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Those of us who grew up in the late 50′s to early 60′s are intimately familiar with the TV sitcom Leave It To Beaver. Wally Cleaver’s best friend on the show was of course Eddie Haskell, known to be a sneaky, mischievous character who could cover his tracks with a healthy dose of self-serving charm. Eddie’s outward appearance – well-groomed and well-mannered around the adults – belied his penchant for being a prankster.

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So tell us, girls, are you dating an Eddie Haskell; someone who can turn on the charm around your parents, but who you can’t turn your back on? Here are ten ways you can know for sure:

  1. A guy who shows you more respect around your folks than he does around his friends is a good candidate for an Eddie Haskell clone. Be on the lookout for drastic changes in his demeanor when there’s no one around to impress. In other words, watch for the Eddie Haskell Effect.
  2. He’s overly flattering to your parents. It’s natural for a guy to want to make a good impression, but Eddie Haskell will lay it on so thick that everyone within a one-block radius is prone to sugar shock.
  3. Eddie Haskell types will prod others into making questionable choices, while avoiding taking responsibility for the consequences. Do you find yourself getting talked into doing things you normally wouldn’t do, then taking the blame?
  4. He charms his way out of obligations and responsibilities. Eddie Haskell will pretend to be the perfect employee/student/suitor in order to get away with doing – or not doing – whatever he pleases.
  5. He is borderline obsessive about his appearance, particularly his hair. In fact, he will be more self-conscious of how he looks when he’s around those authority figures he’s trying to fool (bosses, teachers, parents, neighbors).
  6. If he disappears when the check arrives at a restaurant, he may very well be an Eddie Haskell. Watch for a pattern of his making himself scarce whenever it comes time to pay a tab.
  7. An Eddie Haskell kind of guy derives inordinate pleasure from the misfortune or embarrassment of others. A good test is to see what sort of comedies he enjoys. An even better gauge is how he reacts when those close to him have a mishap. If he’s got Haskell DNA, he may even be the cause of it.
  8. Haskells need scapegoats; so EH clones tend to surround themselves with friends who both appreciate their tendency toward tomfoolery, and are easily recruited into taking part.
  9. Often, a flurry of flattery will be followed shortly thereafter by an odd request or an imposition of some sort. It’s Eddie’s way of greasing the wheels to have his way. Watch where you step when he’s being effusive with praise.
  10. Ask around for opinions of him. If his reputation as you know him is markedly different from how authority figures view him, there’s a disconnect somewhere, and you may actually be Eddie Haskell’s foil, I mean, girlfriend.