Ask Amy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 10:45pm

DEAR AMY: I'm a happily married woman. Last weekend I went shopping with a single girlfriend, "Diana," whose dating (mis)adventures have involved men who've turned out to be interested only in the proverbial "one thing."

We were shopping and enjoyed some friendly banter with the shopkeeper.

I learned Michael was a landscape designer on the side and I got his number for a project I have in mind. My friend Diana flirted mildly, and he flirted back.

We said a cheerful goodbye to him and then went to a nearby restaurant/bar, where I (easily) persuaded Diana to let me text Michael and invite him to join us.

Our text exchange follows. We were disgusted by it.

We: "Michael, my friend Diana and I were just in your shop. I am looking for a landscape designer for my yoga garden, but we're getting drinks and snacks around the corner now. If you're closing soon and feel up for it, join us."

He: "Just got your message. It sounds like you ladies need your gardens 'tended to,' not designed. Hee-hee ..."

We: "We'll take that as a joke."

He: "Do you want to take that as a joke? Are you two still out?"

We: "First question — yes. Second question — no."

He: "Back home all nestled in bed?"

We: "Sounds like you're the one that needs your garden tended. Sorry, but I'm happily married and Diana's only interested in the real thing. Thanks anyway. Was fun meeting you."

He: "No hard feelings. Just playing around. You ladies have a good night!"

Amy, where did we go wrong?

— Text Averse

DEAR AVERSE: Your only crime is in thinking you'll get Noel Coward banter from Will Ferrell.

Look, you tried. It didn't work out the way you wanted. But this guy's suggestive texting illustrates that you won't always get hearts and flowers from someone whose only qualifications as a potential partner are that he's cute and has the opposable thumbs necessary to type on his phone's keyboard.

And, guys? Texting "hee-hee" and twirling your virtual mustache is a deal breaker, at least for women of a certain sensibility.

As for you, texting the cute guy from the bar around the corner sounds like a "hook-up" opportunity to me, but maybe — like "Michael" — my mind is in the mulch.


DEAR AMY: I could use some advice about how to write an appropriate note for an unusual situation.

I have a friend whose brother died unexpectedly after a brief illness. Her first grandchild was born the following day.

I think that I should acknowledge both incidents. Is there a proper way to send my thoughts in one letter?

— Kathryn

DEAR KATHRYN: This isn't necessarily a time for "proper." This situation calls for a heartfelt expression that somehow takes into account both ends of the emotional spectrum of life.

Don't worry too much about getting everything exactly right. You can start your letter by writing, "I hardly know what to say. I heard about 'Joe's death, and I am so sorry. I can only hope the birth of your grandchild brings you a measure of joy and comfort during what must be a very sad time for you and your family."


DEAR AMY:
"Guilty Bridesmaid" worried about having to wear a bridesmaid's dress inappropriate for a woman her age.

I was six months pregnant when I walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid for my sister's wedding.

I wore a yellow satin strapless bustier and crinoline skirt that must have looked ridiculous. The point isn't how you look, or feel. It is that you are there to share an experience with someone you love.

It is a few hours of wearing something that you will never have to see again. I say to Guilty, lighten up, enjoy the day, then donate the dress to a prom dress charity.

— Happy in Yellow in NY

DEAR HAPPY: Embrace the yellow! Good for you.

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Filed under: Lifestyles