Joe, Bob, and Jane

More from the Nice Guys Finish Last department: this woman writes in to Dear Prudie, an advice columnist for Slate. (I'm addicted to advice columns as much as the next man. At least I know they're bad for me.) Emphasis added.

This has to do with my fiance's mother, "Jane," and the two men in her life. "Bob" and Jane went out for about 10 years. Bob is an alcoholic, a serial philanderer, and an all-around jerk. Why did Jane stay with him for 10 years? Bob is really rich. That just about sums up the type of person Jane is. So six months or so ago, Jane dumped Bob for cheating on her once too often and met "Joe." Joe is an incredibly nice man who is caring, attentive, loving, and fun. And when you see Jane and Joe together, they really seem happy. The problem Jane has with Joe is that he has a blue-collar job; he's an everyday Joe, if you will, and not able to provide the lifestyle Jane is used to and wants. Joe thinks Jane is a perfect angel, and he has proposed. Jane, however, is still talking with Bob, dating Bob, and Bob has proposed to her since Joe's proposal (apparently out of jealousy). Joe has no idea about the other man. I hear all this because Jane feels that since I'm to be her new "daughter," she can tell me everything. I am trying to be the nice future daughter-in-law and listen, but I also want to tell her that Bob is a jerk; that if she marries for money, she'll be miserable; and that Joe is wonderful. What I can't say to her is that I think she's a terrible person and I HATE that she is doing this to someone as nice as Joe.

Actually, 'nice guys finish last' is a bit of a cliché. We so-called nice guys just need to worry about finishing the race, not where we finish. My dad, a blue-color guy—who also happens to have an education—who's been happily married for 30 years, is testament to that.