How to Meet Cute (and how not to)

i-think-you-are-suffering-from-a-lack-of-vitamin-me-funny-pick-up-lineHello chicken nuggets! Guess what time it is. If you guessed “Time for delicious Advice snacks” you’d be right! I hope you brought your appetite…

Dear Michele,

Please help! I never dated in high school, but I just started college, and now I’d really like to start. The problem is that the only guys I usually like are the comic book/movie nerd type, and I never see any on my campus! Where are they hiding, and once I do locate one, what do I do next?

Thanks for your help!

Surrounded by Frat Boys

Dear Surrounded,

Ah, the elusive species Comicbookslashmovienerdopithicus! They are wily and hard to locate due to their being IMMENSELY insecure around people they might like. There are two issues you will have to confront if you mean to date this species:

LOCATION
Like many comic book heroes (and villains), they tend to have lairs, sweaty basements at friends houses where they hang out. This makes them harder to locate. HOWEVER they can also be found at the following places: comic stores, action figure stores (like GameSpot), bookstores and music stores.

Comic stores are an easy place to start because they have a schedule: new comics arrive on Wednesdays, which means that there should be a large pool of ComicBoyznGirlz there that evening. Often comic stores host other events like Street Fighter competitions and Magic The Gathering meetings and Jenga fiestas and stuff on other days of the week, that can draw a crowd. You can find out about these events by browsing local comic shop’s websites or myspaces. But if you go, be prepared to participate: they’re not there to pick up partners, they’re there to freak out with their geek out. And if you’re not down with that, they’ll know. Which brings us to…

ATTITUDE
Again like the super heroes they revere, your ComicmoviemusicBoyorGirl has a dual identity: on the one hand, they are masters of their universe, holding strong opinions and able to take down anyone in an argument or D&D brawl. On the other, they are often on the bottom rung of the social ladder. This dichotomy can sometimes make them insecure, and wary of strangers. It often manifests itself in sarcasm or standoffishness. You should ignore this.

Asking them questions about comics they like or comics you like and showing genuine interest, will cut through it quickly. A simple “I notice you’re always reading manga. I totally love Scott Pilgrim! Have you read the fourth volume?” or “I’ve never read any Daredevil. Whose run do you like more, Bendis’s or Brubaker’s?” can get you in the inner circle at warp speed.

If there’s one particular ComicmoviemusicBoyorGirl you’re interested in and you have a class together, you can always use the old, “Are you in English 101? I think you sat in front of me the other day. I’m Superhotgirl” [extending your hand]. “What do you think of Professor Ramblesendlessly’s pants? I swear his superhero name would be the Plaid Avenger!” line (only, like, good) to start things off too.

Happy hunting!

^^^^

Dear Dr. J,
I think I’m falling for my teacher. He’s not married. He’s a little bit
more than twenty years older than I am (yikes! seeing that written is
shocking). Sometimes I feel
like it isn’t so entirely impossible, though. Now, that could be true,
or it could be my mind making things up. (Most likely the latter.)
Also, I have a boyfriend. I’ve been with him for two years. I know it
isn’t fair to my boyfriend. I also know liking my teacher is totally
normal.
I had been emailing my teacher about things
that weren’t always related to school, and he did not seem to mind. I
have stopped emailing him, because I knew it was ultimately causing me
pain.
I want to get over the teacher What should I do?
Thanks for all of your help.
Hot for Teacher

Dear Hot for Teacher,

Unless you are done with school and in your 20’s, being involved with someone that much older is a slice of Bad Idea Cake with Bad Idea Icing. The fact that anything this teacher is doing has given you the idea that he might be interested back makes that a seventeen layer cake with extra Bad Whip on the side.

Your head already knows this cake is bad for you. But the head and the heart aren’t always in sync. Even as your head recognizes that the appeal of this cake is not based in reality, your heart is screaming CAKE! GIVE ME CAKE! ME WANT CAKE! The only thing you can do to make your heart behave, unfortunately, is cut off all non-school related communication with the cake, er, I mean, teacher and let time pass.

I’m not saying that lightly: I know how hard that is, how painful and challenging, and there are going to be times when you’ll be afflicted with justcanttakeititis and onelittleemailwonthurtfluenza and atinysliverofcakeisallIneedosis. But all of those conditions will just keep you filled up with empty emotional calories that in the end will leave you hungry and malnourished.

For some reason that is partially to do with chemicals and partially to do with Deep Mysteries, this cycle of craving&pain goes in 10 to 14 day blocks. That means if you can hold out for two weeks, it will get a little easier. Two more weeks and easier again. But each time you break down and snack on some cake, the cycle starts again, and worse. (Think sugar high. Then think sugar low.)

Whenever you feel like going Marie Antoinette and letting yourself eat cake, acknowledge that you want to do that, remind yourself while the cake looks tasty its actually kind of old, probably stale, and mostly a fantasy you made up in your mind, and try to engage in some other activity. If you can’t help yourself, write the email and then don’t send it.

In the meantime, you might want to think about your relationship with your boyfriend. Its possible that the attraction you have for your teacher is being fueled by discontent with your current sweetie pie. Like you’re not getting what you need, and so you’re looking for nutritional supplements. This could be a good time to take a break from cakes entirely. Because the ones you’ve got aren’t really satisfying you, but they’re filling up your time so you can’t look for genuinely good ones.

You deserve better cakes! Fresh, high quality cakes that deliver on the promise of their excellent exterior and are both delicious AND nutritious.

^^^^^
To Dr. J

I know what you talk about when you say writing a book is hard. I have tried many times. My begging and dieing now question is do you have anything to help me focus on one idea?
Peace out sister!

From
Your Almightly Spooky One (bow minions!!!!)

Dear Almightly Spooky One,

You’re a plot flirt!!! Don’t worry, that’s not an insult (don’t smite me, Almighty One!), I’m a plot flirt too. When I start a book, its like being at an ace cocktail party—flitting from person to person through the crowd, chatting with them for a second, laughing at a joke but always secretly looking over the person’s shoulder, in search of The One.

The thing that’s so sneaky about being a plot flirt is that it makes you feel like you’re doing something productive (I’m working! I’m looking for the right project slash plot slash heroine’s name slash pair of sparkly shoes slash way to kill the bad guy!) and for a little while it is, but after a time it can become that most Detrimental To The Writing of a Book thing: pRoCrAsTiNaTiOn.

What I suggest is giving yourself a week—five days—to flit from idea to idea. Write down everything you think of. And then commit. Because here is a secret: ANY PLOT CAN WORK. While some might be slightly better than others, it’s what you bring into the story—the characters, your writing style—that make the biggest difference.

So the way to focus is to pick one thing and FORCE yourself to keep working on it, no matter what the voices in your head that want you to go play with something else say. Remind yourself that while those voices are perky and nice, they are actually undermining you and your ability to do what you want (write a book). They pretend their names are Your Pal and Friendlynicenice but in reality they are Insecurity and his BFF Be Afraid and their job is to keep you from ever finishing a story.

Don’t give in! May the Force be with you!

That’s all the advice for today. Be supermaxigelatotastic!

airkisses,
Dr. J

Need Advice? Mail your questions for publication to advice@michelejaffe.com. The doctor can't promise to answer them all, but she'll do her best. (By sending a question you grant permission to have it appear here. Letters may be edited. Advice is for entertainment purposes only. No blaming us later okay? Okay.)

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