Mr. K asked...
I met a really attractive and intelligent woman at a party a few weeks ago. It was a public event at an art gallery. She was a high school teacher in her early thirties (I'm 27) and seemed very educated and sophisticated. She had classic curves - large bust, narrow waist, shapely legs/hips, etc., but not what I would consider "overweight", and was wearing an outfit that really flattered her figure. We had been talking for about a half hour and really seemed to develop a great rapport. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime.
Then, things suddenly went downhill. There was a pause in the conversation and I commented that she had a "really nice, hourglass figure". I thought she would take it as a compliment but instead she became deeply offended. She said, "Excuse me? Why are you talking about my figure?" I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only exacerbated things as she rolled her eyes and shook her head. She told me I was being "inappropriate" and that she was very "disappointed" and then with a look of complete disgust, WHAP!, she slapped my face and departed. As I stood there alone rubbing my cheek, I was trying to figure out why she was so upset. It seemed like a harmless comment to me but maybe I don't understand women as well I should. I do have her email address. Do you think I should send her an apology note or should I interpret the slap in the face as a definitive way of saying she wants no further contact?
Dear Mr. K,
I hope you gained some insight from our reader comments found in this post, a lot of which I tend to agree with.
And while no two women are the same, I will admit that for most part, we're accustomed to compliments on our figures, hair, and eyes. A "sophisticated woman" like the one you mentioned probably had enough full-figured comments throughout her high school days and early/mid twenties to last her a lifetime. As an educated, art-loving individual in her early 30's she probably wanted you to compliment her insight and opinions rather than her sexy curves.
If you must compliment her, focus on something she may not have heard a thousand times before, tell her she has a great laugh or something that shows you're LISTENING not just LOOKING.
You mentioned in your comments that in addition to complimenting her "full figure" you also compared her to KIM KARDASHIAN.
For the record, when making comparisons to famous people, try not to choose those who are only famous for making sex tapes and subsequently reality television. Sure, Kim is a beautiful woman, but women want to be MORE than beautiful objects, we want to be awesome people too. Comparing a woman you just met to someone who is most notable for being a sex object is never a good idea. Lump in the fact that Kim's curves are sometimes considered fat rather than fab, and you've possibly insulted someone rather than complimenting them.
I think your comment to this woman may have had a place... but that place wasn't 30 minutes into meeting her at an art gallery. That place is actually 3:30 am in a bar. When dating, it's important to know your "audience." Save the sexual references and comments for when you're actually dating someone, not just meeting them for the first time.
I see in your comments that you eventually emailed this woman an apology, I think that was a honest thing to do on your part and I'm glad she gave you some closure (don't contact her again of course, she knows you're "interested" so leave it at that for now). I personally wouldn't recommend contacting anyone who made it so apparent that you'd crossed the line in the future, but take this lesson and run with it.
Lastly, I don't think it's ever appropriate to slap anyone across the face, regardless of their comments. So in addition to being confused, I think you should also consider how lucky you are that such a hotheaded lady didn't end up your girlfriend.
I hope the comments and this insight helped, I'm sure the next time you meet a fabulous woman with sexy curves you'll know to save the "compliments" for a little later in the relationship (like when you find out how she like her eggs in the morning;)
Do you have a question for The Odd Blog? Email it to the link above and see what those who have been in your dating shoes have to say.