Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cheatin’ Colleague

Once everyone ordered food and drinks, one of the guys jumped right in with the first issue of the night. “I got an issue . . . and it involves sex.”

Doc piped in “It’s about time we had a sex issue – been way too long.  And really, are there any other kinds of issues? Okay, seriously, what have you got?”

“A colleague of mine asked me to, er, help them with a little project. This person is having an affair and is planning on going away next weekend with their side interest. The cover story is that its for a work conference and I’ve been asked to - should inquiries be made - affirm that indeed we are going out of town for a conference.”

Nails spoke up. “We need some clarification. Will you be called before the conference? During it?”

“Forget that. Do you know the spouse? Is this a good friend of yours? Seems like the answer shouldn’t depend on this stuff, but I guess it does.” Big Dog was usually pretty insightful when it came to spousal issues.

The guy who brought up the issue said “I told you everything pertinent. You need to make your own assumptions on this one. I’m not really sure that any of those details matter. What do you think I should do? What would you do?’

Nails responded first. “I don’t see how there’s any way you can say yes. It doesn’t matter if the spouse actually calls, it doesn’t matter if you know the spouse – cheating is just wrong and if you enable, or at least condone it, you’d be in the wrong too. I think you respond by encouraging them to seek counseling and not have the affair.”

Big Dog agreed. “It could be tempting, especially if this is a real good friend of yours. But I don’t think you want to get involved in something like that.”

El Guapo demurred. “I might be in the minority on this, but I think you’ve got to consider it. Think of the cost versus benefit. Chances are you’re not going to get called on it, your colleague will owe you big time regardless and what the hell do you care what this person does in their private life.”

I finally spoke up. “I’m kind of surprising myself on this one but I have to agree with El Guapo, though definitely not for the same reasons. Look, it depends on what assumptions you make. One, I’m assuming the person who asked you is a good friend, not just a colleague. Two, maybe their marriage sucks or maybe you know the spouse is evil and you never thought they’d be good together and you knew they weren’t going to last. Maybe you know the spouse is cheating. Who knows? But I’m assuming that this is a real good friend in a lousy marriage and you got to be there for your friend.  Like Nails said, encourage them to not do it, encourage counseling or a divorce, but in the end you got to be there for your friend.”

Most of the guys disagreed with me – felt the moral and ethical lines were pretty clear. In retrospect, despite my answer at the time, I’m not sure what I’d do, but I still think it depends on what assumptions you make.

Post script:  After everyone spoke up, the guy who brought up the issue revealed that (1) the colleague was a woman (I’m pretty sure we all assumed it was a man) and (2) he didn’t really know her that well and was pretty shocked to be asked. He told her he didn’t feel comfortable doing it. But he also told us that he could imagine circumstances where he might be willing to cover for a friend. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Big Nose, Small Boobs or Hey, That's My Daughter You're Talking About

I'm one of the youngest guy to play TNH, by about 10 years. To me, some of the most fascinating topics are on parenting and seeing what I've got to look forward to. Witness . . . 

Commish started the conversation, as he usually does. "Okay fellas - your teenage daughter comes to you and your wife and tells you she wants to get a nosejob. This isn't a physical health issue. Do you consider it? T.S. - You're up"

T.S., one of the more liberal members of the group, surprised me when he said "absolutely not. Being a teenage girl is tough, and I can imagine how a whacked-out nose would affect her self-esteem and social ability. But just about every teenage girl has something they are losing sleep over. I want my daughter to be proud of who she is, warts and all."

A couple of other guys agreed. Then Nails spoke up. "It's a tough call. I'm around kids all day. If you guys don't see what these teenagers go through every day I don't think you really know how tough it can be. On the other hand, who's to say the whacked-out nose is permanent? She could still grow into it, it could evolve. I'd say be careful until you at least know she's not going to change again."

I was up next. "No way. I'd try to talk with her about esteem issues, address any underlying concerns. But - this might sound funny and I'm not sure how I'd bring it up with my teenage daughter - maybe an unusual nose turns out to be a good thing. If its that unique, it could turn out to be very sexy. Like you all didn't grow up fantasizing about Cindy Crawford, mole and all! I'm with T.S. - she should be proud of who she is. Commish, what do you think?"

"Well, I'm pretty open to it. Assuming money and health aren't issues, and her self-esteem is that messed up - let's say we consulted doctors and counselors and it could really make a difference - why not make being a teenager a little easier."

