Dating Handbook: Pickup Lines and Driving Stories

Your questioner sounds like a nice guy with a real sense of values and a positive outlook on life. In this regard he is doomed. As a "nice guy" myself with a decade in the adult dating world, I can affirm that any decent approach this guy will make will flame out like a nudged Pinto. As a rule, women only respond to the howled mating calls of meat-headed Neanderthals. Furthermore, they respond in inverse proportion to their denial of attraction to the aforementioned blunt edges. My advice is to quit while you're ahead.

Do, however, buy the dog. Although the puppy phase will soon disappear in a flurry of chewed shoes and ruined floor covering, you will have gained a true friend that appreciates a kind word and a gentle nuzzle.

Learn to revel in holidays that turn love into a contest of consumer performance. The bliss of exempt freedom more than compensates for a grudging acceptance of a box of chocolates and a cutting look when you produce the wrong peignoir.

Follow my advice, young questioner, and you will find yourself a master of mirth rather than a slave to suffering. As I am within a few months of 40 and still in possession of a full head of hair, my own teeth and a serviceable physical plant, I can attest that the final victory is yours. Those femmes fatales from my twenties have parlayed their attraction to grunting goofballs into a life of furtive desperation populated by bawling brats, beer-bellied television zombies and dreams of meeting a "nice guy."

Wishing you happiness as you cruise by those singles frantically scrawling their cell-phone numbers on the window, faithful dog curled by your side and the smile of the free man firmly planted on your peaceful countenance.

Your curmudgeon in arms,

Dean Pulley Tomahawk Island Portland, Oregon

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