Thursday, November 18, 2010

READER QUESTION - The Odd Response

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;)

Thanks!




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.


17 comments:

Karen said...

Chrissie, I think you're analysis of this incident is absolutely correct. The only thing I would partially differ on regards the slap, since he may very well have deserved it. While it's not something I would have done, every woman handles things differently. It does sound like he was being creepy and comparing her body type to Kim Kardashian at such an early stage was absolutely inappropriate and I would have been similarly offended. That really takes a lot of nerve. It doesn't sound like she really harmed him physically, just embarrassed him and made him think about his words. I actually admire her for standing up for herself and she was gracious enough to respond to his apology and accommodating enough to let him know that he should feel comfortable in coming to future events at the gallery. I would not have been nearly that nice.

Chrissie Williams said...

i think you're right karen, she was very graceful in her response to the email which i think lessens the "sting" of the slap a little bit...

but i've personally always felt that women who choose to slap men across the face give women who never would a bad name to some extent...

we have a hard enough time defending ourselves against the "she's crazy" comments, women who slap, snoop, and overreact give us all another obstacle to overcome!

Christina said...

"women who choose to slap men across the face give women who never would a bad name to some extent... "

I can't say that I agree. I think that there are more situations when women roll their eyes at situations that really warrant a good slap more often then them really acting on it.

I've been in several situations where in my head I'm slapping the crap out of someone but choose to brush it off instead. Maybe if more women acted on it there would be fewer situations as others would be more considerate and respectful?? lol

Karen said...

I agree Christina. Look how this situation worked out. In the end, he actually respected her and wanted to "smooth things over" with her the next they saw each other. No harm done to her reputation specifically or women in general, and he learned a valuable lesson in the process.

Chrissie Williams said...

where are my anti-slap commentators today?

:)

i think there are plenty of times where our gut reaction is to "slap" but i don't see that as a positive way to solve much of anything.

i'm sure most would agree that it's never okay for a guy to slap a woman across the face for a "rude comment," so why would it be alright the other way around?

Karen said...

Oh boy...didn't meant to instigate a debate. I'm certainly not advocating slapping men for making rude remarks. Though in this case, based on her description it was far more than just a remark (his tone, they way he looked at her, etc.). Like Christina, I just think there are certain, extreme situations where a slap is warranted, again with it being more a "physical gesture" than an act of violence, if that makes any sense. For reference, the OP seemed more embarrassed and surprised than physically harmed. In any case, is it a double standard? Absolutely. But there are double standards for both men and women that we live with and accept on a regular basis.

Briana said...

I don't think slapping solves anything in any situation....I totally agree with you Chrissie. It's never okay for a man to slap a woman, so why would it make it okay for a woman to slap a man? I believe it's okay to think about taking action, if it helps calm you down, and makes you feel a little bit better, but you should never act out on them.
Girls can be just as creepy and inappropriate....should we get slapped for comparing a man's body to Adam Sandler's?? (cute...but with a little junk in his trunk)

Christina said...

I believe this scene from Sex and the City pretty much sums up my feelings about this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnt2loeKPJE

Kevin said...

I have an embarrassing confession to make that I didn't realize until now, and it may explain the whole sequence of events a bit better. I'm playing the gallery scene back in mind in slow motion. When she first walked away, I was guilty of looking at her butt....sorry, I probably sound like a pig, but guys are wired to do that, and she did have a marvelous derriere, lol. Needless to say I should have shown better judgement. After taking a few steps, she turned around, saw where I was looking and must have been annoyed further (remember she said "how well I can fill out a skirt")....and well we all know what followed next, Smack! Anyway, just wanted to share that, FWIW.

Chrissie Williams said...

ah, and the story comes full circle!

thanks for the confession mr. K, and i'm sure the next time you see her or a woman as "blessed" in the bottom department you might take a different approach.

Anonymous said...

He should have just said "sorry fatso" and walked away.

Karen said...

Hey, at least he was honest, give him credit for that. I think it's actually pretty funny. I bet he wasn't looking at her butt the second time she walked off....he was probably tending to his cheek instead ;-)

Kevin said...

<< I bet he wasn't looking at her butt the second time she walked off....he was probably tending to his cheek instead ;-) >>

Actually I did manage to get one last view while "tending" to my cheek. I figured I had nothing to lose at that point, LOL.

way to go said...

I'm glad she slapped him, especially after reading his follow-up comments. I bet it's not the last time a woman does.

Karen said...

<< I'm glad she slapped him, especially after reading his follow-up comments. I bet it's not the last time a woman does. >>

I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt but I have to agree with you. After that last followup comment, I get the sense that he really is a womanizer and got precisely what he deserved, though I'm doubtful it will change his behavior in the future.

Christina said...

Told you guys... this was a 'dirty martini; dirty bastard' kind of moment.

LOL

Karein said...

<>

Too funny! Love that 'Sex and the City" clip. Wonder what's more embarrassing for a guy....a slap or a drink in the face.