Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag to zap all your work productivity.

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

Okay, here we go with the anonymous mailbag:

“So I’ve noticed recently on your periscope show you’ve been using DBAP and SBAP. (General rule, don’t be a pussy. But sometimes be a pussy.) Really need your help here on which to use in this situation.

So one of my friends is getting married soon. We’ve been friends practically our whole lives. I assumed due to the length of our friendship, and how close we remained all these years, that I would be one of his groomsmen. Like I said his wedding is coming up at the end of this month, and not only am I not a groomsman, I didn’t even get my invitation to the wedding when they were mailed out.

I text one of our common friends about this matter, and he said he got his invitation and you have to RSVP! I did finally receive one recently after the RSVP deadline. Side note, his fiancee hates me. Not sure why, but that’s a whole other issue.

Now to the issue at hand here. One of his old flames from years back recently texted me and said if I will take her as a wedding date she will sleep with me! She’s a solid 8. What are the odds that my friend’s fiancee took care of the wedding invitations? Also, do I DBAP and take this girl and sleep with her, or do I SBAP and politely decline and not blow my friendship?” 

First, I’d keep you from being one of my groomsmen simply for including an exclamation point after “and you have to RSVP!” Only women ever put exclamations after RSVPs. Honestly, I’m not even sure there’s ever been a man who RSVP’d for anything in his life without a woman telling him to do it.

Every morning after I finish the radio show I ask my wife, “What do I need to know about today?” Then she’ll tell me what the kids have lined up, what my obligations are, all that drill. The truth of the matter is I have a ton of things I’m taking care of with work and my job obligations there so I don’t want to know anything about what the kids have set up for the day or what we’re doing that evening for dinner until the actual morning. Otherwise I’ll forget all about it. (And, to be completely honest, I still forget about it pretty regularly). I’m a big believer in spheres of influence, I trust my wife to handle everything other than my work. I have only one sphere of influence, Outkick, everything else is hers to manage.

Okay, on to the important question: do you take one of the groom’s ex-girlfriend’s to the wedding because she has promised to sleep with you? (Especially when she’s a solid eight.)

Now this is a true dilemma.

So let me break it down. First, the fiancee hates you. She may or may not know about the ex-girlfriend, but if you bring her to the wedding your relationship is going to be over with the new couple. Of course, if the fiancee hates you your relationship may be over with the new couple regardless.

If you got a wedding invitation after the RSVP, it’s pretty clear they had limited space and didn’t even want to invite you. So I think your first play should be to call your buddy and find out why the fiancee hates you. (It’s possible your buddy threw you under the bus and blamed you for something that was actually his fault early in their relationship. And that this is why the antipathy still exists).

It’s also possible that your buddy doesn’t like you either. I mean, if you expected to be a groomsman and didn’t even get the invite until after the RSVP date then it’s pretty clear you are not very high on the flow chart of people that matter at this wedding.

Based on how that conversation goes I think you’ll get a sense for what kind of future relationship, if any, you have with this guy.

If you’re comfortable not having a relationship with the guy any more, then I think you bring the ex-girlfriend to the wedding. Because then at least you get sex as a parting gift to the end of your friendship. Plus, I’m going to share a sad truth with you, once you have multiple kids your friendships are pretty much done anyway. Do you know how often I see my guy friends now that we all have multiple kids? Almost never. They don’t have much time and I don’t have much time either. Some of my best friends I don’t see for six months now.

Okay, back to the girl. I’m oddly impressed by her. What did your buddy do to her for her to be this angry at him yet still want to go to his wedding? I think you have to consider that it’s possible she’s crazy and will unleash the crazy at the wedding.

That’s why I think you have to tell the ex-girlfriend that you’ll take her as your date, but that you guys have to go out to dinner first. That way you can assess the crazy. If she’s willing to sleep with you at the wedding she may also be willing to sleep with you before the wedding. Especially if you keep the drinks coming at dinner.

Her decision-making here is actually much more intriguing to me than yours. She’s willing to trade sex for an invite to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding?! (That’s when you use an exclamation point, by the way).

I want to know more about this girl. She has to know she’s unwelcome at the wedding, right? Yet she’s willing to bang you to go. I respect that level of crazy on some level so I’m just really intrigued by what she has planned. This could be epic. I almost want to go to this wedding and I hate weddings.

My inclination here, honestly, is just to say screw it and bring the ex-girlfriend to the wedding. Because I think your relationship with the new couple is already broken based on your invitation that came after the RSVPs were already due. You can always play the, “Oh, I totally forgot you used to date her!” card if anyone calls you on it. Plus, if you already went out to dinner you can claim the two of you have been on a few dates so it’s not like the wedding is the first date.

Regardless, I’d like an update on this decision if you decide to go and I’d also like to see a picture of the girl to verify that you aren’t grading on a curve here and that she’s an actual eight.

Good luck.

