Quantcast

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

380

Loaner Shirts, Neon Books, and the Meanings of Sleazy

1. When you're sleeping over at a guy’s place (someone you don’t know well, for the first time, not someone you’re dating), and he offers me a t-shirt to sleep in, is it because he wants me to wear the t-shirt or is it just politeness? I don’t get it, because one would think it would be preferred for me to be naked.

It’s a bit of both. I first started offering gals a t-shirt because other gals had requested one, and they seemed to appreciate it. But it didn’t take me long to realize that women look smoking hot in nothing but underwear and a t-shirt. It’s sexy as hell, a truly magical combination. So yes, when you get up to grab a cup of water or whatever, I’m excited that you’re coming back through that door wearing nothing but a t-shirt.

Don’t get me wrong, spending quality time with a naked lady is great. But a bit of clothing here or there gives a woman an easy-going allure. It takes you back to that moment when a few things were still left to the imagination, even if you blew past that point a while back.

2. Where are hot guys?

I’ve thought long and hard about this — I want you to find these hot guys, I really do — and I’ve deduced that there are only five possible answers:

1. They’ve developed an elaborate system that alerts them to your impending arrival, at which point they scatter.
2. That place you decided not to go to at the last second.
3. Bookstores.
4. Ireland.
5. They’re standing right behind you. 

3. I've been dating someone I work with for about six months. So far, we've kept it a secret from colleagues. Therefore, when co-workers talk to me, they don't have that information as context.

On four different occasions, someone has made a passing comment or joke to me about this guy being "sleazy" or hitting on nearly every woman in the office.

So far, this guy has been really sweet to me, and I haven't noticed anything in the way he treats me that sets off the "sleazy" alarm bell. But nonetheless, I'm really bothered by these comments.  Should I be?

On one hand, I feel it's never right to judge a person according to the rumor mill.  At least half of the people who have said these things to me don't work directly with this guy and barely know him, so there must be an element of hearsay to what they've told me. Plus, I really do believe that many people who are party animals or serial daters in their 20s end up shifting gears as they get older and their priorities change.  So maybe these rumors are a reflection of a person he once was, but no longer is. And if that's the case, that's fine. We all change and grow up.

At the same time, I don't want to be the idiot who ignored the big red flag that she was dating a jerk. To me, "sleazy" implies that he's not just a flirt, but that he is creepy to women.  And that doesn't sit right with me.

Well, first and foremost, there’s no outcome in which you’ll have been an idiot. The guy has been really sweet to you, and you took that at face value. There’s nothing wrong with that. While I agree that “sleazy” should probably imply that a guy is genuinely a creep and not just a flirt, the word gets tossed around more casually than that. He’s clearly open to hitting on women he works with, given that he likely hit on you at some point. (Although maybe your game is tight and one day you just decided to lock that down, in which case, much respect.) Even if a guy’s flirting style is low-key and respectful, if he makes a pass at one too many women in the office, he can get a bad reputation. If he accidentally comes off shadier than usual in a botched attempt to ask out a co-worker, he could get a bad reputation. It’s quite possible, even likely, that he’s a fundamentally decent guy who may have been a bit too eager to give office romance a go.

And as you mentioned, these gals don’t know him that well. You’ve been dating him for six months. There’s nothing wrong with listening to yourself instead of them — you know him better than they do. If it comes up again, you could ask them to elaborate, although I’m hesitant to encourage you to gossip about the guy you’re seeing. It might be better to ask him about any past relationships he’s had at the office.

In the end, the best solution is to move toward a place where you’re comfortable being open with your co-workers about your relationship. If this guy’s really a sleaze and these women are really your friends, they’ll put their money where their mouth is and explain why they don’t think highly of him. Otherwise, you owe it to him to start standing up for him. I have no idea how he’s handled himself in the past. All I know is that, of late, he’s been seeing this lovely woman whom he’s treated well. He deserves some credit for that.

4. What's your favorite book? Would you judge me by the books in my house? Let's say I get a lot of books for free because of my job, and I don't know how to throw them away yet, so I have a lot of dumb-sounding books in my house, but they're not *my* books, because I just get them in the mail (also, how do people throw away books? recycling? those cardboard boxes outside?), and really you're basically a one-night stand, but it's not like I DON'T ENTIRELY care what you think, but are your drunken glances at my sort of horrifying book collection — I'd start giving you titles, but I don't really know where to begin, and I guess let's say a lot of them are neon — going to color anything? Even though I barely know you, should I still explain that I get most of my books for free? Haha, this has never actually been an issue yet, but my books! They're ruining my life!

I definitely take an acute interest in the books on people’s shelves. I love books. I love seeing what a person has read or intends to read. I’m not going to say I’m completely above judging a person’s bookshelf, but I’m pretty accepting. I’m more likely to quietly come down hard on someone for having a lot of Ayn Rand than a bunch of patently ridiculous Beginners Guide to Waffles-style books, or whatever it is you own. If anything, an especially large collection of, as you put it, “dumb-sounding” books is likely to elicit questions, not judgment. Either way, unless I ask, you shouldn’t take the time to explain it. If we’re in the midst of a one-night stand, there’s no reason to apologize for your possessions. And I don’t really have a favorite book, per say. Books I’ve read recently and really loved include Roberto Bolano’s 2666A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava, and the short stories of Breece D’J Pancake.

Previously: Debt-Sharing and Mismatched Ambition.

A Dude is one of several rotating Dudes. Do you have a question for A Dude?



380 Comments / Post A Comment

Anne Helen Petersen

#1 Place Where All The Hot Guys Are Hiding = The Climbing Gym

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@Anne Helen Petersen That sounds like a place for children.

Anne Helen Petersen

@OhMyGoshYouGuys The *Adult* Climbing Gym. The forearms, the beautiful forearms!

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@Anne Helen Petersen Sold!

MilesofMountains

@Anne Helen Petersen And if you're belaying them you have an excuse for staring at their ass.

SuperGogo

@MilesofMountains Belay on....and on and on!

Nutellaface

@Anne Helen Petersen I'll be laying them, AMIRITE???

iceberg

@Anne Helen Petersen FOREARMS... RDJ's in The Avengers. SIGH.

gobblegirl

@Anne Helen Petersen They are there, but they all have crippling commitment issues.
Just saying.

laurel

@Anne Helen Petersen: It's also where you go to get your own beautiful forearms.

packedsuitcase

@Anne Helen Petersen And deltoids! Don't neglect the detoids!

Elsajeni

@gobblegirl Also, a lot of them are white guys with dreads.

Mlle Mlle

@Anne Helen Petersen Yes! Mountain men in captivity!!! Being surrounded by harness-defined nether regions apparently turns me into a huge perv though ...I cannot not look :(

gobblegirl

@Elsajeni Not at my gym, thank god. Hot guys and white guys with dreads do not overlap in my personal venn diagram. At my gym it is super ripped white and south east asian guys who make Spock seem warm and cuddly.

schrodingers_cat

@Anne Helen Petersen the apartment next door to mine used to be home to 6 climber guys. The eye candy was amazing.

evaagnes

@Anne Helen Petersen Not always true! I am marrying one in July! Not that this stops me from from some casual gazing while I'm on the elliptical.

frigwiggin

LW2: The Bay Area? There were a lot of surprisingly hot guys at the Solano Stroll in Berkeley/Albany last month, except a lot of them were also wearing Vibrams and I don't know how I feel about that.

hellohello

@frigwiggin I think you feel negatively about that.

Stars and Garters

@frigwiggin As well he should.

whizz_dumb

@frigwiggin I don't even know what Vibrams are.

whizz_dumb

I just looked it up and my suspicions are confirmed: wouldn't be caught dead in those.

frigwiggin

@whizz_dumb I am friends with...at least three guys that wear them, and also my boyfriend's brother (who is not my friend). I'm not sure I know any women who wear them (maybe for good reason). They definitely seem to be A Thing in the Berkeley area. I try not to bemoan it, because maybe they are comfortable/better for your feet/etc. etc., but...COME ON.

TheBourneApproximation

@whizz_dumb Brain: "I bet those are those weird shoes." *Googles. They are those weird shoes.*

As always, xkcd sums things up nicely.

Bittersweet

@frigwiggin I was at a conference a few weeks ago in San Jose, and a woman was wearing a full-on Armani (or Armani-like) black pants suit...and Vibrams. It was...disappointing.

Blushingflwr

@frigwiggin I think it depends on the context. I wear Vibrams a lot of the time, because they are comfy walking shoes and better for biking to/from work than my slip-on sandals. But I don't wear them when I'm trying to look cute (though I do sometimes wear them with dresses when I am going to change into cute shoes when I get to my destination).

entangled

@Bittersweet this does not surprise me. people around here wear their vibrams for everything. but only the vibram people. regular people don't.

But so many guys! Many of whom are hot and straight. and there are very few ladies! as long as you see nerdiness as a feature not a bug (and describe it that way)

purefog

@Bittersweet I don't get any of this. Vibrams are simply a kind of sole, people! A sole with good traction! (A sole inappropriate for working in the garden as the treads get full of mud.) But the uppers can be anything. Has shoe fetishism now spread even to the bottoms of shoes (and I don't mean Louboutins)?

frigwiggin

@purefog I think we're mostly talking about the infamous FiveFingers here.

martinipie

@purefog Everyone is referring to those "fivefingers" shoes that have separate little toe pockets and look like bare feet but...not. They are collquially known as "vibrams" although it gave me a pause the first time I saw them referred to that way as well.

Changeling

@frigwiggin
I have two pairs of vibrams, and wear them in public places. Also at work (on a farm). I think they're pretty cool.

frigwiggin

@Changeling I bet they're comfortable! And I would certainly never tell anybody to take them off or anything. I guess I just think they look goofy! Which, I own a skirt that makes my butt look like it has a gargoyle face, so I can't really talk.

par_parenthese

@entangled See, I am drawn to the mens in the Vibrams because it is a marker of Overthinking It, which I am such a fan of. I love a man who's so into something that he'll research it for weeks and/or months and then finally make a purchase or a decision that makes his life harder and more frustrating TEMPORARILY for the sake of being TOTALLY BADASS in the long run. Much like dudes with majestic beards or complex, multi-session tats or square-foot gardens. Or dudes who are into homebrewing or charcuterie. That's some sexy right there. It's just the shoes are easier to spot than, say, homebrew equipment.

I do draw the line at wearing them outside of a workout or hiking or bushwalking scenario. No thanks.

entangled

@par_parenthese I think this is awesome reasoning. Though that might be because my dude and I have a closet full of homebrew equipment. Which reminds me we need to get some ingredients - we're planning to start up a batch of that Presidential homebrew in the next week or so.

Cat named Virtute

@frigwiggin Please tell me there is a photo of that on your blog somewhere!!

Cat named Virtute

@frigwiggin God, you're my favourite.

Also, love that whole ensemble.

frigwiggin

@Cat named Virtute Aw, shucks. It's all thanks to Goodwill (and the Target around the corner that funnels their unsold stock there).

This is my new username

@hellohello Ughh my boyfriend has a pair of these to play dodgeball in. He is lucky I have been able to pretend that this is not the case and therefore I can remain sexually attracked to him ;)

shantasybaby

@par_parenthese Wow, that is the LAST guy on Earth I would ever want to date! He sounds like he'd be pretentious and drive me up a wall. To each their own, of course, and I have no problem with a man who is into comfort (my husband is not a stylish man) but he's also not going to wear those crazy ass shoes, no one wants to see the outline of your toes! A friend of my SIL wore them TO A HER WEDDING!

redheaded&crazy

UGH y'all are taking me back to the end of the summer when summer fling dude decided to wear vibrams on the last date/time we would be seeing each other.

and now that memory will be forever tarnished. IT'S THAT SERIOUS FOLKS.

zoe
zoe

@frigwiggin oh no not toeshoes, no, no awful. maybe maybe a tiny bit tolerable for exercise/walking/hiking kind of thing, but not for wearing around the city. I find the best way to win the 'are vibrams ok footwear for public outings?' argument is to stomp on toeshoe/vibram-clad foot (a nice hard soled wedge shoe is best), and ask if they're "so so comfortable" now. (this is the only heated discussion topic I have with one of my bff guy friends, obviously, I don't try this argument with strangers)

geek_tragedy

@frigwiggin

My cousin wore Vibrams to our grandmother's funeral. No, really.

