Change of heart

Dear Dategirl,

I pay a young lady who is self-employed in the service industry (not the sex trade) to do work for me occasionally. Over time, we have chatted and gotten to know each other. During our last few conversations, she has begun asking me out and even asked if I would go on a trip with her.

The problem is that she is married, and I will not even consider going out with a married woman, no matter how bad she says her marriage is. I won't even go out with a woman who is engaged or just dating someone. I believe men and women should be free of any ties before trying to find each other.

We have never seen each other socially. I have made my feelings about this very clear, but she still brings it up at least once when we are together. She is not doing it in a flirting or joking manner, and she can't be doing it to get more business from me because there isn't anymore that can be had.

My question to you is, how can I make her understand that her continuing propositions (albeit ego-boosting) are making me very uncomfortable without hurting her feelings, wrecking our friendship, and ending our work relationship?

Sought-After Sam

I'm printing this letter because after last week's column my editor called and told me that I've been giving too much coverage to the nastiness I get in the mail and not spending nearly enough time solving problems. I got to thinking that he was probably right. Then, almost immediately, I received the above e-mail. Sam's letter caught my eye because he is the same guy who wrote a mean letter to the editor a few weeks back, saying I didn't know what the hell I was talking about! Now he's asking me for advice—the very same chick he criticized for not being hip to "male-anese" (whatever that is)! So it is with great delight that I answer his query.

Sam! This is a no-brainer! I figured you would've come up with a question that would, if not stump me, at least cause me to scratch my head once or twice. A married woman who works for you keeps busting a move on you and you don't like it. She won't stop it even though you tell her to stop, and you're worried about ruining your friendship? If I had a friend who kept hitting on me even after I'd told him to stop, I'd be so pissed off I wouldn't care about ending our friendship. And as for an employee, who cares! Whatever this woman does, I'm sure there are dozens who do it better.

But I suspect you are enjoying her come-ons a little too much to cut her off entirely. C'mon, admit it, it's pretty flattering. Being pursued by a married woman injects a little drama into your otherwise dreary day. How tawdry! You self-righteously sputter that you will not date anyone married or even remotely involved with anybody else, and to that I say bully for you. But don't pretend that this little missy doesn't provide you with hours of fantasy fun while you're laying alone at night in that big lonesome bed of yours:

"Sam, can you hold the ladder? I can't reach the top shelf!"

"Why, Sadie, you seem to have forgotten that underpants are a vital part of your form-fitting French-maid uniform!"

"Oh, silly Sam, panties are soooo constricting!"

Here's the deal: If this situation really bothers you, you have no choice but to fire her ass. But if you choose to acknowledge it for what it is—a harmless flirtation—quit being such a whiner and enjoy yourself.

Sam actually wrote me a second letter asking me to print letters about "women jerking around some guy or even a lesbian lover." Well, Sam, I generally don't get letters from the people doing the jerking around—the mail I get is from the jerkees. And although this may upset your worldview of men as hapless victims, men jerk women and other men around as often as women do. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Assholocity knows no gender or sexual persuasion—it's a universal thing. Thank you, however, for your continued readership. I thought I'd lost you!

Finally, I wanted to print a letter I received in response to the column about my trip to Barcelona. One reader took me to task for tantalizing the men of Spain with my scanty clothing. Here's another girl's take on the place:

Dear Dategirl,

Since I was just in Barcelona, I thought I'd mention that even if you wear pants, the men still hiss and leer at you if you are blonde.


Victim or perpetrator of assholocity? Write or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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