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swearing in the office & trying so hard it turns her off…

  • Hey Cat,
    I was in pain reading the question about the guy who bent over backwards trying to date that woman. Within three dates he takes her to all her favorite places, buys her cutesy little joke gifts, waits for her for hours, calls her when she goes away, calls her when she gets back, etc etc etc. OMG it was actually painful to read it as it went on. I’m really glad you told him that he tried too hard because he seems nice but he allowed himself to get treaded on. And then he wants a “reason” why they’re “done”? They never started! I hope he meets someone nice who appreciates his thoughtfulness but jeezus dude get a backbone!
  • Cat, Cat, Cat…
    Don’t you see why that girl blew him off? You say the theory about nice guys is stupid but it’s proof positive in this case. Ok that girl gave him clear signals and he did try too hard but if he blew her off she’d be putty in his hands. I know you’d frown on that because you’re all about courtesy (which everyone should be but they aren’t) but these are the games that must be played to get a woman’s attention or keep her attention once you have it initially. And to the guy in question: dude, don’t even think about calling her. She gave you about a hundred hints, wise up.
  • Hello,
    Yea I know you don’t need comments you already know everything:) That’s a joke. I am married 33 years. 57 years old but look 20 years younger even though I have a hard life as a caregiver to my dear disabled wife, sad story but regardless a true one. It’s been years now. What prompted this note? Your very astute comment about— some people just don’t click —you’re dead on accurate. My wife and I clicked years ago and why I still stand by her through health nightmares which she never asked for. I am regarded as a saint for staying with my wife when it seems most believe I have a perfect excuse to walk away. Nurses who I deal with all the time tell me how great a guy I am for sticking with my wife when in reality it’s really only what’s right, and what’s expected in the vows we both said. I enjoy your column from time to time. I am amazed how many people are just plain stupid making your job easy at times answering the obvious to even a child. — All the Best CC
  • Cat:
    I’m sorry, you blew that call. I’m a 46 year old biker and when it comes to foul language, I just don’t tolerate it. I did swear a lot. It’s nasty. Now I don’t put up with it at all, not even in bars. I speak right up and say something and I don’t care who you are. If it’s the boss that’s talking foul, say something and if he does it again say “That’s two!”. If he does it again walk out of the room. Believe me you would be surprised how many people who will back you up that feel the same way as you do. If you’re worried about being fired, don’t worry. If the boss fires you over that then he’s an idiot because foul language is a form of harassment and you can sue. There are people out there that don’t even realize how bad they swear. A lot of times they don’t even know they’re swearing. I didn’t till I saw a video of myself.
  • Cat,
    About swearing in the office, I get the sense people don’t understand how risky (or dumb) it is to tell your boss “Pardon me, but I don’t feel comfortable with the F word, please stop using it.” It’s a given that swear words aren’t good but flip the whole thing and see just because the word “shit” may offend someone doesn’t mean everyone else has to stop using it. I’m not defending swearing in the office, it’s pretty uncouth, but calling attention to it (unless it’s really directed at one person in an abusive way) just fuels the fire and makes others conform to whatever language and words are deemed appropriate for the person who’s offended. The real idiot is someone who risks their job taking some moral high ground about cursing.
  • Hi Cat,
    I love your column. Most of the time I feel you are right on but every once in a while I don’t agree with what you say and I hope that my openness is taken in a constructive way. This is one of those time I don’t agree. Believe it or not people used to get arrested for swearing in public and what may even be harder to believe is that it is still illegal although I don’t hear any reports about people landing in jail for dropping the ‘F’ bomb at the local mall. As for swearing in the workplace, swearing usually violates peoples rights as it aggressive and that’s sometimes worse than physical aggression. My disagreement comes in that the person who is not particularly offended by swearing in the workplace should not let it go. She said that it doesn’t bother her but the fact that she wrote must have triggered that something was wrong. And if she thought something was wrong it must bother her. Profanity never needs to be used. They are words in our language that does not communicate meaning or purpose. It only communicates attitude and a false sense of being for the person swearing. We are desensitized to profanity as it becomes more and more prevalent and thus we become detatched to the forces behind it. Language is a beautiful thing. We use language to encourage one another. We use our language to communicate in the building of our culture and technology. We say the right words in moments of caring and compassion. It should bother all of us in the fact that we take our words for granted. The fact that we can speak at all is a wonderful gift.
    —A perspective from an older citizen but not a lot older. Just a little bit.

