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Don't Run Away, Yet

By Mink Stole | Posted 7/18/2001

I'm a runner, and at a recent 10K charity event I met a very attractive man. We crossed the finish line about the same time, which he told me he slowed down deliberately to do, then hung around for a while after the race, cooling off and just chatting. He told me he's been seeing someone but that it's not serious. Since then he's sent me roses twice, which really pleased and surprised me, and asked me out to dinner. I've been hesitant because of his girlfriend, but my friends tell me I'm nuts. They say he wouldn't be sending me flowers if he didn't really like me. What do you think?

Partial to Posies

Dear Partial:

I'm always a little wary of overtly romantic gestures from relative strangers; they seem more like well-practiced techniques than spontaneous expressions. Guys know that women love to get flowers, so there are more than a few of them who have adopted FTD.com as an aid to seduction. One thing is for sure, however: Whether he imagines you as the future mother of his children or just wants to jump your bones, he does want to see you again. And there's more on his mind than a discussion of the comparative merits of the latest offerings from Nike and New Balance.

It would be pretty safe to risk one dinner with him. Although I would never suggest that you insist on the most expensive restaurant in town, since he hasn't shown any reluctance so far to spend money, have him take you to someplace a few steps up from the local Hard Rock Café. That way, if he turns out to be some loathsome Lothario, you'll at least have had a good meal, and if he turns out to be someone you like, it could be a memorable occasion. Remember, just because he's picking up the tab--even a big one--you're under no obligation to do anything more than thank him politely. Unless, of course, you want to do anything more.

Even if it's the best night of your life, however, you'd be wise to keep your eyes open and your emotions in check. Men mention other women, even "not serious" ones, for a reason. He could be putting you on notice that he's not the committing type, or he might be attempting to stir up some sort of competitive feeling in you. He could even be using her as a shield in case you get too emotionally involved--it's funny how some "not serious" girlfriends in the distant background suddenly become fiancées when a new girlfriend gets too demanding. Just so I don't sound like a cynical old hag, however, I must add that it is possible that he is that most rare of creatures--an honest, unencumbered man with a good body, a spirit of adventure, and a flair for romance that will have the two of you jogging off into the sunset for a lifetime of mutual fitness and bliss.

An old friend has just moved back to town, and at first I was pretty glad to see her. I knew she'd been through some rough times, including some time in rehab, but she swore she was no longer taking drugs and had been through enough therapy to want to never get involved with them again. She asked if I could help her get a job in the restaurant where I work, and, even though I was a little reluctant, I figured she deserved a break, so I told her I'd speak to my boss. But when I overheard her ask one of my friends not to tell me but did he know where she could score some weed, I changed my mind. Now she's accusing me of being a hypocrite because I smoke a little grass myself every once in a while. Is she right? I hate to think of myself that way.

Self-Doubting Thomas

Dear Thomas:

Hypocrisy is legislators refusing medical marijuana to terminal cancer patients while accepting money from tobacco companies. Hypocrisy is religious leaders satisfying their sexual irregularities with prostitutes while soliciting donations to uphold "family values." Hypocrisy is politicians obtaining safe, legal, but secret abortions, for girlfriends or daughters while working to overturn Roe v. Wade.

You're not a hypocrite for being understandably pissed at this gal for lying to you. There's a huge difference between your relaxing with an occasional joint and her having a drug problem serious enough for rehab, and she knows that. She also knows she's blown your trust, so she's trying to make herself look better by turning the guilt on you. Sneaking drugs is a classic sign of a problem too, and it sounds like she's maybe not as recovered as she's trying to present herself. It's too bad if she's trying to fool you, but it's really sad if she's trying to fool herself.

For the record, I've nothing against marijuana. Actually, as long as we're on the subject of hypocrisy, the fact that liquor is legal and marijuana is not is senseless and arbitrary. (A historical note: Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and marijuana became illegal in 1937.) While it's true that some people are highly susceptible to dependence on one or the other, most people know their limits with regard to both and should be given credit for the ability to self-regulate. I'm happy we have laws against rape and murder, and I'm no fan of cocaine or heroin, but the war against pot is a sham.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
First of all, homosexuality isnít like snake handling or Catholicism; it isnít a cult or a religion you can be recruited for or converted to.

Territorial Rites (4/5/2006)

Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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