“I have started reading a new book yesterday,” she said, when three of us were walking towards a restaurant in downtown.
“What book?” I asked.
“It’s called ‘How to make a good impression on men’. The book starts with a story of…”
“You don’t need a book for that!” the English gentleman that was walking with us exclaimed with elegant British accent. “You are a beautiful, smart, and modest woman. You don’t need to read a BOOK to learn how to make an impression on us!”
The gentleman said this with quite a positive tone. He was smiling and even laughing at some point. He went out of his way to persuade the lady. To support her. To raise her self-esteem.
“But I don’t have a boyfriend…,” the 26-year-old said, almost whispering, looking down. I could feel that her heart rate swiftly increased. She suddenly started breathing more quickly and deeply.
“Oh, dear… Don’t you even worry about that. You are young…”
“You know, my ex-boyfriend…,” the lady interrupted the gentleman. “He is not single any more. He’s living with his girlfriend now.” To my surprise, fresh tears squeezed between her lids. “So, I’ve started thinking: perhaps the problem is in me.” She gave us an unconvincing smile, barely showing her teeth just under her glasses, but her eyes betrayed her. She was not feeling happy at all.
We arrived at the restaurant. Sat around a table. The British ordered a glass of beer. The American lady ordered some coke, justifying her choice of drink by saying “I allow myself alcohol only on weekends.” I ordered coke as well, simultaneously thinking how to justify my “non-alcoholic life”. In the Czech Republic you are traditionally supposed to make a valid excuse if you decide not to drink when you go out in the evening.
“I got divorced with my wife after four years of marriage,” the gentleman held the lady’s left hand with his right hand on the table and continued defusing the tension that the lady was experiencing. I’d say he was around 50 years old, but he looked much younger than his age. Maybe because he was energetic and positive all the time.
“Then I got acquainted with another wonderful woman. Do you know when it happened? 10 years after my divorce with my ex-wife. 10 years. You never know when you will find that right person. Besides, life is not only about relationships. You should enjoy other spheres of your life too.”
The lady nodded at each point he was making, sometimes looking into his eyes, sometimes looking down, and again at him. She seemed to feel rather uncomfortable because all the attention was solely on her. She didn’t want to be felt bad about. She didn’t want to be looked at, like one would look at a broken girl. “Let’s change the subject!” she finally said. “Let’s talk about you, guys,” she wanted to be polite and smiled at us.
Then the waiter came up to our table and distributed the ordered drinks. We changed the subject. After a while we changed it once again. And again. And again until I noticed that it was late and realized I had to go.
Am I the only one who doesn’t understand women? One of my cousins, before she got married, had constantly been depressed because “no decent man was making a proposal” to her. Because she was part of my family I inadvertently felt depressed just like she did. “You are smart, pretty, and modest girl. Just stay this way and you’ll be fine,” I would tell her, being frustrated. “Thinking about marriage all the time isn’t going to help you find a husband. Actually, you don’t even have to find him. He will find you. Just relax! You won’t die alone, I promise!”
She got married a year after that talk. Currently she is expecting a baby. Why do some women assume that if they don’t find a husband until the age of 23-24, they will never be able to find one in the future?
Perhaps I am still too young to understand those relationship issues now. Maybe one day you will find me in a library searching for the book “How to make an impression on women” [googling, rather]. As for now, however, please tell me where I can find the book “How to make an impression on my Math teacher at uni.”