Yearly Archives: 2006

An Ode to Spontanaeity and Terrible Judgment

I am an incurable romantic. That I am also an incurable pragmatist poses some significant challenge.

But don’t let me digress.

I cashed in a gift certificate today. Ah, holiday bounty! You sexy, sexy thang. The yield? An on-sale collector’s edition of The English Patient. I love romance but wish it was done better most times. In this movie, though, my god. Be still my beating heart.

I’ve been wanting this on DVD for years. I remember seeing it by sheer fluke on opening day back in 1996. It was Vancouver’s Park Theatre, where it would play for weeks and weeks. I went in thinking it’d been good, but came out thinking I’d seen one of the best depictions of love ever filmed. What a splendid use of a torrential rain Thursday afternoon after a day of pasting up the college newspaper. I couldn’t have designed a better day.

But, again, digression. It’s romance I wish to address. I emerged from that feature head-over-heels in cinematic love. Now, a decade later, it reminds me of some of my own “here, now, forever” sinful moments, against which all other encounters will forever fail to rank. (Don’t worry, my pragmatist disagrees and thinks a few others are in the making. The mind is a powerful thing. I think I can, I think I can…)

A couple relationships back, it was a torrid, furtive thing. A smattering of days, a series of bodily collisions. Dirty things done often in confined spaces. I needed many showers. I haven’t really written about that encounter yet. It was too short to amount to much, but, boy, could it have amounted. I’m loathe to write about it. I crave a second chance. Doubt it’ll happen. Doubt it should, too. Hoo-boy.

Despite that, every now and again I sit back in my 30-something body and I give some serious thought to “what am I gonna know then that I don’t know now, and how the fuck can I get around that?”

Seriously. I’m 33, and I know I’m smart six days to Sunday, but I gotta wonder. How much smarter do I get? What’s the coolest tidbit I pick up, and how the hell long am I done gone gonna be waitin’ for that to transpire, huh?

The sex with this guy was something to never, ever write home about. Nuh-uh. Some things just don’t have to be known by those near and dear, you know? Thanks to a healthy combination of pillows, Vellux-brand blankies (there’s a reason they’re in motels everywhere), and a cushy wool rug underneath, much use was made of the living room floor. For more than a couple days of seclusion. Locked indoors, overpaying for delivery, you know how it is. Who needs vacations anyhow? All I need is my dirty mind, a playmate, a clear schedule, and a variety of surfaces.

Sigh, but it was a classic too much/too soon scenario. Oh, a tragic demise! Fuck, makes me want to sing that trashy old teeny-bopper Tiffany’s song. “Coulda been so beautiful. Coulda been so right.” What’s next, Debbie Gibson?

But, yeah… I’ve made me a lot of mistakes in my time. Something about trusting my heart and going with the flow tends to get me in whole lotta-lot of troubles. Do you hear me griping? Fuck, no. Reminiscing something fierce, you bet.

See, I have this feeling I get it about kids and why they’re so upset when we send them to bed early. I think they’re all too aware of just how much life they’re missing by going to bed early. I kind of feel that way about having lived much of my life so cautiously. Now and again, I get the chance to stop saying “what if” and instead lunge for a “why not”. So, I do.

Why the fuck not?

No, no, none of this “carpe diem” crap. Put your prep school English-teaching idols back in the archives, where they belong. I’m talking about why the hell not?

I’m not the first to make this argument, and I’m damned if I’ll be the last. Bears repeating, it does. If you play it safe and you’re little cautious person, sure, you’ll live a nice safe life. Long one, too. Taking too many risks, why, that’s just fucking with the oddmakers and you know your books are gonna bust. But, you do your homework right, read the signals right, and hey. Maybe you cash in for a change. It’s about calculated risks. Sometimes, right? That’s why they call it playing it safe. You’re trying to be safe, but at least you’re playing. Good deal.

(Which reminds me. I owe you part deux de Dating Tips and my little intro rant about why you should ignore everything I’m saying instead. I had forgotten. Yes. Busted. Doh. Etc. Fuck off. Now I remember. Will make good. :P )

But, yeah, I’m a sucker for romance. Throw some fluke occurrences (or well-crafted ones together) and I’ll be sworn that it’s “meant to be”. Maybe not “meant to be forever” but at the very least, “meant to be experienced”. And why not? Indeed.