This totally outs me to all those who know me IRL and heard the story.

(She threatened to wear flipflops.)

Changeling

@zoe
I think that's a silly argument, as so many open-toed shoes, or ballet flats, would fail the stomp test. I do understand how people find them ugly, but I like how different and weird they look.

faience

@frigwiggin I was a conference a couple years ago talking to a colleague which turned into her passive aggressively judging me for some career choices Ive made/might make. Then I looked down, saw she was wearing Vibrams and felt better about myself.

Blushingflwr

@Changeling I find them comfy, but they are also ugly. And the fact that they are so different can have unfortunate side effects when people decide they need to strike up a conversation with you about them when all you want to do is read your book. But I do like wearing them with a little black dress - I like the incongruency, esp. when I'm also wearing my biking gloves.

whateverlolawants

@geek_tragedy Did your cousin do it to spite your grandmother?

entangled

@zoe yeah, I think it kind of hurts to get your foot stomped on in any shoe.

though UGH. I played some ultimate barefoot last night since we were playing with some new players who didn't have cleats and they suggested it and the running barefoot sensation was awesome. So now I am kind of tempted to go get some vibrams instead of new running shoes. But I also got CLEATED IN THE TOES by a friend of mine who had kept his cleats on. OW OW OW. so maybe I am a little oversensitive right now about foot stomping. (fortunately nothing seems to be broken, but I had just started deciding to Be A Girl and Wear Fierce Heels more often and now feel like I should give it a few days)

tea tray in the sky.

@frigwiggin Ugh, my ex-boyfriend wears those. And he wonders why we broke up*.

*Not actually the reason**.

** But seriously though.

maybe partying will help

I love books, I love looking at other people's books, and I try not to judge them because my own bookshelves are pretty wacky. I'm not sure I would want to be with someone who was like, Ugh why do you have so many children's fantasy books WHERE IS THE PUSHKIN etc.

Place Where Hot Guys Are #623: power metal concerts (depending on your definition of 'hot').

boysplz

@maybe partying will help Haha, the only Pushkin I have is a $3 dollar book I carved up to make into a bookshelf. Otherwise it's just sci-fi fantasy as far as the eye can see.

packedsuitcase

@maybe partying will help Basically, I'm happy when guys clearly have a collection of books. If I'm going to get judgey or decide their books mean something about them, it's all based on the books on their nightstand.

RebeccaKW

@packedsuitcase Yes, I'd much rather they be a reader, even if it's wacky junk, than not to read at all. Or they only read car magazines, etc. At least, if you are reading a book, even if I don't like it, it's something in common. We both like to read, you can explain why you like X, you understand why I still cry when I re-read books again.

Hellcat

@maybe partying will help I love looking at other people'a books too. And I've learned that you probably can't make an accurate snap judgment anyway, and if you could, I might be in trouble. Whether that would be due to the five (!) V.C. Andrews books on the very first shelf that one is likely to see upon entering my place, or to the three crammed-full lower shelves of nonfiction crime-related stuff (which consist of both tawdry, poorly written garbage that appears to be cranked out practically at the minute the crime breaks, and very technical, textbooky forensics stuff that I have no good reason to own). Oh, and also a handful of Dr. Seuss books that are older than I am.

sherbet

@maybe partying will help I have a whole shelf devoted to "young adult and children's books" and at least half of them are fantasy. Anyone who judges me for that is immediately ruled out as a potential close friend/lover/whatever!

phlox

@maybe partying will help The only time I have gotten judgy over a guy's book collection was when I noticed a shelf full of L. Ron Hubbard books, which turned out to be there because he was indeed a Scientologist. (And I ran far away.)

violetta

@packedsuitcase good point!

Ophelia

The answer to question #2 is DEFINITELY 4. Ireland.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Ophelia Also Denmark.

Scandyhoovian

@Ophelia Also Scotland! There are some seriously panty-melting hot dudes up that way. The accent helps.

H.E. Ladypants

@Tragically Ludicrous And Norway. Darn those Scandinavians.

Ellie

@Ophelia I was going to say Vienna.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@Ophelia

BRAZIL. See City of God for reference.

I smell burnt toast

@Scandyhoovian Truth. I saw the most beautiful man I will ever see while in Scotland, for one brief second as we drove past. My mom was like "Did you see that man?!" … I should go back and find him.

par_parenthese

@Ophelia Indeed. Many of them are there.

Although two trips to Australia have persuaded me that many of the hot men reside there. I came back home firmly persuaded that Aussie men out-hot Americans as a group by about 40%.

shantasybaby

@par_parenthese I saw Thunder from Down Under in Vegas and if they are to be believed, many chiseled man butts originate there.

Hellcat

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak I have not been to Brazil, only right next to the border, but I will go ahead and add Buenos Aires to this list.

sevanetta

@par_parenthese I am Australian and so is my boyfriend and part of me wants to say 'Yes! My boyfriend is one of the most attactive men I have ever known', because that is true. HOWEVER. Part of me also wants to say 'Nonononono don't be suckered in' because it took a good 3 years and 2 rounds of online dating to find him and let me tell you... I met a lot of scarily unattractive men before him. (OK, and a few goodlooking but caddish ones.)

whateverlolawants

@Hellcat Just put basically all of South America on the list. Some places are better "hot" spots than others, but yeah, it's a good continent.

TheGooch

@I smell burnt toast I saw my most beautiful man ever in Amsterdam. And he was taking his two gorgeous children out on his bike for ice cream. OMG I almost fell over.

queenofbithynia

Writer 4, just stack them on their sides and stick a post-it that says WORK BOOKS on them or DUMB BOOKS I AM TOO SMART AND TOO GOOD FOR, if you can fit that on. If you keep them all in one place and the rest of your books are different sorts, that speaks for itself.

I will say in the person of the used book buyer I used to be, please do not donate them to a used bookstore if they are the kind of books I suspect they are.

somethingobscure

Ms. #4, don't just throw out all those books! Please donate them to a used stuff store, a book drive, or maybe even to a library; and then we could all have a chance to check out, and subsequently be embarrassed by, your neon copy of Beginners Guide to Waffles.

zamboni

@somethingobscure It's not like any of us are BORN waffle experts, you know?

Judith Slutler

@somethingobscure I was gonna say this! Some cities have charities that resell books to fund themselves. Or put them on the street in a box that says "free" on them. Or redistribute them to friends. Books don't need to be thrown away!

all the bacon and eggs

@somethingobscure Or Goodwill, for god's sake.

whateverlolawants

@all the bacon and eggs

Yeah, this person has never heard of a book drive, a used book store, Freecycle, a thrift store, a school, a prison, a community center, or just putting them in a public place with a "free" sign? Well, I'm glad she doesn't want to put them in the trash, at least.

I only throw away terrible books that perpetuate homophobia, sexism, etc. I took books from my parents' church library like that, and when my mom saw me ripping them up, she asked why. I told her, and she was like, "Let me help!" Yay Mom.

lora.bee

@zamboni If I saw that book on someone's shelf, I would be stoked to know them and try their expert waffles.

whateverlolawants

I should add that it was my church too, and it was only a couple. I'm not a character of Fahrenheit 451 or anything.

Hellcat

@whateverlolawants I have to confess that I threw away Twilight. I thought I'd give it a try--everyone seemed to love it and, at worst it would just be blah. And, at best, I'd have a whole new batch of quick and easy and entertaining fluff. It was none of those things and why on earth was ravioli discussed in three pages' worth of detail?

baked bean

@whateverlolawants Dude, someone gave me a Christian book I really super didn't agree with once, and I was going to donate it but decided to throw it away instead rather than have it brainwash someone.

all the bacon and eggs

@ Hellcat @baked bean Hahaha. I have no objection whatsoever to someone throwing a book in the trash. But if anyone does, there are obviously lots of other options for disposal.

whateverlolawants

@baked bean Yes, the other day I was thinking about what to do with some weird Christian book someone gave me in high school, and I'm leaning towards throwing it away. No one needs that level of pressure and judginess in their life, book.

Pretty sure I also threw away this awful Focus on the Family book about a girl who apparently survived a late-term abortion (?) and became a pro-life activist. Her story didn't have to be so badly-told or grossly misrepresent the pro-choice side, but someone decided to do so, so out it went.

TheGooch

@baked bean i got some super religious books as gifts. I sold them and bought something that would horrify the gift-giver. heh.

whateverlolawants

@TheGooch My church sent Target gift cards to all of us college students, and once I used it to buy underwear and a David Bowie album.

frigwiggin

LW3: This probably won't help, but I know how you feel, because I tend to be the most oblivious person who misses that sort of thing. Like when I had an almost-boyfriend for about a week in college until my roommate was like, "...doesn't he already have a girlfriend?" and lo, Secret Girlfriend Back at Home there was, and we never talked again. Buuuuut if you haven't observed this creepy behavior with him while you're out and about, trust yourself!

Lily Rowan

@frigwiggin Yeah, I feel like the LW could ask for a little more information -- is he just flirty? Is he now or has he ever dated multiple coworkers at once? Etc.

mystique

@frigwiggin However, I don't think that's your fault. You weren't oblivious -- that boy was a total jerk!!

The Lady of Shalott

Where are the hot guys? Montreal. Good Lord in heaven, I have never seen so many hot guys per block as I've seen in Montreal.

Of course, also in Montreal I saw a guy carrying a bunch of canned beers in a paper sack and one fell out and cracked open on the ground and he shouted "OH NO NO!" and chased it and started drinking it and drank it all down in one go and then turned to me and my bff (who were standing watching this in stunned silence) and said "Well, I didn't want to WASTE it!" and then said we looked nice and what were we doing that night?

What I'm saying here is go to Montreal, both for the hot guys and the surreal things that will happen to you just walking down the street.

maybe partying will help

@The Lady of Shalott

Vancouver too! WOW. Well done you, major Canadian cities.

MilesofMountains

@The Lady of Shalott Yesss, Montreal is full of hot guys, although I think I'd have to up my fashion game to get noticed next to the hot ladies.

redheaded&crazy

@MilesofMountains sooo true a trip to montreal makes me feel instantly schlubby. what the heck montreal. don't you ever just wanna ... throw on a pair of jeans and a cardigan???

The Lady of Shalott

@MilesofMountains Oh god yes. Montreal is also just swimming in hot girls, and it seems like EVERYONE in Montreal knows. how. to. dress. Their game is TIGHT. Every time I'm there I have to bring my A-game because otherwise what passes for "nice outfit" in my little town looks like "cover of Sad Schlubby Grubby Girl" magazine in Montreal.

redheaded&crazy

@The Lady of Shalott I'm so happy/horrified that we both independently used the word schlubby to describe the Montreal Effect.

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@The Lady of Shalott YES EVERYONE IN MONTREAL IS HOT. AND WELL DRESSED. It makes me cry sometimes just thinking about it.

But also, people there have a different definition of normal behaviour. One time I saw a guy in running gear, running at a good pace down the street, while also chowing down on a foot-long Italian sub.

gobblegirl

@maybe partying will help Edmonton is getting ready to disappoint you.

The Lady of Shalott

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy Oh my god, when I lived in Ottawa one time I saw a guy skating along the canal wearing a business suit and chowing down on a bucket of fried chicken he had under his arm. It was amazing.

(N.B. Ottawa has the world's longest outdoor skating rink in the winter, and lots of people ice-skate to work and school along it. But normally not while eating fried chicken from a bucket.)

MilesofMountains

@redheaded&crazie And no flats! I can barely walk around in heels at the best of times, let alone skitter around on ice with them (can you tell I'm from BC? No one wears heels here and we like it that way)

Megasus

@The Lady of Shalott I am so sad I lived in Ottawa for 5 and half years (or is it 6?) and never saw this guy.
Also fun Ottawa fact: people in Ottawa DON'T know how to dress because people there are "outdoorsy" and "sporty" so wardrobes reflect everything those words imply. You will see a lot of middle aged men in expensive biking outfits, including bike shorts.

Maladydee

@redheaded&crazie Winnipeg is the city that just throws on a pair of jeans and a cardigan. You want casual? Prairies are where it's at.

MailerMattDaemon

@The Lady of Shalott I went to McGill for some of my undergrad, and arrived in Montreal with my giant, seafoam-green North Face parka. And the first time I wore said parka out was on a (fast) walk to purchase a smart black coat. Oh, the horror.

jacqueline
jacqueline

"I saw a guy skating along the canal wearing a business suit and chowing down on a bucket of fried chicken he had under his arm"

Literally the funniest thing I've read all day.

