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When Harry Met Sally, Harry kept his mouth shut…

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Okay, this situation crops up. Ladies, I know you feel me. There’s this guy that I casually know. He’s a musician, I’m a writer, we talked about artistic creative things, you know. I considered him something like a colleague.

But you all know the whole “Harry Met Sally” thing. And he had to open his mouth. Well, not his mouth. He had to hit the keyboard. Email is such a non-threatening medium.

It’s not like this doesn’t happen on a regular basis. A girl smiles, is friendly–the guy gets overly hopeful.

The first few times, when I was very young, I felt so flattered and sympathetic that I gave long replies of “Oh that’s so very nice, you’re a very nice guy, I just don’t want to get involved, but you are still a great friend..” blah blah.

This backfired. I soon began to have gooey geeky boys lounging about the places I had reason to go.

I, along with most other American women, learned to mention my boyfriend early and often. It’s a magic amulet that keeps creepy evil spirits away.

How else do you nip this nonsense in the bud?

And to most women, it really does feel like nonsense. We don’t have the toxic levels of testosterone that men suffer, making the international symbol of “MALE” an up-pointy arrow.

Can’t we just relate to each other as people?

I have become jaded and hardened with age.

Read the evidence and cast your vote:

“There’s something else that I need to tell you.
If I had a job and you didn’t have a boyfriend,
I would have asked you out when I first met
you. It seems like we had an instant repore
and I feel a connection with you on so many
different levels. I know this is a cheesy way
to tell you this, but in addition to my self
esteem issues, I also have intimacy issues
so I was too chicken to tell you in person.
I hope I’m doing the right thing by telling
you this – sometimes silence can do more
damage than words.

Call me”

A) Be “Kind”. Poor fellow has self-esteem issues. Call him and have a long phone conversation about how great a musician/person/guy he is and mourn together the fact that I am indeed in a relationship. Continue these long phone calls for months.

B) Don’t speak when I see him again. Completely avoid eye contact but speak behind my hand to my friends when he passes by.

C) Don’t answer at all. Pretend it never happened.

D) Reply, saying “As a writer and an English major, I have to do this” and mark all the grammatical, spelling and syntax errors in red

E) Cast myelf into a burning lake of fire for being the heartless bitch that I am.

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About Murphy

  • Henry Chinaski

    E, definitely E. Just kidding, kind of. You have to remember, as men, we are genetically hotwired to become aroused at the slightest hint of interest we perceive(intended or not). I had a friend who thought every women who spoke to him without hostility wanted him. The kind of guy that hit on my girlfriend when I went to buy her popcorn at the drive in. Of course, on the other hand, this poofer sounds like a real lame-o, not someone a red hot, independent hottie like yourself should become involved with.

  • cephusj

    I didnt see an answer up there that I would have picked. I dont think this guys advances warrant a negative response from your nor should you placate his emotions. I think you should just say to him what you just said in your blog. You saw him as a colleague and werent interested in anything more with him. If he ever steps out of line after your honesty he obviously cant handle himself as an adult (regardless of whethere male or female) and needs to be left alone. You have to watch out though because what I find from a lot of woman is that although they are mistaken from being friendly – sometimes when they do want more they dont know how to go about it and try to cozy up in a friendly way often confusing the male friend as to what they really want. I have had situations where I have been a friend of a woman and had her start telling me intimate details about her personal life as though she were looking for me to step in and save her. This has happened on several occassions. I have also had situations where I thought the situation was platonic, light and airy until I mentioned I was seeing some one and the person literally transformed personalities right in front of my eyes. This is a double standard women often have with regard to men. They want to keep you at arms distance until they decide what they want to do with you and then once they decide where you fit they couldnt care less how you feel or are affected by it.

  • http://lucky7seven.blogspot.com rebecca

    do what a guy would do. avoid him at all costs.

  • betsy

    Sweetie, a man that truely had self esteem issues wouldn’t tell you that he had self esteem issues. He would keep that to himself and never openly admit it- that’s part of having a self esteem issue in the first place. Continue to treat him as a colleague, but under no circumstances allow him to start an awkward conversation that starts with “I really shouldn’t be saying this…” or any other such nonsense. Speaking from experience, this will only end your professional relationship in a nasty, heinous way. Also, if he were truely a friend that already knew you had a boyfriend, why would he be purposely putting you in such an awkward situation? In your place, I would continue to work with him professionally, but not interact with him on a friendship basis. Any man that hits on somebody that he knows is intimately involved and intends to stay that way is just a little two untrustworthy to have around.

  • http://www.murphyhorner.com The red hot, independent Hottie

    Thank you so much Henry!

    I take your point about men’s hot wires…But genetic predispositions still don’t excuse a total lack of cool. Women are genetically inclined to cry once a month. But that doesn’t mean we are not required to maintain professional demeanors even during those times.

    Cephus, you are right, women do dramatically inapproriate things too. It’s not okay for a woman to use a man for her own purposes (saviour, tease-puppet, whatever). Your platonic Chica should not overstep intimacy and give you details you don’t want.

    But then, you shouldn’t accept details you don’t want. A breezy and firm, “Sounds rough, but I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do. Gotta go!” works wonders.

    Of course, a person inclined to do one inappropriate thing might just keep on walking down that same path. That’s the risky thing.

    Rebecca, I truly like your idea. But then I bridle at having to change my habits because of his idiocy. I should be able to socialize where I choose.

    Maybe I’ll just choose to sit at a different table.

    Betsy, yes! He is sneaky and icky to talk to me this way. What does he want? Some kind of scraps from the table?

    He should have more pride than that. _I_ have more pride than that.

    Shoo!