I wrote once of when I kissed a boy, or rather, he kissed me, sitting on a little footbridge, in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Just then, the lights in the park shut off simultaneously, and poof! Awash in the light of a full moon. That kiss melted into forever, our tensing and embraced bodies falling back on the 1×2 slat wall, a stream trickling beneath us, the dampness of a dew-fallen spring night enveloping us.

To this damn day, I walk there and get the shivers. The kiss of a lifetime. Or, as it turns out… one of many. But when you have moments like that, it’s so hard to turn away from the “this seems so right” mentality that can overtake us. Sometimes I never want to turn away from thinking thoughts like that. I like having my “let’s pretend the world is ending in 23 minutes and this is the LAST GUY I’m ever gonna get to make shiver!” There’s a good inspiration. (And yields good results. Wonder if they ever realize that’s one of my “Go Steff!” motivational tools? Huh. Betcha “no” there.)

And the English Patient is the perfect example of seizing those moments of random possibility and making the best of it. I’m not a fan of adultery, never have been. (Busted a guy once. Had it happen to me at least once that I know of.) But, I tell you, if I ever have one of those “here, now, forever” potential loves-of-life just suddenly appear out of nowhere, well, I don’t know if I’d have the wherewithal. Passion does downright crazy things to some of us. Not sure I ever want to stop it taking over me. What a sham of a life that’d be.

So. What was my point? Did I mention I bought a bottle of red wine, too? It’s a killer good surprise I’ve found for the ridiculously low price of $13.99. It’s French. La Something-or-other. Sometime, when gravity isn’t such a foe of mine, I’ll tell you what it was. Tasty little beast of a red. Mreow.

My point: The English Patient. Makes me swoon and swoon and swoon. ‘Cos it reminds me of all those little moments in the past when the world outside of me and that guy of the moment just melted the hell away. It was a sense emporium. Far too good to be believed. Too lofty to maintain for longer than those furtive moments, hours, days.

And even if it couldn’t have been, at least it was, even ever so briefly.

I propose a toast to all my imperfections and my ever so wondrously good lack of judgment. Without it, life could never be so sweet. And, in keeping of the night that’s upon us and the start of the new year, may you find a way to embrace all your judgmental lacks and imperfections, too. And god bless us every one. Ahem.

(And no. I did not get my job. That’s another story for another time. And look, I’m happy and having fun despite it. ‘cos that’s how this life thing’s done, boys and girls. Or it’s something to strive for at the very leastestest.)

Slowing Down the Seasonal Speed of Life

I’ve got the post-Christmas hang-over. The get-me-the-fuck-away-from-those-stores blues.

I’m that breed of individual that shops because it takes care of necessities. I don’t need the latest gadgets. I do spend more than I should because I’m also a snob – about just about everything. Still, I hate shopping.

The problem with shopping is simple: People. A lot of them. The kind that missed the brief lessons spent on things like “Excuse me” and “Thanks for holding the door”. I know, I’m a geek, but I was in class those days. I’m so polite it hurts. I’m also blunt, unapologetic, brash, and unexpected, but with a nice air of manners about me. Yes, I know, a catch!

Snicker.

Shopping. Oh, dude, I’m so burnt out from people. I’m sick of the masses, tired of the shoving, and fed right up to here with the stupid people who keep standing in the middle of my fucking aisle, staring at some unlikely object, as if some trance is going to unveil for them whether or not the 40% off sticker price compensates for the absolutely total LACK of reason to buy the fucking useless thing.

I’m at that point now where I find myself standing around and looking at my kitchen in the hopes that some unwitting culinary masterpiece lies in wait behind those doors. A-ha! With just ever so slightly the right combination of “Gee, I wouldna thunk it!” and “In an alternate universe, this would be the bomb!” I might just be able to concoct a mystery dinner and not have to go to the store. Sure, I’m out of bread, eggs, milk, cereal, and vegetables of all kinds, but I swear to God, there’s enough for a meal in there… somewhere. Isn’t there?

There’s no fucking way I want to step into another store today. So, today I will not. Instead, I will bravely – no, brazenly – attack Foodland Canada, aka the Granville Island Public market, tomorrow morning in order to whip up something delectable for dinner tomorrow.

Grudgingly. I know: What was I thinking? Invite people over and actually cook for them? Not many, just three, but still! I’ve not had a dinner party of any sort in months… or at all in 2006. Holy shit. At all? My bad. See, deep down inside me lurks a combination of Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray and punk rock, but I’m much cooler than either of them. I can put on a dinner party like no one’s business. I’m a terrific hostess ‘cos my mommy raised me right. I grew up in a house where my mother would single-handedly throw a party for 40 and not even break a sweat. And the dishes would be cleaned before bed!

