Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nine hints for limbo and surviving the wait

There’s a reason the first streamlined, easy-to-cradle-beneath-your-chin telephone was called a “princess” phone. It was designed to be talked on for hours in comfort — something little princes just don’t do. Sure, guys call their buddies, but let’s face it — they look like amateurs when it comes to the real phone talkers: girls. Girls grow up on the phone. So the day after a great date, the telephone in a girl’s room or house or apartment or car or office takes on a sort of golden glow. Women, if you’re not vigilant, the phone will take over your life. Don’t let it.
Assuming you’re waiting for this great guy you met to call you for date number two, don’t panic, don’t write him off, don’t obsess. Instead, follow these nine guidelines for handling the waiting period:
  1. Don’t stop showering. I know, I know — the phone could ring while you’re all sudsed up, and baths are quieter. But changes in lifestyle and hygiene don’t need to begin quite so early. There are answering machines and voice mail. People call back. Hygiene is more important. You never know — he could drop by.
  2. Don’t call the phone company. If you hear a dial tone, the phone is in perfect working order. Besides, the phone would be engaged while they checked the line anyway, and are you willing to take that risk?
  3. Don’t go shopping for new equipment. You don’t need a new phone, answering machine, beeper, doorbell, or e-mail server just because yours refuses to ring, beep, or announce, “You have mail!” Be patient.
  4. Don’t put yourself on house arrest. This is not the time to develop a deep and lasting friendship with the pizza delivery guy. Get out. Get air. The phone will be there when you get back.
  5. Don’t change your answering machine message. Your old voice sounded sexy enough. Detailing on tape exactly where you are and where you’ll be each day is an invitation to burglars, not daters.
  6. Stare at something else. A watched phone never rings.
  7. Stop watching the 24-hour news channel. If he really was abducted by an alien or caught in a 20-car pile-up, you’ll hear about it soon enough.
  8. Get a life. If you don’t have one already, now’s the time to live. Go to a museum, volunteer, enroll in NASCAR driving camp, whatever. Carry on with any version of existence other than an amoeba life form sitting by the phone.
  9. Don’t worry, be happy. Even if it’s your mom each time the phone rings, hey, at least it’s a human voice. Remember Dr. Joy’s prescription on dating: It’s one date. Take it easy. Nothing, besides nuclear holocaust, is the end of the world.
Remember, women crave intensity; men crave comfort. Carry that thought throughout your life and you’ll always understand why the other side behaves the way it does.

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