Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

I’ve been hanging out with this girl quite a bit lately. I want to go out with her, but she treats me like one of her girlfriends. I’ll feel like I’m making progress, but then she’ll mention some dude she’s into who isn’t me. I thought I made my intentions clear, but I guess not. What should my next move be?

Girl Acquaintance Largely Platonic, Amour Lacking


If I were a lesser advice columnist, I’d talk to you about how you’ve been forced into the “friend zone.” Lucky for you, I’m not. See, that’s just something guys (and a few girls) say so they can blame all their problems on women. “You don’t want to go out with me? You’re just emotionally manipulating me to make yourself feel better!” Just stop it, guys; you’re making us all look bad.

You say you’ve made your intentions clear, but maybe you haven’t. Try to see if she’s into you. Although, frankly, it sounds to me like she’s not. If you’re unconvinced, then you could explicitly ask her out on a date. Looks like all you’ve done is make a new friend. How horrible. I know, it’s surprising, but you can be friends with women without trying to date them. You’re not in middle school anymore. It’s cool to be friends with girls.

Lady friends make the best wingmen,
Patrick Hoskins

Dear Patrick,

I missed the partying last week, but I want to put together a Halloween costume for this week without buying anything. Do you have any tips for a cheap, simple, and clever costume?

Creative Outfit Sought Tonight, Uncomplicated Manufacturing Entertaining Disguise


How much you like my costume ideas will depend on how much you like puns. If you hate them, then just go ahead and put on a scarf and go as a hipster, because you’re lame and don’t like awesome things like puns. But for my pun-loving brethren, I have plenty of ideas.

Get a raggedy costume, some safety pins, and a bunch of sponges. Pin them to the shirt. If anyone asks, you’re “self-absorbed.” Wear a pair of sunglasses and carry around roses — a “blind date.” Have a bra and some spices? Make like an insecure middle-schooler and stuff! You’re a “spice rack.” Brown robe and a bag of Fritos? “Chip monk.” Cover a box of cereal in red paint and carry around a fake knife with some paint on it too. You’re a “cereal killer.” I’ll stop now; I’m sure your sides hurt from laughing so much. Thank me later.

Ha ha! Blind date,
Patrick Hoskins