Megasus

@MailerMattDaemon Shoulda gone to school in Ottawa, it would have been OK!

SarahP

@The Lady of Shalott THAT MAN ALONE sounds like a reason to go to Montreal!

I've never noticed how people dressed when I was in Montreal, but what I DID notice was all the ladies' hair styles were gorgeous. My hair suddenly felt flatter, greasier, and more split-endy whenever I was in a crowd.

Millie the Scientist

@redheaded&crazie I do! But I'm a scuzzy grad student from Ontario who's just here for school, so I suspect I don't count.

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy Ahahaha!

frigwiggin

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy @The Lady of Shalott

Please, PLEAAAASE tell me there are more stories like this. My own, slightly-less-hilarious-contribution: I once saw a guy in my hometown (in California, for reference) driving his car while also eating a full-size corn on the cob. I think he was steering with his elbows.

KatnotCat

@The Lady of Shalott I would like to meet this man. Not for dating, but to enjoy a discussion of our shared values.

The Lady of Shalott

@KatnotCat Oh god, which one? The man dropping beer in the street, or the man skating while eating chicken from a bucket?

Also, one time I was at the Taste of Chicago and I saw a guy with an enormous turkey drumstick in one hand and an ear of corn in the other hand and a drink with a looooong straw between his knees. And he was just sitting on the curb, chowing down, and every so often he'd lean down to drink from his cup between his knees. It was boss.

Also also I was driving through rural Quebec and I had stopped to get a sandwich at the gas station and I was stuck in line behind this kid who had purchased, I shit you not, like 20 different packets of nuts. He had like, regular peanuts and honey-roasted peanuts and spicy peanuts, and cashews and salted cashews, and pistachios and almonds and he spent like, $30 in nuts! At a gas station in the middle of nowhere in northern Quebec! And to wash down his purchase that cleaned out the entire nut section of this gas station, he had purchased a single can of La Croix sparkling water.

straw hat

Aaand now I'm sad I just moved out of the city of the hot guys and good hair stylists.

You should visit Montreal in January though, everybody can pull off the puffy coat & chunky boots look!

KatnotCat

@The Lady of Shalott The beer! Although I would like to see chicken man as well.

My best "rollerblading man/man on the street" story is from San Francisco, where I saw two older men rollerblading through the park together, completely naked except for bow ties and...get ready...tiny penis bow ties.

KatnotCat

@KatnotCat I should probably clarify that the "tiny" there refers to "bow ties" and I made no other size notes of any sort.

Megasus

@The Lady of Shalott I'm gonna GUESS he was like camping or something. But maybe he just really liked nuts (and I do not blame him!).

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@frigwiggin Oh yeah, it's become an ongoing joke between my partner and I. Every city we go to, we try and spot "that guy." In Hong Kong it was skateboarding through traffic while eating a cup of instant noodles (with chopsticks natch). Trying to remember what the combination was for SF... I'll get back to you if I remember.

sugarfree

@The Lady of Shalott @Megano! I DO live in Ottawa, and I beg to differ with you on the "don't know how to dress" point, which is an opinion and NOT a FACT :( Yes, there are a lot of sporty sorts here (a.k.a. hottie athletic types), but it's pretty sceney too, and you get your Montreal types all over the place. Frankly I wish they'd leave; maybe they can take the American Apparel stores with them, too.

Sorry. I don't like my hometown getting dissed! Makes me crabby!! :(
I'll just go over here and think of the Canal and skating... aaaaahhhh. much better!

The Lady of Shalott

@sugarfree I'm not trying to diss Ottawa! I lived there for years and I love it and I want to move back!

But that is the place where I saw the fried chicken man.

packedsuitcase

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy I just have to say that your name is amazing.

I have no fun people eating weird things in public stories. But I am excited to read more!

Megasus

@sugarfree Ottawa is awesome! It is a great town, just not a fashionable one. Ain't nothing wrong with that!

KanadrAllegria@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott
A co-worker of mine said she saw an asian girl eating a chocolate girl while running on a treadmill at the gym a while ago. I don't know if that's really as awesome as a man driving while eating a cob of corn, or skating while eating a bucket of chicken... But she seemed quite astounded by it, when she told us about it at work.
And also, I just want to be notified by all the other awesome stories that might get brought up.

frigwiggin

@KanadrAllegria@twitter

What on earth is a chocolate girl??

KanadrAllegria@twitter

@frigwiggin
Wow! Major random typo. Chocolate bar, is what I meant to say. That's awkward.

Hellcat

@packedsuitcase Not exactly the same but... a guy I used to work with came in one day with a lobster for lunch. Not a plate of takeout food, but a lobster. Our office's kitchen has two microwaves, two refrigerators, and a sink. So, I don't know what he thought he was gonna do. I realized I had underestimated him though... when he (not unlike something DWight Schrute would do) put it on the table and began to bash it all to hell with something he had found in a cabinet. But, no--he was not hot.

The Lady of Shalott

@Hellcat OH MY GOD. That reminds me. Right now I live in the east coast of Canada and lobster is HUGE here and also very cheap (it's like $6.99 or $7.99 a pound for whole lobster right now, and they steam it while you do the rest of your shopping at the store, which is great). But it's huge for tourists and at airports they'll do Lobster-To-Go where they pack a live lobster in a box for you to take along while traveling, and I guess put under your seat and cook when you get home? I don't know how they do it. But also all the little tourist-trap places around here do Lobster-By-Mail where they pack and ship lobster so it will meet you when you get home from your trip. And that reminded me of how weird it is to see people walking around the airport or wherever with a box that says LIVE LOBSTER on the side.

ALSO, one time I was on a plane and the woman sitting across the aisle from me pulled out a Tupperware container of ribs. Like straight-up pork ribs with sauce and everything, and started gnawing away right there on her tray table. Then she took out about twenty Handi-Wipes and cleaned herself off after. I don't know about you guys, but I don't really consider ribs "plane food," since when I eat ribs my face is covered in sauce afterwards. And like...when you go to Carson's for ribs they GIVE YOU A BIB. It is not a neat food! It's not like a sandwich! It's like the least appropriate food to eat with your hands, messily, in a small confined (and DIRTY! Do you know what's probably been on those tray tables???) area EVER! I am having a hard time thinking of anything LESS appropriate for a plane except, like, a full lobster dinner that you have to crack open yourself and eat with drawn butter!

Hellcat

@The Lady of Shalott OOOOH! Clearly you have big feelings about these things! But I agree wholeheartedly that you do not eat messy, saucy ribs on a plane AT ALL! I'm pretty sure that I'd try to get my seat changed if I witnessed that, because of all the things you mentioned. I'm already grossed out enough on a plane, and I DO NOT wish to exit said plane with traces of some stranger's food on me.

baked bean

@Megano! Living in less "fashionable" places is awesome because you can easily be moderately fashionable. And really all I strive for is moderately fashionable. I don't jump on most of the trend bandwagons, I like to keep with my "uniform" of plain shirt + cardigan + jeans.

My smaller college town girls do not wear heels or dresses, for the most part, even when going out. Trends are slower to catch on, people have less money, a lot of sweatpants and leggings with cameltoes are common.

My bf lives in a bigger college town where the school is more expensive and people have more money, and I will feel like a WEIRD OUTCAST for wearing a cardigan and jeans and non-heels on a weekend evening downtown. But then those girls with the 5" heels can't walk very well down the hills and their dates have to help them. I feel smart and that is way better than being cool.

Chesty LaRue

@gobblegirl Seriously? Why aren't there any hot guys here? There's A MILLION people in this damn town, and the hottest one I know is my fedex guy.

Faintly Macabre

@The Lady of Shalott I was once taking the bus from Boston to Philly, and this young (early/mid-20s) hippie-ish girl sat in front of me. As soon as she sat down, she took out a huge plastic bag of what was probably fresh spinach and began shredding and de-ribbing it, zip, zip, zip. After about 10 minutes of that, she put it in a big tupperware container and then took out a separate container of homemade dressing and mixed the two. Then came a few of those weird cardboard to-go boxes from Whole Foods, which contained things like salmon filet. Her giant backpack must have been half-filled with containers and boxes of food. (There were even more courses that I'm forgetting at the moment!)

At our little bus break, she literally hugged a tree and twirled around in circles.

faience

@The Lady of Shalott I have to say that Halifax did it for me. Just the sheer mass of university students and the occasional influx of hot sailors (fondly remembers when the French aircraft carrier was in town). Not so much current Ontario city I live in now. Too many dudebros drenched in Axe.

whateverlolawants

@baked bean Yes. When I lived in Denver and then a smaller Colorado town, it was great. I could be comfortable and look like everyone else (outdoorsy or country or hippie or grunge), or dress up ever so slightly (pretty sweater and nice jeans or khakis... or even crazier, a dress or skirt) and get compliments all day. My fellow midwestern coworker and I were constantly being called fashionable. It was great. Not that we WEREN'T fashionable, but the bar was pretty low. I <3 you, Colorado.

My favorite example was when I wore an old college club T-shirt to work with beat-up jeans and ratty sneakers, and everyone wanted to go to the bars afterwards, and I said I needed to go home and change first, and everyone looked at me blankly. "What's wrong with what you're wearing?" Freedom!

baked bean

@whateverlolawants Dude I love Colorado Casual. I am jealous of their ability to pull of Subarus and hiking shoes. It just looks so cool. I just want to be that person, but I am nonathletic and kind of a homebody.
You can look cool and be casual. That is the best.

Megasus

@Faintly Macabre Wait, so am I supposed to be ripping up my fresh spinach? Because I don't do that.

Faintly Macabre

@Megano! I don't think so--I was taught that you don't eat fully-grown (big-leafed) spinach raw, you trim the stems and cook it, and baby spinach is for eating raw. But whatever tastes good!

Megasus

@baked bean Oh OK I am only eating baby spinach raw that makes sense.

D.@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott I'm guessing it's b/c they're all basically French. I've never felt really *ugly* until the first time I went to Paris. I was only 16, and wearing overalls. Later mistakes (by French standards) would include: hoodies, plaid boxer shorts (although in Nimes, not Paris...I'm not a total idiot), loud prints, men's t-shirts.

mlle.gateau

@The Lady of Shalott OMG, one of the handsomest men I have ever seen in real life is from Montreal. Also, while in Toronto eating the best quiche I've ever had, an incredibly good-looking man sat down a the table behind my friend, who is completely wonderful because she saw me staring and leaned to the side a bit so I could gaze at him surreptitiously while eating the delicious quiche.

Canada: It's where all of the beautiful men are.

slutberry

@The Lady of Shalott I dress so much better since I moved to Montreal.

But, yeah. Everyone is effortlessly gorgeous and cool. I've managed to go from feeling intimidated to feeling BAMFily defiant when I go out without Dressing, but... yeah. That happens maybe once a month.

paddlepickle

LW2: They work at either Trader Joes or the Apple Store.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@paddlepickle Right?! Everyone at Trader Joe's is so beautiful.

garli

@paddlepickle I married a trader joe's guy. I have no complaints.

paddlepickle

@garli Man how'd you pull that? I always assume you can't flirt with them because they're basically paid to flirt with everyone and hence are probably not flirting with you. Although I suppose you could have met him outside of the actual Trader Joes.

garli

@paddlepickle I met him at a bar and had a one night stand, which is how all classy marriages start. It was my friend's birthday and he was/is her boss at Trader Joe's

Honestly though if you want to meet people who work at Trader Joe's for dating you only have two options. One be super direct that you're flirting with them if it's in the store. They can't be creepy to you. (Duh). OR do what I did (uh, not that I did this to meet a dude) which is make friends with Trader Joe's employees because they tend to run in packs.

Bittersweet

@paddlepickle Correction: They work at urban Trader Joes or Apple stores. The guys at these stores near me (exurban Boston/southern NH) are...pleasant to talk to.

Beatrix Kiddo

@paddlepickle The Apple genius bar employees make me want to break my computer just to go scope them out.

tessamae

@paddlepickle FACT FACT FACT.