mr. heartbreaker loves ms. brokenhearted…

  • I swear the first question today could have been written about me. I don’t know how to get one woman in particular to believe that my intentions are 100% gentlemanly and pure. Makes me want to beat the hell out of her old boyfriends. You’re right about not pushing or trying to bowl her over but what did you mean about not lying? What would I/that guy lie about? Do you mean don’t try to convince her that I’m perfect? I guess that makes sense or like don’t try to make her think I’m interested in everything she likes even if I’m not? I’ve been trying for months, how are long are you supposed to wait for a woman to “let you in”? Can you do a sequel question and answer that because I’m not done trying but I’m not supposed to wait forever right?
  • Dear Cat:
    I’ve just read your reply to National Guarded, whose long-distance boyfriend has issues with her socializing with her friends at her sister’s bar, I have two words for her – WATCH OUT!! Over twenty years ago, I was involved with a man who seemed to be everything I wanted. He was hard-working, a good dresser, a great dancer & reasonably intelligent. Eventually, we began cohabiting and that’s when his true colors surfaced. He turned out to be controlling, insecure, jealous, and threatening. He felt that the only time I could go out socially was with him and his family. This person tried (though unsuccessfully) to alienate me from my family & long-time friends. I reminded him that my family & friends were in my life long before I knew him & that they will be in my life long after he is a distant memory for me…then I packed whatever I could take with me at the time & LEFT!!! Take my advice, sweetie. No matter what you do or say, this guy is never going to believe that you are ‘faithful’. Get away & stay away from this immature pup. Good luck.
    —Signed… Knows What I’m Talking About
  • Hey Cat,
    First time writer here. I was in the Army and I’ve known a lot of guys like National Guarded. They’re afraid their girls will cheat on them while they’re gone. I understand that but that jealousy is exerting manliness in the caveman way. We’re talking about her sister’s bar where she probably knows 99% of the people who go there. She said they’ve been together “on and off” and that makes me question if the relationship is stable to begin with. She’d probably feel too guilty to end it while he’s away but it’s what she should do. Jealousy in little bits is understandable but if it causes fights they’re going to break up eventually.
  • Because it’s Veteran’s Day and I’m a veteran of three wars (Vietnam, Beirut and Desert Storm), I’ll respond to your National Guarded writer in today’s P-G. The servicemen off to war are afraid of Jody at home. He’s the reason for the Dear John letters. And when you come back from a year’s deployment overseas and find your wife/girl with a new one-month old baby in the crib, and a pair of size 9 shoes under your bed when you wear a size 10, Jody’s been there. When you go to the bank and find all the money you sent home is spent, Jody’s been there. When you come back and there’s an extra 12,000 miles on your truck, Jody’s been there. Jane Fonda won an Academy Award as the lonely wife and Jon Voight was the Jody in “Coming Home”. I could go on because I’ve been on the deployed SAP’s side (sorry-assed private) in my three wars. So has your fellow columnist Corporal Reg Henry, ask him. The Marines have songs we sing while running with cadence called “Jodys”. But this war, I’m going to be the Jody. So don’t harsh my fun and set me up with her. As Jody says, “if the poor dumb SAP won’t take care of his woman, I will.” —Jody
  • Word of warning to National Guarded, if he gets “really angry” because you go out with your friends, he does not really love you. He is trying to control you which is one of the first signs of a potential abuser. You mention that you have been seeing him on and off for about two years. Why has it not been steady? Take a close look at your relationship with him. Has he done things in the past that didn’t seem right, or made you uncomfortable? If so, listen to your instincts. Odds are, his behavior will only get worse.

