dear sharideth: “…and then WHAP!, she slapped my face…”

Dear Sharideth,

I stumbled upon your blog and I thought you might be a good person to turn to for advice. I met a very intelligent and attractive woman at an art gallery opening a few weeks ago. She was a high school teacher in her early 30’s (I’m 28, so a little older than me). We had been talking for about a half hour and really developed a great rapport. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime. Through the course of conversation, I also learned that she was divorced (no kids involved).

Then, things suddenly went downhill. There was a pause in the conversation and since she had classic curves (large bust, narrow waist, etc.), I commented that she had a “really nice, hourglass figure”. My intent was to be complimentary and a little flirtatious but instead she became deeply offended. I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but the more I talked, the more I exacerbated things as she rolled her eyes and shook her head. She told me I was being “inappropriate” and that she was “very disappointed” and then 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. Perhaps, it was not relevant that she was divorced, but I was thinking that divorced women may have a heightened sensitivity to men being womanizers, etc., and that’s why she misinterpreted what I said. Do you have any thoughts? Do you think I should email her an apology note?

Update:

Well my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to send her an apology note earlier today.  Surprisingly, she got back to me and her response is below if you’re interested.  Oh well, live and learn. 

Hello SSUSM (my nick for him) and thank you for the apology.  If you’re not yet aware, it is very inappropriate and highly offensive to size up a woman the first time you meet her.  It’s unfortunate that you chose to do this, since we had a nice conversation up to that point.  I’m passionate about being a teacher and like to be appreciated for who I am, what I do, and not how well I can fill out a bra.  Your words, along with your tone and demeanor made me feel very uncomfortable and objectified — hence the slap across the face. 

With all of that said, I hold no lingering hard feelings.  At least you showed some good manners by apologizing and knew that it was proper etiquette to turn the other cheek when a female slaps you.  Hopefully you can learn from this experience and have better luck in the future.

Thoughts?

Sincerely,

She Straight Up Slapped Me

dear SSUSM,

i let Craig, my husband, read your email and this was his response:

“awesome! he only lost an hour on woman nuts enough to actually slap him.  he got off easy.”

he has a point.  either there’s something you’re not telling me about how aggressive you were or she’s a loon.

women just don’t slap men for paying them a compliment, no matter how inappropriate.  the majority of us will simply look at a guy like he’s a baboon’s butt and walk away if he lays it on like spackle.

don’t get me wrong, i’m not above hitting a guy.  i’ve done it.  twice.  both times i had made it clear i wasn’t interested and both times they put their hands on me.  i go from fun to hostile in a heart beat if a guy puts his hands on me.  but it sounds like that’s not what happened here.

apologizing via email was perfect; if only to clear your conscience.  her response sounded fairly reasonable, too, if i’m being fair.  and i try to be.

live and learn indeed.  keep compliments superficial when talking to a woman.  and by superficial, i mean notice her boots, her hand bag, her scarf, etc.  something that says you’re paying attention but steers away from making her uncomfortable.  and keep it to one, maybe two compliments at most when it comes to anything physical about her.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

gentlemen?  ladies?  thoughts for our friend?

what do you think about slapping a guy?

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34 comments on “dear sharideth: “…and then WHAP!, she slapped my face…”

  1. Jen says:

    He was inappropriate but she committed assault. Tell him to watch his tongue and she ought to thank her lucky stars she didn’t get fingerprinted.

    There’s no reason to slap a guy unless he touches (uninvited) you, first.

    This is crazy!

  2. Lauren Jean says:

    Yeah, as a female with an hourglass figure, I don’t really respond well to having it mentioned to me. Generally makes me feel as if that’s all the guy is focusing on, as opposed to what I’m saying. If you want to compliment a female on a physical aspect, compliment her smile or her eyes, not her body. That being said, slapping you seems a bit extreme.

