband grabs a baseball bat, heads for the backyard. It is our fucking landlord "just doing a few repairs!" Outside our bedroom window unannounced at 9 at night. Totally creepy.

And then, moving into the totally illegal behavior, I had a snow day from work, so I was taking a nap, naked but under a blanket (wow, these memories make me sound so sexy. I am not always having sex and/or naked in my house), when I am awoken by a key opening my front door. I freak out and look up to see my landlord, and he is all "didn't you get my message about getting the apartment appraised today?" I am pretty sure a landlord can't just leave a message that he will be entering your apartment. Wow, he was super creepy

Non-anonymous

@toastercat @Beericle I'm in that general area too. Let me assure you that if you saw a SWAT team in your neighborhood, there is a 99.999% chance that they were either on a training exercise, on a donut break, or guarding some visiting VIP. No place is absolutely safe, but that area honestly has very low crime rates. One SWAT team does not a crime wave make.

miwome

@Beericle Dude that is not only scary but ACTUALLY ILLEGAL (at least in MA?). We renters gotta know our rights, man, because I had no idea, I was just really upset with how the maintenance guy would just barge into our apt and bang on the door and scare you awake, basically, and it was awful.

toastercat

@beericle @Non-anonymous
Update on SWAT team: Apparently the boyfriend of one of my neighbors was doing something shady (money laundering? drugs? our source was unclear) and the PoPo had been following him, ended up at her house, where they woke him up with handcuffs! Now we know...we are the .001%!

Beericle

@toastercat Good sleuthing, and thanks for the update.

marigny

LW2: A firm conversation with your roommate in a friendly way of "Hey, please don't touch me like that, I need some personal space" is totally warranted. If after that he continues his behavior, no more nice lady. Perhaps if he sees how upset you are over it he'll A) realize that what he was inadvertently doing (if it is inadvertent) is making you uncomfortable or B) know that you won't passively take it anymore. Maybe being "mean" will make things awkward if he doesn't stop, but you shouldn't have to feel violated in your own living space.

halfheartedyoga

Hi LW2!! I have lived with SEVEN non-family non-relational straight dudes. FOUR of those dudes were in ONE house, with me as the only Lady. In fact, except once, ALL my roomates have been DUDES. I <3 Living With Dudes - we are all messy together, watch arty movies, and cook like the pretentious hipsters we are, and give eachother Relationship Advice while listening to 80s tunes (CAN YOU TELL I MISS MY DUDES?!)

Phew, done touting the bonafides. This Dude Likes You, sorry. Girl, you know it! And this is not a fun realization when you totally don't like him back. You need to confront him. Not confront him with "Dude you totally <3 me don't you." But you need to establish that he can't touch you in those ways. And that you need your alone time. It's hard, but not so hard to say, "Hey, not cool with that touch." And "Hey, I really need my alone time after work."

If this shit continues, you may need to take drasticker measures like move, or kick him out. Sorry! Tough Love. YOU are not making the cloud here. If he can't handle your boundaries like a Big Boy...he can't and he can go live alone.

Also, Tangent but I'd be interested on other views. Others Will Disagree, but I think most heterosexual Lady-Dude friendships will, every now and then, not all the time, but sometimes, have Moments of Frisson. Sometimes wine is to blame, but hey, not always! And sometimes, you know, that happens When You Live Together. And you just let it pass, y'all. Ride the wave - by not riding the dude. But this dude doesn't seem to be riding the wave of frisson. Enjoying Frisson and Not Acting On It is something Grown Ups can savor, at times (roomates and not roomates, hey). This dude, not managing his frisson. He seems to be Developing A Thing.

BoozinSusan

@halfheartedyoga Awesome abundant use of the word "frisson." If I were Cher Horowitz, I'd say that was really clutch.

miwome

@halfheartedyoga I SO FEEL YOU re: riding the frisson (we need to make this a euphemism for something, or else the title of a hair metal album). I feel like this is something most people don't acknowledge, because it's easier to pretend like nothing ever happened? But it is so real.

Danzig!

@halfheartedyoga Frisson is like ice cream - the nicest thing, but you can't live on it. Boys who are insecure in their sexuality will try sublimating their loneliness through their ladyfriends (some would argue that the typical high school gay dude / "fruit fly" relationship is also built on this), but ultimately it's not fair to them, you gotta get a real girlfriend.

Danzig!

@miwome Oh, it totally happens, and it's fun. Everyone should, at least once, wake up after a night out and wonder if their attractive friend was seriously hinting at setting up a menage a trois the night before. Spice of life.

saythatscool

@emilylouise Just remember that if the guy has a 10 lb plaster-of- Paris cast on his forearm, then it's totally safe to open your door for him, because he's injured. So how could he possibly hurt you if you're injured?

Also door-to-door knife salesmen is totally a thing. So make sure you're polite and open that door all the way up so you can get a good gander at that suitcase of machetes he wants to show you.

rayray

So, I have sexy dreams but I don't think I have had a sleepgasm? TELL ME MORE.

Artressa Vandelay

@rayray: I don't think they have anything to do with the sexy factor of dreams (for instance I was canoodling with a cute pro QB in my dream last night and no lift off). In my opinion they are random, during naps or also in the middle of the night. You wake up breathing funny and felly disoriented and wondering if maybe you got banged by a ghost? But what are the odds that ghost has followed you to the various cities and apartments you've lived in.

rayray

@Artressa Vandelay Who's to say it's the same ghost?