So I have a secret Trader Joe's boyfriend (read: so secret he doesn't know we're in a relationship in my head) and I get all fluttery just thinking about his adorableness. He has the perfect hair: casually swoopied back and to the side, soft-looking. He wears the cutest pair of glasses I've ever seen on a guy. He has just a wee bit of scruff. He wears the hell out of a pair of jeans. He is just tall enough: not too tall so I would have to get a new bed (I've a full size, which has been problematic in the past), but tall enough I could wear boots with heels. He has one little dimple. ONE LITTLE DIMPLE. He wears New Balance 991s. I can't explain that last one. I just dig it.

I only will go in if I've actually taken the time to get ready that day, in the off chance I see him. I KNOW. So, so, so dumb.

I once even got the courage to get in his checkout line. And they, of course, are SO NICE and chatty at TJ's when they check you out so he starts talking and is all sweet and perfect and has a good tone to his voice and I swear to god I blushed and stuttered back. Did I mention I'm nearly 30? So embarrassing.

But yeah. Trader Joes, man.

paddlepickle

@Beatrix Kiddo Glad I'm not alone in that. Whenever my ipod breaks I go "YAY I GET TO GO TALK TO THE CUTE BOYS AT THE GENIUS BAR".

paddlepickle

@tessamae I've had like six secret Trader Joes boyfriends! One of them worked at the one in Manhattan and lived in my neighborhood in Brooklyn so I'd see him around all the time, and it got to the point where he would recognize me and sort of smile awkwardly but I think he just thought of me as 'that creepy girl who stares at me all the time". Oh wait, and I think I might have drunkenly accosted him in a bar in the LES once because I was like "IT'S SO CRAZY how often I see you around!" and he was like "nope, you're just crazy". Whoops.

frenz.lo

@garli I also married a Trader Joe's guy! He isn't there any more, but was for the first year or so I knew him, and for the first few months we dated. He knows so many things about different kinds of olives.

whateverlolawants

@frenz.lo I had a series of dates with a Whole Foods guy. It went wonderfully until he stopped talking to me and I found out he had recently been dumped by his fiancee. I think the lesson here is Trader Joe's is better?

garli

@frenz.lo I'm pretty sure that his continued knowledge of wines and snacks is what holds us together. (Kidding? Maybe?) Also the insane cooperate parties.

EmilyStarr

For the overstuffed bookshelves, try one of the swap sites, if you care enough to mail them out: Paperbackswap or Bookmooch. Bonus, you'll get credits you can use for books you want to read.

meetapossum

IRELAND. Though I think it has a lot to do with the accents.

Also, Colorado.

Ophelia

@meetapossum And the beer goggles. But phwooaaargh, they are hot.

leonstj

@Ophelia Isn't "phwooaaargh" gaelic for "Umbrella"?

Ophelia

@leon s you just made me snort seltzer out my nose* - you win this thread.

*this is what hot guys are look for in a lady, right? Snorting, and consistent inclement weather preparedness.

par_parenthese

@meetapossum As a Colorado native, I have to concur with you on this. If one is even remotely outdoorsy, a summer trip to white water raft (or do anything at all requiring an instructor or guide, as they are almost invariably of the sinewy, piercingly blue-eyed het male variety) in the Rockies would not go amiss.

meetapossum

@par_parenthese Tell me about it. Every time I visit I am impressed. One time I was horseback riding with a British cowboy, and last time we went white water rafting with a very attractive guide. I was just there in May and went to a bar with my friend and his friends, and they were talking about biodiesel and how engines work. It was like, oh, ok, you guys are all handsome and athletic, and also smart and know how to do shit like fix cars and start fires? TAKE ME NOW.

leonstj

Re: Books. Put the ones you like at eye level. I once got really methodical about my shelving, only to throw it all out after the housewarming party at my apartment when people kept asking me why I had a human sexuality text book next to a management theory book (Joke Answer: I am a literal pimp. Real answer: I had attempted to shelve by acquisition date, because I am 'not right'.)

Now, I have two overflowing bookshelves. The "PRETTIEST COVER" big books (Pop-up Little Prince, Data Flow, Free Darko Basketball History, Volumes of Donne) go atop the shelves, display style, one shelf has all my cookbooks & food theory books at eye level (because I refer to them constantly) and the other has my "THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING" books (Rulfo, Cortazar, Nabokov, Calvino, Confederacy of Dunces, Cocteau, Borges, Beckett, Eliot - you get the idea) at eye-level. The descending order is in order of how much I like it / want people to see it.

This is less about making an impression on people (They are already at your house! Anybody who will right you off for anything short of signed copies of Mein Kampf is a jerk) and more because I want people to notice my books so they can (a)talk about them if they have read them or (b)borrow them if they have not. If you have not read any of the authors I mentioned above, CONSIDER THIS AN ENDORSEMENT.

Reginal T. Squirge

Is a literal pimp like Suga Free or like William Randolph Hearst? Or Iceberg Slim?

iceberg

@leon s "Although maybe your game is tight and one day you just decided to lock that down, in which case, much respect."

You're this A Dude, aren't you? Look me in the eye, leon.

area@twitter

@leon s I have a "favorites" bookshelf in my bedroom- it's where I keep my old, worn-out, will love it forever books. Terry Pratchett, Robin McKinley, my copy of Watership Down. (And the erotica. This is also where the erotica lives.)

area@twitter

@Reginal T. Squirge whoa wait, how do you know of the magic of Iceberg Slim? Have you also read "Pimp: The Story Of My Life"?

Reginal T. Squirge

What, are you fucking kidding me?

leonstj

@iceberg - Nope, not me. If you had asked me where the hot guys were, I probably would have said "Places where the air conditioning is broken."

ALSO: Are we about to have a long conversation about Iceberg Slim? Because that is something I'm ready for.

cecil hungry

@leon s I organize my bookshelves by genre (books I want everyone to know I've read in the front room. books I bought for school that no one will ever recognize / horror & mystery / classics in the dining room [yes I have three bookcases in my dining room]. classic sci-fi and fantasy in the back room. chicklit, YA, crappy and weird fantasy in my room, where no one ever sees it. Each bookcase is then organized alphabetically by title. Stephen King has his own shelf. It works really well, except that my boyfriend is the person who looks at my "embarrassing books" the most, and mocks me endlessly for it. Also that bookcase is almost full and I don't have room for another... #bookpeopleproblems

leonstj

@cecil hungry - I have been thinking all day now about new ways to organize my book shelf, and I think I may have thought of the best possible way ever.

Scrabble score (tile values only, no assumption of where they would go on the board) for the title of each book, in ascending order. So like, "The Grapes of Wrath" would be and come somewhere after "In Dubious Battle" but somewhere before "The Extended Phenotype"

Springtime for Voldemort

@leon s I definitely make sure to keep the "presentable" ones in the living room, and the "less presentable" ones in the closet and bedroom. Living room: the school books, some history books, some philosophy books, a few classics, some recipe books, etc.
Closet: books on gender, psychology (especially on trauma and more "scary" mental disorders), rape, sexuality (theory, how-tos, and erotica)... really, anything that might make you go "oh, so she's a crazy horndog". You only get to know that if you get past the living room. (Or, talk to me. But shhhh.)

Hellcat

@cecil hungry Oh, my SK books have their own shelves too. And I am also a genre shelver! I would like to go alphabetical within all genres but as it is, that's only true for fiction because the other sections are full of irregular-sized books that need to be sideways sometimes. A layperson might find it disorganized but I can find whatever it is I want in seconds!

miss buenos aires

@Hellcat

I organize my books by color of spine. Which means that all my French paperbacks, which are uniformly white, are banished to the boring bottom of the bookshelf. I also pile the books I haven't gotten around to reading yet in huge stacks on top of the bookshelf according to a complicated system of priority.

Hellcat

@miss buenos aires Maybe one day you could incorporate all the white spines into the various colors to form a design of some kind! Though... this seems exactly like one of those things I think is a really good idea until, halfway through, I am sitting amid a huge mess and wondering why I don't have anything better to do.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

"Would you judge me by the books in my house?"

Yes. Ooh, now I feel like a bad person, but I do this ALL THE TIME.

City_Dater

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll

I believe John Waters put it best: "If you go home with someone who doesn't have any books, don't fuck them." Or words to that effect.
We cannot climb inside each other minds, so the stuff we choose to read is the best indication we have of what goes on in there.

WaityKatie

@City_Dater It could also start an interesting conversation, like, "Whyyy do you have all these horrible moronic books in your house, Ms. One Night Stand?" And then they could talk about her job? Because if I saw terrible books in someone's house I would definitely mention it. (Because I am a horrible person, an elitist, should shut up and go away, etc. - just trying to fend off the commentary from my haters on here.)

cecil hungry

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I try really hard not to judge on WHICH books people have but I judge so so so hard on whether or not there are any books and/or where they are displayed. I did stop dating a guy over this once, so at least I put my money where my mouth is. What were we going to talk about??

Megasus

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I usually just judge on whether or not you own any books at all, but there are two things that will make me run for the hills -- lots of Ayn Rand and/or beat poetry, and/or a very well loved copy of On the Road, because I have never known dudes who were into any of these things that weren't juiceboxes.

WaityKatie

@cecil hungry I'd rather they had no books at all than the complete works of Ayn Rand, though. (as may or may not have happened with someone I may or may not have dated in my misspent youth.)

alannaofdoom

@Megano! Ayn Rand on the shelf = I was out the door five minutes ago whispering "Whew, that was a close call!" under my breath.

maybe partying will help

@all

I think I would judge if the person had no books. OR if they had them displayed by color. For some reason when I see those cutesy images of color-coded bookshelves I get so irrationally angry.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@maybe partying will help

oh my.

maybe partying will help

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll

nooooo

WaityKatie

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Oh my gooodd this is a thing? I am horrified.

Megasus

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I kind of like it, but I am definitely way too lazy to bother.
BUT THE STAIRCASE OF BOOKS OH MY I MUST HAVE THAT SOME DAY.

alannaofdoom

@maybe partying will help - That seems like the least useful way to shelve books. I mean, I have really good spatial recall but UGH I have so many books that if I were trying to find one I'd have to, what, remember what color the spine is and then search a whole shelf of green-spined books? NO THANK YOU. I just go for the bare-bones alphabetizing, thankyouverymuch.

packedsuitcase

@maybe partying will help Same. Why would you arrange your books by colour? (Because you don't read them and they're just for display. Which means I judge you.) I generally only judge a person based on the books they clearly read all the time and the ones they own to show that they have them but probably haven't read.

Ophelia

@packedsuitcase to be fair, though, I don't arrange my books by anything at all (except taller ones go on bigger shelves), and I totally find them by color. I don't have the patience/inclination to shelve them that way, but I probably wouldn't judge someone TOO hard.

WaityKatie

@alannaofdoom This is how Beacon's Closet sorts their clothes (by color) and it just fills me with rage, because there's only going to be like one size Large ANYTHING in that store, and how am I ever going to find it when the clothes are sorted by "yellow" or "black"? (Actually I already found and bought the one size Large coat they had in there (probably from a normal-sized person who was temporarily passing through NYC or was quickly chased out on grounds of Hugeness), so people, don't even bother going there now.)

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@maybe partying will help Aw. I arranged my books by color! Although a lot are black because that is just how Penguin Classics roll. People ask me how I can find stuff when I need it, but it's never been a problem. I seem to have a really good memory for, like, colors and the general physical appearance of things. I'm not a monster! I promise!

Beatrix Kiddo

@WaityKatie I hate when clothing stores do this, too. Who goes in thinking, "I'm going to buy something orange-- I don't care what size or article of clothing it is!"?

Ellie

I don't really understand arranging books in general. Don't you just know where all your books are anyway? I have never arranged mine by any particular rubric (I mean, I have SOME ideas about it, like books that kind of go together in my head are together, but they probably also "go together" because they are shelved together) and have never had trouble finding a book on my shelves.

Megasus

@Ellie I...can't find a particular book I'm looking for for Hairlequin, but this may just mean I have too many, lol.

frigwiggin

@Beatrix Kiddo Aw, that's one of the things I like about my local Goodwill. I find that size labels barely mean anything anymore (my clothing ranges from a size 4 skirt that I wear hiiiigh up on my waist to size 12 jeans) so when I go, I'm in the mood for color and size is a secondary concern.

WaityKatie

@frigwiggin But do you have to try on every single garment in the store, then? I am terrible at looking at things and determining whether they would go on my body. I need labels!

