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Scoot Force

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My husband's been saving for a motorcycle, and I was excited about riding on the back, hanging on to him — sexy and fun! But then he came home with a Vespa, the little Italian scooter. It just seems so girly. The tiny wheels make it look like a toy, and he's a big guy, so it looks like he's borrowed a little kid's bike. How can I get him to take it back? — Disappointed

If you aren't European or a hipster married to another hipster, it's a little dismaying when your husband's new ride looks like it came in a pink package marked "Barbie doll sold separately."

Men who ride Vespas and other scooters will tell you that they are secure enough in their masculinity that they don't need their transportation to be all hairy-chested and gladiating. But the reality is, image matters, especially a wife's image of her husband. And motorcycles are iconically manly and badass, while Vespas are...well, it's the imagery of Hells Angels, "Easy Rider," and "The Wild Bunch" versus the My Little Pony of ground transportation.

Your husband wasn't wrong to want a Vespa. But he isn't a bachelor anymore, so he shouldn't be making major financial decisions like a guy who's still eating cold cereal over a toilet. Not even when he's spending his own money. It isn't that he should ask your permission. (You're his wife, not his mommy.) He just needs to remember that he's in a partnership and act like it — consult you on major purchases and decisions and make sure you fully understand what he is (and, by extension, you are) getting into. Sometimes, you may not agree with some course of action, and he may still decide to go through with it. But asking for your feedback will at least make you feel respected and part of the process. And it's essential in heading off problems — like being a big bruiser of a guy spending thousands on a vehicle sized for Italian slicksters who subsist on olive oil and cigarette smoke.

As "not his mommy," you don't get to tell him to trade in the horsiepower for horsepower. Instead, tell him there's a problem, and lay it on the table for the two of you to take apart and solve together. This requires making compromise your collective goal (though this may be more successful in spirit than in practice). Can you, for example, think a little more, uh, expansively about masculinity? Realistically, maybe not. Would he consider returning the bike, or would that be too huge of a financial haircut? Or...is there some solution that works a bit for both of you, like his renting a bike on some weekends — the kind that looks like it runs on gas, not rainbows and unicorn farts?

At the very least, L'affaire Vespa could serve as a reminder to take a more partnered approach to both conflict resolution and impending major purchases — before you get all excited about his new sports car and he drives up with the sport package ...

in the mom jeans of motor vehicles, the minivan.

The Awful Poof

A female friend set me up with one of her girlfriends, and we went for drinks. There was no love connection, though there was some light kissing afterward (for maybe 30 seconds). Neither of us reached out to the other post-date. Well, my friend just yelled at me for "ghosting out" on her friend. Do I really need to "break up" with somebody after one date? — Chastised

This friend's notion of what you owe somebody after the first date verges on expecting you to march up to strangers in the supermarket and announce, "I've decided that I'm just not that into you."

She's accusing you of "ghosting," which describes disappearing on somebody you've been dating or in a relationship with without so much as a text goodbye. Being ghosted is humiliating; it's the statement without the statement that you not only have no value but have ceased to exist.

However, in order to ghost someone, there needs to be a relationship of sorts and some expectation you'd be seeing each other again, which, on the first date, you really can't have. Sure, some kindly worded goodbye is in order if you have sex on the first date or if your date texts, calls, or emails you. But otherwise, there's no obligation for closure after the first date, because, well, nothing was really opened yet. It's essentially the dating version of those free samples at the supermarket. After you take that toothpick of beef sate, the lady in the white apron and the paper hat just smiles and says, "Enjoy!"; she doesn't chase you through the frozen foods section, demanding to know whether you're going to take the whole cow.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Her latest book is "Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck."

COPYRIGHT 2014 AMY ALKON

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It's Amy Alkon's Advice Goddess Radio! "Nerd your way to a better life," with the best brains in science solving your love, dating, sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. The call-in number during the show is 347-326-9761. This week, Dr. Beth Montemurro on how women develop the sexual confidence to have more satisfying sex.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/2014/11/10/dr-beth-montemurro-how-women-develop-sexual-confidence-for-more-satisfying-sex


Comments

14 Comments | Post Comment
LW1 - Frankly, I think you have a serious communication issue here. It sounds like the only thing you said to each other were your husband saying, "I want to get a motorcycle", and you saying "Sure." Did you ask your husband for any more specifics? Did you actually tell your husband that you wanted him to buy the kind of motorcycle you could both ride at once? Did you help him put some funds toward it? Did you go shopping together? Sounds like all of that is "no" since his purchase came as a complete surprise. You actually might be able to get him to take it back...IF you tell him all of the above, and offer to put some funds toward a trade-in of something you both might enjoy.