Artressa Vandelay

@rayray: Fair enough. Now how many ghosts can a girl bang in her sleep before she's a floozie?

Craftastrophies

@Artressa Vandelay What's your ghost number?

Inkling

@Artressa Vandelay Your ghost is super in love with you, and/or haunts one of your trinkets you got from a thrift store. Also wanted to pass along that you DO snore when you sleep, but it's really cute.

lane

LW1: One of my best friends and I met a guy at the same party, separately. We both walked out the door with crushes, and upon realizing we were talking about the same fellow, with great heartsickness, I backed down because she thought she had met him first. Heart. Sick.

He didn't make a move on her, and she didn't believe in making moves on boys, so I told her how I was feeling and that if she wasn't going to ask him out, I was. Fast forward two years, and we were getting married with her as one of our wedding party.

8 years later, still the best dibs I ever challenged.

LW3: The one time I did NOT answer the door for a stranger, the stranger (and 2 accomplices) kicked my door in, and home invasion ensued (fortunately, with me none the worse for it.) I'm for calling out, "Who is it?" in my most aggressive voice (think Chihuahua defending her territory), and then refusing to open the door if I don't recognize the answer. But, I generally always make my presence known now.

leastimportantperson

LW2: It sounds like he may already know he's violating your boundaries. I have had major problems dealing with people like this all my life. The thing you said about him "somehow" not reading your body tensing up rang such a huge, gross bell with me. I would eat piles of shit from people like this, thinking they would read my (hugely negative) non-verbal reactions at some point. They do, and they like it. Once I get into it verbally with them, they'll start doing this thing of being like "Oh, she hates it when I ____, hahaha. Look, watch, she hates it. Hahaha." My advice from so much experience: do not put up with an INSTANT of this jokey shit. You have to say things like, "I will leave the room if you keep doing that." Make it as not fun for them as it is for you. Because there is a chance he finds your annoyance entertaining.

wharrgarbl

@leastimportantperson Pepper spray is also an option! Just wait til the next time you're outdoors with him and make like Lt. Pike.

beanie

@leastimportantperson my boyfriend does this with tickling. People need to quit with that shit. TICKLING!

wharrgarbl

@beanie TASE HIM. Tickling is just fucking awful.

Inkling

@beanie
"Matthew's yanking my hair!"
"Well, that's just his way of showing you how he likes you."
"But I don't like HIM and he's hurting me and needs to STOP."
"Oh, boys will be boys."
...
"INK SCRATCHED ME AN' I'M BLEEEEEEDING!"
I did all I could to socialize boys when I was little, but there's only so much skin to be flicked out from under grubby nails.

atipofthehat

I image-searched "female wet dream" and all I got were pictures of this chick named Mallory.

melis

@atipofthehat Hey, now.

atipofthehat

@melis

Whoever she is, she's apparently in great demand.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@atipofthehat ahem, de"manned"

leonstj

Can I explain how dibs is supposed to work? You are at a bar, and you or a friend sees someone of the gender that both of you like to get it on with. You point it out to each other. Much like "shotgun", anyone is allowed to call "dibs".

If you have more than half your drinks left, you have until the start of the next drink to introduce yourself to them. If you have less than half, you have until the next drink is over and someone is getting up to get more.

That is all. Dibs only applies to hitting on strangers. If people are acquaintances you can't call dibs.

atipofthehat

@leon.saintjean

Then again, my marriage certificate says DIBS FOR LIFE.

atipofthehat

@leon.saintjean

However, for those who are still dating: when you're at a bar, and you or a friend sees someone of the gender that both of you like to get it on with, and he or she calls dibs, the response that used to work for me was: "Okay. You have a five-minute head start."

Maria

LW3: Invest in a chain lock or similar mechanism! Most landlords are cool with this, although you should probably run it by them first. They may even install it for you to make sure it's done properly. That way you never have to have a conversation through a peephole or fully open the door to a stranger.
Just remember, safety is more important than politeness.

atipofthehat

@Maria

I once had occasion to burst a chain lock; it was easy. Don't bet your life on it. I'd consider some other device.

Maria

@atipofthehat True, depends a lot on what it's bolted to and how to be at all effective. Excellent other option though!

Hellcat

@atipofthehat Oh, tell -- how'd you do that? Sadly, I have an outward-opening door (because of the ascending stairs directly inside my door) so I can't use the cool thing.

Way back when, in a different apartment late at night, I heard a crazy sound down by the door, which was chained. When I peeked from the top of the stairs (with my former BF tippy-toeing behind me), I saw an arm inside waving all around... as if it thought it could undo the chain. This was crazy. Without really thinking about the fact that, in order to have opened the other locks, the arm would probably have needed a key (but my roommate was already sleeping, so...), I ran down and slammed the door shut just as the arm retracted. And that was that, until...

My landlord's wife called the next day to snippily ask why we hadn't let her husband in when he stopped by the night before. WHAT? I moved not long after that.

atipofthehat

@Hellcat

If you suddenly apply a shoulder to the door, just like in the movies, the chain or the flange that attaches the chain to the metal doorframe will snap. It just isn't that strong. But you're wonderfully safe with that outward-opening door. (Unless they're...already...INSIDE, of course.)