WaityKatie

@Ellie Mine are vaguely arranged by subject or author, but only in the sense that "the Faulkner is over here" and "the labor history is over there." Oh, they're basically all in a big jumble, who am I kidding?

frigwiggin

@WaityKatie Well, I guess I do glance at the labels, but with the firm understanding that sizes are flexible. I can be pretty sure I won't fit in an XXS skirt or a size 18 dress, but for a lot of stuff that's just S/M/L I have to try it on. (I DO do a lot of trying-on, anyway, because my body isn't shaped like RTW clothing wants it to be shaped. I just understand that it's a given and unless we're talking about camisoles, I can't just grab something off the rack and pay for it without extensive try-ons. But I enjoy three-to-five-hour thrift excursions!)

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin Haha I said doo-doo

bluewindgirl

@City_Dater Oh man, I put that quote on an online dating cite and received a shitstorm of angry comments to the tune of "books are elitist" "maybe I can't afford books" "I read on my kindle and you are a bitch." I ... have no words. I actually don't care what people read, really. I read mostly classics and genre fiction and I fully expect to be judged by the likes of highbrow contemporary literature folks.

brad

i normally don't judge people based on the books on their shelves. i have about hundred volumes of poetry and people tend to think i'm an asshole for it. the fuck, i just like poetry. anyway, went to a party at someone's very expensive house and strolled on over to the bookcase to see why all the books were turned backwards. they weren't turned backwards THE LADY OF THE HOUSE HAD RIPPED ALL THEIR COVERS OFF. THAT MONSTER WOMAN RIPPED ALL THE COVERS OFF SO HER LIVING ROOM WOULD MATCH. honestly, there were hundreds of coverless books all bound in fucking hemp string and joylessly monochrome. i felt ill.

WaityKatie

@bluewindgirl "Maybe I can't afford books"? Um, library? Jesus. So ridiculous as I think people who don't read judge people who read just as much if not more. (How many times have guys given me some condescending line about me being "a big reader" or "where did you hear of THAT book?" etc. etc.).

WaityKatie

@brad What the...

damselfish

@packedsuitcase Serious answer: because you remember the color of a book and can return to it. e.g., I remember that "In Search of the Swan Maiden" has a greeny-blue cover, so I can go to the green-to-blue transition area. I don't organize my books by color, but if I did I could probably find anything I was looking for, even better than my current system (by subject, sort of, which is helped because all my fiction is on my kindle so I have "Russian folklore" "Chinese lit and history" "anthropology texts" etc.)

Changeling

@packedsuitcase @packedsuitcase
I arrange my books by color because it is pretty, and my previous organizations were visually frustrating. I can still find a certain book I want in under a minute; it's not like they're never used.

Springtime for Voldemort

@maybe partying will help I have a friend who arranges them by color. I asked, and she said that the subjects bled into each other way too much to really organize by subject, and that she has really good visual memory of the book covers. Which I get, because I actually have really good visual memory of the book covers. I myself go for a combo of subject organization, ease of access (so, school books/library books), and "damn, that shelf has no more room... well, this one here has some room, and I'm lazy, so, yeah, that'll work."

Hellcat

@damselfish My true-crime section might as well be organized by color anyway; 90% of those things are red and black, it seems.

packedsuitcase

@Changeling @damselfish - I stand corrected. I also stand minus my PMS pants, which are tight and uncomfortable and make me rather cranky and dismissive.

I have a terrible memory for colour and titles ("Uh, I think it was blue, and umm...started with a K. Oh, here it is, and it's red. And doesn't have a K anywhere in the title.") so any organization at all is pretty pointless. Dudefriend, on the other hand, alphabetizes his bookshelf and CD collection and has sworn he will get my collection organized, which I adamantly resist. I feel like bookshelves and jewelry boxes should have a bit of mystery about them, and you should never 100% know what you're going to find when you start poking around. Clearly, we're going to have some issues.

RK Fire

@brad: One day you're going to find out through the news that the woman you mentioned was mobbed and clubbed to death by librarians and archivists.

catspajamas

@brad I am replying because thumbs up seemed inappropriate. I actually gasped with horror. Who would do do that?!

miss buenos aires

@maybe partying will help

I do this! (Organize my bookshelves by color, there's been a lot of replies.) So I guess we can't be friends. My library is 90% fiction and mostly transitory, so subject matter/trying to find things later don't really apply.

queenofbithynia

@brad hahaha no way did she rip off the covers with her own hands, I bet you a dollar she bought them pre-ripped from Restoration Hardware or one of the other several places that does that. It is the next level up from the books-by-the-foot places that sell by cover color or age or quality of leather bindings. it is a money-making dream, the markups involved make me feel faint.

RK Fire

@queenofbithynia: Both of the concepts that you describe gives me willies.

queenofbithynia

@RK Fire I used to work with a guy who'd met the books-by-the-foot guy at the Strand -- it's its own department but I believe the department is just that one guy -- and I used to obsessively dwell on the thought of killing him and taking his life. I mean, back when I was still dreaming of a way to buy and sell rare books but also have health insurance. Murder is the only way I ever thought of and even that might not have worked.

brad

@queenofbithynia: what do mean...pre-ripped? i just...the fuck...buy them that...

queenofbithynia

@brad behold

I guess they don't sell em there anymore, but what are displayed on that tray thingamabob there used to be sold without shame for $50 a bale or whatever. Couple years ago you couldn't shake a stick in a home goods emporium without whacking a couple of disbound books. It was an evil time.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

I think LW4 should immediately strip down to a t-shirt and underpants whenever she has a dude over for sexing, thus rendering the question of what's on her bookshelves entirely moot. Unless he's really into "bookshelves."

...BY WHICH I MEAN BOOBS.

BadWolf

I once couldn't decide if some dude I'd met at a bar was the most boring guy in the world or just kind of shy? So I met him for drinks a week later, and STILL couldn't decide, so I went home with him, and, people: Dude had NO BOOKS IN HIS HOUSE. Like, three, under the coffee table, and they were all stupid. I am mortified to admit I fucked him anyway, because I was there and whatever, but I never, ever called him again, because seriously, what kind of human being has NO BOOKS? Ugh. I need a shower just remembering him. He was weird. No books is weird! And he didn't even have a Kindle, or something, he just did not read. What IS that?

I totally judge. I don't even feel bad about it. (I think my degree in English comes with a "Judge Free" card?) If your books are all critical theory and no novels, you go right down the bottom of my list of humans, next to the Ayn Rand fans, but maybe we can have polite conversation; if you have some weird books, it's interesting! Own it! But no books at all, I don't even. How does that even happen? (By the same token, wanting to borrow all the Civil War books was one of the ways I knew I was into the guy who is now my boyfriend, before I even really processed that I was attracted to him. People who want to get with people need to read things!)

BadWolf

@BadWolf I realize this is maybe not helpful to the LW. Wonky books you get for free is kind of awesome---this is why I have a pile of crappy romance novels and BAD 1960s sci-fi in my bathroom! Rock the weird free books you like; there is nothing bad about that. And also, yeah, books you don't want you can put in a box outside, because then people like me might come by and pick them up for our bathroom collection.

KeLynn

@BadWolf - I find that incredibly weird, too. You don't have to be an avid novel-a-week reader, but to never be interested enough in any topic or any story to get a book about it? Even if you primarily use the library, some books are going to sneak in.

laurel

@BadWolf: The bathroom collection interests me. For a while, back in the day in San Francisco, I kept finding copies of Democracy in American in people's bathrooms. Whyyy?

Megasus

@BadWolf I hope he was at the very least hung like a stallion. OR looked like Ryan Gosling. Because no.

MilesofMountains

@BadWolf My boyfriend has maybe 5-10 books in his house, and they're almost all sports related. He has very few movies, too. Apparently sitting still for hours is not his thing.

Judith Slutler

@BadWolf Yes, my roommates and I actively work on our weirdo bathroom book collection.

SarahP

@BadWolf Was it his permanent house, or an apartment? Because I had very few books in my college and just-post-college apartments; I stored them all at my parents' house until I had a more permanent living situation because I liked having my books in one place (minus a few comfort books which always stayed with me). But now that I own my place, I have a library.

whizz_dumb

@BadWolf You, and many others here are making me feel really sexy right now. My new pickup line: "I have an array of books, none are by Ayn Rand."

Megasus

@whizz_dumb you will seriously get so much ass

Lily Rowan

@KeLynn I do have a friend who reads a fair amount, buys books, and just gets rid of them. Because she doesn't care to own them! I don't know -- I mean, I would judge her if I went to her house without knowing her well first.

Don
Don

@MilesofMountains THANK YOU

Megasus

@Lily Rowan Wow, that seems expensive! Why doesn't she just use the library?

Lily Rowan

@Megano! She has more money than time or patience.

Megasus

@Lily Rowan LUCKY HER!
(Please give her my address, lol)

BadWolf

@laurel In college, it was "Our Bodies, Ourselves." Is that just where the hippiest books are supposed to go, and I am doing hippie wrong? My copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" lives on the bookcase next to a PG Wodehouse anthology.

@Megano! He was neither of those things. It was a strange time in my life. And by strange, I mean gross.

@whizz_dumb That is the sexiest pick-up line of all. Plz report on your future successes with it!

BadWolf

@SarahP It was an apartment, but he'd been there for several years, and it was definitely his home. He was a few years older than I was, and pretty fixed. I am sorry for sounding so...well, judge-y; there's totally a giant difference between not having your ideal library in the place(s) you presently live, and being a person who does not have books, want books, read books...

photoelectric

@whizz_dumb That is an amazing pick up line!

Once someone told me he was planning a surprise gift and then reconsidered, saying, "since you like to read, I was going to bring you a copy of Atlas Shrugged, but then I thought, 'she probably already has it' ".

photoelectric

@photoelectric I didn't have to see his bookshelf to know it would never work.

Hellcat

@MilesofMountains A long time ago, when my not-much-of-a-reader* ex and I were moving to an apartment together, and he innocently asked if we should get another shelf. Mean me said, in front of other people, "Don't worry; there's enough room for your book," and then laughed and laughed for a long time.

* This is not why he's an ex, and neither is the fact that he was not a reader. Honestly, thinking back, that never bugged me and I don't even think I thought about it then, though if directly asked--then or now--if it was important to me that a guy reads, I'm positive I'd say yes.

baked bean

@Lily Rowan I don't have that many books because I usually try to find them at the library. Don't have the room, I only have a teeny bookshelf thing with two shelves, and no room for a bookcase. Plus, libraries are free. I don't usually re-read books very often, if it's something worth re-reading I might own it, or just check it out of the library again.

Hellcat

@baked bean If I had adopted your system years ago, my recent move would have been so much easier. But my stepfather, who is apparently an accomplished carpenter (who knew?) made me a new bookshelf to not only match another that I already had, but is also the perfect height to double as an end table! I mentioned it on Sunday and had a new shelf by Tuesday! I am still stunned.

Now, you guys: how does everyone feel about Kindles and Nooks? I "get" them but am having a hard time committing to use the Nook my awesome coworker gave me after he got his iPad. I think I am just an Actual Book person... though if I had to travel a lot, I'm sure I'd adapt (especially for books that I probably wouldn't read more than once. Maybe I'll try to use the Nook now for that type of reading...).

queenofbithynia

@Hellcat I have a Nook for train books, plane books, books that I know in advance are not good but I still want to read, and that certain fraction of pornography that I am not proud to own. Real books I care about I buy in paper.

Maladydee

@Hellcat I do e-reading for 2 reasons. 1- I read a lot of fantasy and "doorstopper" is basically a subgenre of fantasy. Seriously, there is no way in hell I am going to cart around this 1001 page novel (literally!) in my bag all day, on the bus, walking around, etc.
2 - I have very little patience as far as 'waiting for the paperback' or 'library hold lists' go, and usually the e-book version of a new book is half the price of the hardcover, or less. There are a few series' that I just Will Not Wait For The Paperback.
oh, and 3 (but this is a terrible reason) if it's midnight and I want a new book, I can hop online and get one right away. (this has been almost as bad for my wallet as eating out.)

Hellcat

@Maladydee I actually think Number 3 is the BEST reason.

emeegee

LW4 and all reading ladies: Please give your unwanted paperbacks to a prison book project in your area! These groups operate all over the country, and they're usually shoestring-budget, all-volunteer groups that depend upon book donations to function. As more and more prisons become privatized or endure state budget cuts, library access is lost. (Full disclosure, I run one and I want your books.)

