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Author Topic: Manners  (Read 3266 times)
Wolf410
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« on: December 08, 2011, 06:31:24 am »

ok...so i took a young lady to dinner tonight and she was shocked to see me actually use the manners of a gentleman. I would open the car door for her, hold the doors, pull out her chair so she could sit...i even stood when she left to use the restroom...not maybe it's because i have a secret fear that my mother will appear and smack me with the wooden spoon if i don't show manners to ladies Wink but why is it that now and days women seem to be shocked when a man treats them with respect and manners?
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The Corsair
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 06:53:58 am »

I put a lot of it down to equality struggles. As good a thing as manners are, there are times when they have been linked to male-dominated society (and in some cases that's not unfair) so it seems to be out of the minds of the people to exhibit such manners or tech them to the next generation in such depth.

I have been on dates that have swiftly gone wrong when I've done some gentlemanly things quite normal things like paying and have been called out as being sexist. Among my age group at least there seems to be a combination of a lack of taught manners and a decent enough number of neo-'feminists' (they aren't really feminists, but that's a whole different pet hate) scaring us away from being polite keeping us from being gentlemanly.
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 07:09:39 am »

its because a lot of guys have no maners. They are sexest, inpoite and pick on people. You have no clue how nice it is to meet someone with maners. Also some guys have maners but not the old fashond ones
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Xenos
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 08:06:55 am »

its because a lot of guys have no maners. They are sexest, inpoite and pick on people. You have no clue how nice it is to meet someone with maners. Also some guys have maners but not the old fashond ones

THIS. 

See, when I was a senior in high school, I was dating a girl, VERY feminist.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for women being treated as equals, all that.  But I'm still going to treat a lady like a lady.

She called me out on it the first few times I held the door for her, paid for her meal, etc...  Then she realized I was doing those things not because I thought she was inferior, but because I KNEW she was SUPERIOR to me, and I wanted to make her life that much easier.  I told her "Not that I don't think you CAN, but rather you shouldn't HAVE to."  and then used some ubercheesy romantic line on her, flashed her my best roguish grin, and opened the door.

Course, this was the lady who, before she let me kiss her the first time, I quite LITERALLY had to save her life.  No joke.

There's a whole 'nother story in that one, but I'm rambling again anyway...
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Lady Chrystal
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 08:21:12 am »

Gentlemen - how about treating her as a person as well as a lady?

It's hard to know how a man will behave - we do not live in a world where gentlemanly behaviour can be taken for granted.

For example, when perusing the menu, why not mention that you're planning on picking up the bill?
If she's really not comfortable with you standing when she leaves the table, etc - then it's not likely to work out between you.

Some of us may be surprised to be treated as ladies, but we may welcome it once we know that's what's happening.

Personally, I'm a fan of gentlemanly manners, but it's so rare that I would probably look sur[rised, too.
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 09:29:01 am »

I was raised to believe that manners maketh man, and a that gentleman should always assume a woman is a lady, until (and unless) she proves otherwise (and even then, 'Ladies' come in a variety of forms - Ne'er a book was best judged by its cover). I'm also of a similar persuasion to M. Xenos; a woman has the right to be treated politely and courteously by a man as it is more a question of personal comportment than any prejudicial treatment, in much the same manner that one should be courteous and diligent when servicing the needs of one's employer, or polite and deferential when assisting one's elders, etc. Whilst there are obvious and significant differences between the sexes (both physiologically and psychologically), equality is unquestionable and good manners and gentlemanly conduct is merely the best exercise of respect...

...that being said, it does come as something of a shock sometimes in an age where appalling behaviour towards women is seen as a demonstration of social and sexual competence, or ill-manner and ill-temper is considered the en vogue demonstration of an (albeit nebulous and ill-founded) anti-establishment sentiment. Take solace then, in the occasions when your behaviour brightens another's day, and claws back some iota of decency in a world scrabbling to ape the lowest, common denominator.
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 09:09:19 pm »

On the subject of perceived equality relative to gentlemanly manners ... it is considered good manners to stand whenever anyone leaves the table.  ... to hold the door to all behind you, until relieved by another.  ... to expect to pay unless prior arraignments have been made, if was you who extended the invitation. ... to show respect to an elder.