Now, I know, tis the season for socializing and public love-ins, but really, it’s also the season of the remote control, all right? And I’m torn between wanting to be social and wanting to curl up in a ball under a bunch of blankets and hide from the remainder of the year.

A friend of mine was going through the whole “oh, god” fear that sets in shortly after your first kid, when you realize how much of your life you’ve signed away, except he’s bought the house, the car, the wife, the kid, all within three years. Happy, yes, but a little longing for the simple times of old crept up on him. I wrote him an email that said, “Sure, I’m sitting around in my boxers and a t-shirt, my feet up on my coffee table, a giant bowl of Chinese on my lap as I watch whatever the fuck I want, but, really, it leaves a little to be desired.”

But I lied. Sitting around in a t-shirt and some boxers with an endless supply of leftovers, noplace to go, a stack of DVDs for the TV, and the phone turned off sounds about as sexy a night a girl like me can handle right now. I’m in an Atwoodian “woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” phase. I’m on the cusp of a new job, a new phase of life, a possible relationship might loom, and things seem on the verge of drastic change. You’re fucking right I’m enjoying slowing this train down long enough to be chained to the couch with a remote in hand. I’m loving it.

It can’t go on, of course. A life needs to be lived, and this is no way to live it. But it’s a fucking great way to spend a week!

I’m thinking. A lot. And I’ve nothing I wish to share with you. As I see it, my life may possibly be drastically changing in the very near future. I’m taking a page from Ferris Bueller and stopping to drink it all in. Very, very privately. However, as is usually the case with dinner parties around this neck of the woods, much of that will likely come tumbling out during a good, smart, open dinner conversation tomorrow night. I suspect I’ll be needing to write afterwards. I wonder what I’ll have to say. As of now, I wouldn’t even know where to begin… probably why you’ve seen so little from me in the past couple of weeks.

I have that sensation of standing completely still and having the world spin around me. Sort of the opposite of finding your land legs at the end of a long sea voyage. Everything’s moving so fast that I just can’t believe I was ever able to keep the pace. Now, though, it’s starting to feel even odder. Like I’m on a train and it’s starting to take off at a nice speed, while the world’s starting to slow down, and soon, I think the speeds will match, and I’ll be lost in the motion again. It’s a nice thought. For now, though, this train’s still at the station and everything is before me. I know how rare these moments of “yet to come” are, and I’m enjoying this while I can.

Remembering Ecole Polytechnique

December 6th passed by without my noting it. Dreadful.

On December 6th, 1989, Marc Lepine, a disgruntled man of 25, let his rage overtake him as he stormed through the halls of Montreal’s Eqole Polytechnique, slaughtering 14 women and injuring 13 others.

He had once applied to the school but was rejected for reasons not listed.

He entered a classroom and separated the men from the women, sent the men running, and before he opened fire on the women that remained, he screamed “I hate feminists!”

It took 45 minutes to burn itself into my brain for what will be the rest of my life.

I knew then that I could never, ever let the struggle for women’s equality fade away from my mind. What has had so high a price paid for us to have the lives, education, opportunities, and freedoms we have now, that needs to be remembered, honoured, and upheld.

So that then leaves me with two problems.

One, that I absolutely deplore, despise, and loathe girls of the generation coming up today (and I thank god there are exceptions) who persist tossing away ambition and smarts, or at the very least playing down their smarts, in an attempt to be seen as sexy, and in an attempt to get by. As Pink said, “sexy and smart don’t need to be oil and water.”

You wanna sleep your way to the top? You go, sister. But at least take your five-dollar, five-syllable vocab with you and get prepared to intellectually throw down if you must. C’mon, fucking be someone more.

And two, I want to assert right here, right now, that I can indeed be a feminist while celebrating the best parts of what masculinity is. (C’mon, there are aspects of being female I think I could do without, and there are aspects of masculinity I absolutely know I could do without, all right? I call ‘em as I see ‘em.)

I despise feminists who seek their power through the erosion of masculinity. If you need to tear someone down in order to build yourself up, I assure you – you are building on shaky ground. It’s not right. It’s not something I’m cool with. I love strong, conversant, brash, assertive men. It’s hot. It’s sexy. I don’t need some quivering metrosexual so I can feel more secure in my quest for presence in the world. You know what I’m saying?

