Anonymous Mailbag

It’s anonymous mailbag Tuesday and summer has officially begun for many of you reading this right now.

I’m writing the mailbag from Rosemary Beach down on the 30A beaches in Florida. If you’re looking for a place to stay this summer then check out my guys at 30acottages.com. They’ve got every possible kind of place to rent, from beachfront mansions to carriage houses for a couple of people.

I’ve stayed in their places before in Rosemary, Inlet Beach, Seaside, and Watercolor.

With that in mind, it’s anonymous mailbag time.

“I’m in my twenties and have been married for 4 years. I’ve known my wife and her family since I was a kid. We grew up together and hooked up in college and got married shortly after. In the past 12 months, my mother in law has started to make advances towards me. At first it was just flirtation and I blew it off. Last week she sent me a full on nude and said that my wife doesn’t have to know. My question is, should I tell my wife about it or is this normal family drama?”

Good Lord.

This is NOT normal family drama.

But I’m also not sure you can tell your wife about this either. Not unless you want all relationships between your wife and her mom to cease forever. (Maybe you do, by the way, and there’s certainly an argument that this should happen in the wake of her behavior here, but I’d rather not start family nuclear war here if I could.)

So here’s what I would do, I’d text a reply to your mother-in-law saying you’re committed to her daughter and wouldn’t cheat with her or anyone else. But because you value the relationship that your wife has with her mother you won’t say anything about this text to her daughter, but that she should stop propositioning you because it will only lead to disaster for your family.

And that you’ll tell your wife about it if it happens again.

Then I’d screenshot her text to you — yes, including the naked photo — and your response to her and I’d email it to yourself with a date and time stamp to prove it happened and to prove your answer happened.

This way if your mother-in-law ever tries to accuse you of behaving inappropriately with her you have evidence of exactly what transpired as part of her advances upon you and of your declining those advances.

In the meantime, don’t put yourself in a situation where the two of you are alone together.

And if her behavior continues, I do think you’ll eventually have to tell your wife.

“My girlfriend is turning 21 this summer. So we are going to go to a big city with her friend and her friend’s boyfriend who is also turning 21. She wants us to get a hotel room all together. Two guys, two girls. I thought I could suck it up for 3 days and two nights, but another one of her friends and one of his friends are coming too. 6 people in one hotel room. 3 guys and 3 girls. I told her this is a terrible idea, but she is dead set on doing this. Also, everyone else in the group is dead set on us all sharing one hotel room. What are my options here? I have already expressed to her that this is a bad idea. I feel like I’m going crazy as the only sane person. Please lend me your lawyer cap so I can find a legit argument to get my way out of this one.”

This is really a dumb idea.

What I’d suggest is going on AirBNB and getting an apartment to rent for the weekend that has a couple of bedrooms or getting a hotel suite with multiple rooms in it.

I have no idea why anyone would think putting six people, three couples!, all in the same hotel room would make sense unless all of you are completely broke.

And if you’re all completely broke, wouldn’t it be more fun to stay in a place where you all had your own bedrooms and go out there?

Because, let’s be honest, isn’t everyone going to want to sleep together after the 21st birthday parties?

Unless you’re planning on an orgy scene, that seems damn near impossible with six people and two beds. (I know, I know, in theory, someone can have sex in the bathroom while someone is having sex on the balcony and someone else is having sex in the main hotel room, but the practical outcome that’s likely to occur here is someone passes out on the floor in the bathroom after throwing up. Generally this will be one of the girls who just keeps saying, “Why did you let me drink so much?” over and over again. At least three other people pass out in various states of undress in the main hotel room, and one person passes out on the concrete balcony. This leaves one person unaccounted for, which given my experience on 21st birthday nights makes perfect sense.)

Regardless, it’s going to be an absolute clusterfuck.

But putting everyone in the same room just seems like it makes it worse.

“I’ve developed a theory listening to the discussion around incest in Game of Thrones and listening to your thoughts on how humans hundreds of years in the future will look back on us, particularly your theory that the fact that we eat meat may be looked at as barbaric or savage or immoral in some way.

