Ben or Conrad?
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 95 13:55:12 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Ben or Conrad?
Forwarded-by: What hath Daniel Roth Tenenbaum wroth? <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Kathleen Thompson <email@example.com>
CINTRA, I seek your guidance:
Your column is a godsend. Please tell me what I should do. There are two
men in my life right now. "Ben" is a sexy mechanic, a true natural flirt
and a vision in overalls. He is a good listener, real smart, socially
conscious, diversity-positive and a radical intellectual - all of which I
like. I bought a red satin bra at Target the other day just because I was
thinking about him.
I had a mutual female friend check him out. The report: He has a live-in
girlfriend who is a lifetime member of the NRA. So is he. He has a cute cap
with a gold braid for paying all those dues to the NRA. With the
girlfriend, I feel I may be foolish to respond to his advances.
"Conrad," an older man, is single, smart, funny and cute. We share so many
interests we could almost be soul mates, except for one thing: He is a
Cintra, this is the truth, I am not making this up. We have fooled around
quite a bit, but my natural womanly impulses are inhibited by his politics
and I cannot go all the way with him. I tried to explain that without
liberal feminism I would not have my house, my job or my credit card, and
that he would have to pay my way on dates, which he does not and will not
I will await your reply before proceeding with any of these individuals.
Please do not print my name.
Dearest Please: It sounds as if both of these fellows grate unwholesomely
against your inner grain, but you are too randy to abandon both prospects
and are instead asking me which would be the lesser of two evils.
If Ben the sexy mechanic is really coming on to you, it is safe to assume
he has come on to other women while he's been living with his firearms
enthusiast girlfriend. It may behoove you to find out if his girlfriend has
caused any interesting scenes in the past, since you would not want to
stumble into work with a post-coital smile carved into your glowing head
like a jolly pumpkin only to find a red-faced, jilted sniper picking off
your co-workers with a featherweight .22 rifle and slobbering, "Where is
she?!? Where is she?!"
Still, I, Cintra, recognize the red bra in your tarot spread as a sign that
a tugging, powerful voice in your loins will be petulant and whiney until
you roll Ben.
Here's my advice. If Ben isn't just flirting with you like he naturally
does with most other women, wait for the right moment and spring an
outrageous proposition on him involving a semi-expensive hotel, a box of
Rough Riders and a whole tube of Saran Wrap. Explore every possible
safe-sex fantasy that's ever mowed your lawn, drag out the bear rug,
whatever. Use him. He's obviously a scoundrel, give him a taste of what
it's like to be treated like a soulless carnal object.
Never actually touch any part of his body. No fingerprints. Wear no
perfume. File your nails down to the quick. Do not spend the night. Give
him an airtight alibi, do not give him your phone number or address, and
dash out in the night, confident that you have taken his ass in every way
that you wanted it and left nothing behind but a deep imprint of your free,
wild spirit on his dumb mechanic heart.
Cackle as you get into a taxicab (do not drive your own car). Toss your
head back and ooze into the velour seats, confident and totally empowered.
Then, never see or call him again.
Trust me, this works.
As for Conrad, if he intends to curry your favor and be a Republican at the
same time, then I say that he has to pay for everything every time you go
anywhere, forever. Inform him that his conservative political stance does
not entitle him to the benefits or perks of any liberalism, and that if he
wants to play fat guy in a suit, that you are entitled to hairstyles,
manicures, dinners, movies, and later on down the line, a Chrysler LeBaron
or some other luxury Iacocca creation. At that point, bi-annual vacations
are in order, of either the Tropical Unwinding or the European Shopping
Inform him that this stance is not negotiable because of your deep feelings
about the orgy of military spending during the Reagan years that is
depriving your grandchildren of a decent way of life.
Be catlike as you remind him that he's not getting any younger and insist
on a joint checking account, then have him buy you a large diamond and a
house. Marry him in the spirit of the tremendous fall of civilization into
corruption and chaos that we are surely plummeting into, with no prenuptial
agreement. Quit work and develop a small pill habit, which will insure that
Conrad plants you into a posh institution for drying out and art classes
for several weeks.
When you get out, bursting with freshly rehabilitated life, give Ben a call
and ask him if he's still living with Calamity Jane. If not, you may desire
a repeat of your previous tryst, making sure that he cuts his nails and
wears no cologne. Conrad will never find out. Make sure he never buys a
Exhausted from bailing the bilge out of your psychic hull? Please write to:
CINTRA WILSON FEELS YOUR PAIN, San Francisco Examiner, P.O. Box 7260, San
Francisco, CA 94120, or e-mail The Oracle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Electric Examiner
© 1995 Peter Langston