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Actual Letters from Actual Women

Getting your boyfriend to stop saying 'dude'

by Dear Jon
July 23, 2001

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Actual Letters from Actual Women_Dear Jon-Getting your boyfriend to stop saying 'dude' Note to Reader: Okay, this first letter might not actually be from a woman, since it contains two very "male" interests: "car" and "poop."


Dear Jon,

How do birds know to poop on your car the exact moment you finish washing it?

Vexed at birds

Dear Birds,

Fractal mathematics demonstrate what has already been observed in nature, that patterns tend to reproduce themselves. Thus, the tendency of a bird to drop its load on a freshly washed car, is reproduced toward infinity in the pattern of nature called "Murphy's Law." This law of nature states, "If anything can go wrong, it will."

As a correlation to fractal mathematics, it is reasonable to conclude that birds will continue to drop their burdens on clean cars for as long as cars are washed, since that is that pattern of nature reproduced to infinity on that scale. The "Murphy Fractal Pattern" (a designation original with Dear Jon. Mark this, friends) reproduces itself on other scales as well.

On a much larger scale, there was the man who, in 1980, in fear that nuclear war was imminent, analyzed the safest place in the world to be, and moved...to the Falkland Islands.

On another scale, I have found that if I wear leather shoes on a day that involves walking at least a block outdoors, I can end a months-long drought.


Dear Jon,

You seem to give a lot of men advice on women, how about some advice for us? How do I get my juvenille boyfriend to stop saying "Dude"? He's 31 now, don't you think he's a little old for this?

Tired of "Dude"

Dear Tired,

You have a number of strategies at your disposal. First, however, you must resolve for yourself: Do you want your boyfriend to stop saying "Dude," or do you want your boyfriend to stop being "juvenile?" The approaches here are very different.

If you want your boyfriend to stop saying, "Dude," the strategy is simple. The next time he says, "Dude," tell him, "That turns me off." He will look at you blankly and say, "What does?"

"When you say, 'Dude.' That word turns me off."

"Oh." If the dude has even moderate intelligence, he will say, "Sorry." Then he will not do it again. If the dude has the brains of cabbage, he will say, "Why?"
If the dude asks you why, then you know that the real problem is that the dude is juvenile.

However, in fairness, timing is everything. When he is watching an important football game (note: the definition of "important" is "that which is televised)it is not a good time to warn him of those flaws of his that you find turn-offs. Then he will think that the issue is really about football, and being with his guy friends doing guy things instead of being whipped all the time which is what those dudes make fun of him about when you're not around. That has nothing to do with being juvenile. It has everything to do with being a guy.

If the problem is that the guy is a juvenile at 31 years of age, then you have to ask yourself whether that's a problem that you are the one to solve. But be careful: So many women are confused about the difference between "juvenile" and "male," that I will have to devote an entire separate feature article to that issue alone. Look for it sometime before Labor Day, unless I forget about it.


"iron your shirts for the week while you watch football."

Do you mean, "reinforce the fact that you are really ignoring her, and demonstrate that you are wondering what she is doing there"?

Signed, All for Clarity

Dear Clare,

You have either got to be kidding, or you must be a man who is either kidding or clueless, or you must be one of those high-maintenence psychos with real insecurity issues.

It is true that my advice will not sit well with high maintenence psychos, because my advice aims at sensitizing (and sanitizing) the male while allowing the male his essentials of maleness. High maintenence pscyhos, on the other hand, do not want males to be men. They want males to be slaves under emotional domination and manipulation--in thrall, basically.

American courtship has evolved to the point where male and female become familiar with each other's domestic habits, and in fact, evaluate those habits as part of the relationship while determining the viability of a future together.

At no time would I ever suggest that a man propose that a lady watch him iron shirts while he watches football, as a First Date. American courtship begins in the sphere of romance, but progresses to the domestic spheres of friendship and routine and habit--even to a measure of security in the relationship. It is at that time that such issues as, "How can I convert my girl-friend to be a sports fan?" comes to light.

I am convinced that there are only 16 or so well-balanced, emotionally healthy people in the world. That makes most of the rest of us neurotic, and that is who I am trying to help. High Maintenence Psychos are beyond the reach of Dear Jon. I ought to know. I dated a few.

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