There seems to be a widespread acceptance of incest in Game of Thrones. At first it was just Jaime and Cersei, two very flawed characters who had done much worse things than sleep with each other, but then when Jon and Dany, the two heroes at the start of this season, it seemed like people were not only accepting of it but even rooting for it. Even when the characters found out they were related, they still seemed to have a genuine affection for each other that went beyond the typical nephew-aunt relationship. Perhaps it was because of all the other problems with the last season, but no one really seemed uncomfortable at all with this relationship. That, coupled with the numerous sibling videos on the front page of pornhub make me wonder, do you think generations from now people will look at incest the way we look at, say, gay marriage now? That is, people will look back on us as intolerant of incessant relationships? I’m curious as to your thoughts on this.”

It’s hard to predict what sexual mores will look like a hundred years from now, but I think incest is highly unlikely to ever be considered acceptable because of the genetic issues that can come from close relatives having children.

I think most people aren’t troubled by it on “Game of Thrones” because incestual relationships were very common in medieval times and we all know that Game of Thrones is a fantastical show.

The point I’m making about trying to judge historical figures using our modern day societal views is that there are things we do today that hundreds of years from now will be considered abnormal, potentially even evil. If I had to guess, I’d say meat-eating might be that thing.

Hundreds of years from now the fact that we kept animals in pens and slaughtered them to eat might well be considered barbaric and unacceptable.

And if the same standards of judging people in the past based on our present day moral standards still applies there might be a demand to tear down every statue of every person from our era, and past eras, who ate meat.

Plainly, I think this would be absurd since I believe all people should be judged by the eras in which they lived, not our supposedly “perfect” era where most of us are without flaws.

If I had to predict something that isn’t acceptable now that might be acceptable in a hundred years it would be polygamous marriage. If you read the Supreme Court’s legal rationale for gay marriage, it’s fairly expansive. It certainly seems possible that a court one day in the future might say it’s illegal to prohibit a man from having multiple wives or a woman from having multiple husbands. (This, of course, assumes that the wives or husbands are all of a consenting age and it’s a voluntary decision on their part. I think it would also require the families all be off public welfare because you could make an argument that polygamous marriages were antithetical to state or federal laws based on the added expense incurred upon society otherwise.)

But leaving aside morality and just thinking about this from a purely logical perspective if a man — or woman — could provide for multiple families and more than one person wanted to marry them, what’s the societal harm here?

In fact, couldn’t you actually argue from an economics perspective that a truly rich man deciding to raise twenty kids with four or five wives is more beneficial to society overall than him only having a few kids with one wife?

I suppose you could argue this would be a patriarchal mess since men with multiple wives would probably be more common than women with multiple husbands, but if consenting adults are choosing to enter into these relationships, I don’t understand why that should be illegal.

There could also be a societal argument, I suppose, that rich men taking multiple wives could harm the marriage opportunities of less desirable men who might otherwise wed, but would lose out to women choosing to be a third or fourth wife of a rich man instead of the first wife of a less successful man. This could, in theory, also lead to more divorce, but couldn’t it also lead to less single parent families? I honestly have no idea what this would look like.

But I’m fascinated by how society would respond.

Would there be a demand for plural marriage tolerance and acceptance by left wingers or would it be considered unacceptable to have a plural marriage? I have no idea. Would conservatives support the idea because plural marriage was commonplace in many religions thousands of years ago — and even some today — or would they repudiate it as unacceptable? I have no idea.

It’s even hard to forecast the politics on an issue like this.

It’s like the moral dilemma common today that no one can ever answer for me — why is it acceptable to pick your own gender, but totally unacceptable to pick your own race? The logical disconnect here boggles my mind. I don’t care what gender you decide to be, but I also don’t care what race you decide to be. If I had to pick which one is more of a leap — changing your gender or changing your race, isn’t changing your gender a much bigger leap? Your race may or may not be reflected in a substantial way in your genetics, but your gender most definitely is a biological reality.

I’m fine with gay marriage from a societal perspective — I think people should be able to marry whoever they want — but it’s hard for me to reconcile why gay marriage should be allowed and polygamous marriage shouldn’t. Is it just because marriage must feature only one spouse? And if that’s distinction does it really make logical sense?

Time will tell.

“I’m a 21 year old business major that attends an SEC school in the South. This summer I have an internship lined up with a Fortune 500 company, making substantially more than most of my friends. I have had two previously, one with another Fortune 500 company and one with a recent startup. My resume looks pretty good. Aside from that, I like to consider myself a basic guy (I jokingly say generic to my friends) – I enjoy golfing, playing guitar, and drinking beer/going out to a bar with my friends. My life goal in a nutshell is to own businesses, be really rich, and live in a big house in the suburbs and have a lake house and beach house one day. Some of my favorite podcasts other than yours include personal finance minded shows like Dave Ramsey. 

