Saturday, August 30, 2008

Open letter to a friend of my daughter

Dear _______,

I'm not sure if any of this will be a surprise to you, and I'll be happy to clarify or answer any questions about what you read here. And I hope this doesn't come off as too weird or anything.

When you came over the other night to hang out with <my daughter>, I was frankly astonished at your transformation from an attractive and interesting girl into an absolutely stunning young woman. I am not kidding; women as attractive as you make me really glad that I'm old and married. Why? Because if I were single and 15 years younger, I'd probably become helpless, tongue-tied, hoping I could get to gaze into your eyes for an evening, and yet terrified of rejection. (I wrote something on this topic last year).

But since I am in fact an old married guy, and I want to stay that way, let me explain why I wrote that paragraph. I don't know what your experience has been with guys pestering you, but if it hasn't started already, you're in for a rude shock. By the way, those huge tips you've gotten? It's not just because those customers are rich; they're rich and they got a lot of enjoyment just from looking at you. (These were men, right?)

I believe that there are already dozens of young (meaning "under 40") men trying to think of ways to get a date -- or more :^( -- with you. Unfortunately, because you're so attractive, it's not only nice guys who're attracted; some of these guys are real creeps.

So my message is: You've been given a gift of great power, but it is decidedly a mixed blessing -- sorta like the power of white gold in Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane (if you've read that). Not to say you were unattractive before! -- do you remember "if I were 19 I'd be begging you to marry me"? What I mean is, over the past year you've truly become a "knockout." (Wait, the past few months maybe -- you came by earlier this summer? Maybe it's your hair?)

Guys that see you frequently (your dad for example) probably haven't noticed, because the change has been pretty gradual, but writing as a normal (yeah right) American male, I'm going to say that you'll take away the breath of any man meeting you for the first time. And as your friend and as a father of daughters, I say: Please be careful!

Jenny has a copy of Dateable, which (among other things) decodes what guys say. The book's translations are spot-on. When a guy says he'll love you forever, what he really means is, "I feel so attracted to you that I think these feelings will last forever." And when he says he's never felt this way about anyone else, what he really means is that he doesn't remember feeling exactly this way about the last girl he was with, or the one before or... And so on.

OK, this is long enough. Please let me know if you have any questions or want anything explained further. And if you want to tell me what kind of nut-case I am, that's OK too, as I've always wondered....


P.S. OK, not long enough after all. There was one other thing I want to pass along; it's something men know instinctively but isn't obvious to women: uneducated or unintelligent men are intimidated by educated, intelligent women. Educated/intelligent men are intimidated by very attractive women. This makes you scary on all fronts.

P.P.S. Yes, I was intimidated by the lovely Carol when I met her a quarter-century ago. And my daughters are the kind of girls I used to be terrified of when I was that age.

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