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Gilbert Grope

I met a nice man (so I thought) who lives about 40 miles away. On our second date, we had drinks in my neighborhood. He drank too much, and asked to hang at my house so he wouldn't drive under the influence. I didn't like this because I'm used to guys using this ploy for sex, but he said if I didn't let him in, I was making him drive drunk. I grudgingly allowed him in, and he immediately started making moves on me. Eventually I tried to send him home, but he said he was still in no position to drive, so I kicked him out early in the morning. What were my obligations here? Every man I asked said I shouldn't have risked letting him in. As one said, "Better a strange drunk on the road than a strange drunk in your home, where he could rape you." I have yet to ask a woman who can give me a definitive answer; they're all as conflicted as I am. — Manhandled

If a stranger comes to your door and says, "I'm too drunk to drive home," you don't say, "No problem, I'll make up the bed!" Yet, this guy's a near stranger, one you didn't want in your home — even before he took the post-date sex ploy to a remarkable new low. Yeah, forget the usual lame lemme-in tactics like "I'd love to meet that cat I've heard so much about!" or "Mind if I use your bathroom?" No, it's "Mind if I cause the fiery death of a family of five?"

A guy might present you with an either/or situation, but that doesn't mean those are your only choices. In this case, you should've told the guy to cab it to a motel. (To borrow from your friend, "Better a strange drunk cabbing to Motel 6 than a strange drunk turning your home into Motel Sex.") If your date insists on driving drunk, call the cops, report a drunk driver, and give them a description of his car. Of course, it's possible he isn't really drunk, just trying to con his way in, but that's for the cop who stops him to determine: "I can touch my finger to my nose just fine, Officer, but I'm having real problems getting my hand up a girl's shirt."

It isn't surprising that all your girlfriends are "conflicted" about what you should've done. In fact, other women would have given in like you did — not necessarily because they're weak or dumb, but because they're women: the gender that evolved to be the nurturers, peacemakers and consensus builders of the species. (All great until a drunk guy swinging a set of car keys is standing at your front door.)

Recognizing that, as a woman, you have a hardwired tendency to be a pleaser is the best way to avoid succumbing to it. You have to decide before you're in a dicey situation that your comfort level and safety take priority over possibly coming across as rude or unsympathetic. Keep in mind, as Gavin de Becker writes in The Gift of Fear, that "'No' is a complete sentence," and if you let somebody talk you out of it, "you might as well wear a sign that reads, 'You are in charge.'" Get his book, start a reading group with your "conflicted" girlfriends, and in the future, see to it that your door policy is determined by you, not Jim Beam and Captain Morgan.

Rogained another fan!

I was OUTRAGED that you criticized a college guy for online dating, saying it's "for the Rogaine generation." I'm 23 and met my wonderful fiancée on the Internet. A man isn't less of a man because he finds a girlfriend online! — Couldn't Be Happier

Sure, some college students find dates online, but you're OUTRAGED that I advised against it? And, of all the things in the paper you could find to be OUTRAGED about? What happened, seen one oil-soaked dead baby duck, seen 'em all?

Eventually, the pesky human aspect will probably be removed from dating, and a guy'll stay home re-piping the sink while his avatar's out trying to unhook some other avatar's bra. For now, the human-to-human element remains, and a guy in college will never again be in a place so swarming with hot, single, dateable women. It's especially wise for this particular guy to take a more analog approach to hitting on girls if I'm right in my suspicion that he online dates because he's too big a wuss to deal with face-to-face rejection. Opportunity (aka the hot girl down the hall) is knocking on his dorm room door, and he should be answering it, not calling out, "Not now! I'm IMing with Im300LbsFatterThanMyPicture999!"

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or adviceamy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society.


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