  3. Rachel says:

    Yeah, that seems pretty extreme. I’ve had much worse “compliments” before and the most I’ve done is roll my eyes and turn and walk away. Though I must say, I almost hope to get the experience of slapping a guy right across the face at some point in my life, (seems kind of fun and dramatic) so far, nothing’s ever been bad enough to warrant it. I think I am more likely to wind up punching someone for attacking me than I am for slapping someone for saying something I find offensive.

  4. Mandie Marie says:

    Teachers aren’t allowed to hit their students. She has to get out her aggression somehow.

  5. Miss Z says:

    Unacceptable to use physical violence… Keep well away from that one!!

    • I don’t agree. If deserved, I always tell my girl friends to slap a man if he refuses to get hints. You won’t hurt him too bad and it’s a signal that they get. I’ve got a friend that ends up kissing girls because he keeps pushing until they give up. If it takes a slap, give him that. For a comment it does seem out of line.

  6. Kp says:

    I wouldn’t mention loving someone’s hourglass figure unless you’ve already kissed them, or are completely convinced you are going to kiss them. However, she does sounds like a nutter. I was at a Halloween party, dressed as a tennis player, and a guy walked right up to me and put his hand on my butt, and told me he wanted to see if I had anything on under my tennis skirt. He got some choice words, and shoved away from me, but I didn’t even slap him. There’s something about slapping that is reserved for hilarious occasions, and incredibly hard gestures where you want everyone to take note.

    • I just commented on the one above. How did that guy not deserve an elbow, slap or fist right between the eyes? He knows what risk he runs and no guy should touch a girl because he’s afraid of using real moves and is too awkward to engage in conversation. When I used to go out a lot, I would get eye contact with a girl to flirt with her and if I were to leave before I got a chance to talk to her, I’d just walk up to her to try and kiss her. If she liked me/ wasn’t taken/ was waiting for that all the time/ was too surprised to react, she would kiss me back. If not, I did leave her only one chance.

      • i just have to say that i know Kp personally and she doesn’t need to hit anyone. she can emasculate a man with just a few words. it’s rather impressive. hitting him would probably be less painful.

  7. Jenn says:

    I feel like something is missing from the story – but I will say given the hostility in the email, she’s over sensitive and if I were a betting person I have to say it has something to do with her previous experiences regarding her body. So I would suggest – until you are attached to the person and even then maybe not… stick with compliments that are not likely to be construed as sexual – for example – I like your earrings or those are nice shoes. You can make funny compliments too. For example – I had a male classmate comment on seeming my very high heels – I have a pair just like yours, where’d you get yours. Granted Miss Over-sensitive Slapper lady might think you’re a cross dresser – I knew he wasn’t and it started a funny conversation about my buying them in NYC.

    Regardless of what happened and how she felt, the slap was inappropriate – maybe because I’m a Canadian Mennonite – so therefore ardently pacifist or because of a victim of an abuse ex – I see a willingness to raise a hand as a scary red flag to get the hell out of there.

  8. My method is to just never compliment anyone ever because you never know how people will respond to things.

  9. Bethany says:

    And I always thought slapping a guy was something that only happened in the movies!

    I do wonder what on earth he said following the initial comment. You’ll note we have a direct quote for the first comment, but nothing for his “damage control.” My guess? He knows exactly how he made it worse and knows she’d gain sympathy if he told us.

    While I generally prefer disgusted looks over slapping people, I would have to know what all he said to deliver a hardline verdict. She probably isn’t entirely excused, but I could have more sympathy for her actions.

  10. Marla Cooper says:

    You are the only person I know who can use “babboon butt” and “spackle” in the same sentence. Bravo Craig for his usual clear sighted perspective. Personally, I don’t think she deserved the apology. Is there a deeper issue here? Perhaps SSUSM wants to keep the line of communication open because on some level he, well you know, maybe actually liked the slap from a curvy loon?

  11. wendy says:

    Wow, I just learned that slapping is an assault! So I wondered, why do we love slapping in the movies? So I googled it and ranker.com had an hilarious collection of movie b**ch slaps. Slapping is awesome! But…bad. Very bad. Slapping is against the law! :-/

    But I would be very suspect of a dude who talks about my figure upon first meeting me. Of course he will notice my figure, but don’t SAY it until we’ve established a more intimate friendship. Tacky.