I was listening to your AM radio show the other day and it got me thinking about a recent problem I’ve been having. You mentioned that girls don’t really understand the cost of what the ideal life they want looks like until the age of 24/25. I feel like this is extremely accurate in my experience talking to girls – I’m awful at it. I’m just not considered interesting. I’d say I’m pretty good looking, but it doesn’t seem like girls want anything to do with me as a result of my “boring” life goals. I try talking about them and my success I’ve had in internships to talk myself up, but girls my age don’t seem interested in that. I do not get the attention of good looking women that my friends do – I end up just swiping for meaningless sex through dating apps and not even wanting to bother trying, because like I said, I’m considered “boring”.

This has led to a number of side problems, including settling for girls in relationships and sex that are way below my league (my nickname with my friends is 4 and below because, I only talk to 4’s and below). I also  drink a lot more than I need to when I go out (my reasoning being I’m not gonna impress anybody tonight so why not get blackout drunk?) and smoking pot most, if not every day, as both activities have become my release and relaxation from thinking about this problem I’m into.

My question is, will this attention from girls change with time, and should I be concerned with the direction my life is going as a result of this? I don’t want to implode from this, as I feel I’m going down a weird path. I have everything in life so far I could want career wise, except experience with women. I’ve never had a long term relationship.” 

Your credit score only becomes sexy when girls understand why you need credit.

Before I get to more advice, let’s talk about an inherent conflict in your profile here. You say you’ve got a great resume and are on a pathway to success and then talk about how often you drink to blackout levels.

If you’re trying to sell yourself to girls as being incredibly mature and destined for success, many of them may find that career path inconsistent with your frequent blackout level drinking exhibitions.

Now I’m not saying that big time successes in life can’t be users of alcohol and drugs — Wall Street investment banks, law firms, and medical schools are all full of people using alcohol and drugs to excess — but I am saying that eventually that lifestyle catches up with you if you do it all the time.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Warren Buffett is doing blow off stripper’s asses that often.

What it sounds like to me is you’re not very comfortable on the bar scene so you drink to excess to try and get more comfortable. That’s not necessarily uncommon in college, but it is leading to you making choices with women that you’re not proud to be making in the morning.

You aren’t outkicking your coverage, you’re shanking your punts.

Many men will never learn this lesson, so read carefully: women in college — and most of life — judge you based on the women you hook up with and date more than they judge you based on your own attributes. That is, no woman wants to hook up with a man that other women consider undesirable.

You need to hold out for less quantity of sex with undesirable partners for a higher quality of sex with desirable partners.

If college were like a video game, you’d hit the reset button.

So this fall when you come back to school, hook up less.

If you’ve already hooked up with too many women below your league you might have to wait until grad school to remake your image, but you control the choices you make, no one else. So if you want different results you’ve got to change your decision making patterns.

Right now it sounds like you’re too financially mature for most of the girls in your college. But it also sounds like you’re too socially immature for most girls in your college too.

As you get older college girls — and college boys — will come to realize how much money it’s going to take to have the lifestyle they want. (Some girls and guys have realized this, but they are the rarity. Unlike a lot of guys, I think a woman who makes a ton of money on her own is sexy as hell. But that’s still a comparative rarity too. So if you think you’re out of sorts on a college campus, imagine being the girl who is financially mature talking to most of the idiot guys on campus). Most guys and girls in college are still living off daddy and mommy’s money. When they graduate with their art history, marketing and psychology degrees and suddenly make $25k a year and realize how hard it is to live on that salary, they will start to pay more attention to the people their ages with their financial lives in order.

Success is always attractive and women, in particular, always have been, and always will be, attracted to success.

So if you’re a young guy reading this right now and you want to do well with women — and maybe you aren’t right now — just know that the girls you can pick up after the age of 25 will have a great deal more to do with how successful you are in life than what fraternity you’re in or how good you are at sports.

Ultimately investing in yourself always pays off.

You want a super hot wife?

Dominate college and grad school and go make money.

There’s a reason why rich dudes almost always outkick their coverage — women are attracted to money and success because they want their eventual children to have every advantage possible.

It’s biology, stupid.

Hope y’all have great Tuesdays.

Pray for me, I’m off to a Panama City water park with the boys.

As always send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

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