Hellcat

@atipofthehat ...Which is why I have my trusty meat-fork!

Really, now that I think about it, it seems like it would be crazy difficult to break into an outward-opening door...

Onymous

@Hellcat Well except that means the hinges are on the outside too.

wharrgarbl

@Onymous You can either crimp your pins so that you more or less need a hammer and chisel to get them back out or you can use a setscrew, which keeps the pins from being moved while the door is closed. The crimping one sounds easier to do if your hinges don't actually have any sort of security right now.

Hellcat

@Onymous OhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHH (said like that Bill Hader Dateline character on SNL that I can't get out of my head lately)... yeah, there is that! Luckily (?), I also often assume that my living space's ridiculously close proximity to all my neighbors would maybe be a deterrent to the criminals. (And now that I put that out there, tonight will be the night that I have to use the ol' meat-fork...)

atipofthehat

@Hellcat

One doesn't often hear about "pull-in robberies."

Hellcat

@atipofthehat I kind of want to go down there and test the logistics of the "pull-in" robbery. But I've had some wine and I'm sure it wouldn't end well.

joie

I find that answering the door with my baseball bat casually resting on my shoulder sends exactly the right message.

saythatscool

@heyits That you're Sammy Sosa and you're here to hit some dingers?

saythatscool

@heyits Or that you're a member of the Furies and you're out for the blood of that gang that killed Cyrus?

Hellcat

@heyits I don't have a bat but I make a point to remember where the big meat-fork thing (you know, the kind that comes in a housewarming-gift-from-mom container along with wooden spoons and a spatula or two) is at all times.

joie

@saythatscool I'm not here to make friends.

atipofthehat

@saythatscool

I almost got into a fight in a fern bar once. Suddenly the bartender had a wiffle-ball bat in his hands. We all went back to sipping our white wine spritzers and watching Flashdance.

sevanetta

@heyits I keep my old flatmate's cricket bat around for this purpose.

wharrgarbl

@heyits One of those big fucking maglites will send a similar message. You know the ones--they're black stainless steel, take like six D batteries, weigh 15 pounds, and have extra lead weights sold separately? I love those things.

joie

@wharrgarbl I have one of those on my bedside table. It's fun to show to my gentlemen callers. (I have trust issues)

wharrgarbl

@heyits They make little ones that weigh like, a pound. To put on your keychain. And then use like a nunchuck in the event of a mugging. I don't know if it's more "Maglite: Pretending to make flashlights since 1955!" or "Maglite: You don't need a concealed carry permit for a flashlight!".

AmbiSinister

@heyits Once I woke up to scufflings and footsteps in my house on a vacation day, so I picked up my crowbar and greeted the plumber at the door, who was very quickly all smiles and "Your landlady let me in" and "I'm scheduled to be here". He was, actually, and we had been notified, and my landlady lives literally next door to me, so it was fine. I have weapon-type things all over the house (crowbar by my bed, boken by my computer desk, roofing hammer by my drafting table) "in case of zombie apocalypse."

joie

@AmbiSinister strategically-placed weaponry is an essential part of zombie apocalypse survival.

Oh, squiggles

I'm gonna go ahead and call dibs on everyone I have been, will be, and am currently interested in. All the hot people are mine now!

wee_ramekin

@Awesomely Nonfunctional You have 45 days to hit on all of these people before they're hit-on-able by me again! GO!

PistolPackinMama

@Awesomely Nonfunctional @weeramekin Uh-uh. I dibsed them all 35 days ago, so she has to wait ten more days so I can finish my list, THEN she can hit on all of them, and THEN you can. Just in time for Valentine's Run Up, in fact!

atipofthehat

@AnthroK8

I like the cut of your dibs.

Oh, squiggles

I am calling dibs on everyone in this comment thread then

atipofthehat

@Awesomely Nonfunctional

Okay but I call shotgun.

PistolPackinMama

@Awesomely Nonfunctional Well, if all the hot people on this list are hot, I dibsed them first, and you can't dibs till you cross-reference databases (it's in the rules I just made up!). So that means

[does math...]

All the Hairpinners Are Belong To Me for another 10 days. Which means I get to put the moves on ramekinlet before she can put the moves on anyone else.

You need to get quicker on the draw there.

(Ugh... the Commerce of Dibsing is kind of grody, isn't it?)

@atipofthehat It is avast gulf between my confidence now and ten years ago. I would never have dibsed anyone at 25.

Oh, squiggles

@AnthroK8 (It is grody! Plus, math...yuck.)

I may have to call shenanigans on your previous dibs. Did you dibs in a public venue (such as a comment box on a lady blog)? Cause according to article 4317.B of the Dibs on Hotties Code, if the dibs is not said loud enough or in a public enough venue, the time pertaining to the dibs is 10% of a normal dibs...therefore...all your dibs are belong to me

Oh, squiggles

@TheHairpin I dibs you (new way of saying you like someone?)

Craftastrophies

@atipofthehat You... get to ride in the passenger seat?

PistolPackinMama

@Awesomely Nonfunctional It was on Reddit.

