Sunday, April 26, 2009

Surviving dating’s most embarrassing moments

One of my best friends remembers her first big high school dance as bittersweet. It was a formal affair (as they were in those days), the guy she’d had a crush on all year had asked her to go, and her dress was to-die-for. That’s the sweet part. Her bitter pill was waking up the morning of the dance to find a giant pimple perched on the tip of her nose like Mount St. Helens. The more she fussed with it all day, the worse it got. That evening, as the doorbell rang, my friend was squirreled away in the bathroom frantically powdering the tip of her nose — which by now rivaled Bozo the Clown’s. A bona fide disaster. She left for the dance with one white-gloved hand hovering over the front of her face. Perhaps, she consoled herself, her date wouldn’t notice. He did. After all, her uncomfortable behavior was as plain as the nose on her face.
“So you’ve got a pimple on the end of your nose!” her date finally exclaimed. Apparently, he was tired of gazing into a glove. “Is it the end of the world?” Of course, the answer was “no” (it only felt like it), and the lesson was learned. From that moment on, she heaved a huge sigh of relief, held her date’s hand, and had a great time. Which is what you can do, too, as soon as you master the perfect remedy for the following dating disasters. The first rule: No matter what the problem, ’fess up immediately. Your date will sense something is wrong and think the problem’s her or him. And remember, no matter how bad it gets, really, is it the end of the world? If you’re old enough to date, you’re old enough to understand menstrual cycles and periods and accidents. Should your date experience such an unfortunate mishap, it’s up to you to help diffuse her mortification. Don’t make light of it (believe me — she won’t think it’s funny), but don’t use this opportunity to “bond” with her by confessing your horror, either. Try what’s been known to work well before — tell her you’re sorry it happened, then lovingly add, “Hey, it’s not the end of the world.”

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