My friend set me up on a blind date with a guy who works in her office. Now, I’m not usually one to roll the dice on a date without prior visual confirmation, but my sex life lately has been a bit…arid, shall we say? She described his physical appearance, which sounded foolproof: barrel chest, washboard abs, great hair, bedroom eyes — and when we finally went out, it all turned out to be true. But one thing had been left unmentioned. He has a harelip. As much as I tried to concentrate on the overall product, my eyes couldn’t get off that split kisser. He was funny, intelligent and sweet, but at the end of the night I told him my roommate was sick so he couldn’t come in. Am I a jerk for rejecting a perfectly good man strictly on the basis of a harelip? Is my friend a jerk for not warning me in advance?
— Harebrained “Harry”
Lord knows gay men can be a hard crowd when a physical flaw is present. The guy sounds like a real find, so I’d like to say, “Get past his mouth, you superficial twit!” But I know that’s not necessarily realistic, and I’d never resort to name-calling when reaching out to beloved readers in their hours of need.
Just because you’re uncomfortable about his harelip, you’re not a shallow, vapid jerk who failed to seize the last remaining chance for true love and happiness in your pathetic life. (Feel better?) But what is a no-no is lying instead of owning up to your discomfort. You think he bought the line about the sick roommate? Not likely. I’d take a look at your options in the field of romance and friendship. If this guy’s got so much going for him, get in touch and say, “Listen, I’m sorry I wasn’t direct about the fact that your harelip surprised me and made me uncomfortable. Would you like to spend more time together and see what happens?” If he gives you a second chance, your hesitation may disappear as you get to know him better, and you could end up with a great new friend or boyfriend. As for your matchmaking friend, I’d cut her some slack. True, she’d have done better to give you a heads-up on the harelip. But let’s pretend that she thinks so highly of you that mentioning such a relatively minor thing would have never crossed her mind.
My friend drives a lavender Geo Metro. I drive a turquoise Kia. Who’s gayer?
— Hot Wheels
The one with the most Barbra Streisand records, of course. Silly rabbit. Next question!
I like to go out and party, but my new boyfriend likes to stay home. I really like him, but feel this may be a deal-breaker. What should I do?
— Social Butterfly
Compromise is the tool you need to keep harmony in your hut. You should enjoy spending time with him as much as going out, and as such, do both often without feeling either deprived or guilty. It’s only when he requires you not to go out that you have a real problem. Compromise, good. Control, bad. Give it some time, sweetness, and everything should balance out just fine.
Summer in Washington is no time to be hot and bothered! Lena can’t keep you cool, but I’ll certainly do my darndest to set your mind at ease about anything that troubles you. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org today.