What does any of this have to do with gender?   Undecided
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Atterton
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 01:35:00 am »

I´d go with what Birdnest is saying.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 01:42:15 am »

I think it has to do with gender because its stereotypically men that are more outwardly polite. Haveing said this we should all be polite no matter man or woman.
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Athanor
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 01:52:50 am »


What does any of this have to do with gender?   Undecided

Nothing. And I speak from painful experience.

I'll always hold a door open if there's someone behind me, man or woman, and mostly I get a smile and a "thank you", but it doesn't always seem to work the other way. A few weeks ago I was leaving the Chapters bookstore in my home town in Canada, and a woman was leaving just ahead of me. She was, I'm guessing, fiftyish, so (one would think) of an age at which good manners might be expected, and I'm 6ft and 200lbs and was wearing a bulky winter jacket, so, one would think, hard not to see, but NOOOOOooooo.

She pushed the door open, walked through it and let go. If I hadn't reflexively brought my arm up pretty damn quick, that heavy door would have swung back and smacked me right in the face, probably giving me a bloody nose at least, or smashing my glasses. As it was, my wrist hurt for a couple of hours afterwards, and the magazines I was carrying went flying. If I'd been carrying a stack of books in both arms, or been momentarily distracted, or been old and frail, I would have gone flying.

Maybe she was distracted, or sad, or angry because of being treated badly by some guy. But I don't see any of that as an excuse. And she certainly wasn't blind. I think she was just - unthinking.

Athanor.
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Nikola Tesla
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 05:34:18 am »

Unthinking or just plain clueless.  Plenty of people are like that.  This is exacerbated by modern society's tendency to encourage us to all be off in our own little worlds, what with all the small electronics with headphones and the laptops and tablets and what-not.  All this stuff is useful - but I can never get over how modern people seem to be willing to sit in public with a laptop or (slightly less modern) a book in front of them and headphones on, isolating themselves completely.  I am never comfortable that way; either the book or the headphones, sure, but I'd like to know if I need to scoot my chair out of someone's way by a means other than smelling their approach, for instance.  Unfortunately, for a lot of people this seems to influence the way they interact with others even without the book or the headphones - just off in their own little worlds, humming and smelling the flowers or whatever, until they step on a foot or crash headlong into someone.  No way of knowing if that's the way it was with your lady, just a vaguely related observation.

That said, I think one of the issues with manners is that due to a lot of the recent changes in human relations there aren't all that many clear rules.  Not only are the genders renegotiating things, in most large cities today one finds a mash-up of national and/or international cultures.  What is polite in one place may not be in another, even within the same city.  There isn't a nice neat rulebook, especially for such famously delicate issues as who pays on dates - I agree with Birdnest that the invit-or should pay rather than the invit-ee, unless prior arrangements have been made, but that custom is not yet widespread enough to avoid disaster, so one should probably refrain from social occasions where one is not prepared to pay in any case.  (Sadly, that leaves a lot of us out of many social occasions entirely.)  Here's the question that gets left unanswered however:  many people, both male and female, think the gentleman should at least offer; many people, both male and female, think that such an offer is demeaning to the lady's equality (or just presumptuous:  "just what sort of occasion did you think this was, good sir?") and it is hard to tell in advance whether the person one is asking out is in Group A or Group B on that front.  So should a gentleman offer to pay?  Is that the safer option?  Who knows?  That's just one of the problems.

In absence of any clear guidebook (ideas like Birdnest's are a good start, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the mid-21st Century manners guides look an awful lot like that), and in the presence of what is likely to be a global society with plenty of cross-cultural interaction, I'm in favor of a strategy that avoids outright rudeness, adjusts to fit situations quickly, and emphasizes communication.  In short:  for the example this thread has most frequently cited, it may feel awkward to mention at a menu-scan that you feel prepared to pay (a reasonable line:  "I'm happy to cover this." - it doesn't say you think she can't or that you were assuming anything) but it is far better than a more awkward situation when the bill arrives.  If the lady is uncomfortable and offers to cover the tip, that's pretty normal too; by all means don't argue more than the polite once or so.

If the lady has done the inviting it is far more common for her to pay or for the event to be a "dutch treat".  Come prepared to pay but maybe that would be a situation where it briefly gets discussed on the way there.  For this issue, perhaps we should consult our peers in the gay and lesbian communities, who have been evolving rules of politesse in the absence of obvious pre-assigned gender roles for centuries.