(Okay, it wasn't on Reddit. It was on my locked Twitter timeline. FINE, OKAY. I will just have to mack on all the Hairpinners before you do and thus cement my... mack record... before you get there!)

I think "I dibs you" is either lovely or horrible, or somehow, it is both.

atipofthehat

@Craftastrophies

That's right. I don't take a back seat to anyone.

Craftastrophies

@atipofthehat No riding at the rear for you!

wee_ramekin

@AnthroK8 @Awesomely Nonfunctional

All your dibs are belong to me.
You have no chance to survive make your time.
Ha. Ha. Ha.

melmuu

Ugh damnit, you were too quick!

Shannon McConnell@facebook

LW2: I am pretty sure you are living with one of my ex-roommates. Like almost positive. I've lived with guys for 3 years now, and I've found that in order to not hurt feelings, keep things not awkward, etc. you just have to treat them like a dude or go way into lady space and scare them off. I think a lot of guys who haven't lived with women, don't really know where the boundary is and setting it in the most straightforward, non-emotional way is the best. Next time he does something to invade your space call him out on it but keep it light. It can be a simple as "Dude get off my dick" next time he gets too close to you. Or saying "______ get out of my room I have PMS." Straightfoward, serious, but not too "You are doing something bad and I'm going to say something like an HR manager" usually works.

Slapfight

@Shannon McConnell@facebook it really bugs me when people feel they have a right to someone else's body. The hand on the waist move is bullshit. Sorry, but you never need to touch a person's waist to get by them. Next time he tries it she should let a righteous fart rip.
Guaranteed no more unwanted touching.

tortietabbie

I had a dream-gasm ONCE and it was an amazing experience. I keep hoping it will happen again, but so far no luck...

bookbike

@tortietabbie UGHHH I, like, NEVER orgasm!!

sceps yarx

@heyad Like never ever, or never in dreams?

AmbiSinister

@heyad Same here!! and it is so frustrating because all the stuff working up to it is better than my normal orgasms.

werewolfbarmitzvah

LW #1 - This all comes down to how interested you are in this guy, and how interested your friend is in this guy. Are you just kind of attracted to him, or do you see real legitimate potential there? And is your friend just kind of attracted to him, or is she madly in love with him? Because if you guys are both just kind of attracted to him and it's not a thing involving Feelings with a Capital F, then this is not that big a whoop, and you should really just up and ask her if she ever intends to make a move on him and if you can just go ask him out already. But if you're just kind of attracted to him while she has stronger feelings or a more complicated history with him, then just LET IT DROP and go find some other guy. I witnessed two close friends' longtime friendship end permanently because one of them hooked up with the guy the other one had serious feelings for, and several years later that guy is long gone but those two women are STILL not friends anymore. And conversely, if your friend is just kind of attracted to him while YOU see bigtime relationship potential for yourself with this guy, then again, have a talk with her about it. (Really, the more I think about this, the more it looks like the ultimate answer is to open up your yapper and have an honest conversation with your friend before either of you does anything.)

LW #2 - Your roommate is madly in love with you. You best start lurching around the house in stained sweatpants and scratching yourself, in the hopes that he cures himself of this problem.

LW #3 - NEVER LET ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSE EVER.

LW #4 - Yes, they are real, and they are spectacular!

kayjay

I have female wet dreams/sleepytime orgasms about once a month, but I never mention them outloud out of fear that they'll disappear forever, like a fine morning mist.

Saiko

I'll give it to the wet dreams querent but other than that--could there possibly be a *dearth* of people with real problems at this moment?

PistolPackinMama

@Saiko I think Touchey McFeelerson The Roommate qualifies as a real problem. A real, serious, problem. And being told it's not a real problem is not going to help with the courage-practicing it will take to tell McFeelerson to step off.

Saiko

@AnthroK8 Yeah but a problem to which the solution was to firmly express that you don't like this. Like human existence 101! How is your first instinct to run for interweb advice on this, and what did you expect to be told apart from "firmly express that you don't like this"?

Saiko

Even a jokey "Cut it out!" doesn't seem to have even been tried here

PistolPackinMama

@Saiko I don't know. There could be lots of reasons. If she's at all like me until I was about 29, part of it could be that she's a lady and ladies are taught in Being a Girl According To Society's Mores 101 that we are supposed to accommodate and assuage and deflect and be nice so as not to hurt people's feelings and piss them off. Because if we do, we might be bitches! Or if we do, men might get mad at us and angry men are scary and to be avoided.

There could be a million other reasons. That's just one.

My point is, she clearly doesn't have the self-permission to tell Touchy McFeelerson not to invade her space. And she needs that! And if a bunch of people telling her it's okay, and here is how will help with that, good!

Lady isn't doing anything socially negative to anyone else. She doesn't need to be told she Is Doing It Wrong And Should Be Told All About How Wrong She Is because she doesn't know what you already know (and good for you, and if someone taught them that, good for them for making that clear).

By which I mean to say, in this case, if "your problem with a touchy roommate is not a real problem because just grow a pair" is your helpful contribution, don't be surprised if others don't take kindly to it.

PS: I have no idea how old this Lady is. But I just had a chat with a 19yo college student how to handle Professor Touchey McFeelerson getting all inside her space, which went something like this:

Her: [Professor TMcF gets inside my space]

Me: Oh no! I am so sorry! What do you do when he does that?

