Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time to solve all the world’s problems with the anonymous mailbag.

But before we do that, GO LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEW WINS AND LOSSES PODCAST. Yes, I’m yelling at you because I have to be shameless in promoting every new thing I do. Especially when I know you guys are going to like it. This week’s guest, in honor of college football returning, is Fox’s lead college football analyst, Joel Klatt. 

It’s fantastic.

If you give me a five star review on the podcast, entertain me, and insult Joel Klatt in the process, I’ll send you an Outkick tshirt.

So go dive in today.

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

Okay, here we go:

“So I have been in a committed relationship for over 5 years now and last year I asked her to marry me. She was excited and happy, but then, after a few months, things began to change. I would ask about setting dates and the timing wouldn’t be right or her parents were busy that weekend. The excuses went on and on. I really truly love this girl and she used to love me, so I thought I would just wait it out. Well, about a month ago she broke up with me and said that she just needs some space. Come to find out, she broke up with me and has been sleeping with my best friend, who I’ve been friends with for over a decade. I have talked to her about it and she says that he is not interested in dating her and that once he finds a girl he likes they will stop. She said that if I wanted to wait, we could maybe get back together when they’re done. I am absolutely crushed by this. I was ready to marry her and love her forever. What do you think I should do? Should I confront my friend? Should I just move on and try to forget about her? Or just let things play out and see what happens?” 

Dude, you should never talk to this girl again and you should never talk to your “friend” again either.

I mean, I actually feel bad for you reading this email because I can feel the lack of confidence emanating from it.

You didn’t do anything wrong, but your “fiancee” and your friend don’t respect you. Probably because, judging from this email, you don’t respect yourself.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but NO, YOU DON’T WAIT AROUND FOR YOUR FIANCEE TO STOP BANGING YOUR FRIEND UNTIL HE FINALLY FINDS SOMEONE BETTER THAN HER. (Your fiancee has major confidence issues here as well and your “friend” is a total asshole. But at least he’s being honest and telling this girl he has no interest in her other than the casual sex.)

Your fiancee sounds pathetic here too, but you sound even worse with your willingness to forgive her and potentially take her back.

I mean, are you crazy?

If she’s doing this to you now she’s going to ruin your life over and over again.

It’s time to cut off all contact and pretend you never knew either of them.

Trust me, do it.

“So I’d call myself a pretty normal guy. 32 married with a 4 year old. Decent career making decent money. I feel like life’s going well for my family and me. 

But I’ll be honest- one thing I can’t figure out is when I need to shower- hear me out. 

I like to shower at night because I like to get into bed and be clean. However, by 2 or 3 pm the next day I feel dirty (greasy hair and what not). If I shower in the morning, it means I go to bed dirty. 

Is there a solution to my dilemma? I’d prefer to go to bed clean, but I’m open to suggestions. Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this?”

Only girls shower at night before bed.

Men shower in the morning, with no hot water, while doing burpees between body part washes to establish your grit and better work on your balance on slippery floors in the event you might one day need to rescue a smoking hot woman trapped in a carwash.

So here’s what I honestly think is the best play — shower after a morning workout.

Every morning I do my radio show without showering first — I get up at 4:30 AM, stop judging me — and then I go to the gym three days a week. On those gym days I get my workout in and then immediately shower after.

There’s no better shower than the post-workout and it’s still morning shower. You emerge feeling incredibly accomplished.

(By the way, not to brag, but while most of you are still wiping sleep out of your eyes I’ve already done a three hour radio show, written the anonymous mailbag, done two local radio interviews and took my kids to school. And I’ve still got a half hour Periscope/Facebook to knock out this afternoon, a daily TV show that’s an hour long, and I’ve got to record the new podcast with Rachel Bonnetta for next Sunday. And that’s just one day. I’m a machine. But this isn’t about me, back to you. )

But on days when I can’t make the gym in the morning and end up working out in the afternoon, I double up on showers.

Take one after the workout and another one in the morning.

If, however, you are committed on only taking one shower then I think you have to go in the morning. I don’t understand the point of getting clean before you get in bed. Shouldn’t your cleanliness be something you share with others? When you take a shower and then immediately go to bed, at best, your spouse is the only one who notices.

Move to the morning shower, ditch the night shower.