One word of caution:  no gentleman, should he pay, ever assumes he will get anything "in return" for the meal, other than the lady's scintillating company.  This means no guarantee whatsoever of any after-entertainments (that being a whole separate kettle of fish) or even any second meetings where the lady pays - the meal is a gift, and she owes nothing.  Don't even hint at it.  (If the gentleman is uncomfortable with this, this is why the payer usually suggests the venue with its associated price point and/or there are the aforesaid prior arrangements.)  Violate this and you're not a gentleman.  Full stop.
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Xenos
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 05:59:42 am »

One word of caution:  no gentleman, should he pay, ever assumes he will get anything "in return" for the meal, other than the lady's scintillating company.  This means no guarantee whatsoever of any after-entertainments (that being a whole separate kettle of fish) or even any second meetings where the lady pays - the meal is a gift, and she owes nothing.  Don't even hint at it.  (If the gentleman is uncomfortable with this, this is why the payer usually suggests the venue with its associated price point and/or there are the aforesaid prior arrangements.)  Violate this and you're not a gentleman.  Full stop.

EXACTLY.

I have actually been known to pay for the lady if for no other reason than she was dining by herself, looked lonely, and I joined her at her table (WITH her permission, of course).  No names exchanged, nothing.  Just chatted about the day, week, or whatever. 

It really was quite fun, turning heads like that.  AND changing perception of men.

We are not ALL out for "one thing," and that's a FACT!
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 06:56:20 am »

Perhaps I'm a cad for doing so, but I always ask how we will be paying for our respective meals, versed in a variety of ways, depending upon the apparent temperament of the Lady in question; It's always struck me as common sense to do so.

'Course, maybe I'm wrong, and it's the reason I'm still single...
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SteampunkObserver
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 07:41:29 am »

Gents,

While it's definitely pleasing to hear that ladies like your mannerisms, aren't they rather insignificant? I know plenty of "officers and gentlemen," who, after socialization in the officer corps, would do much the same for ladies. I still wouldn't trust them to date my (hypothetical) daughters unless they'd done much more than open a door for her! And I hope that the women in my life saw nothing in it, as there was nothing in it. It's a nice habit, not a meaningful act.

I don't mean to belittle your politeness, but lets keep this in context. Imagining we are a small bastion protecting ladies from the impolite heathens of modern society is fantasy. We are not that special. There are countless young men out there who consider our mannerisms archaic and odd, but are still wonderful for the women in their lives. Their modernity is no reason to belittle them.

TTFN,

~SO
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Vagabond GentleMan
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2011, 07:46:12 am »

Gentlemen - how about treating her as a person as well as a lady?

Treat her like a lady and you ARE treating her like a person...for a lady IS a person...innit?

Manliness and Gentlemanliness is in an abominable state currently, for a great number of socio-cultural reasons, including but not limited to:

-Aforementioned post-feminist ambiguity regarding gender politics.
-A generation of males for whom a great number had no immediate father-figure.
-A lack of contemporary positive male role-models in the media, which is the result, at least partially of:
-An ambiguity regarding what the expectations of Manliness ARE in the post-feminist era.

As mentioned elsewhere, a feller can open a door for a lady (DIFFERENT from holding the door once a feller's already passed through) and receive a thank you, or a "I'm perfectly capable of opening doors for myself, chauvinist..." response.
Yet, if a feller does not make a habit of opening doors, the Death of Chivalry is lamented.
This a metaphor, of course, for all traditionally 'gentlemanly' behaviors.

Most people will generally seek to avoid the more aggressive negative response, even if it means "Chivalry is dead".

I'm gonna keep being a Gent, doing those standard gentlemanly things, cause that's how I do.
And if a lady don't like it...well, I'll treat her however she'd prefer, assuming it requires no personal surrender.


I am gonna comment, though it's socially unpopular, it IS pure science:  Sex for resources.  That's the female/male deal since proto-humanhood.  There's some gents round here riding around on High Horses talkin' bout how it ain't so, just like there's ladies round here will say economic stability has nothing to do with male attractiveness.
I love y'all, and you can pat yourself on the backs til yer blue in the face, but every shred of evidence from the Social Sciences still says it ain't so.
Denial of said fact is just as plain as the Elaborate Rituals of Deception we indulge in to convince ourselves that "No, No, I'm different and better" which is part of that Greater Game of gender relations and mating rituals.

