Ask Amy: the useful man places a MeToo riddle


Dear Amy: I like to think of being a considerate and sensitive man, one who respects women and appreciates the spirit of the MeToo movement.

Therefore, a recent experience disturbed me. I'm looking for an objective match.

One recent evening, I was with a woman I know well. We drank something before, during and after dinner.

It became clear to me that he was rather drunk and that he probably should have gone to bed to sleep. I helped her up the stairs to the bathroom. After a few minutes, when I heard the bathroom door open, I went back upstairs to check it. This is when things become "difficult".

She was naked and made strong sexual advances towards me.

I knew that the "right" thing to do was to help her get dressed and go to bed to sleep, and then move on for my business. But I was weak, partly because of my strong attraction for her. We engaged in sexual activities, and during the acts I believed that there was a possibility that the next day did not remember (or at least she did not remember how things started). Yet I continued, and for this I feel full of remorse.

Did I commit "date rape"? Am I a "predator"?

If the situation came in a courtroom, or if I were a public figure, will people judge me a "bad" man?

And finally, Amy, does it matter that this woman has been my wife for 25 years?

Marveled husband

Marveled husband: I hope this has not really happened; I'm assuming instead that your question could be a small, deceptive and rude enigma, designed to stumble an unsuspecting reader.

However, let's move on.

Ask for an objective opinion. Here is mine:

We establish from the beginning that no, you are not a careful and sensitive man. No, do not respect the MeToo movement. This is quite obvious.

Taking the scenario you describe at face value – yes, you sexually assaulted your wife. He was drunk; You were sober. She was not able to consent to sex – not that you asked her.

No, you did not commit "date rape". You have however committed "conjugal rape". You chased a woman who was incapable of having sex with her. Yes, this makes you a predator.

Above all, and unfortunately, your wife is married to a man who thinks this is an intelligent and legitimate question, worthy of a kind of debate. I'm sincerely sorry for her. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Turn your good husband's card. You are a cad.

Dear Amy: You asked a question from "Pay it Forward", which was insulted when a stranger in line at the store offered to collect the bill. "Pay" refused the gesture.

Here is my answer: my 40-year-old wife died last week. He died suddenly, during a routine medical procedure.

I could not face another night eating alone, so I booked a table at a favorite restaurant – an expensive gourmet place that my wife and I attended.

After the appropriate hugs and condolences from the staff, I was seated next to an elderly couple who ordered what I was going to select. I asked about their order and the conversation turned into some things we both had in common.

In the end, I explained my lack of a dinner companion. We chatted amiably, we made friends on Facebook and they left.

I waved to my account and found out that it had been taken care of by my new friends.

Their kindness and generosity made me weep. (Of course, I contacted them to thank them.)

My point is that the ability to accept an act of kindness is a lost art and is the most desperate form of etiquette in this country.

We can not give kindness if we do not learn how to accept it.


Thomas: My sincere condolences. You have attached the perfect lesson to accept this generosity and I think your story will inspire many people to do the same. Connecting with others helps keep all of us afloat.

Dear Amy: Ah, your advice to "Middle Schooler" on how to deal with test jitters made me smile. . . especially this part: "… imagine a big and friendly golden retriever sitting quietly next to you while you take the test."

What a beautiful image! I'm not in junior high, but I'll use it.

A fan

Fan: Well, it works for me!

© 2018 by Amy Dickinson distributed by the Tribune Content Agency


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