“I am 34 years old, married with three boys ages 9, 6, and 4. I live a pretty normal and happy life but I have one habit that others might consider bad. I pee in any and every body of water that is either chlorinated or salt water. This includes just about every pool I have ever stepped into. I don’t think this is a big deal because I know the chemicals that are circulating through the pool take good care of cleaning my piss. Is it bad that I don’t consider this a problem? Am I completely disgusting here?”

Here’s the deal, it’s perfectly acceptable to pee in all natural bodies of water: lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and the like. But it’s completely unacceptable to pee in the pool as a grown man.

Just thoroughly and completely unacceptable.

I’m not saying you should go to prison, but, okay, I am saying you should go to prison. I’m not sure what other crimes you’re committing too, but peeing in the pool intentionally as a grown man has to be just the tip of the proverbial criminal iceberg.

Yes, I understand, you can get away with it, but that doesn’t make it right. Especially when it’s insanely easy to get out of the pool and walk over to the bathroom.

Plus, what do you teach your kids? And if you’re teaching them to pee in the pool then there’s also the chance they, especially the young kids, actually poop in the pool and then they have to shut down the entire pool to disinfect everything. (By the way, do we really have to shut down the entire pool? Can’t we just pick up the poop and throw it over the fence and let the kids keep swimming? It’s summer, I really need my kids tired at night or else bedtime is brutal.)

“Long story short:

I am 38 yrs old. Married with kids.  A lady I was frequently romantic with while in/after high school, recently contacted me via Facebook messenger.  She just stated that she was back around the area I grew up, saw my old house and began reminiscing.

Well me, being as shallow as most of us are, wanted to see if she looked as good as she did back then. Keep in mind that this is 20 years after the fact. I reviewed her profile, and noticed she had a son that appeared to be 16-20 yrs old. My mind immediately began to wonder whether or not he was mine, although I was not brave enough to ask.  I deleted the message and never replied.

Since I have often wondered if the child is mine.  I am a firm believer in being a man and taking care of responsibilities, however I am torn.  Even if I am the father, could I really make an impact on a child that I have not been a part of their life for so long? What if he’s a bad kid? Could I afford to have him around my family, would he hold a grudge?

It’s not like I would immediately be able to love this kid as my others.  That would take time.”

Am I the only person who thinks it’s a huge leap to assume the kid is yours?

I think it’s much more likely that an ex-girlfriend of yours wants to reconnect with some of the people she used to know in your old hometown that she recently visited than that she decided to let you know she has a kid via Facebook Messenger 16-20 years after the kid was born.

Hell, I even think it’s WAY more likely she wants to start sleeping with you again than that you have a kid.

If you have fond memories of her, respond to the message.

But also think about what you would think if your wife responded to an out of the blue Facebook message from an ex-boyfriend of hers.

In general my advice would be against connecting with old boyfriends or girlfriends — I mean legit boyfriends or girlfriends, by the way, not someone you hooked up once with in high school or college — because it’s going to lead to temptations to cheat.

But if you’re not responding to Facebook messages because you’re worried you have kids from decades past, I think you’re probably overreacting.

Plus, the kid is also old enough to reach out on his own by now. And don’t you think the kid would deserve a chance to meet his dad? If you were that kid, wouldn’t you want to meet your dad? If you were actually this kid’s dad he’s probably going to reach out at some point in the future, why not now?

“Since you are someone who made a major career change, I was hoping to get your advice.  I have been in my current job for ten years working for a large firm.  It is a good, stable company that has had minimal layoffs in my time there, so there is good job security.  It pays well (not Clay Travis money, but I make enough so that my family is able to live comfortably and my wife is able to be a stay-at-home mom, which is what we want and what we think is best for the kids). Good benefits, health insurance, 401k, and all that.  The schedule is nice (standard 8-5 workday with minimal overtime) so I am able to be home in the evenings and on weekends and can see most of my kids’ games, concerts, etc.
I love all of these aspects of my job.  But here’s the problem: I don’t like the job itself.  I got into my line of work mostly for all of these other reasons and not for the actual work I would be doing.  I took one of those aptitude tests in high school and it said I’d be good at this, so I went with it, but I have never been very passionate about what I do.  It really is just a job I do for the paycheck.  Most of the time it’s ok, but there are times when I really don’t like it and wish I was doing something else.  But the thought of going back to school, which I think I would have to do to get a job in another field as good as the one I have now, is stomach-churning. I know there are plenty of people who take classes while working full-time and taking care of family issues, but I don’t think I could do it.  So I’m kind of stuck where I am.  What are your thoughts?  Is it worth slogging through work five days a week in order to enjoy all of the non-work-related benefits of my job and have a good family life, or should I be considering making a change?”
If you aren’t willing or able to keep your existing job and take classes while taking care of your family obligations then I don’t think you actually hate your job that much.
I’m not trying to be flippant here, but if you really want something then you make time to do it.
I love to write, it’s my passion. What did I have to do to make a living doing this? I had to write while practicing law full time. There are any number of people out there who don’t like what they are doing now and make an attempt to do something else too while they are working another job full time.
Some of those people just quit on the spot and find something else to do.
My dad was one of these people. He was working at Dupont before I was born. He did shift work there, where you rotate around on your hours all the time. One week you’re the graveyard shift the next week you’re afternoons. He asked his boss how much longer he’d have to be doing shift work and the answer was years and he just quit on the spot.
Right there, boom, he’s out.
My dad is like the least risk-taking, most conservative person I know. (Also the best man I know). But he’d had enough at that job and was over it. It took him a while to find a new job, so long that my grandfather wanted him to go to work at J.C. Penney’s selling shoes. But eventually he got a job at the State of Tennessee and he worked there for the rest of his working life. Now he never made $50k a year in his career, but he made a good enough living to take care of us very well and he never worked outside of the hours he was at work. And, significantly, he knew he was working 9-5 for the rest of his life only on Monday to Friday.
Now he didn’t have kids at the time and my mom was working full time, but I think that demonstrates how little he liked the job he had, he quit without an alternative.
My point here is this — if you really, truly hate your job and have a passion to do something else, you’ll find a way to do it. If you don’t, you’ll probably keep your okay job and not do anything else.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with having a job you don’t particularly like. If you’re paid decently and you’re taking care of your family then you’re doing fine. How many people out there really, truly love their jobs? That is, if you woke up tomorrow and won $20 million in a lottery how many people would still be doing their current job a month from now?
One percent? Fewer?
My advice to you would be stay at your existing job because I don’t think you really hate it that much.