LW2 - Tell your friend that aside from the fact that there was no real chemistry, since your date never called you either, she's just as guilty of "ghosting out" as you are, and to go yell at her for a while.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Paul W
Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:54 AM
Re LW#1------
So, Amy, are you saying that he can't get the type of motorcycle he wants because his wife thinks he won't look tough enough, or macho enough, when he rides it? And she wants to ride on the back of something that doesn't look 'girly'? Come ON!!!!
.
Decisions made as a couple because of the amount of money involved, yes. Wife having veto power not because he spent more on a Vespa than he would have on a Harley, but because she doesn't like the 'image' he will be projecting? She needs to grow up. It says nothing about her being unhappy because he spent the money, just that SHE didn't get to approve his final choice-----and for the stupid reason of 'I don't like the image it creates', no less. How old is this woman, for God's sake?
.
Back in the dark ages, when CBs were the rage, my husband insisted on having one. I thought they were the stupidest things imaginable, told him so, and then said 'Get one if you want it." He did. I continued to think they were stupid, he continued to have fun with it till he got tired of it. I don't ever remember anyone coming up to me and saying "It sure does reflect badly on you and my image of you that your husband has this stupid CB." If they had, I expect I'd have said "F'ck off." Because it (1) was none of their business and (2) had nothing to do with me. Is her self-image so poor it can be shattered if someone thinks her husband is riding a Vespa and looks stupid on it?
.
I suggest much better advice to her would be "Leave your husband alone and let him ride what he wants. Stop whining about 'what kind of husband will people think I have?' and if you're so concerned about image, YOU go buy a Harley and a leather jacket, and get a couple tattoos. Roar up and down the street with no muffler to your heart's content. You want a macho image, you go be it yourself and leave him alone.
Comment: #2
Posted by: jennylee
Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:02 AM
Re: jennylee--When CBs were the rage, my aunt, the one who is only 7 years older than I am, was complaining because her husband was constantly on the CB and she was jealous of the time he was spending. I told her that if she were to get into it, he'd probably cut back. She did, and found that she was having a good time flirting with the truckers on the highway. Suddenly her husband decided the CB was stupid.

I wouldn't care if my husband brought home a Vespa or a Harley. Either way, I'm not riding on the back of it. I see women hanging on the back of those things every weekend from the comfort of my car, and I'm always glad it's them and NOT me.

I've told my husband he can buy a motorcycle with my life insurance money.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:40 AM
Re: Joannakathryn 3
I agree-----no way would I get on the back on one of those, or ride it myself. My husband insisted on getting one, and he did, but since he was someone that couldn't bear to spend the amount of money needed to get anything in actual running shape, he bought one that needed a bunch of work, because of course he was going to fix it up------just not right now.
.
He had owned it 20-some years when he died, and it never made it on the road. After a few years I stopped renewing the tags and let the insurance lapse, and he never even noticed.
.
He was stubborn enough that telling him he could NOT do something made him determined to do it, but he was also lazy enough that he never actually got around it, so for the most part I didn't worry about whatever it was that he was GOING to do, I knew it would never come to pass.
Comment: #4
Posted by: jennylee
Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:10 PM
LW1- If she longs to ride on a Harley, she should buy one for herself. Lots of women around here ride Harleys.
LW2- You didn't ghost, you just didn't call, but then, neither did she. I'd call it a draw.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Patty Bear
Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:12 PM
LW2: It's mostly a problem because now your friend is mad at you, but you did the 30 seconds or so of kissing. Maybe it doesn't make much difference, but if you aren't into someone, don't make out with them. This comes off like a minor problem in the long run, but if someone kissed me for 30 seconds, I'd think it meant he was interested. If I find out he really wasn't interested later, then it feels more like I was groped by a jerk. Find a way to make this right with your friend, even if it means you don't let her fix you up anymore.
Comment: #6
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:05 PM
LW1: I'm confused. Are you asking for a spell? A way to manipulate your husband? God forbid you should be honest. No, better to be the fake you. Moron.