Her: This and that and mostly feel uncomfortable.

Me: Well, you know another thing you can do is DOCUMENT that with a timestamped email and keep a record, and if anything happens you really don't like, you know you can tell anyone, but if you want to you can tell me!

Her: Thank you! I really don't like it.

Me: You don't have to like it, and if you want him to stop and he doesn't with politeness and body language, you have other options and I want you to know I will help you find the right help if that is what you need.

Point being... if lady is a Younger Lady, she is busy with Chem 101 or whatever, and no one offered the Seminar in stopping Bad Touches. No one should be lectured for having good instincts but weak skills in this kind of matter.

Saiko

@AnthroK8 How about instead of making up fake crash-and-burn-violence scenarios, we encourage people to say what's on their mind? What if the guy does have a crush on her? Why doesn't she just ask him? If her first instinct is that he's a raving psychopath to be feared, she shouldn't be living with him period. Her question was "Does he have a crush on me," not "Omigod how do I get violent sex fiend out of house without being killed."

PistolPackinMama

@Saiko I think that is pretty much exactly what I just said.

We are taught to be always accommodating and sometimes scared.

We should be taught we are allowed to tell people not to touch us and expect our rights to be respected with no questions (and the reason we are being touched is irrelevant. I don't care about her roommate's reasons. They are his reasons, whatever.) But we aren't.

Everyone on this list is saying to the LW, "you can tell that guy not to touch you. Here you have some options for how to tell that guy not to touch you. Handle it any one of these ways, or some other way, but whatever way, it is okay, you are not crazy.

And EVEN IF someone suggested her roommate might, in fact, be threatening her safety, or she feels threatened herself, well. THERE IS A PRECEDENT for that, which is that violence against women tends to be between people who know each other. So. Sucks for Boy Roommate that he has to learn a short sharp lesson in the fact that women can be discerning about who touches them for reasons that didn't occur to them. If he's a nice guy, he will figure it out.

And men do figure it out. Thankfully. I've talked to men who have said "I accidentally really got inside so-and-so's space and it bothered her and I feel bad and now I want to find a way to apologize without sounding like a creeper and what should I do? And I suppose I could be all "this is Interaction 101" to those kinds of guys. But instead I said "well, here are some things you could do... But if she says 'never speak to me again' what you do is say 'okay, thank you for letting me know you were upset.' And never speak to her again."

No one is telling Lady to buy a shotgun and put the police on speed dial. They are telling her she does not need permission to demand her human rights be respected.

atipofthehat

@AnthroK8

As usual, poet W. H. Auden has the answer:

Some thirty inches from my nose
The frontier of my person goes,
And all the untilled air between
Is private pagus or demesne.
Stranger, unless with bedroom eyes
I beckon you to fraternize,
Beware of rudely crossing it:
I have no gun, but I can spit.

thebestjasmine

@Saiko I'd think it was much more stupid for someone to write to an advice columnist if the question was "how do I get a violent sex fiend out of the house without being killed?" because for that question you call the police. I really don't understand why you think that only problems about violence qualify as real problems, or why you think that it's making up a scenario when many women who deal with something like this are dealing with the beginnings of a violent situation. Or why a woman not knowing how to deal with a man who touches her more than she likes isn't a good enough of a problem for you.

Myrtle

@thebestjasmine I love you. I feel sure you've saved a couple reader's lives. Or kept them from being raped.

Lyesmith

@atipofthehat That was beautiful.

summerkitten26

@atipofthehat perfection in poetry. #fact

Bebe

I am calling dibs on this A Lady for the phrase "Laws and Order."

gladfanny

Dear lord I love those dreams. I like . . . I can't even sit still now, just thinking about them.

amysee

Dude coming by unannounced to "do maintenance" is a classic DC-area scam. Don't feel bad about opening doors, but never let this guy into your home. Most jurisdictions have landlord-tenant laws requiring advanced notice for all but the most emergency entry of your rental unit (i.e., if there is a massive and sudden plumbing explosion, they can come in; otherwise, no). He's not coming by to help.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW if you don't already: Landlord-tenant law enforcement rests almost exclusively on the tenant. If you are a renter, you MUST learn your rights and your legal recourse for a violation of those rights. Most landlord-tenant relationships are pretty good, but if yours isn't, you can do something about it. Check out your lease, but also look at your city/county agency in charge of these things. Many areas have simple handouts for renters.

Bebe

LW3: I saw something on TV as a teenager (Oprah maybe?) where they had actors dressed up in fake uniforms with ID tags they made with a laser printer, and hidden cameras showed them knocking on people's doors with random stories - checking for a gas leak, reading the meter, whatever. And the VAST majority of people let them into their homes. The whole point was not to do this - even if someone says they are a cop, they have to give you their badge number and let you call their precinct to check and make sure they are really cops before you let them in.

