Male Call: What’s Your GTL?


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By James Roberts

You didn’t know you had one, right? But it’s sort of like IQ, LDL or BMI ─ everybody’s got one and it’s sometimes helpful to know where you fit in.

Now, the lesser-known GTL™ stands for Guilt Tolerance Level, which, continuing a long-standing Male Call holiday season tradition, we just made up. Back in our altar boy days (we’ve got the Latin to prove it), this used to be called “lax conscience vs. scrupulous conscience.”

Basically, your GTL is measured on a one-to-10 scale with a 10 marking a very high tolerance for guilt ─ that is, you’re a sociopath ─ and one being an extremely low tolerance…you’re wracked with guilt if you forget to send a holiday greeting to your ex-mother-in-law.

As with any scale, one generally wants to be in the Goldilocks Zone, like the pH of your water or the sleep number of your mattress.

How to know if you’re a sociopath…er, have a high GTL

High-GTL men tend to get hate mail from their dates. Self-respecting women prefer to cross the street when they see you coming rather than try to collect the $50 you owe. And your own mother refuses to set you up with the daughters of any of her bridge club friends.

The high-GTL woman lays the sugar on you only when her ex shows up at the same party. And she lets a guy pay for way-expensive items at their Meet ‘n Greet and then says, “Sorry, you’re not my type. I guess I should have mentioned that when you walked in the door.”

How to know if you’re a doormat…er, have a low GTL

A low-GTL guy is afraid to tell his girlfriend that her favorite recipes ─ Fried Salad Surprise and Merde dans un Chapeau Verte ─ are being spurned even by the dogs under the table, for fear of hurting her feelings.

A low-GTL gal stays with the same big girl’s blouse loser for year after soul-deadening year even though the guy drinks himself into a stupor mourning the demise of his Metallica t-shirt while snap-chatting his backup girlfriend.

The trick is to find the sweet spot between being a total user and having a permanent lip quiver.

So, all you guys who sweet-talk a gal and then don’t call ‘em back; and you gals who smooch on two different guys at the club and swear you’re not a player; and you craven Notebook-watching gents who pretend you’re cravin’ nothing more than a nice tomato and lettuce sandwich; and you ladies who put up with dawgs who talk smack behind your back…it’s time to figure your GTL in the privacy of your conscience and give it a nudge, or a whack, up or down as the situation warrants.

Personally, I like to keep my GTL close to my pH ─ between 6.8 and 7.0, give or take a decimal.

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  1. Who you callin’ a dawg. Oh…me, Never mind.

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