This is a follow up to the post about “John” who emailed me asking for advice. John, real name Mark, met a woman, Ericka, at an art opening. They were having a very nice conversation when during a lull in the chat Mark complimented Ericka’s figure. He compared her to Kim Kardashian (as discovered later in an email from Ericka). Well, Ericka, an educated, bright woman, was very offended by his personal comment and felt it sexualized her. She was especially insulted by the comparison to Kim Kardashian – “a bimbo with a shapely backside.”
Mark was flustered and didn’t understand why she was so upset. He tried to explain himself, but not understanding why she was so angry he only made it worse. Ericka walked away, then upon reflection came back and slapped him. Yikes! Mark then wrote me the next day and asked what he’d done wrong.
I explained he had sexualized her, never a good move, and that there was probably no hope for a second chance. I wrote that it would be polite to email her a sincere apology, since he’d gotten her email address. He did and here was her response:
Thank you for the apology but I do think it is best that we not see each other again. It is very inappropriate 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. You crossed an important boundary, yet seemed completely unaware of your offense — hence the slap in the face. It was quite disappointing too, since we had a nice conversation up to that point. Anyway, I do accept your apology, and while I don’t wish to continue communication with you, I have no lingering hard feelings. In fact, I wish you well over the holidays. Hopefully you can learn from this experience.
You learned an important lesson the hard way. Better luck next time.
I agree, I did learn an important lesson. I was actually impressed with her response. It was very thorough and classy.
I thought, wow, he too is classy. Too bad it didn’t work out. And then, Mark wrote again:
Just when I thought I was ready to move on, live and learn, etc., I get the note from her below, earlier today. Completely caught me by surprise, but what the heck, can’t hurt to meet for coffee. Life is crazy….
From Ericka: Hello again. I’ve been thinking things over. Having met more than a few womanizers over the years, perhaps I judged you too harshly and you just had a “foot in the mouth” moment. You did have the decency to make a sincere apology. If you’re interested, next week we can meet for coffee and make a fresh start. It’s a new year and everyone deserves a second chance.
Ericka then emailed me and stated how impressed she was that Mark sought the advice of an etiquette consultant. She wrote, “very few men would go to those lengths. Despite the shaky start, I think there may be some possibilities here.”
So, Mark and Ericka met for coffee, and according to Mark, they had a great time and have been emailing back and forth.
Mark and Ericka, I wish you the best. Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives as you both figured this out.
Readers, the moral of the story is, never underestimate the power of an apology when it’s sincerely given.