Friday, April 3, 2009

Social Graces

Again, I find myself cleaning out and referring back to articles I saved when I was single and here I am single again so I'm glad I didn't chuck them! Actually I only have one close single girlfriend so I would always save these tidbits and e-mail them to her. So for any singletons out there, here's an article from the Social Graces section of Town & Country Magazine circa 2004:

Ye Cads!

How to Spot Scoundrels

1. Beware the man who doesn't ask you any questions about yourself on your first date. You shrug and think, "He's interesting! He's cute! We'll get to me soon enough." Merrill sez: Maybe. But, unfortunately, not in this lifetime. Because you are watching him talk about the only person who interests him.

2. Conversely, beware the man who does nothing but ask you questions about yourself and offers no information about himself. Not only is he keeping you at bay, he is probably not listening to your answers.

3. Beware the man who walks too fast. Don't kid yourself that this is an isolated symptom. If he walks half a block or more ahead of you, it's because proximity to you is of no importance to him. This is the beginning of a predictable list of other hostile, petty and inconsiderate behaviors. Oddly enough, the man who walks too slowly is no bargain, either. He may have problems with his health or be depressed. There's got to be a man in your area who can walk at a normal speed. So get out there and find him, damn it.

Maturity and Style

4. Beware the old man in young guy's clothes. If he's over 35 and comes to pick you up looking as though he's headed for a skateboarding competition while you are dressed to go to a nice restaurant, this is not a good sign. A wacky, trendy outfit on a guy over 40 indicates he's got big issues. (Unless he's Keith Richards. And then he definitely has big issues, but they're different ones.)

5. Beware the sudden, irrational fight that seems to descend on you from nowhere. If you begin a conversation about potato salad and find yourself being called a castrating bitch, don't waste your time going around and around about this with your girlfriends, trying to figure out what happened. Instead, go to, type in the word "narcissism" and read a couple of books about how hopeless these people are in relationships. Even if they are really, REALLY cute. In fact, especially.

6. Beware too much too soon. It's an attempt to distract you from noticing that something big is missing. I went out with a guy who was saying "I love you" by the second date. "But you don't even know me," I thought, until I started to override my instincts. "What is wrong with me? Am I so cynical that I can't accept this man's love?" I asked myself. But as soon as I said "I love you" back and tried to relate to him as part of a theoretically loving couple, he said I was trying to suffocate him. A week later, while my mother was having brain surgery, he broke up with me. Which is why I now reiterate...

Trust Your Instincts

7. Beware of overriding your instincts. My first impression of this man had been that he was slick and superficial. But I argued with that odd little voice inside that was picking up the truth. Similarly, don't rationalize his bad behavior. If he smells stinky or doesn't have time to call, it probably isn't because he's so busy. It's because he doesn't really care what you think. Period.

8. Beware the cute, hot guy who kind of reminds you of the parent you don't get along with: your cold, distant father who left when you were a kid or your hot-tempered mother whom you could never please. "But," you argue angrily, "can't that be a good thing? After all, I love my parents!" Absolutely not. Let's face it. You have to put up with crap from Mom or Dad, but see a shrink before you start channeling it through date boy. You have just been punked by nature's dirtiest trick. Welcome to repetition compulsion, wherein your problem parent is repackaged and served up to you as a hot member of the sex to which you are attracted. This is the most direct portal to hell of them all.

Is He Hiding Something?

9. A few last men to beware: guys who won't remove their hats and sunglasses -- they think you're too thick to notice the stuff they think they're hiding. I also don't trust picky eaters, guys who get manicures or, even worse, pedicures, and guys who talk on their cell phones in front of you at dinner. Add to this list guys who wear socks with sandals, but only because it bugs me. I have no empirical evidence to back up this petty observation. Most important, remember that putting too much stock in "cute" is a very good way to lose touch with your instincts. You don't want to tune those out.

10. And, just to be on the safe side, you might as well avoid guys who work in computer-aided design.


Paris Hotel Boutique said...

LOVE THIS! And the part about walking too fast or too slow is so true! I'll have to print this out for reference!

StephSchneider said...

love the banner for the site. thanks for posting this!