My husband and I were out to dinner, and this couple seated at the next table were clearly on a first date—possibly blind and/or a fix-up. At the very least, they didn't know each other well at all. The woman was far more attractive than the man. I'm not being shallow when I say that. It would have been painfully obvious to a blind man that this geeky-assed dude should be thanking his lucky stars, so he really needed to pull out some good date behavior if he was going to get anywhere with her.
The dude was crashing and burning. It was painful to watch; I was practically bent double over my fajitas! This guy was doing the only thing I consider worse than not talking at all—he was talking about himself like there was no tomorrow and as if he were hands-down the most fascinating man to have ever drawn breath. (Needless to say, he wasn't.) This poor woman's eyes were glazing over; you could tell she was desperate to enjoy the date, and if he would just turn the tide and start asking her anything about herself—job, hobbies, bowel movements, whatever—it would save the date.
So when she went to the bathroom, I was actually tipsy enough to lean over and tell him that! He was really grateful, and when she came back, he turned on the charm and stopped droning on about himself. Later, we saw them at a bar and then getting into a cab together!!! I SAVED THE DAY!
Full disclosure: Louise is a friend of mine. While I don't normally print correspondence from pals, I felt like this note was inspiring and therefore important to share.
Though she was admittedly three sheets to the wind and might not have done the same thing sober, Louise saw a situation heading south, and instead of chuckling into her tequila, she staged a Dating Intervention. In doing so, she set an example for all of us.
What she did was risky; there was about a 50-50 chance that the mook in question could have been infuriated by her meddling. But instead he realized she offered the advice sincerely, and rather than going home alone, he turned the situation around to his advantage and learned a lot about being a successful dater in the process.
What I'm suggesting is that we all get more involved in other people's love lives. Say you're sitting at a bar and see a sweet young thing unwittingly dip her hair in the complimentary salsa. Instead of snickering behind her back, discretely tell her she's got condiments in her do. You can bet she'll shoot you a big "thank you" after she seals the deal with the bass player she's been chatting up all night.
Or let's just pretend your brother's girlfriend's birthday is coming up. You know this because he's proudly told you he's found the perfect gift—a deluxe tailgating grill shaped and painted just like a Seahawks helmet. Instead of informing him that he's a moron, why not gently remind him that his girlie loathes football and perhaps a nice piece of jewelry would be more appreciated. If you're feeling extra benevolent, you can even take him shopping.
No matter how well-intentioned you might be, some people are just not going to take a hint. When my dad started dating again after my mom died, he wondered aloud why the women he went out with would take such offense when he congratulated them on being members of the "Clean Plate Club." I gently told him that most women didn't like it when their dates commented on how much or little they ate. (Especially if they'd licked their dish clean.) He scoffed and told me I was crazy; in his eyes he was offering up a compliment! No matter how nicely I insisted, I finally had to tell him that if he kept it up, he was never going to get laid again. (Which, believe me, was not a conversation I wanted to have with my father. Ever.) But as he's since remarried, I have to guess that he eventually took my advice. Either that or she's actually proud to be a member of his retarded little club.
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