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@emeegee
Please let me know your address and I will try to mail you a box.

emeegee

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Sweet! Chicago Books to Women in Prison, PO Box 14778, Chicago IL 60614

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@emeegee
Chicago? I'll just drop by!

alannaofdoom

@emeegee Oh dude thank you for mentioning this because I have a bag of gently-read books in my apartment that I've been meaning to donate/sell/whatever for an embarrassingly long time, and I already have a post office errand for this weekend so I'll add it on!

emeegee

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Aaah, please do! We operate at 950 W Newport, every Sunday from 2-5pm, on the Chicago Women's Health Center's first floor. We're moving with CWHC to nicer digs in Uptown in January.

packedsuitcase

@emeegee Good to know! I won't have access to my books for a while, but then I'll be moving and getting rid of everything I own (basically), so I've got quite a few books that can be re-homed.

You'll be sorry Jo March

Letter 4 scares me. I get most of my books from the library, so what is left on my shelf is not at all reflective of what I have actually read or what I love to read. Please don't judge me!

Then again, if I saw a stack of library books on someone's side table, that would be a total deal-maker. Ugh, I don't know. This is going to keep me up at night for weeks.

Blondsak

@You'll be sorry Jo March
This is the exact boat my supervisor is in. She reads more books than anyone I know (even has a book blog!), but she gets 99.9% of her books at the library and will only buy a book if she really, really loves it. This amounts to, in her words, "about half a shelf worth." She recently started dating someone and is happy, but I now have to wonder if this is the reason she was single (and trying not to be!) for so long, because she is pretty much awesome in every way.

WaityKatie

@Gussie Fink-Nottle I wish guys cared that much about women reading, but sadly it's probably more that they found out she was a "bookworm" and avoided her for that reason. Assuming she's dating guys.

calamity

@You'll be sorry Jo March Can we start some sort of dating service? I have a stack of library books on the carpet next to my bed. (There's no room for a side table, what with my bookcase already overflowing ...) There have to be some dudes out there for whom this would be a dealmaker too!!

Leanne

@You'll be sorry Jo March Me too, or they are on my Kindle. I have a small collection of well loved books stored (out of view)in a cabinet because I haven't yet found a book holding vessel that I like well enough to purchase that both fits in my tiny home and doesn't cost one million doll hairs.

Beatrix Kiddo

@You'll be sorry Jo March I have a bunch of books, but I don't own any of my favorites, because I always force other people to read them and forget to get them back. So my collection is in no way representative of my favorites. I worry about this way too much.

par_parenthese

@You'll be sorry Jo March If library books be the food of love (and they be), check out on, check out on, check out on.

baked bean

@You'll be sorry Jo March Yes libraries!
Plus, I feel like some people buy all the books so they can put them on their bookshelf. My bookshelf doesn't have much room and most of it is textbooks.
I also don't re-read things very often. Same reason I decided not to buy dvds anymore. I was on a kick when they started being $5-10 instead of $20, but then I only watched most of them once. Donated them.

Gef the Talking Mongoose

@You'll be sorry Jo March , @calamity : This guy here thinks that a stack of library books would definitely be a dealmaker.

Now that I think more about it,
stack of library books > stack of non-library books > neatly-shelved books of either sort.

katiemcgillicuddy

LW#1 Dudefriend seems to like a mix of one of his button down shirts with just underwear, and naked. So a little from column A, a little from column B.

KatPruska

Books! Go into a box and onto the sidewalk and are usually all gone within a few hours. I divest myself of all donation-worthy items in this manner, but that's in a city with near-constant foot traffic. There was a big street festival in my neighborhood this weekend and within 15 minutes the two boxes of donation-worthy stuff I put outside my building had totally disappeared.

(Okay, I actually think the people who live in this teeny tiny space behind a psychic's storefront in my building take everything and do wondrous things with them in their TARDIS-apartment, because I have glanced through the open doors into this living space, and I know the building structure very well, and I have witnessed 13 people leaving this place all at once and no! It is - it should be - physically impossible for this to happen.)

KeLynn

@KatPruska - I wish I had this method of disposal more readily available! Sometimes I'll put stuff on the sidewalk when I go downtown at night (last week someone got pretty darn lucky with my old DVD player) and we'll put bigger houseish stuff out on the curb on Trash Night early enough for the people who ride around and garbage pick, but for the most part I have to actually bring my crap somewhere to donate.

fondue with cheddar

2. "What, you mean the bus hasn't arrived yet?"

fondue with cheddar

Also, nice Arrested Development reference!

fabel

The guy in letter 3 is probably a sleazy guy. I'm just gonna go with that. (Also, I don't think anyone addressed that LW yet)

karion

LW #1. Naked is intimate and vulnerable. Having sex with someone doesn't mean you know them intimately, especially if it is the first time. It is, at least for me, kind of a boundaries thing. Yes, the clothes came off for the sexing, but you don't know me well enough for me to sleep naked with you.

LW #3 - Don't thing of it as a red flag, necessarily. Think of it as a yellow light. Proceed with caution, beware of the possible dangers. Be vigilant. More often than not, nothing comes of running a yellow light, but sometimes, man, you get blindsided.

LW#4 - I tend to think of bookshelves like a Facebook timeline. Yeah, they give an indication of where you've been, what you've been into, etc., but Jesus, I can't honestly imagine being a snob about it. I have read some mindless chick lit stuff that I enjoyed immensely, and sometimes, John Grisham can really put a story together. Doesn't take away from the fact that my favorite author is Michael Chabon.

WaityKatie

@karion Plus, maybe I'm weird, but I find it way more comfortable to sleep in something than nothing. Whether I'm alone or not. I always wear at least underwear and preferably also a shirt. The sweat, and coldness, and everything just being out there...it's just not that comfortable!

meetapossum

@WaityKatie Ditto. I don't even like sleeping naked in my own bed alone. It just feels weird.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@WaityKatie I always feel more comfortable sleeping in something, because I have somewhat-irrational anxiety about waking up to an emergency and needing to run immediately, and that would be awful to do naked (in my neighborhood, at least).

WaityKatie

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Weirdly, even though I always sleep in something, I did once have an incident of choking on breakfast cereal while naked (after taking a shower, this sounds weird, don't inquire too deeply) and having the existenial dilemma of "Do I run outside and pound on a neighbor's door? Naked?? Or just let myself die?" I was going to go with "die," but then I finally managed to unchoke myself.

frigwiggin

@WaityKatie It's not that weird! I am naked probably at LEAST 50% of the time that I'm around the house and don't have anywhere to be (70% is probably closer), and sometimes I think about emergencies but most of the time I don't. My boyfriend of 5 years and I live together, though, I dunno how naked-y I would want to be around a casual encounter...

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@WaityKatie You can administer the Heimlich to yourself! You can either make a fist with your thumb below your ribcage, then grab that fist with your other hand and do a quick upward thrust.

Or you can lean on a table edge or a chair and quickly throw your upper belly-area against it.

(Still might be weird for people to see you doing this naked.)

WaityKatie

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That is sort of what I did (heimlich on a chair) but I didn't want to put the horrifying image of someone doing that naked in everyone's heads. (too late now).

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@WaityKatie Bwahahahahahaha, amazing. Also, I'm glad you're alive.

karion

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose: This is partly my concern as well. My husband is a naked sleeper, but I sleep in a tank/tee and underwear, primarily because I fear the "middle of the night" emergency.

I am blind as a bat. If something happens, I have to find my glasses (I am a contact lens wearer) and stumble and fumble with them in the dark. I just can't add "getting dressed" to that, even if I still have to put on pants.

faience

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose My first residence in university had a fire alarm almost every Thurs through Sat because students in my residence were drunk idiots. That ended me sleeping in nearly nothing and having a pile of fire alarm emergency clothes when I had to lunge out of bed in mid-winter and wander over to the pizza joint that was open til 4am. I still havent gotten over that year.

hands_down

#3: My husband is a somewhat reformed sleazy guy. I encountered him around a decade before we actually met and thought he was cute, but all my friends warned me away from him. I think when we started dating some of them thought I was an idiot, given his longstanding sleazy reputation. But, as you said, some people do grow out of the serial dating/fucking everything that moves part of their lives, and that's what happened in our case.

Unless he's running a long con on me, in which case I may eventually be writing to A Dude for advice.

hands_down

@hands_down Also, in case I sound delusional, what mattered to me back when we first started dating is whether he had a pattern of treating women shittily. I don't care how many people you have had sex with, as long as you treat them as fellow human beings. Looking at it from that angle may help.

KeLynn

@hands_down - Good point, one I felt bubbling in my brain but couldn't put into words. People have very different definitions of "sleazy." Is it that he flirts with people "too much"? Is it that he slept around? Is it that he was actually unwelcomely forward with someone? Is it that he asked one woman out once who declined, and he respectfully backed away, but she felt uncomfortable and told her friends and blew it out of proportion? Seems like the best thing to do is wait for someone to bring up his sleaziness again and just say, "I've never felt that way about him, what happened to make you say that?"

hands_down

@KeLynn Yeah, I think like "slut" its meaning is too vague to be helpful, and often says more about the person using it than the person it's directed at. It really depends on the specific behavior these women are encountering.

NeverOddOrEven

@hands_down
Another 'Pinner happily married to a Reformed Sleazy Guy!
People can change, people. Or at least grow up.
I had plenty of red flags, but they were ones that he was telling me about, which allowed me to trust him. Otherwise why say anything?

Megasus

I know for a FACT that all the hot dudes are at the place I decided not to go at the last minute, because I do that a lot.
ALTHOUGH there were some hot guys alone at the Looper screening I went to last weekend.

WaityKatie

@Megano! There's a poster for Looper in the third avenue subway that someone has altered by adding a "B", which for some reason I find hilarious every single commuting morning.

Megasus

@WaityKatie Hahahaha. I would go the extra mile and bring something white to make it a "P"

mystique

"At the same time, I don't want to be the idiot who ignored the big red flag that she was dating a jerk."

I feel like this is likely where a lot of your anxiety comes from. That everyone sees something bad in this guy that you don't. However, I doubt this is the case, because it sounds like this came out of the blue for you, rather than confirming a fear you had in the first place. Usually when I see a red flag flying, I think, "I saw this coming, a little bit."

But even then you won't be an idiot for caring about someone who you say is showing you affection and sweetness! You'll be a fool, but a fool in love ;)

A R 3287

I asked the first question! I am glad to get another perspective on this. After a few times of experiencing this I was wondering if it was actually something guys liked. Honestly, it weirds me out a little bit. I feel like it’s more personal than just wearing my underwear in bed. It’s like, I just met you, I don’t want to wear your clothes already. I definitely appreciate t-shirt wearing in general but only if I knew someone extremely well or were dating him. I feel like it’s somehow proprietary (me of him *and* him of me).

Judith Slutler

@A R 3287 I can see how you'd feel that way, but there are women out there (like me) who don't sleep that well in just undies. Basically, the shirt offer probably doesn't have that much baggage to it.

WaityKatie

@A R 3287 Hey, at least it's not as weird as when "the Situation" from Jersey Shore offers women he's about to bone a full outfit consisting of a shirt and sweatpants to change into. And then they have sex. Both wearing sweatpants.

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie aHA! I knew I wasn't the only Jersey Shore watching degenerate around here. WaityKaitie, I should have known it would be you.

WaityKatie

@redheaded&crazie IT STARTS AGAIN ON THURSDAY.

baked bean

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yeah I don't. My normal sleeping arrangement is big t-shirt and underwear. No shirt is too cold and weird.

HeyMatilda

According to this line of commenting, I should NOT have inked Ayn Rand's words into my flesh. Woooops

Judith Slutler

@HeyMatilda Get a sweet Socialist Realism style coverup depicting female empowerment and class equality?

mystique

Okay, since I'm impatient and these posts are good places for advice...what do you do when you're stuck worrying that someone is a jerk even when you know they're not but you've been hurt by jerks before? Like, I look for "problems" with this person even though they are so sweet. And it manifests in that I get a bit nervous telling them what I want ("I like talking to you! let's talk more frequently") and trying to hide my affections ("I can't make them a birthday card WHAT IF IT WEIRDS THEM OUT"). I dunno. I'm a coward, that's what this is.