It's cool.  We don't have to LIKE the hard scientific truths.  >shrugs<
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Xenos
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2011, 07:54:43 am »

Gents,

While it's definitely pleasing to hear that ladies like your mannerisms, aren't they rather insignificant? I know plenty of "officers and gentlemen," who, after socialization in the officer corps, would do much the same for ladies. I still wouldn't trust them to date my (hypothetical) daughters unless they'd done much more than open a door for her! And I hope that the women in my life saw nothing in it, as there was nothing in it. It's a nice habit, not a meaningful act.

I don't mean to belittle your politeness, but lets keep this in context. Imagining we are a small bastion protecting ladies from the impolite heathens of modern society is fantasy. We are not that special. There are countless young men out there who consider our mannerisms archaic and odd, but are still wonderful for the women in their lives. Their modernity is no reason to belittle them.

TTFN,

~SO

Right, well...  The FIRST thing that popped in my head (and it may just be the alcohol speaking, mind) was "Obvious Troll is Obvious."

And against my drunken better judgement (I normally go with a strict DNFT approach), I am going to assume you are being quite serious, with no trolling intended, and reply.

No no, it takes a FAR sight more than opening a door to date my daughter.  Why, when we found out we were having a little girl, the very first thing I did was go out and by me a firearm with which to scare the pants off of the sodding tosspot she brings home (have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!").  Manners do not mean you're not going to try and take advantage, peer pressure, etc.

As for the rest of it, I *do* think we are a small little group, holding out against the barbarism that modern society has become.  And what's wrong with that?  No, we're not "special."  This I know.  There are plenty of OTHER small groups, doing the same thing, that have nothing to do with steampunk (not to say that some of them are not steampunk, just saying that that manners, being a gent'n'all that don't mean you ARE steampunk).

Just as you say there's no need to belittle them (which I didn't see, to be honest), there's no need for you to talk down to us for what WE do.

Wishing He'd Not Drank That Last 5th...
~X. Markus

PS:  Aren't you the "Rules for Being Steampunk" guy?
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Atterton
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2011, 02:42:45 pm »

Vagabond: Let´s not confuse the social sciences with hard scientific facts. It´s hardly empirical, wouldn´t you say?

I would say whoever does the asking out, does the paying. Of course that´s complicated by the fact that sometimes the women don´t seem to understand it´s a date. *sigh*
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Birdnest
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 08:36:20 pm »

Lots of good points ... and lot of points that are clearly regional.

I can only speak for where I used to live - South California - where there is such a mix of cultures that being a lady or gentleman can be easily misunderstood.  Good manners can result in a misplaced glare.
BUT ... I now live in western Montana, where there is a special kind of equality that I must admit I have grown to take somewhat for granted.  Ladies and gentleman are pretty much on equal social terms.  Women hunt and chop wood and men do laundry and cook ... and vice versa in fairly equal proportions.  Of course there is the occasional chav, but they're pretty rare and frowned upon.

In the dating scene, 'expectations' as described by Xenos and others could likely get you shot!!  And, if you want to date MY daughter, you ought to make yourself known - as a turnabout, Sons are expected to bring their lady friends for an introduction.  Small towns can be that way I'd reckon.  Large cities can cause a jaded or distorted view of olde fashioned manners.

Basically, these regional differences are what keeps me in small-ville instead of the metropolis'.  Rude folk make me nervous.  Wink
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Nikola Tesla
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 11:16:22 pm »

Heh, here on the East Coast pretty much anything gets you a glare, misplaced or otherwise.  As a Midwestern transplant that has been my main disappointment about the culture here; otherwise, I love the museum-, theater-, and club-dense environment.  Where I grew up, even in a largish city there were often only one or maybe two places to go.  On the other hand, one wasn't fighting a pack of wild boar with foul mouths and unlimited texting to get there.  (Drivers' licenses are apparently commonly found in Cracker Jack boxes around here also, though that's a different issue...maybe.)

My bland Midwest manners quickly got me labeled a pansy - I remember when I first showed my new East Coast spine, when some woman cut ahead of me in line at the airport bakery/deli and got to the front before making her decision, at which point I informed her gently that in most places it was considered polite to at least make up one's mind what one wants before "butting in line".  I managed to pull this off with a straight face and surprise, she let me order ahead of her, since I knew already what I wanted.  Back home one is supposed to just tolerate it if someone is rude - surely it was just an accident! - and then carp about it to others at home, or these days, on the internet. Wink

Quote
Basically, these regional differences are what keeps me in small-ville instead of the metropolis'.  Rude folk make me nervous.