Long way of saying, you acted totally appropriately given the situation. For your own peace of mind, get a deadbolt/chain if you don't already have one. And a Louisville slugger somewhere accessible never hurts, either.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

LW2: Do you happen to live in San Francisco? Your scenario conjures up memories of my previous roommate situation down to a creepy level of detail.

cocokins

I will just say this: my landlord is a police officer and it makes me happy. He doesn't put up with any shit, always notifies me at least a week in advance if he or someone else will be coming over, and I know he drives by in the cruiser at least once a week just to make sure things look good. Maybe that's creepy? But it makes me feel a hell of a lot safer than if my landlord was one of those "I live in a different state" people who own a bunch of real estate and never bother to take much care of it.

insouciantlover

What is with grown adult roommates who open your bedroom door without an invite? Do you know that I could be masturbating in here? Or like, doing a bazillion other things that don't involve you? Flames on the side of my face, I tell you, flames.

PistolPackinMama

@insouciantlover I know. Makes you want to ensure all leased bedrooms have LOCKS, and that you make a habit if LOCKING YOUR ROOM so no one is surprised if your room is LOCKED. Because LOCKS ARE LOCKED WITH A LOCKING LOCK THAT LOCKS.

(locks)

atipofthehat

@insouciantlover

Which do you prefer?
- The sudden opening
- The stealth opening
- The faint knock you didn't hear
- The "it was open, actually"
- The stumble-into
- The delray slide

Xanthophyllippa

@insouciantlover Or it could have ended like THIS!

werewolfbarmitzvah

@AnthroK8 When I first moved to NYC and moved in with two girls from Craigslist, one of the first things they told me was that I should call up the landlord and have a lock installed on my bedroom door, and that they both locked their bedroom doors every time they went anywhere. And I was all, "Whaaaaa? Locks on our bedroom doors? What kind of paranoid home life is this all about? Whatever happened to trust?" And so I didn't bother getting a lock on my door. Then I went away for a weekend, and came back to find my bed all rumpled up like someone had been sleeping in it, and the time on my alarm clock had been changed, and my Outkast CD was missing (this was 2004). WHAT ABOUT TRUST INDEED.

Artressa Vandelay

@insouciantlover: breathing, heaving breaths. Classic!

PistolPackinMama

@werewolfbarmitzvah Wow... at least they... told you ahead of time? I guess? That is some creepy self-awareness on your roommate's part.

insouciantlover

@atipofthehat oh! I like a combination move, personally. Ideally it starts with the faint knock, is followed by the slow stealth push, and then ends with the door flinging open, accompanied by the vocalized sing-song "knock knooooock!" And then just to draw it out, I enjoy having an argument about whether the door being open juuuust enough for my cat to snake a paw through qualifies as the door actually being open or not. Really, though, there are so many options!

Decca

@AnthroK8 Perhaps there was some kind of Jekyll and Hyde thing going on with one of the roommates. Like every now and then one of them morphed into an evil, bed-rumpling Big-Boi fan and she was just warning you in advance.

Xanthophyllippa

@Decca Hey - don't judge. Happens to the best of us.

wharrgarbl

@werewolfbarmitzvah If you're moving in with two girls from Craigslist in NYC, I'm guessing bedroom door locks are a good idea. Like, nobody wants to find out the girl from Craigslist who seemed super-nice and like she might work out was not, in fact, super-nice and wouldn't work out by getting all their stuff jacked, you know? Coming home to find some of your stuff gone and your room creeped up is comparatively mild.

gravie

@insouciantlover I came in your room because I was frightened. You see, I also drink the cognac.

WastedPaper

LW #2: My Aspie radar went off when I read your letter. It does sound (to me) like he probably does have a crush on you, but there's a pretty good chance he's not ignoring your body language to be a douche - he may lack the ability to see your discomfort (kind of like mind-blindness), or just doesn't realize what he's doing is inappropriate. Letting him know in a firm, kind way that his touching makes you uncomfortable may be all you need to do to remedy the situation. And I wouldn't be jokey about it (as tempting as it might be, just to avoid tension), because that may leave an element of doubt as to your seriousness. From your description of him he sounds like a nice guy, so chances are he won't turn into a dickhead afterward.

Danzig!

@WastedPaper Every PDD boy needs that talk. If not for you, then the women in his life that will come after you.

I mean if they're one of the "nice" ones (scare quotes because really, who's nice?), they will be terrified and ashamed and will probably cry, but they'll be better for it, after an indeterminate period of panic time. And they'll be afraid of offending you. Problem solved!

theguvnah

Oh world, what are we doing wrong while raising our daughters that they become full grown adults (in the legal sense) but don't know how to ask for basic things from other people?!?1

LW2. I just don't know what to say. You MUST learn how to express your needs and wants in all situations, but particularly your living situation!

Between LW2 and LW3 (should I feel bad for not opening the door to a potential rapist?) I WEEP for our future.

PistolPackinMama

@theguvnah (I <3 your screen name)

I am choosing to see LW2 as having figured it as much better late than never.

Sad thing is... we do live in conditions where women learn not to be confrontational about most things. So when the situation where being direct and confrontational (in a nice way, but still...) is appropriate, we don't know how, we don't feel like we can, and we don't know what to expect.

The door thing... the world sucks sometimes, is all I have for that.

Nate Jones@facebook

So, how does one handle the 'dibs' situation when all three of you work in the same office? Just switch the names to Mia, Nina and Elliot? I'm asking for a friend. Seriously!

joie

@Nate Jones@facebook please tell me that is a Just Shoot Me! reference.

angelinha

LW1: You could always take the Boy Meets World approach, where you=Shawn tells Janice=Cory that since Janice=Cory didn't make a move, you=Shawn are going to ask out Chandler=Topanga. Only you should probably only do this if you know that Janice and Chandler are meant to be together and that they're too shy to kiss in the movie theatre without your assistance. Because if it works, you should know they're going to be together forever and get married while they're still in college and live in the marriage dorms.

highcuts forever!

