Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Gentleman Is Never a Soulless Drone

Dear Gentlemen,
I feel like I am a soulless drone being forced through a meaningless life. I make $65,000 working in an office where we produce something related to the financial industry. Whatever. Any advice?

Forlorn in Frankfort

Dear Forlorn,
Your whining disgusts us. Gentlemen don't whine. Not ever.

You are an adult, earn an adult wage, and are responsible for your own happiness. Mommy and daddy can't help you anymore. That means whining is out too.

As gentlemen say among other gentlemen: You have to do whatever you need to do to keep your dick up. That, more than your office-related mumbling and shuffling, is your real job.

Stay interested. If that means collecting butterflies, or dressing up in leather, or trying out for the Philadelphia Eagles, then do it. Find it and chase it hard. Meaning in life is something that you create through effort, not something handed to you by the guidance counselor you imagine runs the universe.

In sum: Suck it up and hop to it.

Not With a Whimper But a Bang,
The Gentlemen

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flirting On Business Trips

Dear Gentlemen,
I am a newly married man who, because of his work, often finds himself alone in social situations with flirtatious women. My general tendency after years of bachelorhood is to flirt back, even when I mean nothing by it. But it's easy to see how such flirting could get me into trouble. I realize I have to draw a line, but where? In a casual office conversation? Should I skip after-work drinks? Should I simply be more reserved? Your advice would be much appreciated.
Sanford, Stamford

Dear Sanford,
Don't be a flirt. Don't let anyone get the idea that you would have sex with anyone but your wife. It is thrilling to know that you still have it - that women want you. But ultimately it makes you look like you do not take your vows seriously, that you are dishonest and that you are sort of a joke.

But be friendly. I never trust anyone too serious or too extroverted. You just have to lay off the flirty behavior. Don't talk about sex or making out. Don't touch her back as you politely pull out a chair. Keep your chivalrous distance. You can get after-work drinks with a group, but avoid socializing that seems anything like a date.

The truth is that you know when you are crossing the line, but you love the rush of being loved. Everyone does, but a gentleman lives with the love that he married.

The Gentlemen

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gentleman, Neighbor

Dear Gentlemen,
I have lived in Brooklyn for many years. I have a new neighbor, a rich white girl, who complains about the noise I make. Not only do I not give a shit, I think anyone who lives in Brooklyn is obligated to not care about noise. If you want peace and quiet, then move to the entire rest of the country.

Can I tell this bunched up bitch to move to Jersey or do I have to stop listening to music after midnight?

J. in Brooklyn

Dear J.,
Many gentlemen live in Brooklyn. So do many children, parents, elderly people and working people who don’t want to hear your music, especially through the walls of their homes throughout the night. It’s a wonderful place, but not a free-fire zone for inconsiderate behavior.

Being neighborly will enrich your life in unforeseen ways. Midnight is a fair compromise. Consider headphones.

The Gentlemen

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Deflowering a Virgin in the Third Millennium

Dear Gentlemen, I recently started dating a girl. I am in my late 20’s and she is in her early 20’s. She is a fine girl, but she is a virgin. I don't really want to be her one and only. I also don't feel that qualified to be her coach. I am pretty sure she is not waiting for religious or moral reasons. It just has not happened.

What should I do? And should I feel bad about it? Is it irrational for me to think having a girl with only one sexual partner is somehow a negative thing?

Conner, Hyannis MA

Dear Conner,
You’re not wrong to feel as you do. Taking a girl’s virginity means, on a primordial, preverbal level, taking some responsibility for her. And today’s permissive sexual environment actually has the strange effect of magnifying that sense.

But take a step back and think about the girl. As awkward and daunting as it is for you, it is likely much moreso for her. From how you describe her, she probably wants to get it over with and negate it as an issue.

And I wouldn’t worry about being her “one and only.” First, it’s not that century. Second, there’s a good chance that it won’t be exactly a mind-blowing experience. So go into it with a clear conscience, be patient and have some fun. It beats being with a girl with some dude's name scrawled on her body.

