Life & Love

Dear E. Jean: One thing I’ve adored about my husband from the start is that he likes women—and not in a ladies’ man kind of way. Not only does he relate to the women in his family, he genuinely understands women. And women like him, too. He’s extremely charming, chivalrous, intelligent, and good-looking in a young Hugh Grant way.

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As for me, remember Myrna Loy in The Thin Man? Her husband, Nick, is consoling a bereft young woman in an embrace when Nora walks in. You expect her to pitch a fit—but instead, she wrinkles her nose at him and offers the young woman a drink. Well, that’s me.

Here’s my problem. Women hang all over my husband. Even when I’m standing right there. At parties, at work, on the street. They just come up and hit on him. (We work at the same company, but in different departments.) And it’s beginning to really bug me. He handles it as he always has: He’s not flirtatious. He’s polite and pleasant, with a wry sense of humor. I’ve asked him to try to control it, but he thinks I’m being “ridiculous.”

Why would anyone dangle herself in front of him? I’m not talking subtle; I’m talking blatant! I know the man can’t help being cat- nip, but I want to kitty-claw these heinous women! As that’s not an option…what do I say to these females? —Don’t Want to Ruin a Good Thing

Ruin, My Rutabaga: Bah! Don’t do anything. Your lad’s got this. At a party in Montana, in my own kitchen, I once watched two inebriated cowgirls pin my first husband against the sink and try to pull his shirttail out of his jeans. Seeing the difficulty immediately, I stepped in and said, “Don’t you think we should undo the belt buckle first, ladies?” The cowgirls whooped with laughter like screech owls, the husband said something gallant, and the moral of this story is: You have a good chap there, Miss Ruin. Keep your head while all the dames about you are losing theirs.

If, however, you insist on doing something, the wise woman knows when to remain silent. Simply stride over, link your arm through his, and smile at your fellow broads like the fairy-tale lass who just got all the pudding.

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