@klibberfish That is some quality Boy Meets World referencing right there.

melis

@klibberfish That analogy doesn't work, because Shawn + Cory forever. "Never eat cake at the mall in Pyramus. That's ours."

angelinha

@melis "Hey, that Cinnabon was for me, wasn't it?"

E Wren

LW3: Not to scare the living bejeezus out of you but, a woman was murdered by a man posing as a PG&E worker here in SF: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/13/BA9K1MBLVN.DTL

Alice Prin

Wheeeewww, the entire concept of dibs. I've never had to deal with this. My best friend and I have seemingly nothing in common except for our mutual love of whiskey and judging people. We'd never go after the same dude.

I would like to point out that this dreamboat has apparently not put the moves on either of these girls. Thus.. question answered.

Mingus_Thurber

One more tip for Women Who Answer Their Doors: wasp spray, the sort that's supposed to shoot 15 feet or so? Will fuck a body up. Bear spray isn't legal here, so I keep a can of wasp spray at the door and by the bed.

summerkitten26

@Mingus_Thurber thank you for this. seriously

Shayna

@Mingus_Thurber Can you be prosecuted for assault for using it? Or is it just self-defense?

Slapfight

@Mingus_Thurber I recommend spray paint. Messes them up and id's them.
I..I spend a lot of time alone thinking about how to mess up would be assailants. My mom doesn't even think I'm cool.

metermaid

I was a part of this whole "dibs" thing once. I was studying abroad in Barcelona once and had become quite close to one of the girls in my program, who also went to my school back home, in the first two months we lived there. We met some Really Hot American Guy (seriously you guys, light beams shone off his face when I first saw him, I think) at a beach party near the city. Even though I met the guy and declared attraction to him first, my friend was on a mission to fuck him.

I backed down at first, but a few weeks later he invited us both out one night where we all got drunk and then he ended up making out with me. She was mad at me at first, but this dude and I ended up having a 2 year serious relationship! We only broke up because of distance, and we're still kind of friends. She tried to play it off as though I'd sacrificed our potential awesome friendship at first for choosing the guy over her, but once she realized that I wanted more than just to fuck him like she did, she got over it. And we're still friends too!

Moral of the story: rational people will do rational things. If someone has serious feelings or investments in someone that you just want to fuck, it's probably wrong to do it. If she's your best friend in the whole world and she just can't let him go, it's also probably wrong. But if you two would work out and she just has an unfulfilled crush? It's selfish of her to hang on like dog hair on a black coat to this guy, and you should have a shot.

The End.

qwerty_zxcv

hey, nap orgasms! do you call them that because you usually have them while napping, and not at night? BECAUSE ME TOO!

i very rarely have them at night - maybe once a year. but i have them during daytime naps maybe one out of every ten naps.

PistolPackinMama

@qwerty_zxcv I NEED to take more naps. Obviously. Like... ten more in a short time.

FOR SCIENCE.

summerbandicoot

so much respect for the friends references! something leads me to believe you might not be super close though, since you did refer to her as a janice...which means (probably) go for chandler!

also, nap orgasms? i've never been privy to such a wonderful thing! where can i find one? they sound spectacular

Mimi Killjoy

letter #1
A few separate issues: Yeah, that's totally annoying when you express interest in a guy and then your friend is like, 'Well, I liked him first', but then, it is a delicate thing if you have liked a guy forever and your friend moves in on it.
But then sometimes you have friends who move in on guys just because you express interest and it piques their interest or it ignites their competitive fire. Either way it complicates life and makes things tense and creates friction in the friendship.
It's inevitable that people who are friends would naturally be attracted to the same guy from time to time. After all, you have enough in common to be friends, you like each other. It only makes sense you'd like many of the same people. You probably have many mutual friends.
Which brings me to the second point: Flirting within reason is fine, but I wouldn't 'go after him', but that's really neither here nor there. If this "Chandler" liked either one of you, you'd know it by now. It sounds like he hasn't expressed interest in either one of you. Fighting over him will just ruin your friendship- for a guy who is probably not interested in either one of you. You'll end up with no guy, minus a friend.
I mean, I don't know your friend, maybe she's controlling. I had a friend once who had to be in the middle of everything. It was more about her always being the center of attention. Everything had to be about her. It's hard to know the dynamics of the situation without knowing the personalities involved. But there are no 'rights' when it comes to who a guy likes. He'll go for who he wants. There really isn't much either of you can do about it.

