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Tag search results for: "fusevy"
MzHeather

It is that time when I pretend that the search strings people typed in are actual questions. Details? What details. Mitigating circumstances? Ha! It’s all assumptions, all the time!

1 “Dating two sisters at the same time.” 

Your life is your own, obviously, but I’m not going to encourage obviously terrible decisions.

2 “Why a lady tells you that ‘let’s have a secret relationship.'”

People that want secret relationships tend to be:

a) Involved with someone else and don’t want them to know about you, with a high chance that they are breaking some rules or agreements they have with somebody else and lying about it.  Cheating, forbidden office romances or teacher/student, doctor/patient type stuff.

b) People who have something super-complicated going on. Legal battles (esp. divorce/custody stuff), public figures avoiding gossip and security threats, superheroes protecting their alter-egos.

c) Both/all of the above?

Definitely ask why, think about whether those seem like good reasons, and double-check anything that doesn’t seem right. Somebody who will lie about you has a more than zero percent chance of being comfortable lying to you.

3 “Reply for ‘I don’t go for looks.'”

My best guess is that this person is telling you they don’t like how you look, but want to date/sleep with you anyway, and they want you to know that they’re making some kind of generous concession. And it’s like, oh, buddy, don’t worry, I do go for looks, so this was never going to work out between us, happy trails!

My most generous read is that they’ve bought into the ‘people you find attractive are probably shallow and vapid, only ugly/average-looking people are deep and smart’ trope, they think this is a compliment, or they’re trying to talk themselves into the idea of you, using a story about how it’s what’s on the inside that counts. They are also foolish enough to do their thinking out loud, so you are eavesdropping on a conversation between them and themselves, and this is already way too much work.

4 “What’s wrong with correcting an employee in front of a customer?” 

Well, I’m imagining a retail/customer service/waitstaff thing here. If you are a manager and you see someone doing something incorrectly, or a customer is complaining and wants your employee to fetch you, what’s stopping you from pulling the employee aside to quietly check in with them and give them a chance to correct whatever it is themselves? What’s stopping you from briefly stepping in instead of your staffer and helping a hostile or particularly high-maintenance customer yourself? Isn’t that’s why they pay you the slightly bigger bucks? The customer gets helped, your employee gets supported.

I’m sure people can come up with all kinds of exceptions, and if there’s something absolutely wrong or unsafe going on, where it’s worth embarrassing an employee to stop something worse from happening, then correct away! Presumably knowing when and why to do this is also why they pay you more?

If you’re unsure of the difference, here’s a story about how not to be: The owner at a long-ago restaurant job I worked loved swooping in an being “The Mayor,” his whole schtick was “hands-on” guy, but it was never to back up the waitstaff, it was always to show how great he was instead of us. So he’d chuckle with the customers about how hard it is to “find good help these days” while I was within earshot, he’d grab whipped cream out of my hands to apply it “correctly” to a slice of pie without checking in about whether it was a special request from the customer, then yell at me five minutes later for “wasting” pie when I had to redo the order. He’d yell at us about accepting expired coupons and gift certificates before shift started, but when we’d say “no” to a customer during the shift, suddenly he’d be there to make sure “the customer is always right” and grant an exception. Whatever, it’s his business, but maybe skip the lectures and threats to take expired gift cards out of our tips if we accepted them? He once overheard me answering the phone when I worked the front counter with “Dude, please stop calling and get some help” and chewed me out in front of all my regulars about professional phone manners. Who was on the other end of that phone? The guy who called three times a shift to ask me if I had ticklish feet and could he masturbate on them. He also grabbed dirty dishes out of my hands more than once and threw them in the trash, making absolutely sure that the customer who used them, an AIDS patient from the nearby assisted living facility, could see and hear it.

Anyway, I quit that job in 1996, but last time I was in the area, I noticed there’s a new parking lot where his life’s work used to stand.

5 “I don’t like to chat on phone before meeting up.” 

If you are doing the online dating thing, probably filter for other people who share this preference or who will respect your boundaries and wishes, though I suggest considering some pandemic-flexibility around brief phone or video chats vs. in-person first dates, possibly with a decision matrix based on “how much you hate the phone” vs. “how bad you wanna meet any people/this particular person.” There are messaging apps and services like Google Voice that let you do this safely without giving out your cell# to anyone who asks.

6 “l want to free sex demon partiner online.” 

You want A free demon sex partner online? Maybe start with FetLife?

Or is it that you want TO free a demon who is also your online sex partner? Maybe revisit that Buffy episode where Willow tries online dating before you do anything Hellmouth-y.

7 “Is him watching my favorite shows a big sign of love?” 

It’s nice when someone you like gets interested in the things you like because you like them, it’s certainly not a sign of dislike or disinterest. But people don’t have to like the same media to like each other, love is going to need some conversations before you can count on it. May this be a good beginning!

8 “How do I break the news to my spouse that his youngest daughter moved in with her boyfriend?” 