LW2: Your friend is a moron so why do you care?

Comment: #7
Posted by: Diana
Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:25 PM
LW1 - Your husband's Vespa just needs a phallic accessory or two. Google "This Artillery-Toting Vespa Was Designed To Take On Tanks" Then watch the video at the bottom of the page of the soldier riding one ... it'll get you hot and bothered, if that's what you're looking for.
Comment: #8
Posted by: sarah morrow
Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:27 PM

How about buying your own motorcycle? You can be as macho as you want on it.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Jennifer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:51 PM
Re: Jennifer
Hear hear! If he wants a Vespa, he has the right to get one. They are actually very practical, far more than motorcycles. I watched one being loaded with groceries at a ferry dock on one of the Croatian coastal islands. Wife got off the ferry with a ton of groceries, husband loaded them onto the scooter, wife walked home while he drove the groceries home (no room on the passenger seat for her). Try doing that with a Harley.
Having been awakened in the middle of the night by extremely loud motorcycles driven by wanna-be middle class Heck's Angels, I applaud her husband's choice.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Seabeast2
Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:05 AM
Louisa Finell, #6, re: "...you did the 30 seconds or so of kissing...if you aren't into someone, don't make out with them. ...if someone kissed me for 30 seconds, I'd think it meant he was interested. If I find out he really wasn't interested later, then it feels more like I was groped by a jerk. Find a way to make this right with your friend, even if it means you don't let her fix you up anymore."
.
Wow, sexist double-standard much? Hate to break it to you, but they BOTH did the exact same thing, but you are only blaming HIM and implying HE'S a jerk? "YOU" did the 30 seconds of kissing? No, SHE did 30 seconds of kissing too. And then never, ever contacted him again. So I guess HE was "groped by a jerk." Honestly, in this day and age, either the man or the woman can send a text after the first date. The idea that you expect only the man to, and that only HE benefited from the kissing, means you might want to step into the year 2000.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Jane
Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:52 AM
You know I can't believe everyone here thinks that a Vespa costs more than a Harley Davidson Motorcycle! I about died laughing over that!
Sure a brand new Vespa can run you about $7200. However a brand new 2014 Harley Davidson motorcycle starts at around $17,500 and goes on up from there. Even if you went for an older model, like a 2010 Sportster, that would run you $10,000 or more.
Vespas are actually more economical both in terms of gas usage and insurance. The trade off is that they are not all that heavy, so if you encounter a situation where you have to avoid an accident, well, you are pretty screwed.
Still, good lord! You guys are funny!
Comment: #12
Posted by: Mdelwell
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:01 PM
LW1 -
Hey. The man saved HIS money and got the bike HE wanted. If you want something to play biker chick with, buy it yourself.

LW2 -
There is no divorce procedure for one single date where there were only drinks and a couple of sampling kisses.

You didn't give her any news, and she didn't give you any news. How is it you're guilty of "ghosting" and she's not? Ah, I get it, I KEEP forGETting, the woman is supposed to play the coyly blushing wallflower and wait for the man to make the overture...

You may want to remind your friend (and hers too, apparently) that this is no longer the fifties, and that they both need to ditch the sexist double-standard. Women are big girls now, they can buy their own bikes and place their own phone calls.



Comment: #13
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:41 PM
LW1--Obviously it has never occurred to you that evolved people couldn't care less about what other people think with regards to what they do or how they look. Your husband purchased a motorcycle that HE would enjoy riding. He didn't purchase a motorcycle so that he could grow a long beard, dress up in leather and join Hell's Angels you nitwit! The fact that you can't get over your immature and petty worries about what other people might think when they see the two of you tooling around town on a Vespa means that he can leave your dumbass home. That sounds like a win for him if you ask me.

LW2--Your friend must have been living under a rock for the past ten years. My single friends tell me that it is quite common to meet someone online, have a date and then never hear so much as a boo from the person ever again. Call it ghosting or whatever, but it's common and it's here to stay. Your friend's girlfriend needs to put on her big girl pants and accept that she wasn't the ONE and move on.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Chris
Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:26 PM
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