The Gentlemen

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How a Gentleman Turns Down a Hired Lady

Dear Gentlemen,
I was out drinking with a friend of mine the other night. We are both in our 20s and single. After a good night of drinking my buddy declared, "I'm buying you a girl! It's gonna be great."

So we went back to his high rise apartment in the city and he called an escort service and had two girls come over. He chose the better looking girl and went into his bedroom and left me and a tired looking Russian woman in his living room.

How should I have proceeded?

Expectantly, NYC

Dear Expectantly,
As a gentleman gets older, he can list an increasing number of things that once seemed like a great idea, but now just smell wrong. This sounds like one of them.

There are a lot of reasons to turn down a prostitute, even a free one. There’s the possibility of disease, legal risks, the diminishment of her dignity, the diminishment of your dignity, the chance someone will find out, and the psychological warping that can occur from associating money too closely with sexual release. There’s also the danger that you not like the look or the smell of that particular hooker.
So unless you need to sleep with the hooker as some part of a business negotiation or diplomatic mission, then feel free to walk away. Just because your friend is feeling generous doesn’t mean you have to play along to quite that extent. Pat your prostitute on the derriere and send her in to work with her colleague on your friend, and call it a night.

With Restraint,
The Gentlemen

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When a Gentleman's Blog Flags

Dear Gentlemen,
I'm a blogger and lately I've been slacking off on posting to my blog. It's been, like, a week since I put anything up. Should I feel bad? Am I letting my loyal readers down? Or in this information age of virtual reality and no consequences "human" interaction should I feel justified flaking out?

The second part of my question is this: Is it gentlemanly to blog at all? Does a gentleman subject his fellow members of society to yet another trite and biased information stream?

Building a Blog Cabin in Bloomington 

Dear Mr. Bloomington,
We will take the last part of your question first, as it relates to the first. Blogging would seem, at first blush, to contradict the ancient gentleman’s dictum to Keep it to yourself. And if one surveys the blogosphere, it is populated by fewer gentlemen than the other sort of fellow.

But if a gentleman has specialized knowledge to impart in the fields of hunting, fishing, or even say ethics and etiquette, then he is doing his fellow man a favor by generously sharing that wisdom, and should be applauded, even paid handsomely (certainly his sponsors should be clicked on and patronized). The medium he chooses could be a fiery speech, a leather-bound tome or a blog. The medium matters little.

Now, assuming that you are enriching your readers with your blog, you should not abandon them. But if your interest has waned, then you may need to pause, take a few days or a week off and refocus yourself. The most common sin of the blogger, tweeter, television talking head or button-holing party bore is to speak incessantly without taking the time to contemplate or learn more than he already knows.

Every field must lay fallow once in a while if it is to produce anything of value.

The Gentlemen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How a Gentleman Murders a Pet

Dear Gentlemen,
The family cat has become a burden. It pees in my closet. The time has come to end the relationship. The kids love the cat. My wife likes the cat. But I can't occasionally go to work smelling like cat urine. I'm ready to do the deed, but I figured a little advice from pros like you might help me avoid a major catastrophe.

Can I kill the family cat and tell my family that it just ran away and they shouldn't leave the back door open?

Kindly Yours,
Mike, CT

Dear Mike,
Your eagerness to murder the family cat is something that could probably bear introspection. There are other ways to keep a cat out of a closet.

But should you discover no better option, then you must take every necessary step to conceal your actions. Do not tip your hand to your family, before or after. Choose a propitious moment. Take the morning off work if you must. Then take the cat to the vet and pay cash for the services. Cover your tracks and stick to your breezily delivered conjecture: The cat ran away.

Killing a cat is generally not considered a gentlemanly thing to do. But killing a cat poorly and obviously is (as you may or may not soon learn) inexcusable.

The Gentlemen