What if it’s his daughter’s job to tell her dad what she wants him to know, when she wants him to know it?

You didn’t say she was your daughter, so get out of the middle and reject the roles of secret keeper or messenger. “You should call your dad or send him a note with your news.” “You should talk to your daughter about that.”

9 “Decided to post my first dick pic.” 

Wow, big milestone! I can’t congratulate you without knowing where you sent it and how consensual and expected it all was, so forgive me if I don’t immediately record it in the family newsletter, but good luck out there and remember, nobody wants to be surprised with images of your privates. If it’s not a forum where people share and expect to see that stuff consensually, or if you’re texting back and forth with someone, and it’s too awkward to ask first and wait for a yes, then it’s definitely too awkward to send it.

10 “I was fired for lecturing my coworkers about the vegan way of life.” 

Well, everybody loves being lectured, what could have possibly gone wrong?

This has inspired me to do some chart/visual-aid making, while I’m working on that, here’s what I’ll say with some confidence:

  • It wasn’t the veganism, it was the lectures. You were either so annoying about this that it didn’t matter how good at your job you were or so bad/mediocre at your job that it wasn’t work putting up with how annoying you were. The better you were at your job, the more likely there was a series of meetings and awkward chats and warnings where they gave you every chance to knock it off before they showed you the door.
  • Nobody likes being lectured or preached at about anything, especially by coworkers, and nobody likes having their food judged. Do this enough, and even people who agree with you will start to groan when you start talking and find ways to avoid you, and there is not a single religion, lifestyle, political movement, fandom, or food choice that grants an exception to this.

I hope you land somewhere that’s a better fit for your lifestyle and obsessions and also learn the life-changing magic of keeping your eyes on your own plate when you’re at work.

Thank you for the diverting topics! I have deadlines this week so it was either “write post” or “read comments” but not both, so, enjoy.

MzHeather 34 minutes ago · Tags: fusevy, relationships, love
MzHeather
Dear Captain Awkward,
 
My (he/him) housemate (also he/him) wears skirts almost all the time, both at home and other places – knee-length and baggy. Which, you know, cool. He also mainly wears boxers, the kind with a wide leg.
 
The problem is that because he’s only really felt comfortable wearing skirts for a few months, he doesn’t have a lot of understanding about what they do and don’t cover in certain positions. Add in the wide-leg boxers, and he’s accidentally flashed me a number of times.
 
I’m certain this is accidental. He’ll be in the wrong position before I even come home from work, and there’s no hint of him moving to a more compromising position when I’m in the room. Also, although I’d be completely fine peeing while he’s in the shower, or vice versa – we only have one bathroom – unlike most of my other cis male friends, he told me he’s not comfortable doing that.
 
I’m also certain that he would be completely mortified to learn he’s flashed me, and possibly other people.
 
But I also really feel like I should tell him. So he can get underwear which covers more and be mindful of sitting with his knees together. Plus to stop him flashing anyone who doesn’t know that it’s a wardrobe malfunction and thus feels unsafe when he’s around.
 
But… what words? What medium? How do two very awkward people have an even more awkward discussion? I don’t want to see his junk, but I also don’t want him to feel he should stop wearing skirts.
 
Thanks for any advice,
 
Eyes averted.
 
Hello there, Eyes Averted!
 
I’ve been wearing skirts and dresses for 46 years, and sometimes they just don’t act right. Like the night I first met my future mother-in-law, for instance, when we were out at dinner, and I came back from the restroom not realizing I’d tucked the back of my skirt into my underpants and was giving the Lou Malnati’s dining room a sight they could never unsee. She noticed, and as I sat down, she leaned over and quietly said “double-check your skirt situation” or something similar. I quickly remedied the situation and thanked her for telling me. It was embarrassing, and there were many blushes and good-natured giggles to go around, but it was way less embarrassing for me and safer for my fellow deep-dish diners than if she hadn’t told me and I’d discovered it on my own later. She was brief, direct, and timely, and I appreciated all of that.  
 
Bodies are weird, and clothes are imperfect vessels, even for the fanciest people! Have you ever had your fly unzipped or accidentally had something hanging out of your shorts or swim trunks that shouldn’t be, and then had someone swiftly and quietly tell you about it? Like, “Hey buddy, the barn door’s open” or making that cross between a point and a wave gesture that means “Pull it together, friend”?  Have you ever had to do that with a fellow penis-operator who wasn’t in a skirt? What did you do or say? What happened afterward? I’m guessing here, but my strong suspicion is that it went fine. They told you, or you told them, everyone felt weird for a minute, and then the problem was solved. 
 
So, I think that’s exactly where you should aim, here. Next time you come home and accidentally glimpse your roommate’s undercarriage, say something right away, with the exact same tone you’d use if your workmate had their tie buttoned into their pants or toilet paper stuck to their shoe or spinach in their teeth: “Oh hey, how was your day? Whoops, hold up, your downstairs needs rearranging.” 
 
