Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jack Says Stay Away from the Boss' Wife

Posted By on Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Dear Jack,

I am an instructor at a local fitness center. I've been working here for several years. Our company is owned by a couple who live several states away. They come to town three or four times a year to see how things are going. About a week ago, the female member of this couple -- I'll call her Jane -- arrived for the quarterly visit, this time without her husband. As usual, the local manager and select members of staff got together that evening for dinner and drinks, which migrated to a club where Jane and I did quite a bit of dancing. As the evening turned to morning, we ended up in a taxi together headed back to her hotel.

Things would have gone further had she not passed out in my lap. I helped Jane to her room and left her on the bed and went home. The next day, she stopped by the center and pulled me aside, but not to apologize or ask me not to talk about what happened, as I was expecting. Instead she told me she was thinking about moving to Memphis.

She's convinced we had sex. In fact, she's convinced it was wonderful. How do you tell the person who signs your paycheck that you did not, in fact, have sex with her? How do tell her you don't want her to move to Memphis so you can move in with her, no matter how much it could potentially improve your career? Don't get me wrong. She's a fantastic lady, a few years older than me but she takes great care of herself. Thing is, I'm already in a relationship, and to be honest I'm just not that into Jane. I had fun dancing with her and maybe would have enjoyed a friendly roll in the hay, but I certainly don't want to be Mr. Jane. Neither do I want to be Mr. Unemployed.

Buff Brother

Dear Buffy,

Strangely enough, a similar thing happened to me once a time. There was this hot babe from work I had always wanted to go out with, but because of my job situation I didn't think it would ever happen. One afternoon at a company party my chance finally arrived, completely unlooked-for. Things were getting hot and heavy when she threw up in the floor of my car, then passed out in my lap.

Of course, we were drunk off beer we'd stolen from her dad's company picnic, she was my boss' daughter, and we were both sixteen. How old are you again? Seriously, haven't you learned by now that you don't get nasty with the boss? Or the boss' wife, daughter, cousin, sister, mother, brother, father, son, or husband? When that inevitable moment comes when you gaze into each other's eyes across the distance of your noses, you should politely but firmly peel yourself loose and seek safety in the company of others. Run, Forrest, run.

My advice to you is to lay low. Practice corporate invisibility. Next time the boss is coming to town, take the week off. Pray she forgets about you. My guess is she will. Jane probably has a guy like you in every town where they own a business. That bit about moving to Memphis was probably just her way of gauging your interest in becoming her regular port of call. But if she seeks you out, if she goes all Glenn Close and kills your bunny, then CYA. Get everything on tape.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jack Changes Her Tune

Posted By on Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Dear Jack,

My husband and I like different types of music. He’s a jazz and blues guy, while I like jazz, rock, classical, metal, just about anything. We used to always have music on in the house, a mix of whatever we felt like. However, lately he’s been getting heavy into jazz. He listens to it all the time. He’s also somewhat musically gifted on the piano, and he’s been spending a lot of time learning to play the jazz he loves. But that’s not my problem.

My problem is he won’t let me listen to my music. If he’s home, it’s got to be jazz or nothing. If I try to listen to something different, he complains that he has a headache or can’t concentrate (or whatever) until I turn it off, then a few minutes later he’s playing his jazz.

It gets worse. Now if I’m listening to my music on my headphones while he’s listening to something else, he sulks. He tells me I need to stop listening to that crap, whatever it is. He wants me to listen to his music, wants to talk about his music, and if I’m not interested he gets all pissy about it. If he isn’t losing his mind, I know I am. However, I hate confrontation. All my girlfriends say I need to stand up for myself. That’s fine for them to say, but they don’t have to live with him. What do you think I should do?

--Music Lover

Dear Lover,

Some guys have a mid-life crisis, go out and buy a sports car and trade in the wife. Some guys develop weird obsessions with things that used to be hobbies. Maybe he’s yearning for the life of the jazz musician he felt he missed out on. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. My guess is, he doesn’t know himself.

You should do what sensible women have been doing since the cave man era -- learn to ignore his tantrums. Men are like children. As long as you give his freaky little obsessions the attention he craves, he’s going to keep bothering you with them.

If he gets mad at you for listening to different music, let him be mad. He’ll get over it. The only reason he hasn’t got over it already is because you keep trying to make peace. Listen to your girlfriends and stand up for yourself. I’m not saying you need to confront him. You just need to nod your head, put on your headphones and go back to your tunes. He’ll be mad for a while and stomp around the house. But the next time, he won’t get as mad about it and pretty soon it’s not even an issue anymore. Not because he’s not mad about it, but because he will have changed again. Either the jazz will no longer consume him, or he’ll have realized what a stupid, selfish twit he was being. Time is your friend.