Judith Slutler

@mystique Just remember that not everyone is a jerk, you are not a jerk-seeking missile, and that the new person deserves a chance if you want to give them one!

packedsuitcase

@Emmanuelle Cunt I want to print "You are not a jerk-seeking missile" and frame it.

smidge

@mystique Even really good people will do jerky things sometimes, and it will hurt you, but that doesn't make them intrinsically jerky? I don't know--remembering that has helped me step back and evaluate whether certain relationships were worth hanging on to.

Blushingflwr

@mystique That is a hard one. I have some not-very-nice ex boyfriends, and it takes a conscious effort sometimes to communicate and be vulnerable with my current gentleman friend. I try to remind myself that I am giving him opportunities to prove that he is the person I want/need/believe him to be.
I don't really know how to tell you to find the courage to do that, because it IS scary and hard, but I think the alternative is a life where you're never fully yourself because you are afraid of the consequences, and that life doesn't sound as good as it could be.

And, also, what @Emmanuelle Cunt said, which should probably be cross-stitched onto a pillow somewhere.

whateverlolawants

@Blushingflwr Good thoughts. I have this same problem, basically. :(

Springtime for Voldemort

@Emmanuelle Cunt I also just really needed to hear "you are not a jerk-seeking missile" today. So, thanks!

lindsey@twitter

I can't STAND people who judge me by my books. I'm a smart lady! In a lot of different ways! But I love YA fiction and crappy romance novels and yes, even horrible Christian romance novels. And I happen to have a lot of those books on my bookshelves because they make me happy to read. They are easy and fun and frankly, when I'm exhausted from classes and math problems and physics and etc etc, I just want to read "Princess in Disguise" or "The Wicked Duke Takes a Wife".

And if you have to judge me for it, so be it. Because I probably don't want to be friends with a book judger anyways. I'm proud of my horrible nerdy tendencies and god, who wants to have to hide part of themselves from other people?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@lindsey@twitter Pro tip: I read all my mystery/romance/embarrassing books on my kindle, and the rest of my books (Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, David Sedaris, etc...) go on the shelves for people to peruse.

Megasus

@lindsey@twitter My shelves are mostly fantasy novels, that's why I usually do not judge the content of people's shelves.

Scandyhoovian

@lindsey@twitter I'm of the mind that people that judge you by your book collection are snooty blowhards, so there's that. I read EVERYTHING WITH WORDS ON IT, my collection is huge and varied. Depending on which shelf someone looks at they'll think I'm a pretentious asshole or an immature childperson, so...

lindsey@twitter

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh sure, I read most of my Regency romance novels on my phone for a variety of reasons. But I have some physical books that a lot of people would judge me for and I'm just not interested in that. I like the books I like. I don't feel like I have to hide anything.

I'm just secure in my reading, I guess. Who knows.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@lindsey@twitter Do you know what one of the best things about being an adult is? You get to choose who you want to hang out with! If someone makes fun of your book selection? Ditch them. Yay!

smidge

@lindsey@twitter I have Francine Rivers on my shelf and am not ashamed

MilesofMountains

@lindsey@twitter I suspect people who can't understand "it's not exactly literature, but it's fun and makes me happy" aren't very fun or happy in the first place.

tessamae

@lindsey@twitter I'm the same. My job can be just so chock-full of depressing stories that I only ever want to read fluff at home. I'm a smart girl and I would fucking regulate on some presumptuous asshat who decided to judge this book by the covers on her shelf.

I will also note that I have had a dude remark on the bodice-rippers on my shelf once. The convo went as such:

Dude: So...you read a lot of those romance novels huh?
Me: Sure.
Dude: Those things have some crazy shit in them, right? Like sex shit?
Me: Um, sure some do I suppose. The good ones.
Dude: That's fucking hot.

The end.

frigwiggin

@lindsey@twitter @any other romance readers in this thread

Romance recs? I'm in the mood for something sweet, maybe historical. My romance experience is pretty small, but I have liked A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh and...drat, I can't remember the titles of any of the others.

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin I mean...please? I didn't mean for that to come off so demanding-like, sorry y'all.

tessamae

@frigwiggin I always love recs!

I will forever and always rec Lisa Kleypas first, she's my old faithful. A lovely series she did is the Hathaways, starting with Mine After Midnight, and then four follow up novels. The Wallflower series is also delightful, it starts with Secrets of a Summer Night and then has three follow ups. I prefer her historicals to her contemporaries, though they aren't terrible by any means. I just tend to enjoy historicals more.

I also like Julia Quinn, her novels are sweet and witty.

There's always The Nora. But I would rec her older stuff versus the drivel (IMO) she's been producing these past few years. It feels very formulaic. Four girl friends. Four guy friends. Everyone falls in love with each other cozily and basically the same manner. Snore.

MilesofMountains

@frigwiggin Eloisa James does some cute historical stories in her Desperate Duchesses series. I like An Affair Before Christmas because Poppy is so adorable and her husband avoids being the stereotypical alpha-male romance novel guy. Georgette Heyer is the queen of sweet adorable romances, though, if you don't mind absolutely no sex in your romance books.

Megasus

@frigwiggin I am not a huge romance reader but I frequent this site a lot for the history stuff, and there is some good-sounding historical romances in there! Plus they have excerpts every week so you know for sure, and a lot of it is indie pubbed stuff that you might not otherwise hear about.

frigwiggin

@tessamae @MilesofMountains @Megano! Thanks, guys! I used to read Smart Bitches Trashy Books a lot because it was interesting despite not being an avid romance reader, but I've fallen off and am too lazy to go back and check their A+ ratings right now. In exchange, I will rec my favorite indie-pub male/male fantasy/paranormal romance/suspense (I swear it's good): Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. I haven't read any other M/M romances, in part because I'm worried in my heart of hearts that they won't stand up to it. Action! Adventure! Alternate universe! Emotionally fulfilling relationships and also some sex!

lindsey@twitter

@frigwiggin I will second Julia Quinn; she's my favorite. I'm not a huge Kleypas fan though. Eloisa James is good. Addison Fox has a modern-day series set in Alaska that I like. I wish I could recommend more! I seriously burn through like 4 books a week (used to be 2 a day though) so I barely remember anything about the books. I just go through my library's ebooks and check out whatever I can.

lora.bee

@lindsey@twitter I think the most "embarassing" title on my shelf would be The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman....buuut I have no regrets.

angelinha

@lindsey@twitter The best time it occurred to me to move a Lurlene McDaniel book off my nightstand the night before a one night stand happened. CLOSE CALL.

skyslang

@lindsey@twitter Of course a guy is going to judge you on your books! They say something about you. Your taste, your sense of humor, what comforts you, what stimulates you. What's the big deal? You like those books, the represent your taste in escapist literature, OWN IT.

KatnotCat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoNLndLISFQ

thebestjasmine

Question for LW 3: Are the comments about this guy based on his past behavior or his current behavior, i.e. did he hit on other women in the office previously, or has he been doing it in the 6 months that you've been dating? I feel like that's key information. If he's been working there a long time and hit on some people in the past, then that might be okay, but if he's hitting on people at work while he's dating you, danger danger. Next time you get comments like this from people at work, I would ask a few more questions to figure out if it's something that you should be concerned about.

Judith Slutler

@thebestjasmine Yeah, this is what I'm wondering as well. You also have to wonder if they haven't maybe picked up on the fact that something's going on, and are just DYING to expand on what they mean by "sleazy".

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine Girlfriend has serious restraint for not asking like a bajillion clarifying questions. I would be all over that.

I see A Dude's point about not asking gossipy questions about your bf behind his back ... and I counter with this point: I am a huge gossip and that kind of dangling tidbit would be actually irresistible to me. So uh ... so there.

TheGenYgirl

In re recycling books:
My local used bookstore recycles all the books they are unwilling to give me 5 cents for.

Briony Fields

Argh, blargh, Ireland. I dated an Irish guy and went to Ireland and was sadly forced to give up on the sexy, sensitive Irish man trope. A disappointingly large number of Irish dudes are, well, chavs. Also, a lot of chauvinistic behaviour going on there, not surprising in a country which up until the 1970s required any married woman to quit her job because y'know, she's a wife now. She's got bigger concerns than working. The landscape and accents remain beautiful, but I was a bit bummed out how old fashioned and repressive a lot of the culture is. There are lots of lovely people of course, but just as a whole, the paternalistic Catholic atmosphere prevails more than I had expected.

WaityKatie

@Briony Fields Plus, what about "the Irish curse"?

TARDIStime

@WaityKatie Ooooh, what is the Irish curse? I must know!

violetta

@WaityKatie yes do tell..? Not related to Catholic School Syndrome..? Heh I was once asked if I was Irish mid- job interview...hilarious.

WaityKatie

@violetta Well, I have no objective proof of this, but supposedly it has to do with...the size of one's shamrock.

cd
cd

@Briony Fields yes! I lived in Ireland for a semester (granted, with my American bf) and I was sorely disappointed by the Irish dudes. Of course there were some good-looking guys, but for the most part they were kind of lame, particularly the students I was in school with. Meanwhile, the girls were gorg and came to school all dolled-up, which was a shock coming from an upstate SUNY.

whateverlolawants

@Briony Fields The only two people who have been openly, aggressively hostile to me, completely unprovoked, based on my US nationality, were Irish dudes. Well, one was Northern Irish. We were both far away from our countries and there was no reason for them to act like juiceboxes or even talk to me, but they did.

But to balance that out, one of the nicest girls I have ever met is Northern Irish. So I'm not going to draw any conclusions.

eleven

Finally! WHERE has Ask a Dude been all these months??

leonstj

@eleven - Bookstores, Ireland, standing right behind you.

slutberry

@leon s WHERE HAS LEON S BEEN ALL THESE MONTHS

Stasiasaurus

I am not sure if Ireland is where all the hot guys are, but it is totally where all the short guys are. I'm 5'10" maaaaaybe 5'11" (I say that because whenever a guy asks my height and I answer he says "But I'm 5'10" and you're taller!" I'm not. He's rounding up or something.) and I am taller than so many of the men here. (On the plus side: when I did find the tall guys, a bunch of them were swing dancers!)

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Stasiasaurus In my experience, people in the UK tend to be a bit shorter? I'm 5'6 myself and one of the years I lived there I was in a choir. I'm firmly middle-height lady row in the US but in the UK I was absolutely in the tall lady row.

MilesofMountains

@Stasiasaurus That just makes me want to go more, actually. Love me some short dudes.

Megasus

@Stasiasaurus WHAT TAKE ME TO THE HOT IRISH SWING DANCERS

spanglepants

@EddieMcCandry Nah, average heights in the UK (of which Ireland is not a part!) are pretty similar to those in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_height#Average_height_around_the_world.

edit: I realise this sounds a bit snarky but really I'm just tired and slightly too much wined.

WaityKatie

@MilesofMountains You can find all of those on the internet, without even having to leave your home town. Just look for anyone claiming to be 5'9.

sevanetta

@Stasiasaurus Yay swingdancers!!!

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@spanglepants No worries. Maybe I was just in shortish areas? Because I swear this was true for me in the UK. But there definitely could be region differences, like in the US: I feel sort of tall in NYC but child-sized in the great lakes states.

Sister Administrator

Complete Ayn Rand bibliography on the shelf: I deep down knew it was a warning but didn't heed it. The relationship ended with me tearing all the pages out of one of those books during a fight.

Destroying his property wasn't right and I regret that a lot, but the fact that it came to that is kind of illustrative.

adorable-eggplant

@Sister Administrator Nothing says callow, selfish bastard like delusions of objectivist grandeur.

I am a bleeding-heart, rising-tide-lifts-all-boats liberal so Ayn Rand is my sworn enemy. My best friend in high school used to tease me by writing my middle name (Ann) as 'Ayn'. Which made me furious every single time.

We also once had an argument about seat belts that ended with us giving each other an hour + long silent treatment in the school parking lot, so clearly we were stubborn wierdos.

WaityKatie

@adorable-eggplant That is an amazing insult.

whateverlolawants

@Sister Administrator I am dating a guy with many Ayn Rand books on his shelf. He says she's his favorite author. He says he doesn't believe most of her philosophy but likes her writing. He gave me "Atlas Shrugged" but I haven't read it yet.