“In a bit of a jam here.  I currently serve in the military and just got orders to report overseas where I will be permanently stationed until the end of 2022.  I am currently dating a girl that I met in college and we have been dating for about two years.  Incredibly sweet girl with an amazing family who loves me and my folks love her. Definitely good wife material. I’m currently 24 and she is 21 with another year of undergrad left with plans on being a registered nurse.  Despite how great she is I have taken your advice about not getting married until I am 30 so a wedding is out of the question (also a lot of dudes in the military expedite the marriage process and oftentimes ruin their lives by doing so).  My question is what would you do in this situation and if I stay in the relationship does it have a chance to be successful?  Do you change that much in your twenties where going through a 3 year time warp would be awkward for the relationship if we somehow happen to maintain it?

Love the show and I’ll be sure to help boost your numbers overseas,

Cats by 90!”

I think it matters a great deal where overseas you are going to be serving.

Are you headed to the Middle East or Europe or Asia?

If you’re serving in Europe or Asia then she can come visit you at some point in time and your quality of life outside of your service will probably be pretty high. (That is, you’re able to travel easily to pretty outstanding cities and you are likely to be surrounded by tons of available and good looking women in Asia and Europe, many of whom love Americans, whereas if you’re in the Middle East that won’t be the case.)

So I don’t think all deployments are created equal here.

(UPDATE: He’s in Japan.)

Well, Japan sounds pretty awesome, honestly.

You’ll be able to travel all over Asia pretty easily and there’s no real danger as long as North Korea doesn’t lose it’s mind and you don’t get HIV from Thai prostitutes.

(Speaking of prostitutes. So I was just in Las Vegas last weekend and I land on Friday and go straight to my hotel room. I head to my room, drop off my bags, and then leave because I’m meeting Cousin Sal and Todd Fuhrman for dinner.

So I get on the elevator and there’s a girl dressed pretty scandalously already on the elevator. (But it’s Vegas where every girl, especially at night, basically dresses like a hooker, so I don’t think really think much of it and press for us to down to the casino floor. But instead of going down the elevator keeps going up and this girl immediately approaches me, rubs up on me and says, “Why don’t we go back to your hotel room and have sex?” (Now while I wish women regularly threw themselves at me in elevators and begged me to have sex with them, it’s clear to me now that she’s a prostitute. And believe it or not this is the first time I’ve ever been approached by a prostitute in my life.)

So I tell her that’s a nice offer, but I have a dinner date with a couple of buddies and she calls me a boring pussy and keeps rubbing on my arms and then what happens?

The door opens up and who is standing there but a guy who recognizes me.

I mean, what are the odds?

The guy walks in says, “Hi, Clay,” and I’ve got a prostitute with her hands on me in the elevator and I haven’t done a single thing to create this entire scene. I mean, I am completely innocent. So I say, “What’s up man? This girl was just trying to seduce me during the elevator ride.”

And then she says, “I wasn’t trying to seduce you, I was trying to solicit you.”

So there you have it, a prostitute is correcting my word choice and she’s also making it clear that the only possible way she’d sleep with me is if I paid her.

So there you go, there’s my Vegas story.)

Back to your dilemma, chances are you’re going to be perfectly safe in Japan, probably even safer than you would be in the United States.

I also think that’s a pretty fun — and safe — place to come visit so your girlfriend, if you guys stay together, could plan on spending a couple of weeks a year with you in Asia.

Having said that, three years of long distance is really, really hard to pull off. Particularly when you aren’t on the same continent and you’re around 12 hours different when it comes to time zones. Now long distance isn’t anywhere near as difficult as it used to be with FaceTiming and whatnot, but it’s still a pretty big effort to keep this up for three years.

But I think this is tougher for her than it is for you. Because she’s in her senior year of college. That should be a really fun year for her, but instead of living it up with her friends on a college campus she’ll be the girl with the boyfriend in Japan. Now maybe she’s really mature for her age and she isn’t that interested in going out and whatnot, but I still think this long distance will be harder on her than you.

And while you’re correct that I generally advocate men not getting married until they’re thirty, a military lifestyle is quite a bit different than your typical post-college job. That is, you’re living a much more adult life than your usual 23 or 24 year old would be so I think you’re more prepared for married life than most young men would be.

One reason I don’t advocate people getting married at young ages is because most people don’t have that “adult” of lifestyles in their early twenties and you guys in particular aren’t prepared for the responsibilities of married life. But the military can flip your immaturity in a hurry because they require you to be very responsible and stable at young ages.