“I was at a celebratory brunch with my girlfriend’s family after her younger sister graduated from a liberal arts college over the weekend. We got on the subject of her European vacation she is taking this summer and how she is going to tour the Dachau Concentration Camp after her history class on World War 2. Here I am thinking I’m about to have a interesting/intelligent conversation about an important historical event and she drops the hammer on me… “I think its especially important to tour these sites now because of the leader we have in our country.”

How does this generation of kids/young adults (After taking a collegiate level course on WW2!) still fail to understand the magnitude of Adolf Hitler killing upwards of 10 million people? Do history classes these days just completely fly over their heads?
What needs to happen for them to say: “Ok, yeah Donald Trump isn’t the nicest guy.. but he’s not Hitler”?”
This is disappointing to me because one thing I preach is the need for more historical literacy in our country. Here you have a recent college graduate who has actually studied World War II and sees Donald Trump in America as somehow analogous to concentration camps under Hitler in World War II Germany.
I feel like I need to write an entire book on this, but succinctly I think what it represents is an ability to distinguish nuance in any respect. The comparisons of Hitler and Trump are, in a word, absurd. If you criticized Hitler loudly and widely, he killed you. If you criticize Trump loudly and widely you get your own TV show and a raise.
It’s just laughably absurd to equate the two men in any way.
So is the comparison, which I see everywhere, between the country now and the country in 1968.
This is not, in any way, a difficult time in America. We have the lowest unemployment rate on modern record for all races, a surging stock market, and the highest per capita income in our nation’s history. By all objective measures things have never been better in the country.
Yet some people are convinced the world is falling apart. Why is this? I suspect it has to something to do with social media’s ability to cast everyone as a hero. By which I mean, social media allows everyone to present themselves as heroic. What do heroes do? They fight injustice and spread freedom!
But what if everything is mostly just and free in the country?
Then you have two options: 1. fight for justice and freedom in parts of the world without either or 2. manufacture injustice and exaggerate threats to our freedom to create obstacles for you to overcome in your own country.
You know what hardly any social justice warriors are actually doing? Risking their own lives to make the world a better place. They aren’t traveling to Africa and standing up to to dictators or traveling to the Middle East and advocating for women’s rights. Do you know why they aren’t doing those things? Because they’re dangerous and require actual heroism.
Instead they are getting on social media in America and sharing viral stories of injustice, which are frequently inaccurate and contain only a kernel of truth, and calling Donald Trump Hitler.
The millennial’s grandparents and great-grandparents fought actual Nazis. Now their grandchildren and great-grandchildren call democratically elected presidents Nazis on social media. That evolution takes place because, by and large, the world gets better and safer every year.
But in order to be heroes in their own social media lives people need to have villains. And when there are no true villains, you create them.
Of course, what’s desperately needed in today’s America isn’t heroism it’s reasonableness and objectivity. But when’s the last time you read in a history book, “(Insert figure here) was the most reasonable man of his age.”
Yet, paradoxically, that’s what we need in today’s America, more rational, fact-based thinkers and less hair trigger polarization and demonization of people we disagree with.  Sadly, I think we’re headed towards more insanity before all of this social media fever of absurdity finally breaks.
In the meantime you can find me right here, the most reasonable man in media, solving all the world’s problems in the anonymous mailbag.
Send your anonymous mailbag question to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.
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