educate yourself and vote! & seeing a friend in a new light…

  • Hi Cat,
    I was going to write in about the woman who thinks she might like her friend romantically but I see everyone is commenting on the election so I will too! I stood in a long line this morning but I didn’t care. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I swear just the act of voting after all this build up made me feel better. But about the woman who likes her friend... she should just tell him 100% straight how she feels and then they can go slow, which is how they should proceed anyway! Of course this depends on him liking her too but maybe that was implied. —Sarah P. (not Palin! in Brooklyn)
  • Oh dear Cat! I was waiting for you to slam dunk that undecided guy!! How can ANYONE be undecided in this election?? I know you wanted to wash the floor with that guy! Admit it! I just came from the voting booth and I feel grrrreat. I do like your suggestion about reading the Declaration of Independence though. Good call, as usual. BTW, about the woman who’s starting to see her male friend in a romantic way – she should go for it. —Robert (Michigan)
  • Cat,
    I know you’re a very politically-aware person and I just want to share my thoughts about this election. No matter who somebody votes for, I feel honored to vote and I hope people follow your suggestion and think hard about which candidate reflects the inspiration this country was founded on. —Deb (Erie, PA)
  • Dear Cat,
    How can you possibly educate yourself? I never realized how bad the news coverage was in Pennsylvania until I lived in Florida for five years. In Florida the news media provides sample ballots, coverage of all the candidates, location of the polling places, and reasons for their recommendations. Florida also sends sample ballots to all registered voters. The Pennsylvania news media provides very little information and coverage of anyone other than the presidential candidates. Therefore, since I moved back to Pennsylvania I have made a habit of getting sample ballots at the polls and performing a final review before I go into the booth to vote. This year they would not let me see a ballot until I entered the voting booth. I could not understand how people could still be undecided, but I am beginning to see the light.
    —Bob R. (Freeport Pa)
  • Hi Cat,
    I imagine you’re excited about election day. I’ve read your stuff about politics and voting (including today’s column) and I agree, it’s very important for people to not waste their right to vote. I really love that you suggest the guy read the Declaration of Independence.

when a friend isn’t so ‘green’ & saying I Like You… after it’s over

  • Cat,
    Doesn’t Ms. Judgmental have anything better to do with her time than determine the exact level of her friend’s hypocrisy? As you’ve said about people in the past: she needs a hobby.
  • Hi Cat,
    I just want to share my story about going back with someone after she dumped me. I dated a woman I liked very much and after a few months she ended it because she said I was non-committal. The thing is that I actually wanted to get more serious with her but we just never went in that direction (mutually, I swear it wasn’t just me.) After a few weeks of not seeing her I really missed her company and knew I should have fought her more when she ended it. I didn’t, of course, I just said something like, “if that’s how you feel, I must respect it.” Fast forward to now… it’s 5 months later, we live together, I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled and she’s in the other room working – with a big engagement ring on her finger : ) If 20/20 Hindsight misses that guy half as much as I missed my fiancee after we broke up, she should give him a call.
  • Hey Cat,
    Why can’t people just leave other alone and let them do their thing? Today’s column about the ‘green’ friend is a perfect example of someone who only sees negative qualities in others, and this is someone she (or is it a he?) calls a friend! They should be happy their friend cares about the environment, who cares if they’re not perfect?? I like the way you spun it and you didn’t come down too hard on them. I would have : )
  • Cat:
    You’re right that the guy is both judgmental and justified because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I know a lot of people who care deeply about the future of the environment and none of them are perfectly green. Unless you live in a teepee or you’re Amish, how can you be? You have to get to work and buy at least a few things to keep comfortable. That girl should think less about herself and her friend’s acceptable level of “greenness” and be glad there are ANY people who care. —S.J. (St. Louis, MO)
  • Cat,
    Sorry but I 100% disagree with your calls today. First of all, the ‘green’ friend is a total hypocrite and his friend has every right to say it. If that friend didn’t drive everywhere and eat at the fast food chains that are a plight to the environment around the world, he wouldn’t have to be such an ‘environmentalist.’ Fine nobody’s perfect but it’s the cumulative impact our small daily activities that have the greatest effect. Second, the girl who never opened up during her relationship but now that she’s dumped wants to say her piece? She should move on and let the guy find someone who needs less emotional coddling. I’ve read you every week for years and I know you put a lot of thought into your positions and we could probably debate all day long (you might even win!) but I wanted to get my dissent up on the board.
    —J.J. (New York, NY)
  • Cat:
    I’m so tired of people who never say anything positive during dating, then they get dumped and feel the need to let it all out. That woman claims neither of them opened up about their feelings when they were together but doesn’t that just mean they’d be better suited for other people? It doesn’t even sound that believable. He never said how much he liked her or wanted to see her, but all of a sudden he dumps her because he wanted them to spend more time together? Doesn’t add up, sorry. She probably played hard to get, or she didn’t like him all that much and he just ended it and she has sour grapes. Good call about no bothering to call him if she just feels guilty. We’ve all had those phone calls and they don’t achieve anything. —Give Me A Break in PGH, PA

