You crossed an important boundary, yet seemed completely unaware of your offense — hence the slap in the face. It was quite disappointing too, since we had a nice conversation up to that point. Anyway, I do accept your apology, and while I don't wish to continue communication with you, I have no lingering hard feelings. Hopefully you can learn from this.
Blaine: It is too bad that she didn't know that there was a shy gentleman under that remark. She missed out. —Diana
Diana: That's very kind :) Not to beat this to death, but I think you touched on something important in your previous reply in that she may have had lots of bad experiences with men who looked at her primarily in a sexual/physical way and just reached an extreme frustration level, thinking she had met an honorable, decent guy in me before things went south. I do feel badly about offending such a beautiful and classy woman who is quite accomplished as well. My friends always tell me that I'm too shy and reserved around women and need to be more bold and flirtatious. I guess there is a fine line between flirtatious and offensive. —Blaine
Diana: Just when I thought I was ready to move on, live and learn, etc., I get the note from her, below. Completely caught me by surprise and I'm not sure what made her change her mind. In any case, I'm looking forward to the coffee date. —Blaine
Hello again, Blaine: I've been thinking things over. Having met more than a few womanizers over the years, perhaps I judged you too harshly and you just had a “foot-in-the-mouth” moment. The way you've handled things in the aftermath leads me to believe you might be an honorable guy. You took the slap like a gentleman by not retaliating verbally or physically, and you were courteous enough to leave the party shortly thereafter. Also, your apology seemed very sweet and sincere. If you're interested, we can meet for coffee and make a fresh start. It's a new year and everyone deserves a second chance.
This dialogue will continue next week.
DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, etiquette and civility specialist/image stylist, can be reached at (626) 584-9761 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.dianaolson.com.