You’ll look politely away (throwing a hand up as you avert your eyes is a good non-verbal cue), he’ll fix it, he’ll probably be a little embarrassed and apologetic, so you’ll say, “No worries, it happens, and please always tell me if I’m giving you an accidental peep show.” Hopefully everyone will laugh sheepishly about it for a second, or bond over flashbacks to weird locker room moments, and then there will be a lovely subject change. 
 
In your shoes, I would also treat the next time as if it were the first time. If he doesn’t know it’s happening, then he doesn’t know that it’s a problem or how much overthinking you’ve been doing to avoid making him self-conscious about it. You get to restart the clock from the first time you say something. 
 
If it happens again? Because it probably will, while he’s figuring it out? It’s okay, you can do the same thing again, deliver the exact friendly, casual, helpful “Oops – wardrobe malfunction!” you’d want if a friend noticed your shorts were adrift or your fly was undone.
 
If it remains a serial problem after you speak up a time or three, that’s when to combine “Yikes, your skirt’s riding up again” (normal, calm, casual) with “Hey, I really don’t want to make it weird, but this seems to happening a lot? Maybe skirts require a more secure underpants situation than you’re used to?” Barring that, the less you make it about THE SKIRT and the more you make it about “clothes are weird, whatever, what were you saying?” the easier it will be. 
 
We all had to be taught to wear clothes, at some point, and I can recall approximately a million reminders about how to sit, as well as shopping trips for dance-briefs for show choir and slips for looking “professional” and finding bike-short-like solutions to prevent accidental butt-shows and chub-rub. I have, like, nine distinct kinds of underwear depending on what I’m wearing and where I’m headed and how I’m getting there! It’s not intuitive! It’s not strange that your friend would encounter a learning curve if he didn’t grow up in one of the many sarong, loincloth, robe, and kilt-wearing cultures on earth, where I presume parents give “how to dangle your jangles in polite company ” lessons, the same way they do with facial hair maintenance and tying a tie. There are many, many online guides out there for pants-wearers who want to branch out, and your housemate will figure it out. 
 
You don’t have to manage all of that for him or worry this much on his behalf. Telling him directly and calmly when there’s an observable problem, with the assumption that it’s unintentional and he’d want to know, is the way to be kind to everyone in your house, including your housemate, including yourself. Anyone who is truly doing this accidentally and who is some combination of self-conscious and self-aware about privacy and body parts (like a housemate who strongly believes that bathroom is alone time) will get the message and fix it ASAP. This is going to be okay. 
 
Comments are open. I want to hear especially from:

People who adopted skirt-wearing as adults: What was your “Not Accidentally Re-Creating Famous Subway Grate Glamour Shots” learning curve like? Where did you first learn The Good News about the boxer-brief compromise between freedom and secure containment? Did anyone have to helpfully remind you along the way? 

People with stories about being told about an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction and it going just fine.

People with guidance, examples, or strong opinions about when TO definitely say something vs. definitely NOT say something. I think my personal code, which I came up with just now, is built around a combination of “Is it fixable,” “Is it fixable fairly immediately” and “Can I tell them, and can they fix it, without making anything harder or worse.”

Example: A workmate’s sparkly necklace has become looped around one boob. She’s about to go up and give a presentation. I’d absolutely say “pssst, your necklace” or catch her eye and try to signal her about it if I could before she gets up there. Fixable! 

If she has already started her presentation? What necklace? There is no necklace. There was never a necklace. Maybe, if this thing is being recorded or broadcast, I find a way to interrupt or slip her a note, but otherwise I’m not going to interrupt her flow or draw attention away from her words if I can possibly help it. If it’s still tangled when she’s done, only when I could catch her privately in the hall or restroom, would l say “oh hey, your necklace,” as if I have just noticed it for the first time. If she asked how long it had been like that I would not lie, but I would also hope with my entire soul that she would not ask, so that she might be spared. 

If she had a stain on her shirt and would have to go home and change, that’s not immediately fixable, so I’d go with: Stain? What stain.

Where I learned this, I think: My very elegant, polished, Washington, D.C. boss once pulled a tampon (unused, thank Maude) out of her pocket instead of a laser pointer or pen during a client presentation, and began pointing out areas of the map on the slide with it. It had a blue plastic applicator and had come loose from the wrapper in her pocket, so it probably felt like a Sharpie or close enough, and she was very involved in what she was saying, so she didn’t notice for a while. The other women in the room froze, darting eyes at each other. I don’t think the men noticed, but if they did, they did not react. She eventually realized (the string was making a distinct shadow on the projection), said, “Oh” with a little laugh, tucked it back in her pocket, pulled out her pen, and kept right on going. 

In the Letter Writer’s situation, it’s fixable, it’s fixable right away, he’s stuck at the “oh no will I make it worse” stage, understandably, but at home, a quick “tuck yourself in, bud” isn’t going to shatter anyone’s world, which is why I’m firmly in the camp of “say the thing right now.” 

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