The Truth about the Kiss on the Cheek 4/23/99

Dear Mr. Steele

Maybe I'm crazy. . .or maybe I'm just a loser. . .read on.

I've had the hots for this German woman for a while. We've seen each other quite a bit over the past 8 months or so between busy work schedules. She has mentioned that her career comes first and that she isn't really interested in a boyfriend but we still seem to get together on very "date like" occasions and have a great time. I've done little romantic things here and there and she hasn't really discouraged it so I figured it was time to step up to the plate.

So for Valentines day I planned a really special adventure. I told her to keep the day free. I met her at her house with some German chocolate and a dozen red roses. When she had finished putting the flowers in water we hit the road. I refused to tell her where we were going. The mystery thrilled her. For the 3 hour drive she played the guessing game with me. Needless to say when we pulled into Atlantic City she was quite surprised.

So we did a little gambling toured the boardwalk and settled into a quiet dinner. We both had to work the next day so things were drawing to a close. It was then that I hit her with the REAL surprise. I proceeded to take her hand and quote her FROM MEMORY a VERY romantic 5 verse poem that I had spent the past two months getting translated and memorizing in German. Needless to say it blew her mind. I then gave her a card that had the poem written in it so that she would have something to remember the occasion by.

Well. . .to make the long story shorter. . .we got back to the city and I dropped her off at her place where she proceeded to kiss me on the cheek and tell me how sweet I was. . . .

. . the kiss of death. . .

. . .and she's never mentioned the occasion since. . .

I really don't hold my expectations very high but this still came as a surprise.

And so . . the question. . .I'm not a bad looking guy and I'm not psychotic or anything so tell me. . . .

What the <expletive deleted> is wrong with women!!!

Sincerely

Patronized to death

Erg ... the Never-Welcome Kiss-on-the-Cheek ... we've all felt that sting, haven't we guys? I'm so with you on this one.

And yet, we've all done this before too. We've all had someone in our lives who was perfectly nice and who clearly adored us ... but something was just lacking. You can't quite put a finger on it and it's not her fault. If there was something she could do, she'd do it. But there isn't anything she can do that will make her the Right Person, and that's just the way it is.

If you haven't encountered this particular wrinkle before; trust me you will. Only a matter of time. And when you do you'll appreciate just what a nice girl the German was about it. On the plus-side, it sounds as though you've got yourself a good friend there. And she's probably got a really cool accent, too. Do people ask her to say 'I'll be back ' in that accent all the time? If they don't, they should.

Whoa ... okay ... got a little distracted there by visions of Aryan Women dancing through my head. I'm okay now, honest.

East German, or West?

Gah! I'm really back this time. Really.

It sounds to me as though you put it all on the line -- and that's good. That's what a younger-me would have suggested. Kudos. You put it all on the line and you got as clear a picture of what's going through her head as you'll ever need. That's plenty. Your options are as follows:

(a) Date other women and move on. Keep her as a friend. Sure you'll always wonder what she looks like naked, even with her as Just a Friend. This is perhaps for the best. The Fantasy is always better than the Reality -- always.

Always.

(b) Pine away for her. Sing love songs to her through the closed-door of her apartment. Spend three months salary on a wedding ring and slip it into her fish sandwich. Buy the Berlitz 'Pillow-talk in German' tape and memorize every phrase and nuance. Because dammnit, this is the girl for you whether she likes it or not.

(c) Wait. Once that visa of hers runs out, she'll get nice and compliant. I guarantee it.

Oh ... just as an aside ... in my youth I was friends with many girls -- exactly the sort of Lack of Spark friends you're describing. Anywhere from three to five Girls from now ('Girls' here being a unit of time which ranges anywhere from three to twenty-four months) she'll start Talking the Talk.

All of those who are old enough know exactly what I'm talking about don't we?

'Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we'd done things differently.'

'Remember that time in Atlantic City? That was the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me.'

'I had the strangest dream about you last night. <insert lurid sex scene here> Isn't that strange?'

'Ever wonder what I look like naked?'

'I'd invade Poland for you Baby.'

The bummer-part about these talks is that they're invariably triggered by what they perceive (correctly) as a complete lack of interest in being anything more than a friend. But since guys are wired differently, we generally Bang those Broads just on principle. Hey ... it's not a good principle but it's the Male Principle. When women realize they can get through life with three pairs of shoes, maybe we'll change too.

Oofah!