  12. Jen says:

    I have to agree that the slapping was a bit over the line, but yeah, complimenting a girl you just met about her hourglass figure is creepers. And Sherideth, I have to disagree on complimenting a scarf or boots. If a guy says that to me, I question his sexual orientation and then I think I’ve wasted my time. Yes, I realize there are straight guys who might appreciate a cute scarf, but not many.

    If you must compliment something physical, always go with the eyes. Or better yet, since you had such a good conversation with her, perhaps the compliment should’ve been more along the lines of how cool she was and how much you appreciated the great conversation.

  13. susan says:

    Craig right. lucky escape my friend, lucky escape.

  14. Tyler Smith says:

    I’m reactionary. If a woman went for the slap, I might go for the uppercut. I know you’re not supposed to hit a woman, but you can’t stop reflexes.

  15. sirtilc42 says:

    Don’t ever hit someone. No situation “justifies” it other than having someone put their hands on you. You run the risk of getting your ass beat for a “slap” that you think is ok. It isn’t. You’re lucky you didn’t get put in a choke hold.

    • G Fresh says:

      Wow. While I agree that a slap is very rarely justified; an ass-beating or a choke-hold in response seems to me like a frightening escalation and I would hope that there would be very little risk of that actually happening.

      If you as a man are so weak and have so little control over yourself that physical violence towards a woman is your response to a slap, regardless of whether or not you deserved it, you should probably find some good anger management classes and turn in your Man Card until you can learn how to be one.

      • sirtilc42 says:

        Incorrect. Take a step back. NEVER put your hands on someone else. Your safety justifies you to defend yourself, but anything short of that does not allow anyone to get slapped. Nothing. It’s called assault. Plus, you never know who it is that is standing in front of you or what they’re capable of. You can’t uncross those lines and put yourself in a dangerous situation. Slights or perceived slights are not enough for anyone to put their hands on anyone else. It’s as simple as that and it avoid anything subsequent to that.

        • G Fresh says:

          I think we’re getting our lines crossed. I agree that slapping a man is never justified unless there is unwanted physicalness and she’s trying to get him to back off and he hasn’t listened to verbal warnings.

          What I’m saying is that a man should never, EVER raise his hand against a woman unless his life is clearly in danger. Your assertion that “You’re lucky you didn’t get put in a choke hold.” made me think that you think that that’s a common reaction from men to being slapped by a woman. I sincerely hope not.

          Regardless of whether or not a man was slapped deservedly, if he thinks he was assaulted, he should fill out a police report. If he goes after or continues to advance on her after the slap…well, that’s what they invented mace, tasers and any real men who may be witnessing the altercation and can put a stop to it for.

          • sirtilc42 says:

            No lines getting crossed really. Your interpretation of my statements are fairly irrelevant to me.

            My bottom line, however, was that nobody should put their hands on anyone else unless there’s immediate threat to someone’s life or safety. By crossing that line, (men or women) you put yourself in potential danger, and you run the risk of not knowing who that person is, what they’re capable and/or willing to do.

            Feel free to dissect my statement further and disagree to your heart’s content. It will be just as irrelevant and I think I’ve used up the amount of time I plan to use defending what was a statement, not an invitation for a discussion.

            • Miss Z says:

              I agree with you entirely – this is the point that I was trying to make on my comment & I get a reply saying my comment was out of line?! :-/

              • sirtilc42 says:

                I’ve had female friends who suggested that women can slap men if they feel it’s justified and a man should just “hold them” or “shake them”. People tend to skip the part where neither one should put their hands on each other. Oh, well. Too each their own I guess.

  16. Chris says:

    As Blackadder would say:

    Prince Edmund: They’re coming! Run for the hills!

    Baldrick: No, my lord! They’re coming from the hills!

    Prince Edmund: Run away from the hills! Run away from the hills! If you see the hills, go the other way!

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