But, hey, be what you want to be. Just don’t demand others be less of who they are so you can feel accommodated. That’s penny ante bullshit. Raise the stakes. Be all you want to be and respect them for their best attributes, too.

Sure, we could all use a little changing. Let’s just ensure it’s happening for the right reasons.

All I know is this – the sexiest kind of woman I know is one who’s secure in who she is, knows what she wants, can articulate it, and can celebrate it while celebrating those around her.

It’s a rare breed, and I wish it wasn’t.

Fourteen women died, 13 more were injured, and countless other lives were lost because someone thought chicks had it easier. This isn’t about quotas, though. It’s about hoping one day we’re all going to be able to see the best in each other and accept it, regardless of gender, of sexuality, of race, of class.

I think there’s good to be found in remembering what was lost that day, especially in proximity to Christmas, a time of joy and rebirth. I try to remember that in the smoke of that gunfire was borne a new kind of feminism. I like to think some part of me is a product of that day.

It’s the only way any of it can ever make sense.

Welcome to My Madhouse!

Hey, Boys & Girls!

Just checking in to say howdy. Life’s hit the “I’m insane, are you insane?” pre-Christmas madness phase. Tonight’s the only night I have to myself until next Tuesday, and I’m not so sure much writing’s going to happen in the next few days. I’ll pop in, to be sure, so stay tuned. And I’m gonna try, darn it! I’ve been getting life in order — I’ve gotten my Xmas gifts sorted, my house organized, and all that’s left on the to-do list is assembling gifts (which can’t happen until next Thursday) and decorating for the holidays. I need me some Christmas lights!

I have part II of the me-guide to dating tips that I’d like to post, but I want to add a bit more to it before that happens, so I’m holding off. I may have some time to write Friday night as I think my plans aren’t going to happen. (Which is a good thing.)

After that, though, I suspect my condition will be none so good. Three words: Staff Christmas Party. Uh-huh. Yeah, my one time per year that I get unequivocally drunk off my ass. I’ve reserved Sunday for a hang-over.

[record scratches]

Or did I?

No, no, it seems that in my INFINITE wisdom, I have arranged a date for Sunday night. Unlike most dates I go on, I’ve actually talked to this guy for a bit and such, so my fingers are crossed. I’m sure I’ll be tres sexy, tres hot in my hang-over phase. What have I done?

But, yeah, this week and next week: insanity inducing. Oddly, I have Christmas Day all to myself as family things are happening beforehand, and Christmas Eve is my night to celebrate with friends. A strange year this is, indeed.

I’ll be popping in soonish, and I hope to have the dating thingie up with an addendum of WHY DATING GUIDES SUCK to introduce it. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot! But if anyone can shoot to hit, baby, it’s me! I’m deadly at the air-gun “saloon” at the amusement park. Oh, yeah. All those years of lusting after Clint Eastwood as a young girl have paid off handily.

Have a good one, boys and girls. And don’t you go doing something silly, now, like behaving! Tsk!

Domestic Abuse: Redux — And Resources

Sorry, boys and girls. Has it really been four days since my last posting? I became Suzy Homemaker this weekend and have been making sense of my chaos. No longer will I loathe writing — my writing desk is a sexier thing than it has ever, ever been. And I’m plum knackered. I wrote this a few days ago… I think I’m somehow becoming a profound anti-abuse activist, but I’ll try to keep my postings on it to a minimum, hence this is packed with a lot of resources for those who need it. Another thing I’m becoming an activist about is AIDS, but I missed posting for World AIDS Day. Kind of deliberately, as I assumed all the other media was focusing on it enough. I’ll bang that drum when there’s more silence on the matter.

In the meantime, you get to read this. More on dating notions later in the week. (Most of the “rules” get broken by me, and I aim to share a little on why I think they don’t apply to me… and why they probably shouldn’t apply to you, even though I’ve taken the time to write them. It doesn’t make me a hypocrite — just aware that what works for some will never work for all. Like I sez, stay tuned for that.)

Domestic abuse is the leading cause of injuries to women between the ages of 18 – 49, more than the total caused by car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

[Stat provided by the Oprah Winfrey Show. Sue me, it’s easier than finding the actual source!]

Since I wrote about violence in relationships a few weeks back, I’ve had a couple of my own friends come forward and admit they’ve been abused. I sometimes wonder why I’ve never been told before, but I think it’s because they know I’d never stand for abuse, and maybe they felt that meant I wouldn’t understand. How sad that is. And, unfortunately, on some levels, they were right.

