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I'd like a post on how to advise friends/acquaintances who are considering dating a jerk. This is something that happens repeatedly to me (no coincidence - I'm in law school) and so far it always goes like this: Some total jerk whom I have either dated, turned down, or stood by while he treated a friend of mine like dirt, starts paying attention to someone else I know. The girl says "asshat seems really nice..." I have, on occasion, just started laughing (didn't go over well). And usually take that as an intro to give a quick head shake, mention that he dated someone I know or myself and offer more info, or, on occasion, fake a gag. (I know, real mature). Girl gets offended that I don't think there's some cosmic connection there. Goes out with guy anyway. In every case he has treated her like crap. But she's still mad at me.

Obviously, I'm doing something wrong. But I really feel weird just going "mmm" or something when I know the guy is just trying to hook up with as many people as possible and has no respect for women and/or a serious anger management problem. (I know a lot of people and have a lot of guy friends - so I hear about who's joking about raping 15-year-olds, who tried to beat up the bartender for no reason and that sort of thing).

How would you handle this? Obviously, unsolicited advice is off limits. And people are entitled to their own mistakes. But letting a girl I know fall for a line of bull doesn't feel right. Plus, it annoys me how often some guys get away with treating nice girls so badly. It feels like watching a bully kick a puppy.


I think I read a while back that you were planning to read "The Shame of the Nation." Did you ever read it? If you did, what did you think of it? I have a hard time thinking critically about Kozol's books, I think because I am too personally invested in the issue of improving education for poor kids. I read his books and just want to cry.


Did you watch the Superbowl?
Favorite commercials, and thoughts?


Short cutting of a path is wrecking the commons lawn so badly that the supes have paved the short cuts. Today I saw somebody I don't know short-cutting the short cut to save themselves perhaps 5 steps, and he didn't even seem to be in a hurry. My question: Aren't there more important things I ought to be getting upset about?


Referring back to the "pencils" demonstration, I am wondering what areas you consider your pencils?


Expanding on MT's post, what bothers you that shouldnt?


Situation: A guy you know a little bit (e.g., you've hung out with in groups a couple of times) asks you out. He's nice enough, smart enough, stable enough, not terrible to look at, etc., but you don't feel any sort of spark or chemistry with him. Do you decline because of the absence of spark, or do you give it a try thinking that maybe the chemistry will come later? Also, if you give it a try, how much of a try do you give? One date, two? Three strikes you're out?

I ask because chemistry is so important. However, I've certainly ended up falling for guys that I started off with only liking as a friend. Sometimes that came even months after knowing them. But on the other hand, I would hate to waste someone's time, or give them the wrong impression. Additionally, I worry that if I go out with them and it doesn't work out after a few dates, whatever previous relationship we had (i.e., work or friends-in-common) will be awkward.


I've been overcome by doggie lust lately, the not to be lightly-taken cousin of baby lust. :) But I'm starting law school in the fall -- can I possibly take care of dog well while a law student? Please advise.


That's "a dog." Oh dear.


I was wondering if you have any opinion on the tradition of men asking their potential bride's father for permission to marry his daughter. I had always thoughts this was an outdated, offensive, and silly tradition in today's world, but am surprised by the number of friends and acquaintances who seem to think its the proper thing to do. Is this still the common practice?

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