Life Advice



Single File: Rubber Banded

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: About the man you dated who kept a thick rubber band around his wallet. It dates back to an old law enforcement trick: It makes picking the wallet from a pocket much more difficult, if not impossible. Being someone who secures his money tightly, I am usually the first to grab a check, to never hesitate to pay and to pay for a date (despite some very nice women). And I have never been called stingy. When I was married, I was one of the men who turned their paycheck over to his wife, because I trusted her participation in our marriage. Our divorce was not (primarily) about money but about work. It was amicable, and we are still amicable. So, Susan, please don't judge everyone with an elastic around his wallet by one stingy guy.

DEAR BLOGGER: Thanks for reminding me to keep away from stereotyping, BUT, this man's wallet was so tightly bound -- and so seldom opened -- that a moth flew out (an exaggeration but pretty close to the truth)! He was so tight and so controlling that when he put his arm around me, it felt like a vise (shudder). He told me that he had ripped up his wife's will when she died, because all her money had come from him -- this from the mouth of an attorney! Another gem: At a Sunday brunch when he was first meeting my brother, he was so starved for something to say that he started to read from a card pulled from his wallet (yes, the same one that housed a moth). So it takes more negatives than a rubber-banded wallet for this columnist to turn thumbs down. This man was as stingy with his love and kindness as he was with the contents of his rubber-banded wallet. There are many more examples of his undesirability, but you get the point.

DEAR SUSAN: There's no use denying women ARE attracted to bad boys, at least at a certain age. Almost all of us are. But it depends on how you define "bad." A man who's powerful and aggressive in business, who doesn't let bullies push him around and who gives the impression he'd fight to defend you if need be, is much more attractive than one with terminal niceness who grins feebly while asking if it's all right to kiss you on the cheek. I married a man who's nice but also sure of himself. He watches action films and plays aggressive sports, with no apologies for doing so.

DEAR BLOGGER: What does niceness have to do with self-confidence? The bad boys in my memory led girls on for the fun of it; they would do or say anything to get what they came for. Looking back, it wasn't so much their sly ways that attracted me; it was the boringness (if there is such a word) of the good guys. For some reason, goodness equaled boring, and so, the bad boys got their way -- for a while. When women got hip to what they really wanted in a partner, what they their deepest needs were, they unapologetically recalibrated their ideal man. The wonder of it all? When we women know what we need -- and won't settle for -- we can extend our hand to men in true friendship. No, no bad boys will do. Yes, we want a truly good person, strong in his convictions and his protectiveness of us, but we want an ally and a friend no matter what. Liking is sexier than loving; take it from me. But why not have it all? Liking, loving, friend and helpmate: Sounds like a winning ticket.



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