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The Mailbag, a podcast based on this series, is now live. The questions that make the podcast will be a combination of emails (if you’d like to remain anonymous) and voicemails. The hotline number is above. All topics are on the table.
Episode 6, featuring Dave Ruff, is below.
1. Hi Dillon,
I’m enjoying the podcast, between this one and touching base you guys get me through my terrible commute.
I came across a Wall Street journal article (The Tyranny of the Exclamation Point Is Causing Email and Text Anxiety) that says our culture uses the exclamation point too much in texts and emails and that it is causing anxiety in communications between friends, significant others, and in the workplace.
The first example the article gives is ending an email with, “Thanks in advance for your help with this project.” reads in a more demanding, authoritative manner than “Thanks in advance for your help with this project!”
Personally, I’ve caught myself using the exclamation point in texts too much and have wondered why I do it and I’ve come to the conclusion that it seems more friendly or cheerful than not using one.
I’d be curious to hear your take. Keep up the good work!
I understand that my take on exclamation points is pretty aggressive, but, as a grown adult, I have a very strict no-exclamations policy. I do not use them. Ever (except in obvious ironic situations during which I am making fun of exclamation point people). I passionately hate them and shake my head at people who use them.
In professional correspondence, the use of exclamation points has gotten out. of. control. Like you said, it seems that people use them in emails as a way to come across polite and cheerful instead of authoritative and brash. It’s repulsive and unnecessary. Why are you incapable of relaying a basic message without assuring the recipient you don’t intend to be rude? Are you consistently an asshole in real life? Are you socially inept?
In my head, I read it like you intend for the sentence to be read loudly and excitedly. But why? “Thanks in advance for your help with this project!” Okay, you’re welcome, I guess, but why are you being loud and excited about this very mundane statement? It’s annoying, it’s cringe-worthy, it makes me uncomfortable, and people are grossly overusing them.
Use them when someone gets married or has a baby. That’s pretty much it.
2. Dear Dillon,
Since Halloween is coming I wanted to get your thoughts on something. What are the the rules for dressing up for Halloween as you get older? I’m 22 and want to know when it goes from being funny to just sad. Let me know your thoughts.
A few general guidelines for dressing up for Halloween as an adult:
1. You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween.
2. Ladies, you can’t pull off sexy _______ costumes after college. It makes you look sad and pitiful.
3. The older you get, the more comedy you’re expected to integrate into your costume. As an adult, you can’t be Spider Man and you can’t be a sexy nurse. You can, however, be the boxy character with the obnoxiously large chain from the new Kanye/Lil Pump video.
4. If your costume requires a name tag to let people know who or what you are, it’s a shitty costume.
3. My mans pots and pans,
So recently I’ve had this recurring situation between myself and two female compatriots I’ve met in different ways. Over the past few months I’ve gone out and had a fairly nice time with two separate ladies. But this same issue keeps presenting itself, we’ll make plans for a date within the next few days and then she cancels. Which is fine, I like to consider myself fairly self aware, she’s not interested, I get that. But, then they profusely apologize the next day, and initiate plans for another date. Again, they’re the ones reaching out, not me. So we make plans schedule the date, and boom another cancellation.
I can take a hint, obviously not interested, no harm no foul. However, they then text me/Snapchat me a third time, once again apologizing and asking if they can make it up to me that very night. So I think to myself sure why not, maybe these cancellations are actually just coincidence. We set a time and place and I’ll text them an hour before just confirming we’re still on, and I get no answer. Nothing, zilch, both these women flat out ghosted me.
I honestly feel like I’m taking crazy pills, one instance of a girl not knowing how to let me down is fine. But this exact situation happening twice can’t be random. Again, I’m fairly good at taking a hint, so why are they reaching out to me to make plans and then just ghosting me? Please aid me in understanding the inner workings of the female mind. I’m at a loss here.
They’re not worth your time.
I believe the term is breadcrumbing. They’re staying in touch frequently enough to keep your attention, because it makes them feel good, but they don’t intend on taking things further with you. It’s best to recognize this pattern early and cut ties as soon as you can. Breadcrumbing makes you a selfish asshole, but it doesn’t make you a terrible person.
Ghosting, however, does make you a terrible person. That’s a next level shithead move.
The eurotrip looked dope (sidenote: do you regret not getting the international data plan or was it cool to disconnect?). I took a similar trip a few years ago and I love to talk about it although I rarely do. Question: how are you going to respond whenever some innocuous question like “favorite city” or “favorite restaurant” comes up (assuming that yours are now located on the other side of the pond)? Also, is there ever a situation where it’s okay to bring up the trip without provocation?
Fuck Micah and his dumb fucking wardrobe.
Keep doing your thing.
I usually get a kick out of embracing the obnoxious “look what I got to do that you haven’t” role, so I bring it up when the opportunity allows for it and I try to have fun with it. Fun for me, anyway. That’s the only way I think you can pull it off. No one likes smug travel person, but self-aware, smug travel person is irritating in a likable way.
“Also, is there ever a situation where it’s okay to bring up the trip without provocation?”
I don’t believe so.
First off, thank you for all that you do. You truly are doing God’s work here.
So the question is how old is too old to be crashing on a buddy’s couch when you come in to town?
Backstory here is I’m going back up to the Alma Mater for homecoming (Go App!) and I’m crashing with a buddy who is still in school. I told this to a friend and they said I should be getting a hotel room like an adult. Now I’m over a year out of school and making more than enough money to do so, but why pay money when there is a free option.
Your friend is correct. You have one year from your date of graduation to get away with this. This is the “I’m still trying to land on my feet” phase of post grad. After that, it’s time be an adult and stay in a hotel/motel. Near almost any college campus, you can stay in a motel for under $50. It’s actually worse that the friend you’re staying with is still in school.
You even admit to making enough money to stay in a hotel. Get it together..
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I always need emails, too. The more questions I receive, the better this series is going to be, so send me your Mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and please put “Mailbag” in the subject line.