Its applicable in a new fashion for me, where its new use fits quite perfectly.
Yet another study session in the library has been interrupted with a chat online. This time its with a friend on his way to a date. Being that I know the mysteries of women that he surely does not, he asks questions that make me smile. Its not by any means his first date but he's trying to perfect being a gentleman.
What I had to say really didn't apply to him at all. He just isn't the kind to need to hear it but it gave me a chance to articulate something I have come to realize, be nice or leave.
Who doesn't love a nice awkward first date? I have come to love them. They can be so telling and interesting. There really isn't anything more endearing then a nervous guy taking care not to let himself slip. He's fidgeting with his tie or apologizing for his phone. He's cautious when mentioning politics and wide eyed when he realizes you've heard of or read some avante garde book. He smiles when you speak and he takes care to be kind to the waitress.
Its a lovely scenario, a start to a night well spent and bound to be repeated.
I love being inspired into some sort of talk. I have been talked into many things. Joie de vive, lets hear it. Sunsets in Sonoma, how your mother taught you guitar, the book you'd write if you had the time, your perfect bottle of wine.... I'm easily entertained, I don't ask for much more than a person with a taste for living.
The path you choose to get lost on in conversation is important to me. Nothing is more telling between strangers than what is first said.
However, there are nights my time is utterly wasted. I hang my head in disbelief that some people could be so stone cold and offensive.
I tell my friend not to....
Kick off the night complaining about life. Its unfortunate to hear the fortunate oblivious of their luck.
Complain about work. Do something else. If you haven't found some peace with what you do, even if its just knowing its temporary, don't try to strike up a new relationship.
Talk about why you hate your family. I spend half my life talking about how much I love mine, perfection isn't a prerequisite for loving your family.
Don't mock what you don't understand.
I once had a man point blank tell me had had me figured out within an hour of meeting me. I should have said what I was thinking "My best friends can't even say that, I can't even say that."
Don't be rude to people. If someone bumps into you I'm more impressed if you strike up a conversation with them than if you give them that look that demands an apology.
I don't really care what rank your school was.
Do not start listing things you own. I don't care. I really don't care. Seriously, stop, I don't care.
As he is tearing apart the restaurant and explaining to me how he'll never go to France because they hate Americans I am desperate for escape. He is mocking me cause I won't try his steak and assuming I know anything about the going rate for closing costs on a condo.
The epic worst is the interview. This is when you get asked a bunch of questions which are clearly set up because this douchebag has a checklist for wife material. Once this starts I begin brutal honesty to scare them away. Nothing makes one of these guys run faster than talking about how I want to take years off just to travel with my children or how I'd like to hike the Appalachian Trail with the kids I plan to adopt in retirement. Or I just talk about my plans for tattoos.
I once couldn't bring myself to return a call because the guy spent a good half hour explaining why he hated dogs. Never spoke to him again.
I'm not jaded, I am fond of the experience. It is intriguing however. I could never imagine any of my friends behaving that way. Its like finding a needle in a hay stack to me. To be honest, its not the usual at all. I have been quite lucky to have met some of the best guys you could find on the East Coast. These rare flukes make a lasting impression that can't be denied.
I just want to get them to see that this isn't a dress rehearsal, this is life. We're in the middle and the show must go on, keep calm and carry on man! Stop whining and try to make a girl smile. Its a noble thing to do after all and one of the best investments you'll ever make.