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Ass tactward

This co-worker guy, whom I hardly know, has been stalking me at work. I don't want to cause trouble for him, but ... he's creepy. He's been asking co-workers about me and finding me on my breaks. Today, as I was leaving for lunch, he said, "I haven't stopped thinking about you." The hairs on my neck stood up. The shower music from Psycho came into my head!! I (like an idiot) said, "Shoot me an e-mail." (I don't have the guts to tell him, "Screw off, you ugly, creepy, uh, expletive.") Of course, he e-mails me inviting me to lunch or dinner, saying he wants to get to know me better. Since I love your "tact," I'd love to respond using your words. Something that says: 1. You're creepy. 2. Obviously live with your mother. 3. Never in your lifetime. The Hunted

Alfred Hitchcock might've retired to some sleepy town in England after a career as an elementary school film-strip operator save for his wise decisions while directing Psycho. Imagine Hitch weighing the dramatic possibilities: "Let's see, shall we have a shadowy figure slipping into a motel bathroom, opening the shower curtain and raising a big knife to stab a terrified naked woman or should some lad drop in at the woman's office to tell her, "I haven't stopped thinking about you' as a lead-up to asking when she might be free for lunch?"

Come on, a guy at work gives you reason to believe he has a crush on you, and the shower music from Psycho comes into your head? When you see sheep nibbling on grass in a pasture, do you hear the theme from Jaws? Your complaint that this guy is "stalking" you reminds me of the old joke: It's only sexual harassment when the guy asking you out is ugly, broke and works in the mailroom.

Actual stalking is a willful and malicious form of intimidation persistent, unwanted pursuit after the pursuer has been informed that his or her attentions are unwanted. Stalkingvictims.com reports that most U.S. states define stalking as behavior that would instill fear in a reasonable person. Sorry, but what are you afraid of, getting cooties by association? The stench of loserhood lingering in your hair?

You take the post-modern approach to saying no, ditching "No means no" for ""Shoot me an e-mail' means no." Unfortunately, most people, including Dorky Boy, are probably working off the old definition. To make matters worse, if a guy really likes you, when one door fails to close, another 10 doors open. So, while you're waiting for him to read your mind about what a "creepy, uh, expletive" you think he is, he's probably laying out his dinner clothes, researching fine wine and wondering whether you should name the children after his late grandma or yours.

It didn't have to get to this point. All you had to do was be kind enough to say something the first time he expressed interest nothing cutting about his looks or living arrangements just "Thanks for asking, but I'm not interested." You might also try squeezing out a little respect for guys who get up the nerve to go after what they want especially as a girl who doesn't have the guts to speak up about what she doesn't.

If you "No, thanks!" a guy a few times, and he fails to back off, sure, call for reinforcements. Until then, do your best to avoid crying wolf while being pursued down the halls of your office by a quivering, three-legged Chihuahua.

Friends with deficits

I'm always relegated to friendship by women. I met this beautiful girl who was seeing someone. We became great friends, and then she met another guy, dumped her boyfriend for him, and I'm still just her friend. I'm realizing I only fall for girls if we're friends first; otherwise, I don't get attached. Platonic Particle

You can either be the guy who gets the girl or the guy who gets to drive the girl to the party where she'll meet the guy she goes home with. Getting out of the latter category is a snap much like getting out of a 30-foot glass box greased with Crisco. You know that quote, "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are"? If your friends are women who are always stepping around you to get to their next boyfriend, you're probably a guy who's more into avoiding rejection than having a girlfriend. Dating is a sampling process: finding a woman you might like, and saying "You're attractive ... feel like a mochatini?" You start figuring out how you feel about her as she's drinking it as opposed to waiting until you become her BFF with testicles. (Don't worry, you won't be needing them.)

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail adviceamy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).

  • Joke: It's only sexual harassment when the guy is ugly, broke and works in the mailroom.

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