A large portion of this blog is devoted to helping guys put their best foot forward socially so that women like them. We shouldn’t pretend to be above wanting to be liked. And as I discussed in my Jay Cutler post a while back, few of us can go through life without being liked at all.
But let’s not forget that we have some approval of our own to give. Or in some cases, to not give. Here’s an example of that.
I was out with my buddy Tre Tre recently at our favorite local bar. Often, our nights there are spent more on discussing football than talking to girls, but this time Tre saw potential.
He spotted two ladies seated behind us at the bar, and he thought the blonde was cute. We used a little stealth in getting up from our seats and sitting next to theirs by saying hello to the bartender and chatting him up briefly. The girls were talking to the bartender as well, and Tre waited for his chance to join the discussion.
When he heard the blonde discussing her upcoming trip to Turkey, where he’d spent a lot of time, he had his chance.
As only Tre can do, he had the girls’ complete attention by talking about his experience in Turkey and asking about her trip. I hadn’t even said a word to them yet — I didn’t need to. I had no doubt that Tre had the blonde, but then, the blonde lost him.
Tre was suggesting she not wear loud colors in Turkey as a safety measure, and out of nowhere, she pointed at me and said, “Yeah, like that guy’s shirt. It’s so jarring.”
It was my first night wearing my red-and-blue striped Rugby shirt — a shirt I was excited to get, by the way. I could only presume the blonde was joking, even if she had a straight face.
I was caught off guard, but I just smiled and said that I hadn’t even talked to her yet and she was ripping my style. She had every chance to smile or say “just kidding,” and it would have defused the whole thing. Maybe I would have liked her more for it. Instead, she kept her straight face and said, “Just giving you constructive criticism.”
I wanted to say a lot to her, especially that I didn’t take fashion criticism from women who wore loose, one-shouldered sweaters straight out of 1983. But I bit my tongue and let the conversation continue, out of loyalty to Tre Tre.
But Tre had seen enough right there. It’s not that he needed to defend me over a shirt — I’m a big boy — but she had just displayed a character trait he disliked in women. She was a bully, and if she showed negativity to his friend right in front of him, she probably did the same with other people.
So Tre turned away from them, and even when they re-engaged him on their way out and gave him every chance to ask for the blonde’s number, he didn’t do it. Much as a certain famous athlete had ruined it by disrespecting a girl’s friends, this girl had done the reverse.
Obviously, I loved Tre for doing that just for my ego’s sake. But this isn’t about me. It’s about having some lines in life — not many, but just a few. And when someone crosses that line, you know there’s no going back. Had a girl I liked picked on Tre that way, I would have dismissed her just the same.
In the big scheme of things, a good rugby shirt beats a lame woman every time.