courting from afar & tantrums are ruining the relationship

  • Cat, long distance relationships are really hard, that guy’s lucky it lasted this long. Probably means something. I’ve never heard of one lasting more than six months. Well they last if the couple starts off in the same location and someone has to move away but starting off long-distance gives them about 1/100 chance.
  • Hi Cat,
    I disagree with the person who said relationships that start off as long-distance will probably fail. I think in some ways you have a better chance because it gives you time to get to know someone without physical contact (sex or anything else) as a crutch. And not only as a crutch but also as a distraction. Believe me, I’m not against sex! But you can get confused between liking someone for who they are vs. being attracted to them and knowing you can ‘have’ them whenever you want. Distance makes you long for someone in a real way.
  • To the person who says long-distance relationships have a 1 in 100 chance of surviving, well then I must be that 1 chance! I have been in a distance relationship (I’m in Pittsburgh, he’s based out of NYC but travels very frequently) for a year and half. I admit it’s not for everyone, but if it’s the right person, it will last! You do what you have to (and yes that means making some serious sacrifices.) I was pessimistic at the beginning, but now I truly do believe that “absence makes the heart grow fonder!”
  • The tantrum-throwing kid needs a spank. So other readers don’t think I’m advocating abuse, I mean the kid needs the shock of getting spanked to know she can’t throw her hissy fits with no consequences. If I was in the guy’s shoes, I’d hit the road.
  • Years ago, my mother watched a little girl. She was a sweet girl but apparently was prone to throwing tantrums. One hot, sticky summer day, in the midst of one of her crying fits, my mother put her onto the back porch, went back into the kitchen and filled the dishpan with some fresh lukewarm water. She dumped all of the water onto Jill, who threw an even bigger fit. My mother refilled the dishpan and then dumped the water on Jill again and returned to the kitchen and refilled the dishpan. But before she could dump the water again, Jill said, “Aunt Mary, I think that I’m finished.” By this time, they were both soaked, and Jill never threw another tantrum. Years later, she and my mother would really laugh about it.
  • The little tantrum girl DOES need to be disciplined, like the other commenter said. And I give you major credit for offering advice even though you’re not a professional “expert.” (many people would say a non-expert has no business addressing a topic like this but they’re the ones whose kids are terrors.) You say publicly what they’re afraid to say – kids shouldn’t run any household and parents need to toughen up! That’s an unpopular position in this era but it’s true. Look around the world and compare the behavior of foreign kids to american kids. They’re all well behaved and our kids are out of control, uneducated, gluttonous spoiled brats. They all have potential but too many parents let them slide with minimal restrictions. They’ll sooner let tv teach their children rather than do it themselves.
  • I agree with your response to little tantrum girl. I have a 2-1/2 year that I had later in life and am raising by myself. I have taught her from day one that I am her mother and she is always to respect me and other adults, and that behaving badly is not acceptable, especially in public. I often receive nice comments from people about how well behaved she is in public, and they can’t believe that she is only 2 years old. She can sit quietly in a restaurant with me without running around and disturbing other patrons.
  • I am so sick of people thinking it is o.k. to ‘offer’ advice to parents. Children do not come with a handbook. EVERY parent is trying to raise children every day through trial and error. Perhaps this child has a medical problem or is spoiled. Who knows. However, she will always be the mother’s child no matter what. Too bad the boyfriend may not make it. It is a very hard decision about what to do with a child who ‘acts out’. Parents can’t win. Some would think spanking is over reacting. Some think allowing the child to work it out is too lenient. I love how people who are not the parent always know exactly what should be done. Shame on those who throw stones at people trying the best they can to parent. This guy is obviously not patient and doesn’t realize that she doesn’t have to take his suggestion and run with it. — Get Over It
  • Cat, you know what’s really annoying? When people defend parents (usually themelves) who let their kids get away with anything. And then they tell others how hard it is to be a parent, etc. and we should respect a mother’s choice in raising her kid however she wants. That woman (above) said “every” parent tries so hard to raise their kids. That’s not true! Lots of parents ignore their kids, set terrible examples which the kids follow, and hell some parents outright abandon their kids. Happens every day. She needs to get over it and quit the “whining mother” routine. Raising kids is really hard. No kidding – really? I have three beautiful children and I wouldn’t put up with tantrums from them any more than I’d put up with them from my husband! That mother is lucky she’s got a guy who didn’t take off long ago. She’s acting as spoiled as her tantrum-throwing daughter.