No, I don’t understand abuse. I don’t understand how someone can claim they love you, then raise an arm to you. I don’t understand how they can claim you are their world, then proceed to insult, ridicule, and demean you, let alone violently attack you. I don’t understand it. I never, ever will.

There simply is nothing to understand, save this: It is wrong. It is unforgivable. It is unthinkable. It is intolerable.

But there’s another thing to understand, too… and that is that, as much as we wish it wasn’t so, it is not uncommon.

I consider myself a romantic realist, as I’m sometimes a little too idealistic for my own good. But I believe in humanity. I believe that good can triumph over evil, and that good can even come from evil. I’d like to think that, in the face of the worst that can befall us in our lives, people will emerge who will help recalibrate our perceptions of humanity as a whole. Good people. Caring people. People who would do anything to help us if only because they think someone needs help, and help should be given. Selflessness is not a myth.

And sadly, neither is abuse. The most horrific thing about abuse is that it’s the destruction of trust. The person we’re supposed to trust the most is the person that hurts us the most. I think victims of abuse believe they’ve nowhere to turn. And almost every single time, they’re wrong about that.

Then there’s the shame. Signs of violence are often covered up by victims. The smart abusers know to never hit the face, so the victims don’t have a lot they need to try to hide.

If you’re the victim of abuse, I implore you to try to trust others around you. Allow them to see the signs. Do not be a victim in silence – you cannot be protected, nor saved, if you’re silent. Should that day come when you have the courage to leave, if there’s no evidence, you may have a harder time leaving, let alone creating protection for yourself.

You must let others know of your suffering, but you must also exercise caution. A person capable of hurting you is a person capable of killing you, and it’s not a stretch to think it could happen. More than half the murders committed on this continent are committed by spouses and partners. How many of them should have seen it coming?

Signs you’re likely in an abusive, or soon to be abusive, relationship:
  • Jealousy
  • Name-calling and demeaning behaviour
  • Threats against you, your family, or pet
  • They try to isolate you from friends and family
  • Controlling behaviour

If this sounds like your partner, you need to consider your options and your exit strategy. You need to confer with people who understand the risks that you’re facing. See the below resources at the end of this posting.

It’s so hard to give advice about these situations because some are so incredibly volatile and dangerous. You can’t listen to some amateur like myself. You must enlist the help of support services. Even if/when you leave, you cannot assume the danger has passed. One never knows when something might snap and everything change in a moment.

The New Year is around the corner, and everyone everywhere is starting to think of resolutions – lose 10 lbs, find a better job – but if you’re abused, you must try to find a way out of your situation. You must believe that this is the year a fresh start can be found for you. You must believe you deserve better. Every living person deserves to know what love and safety feel like, so why not you?

I was raised to believe something that shapes my worldview even now: Don’t just accept apologies. “Sorry” is just a word, and the saying of it means so little. Believe the actions, not the words. Ensure that attrition is proven to you, not just given lip-service. But don’t wait around and provide them with another chance to shatter that easily-given apology. Create a plan of action. Accept that you deserve better, and strive to attain it.

I pride myself on being able to see through situations and see through people, but even I’ve been surprised at learning just who is abusive to whom of late. And it breaks my heart because I know my friends never needed to suffer in silence. I’d move heaven and earth to be the kind of friend a friend in need deserves, but if I’m not given that chance, if I’m not trusted with those shameful, dark secrets, I can never be that friend I wish to be.

Neither can your friends or your loved ones if you don’t give them the chance. After all, what have you got to lose, considering?

(But you must exercise grave caution if you’re thinking of leaving an abusive situation. There are unimaginable things which occur daily, and having a knowing, strong support group around you – including professionals who understand the potential for catastrophe and how to avoid it – is essential. I don’t for a minute think I understand in the least what kind of precautions to take. You must be brave and contact support services. Enlist a friend for help if need be, but you must contact someone.)

If you’re an American about to do some Xmas shopping and wish your expenditures could do more for others, you can shop at the “mall” at IGive.com and a percentage of your purchases will go to help the Domestic Abuse Hotline. Give the gift of freedom this holiday season.

If you’re one of the many who’ll be capitalizing on deals for new cellphones this season, consider donating your old phone to The Wireless Foundation, who provide cellphones that are reprogrammed for emergency calling only to victims of abuse for the means of protecting themselves. Who knows, that old cellphone of yours could just save a life. Click here to learn more.

