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Don’t Be That Guy… to People You Care About

Dudes gonna dude, but must you dude like this… to your friends and lovers

Relationships between human people — new ones, old ones, illicit ones — are tricky enough, but in this week’s installment of Don’t Be That Guy, men remind us that they are very good at making already tricky situations worse by virtue of being pathologically themselves. Let’s dig in!

Faxed Up

A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a stupid friend will send a fake fax to that jail pretending your bond was paid and you should be released, and will do it from a suspicious number that doesn’t look official. Pretending to be from the court staff. On a Saturday. While in jail himself. That’s what Pennsylvania man Justin Colbert did, indicating in the fax that a $25,000 bond payment had been made for an inmate in the Lancaster County jail, who’d been held on a weapons charge, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Again, it was Saturday, courts were closed, and the attached info was not associated with the court. The police wasted no time identifying that the fax was sent by Colbert, who is currently serving time for theft, and was using a computer from inside the jail. His reward? A $1,000 fine and possibly six more months of jail time.

Florida Man Gonna Florida

The sexiest indiscretions can turn on a dime when lovers are exposed in flagrante delicto. But when exposed in Florida, there’s always an added charm to the proceedings. A prominent pastor in Tallahassee, O. Jermaine Simmons, classed things up when he decided to meet a married woman for an afternoon tryst, WBTV reported. But when her husband stormed in and caught them, threatening to kill Simmons, the pastor fled naked, ducking for cover behind a tree to avoid the husband’s wrath. Once police got involved, the husband eventually agreed to return Simmons’ wallet, keys and clothes. The pastor then apologized to his church, saying, “You cannot defend sin.” But can you defend cowardly fleeing? No word yet on God’s response.

Ex Hex

New relationships are tough enough, especially when attempted under the shadow of an ex. Such is the case with a woman writing to Slate’s Dear Prudence, whose new boyfriend, in spite of being divorced, continues to insist on doing traditions the way he and his ex did them. Writing to Dear Prudence, a woman complains that her boyfriend’s divorce has been finalized, and they now spend birthdays and holidays together, but he won’t exchange presents with her because he and his ex-wife didn’t think it was worth doing. “But I’m not her,” she writes. “And this relationship is too new to never have a chance for us to try what I think is fun — exchanging presents!”

Any man who cites his ex-wife as a reason you won’t be getting a nice bottle of perfume this year — or a nice anything — is not a keeper. Where to start with this one, dudes? If it must be said: New relationships are about new traditions, but they are also about putting up with your new partner’s bullshit, not the old one’s. Bringing things from old relationships into a new relationship is perfectly understandable when those things are previous experiences and memories. My love of Captain Beefheart can be directly traced to a junior-high boyfriend, but I would never expect a new partner to love that band, much less spend Sunday afternoons playing shuffleboard just because that’s what we used to do.

Prudie wisely tells the letter writer that the ex-wife did not “permanently ruin the fact that birthdays exist,” and she isn’t disrespecting him, her, or their old relationship by wanting to participate in a normal ritual most humans tend to like just fine. If that is so traumatic a proposition to a dude, the dude probably isn’t over his ex yet, which is the last sort of gift he should be giving you.