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Joe takes a swing at matrimony. 

Week of November 23, 2006

Hey Joe: I drank too much at a party and cheated on my fiancé. I swear swear swear I'll never ever do it again. Should I tell him?

Cristal Glass, St. Louis

The best way to find the answer to this question is to reverse it. What if you were in the shoes of your fiancé — a person who could very well become your spouse? Would you become upset under the same circumstances? How about trust from that point on? Would you be willing to undergo the trauma involved? Would you be able to forgive and forget? If so, you need to be commended.

However, even in this case, everybody doesn't feel like you. In most cases, a flabby excuse such as "drinking too much induced you to cheat" is a no-no. What man wants a lady who sells out after having a few drinks? In all probability only the guy who furnished the drinks, knowing he has a pushover. Unless you are ready to suffer the consequences, I would think real hard before disclosing this secret. After all, it happened before you and your fiancé married, and maybe you've learned something from the experience.

Hey Joe: I got married a while ago and both of my bosses attended my wedding. However, I haven't received a present from either of them. I know people have a year to give a wedding gift, but I think it's strange. I work really hard and I even coach one of my bosses' kids in sports! Should I bring it up to them or try to ignore the problem?

Katie Holmes, Hollywood

Based upon how the question is asked, I really can't see where there is a problem. You state that you got married and that both of your bosses attended your wedding, though you haven't received a present from either. What I can't grasp is your connection between your bosses and you, which would cause them to send you a present. In other words, do you work for both and personally invited them to attend your wedding? If this is the case, I would've expected to have received a present too, due to the close association.

However, if not, there are quite a few loose ends. You indicate that you work really hard and even coach one of your bosses' kids, but you haven't given me anything specific concerning a close relationship. Anyway, if not personal, it is up to them to decide whether they want to give you a gift or not.

Should they decide not to, there is no room for anger. By working as hard as you do — both on the job and coaching the kids — you've proven your sincerity. The person you married, whether realizing it or not, was very fortunate to get someone like you. Therefore, you've fulfilled the saying that it is "better to give than to receive." Otherwise, your invitations were seemingly a way to receive presents. As a rule, it has long been said that on a job you don't mix business with pleasure.

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn't know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman's Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry's most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they'd arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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