former beau is bankrupt & upgrading an old wedding present…

  • Hi Cat,
    I had to write in when I read about the old boyfriend who eventually went broke. Almost the exact same thing happened to me, and I don’t know how those two broke up but in my case my ex accused me of being ‘money grubbing’ because I worried about his excessive spending. I’m not like that at all! It broke my heart when we broke up but of course he ended up getting married to a dumb girl who didn’t question anything and wouldn’t you know it, a year later they were in the poor house. I don’t think they filed for bankruptcy or anything but they had to sell their house, she’s divorcing him, all of it. I’m really glad to see a woman telling other women that it’s ok (and smart!) NOT to get married in cases like this. Back then even my own friends said I should marry him because he made good money, etc. I knew it would have been a disaster and ha! I was right!
  • Cat:
    I know your advice to that girl who misses her now-bankrupt ex is smart, rational, and responsible but did you consider this: if she stayed with him there’s no guarantee they would have ended up going bankrupt. Her concerns about his spending might have made a positive influence on his money habits. That IS what spouses are supposed to do for each other, right? They’re supposed to be your other half and sometimes that means being smart when the other one is being stupid. Seems like she really loved him so even though you’re probably right, it’s impossible to know.
  • Hi Cat,
    I am the writer in your latest column – ex-boyfriend who’s in bankruptcy. Thank you for such great advice, as usual. The feedback so far on it is great. Reading the comments I wanted to add a couple more things that they addressed. I tried to address his money spending a few times and it made me the “bad guy” since he was the “good guy” buying everyone everything. Sometimes it’s hard to try to help other people with money matters (especially when it’s not your money) in the right way. I wanted to help and work with him regarding his finances but I think there were a lot of issues starting with him not wanting to deal with it himself and me not wanting to constantly be the “bad guy”. I desperately didn’t want that role because I felt he would hate me for it. Wouldn’t most people over time resent someone who told them they can’t buy something they want . . .on a daily basis? I know some people think it wouldn’t have to be that bad, but it was. . . and ended up in bankruptcy. Love your column, keep up the great advice!
  • Hi Cat,
    Regarding the wedding present, isn’t it customary to return all wedding gifts if the marriage dissolves within the first year? It seems tacky to me to not only keep a wedding gift, but to then ask for a different model when you’re not even staying in the marriage… even if it is her sister.
  • Cat,
    There is no way that the guy should be upgrading a gift for a marriage that ended in 8 months – sister or not.
  • Your response to the sister who is now divorcing was generous! 1. She is asking about a gift from last summer? What was it that she had to have but didn’t have to use yet? 2. A wedding gift is just that, a gift. There is no promise or requirement to match to the registry. While I agree that the easy way out is to spend the extra money for the sibling, that sibling is a bit spoiled. (Any chance it is one of the reasons that she is divorced?)
  • Dear Cat:
    In response to the sister’s wedding present, I feel that you overlooked some key facts in the situation. While the author does not explain what effect buying the wrong model has on his sister (is it not compatible with another device, or is it just a different model?), it took her over a year to notice. Therefore, how important could the model type be? Plus, she clearly valued it enough to negotiate for it in the divorce, so it seems rude and tacky on her part to demand an upgrade now. While I see your point that she is his sister, why should he have to replace it now? She could have traded it in for the better model when the gift was given, and diplomatically explained to her brother she didn’t keep it because she needed a specific model (without demanding the extra cost), and, at that time, he could have offered to pay the difference. I don’t think anyone can question a gift given, especially after so much time gone by…. after all, it’s the intent/thought that counts!
  • They got divorced after 8 months. Shouldn’t they be sending the gifts back, not asking for the “correct” model? I’m sure her sister will expect another gift at her next wedding.
  • Regarding the wedding gift. How tacky that 14 months after the wedding the bride discovered that the gift was all wrong! And how utterly classless that she is making an issue of it! Plus, every etiquette book I’ve ever read instructs the happy couple to return ALL gifts if the marriage last less than a year. Not only does this bride have no class, but she is rude and greedy. Humility is not a word that seems to appear in her dictionary.

