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The axis of snivel

I was planning a spa weekend with my girlfriends, and my boyfriend of four months wanted to come. I offered to plan a romantic spa getaway for just us, but he insisted I not go to the trouble; he'd simply join my girlfriends and me. I explained it was an all-girls weekend, and girls talk about different things when guys aren't around. He just lost it. He said there shouldn't be anything I tell the girls that I couldn't tell him. He accused me of not trusting him, broke down sobbing, and stormed out. He hasn't returned my calls since. I think he's being ridiculous, but he's been fantastic until now, and I don't want to lose him. -- Exfoliated

Wait, is he a man, or a 4-year-old who lost his mommy in the bread aisle? "MOMMEEEE! DONNN'T LEEEEAVE MEEEEE!"

The great thing about not having given birth to him is that you can leave him. And you probably would -- if he hadn't been "fantastic until now." Yes, until now, when he refused to accept that a fundamental element of the "girls' weekend out" is the "girls." In other words, if you have a penis, a prostate and a five o'clock shadow, don't come.

If only he were just stupid. Stupid people can be taught. Just ask authors making a mint reaching out to them by name: Hey, Moron! Imbecile! Dummy! Want to lose your virginity before you're too old to get an erection? Check out Dating for Men with the Brains of a Philodendron. Your boyfriend, unfortunately, is purposely stupid -- and unpersuaded by your tutorial on what an all-girls weekend entails: in some small part, going away for a weekend to talk about him. This becomes awkward if he's right there in a pink robe and a matching "I'm pretty!"-embroidered pink turban, sharing PMS horror stories while plucking your best friend's eyebrows.

The guy's at least smart enough to couch his stupidity in the language of love -- "You can tell me anything!" -- as if love is cause for issuing somebody an all-access pass to your head. Yes, and "Wither thou goest, I will go!" Perhaps this sounds romantic, especially with all the wither and thithering. Basically, what it proposes is a relationship modeled on a persistent fungal infection: "Hey, baby, I'll be all over you at all times like an itchy rash!" This isn't a sign that two people love each other, but that one is so much of a missing person that he can't be left alone, not even for a weekend.

The last thing you need is a guy who can't live without you. A better idea is one who can, but would rather not. You won't find a guy like that gathering up his hoop skirts and storming out of the building, sobbing about being excluded from your bikini-wax festival. No, he'll be too busy thanking his lucky stars and planning his night out making man-grunts with the boys. Ditch the "fantastic except ... " logic that women so often use in hopes of hanging onto an ultimately unacceptable man: "He's fantastic except ... well, except for those bodies under the sun porch, and the way he stretches out my bras when he wears them under his business suits." Or, in your case, he's "fantastic except ... " when you double-date with your best girlfriend. You and she excuse yourselves to the ladies' room, and he sheepishly pulls out a lipstick and says to the other guy as he's running off to join you, "I just can't get comfortable using the dinner table as a vanity."

Swept off her crow's feet

I went on a first date with a great guy who'd been asking me out for about a year. (I'd been on-and-off with another man.) On one of our daily phone calls after our date, I learned he's 29. The problem is, I'm 39. Could he be interested in anything more than sex? -- Eyeing Ashton

Do you really think a guy pursues you for a year just to put notches in his diaper pins? Maybe he wants your money. So, you're 10 years apart. If it were the 10 years between 9 and 19, they'd be reading you your rights. 19 and 29 is questionable. But, 29 and 39? It's barely interesting. Sure, you could be left with only your eye bags to keep you company -- by this guy or a guy your age. In the face of impending pandemics, maybe your greatest concern should be having fun on your second date. That would be a good time to get to know him better, teasing any potential dealbreakers into conversation, like whether he wants kids. You don't see Demi Moore having anxiety attacks, do you? Then again, she's reportedly had about $400,000 in plastic surgery, including Botox, so it's possible she hasn't had a facial expression in years.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).


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