How to charm me in a few short sentences

Case study 1: A date & an insult

I went on an online date. The guy’s credentials seemed legit: a high performer in finance at one of the top banks in the country, good-looking, well-written and mostly charming in our text-convos. Mostly-charming because there was an undercurrent of anger that would bubble up à propos to nothing during the most random topics, including Christmas plans; this put me on my guard.

Our date was superficially a success. Good restaurant, lots of conversation. His life is a fascinating story. Except in the telling of it, after I had interjected with a comment (to highlight a commonality of opinion and experience, such as is normal on dates), he reprimanded me: “I’m talking now – I listened to your story, so you have to listen to mine.

I was too taken aback to respond. Satisfied with my silence, he continued with his story.

Towards the end of the date, he asked me whether I’d blog about the date. In the middle of my explanation that I take great pains to make my subjects anonymous, and I always keep them respectfully in mind, he interrupted me: “I don’t know why I care – it’s not as though anyone reads that shit, anyhow.”

Challenge accepted, sir.

Case study 2: Helpful advice

I was at the gym on Saturday, after working a ridiculous 80 hour week (first year-end working in industry. Turns out the previous 5 years of my career have been similar to a toddler dressing up in their parents’ clothes: I was play-acting at having a real job.) I felt like the prodigal child returning to my boxing family.

As I was fielding questions (“Where’ve you been?”, “How’s the new job?”, “You look tired!”), I explained a fair bit about my job and new role. The 80 hour week caused a bit of a ruckus, with one guy exclaiming: “Girl, you’re single and 30? You got the career, better get yourself a husband!

For anyone wondering, the guy addressing me was not a senior citizen, but a 20-something year-old professional.

The take-aways

I now know that first date conversations can also be battlegrounds.

I’ve also learned, through my gym-mate, that we are still living in the 1950s: “Every girl wants a husband, come on now!!



  1. I like how the 20-something sounds like my grandfather… And that captain finance (probably with a ‘cool haircut’) should quickly acknowledge that most people read.

    This story was read north of the 62nd parallel… and the polar bears laughed too!


    1. Yeah! The only other people who tell me to “pray for the Good Lord to send me a kind husband” are the retirees at my father’s church. This was the first time I got such a comment from a male under the age of 50.

      Your polar bears sound pretty sweet. And literate.


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