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Guest Writer

Breaking the ice
No time for love
by GZO Jones

ZO Jones offers sage and candid monthly advice on living, love and relationships. He corresponds from Brazil and recovers from a series of health setbacks that may or may not be related to the 1960s. You got a problem? Might as well give Dr. Jones the business ...

Dear Dr. Jones,

I'm a 28-year-old widow, finally dating again. I've been going to bars and seen some guys I'd like to meet, but the only ones who hit on me are, well, pigs. I'd like to be more forward, but I'm just not comfortable directly asking a guy out. How do I break the ice?

Shrinking Violet

Dear Vi,

Funny you should mention ice, because Kerouac lived the other side of your same damn problem. To help boost his confidence, he'd often try a magic trick – putting a piece of potassium in the end of a cigarette, which he'd then light by touching it to an ice cube. I saw him do it a hundred times over the years in bars and roadhouses up and down both coasts.

Did it work? No, and the big dope burned his eyelashes to a crisp on more than one occasion. He often ended up a laughingstock and I'd be there to pick up the pieces. Lesson learned? There's a lot of competition, and the dating world is dynamic – not so unlike a Gypsy Joker motorcycle riot.

If you see a hot guy crash and burn with one of your soul sisters, make like an attorney and move in before the bruises have a chance to form. Of course, that's the cynical approach. Someone like you is really probably better suited to avoid the bars altogether. Try the laundromat, or street carnivals, or the library. Just remember to be yourself.

One last thing – don't forget that the biggest flame isn't always the hottest. If some would-be Mr. Right tries to wow you with his so-called magic, take a pass and let some of us other guys take a shot. We're out here; just give us a sign.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

I've been seeing this girl for awhile, and I think things are moving too fast. On our first date, we ended up making out in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The other day we were getting all passionate and I said those three terrible words: "I Love You." She responded with same and we got really worked up. It's way too soon for that; I've said the L-word before in relationships when it was much too early – and it always turns out bad. How can I fix it this time around?

Kind of a Weenie

Dear Weenie,

Putting the genie back in the bottle is never an easy trick.

First off, figure out if you meant the words you said. If so, then it's not too early, and I hope you'll both be very happy. If not, then let's pretend you're in the classic movie "Evil Dead 2." Having uttered the blasphemous magic words, you open up an unstoppable vortex into another dimension, which begins to suck everything in and, hanging on for dear life, you scream "How do you stop this thing?" Your grip slips and you're pulled into a lost and damned netherworld where you must fight unholy manifestations of terror with your shotgun and chainsaw.

This is all a complicated and silly metaphor, of course, but you need to understand that saying anything without thinking is a bad idea. Saying the L-word without thinking is worse, and saying it without meaning it … God help you.

But since this is an advice column, here's my advice: At best, you are in for embarassment and a painful apology. At worst, you lose her and she spreads the word that you are an inbred jackass. She'd be right, no doubt, but let's get you through this. Go to her; tell her the truth: You said what you said in a passionate moment, and you're not ready for the level of commitment that "I love you" implies.

If you're not up to telling the truth, then break up with her pronto. Either way you're saving her – and your lame-ass self – from the heartbreak of a prolonged bad relationship. Feet of clay are feet of clay, if you get my meaning.

– Jones

Examine more advice from Dr. Jones, and e-mail your problems, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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