Three Wise Guys: Flirting vs. Charming, Scissors Tether, Origin of 'Crying Uncle'

(By Danny Hellman)
  Enlarge Photo    
By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

I'm in my early 20s, working for a prestigious company. One of the consultants I work with is a charming older man (a little older than my father). Now, to give proper context, I tend to harbor slightly inappropriate feelings for older men, though I have never acted on them. Ever.

Anyway, I look forward to his dropping by and chatting with me. Here's the thing: I can't tell if he's flirting or if he's just charming, or both. The occasional wink as he walks by, his corny jokes and his sympathy leave me either thinking he sees me as a daughter or wondering whether he has other intentions. Is there any way to decipher this? You know, just to satisfy my curiosity. No other reason.


Dan: There is a way to decipher whether he's flirting or just charming. And that way is to listen to me: He's flirting. He's an older man, you're a younger woman (presumably attractive, based on our readership statistics). Flirting doesn't mean his intentions are nefarious. Right now it sounds as if he's just trying to be suave. Either way, it seems as though you want to satisfy more than your curiosity.

Justin: You're exultant for the consultant.

Joe: You're rah-rah for Grandpa.

Dan: (This is what happens when one's editor goes on maternity leave.) Anyway. He's flirting. Enjoy it. Don't act on it.

Dear Wise Guys:

The three wise guys I live with are always using my stuff and not returning it. Reach for a stapler? Gone. Need tape? Not on my desk. Are eight pairs of scissors enough for a family of four? Not if they need to live in my kitchen or desk drawer.

I've noticed that retail stores have these neat cables that are attached at one end to furniture and at the other end to a camera, cellphone or other gadget. Where can I get these? They'd be perfect for keeping my toys and tools where I need them.


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company