she ‘refuses’ to lose weight & sneaky beau has got to go…

  • Hello Cat,
    I am the writer of that Sneaky Beau has got to go letter and I want to thank you for your advice. I am taking all of it into consideration and it goes right along with what I have been thinking. I just wanted to add that I have thought about staying and seeing the relationship through for the stability the relationship will show my children, but at the same time children are very smart and know when something is wrong. I do agree that no woman should have to describe her beau, husband, father of her children as sneaky, but next question is: why did he bother to purchase and ring and ask me to marry him? That I do not get. I have tried to leave him before and he has done whatever he could to get me to stay. What is in it for him? If you don’t fully trust your wife-to-be to talk to her about what is bothering you, then why not find somebody who you can discuss these things with and feel comfortable doing it?
  • That is an excellent question, one you should ask him… before marrying him. At this point, what’s most important is whether you feel comfortable with him. Try not to overthink what his issues may be. You have a child now, and you need to think first about what your issues (you and your child’s) would be while married to a man who sneaks around and makes you uneasy. —Cat
  • Hi Cat,
    You really outdid yourself with your response to Mr. Motivator in today’s P-G. I have a 16 year old daughter and I am in constant amazement of how many of her friends allow guys to walk all over them. I spend a great deal of time in conversation with her about self esteem, self respect, and choosing the right friends / boyfriends to occupy her time. So far, so good. She is a bright, articulate young lady who carries herself with confidence but so many of her friends do not. We are doing our girls such a disservice when we teach them to think the Mr. Motivator behavior is acceptable. It so isn’t and I am grateful for those of you in the media who stand up and say so.
  • weight loss man is a major douche bag. he needs to get over himself – i am sure more than 3/4 of the female population wouldn’t touch that jerk with a stick…
  • Loved your response in today’s column to the guy who wanted his girlfriend to lose weight. You were spot on!!! How low can the guy actually sink? Obviously, he cannot love her (or anyone!!) unconditionally….. he’s too tied up in what someone looks like and not who they are. I hope his girlfriend gets the guts to leave. She deserves much more than this guy could ever possibly give.
  • I have the same problems as Mr. Motivator and don’t know what to say to my old lady without insulting her. Your answer to him was pretty much that he was a jerk. Are all women just too over sensitive and we are screwed? I want to know an answer because we are getting married and she complains how she is fat and needs to lose weight, but when I try to motivate her she gets upset. Am I a jerk too?
  • Hello
    I am a loyal fan of your column, but I really had a problem with your response to the man who tried everything to get his girlfriend to lose weight- I have recently lost 120 pounds, my husband has lost 70. I think you overreacted to only the negative side of his argument. What is wrong with wanting the person you are planning to spend the rest of your life with to stay healthy? When you are really overweight, you need to keep a positive attitude because if you do not keep telling yourself that there is more to you than weight, you will become very depressed, but this also really hurts an overweight person. Now that i have lost a lot of weight, I realize how unhealthy I was. I was not going to live very long. If your partner can not keep up with you, share in the life you want and deserve and live a long life with you what is the point. How can he really love someone that doesn’t love herself, if she did, she would want to live. I can not stress enough how unhealthy extra weight can be. It is not something that should be taken lightly. I think the man should be commended for trying everything that he could think of to motivate his partner to live. I have seen the light, I hope his girlfriend does as well.

