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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: Did I Upset Him That Much?

Dear E. Jean,
Last weekend I had a new guy over for dinner. I spent two days cleaning, one day cooking, and everything went fantastically until we started watching a movie after dessert and fooling around on the couch. I admit I had three cognacs, but as he was kissing me, I began laughing at the movie and at one point I started repeating some of the dialogue.

E. Jean, I couldn’t help myself. It was Dr. Strangelove. The guy is a movie buff and a big Kubrick fan! Anyway, once I started laughing, I couldn’t stop. I apologized about 50 times, but he got up abruptly, said "Thank you for dinner," made a dash for the front door . . . and left!

I got a text from him the next day that said "You’re the only woman I know who can cook like Martha Stewart and talk like Slim Pickens."

Obviously I hurt his ego. But must I remain totally silent when a guy starts making his moves on me? — Love Is Very Strange

To see E. Jean's answer,


Miss Strange, My Pet,
No, indeed. I’m tired of men telling women what they may and may not do when snogging. It is perfectly proper for a young lady to sigh, snort softly, moan, whimper, mewl, twitter, howl in a low voice, hiss, growl, squeal, whine, purr, and scream faintly. However, it is considered bad form to laugh more than 20 minutes or, when hooking up with a new boyfriend, to say aloud any of the following:

  1. "How much do you love me?"
  2. "Nevermind the sores. They don’t really itch that much."
  3. "Do you want to move in, or just get married immediately?"
  4. "Oh, don’t worry, I can IM my girlfriends and have sex with you at the same time."
  5. "I just love playing with your man boobs!"

Saying anything else is permitted — particularly juicy impersonations of Mr. Slim Pickens. Because, of course, you’re supposed to laugh at Dr. Strangelove. ("Gentlemen! No fighting in the war room!") It’s one of the funniest movies in the history of cinema. As for the guy? The poor chap is so thin-skinned it's amazing he could keep his liver from falling out of his body and dropping onto the floor.

To see more advice from E. Jean, visit Elle magazine and

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