You're right about the metropolis, if you're not used to rude manners the city is the place you are most likely to encounter them, even as a matter of statistics.  There my suspicion is that everyone's in a hurry, trying to cut two minutes off of their commute or whatever so they can enjoy that much more precious free time, which seems always in ridiculously short supply.  It doesn't seem to occur to people that if everyone were a little nicer and getting around less unpleasant, then getting out of that situation two minutes earlier would be so stroke-inducingly important.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 11:19:05 pm by Nikola Tesla » Logged
von Corax
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2011, 05:39:24 am »

...have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!"

Now I'm imagining the prospective beau slipping you tongue, gripping your butt firmly and coyly whispering, "I'm looking forward to it!"

Thank you SO MUCH for that PARTICULAR mental image. GAAH!

Now where'd I leave that mental floss...?
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Xenos
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2011, 05:45:08 am »

...have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!"

Now I'm imagining the prospective beau slipping you tongue, gripping your butt firmly and coyly whispering, "I'm looking forward to it!"

Thank you SO MUCH for that PARTICULAR mental image. GAAH!

Now where'd I leave that mental floss...?

Having Takei fantasies about me, then?  Wink

Meh, no daughter of mine'd stand for that-my family don't share their significant others!
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Vagabond GentleMan
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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2011, 07:43:57 am »

Vagabond: Let´s not confuse the social sciences with hard scientific facts. It´s hardly empirical, wouldn´t you say?

Yeah, I know, brother.

But, at the same time, social sciences are getting cleverer...citing physiological differences in the brain to explain gender-based behaviors, citing evolutionary (biological) science to do the same, etc...the gap between 'social science' and 'physical science' is fast closing, as the begin to feed off each other.

Sometime the Social Sciences DO set down hard scientific fact based on empirical evidence.
Indeed, they do so more and more.
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von Corax
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« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2011, 06:17:18 am »

...have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!"

Now I'm imagining the prospective beau slipping you tongue, gripping your butt firmly and coyly whispering, "I'm looking forward to it!"

Thank you SO MUCH for that PARTICULAR mental image. GAAH!

Now where'd I leave that mental floss...?

Having Takei fantasies about me, then?  Wink

Meh, no daughter of mine'd stand for that-my family don't share their significant others!

Naah, I'm not trying to 'ship anyone. It just occurred to me that if his sense of humour were anything like mine (documented at-least-third-generation congenital smartass) then you might find your intimidation tactic backfiring in a rather entertaining fashion. Tongue
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Xenos
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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2011, 06:40:49 am »

...have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!"

Now I'm imagining the prospective beau slipping you tongue, gripping your butt firmly and coyly whispering, "I'm looking forward to it!"

Thank you SO MUCH for that PARTICULAR mental image. GAAH!

Now where'd I leave that mental floss...?

Having Takei fantasies about me, then?  Wink

Meh, no daughter of mine'd stand for that-my family don't share their significant others!

Naah, I'm not trying to 'ship anyone. It just occurred to me that if his sense of humour were anything like mine (documented at-least-third-generation congenital smartass) then you might find your intimidation tactic backfiring in a rather entertaining fashion. Tongue

That WOULD be my luck, the way it normally runs...

*Shudders*

I think I'll go get drunk now...
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Evelyn Adler
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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2011, 05:59:29 pm »

...have have since ammended my approach-I fully plan to kiss him full on the mouth, hug him real tight, and tell him, "Look son, I know you're going to be kissing and cuddling on my little girl tonight, but I just want you to know-whatever you do to her, I'm'a do to you!"

Now I'm imagining the prospective beau slipping you tongue, gripping your butt firmly and coyly whispering, "I'm looking forward to it!"

Thank you SO MUCH for that PARTICULAR mental image. GAAH!

Now where'd I leave that mental floss...?

Having Takei fantasies about me, then?  Wink

Meh, no daughter of mine'd stand for that-my family don't share their significant others!

Naah, I'm not trying to 'ship anyone. It just occurred to me that if his sense of humour were anything like mine (documented at-least-third-generation congenital smartass) then you might find your intimidation tactic backfiring in a rather entertaining fashion. Tongue

That WOULD be my luck, the way it normally runs...

*Shudders*

I think I'll go get drunk now...

If you can't stand the heat...  Wink
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Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. (Cecil Beaton)
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