dress to impress & showing some breast…

  • Hi Cat,
    You are definitely right on with the bra or no bra comment. Guys are funny and that should mean something coming from someone who is of that gender. It seems like you can take the man out of the cave but you can’t take the cave out of the man. Men tend to be very possessive. After all we’re only talking about nipples for corn sakes. We all got ‘em. Maybe he should be made to wear a bra too so his nipples don’t show. He should get over it.
  • I read your answer to Can’t Wait for the Date and loved it. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years now, we were friends first and then began dating. When he asked me out, I was unsure if it was a date or just hanging out. He arrived wearing jeans, brown loafers, a blue button down shirt (tucked in) and a brown belt. Plus I noticed that his hair was styled and his face was freshly shaved. In the past I had only seen him in t-shirts. I knew from his extra effort that he was very interested! We have been inseparable since. Good luck, CWFTD!
    Sincerely, “In Love”
  • Hey Cat,
    I read your column every week and pretty much agree with all of your advice (not that you really care, but thought I’d share). Anyway, although I THINK I agree with your assessment of the Bra, No Bra issue, I have to wonder about these two women who are walking around their house braless. First, they are going to regret doing so by the time they are in their 40s; second, I have to question why they are braless. I mean, we all know the contraints of those contraptions, but realizing there are young men around on a regular basis, I have to question their motives. It is one thing to relax around your house braless when it’s just you and your spouse. But when these women obviously know that young, impressionable men are around . . . what’s really going on? Are they looking for a reaction or getting a kick out of the young men staring at them? This is nothing but an ego trip and poor judgment.
  • Cat,
    Girl, did you get that right! Bras drive me nuts. I find them uncomfortable and constraining. They’re a pain to fit, clean, and adjust. They’re expensive, they add a layer of complication to sartorial decisions. They’re occasionally very sexy. But I like to choose when to bother with them. Wish we were back in the ’60s. In the meantime, I usually wear them because of the stigma attached to a nicely endowed woman sans brassiere. Thanks for the answer, nicely on point, no pun intended.
  • Re: Radar…headlights…Owners of breasts….
    Not to put too fine a point on it (“point” on it…get it…high-sterical…what a caution), but what would be your call on me if I went to some summer soiree with really tight pants in some tropical fabric, and I’m commando, and Mr. Johnson is nicely outlined for all to see all night, and occasionally, as the Mr. Johnsons of the world are wont to do, he rouses himself two or three times at some sort of attention, and all the nice ladies (and men) notice his bas relief uncircumcised head? Would you say that it’s totally up to the owner of the dick…in this case, my dick? Hmmm?
  • Dear Mr. Johnson,
    That’s exactly what I’d say. —Cat
  • Hi,
    I think you missed the point about the appropriateness of braless women in the home. You opined that the choice should be left to the woman. That was a very 21st century answer. In the 60’s, women fought to gain a platform of respect because they perceived themselves to be treated as second-class citizens. The argument was that men thought of women too often for their physical attributes rather than for their mind and soul. After 40 years of battling public perception, women are much more equal in the workplace than before. After four decades of forsaking the home for the business suit, the culture has much greater respect for the working attributes of the softer gender. Going braless seems to be quite a step backwards in that public evolution. As far as the guys, they probably love the look. With the traffic in that home, it seems that it is a more public place than a private place. Blinders on was respectfully asking for the appropriate place for the “line in the sand”. The fact that the question was addressed to you represented a strong show of respect for helping draw that line for him and his friends. I think going braless betrays the work of that generation of American “sisters”. Again, I’m sure the guys love it but if I were a woman, I wouldn’t want my body hanging our there for everyone to see – I would keep it covered up, only to be enjoyed by my husband. Thanks.
    — K.D., Newport News, VA
  • On the question of the day: the choice is the wearer’s but I don’t think that’s the only question. What about the reactions? I think the asker’s concern at a basic level is about control, and the reason for the concern is that he doesn’t have control and is uncomfortable with other people’s reactions to the sight of his wife’s nipples showing through her shirt.
  • Your suggestions for the dress to impress Lawyer going on his first date with the fashionable woman was right on. I would also suggest going with whatever makes him most comfortable. He wants to show he is confident and relaxed while displaying some fashion. Also give your loafers a good polish. One of the worst things you can do is go on a first date in a pair of dingy scuffed up shoes. A nice polish completes the look and shows that you care about your appearance. Leave the white socks in your gym bag and carry a clean handkerchief for those moments when she may need a tissue. Good luck on your date and be yourself.