"Okay - here's the follow up issue. Your daughter says she wants a boob job. T.S., what do you say?"

"Same response. She is who she is, take pride in it."

Nap finally piped up, with a Cheney-like grin. "It really depends. Are we talking about my daughter, or your daughter. Okay, seriously, if there's no health issue, no way."

Nails: "We're talking about a breast enhancement, not a reduction right?" Couple of snickers, but he went on. "Seriously, think Punky Brewster. Major back issues, you know? Actually, reduction or enhancement, I'm against it for a teenager. My sister had very large boobs and had a reduction in high school. Only problem was, she wasn't done growing, and well, they basically came back a few years later."

Doc looked incredulous. "They came back?! Like a starfish? Only two right?"

Nails just smiled at him. "Seriously, she had the operation too young and needed it again a few years later. But it probably helped with potential back pain and definitely helped her self-esteem. Well, after the second time at least."

Commish summed it up "No way I'd let her do it in high school, but maybe in college, with a doctor's okay I'd be receptive. But if there's no health issue, chances are she'd have to pay for it herself."

I only have boys and, regardless, am years away from dealing directly with issues like this. But once again I really appreciate where the TNH guys are coming from. Check out the survey to the right. What would you do?

Monday, January 12, 2009


Definition - in which one spouse (usually the male) performs chores around the house either:
- to sexually excite the other spouse, thereby acting as foreplay, or
- directly in exchange for sexual activity

- Have you previously heard of the term "choreplay"? (Note: No one else in the group had)
- Do you and your significant other experience "choreplay"? (Note: Various members of our group said yes) If so, is it always the male performing the chores? And what are the chores?

Looking forward to some answers from our reading audience

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sides of the Bed

Commish: So do you and your significant other always sleep on the same sides of the bed?
Trump: Definitely
Trafe: I guess that's true
Gump: I'd say it's a doctrine
Utz: A doctrine already?
Trump: I deserve a doctrine already - Are you in?
Utz: Well, if you deserve it, then I'm in
Artie: I suppose I'm in as well - but then again, I'm not so sure, especially when we're somewhere other than home
Comm: You're intruding on my follow up
Artie: Point momentarily withdrawn
Comm: So that's the follow up - How about at a hotel?
Artie: As I was saying, I'm not what we do when we're at a hotel
Trump: We're definitely the same whether we're home, at a hotel, or whatever
Utz: Will you sleep the same at home? Yes, we sleep the same at home - even if you're all alone? Even if I'm all alone
Gump: And sleep the same when out as well? Even in a bad hotel?
Trump: If it isn't Green Utz and Gump - Let's hear what you losers have to say
Utz: I'm Loser #1, and I say we also sleep on the same sides in a hotel
Gump: I'm Loser #2, and I agree with Loser #1
Trafe: I've been thinking about it, and I realized that I have a different answer - that is, wherever we are my wife sleeps on the side closest to the door
Gump: And why is that?
Trafe: I think it's out of habit having to do with responding to the kids
Comm: I just wanted you guys to know the reason behind me bringing this up - that is, my girlfriend and I sleep on different sides of the bed depending on whether we sleep at her house or mine - whoever's at home gets to pick their side of choice, and we each usually sleep on the same side - which brings me to the final part of this issue - Do you start on different sides for sexual purposes?
Trafe: What's your point?
Comm: My point is that sleeping on different sides of the bed at each other's house adds a bit to the sexual experience for me - it's a little different, you know?
Trump: But you asked your prior questions, and almost everyone said that they always sleep on the same side of the bed - so what makes you think you'll get different answers to this question?
Comm: Maybe I won't
Trump: Okay, I'll start and I'm sticking with the same answer and the same sides of the bed
Utz: Not so fast there, old man - for sexual purposes we start wherever on the bed we might be and go from there
Trump: Calm down there, spry youngster
Trafe: I have to say that I'm with Utz on this one
Gump: I'd say it's a doctrine
Artie: The plot thickens - count me in as well
Trump: I guess it was worth asking the question
Utz: At the very least just to give me a doctrine
Comm: Time to go home and get things started from whatever side of the bed
Gump: And don't forget that Jessie the waitress encouraged us to wake up your woman if she's asleep
Trafe: Someone call Gump tomorrow to make sure that he survived the night