Networking or punking?

I’ve never been entirely comfortable in our evolving world of social networking. It seems rather odd to me that so many people have access to our lives, can contact us in any of a dozen different ways, but I’m trying to adjust. Yesterday, however, I received an email that still surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Here’s the note with the names changed to protect the…unexpected.

My name is Brian and while my specific issue is in the realm of dating, it is also romance related. While googling for advice I discovered that you were a romance author. Not sure if you can offer advice on my situation, but I thought I’d give it a try since I was too embarrassed to tell my friends about it. If you have the time and the interest, I describe the incident below. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. I met a really attractive and intelligent woman at a party a few weeks ago. It was a public event at an art gallery. She was a high school teacher in her early thirties. We had been talking for about a half hour and really seemed to develop a great rapport. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime. Then, things suddenly went downhill. I commented that she had a “really nice, hourglass figure”. I thought she would take it as a compliment but instead she became deeply offended. I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only exacerbated things. She told me I was being “inappropriate” and with a look of complete disgust, WHAP!, she slapped my face and departed. As I stood there alone rubbing my cheek, I was trying to figure out why she was so upset. It seemed like a harmless comment to me but maybe I don’t understand women as well I should. I do have her email address. Do you think I should send her an apology note or should I interpret the slap in the face as a definitive way of saying she wants no further contact? Brian

I’m not entirely sure whether this note is a prank or an honest attempt to gain some insight into a weird situation. Either way, I wrote back, saying my only qualification was the fact that I myself am female.

He followed up saying he had already sent an apology and received this comment in return:

Hi Brain and thank you for the apology but I do think it is best that we not see each other again. Perhaps you meant well, but as you learned firsthand, it is very inappopriate and highly offensive to “size up” a woman the first time you meet her. I like to be appreciated for who I am, and not how well I can fill out a skirt. Hopefully you’ve learned from this, and the next time you meet a woman you like things will end on a positive note and not with another red cheek 😉 Emily

Intriquing, no? So what do you think? Is this just a hoax perpetrated by someone who was really bored? And regardless, what do you think of the situation? Should he have apologized? Should she have slapped him? What would you have done in the same situation?

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