Alas, those years when you used to share music are probably gone. Be happy that’s all it is. We have to choose our battles. Some people would end a marriage over such matters, but you don’t have to let it go that far.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jack Advises a Would-Be Karate Kid

Posted By on Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Dear Jack,

The other day I got into an altercation with a guy in a parking lot. It was stupid, but it was also really scary because he was so much bigger than me. I got through it ok because somebody called the cops and they showed up before anything could happen.

Now I'm scared. I know people who have been robbed. A friend of mine surprised some burglars. A guy I work with had a home invasion. This dude in the parking lot was completely nuts, working himself up to something violent. If he had really come after me, he would have squashed me like a bug.

I don't like guns, so I was thinking about taking martial arts – Krav Maga or Aikido or MMA - something like that. What do you think is the best system for self-defense?

--Squashed Bug

Dear Grasshopper,

A long time ago in a lifetime far far away, I was a young man driving home late one night from a visit with a lady friend. There was a car behind me as I pulled onto my street. It looked a lot like one of my friend's cars, so when it followed me into the driveway I didn't think anything about it. I got out of my car and walked up to the gate to pet my dog – the sweetest, biggest, goofiest Alaskan Malemute you ever saw. His name was Doofus.

Looking back, I saw two guys I had never seen before getting out of this car. As they walked toward me, Doofus hit the gate so hard it almost came off its hinges. These two gentlemen quietly got back in their car and drove away.

I've trained in the martial arts, but I doubt I could have held off two determined attackers. If they had had guns, no level of martial arts training and no dog no matter how big could have stopped them. If I had had a gun, one or more of us probably would have ended up shot or dead.

It takes years of martial arts training to reach a level where your natural reaction to an attack allows you to defeat your opponent. If you have to think about what to do, you've already lost. A seminar or even a few months of study won't get it done. If you don't practice those reactions on an almost daily basis, your skills will fade.

What you should do is live your life. If learning a martial art allows you to live without fear, then go for it, but don't expect to learn to defend yourself. Train for personal improvement. The best martial art system is the one that works best for you. Most schools have trial periods, so try them until you find one that fits. When you find one, stick with it. The confidence you gain will probably remove that Victim sign from your back, reducing your chances of being attacked in the first place.

Or you could buy a dog, but if you do, buy a dog for a companion, not protection. It's his bark, not his bite, that keeps the bad guys away.

The thing is, you can't prepare for everything life throws your way. You’ve gone your whole life and this is the first time you've ever been in a tense situation, yet now you're scared. Chances are you will never be in this situation again. Chances are the next situation will be completely different. You can't change your fate. You can only change who you are.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jack Stops a Hummer

Posted By on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Dear Jack,

"Ryan" and I started dating several months ago. Recently, his roommate had to transfer out of town for his job, so rather than look for a new roommate, we decided Ryan should move into my apartment. He's a great guy and we have a great time together, but he does one thing that drives me nuts.

He hums.

It always happens when he's occupied with something else, like doing his laundry or cooking or whatever. That's why I didn't know about it before he moved in. He doesn't hum a recognizable song. I think I could live with that. Mostly it's just a few notes, bits and pieces of whatever song is playing in his head. I've talked to him about it and he says he doesn't know he's doing it. He says his old roommate never mentioned it.

It's like its part of his breathing. Every exhale comes out as a piece of a song. He's not a musician or anything, and he does it whether he's listening to music or not. He even does it when he's falling asleep. At least he doesn't do it in his sleep.

It doesn't sound like a big problem but it's really driving me nuts. Try living with this day in and day out and you'd see what I mean. I'm about ready to call it quits and ask him to move out. Do you think I should?

Irma Petty?

Dear Irm,

I have a bum knee that sometimes clicks when I walk. On really cold days, it can be quite loud. People have accused me of snapping my fingers and asked me to stop. I try to explain that it's not my fingers, it's my knee, but it's the sort of thing you can do on command, like trying to make a chair produce that rude noise it made last time you moved it. My knee is the singing frog that refuses to perform on cue. Very annoying.

Women have left me for any number of good reasons, but my knee wasn't one of them. However, I can well understand your frustration. I used to have a dog that would sit on the floor beside my bed and lick himself once the lights were out. I couldn't go to sleep until he stopped. It drove me bonkers. But I didn't get rid of him.

Sounds to me like you've already made up your mind and are just looking for an excuse to get rid of Ryan. The two of you didn't move in together because you were in love. He needed a place to flop and you had the room. You had fun when you were dating, but now that you know him better, his habitual humming makes you want to stab yourself in the ear.

Be thankful you didn't find this out until after you got married. Part as friends and go your merry way. In the future, make sure all flops are understood to be temporary and reviewable after 90 days.

Got a problem? Jack Waggon will set you straight:

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