Mimi Killjoy

Letter #2
Even if you don't talk about it, set a boundary and maintain it, even if your nature is touchy feely. You have to literally put some space between you. Like, step back if he gets too close, pull away if he touches you. I assume you aren't the one initiating any contact since he bothers you. I know it's hard to avoid someone in an enclosed space when they're pursuing you. Women worry so much about being polite. We don't want to be rude or offend people, so we suffer and put up with things that leave us feeling violated. It sounds like this guys is definitely hot for you and he's trying to insinuate himself into your private space and he's trying to put the moves on you slowly. I think he's hoping that these casual touches lead to something more. I think they definitely have a sexual overtone. I know that brush across the small of the back. I hate that- when a guy passes me in a bar or a club and he does that. It's so gross and unnecessary. It's too much where you live to suffer. If he lays on the bed, I would sit up, or sit up and move over. He'll get the hint.

miwome

@Mimi Killjoy OMG the back/hip touch in a bar/club is the worst. I DON'T KNOW YOU, WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE YOU HAVE A PASS TO MY BODY. I did not stamp your hand, mister.

I remember this would happen to me at frat parties in college, and when I brought it up to my friends nobody understood why it bugged me. Nobody. Then I stopped going to frat parties and converted a bunch of my friends to feminism, so all's well that ends well, I guess.

Mimi Killjoy

Letter #3
That's terrifying. One of my greatest fears is that someone breaks into my house and kills me while I am watching Forensic Files. Would that be ironic? Is that correct use of the word? I can never get that straight.
I worry about answering my door, too. I have had people come to the door to sell me things and I've actually answered through an upstairs window. They probably thought I was insane.

Hellcat

@Mimi Killjoy HA! I think about the same thing. My friends and family would mourn and ask each other if I hadn't learned anything from "all those crime shows" I insisted on watching... "grisly discovery," indeed...

MirrorGoRound

Napgasms! Like someone was saying above, for me, sexy dream doesn't always equal napgasm, but there have been a few times I remember where I've basically woken up like WHOA and those times were AWESOME. Sometimes sexy dreams suck, though, because you don't really get to choose when you wake up and sometimes for me the dreams are just the slightest bit lucid, so it's all "oh man, I really want to bone this person, I'd better not wake up" and then womp womp.

Funnily enough, I have discussed these napgasms (I never have them in actual naps, always during real sleep) with my fiancee and (this may be TMI) he has never had a wet dream. But I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER in the film our whole class had to watch in 5th grade about "the pituitary gland" (aka puberty), there was a whole segment about how guys totally get wet dreams during puberty and this boy had a wet dream and then decided that "oh man, this is embarrassing and mom can never find out so I'm going to cover my jizz stain in ketchup and mustard and this will TOTALLY SOLVE MY PROBLEM" as if mom would be just like "oh that son of mine, always eating hamburgers in bed!" Basically, I was just really disappointed to learn that I'd been lied to and not ever dude has wet dreams.

The end!

Inkling

@beanie
"Matthew's yanking my hair!"
"Well, that's just his way of showing you how he likes you."
"But I don't like HIM and he's hurting me and needs to STOP."
"Oh, boys will be boys."
...
"INK SCRATCHED ME AN' I'M BLEEEEEEDING!"
I did all I could to socialize boys when I was little, but there's only so much skin to be flicked out from under grubby nails.

Inkling

@beanie
"Matthew's yanking my hair!"
"Well, that's just his way of showing you how he likes you."
"But I don't like HIM and he's hurting me and needs to STOP."
"Oh, boys will be boys."
...
"INK SCRATCHED ME AN' I'M BLEEEEEEDING!"
I did all I could to socialize boys when I was little, but there's only so much skin to be flicked out from under grubby nails.

slutberry

@Inkcrafter Oh man. I started public school in grade 5 after homeschooling. On my first day the class stud came over to talk to me on the playground, and he leaned his hand up on the wall next to me, and it freaked me out so much that I bit him and ran away.

I didn't figure out until I started university that the facts that all the boys were mean to me and all the girls didn't like me were related.

faintly_macabre

Self defence classes! The answer to so many questions, although maybe not the one about sleep orgasms.

eustaceia

LW2: I always forget this when I'm nervous about having a conversation/confrontation, but- it's soooo helpful to just say "I am super worried that this will be awkward/hurt your feelings/offend you" or whatever you are worried about. Like, just admitting that you're anxious about it makes it so much easier.

Also, unrelated: I've never had a nap orgasm! :(

LW1
LW1

CAN I JUST SAY ONE THING IN MY DEFENCE? THANKS.

I do not hate Janice. I love Janice. It is just this one thing that frustrates me. This is an anonymous forum where I have vented these frustrations. Yes, I think she's being a passive 13 year old girl. I don't think declaring this anonymously on the internet in a help-me-please letter makes me a bad friend if it happens to be the reason for my letter. Because it is.

As for chicken-shit-idiot, I did say she coined that phrase herself *about* herself. But I could've left that part out. Again, venting frustrations anonymously.

Danzig!

@LW1 That's not one thing that's several things!

But really, don't sweat it. Everybody's been a bit too flippant about something at one point or another. Welcome to the judged-on-the-internet club!

astrangerinthealps

LW1: I knew three people in the exact situation you describe. One day, a month or so before Chandler was set to go back home to Europe, Janice went out of town and LW (not you, but my friend who was in your situation) finally asked him to go somewhere with her... Three years later they're married. Can't guarantee this will happen to you but I recommend you go for it. Life is short.

Summer Terra@facebook

Who DC girl, don't open the door anymore and I'm glad that guy didn't force himself on you! Be safe. Glad you are OK

Nikp

This happened to me the other day and I remembered reading it, but I remembered it as "happy naps" which is what I think I'll call them from now on.

Gman

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