Batman Returns screenshot

Austin from Pittsburgh asks:

Why do people, so often, take an instant dislike to me?

I assume it saves time.


Kafui from Stone Mountain, Ga., asks:

What are the biggest mistakes guys make on dates?

They show up 5-feet-8 with a beard and have the audacity not to have a personality.

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No, seriously, the biggest mistake guys make on dates is … feigning interest.

And I don’t know why they do it.

I mean, I know what the obvious answer is: sex. Sex that night or sometime in the future. But is it really that simple? Are y’all really that simple, Kafui?

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Sophie from Raleigh, N.C., asks:

Which superhero would you date? Who would you absolutely not date? And what do you think their pillow talk would be like?

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I absolutely wouldn’t date Bruce Wayne. There’s no lightness of spirit there. No joy. Just abandonment issues and an obsessive personality disorder. I’d ask him to see a therapist, but he wouldn’t. Plus, he’s a superhero with no superpowers. So now every night he leaves our mansion to fight crime, I’ll worry. And when he comes home bruised and battered, he’ll just slink off to his man cave to nurse his wounds alone. But I need quality time, in the daylight.

I assume our pillow talk would just be him pretending he spends any time at Wayne Enterprises. He’ll talk about deliverables and directives, and I’ll nod and smile and push his head down between my legs. I’m not into broody sex, but it’ll have to do while I wait for Thor to text back.

You see, Thor is the one that’ll get me. The chemistry would be off the charts. It’d be a lot of shit talking and pure animal lust. The interdimensional commute would be a bitch, but since he’s next in line for the throne, I’d suck it up.

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I assume our pillow talk would be him bitching about his brother and the intricacies of intergalactic intrigue. I’ll pretend to care and then push his head down between my legs.


Demarcus from Baltimore asks:

Her family hates me. We started off rocky. And by “rocky,” I mean I was dating around. I wasn’t ready to commit. I honestly feel like I was pretty clear about where we stood, where I stood, but she was hurt by my actions anyway. She insists she was lied to and used. And every instance I “fucked up” was laid out in detail to her friends, family and co-workers. I’m pretty sure everyone has me down as “Demarcus the fuckboi.” Which is fucked up because they only ever got her side. Anyway, her and I have come a long way. Once I realized I couldn’t live without her, I fully committed. But everyone else is still stuck on my bad past. And I honestly wouldn’t care, but despite being together for two years now, they still keep trying to set her up with “good black men.” But she already has one of those. Me. Fuck! So how do I address this, Agie?

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Something I read somewhere said that because man didn’t evolve to live in modern society, we’re only barely handling the pressures of civilization. And for that reason, I feel like there’s a large part of our subconscious that wants to see civilization fall. We want the burden of going to work, paying bills and clearing our notifications lifted.

So when the global economy was on the verge of collapse in the late aughts, a great many of us wanted the government to let it all fail. Even me. There was a small part of me that wanted an end to everything. An end to the drudgery. A return to a simpler time when our biggest worry was whether or not we’d get enough rain for a good harvest.

I’d be all for a collapse of everything if it meant we could skip the whole dystopian rape, murder and mayhem part in between—because 90 percent of us aren’t surviving that part. Including me. The thing is, we’re not going to go quietly from modern civilization to farming in small villages. Just like society evolved, it’d have to devolve. First there’d be civil unrest, riots, roving gangs, vigilantes, mass uprisings, food shortages, power outages, civil insurrections, the disbanding of the armed forces, anarchy, chaos, misinformation, death, disease, famine, a great die-out. And then, maybe, about 200 years after that, quiet farming in small fortified enclaves.

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So I get dressed and go to work. And suffer the burden of living in the modern world.

And that’s what your girl did.

It’s what a lot of us do. We suffer the burden of these modern rules.

But no one suffers quietly. That group chat be lit.

“Y’all guess what this nigga said to me!”

Everyone gets to be the hero of their own story, Demarcus. She gets to be the hero of her own story. And she gets to paint you as the villain.

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And sure, real life isn’t that black or white, where people are bad or good, but that doesn’t make for good storytelling.

But that’s not deep.

Here’s what’s deep: Everyone gets to go at their own pace.

You wanted to go at your own pace. And you did. You have to allow everyone else to go at their own pace. And while they’re taking their time trying to figure out how they feel about you, expect bad behavior. Akin to the bad behavior you displayed.

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I know, I know. You didn’t do anything wrong. You kept it real the whole time.

You can say you’re an asshole. And then you can act like an asshole. But you don’t also get to say, “But I told you I was an asshole.” Stating a fact of who you are doesn’t absolve you from being accountable. Check it: You want to say you’re an asshole and then be an asshole, but you also want everyone around you to treat you with compassion. As if being an asshole is a disability.

It’s not.

And no, I’m not going to address her. She didn’t write in.