Having said that, whatever you don’t get engaged and then leave for Japan.

See how it works for a year and then move forward from there.

Good luck. (And as Curb Your Enthusiasm established, I’m obligated to say thanks for your service).

“You recently posted an Instagram picture/story (whatever) of one of your son’s first days at school. My son has almost the same birthday and will be 4 in a couple of days.  My wife wants to start him in kindergarten a year early because the cutoff date was moved in my city.  I’m completely against it and I feel she is only doing it to save on daycare.  I come from a family of men who hit their growth spurt late.  My brother, my father and many cousins had a late birthdays and finished growing in college. I was a rare lucky one that was 6’1” when I was 15.  I also have an early birthday and feel I benefited in sports through and overall confidence being one of the oldest kids. 

Besides placing a copy of “Outliers” on her side of the bed, how do I convey this message to her?  Why do mother’s get the final say when it should be 50/50?” 
We have two boys born in September — the 15th and 17th of the month — so both of them are older for their grade. (I think July 31st is the birthday cut off for kids to be enrolled. That is, your kid would have to turn five years old by July 31st to be enrolled as a kindergarten student in the Nashville area.) But many parents in Nashville, at least in our school district, put their boys in school a year late, I think with the idea that they’ll be bigger and more mature that way.
This drives my wife crazy even though it doesn’t really impact our kids and we’ve followed the school age rules. (My oldest has a January birthday). It drives her crazy because the result is you can have kids who are a year or more apart in age in some classes.
Having said that, for boys in particular, when you hit puberty is a huge deal. Everyone remembers the kid in 7th grade who had a mustache and how he dominated the entire grade in everything. (Usually this kid is already fully grown and slowly moves from a monster down low in the post who no one can guard in seventh grade basketball to not even good enough to make the team by his senior year.)

I’d be more inclined to start a girl early because I think physical size is less important for women, but I think a boy being smaller and younger than everyone else in his grade is a bad combo.

Regardless, the question you’ve asked is a good one, who gets to make a tiebreaking decision for your kid when a dad believes one thing and  a mom believes the other? The easy answer is the mom gets to break the tie because she has more invested, generally speaking, in children than the dad does. (Carrying a baby for nine months tends to give you tiebreaker bonafides).

But I think the better way to break ties is by establishing spheres of influence. If you believe you have a better understanding of what the kid is going through — or a better knowledge of a particular situation in play — then you should be the parent who breaks the tie.

In other words, the parent who is more informed about a situation decides. (This, of course, can lead to a fight about who is better informed, but in some situations is fairly clear.)

Here, for instance, I think you know more about what being an undersized boy in elementary school would be like than she does. (And I think women, again where physical size is less of an issue in their sex, are unlikely to understand how big the difference can be for a boy on the younger edge of the class who hasn’t hit puberty yet, compared to an older kid who has.)

So in general I think you’d get to break the tie here.

But the final bit of analysis I think you need to bring to bear in the equation here is how socially and educationally advanced is your kid? If you have a really smart kid then holding him back too long can mean he’s way too bored in school and never really challenged, which can lead to him disengaging from school.

Is his smaller physical stature size coupled with immaturity and educational regression? Or is he small, but really socially strong and very smart for his age? Those are major factors here as well.

Ultimately there isn’t a perfect answer here, but my inclination is to hold a boy back if he’s small and you aren’t sure he’s ready.

But you have to make this decision within reason. If your kid is born in June or July, okay, that’s pretty close to the line, but if your kid was born in March and you’re holding him back an entire year that’s just ridiculous.

And it doesn’t even make very much sense for sports either.

“I laughed pretty hard at the question about phones and poop dust last week, but then realized I have my own poop related question.  I work in a high-rise office building, and the bathrooms are pretty small.  Three toilet stalls in the men’s room, and not particularly well-insulated from each other (gaps in the doors, walls are pretty high up off the ground).
The majority of people that I work with are on the same floor as me.  So when the need arises, I typically go to a different floor to take care of business.  My rationale is that I’d much rather be next to someone I don’t know than someone I do know.  I mentioned that strategy to my wife one time, and she’s convinced I’m a psycho.  Well…am I?”
Totally a clutch move on your part.
If you have the option to poop near strangers or co-workers you definitely go with strangers.
I actually think your wife is the psycho for not realizing how brilliant your move is here.
She’s the one we need to be worried about.
As always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.
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