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Here's the Thing: Cutting Boards Don't Go in the Dishwasher!
And Legally Blonde is a near-perfect film. And making friends as an adult sucks.
SOME LITTLE CUTIE: Two questions. Last summer my wife left me because she felt we grew apart over the 13 years we were together and she wasn't happy in our relationship. It's not what I wanted, but I respect it. I'm not a douche and we still get along and she would be the first person to speak highly of me insofar as a dating scenario (just not for her anymore).
Question 1- Now that I'm trying to date, how does a nearly 40 year old non-asshole guy who's heart got stomped on convince the super skeptical single 30-something women out there that he's not an asshole. The women I've met online or wherever are so skeptical and mostly unavailable because they've been burned so many times by jerk dudes. I empathize however have not figured out a way to convince anybody that I'm worth getting to know. Other than saying "I'm not like the other guys" because that's what the jerk dudes say too.
Question 2 - Is there such thing as a dishwasher safe wooden cutting board?
SOPHIA: Ok, I have to mention this because it sticks out, but are you dating younger women on purpose? Or is that a more general descriptor for people you’ve already dated? Either way, I would encourage you to look for women your own age, even though the difference between 36 and 42 is seemingly mitigable. This avoids a dynamic that might be contributing to your problem. But there’s an underlying presumption that you have a certain set of behaviors, preferences, etc., when you date women who are younger than you. And the guy who dates younger women is not necessarily a good guy; and then women who have dated only older men because men their age see them as too old probably are deservedly a little jaded.
From your letter you seem like you’re very mature and that you get it, which I know sounds condescending coming from an online weirdo like me. I just mean, a lot of dudes think they get shit, but don’t. And you seem to be pretty aware. So the best advice I have is move slowly. More slowly than that. More slowly. Move slowly and stick around (not after they break up with you; I just mean show up for people you’re dating). You can tell people as many times as you want that you’ll be good to them, but it doesn’t really mean shit unless you show it. And if you show it and they break up with you because they don’t believe you… well unfortunately, that’s on them. That’s weird as hell, frankly. But it’s on them.
And as for your second question: NO!!!! There is not, nor will there ever be. Wood is not meant to be soaked. Neither are knives. If someone is putting knives or wooden cutting boards into the dishwasher, don’t date them. Even if someone makes a cutting board that says it’s dishwasher safe, do not trust that person, and do not buy that cutting board! I’m glad you know not to put them in the dishwasher now, but please throw away your hopes of putting a wooden cutting board near water ever.
A SWEETIE PIE: Is "I'd watch Legally Blonde with you" a good pickup line?
SOPHIA: YES. Although, instead maybe frame it as a question “Do you want to come watch Legally Blonde with me?” Give the other person some agency.
SOMEONE CUTE AS HELL: I’ve been living in San Francisco for three years and recently ended a two year relationship. My social life fell off a cliff and I’m struggling to make friends that share my interests. I’ve always been very afraid of rejection so even though I’m extroverted, I have a hard time reaching out to new people. How do I grow beyond this fear to find the friends I imagined came automatically with urban mid-twenties life?
SOPHIA: Finding friends is dating. Ok? It’s going to take rejection, unfortunately. It’s going to take that disgusting phrase “putting yourself out there.” There are going to be a lot of times when you try to force something to work because you’re lonely, and then a year down the road you meet someone organically and it’s so natural you question how you ever even tolerated a friendship less than this.
Someone out there— probably TV show writers, let’s be honest— started a myth that adults were made to have large, rowdy, funny, sparkling friend groups as adults who hang out on the weekends and talk about everything together, all six of them! This works great for TV shows (Living Single, Friends, HIMYM, Game of Thrones), but NO ONE has this. I know they’re posting on instagram that they have this. They don’t have this. Anyone who does have this is actually in a cult.
Most people have one great friend who they don’t get to see ever because of life and then two other ok friends who are actually coworkers and then a friend they’re trying to date so is that a friend and then the one guy at the corner bodega who always hits on you. OR they have a group of four close friends from high school but everyone has kind of grown apart ever since Juanita had twins and Natalie got married to that douche we all hate. Ok? No adult is just effortlessly hanging out with pals.
So, you have to tackle this like you tackle dating: with a lot of dread, a small amount of hope and enthusiasm, and a willingness to risk looking dumb. In college I was known for being that person who asked people to get coffee, and then asked again. I set up dates. I made fucking effort. Every adult alive wants more friends. Other than Beyonce, who made it clear she had enough of them. But she’s Beyonce. Ask people out. Accept that it’s going to not work as more than it’s going to work. Don’t worry about common interests— that’s bullshit. It’s just dating; not everyone loves you, some people do. That’s fine!!! Have as much fun and be as kind as you can!