Dear Uptight Seattleite,Can I get herpes from a hot tub?Hesitating Horace
Dear Horace,I had a dream the other night about Hank Williams' brother. This dream brother was in love with Hank's wife. And the only way he could express his love was by quoting Hank songs. Talk about a guy who didn't know what to do with himself!I don't think your hesitatin' ways are nearly as bad as that, do you? Of course the question we haven't even discussed is this: That hint of herpes in the air—is it only a product of your preconceptions? I can't give you a direct answer. I do know that it could easily go either way. Hope this helps!Dear Uptight Seattleite,What do you think about the current crop of young men?Pat
Dear Pat,I'm going to assume there are no hidden meanings here and just answer the question: I think that—with their cute sneakers, floppy hair, and "hoodies"—young men these days are adorable. I think we're all evolved enough that I can make this observation without titters from the peanut gallery. But I occasionally worry—no, not worry, that's too strong. I occasionally wonder if there's such a thing as being too adorable. I'm not saying there is. But would it be such a bad idea to start the dialogue on this one?Dear Uptight Seattleite,I was perusing Craigslist the other day and found a wine rack listed for free. However, the ad is over two weeks old, and says "Absolutely no e-mail please. If this ad is still up then the rack's still available. I'll glance at the backyard from time to time to see if it's been picked up yet." I usually bike everywhere, but this is 20 miles away, so I'll need to take my truck. Is it OK under these circumstances to ignore the "no e-mail" instructions?Racked With Doubt
Dear Racked,Hmm, a Craigslist ad that forbids e-mail responses? That's a pretty good one! But I'm afraid both possible punch lines spell trouble. Either you ignore the seller's feelings or risk a rackless 40-mile round-schlep. So just stop for a second. Take your hand off the door of that truck of yours. Which I hope is an old Toyota pickup. There's just something friendly about the look of those things. If I see one putter by, I always give it a silent salute: "A big 'YO, right back at you, sir, and thank you very much indeed! Long may you run!'" I'm telling you this, Racked, so you know I'm not somehow trying to invalidate the Environmental Shame Exemption your Toyota earns with its high Vehicular Soul Quotient. No way. Not when it scores right up there with your neighbor's battered old Volvo. What I am suggesting is that you bike to the rack instead.To see that this isn't as crazy as it sounds, read between the lines of this guy's ad. "I'll glance at the backyard from time to time," he writes. What a golden idyll of freedom from other people's schedules this phrase evokes! You can imagine him at his kitchen table, smiling the occasional dreamy smile out the window. Is the wine rack still back there, leaning against the old sycamore? Is it dappled yet by the afternoon sun through rustling leaves? He'll know at indeterminate intervals, and will notify you when it crosses his mind to do so.Despite appearances, the ad is not a ploy to waste your time. It's an invitation. He's made it completely impractical for you to claim the wine rack, so the only possible purpose of the ad is to induce a visit to his golden world of leisure. That's why you should go by bike. So you can approach this world at the proper tempo. Make an afternoon of it! Plot your course, pack a lunch, and roll softly up to his back porch with your senses refreshed by the adventure. He'll be waiting for you. He'll invite you in for war stories and chamomile tea, while KPLU tootles in the corner and an elderly pooch snuffles around the linoleum.What about the wine rack? As you leave—pulling the door closed gently so you won't wake this lovable old discarder of wine racks, now fast asleep in his chair as the dog licks his hand—that's exactly the question that won't matter anymore.Wanna be BUFFs? Find the Uptight on Facebook! Or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.