I never know what to make of his love for her. He's a big Obama fan and generally supports liberal policies here, but he's from a country with a fanatical leader who is taking over private industry and squashing dissent, so maybe that's part of Ayn's allure?

adorable-eggplant

@whateverlolawants There are more sensitive, empathetic authors who tackle the same issues. George Orwell had his own problems I'm sure, but at least in the Road to Wiggan Pier he looks at the actual suffering of the people who get crushed (or mangled) by freemarket capitalism. Read that, then read this article about Lagos: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/11/13/061113fa_fact_packer And you will have a handy window into how little has changed, plus an example of how it's possible to be totally anti totalitarian AND also a pro democratic socialist in favor of heavy regulation to protect everyone, even the 'unsuccessful'.

Buuut I won't go on a rant, although I will some day write a satirical novel called "Atlas Shrugged and then got Dysentery" which will be about how when all the elite take off to their mountain retreat, they quickly realize that none of them (not the big shot scientists or the architects or the artists) has ever dug a proper latrine or cleaned a toilet. I'm pretty sure T.C. Boyle beat me to the punch on that one? Oh well.

WaityKatie

@adorable-eggplant Aw, come on, I remember Howard Roark getting awful sweaty breaking rocks in that gorge, after he refused to design the evil socialist buildings for public housing.

adorable-eggplant

@WaityKatie And irl my bff architect friend started in construction, so clearly I'm just a grumpy grump who should not be hating on creatives.

But that whole narrative of unappreciated geniuses who would be so much better off without the rest of us chaff, err, humanity, drives me so crazy.

Judith Slutler

@WaityKatie hahaha he didn't even just refuse to design them, iirc he actually designed the building and then exploded it himself when the construction committee ADDED BALCONIES to his PERFECT DESIGN

a) What are you even doing building apartments without balconies? b) Why become an architect if you hate working with committees?

WaityKatie

@Emmanuelle Cunt Oh yes. I kind of agree with him on the balconies. They just use them as an excuse to make the actual apartments smaller! I'm onto you, builders.

adorable-eggplant

@WaityKatie But then where do your potted plants live? If you have no balcony, how do you get much needed sunlight while taking naps?

whateverlolawants

@adorable-eggplant Whoa, that Lagos article is... incredible. I actually have that Orwell book but haven't read it. A friend loaned it to me (a friend with some weird and inconsistent views, in fact.)

And yeah, I thiiiiink my boyfriend falls in that good area of being against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism (regulations, safety nets, etc.) His views are kind of hard to pin down. His own job pays pretty low and he gets no health insurance, so it's in his best interest.

WaityKatie

@adorable-eggplant My plants generally die, so you may have a point there.

adorable-eggplant

@whateverlolawants Yeah, I totally recommend the Road to Wiggan Pier. Also this line "Hundreds of pickers were trudging across an undulating landscape of garbage" could be in that book, except replace plastic with coal scraps and garbage with coal heap. It's not a perfect book, but there are some sections that are really vivid and moving and a good reminder of how much suffering is built into the system, as it operates now.

@WaityKatie My plants die too (or live their lives like candles in the wind, as I like to think of it) but more from lack of water, followed by guilt-induced binges of too much water, than lack of sunlight.

entangled

My husband intentionally arranges our books for maximum snob appeal. At least it got him to unpack those boxes when we moved this summer. But I think it's pretty sad, especially because he put all of my George R R Martin books in the bedroom because he doesn't think they're cool (I think the fact that most of our friends around here love that stuff makes him even more persistent). Anyway, the living room bookshelf is totally fantasy-free and set up so that the most pretentious books (some of which I like, but really *sigh*) are at eye level. It's pretty funny how much effort he put into it and considers my mocking him for it a sign of my bad taste. [I swear, he's a great guy otherwise! and he HATES Ayn Rand, so there's that]

slutberry

@entangled guilty, your honour.

I hide all my teen novels and my Gentleman's fantasy and sci fi. And display the Foucault.

And I hate Foucault.

pterodactylish

LW3, girl, I've been there. But it's work and there are So Many Other Things at play here. Trust yourself. Dated a work guy (still dating a work guy) and there are A Lot Of Factors. It's like dating someone in high school. One girl's saying he's sleazy because he dumped her friend four years ago and she got hurt. Another is saying he's sleazy because he hits on other girls (you) but not her. (Jealousy! Unrequited affection! The worst workplace thing.) Another is saying it because she heard both these girls saying it and hearsay is never wrong, right?! So, TRUST YO SELF. And stand up for him.

And also, start telling people. When you do, and they coo 'OMG YES' it's ...so validating. We didn't tell coworkers for awhile and now we have just started and it is So Much Better. Good luck!

vunder

My thing about the books: I'm a good reader with a strong education who reads almost exclusively serious, smart books and not a lot of fluff or crap. And other books that come my way probably speak well of me: reference books, many travel guidebooks to interesting places, attractive gift and art and design type books, etc... But the impulse to impress with the books on one's bookshelf - and the corresponding impulse to judge others by the books on their shelves - irritates the fuck out of me. I would really rather get rid of them all than primp and preen them to show you what I've done and read and know.

Dirty Hands

If you don't like or need the books, LW4, there are tons of little and big organizations and thrift stores, and even people's random tag sales, that will take boxes of used books off your hands. Better make space for things you'd rather look at, and have your friends and random visitors looking at, I say! Even one meaningful trinket/framed photo per empty bookshelf would feel better for me to have around than that same shelf full of books that I'm never going to read, or be proud of having around, again.

dracula's ghost

probably no one is reading this far anymore, but this is the PERFECT place to tell this insane story:

my dad's uncle was a lifelong reader and collected a pretty enormous/rad number of books, including first editions, etc. Then one day later in life, he moved from his house into an apartment, and decided he didn't have room for his books. Did he take the books to whatever the Goodwill-equivalent was in the early 70s? Did he sell them in bulk at a yard sale? Did he even THROW THEM IN THE GARBAGE CAN, which would have been totally terrible and weird, but did he even do that?

No. He drove around the city in his car, throwing them out of the window one at a time until they were all gone.

That was his solution.

whateverlolawants

@dracula's ghost I want to do that, but I'd feel bad doing so.

Hellcat

@dracula's ghost Oh, I laughed out loud! Not that "end a text with LOL" shit, either; I really cackled--loudly and abruptly!

packedsuitcase

@Hellcat Same. Full on belly laugh!

Hellcat

@packedsuitcase I love picturing it; Dracula's Ghost, in my head, your great-uncle is almost like a (strangely specific) cartoon -- steering with his right hand while his shoulders and head are completely out the window as he gleefully tosses the books.

contrary

@dracula's ghost say what? Your dad's uncle sounds pretty great.

whateverlolawants

Oh, one thing I forgot to suggest with books: If you can get a decent price on Amazon.com, you can resell them for profit! (Although her books might be advance copies and ineligible for resale.) I've made several hundred dollars over the years reselling books here and there.

The Attic Wife

LW4: Everyone else already suggested great places to donate your books if they're in good condition, the library, the prison, book exchange, thrift stores, second hand places, shelters, the list goes on.

BUT...if your books are damaged (yellowing, stained, water-damaged or smell mildew-y) or really out of date (old encyclopedias, text books, guides to the solar system maintaining Pluto's status as a planet) then PLEASE throw them away. They can absolutely be recycled, but on behalf of librarians everywhere, PLEASE do not donate your damaged or outdated books. They're just going to wind up in the recycling bin anyway. Also, books that have been exposed to any significant amount of water are more than likely growing mold (those smelly books from the basement are DEFINITELY growing mold) and if they wind up on a shelf in a library or even your own bookshelf that mold will spread and kill all your literature.

So, in short, I know it seems blasphemous, but feel free to throw away your gross old books. Libraries throw out dozens of books a DAY, it's our dirty little secret.

TARDIStime

@The Attic Wife
*your Dirty Little Attic Wife... ;-)

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@The Attic Wife In some areas books (especially paperbacks!) can be recycled, which would also be an option. I ran the student co-operative bookstore in college and we ended up recycling a ton of stuff.

geek_tragedy

@frigwiggin

My cousin wore Vibrams to our grandmother's funeral. No, really.

This totally outs me to all those who know me IRL and heard the story.

(She threatened to wear flipflops.)

Plant Fire

This is super late but I have a question about the t shirt thing in case anyone is still reading. Is it rude to...refuse the t shirt? Not in a mean way but just setting it aside and then sleeping naked? I'm really not sure what I'd do if I were offered because I have some sensory issues that make clothes, and certain types of clothes super uncomfortable (t shirts are the worst offenders, mainly crew neck ones) and honestly I'd rather leave and go home (even if it was very late and very far away) than borrow some guy's t shirt. But I also don't want to offend anyone by passing on their offer of a post sex shirt?

A R 3287

@Sea Ermine Well, the few times it has been offered to me (like I said, it's when it's the first time I slept with the person, one of these someones I've so far only slept with once) I was like "No thanks," hopefully not in a way that signified "Hell, no." I don't think it's rude? If it makes a difference, I feel like it is offered more when in the context of like pretending you might just be "sleeping over" and not "hooking up" (except then you do hook up anyway).

In general for sleepwear, I often wear pajamas but sometimes I just wear underwear esp. if it's hot, it's really a toss-up. Actually, I am sensory sensitive too, but that's not why I find wearing the shirt of someone I just met weird.

Blushingflwr

@Sea Ermine I think you just say "that's really sweet, but I actually find that t-shirts make it hard for me to sleep comfortably". Acknowledge that it's not the gesture itself you're rejecting.

danpossiblytheman

@Sea Ermine as a dude, question one popped out at me. I occasionally lend t-shirts on request (i rarely offer them, but that's because I never sleep with one on, so you know, doesn't occur first thing after sex). Not taking an offered shirt is fine, and if it's not, that's the dude's fault. Who is the dude who is like, 'TAKE THIS SHIRT!! PUT IT ON!!' That is not a real person/that is a horrible person. Guys just offer shirts because they want you to be comfortable, and while the dude is right that a girl in a tshirt and underwear is hot, so is a girl in no-shirt and panties, or nothing at all, or really most clothing, sans parkas/rain coats (rain boots are cool). I happily lend shirts/basketball shorts on request, and if a guy is used to sleeping in a shirt himself/the last girl asked for one he's probably just assuming you want one.

danpossiblytheman

@danpossiblytheman Addendum: It's pretty safe to assume that a dude is, at almost every point in your initial interactions, making some sort of faulty assumption about what you want based on what he wants/what past women have wanted, and to (gently) set his ass straight if you want to speed up the process to where he's assuming what you want based on what he actually knows you want. That's what dudes mean when they say shit like, "We're not mind readers!" And again: if a guy ISN'T receptive to having those assumptions corrected, that's on him.

Inkling

@Sea Ermine
People seem to take that really really personally for some reason! One time a guy borderline insisted I wear his clothes (instead of pajamas) when walking two blocks back to my house. In a college town! I was like noooooope and he never called again.
I do find it pretty weird to have someone wear your clothing because you think they look attractive in it.

babs

The Best Time I Failed an Interview Because I Mentioned I Had Just Read and Enjoyed "Atlas Shrugged" (But Had Not Yet Realized Ayn Rand Was a Fascist Asshole)

TARDIStime

LW#4: Book Crossing! It's a way to gift your books to fellow enthusiasts in the ether!
Also: Amazon! Sell those babies back to the internet!
Also: Craigslist!
Also: Freecycle! (do a seasonal purge, maybe?)

miss buenos aires

@TARDIStime

Also: BookMooch!

Adult Footie Pajamas

In Portland, all the hot guys are pulling shots of espresso, or pouring water over grounds in a ceramic cone with a wee metal water pot. Or they are fixing bicycles.

Paket Wisata Pulau Tidung

Of course i think it is a politeness, a lot of men will do the same in that situation, because it is called gentleness and careness, many women like men who care about women and gentle. But its only my opinion. Thanks for sharing.
travel & tour paket wisata pulau pramuka murah 2013

leonardo23

A person necessarily assist to make severely posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual put up incredible. Wonderful task! vigrx plus ingredients

Edmon

Thank you for some other magnificent article. The place else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week vigrx coupon code

Edmon

Some really choice posts on this website vigrx coupon code

Edmon

Merely wanna comment that you have a very decent website vigrx plus coupon code

mikealbert

Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have putted it here
hsc result 2014

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account