Some resources for you:
A bi-lingual National Domestic Violence Helpline here in Canada can be found at:
1-800-363-9010.
The American national Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE — they can put you in touch with real resources in your region. Call for further information.
The American Domestic Abuse Hotline on the web is Here.
Learn more abought domestic abuse of all kinds at EndViolence.org.
Still not sure if you’re in an abusive relationship? This QUIZ might clear up the matter for you.
A terrific site including domestic abuse resource links for over 70 nations. HotPeaches.net.
A good list of North American, English, Australian, and a few other nations’ domestic violence contact numbers are here at the Domestic Violence International website.

Remember: Abusive relationships often start beautifully, then deteriorate to wars of words and belittling, then the violence follows. Don’t doubt early signs. Don’t think you deserve to be treated that way. Don’t wait for more. Don’t let it happen again. You deserve more. End the cycle now.

Dating: My Way — Some Reasonable Tips, Part One

Well, after being pressured (oh, the pressure!) into doing a dating guide, I gave it some thought and decided Yeah, I have thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts. You want my take on dating? I believe in a kinder, gentler dating world, and in my world, everyone would follow my common sense take on things. This is at least two parts, possibly three. I’m too lazy to organize it, though, so it’s coming out as I wrote it.

Stay tuned for the next part, sometime next week, but here’s part one. First, my credo:

  • I don’t believe there are do-or-die rules.
  • I don’t believe in systems.
  • I don’t think you should ever try to ‘snag’ a person – they’re right for you or they’re not, and if you need to change yourself, well, keeping them in the longterm is unlikely ‘cos you’d be changing for the wrong reasons.
  • I believe every date is an entity in and of itself – focus on the moment ‘cos the future’s just a question mark.
  • I believe in being true.
  • I believe in going with the flow.
  • I believe in following your instinct.
  • I believe in chemistry, and I don’t believe it’s conjureable. It’s there or it’s not.
  • I don’t believe those who say “only call once” – I say go ahead and call a second time or follow up with an email. I agree that it can be pushy or perceived as aggressive, but if they’re not interested anyhow, another call isn’t going to hurt your chances, now is it? But what if? What if your message got dropped along the way, or they accidentally deleted your number, or toasted your email? It would suck if you’d jumped to conclusions. Give it time in between, but if you don’t hear back the second time, yer done. They’re not into you.
  • Don’t be late, or at the very least, call in ADVANCE when you’re running late and tell them. If they’re rushing to get ready on time and then you show up late, they’ll wonder why you didn’t make the same effort they did. Strike one.
  • If you’re a chick and the guy’s picking you up, be ready. I’ve never once met a man who enjoys waiting for a woman to get ready. Break the stereotype, girls. That means having your coat and shoes ready, your keys in your purse, your makeup done. It means being ready to walk out the door.
  • Don’t be nosier than you have a right to be. What they make, if they own their place, whether their car is paid for, what level schooling they have… none of these really matter, and for you to make them a central issue indicates you’re probably more hung up on status than you are about who they are under the skin.
  • Don’t ask boring questions. Find out what makes them tick. Ask about happy memories. What’s a great Sunday. Are they enjoying life. Books, movies, music, dreams, goals, best laugh ever.
  • Don’t talk about exes. You might be over them, but your date doesn’t know it.
  • Don’t talk about your troubles. Your date’s not your shrink. Most people, most of the time, don’t give a shit about your problems. They’d rather talk about the movies. Let ’em grow fond of you, and then they’ll naturally care about your problems. Give it time.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone. It’s rude. Turn the thing off.
  • Hold the door open for your date – even if you’re a girl. It’s classy and it’s just plain good manners.
  • If you’re on a dinner date, know your etiquette. (I wrote something on it a while back. Part one here, part two here.) Eat slowly. Take your time. Spend more time looking at your date than you do your food. Eat small bites so they don’t have to wait awkwardly for a minute or two while you’re mashing your honking bite to bits before you can answer the question they just asked you.
  • If they ask you a question that cuts too close to home on a difficult subject for you, and you’re into them, be honest. Smile, look them in the eye, and just say, “That’s a great question, but it’s a hard topic for me. Can we save that for next time?” They’ll appreciate your honesty, and you’ll show them you can be vulnerable yet composed. It’s an attractive balance.

Part two’s done, but I go by whim ’round these parts, so it may be posted tomorrow, maybe next week. Depends on many things. :) Stay tuned.

Whatchoo think about these ones so far, though? Any thoughts?