The woman who supposedly needs to defend her relationship actually needs to shut up about it. I get where she’s coming from and she wants her mom to support it. But it’s not her mom’s job to give her ‘blessing’ to her grown daughter’s boyfriend. Ok I agree she shouldn’t be making snide comments about him but both of them should just keep their mouths shut and talk about something important. If the woman married her boyfriend that’s a different story but until then, why should the mother care either way?

Hey Cat,
I have never written to an advice column before but I had to chime in about the Possible Stepmom situation. I’m a single guy, never been married (by choice), 35yrs old, very successful and believe me I’m not old fashioned in any way. I would still say you’re dead on about those two getting married. They are a prime example of what’s wrong with homes across this country and kids growing up in makeshift “families” not knowing which end is up. No teenage girl is going to automatically respect the woman her daddy calls, “my girlfriend.” That would change if it were daddy’s wife. It’s obvious you’re not an old fashioned girl but you see that point about them getting married is the crux of the whole problem. Good insight.

Good morning, Cat!
Regarding your response to Possible Stepmom, I wholeheartedly concur with your suggestion that they get married. I think part of the problem with the daughter is a sense of instability in the home. Knowing they aren’t married means that her home life could be changed at any time. The Possible Stepmom has even raised that with her ‘ultimatum’ that the boyfriend do something about it or move out. Part of me thinks the daughter has gone through this before with Dad’s other girlfriends, it sounds kinda ‘been there, done this’ to me. As a teacher, I see my students act out in unusual and sometimes bitter ways when the home life starts to crumble. Good and respectful students become sullen, withdrawn, and moody, and eventually lash out, expressing their own fears and uncertainty about their future (which is in the hands of parents and/or parents’ lovers). Even with my own little boys, I find that structure, security, and hearing their Daddy tell their Mommy he loves her so much (on a regular basis) makes them very happy and safe. There really are benefits to marriage beyond the usual reasons. I look forward to Tuesdays, Cat!
— Jonathan J. (Bradenton, Florida)

I sent you an email a while back regarding an ex boyfriend who I was still seeing but he was engaged. He admitted to me he didn’t want to get married, and you told me he probably wouldn’t. I’m writing to tell you he isn’t, and now he’s trying to once again come back into my life, which I won’t allow. Thanks for the advice, and my feeling is I’m glad I’m not his fiancée. Shacking up with a man who doesn’t call the wedding off, is cheating on you and clearly doesn’t know what he wants… I never knew losing love could actually feel so good. Thanks!

  • You’re welcome, thanks for the update! And… Bravo! —Cat