Saturday, June 09, 2007

Make Them Show You the Love

Sure, you have to love yourself if you want to attract excellent men. But this helps, too: Only do business with people who love you, or at least treat you with the consideration you deserve.

This became clear to me yesterday. We've been busy with my father-in-law's wake and funeral over the past few days, which required us to eat in various restaurants. We met Peter's family for a quick bite before the wake on Thursday at the Bayside Diner, where our waiter smiled, made eye contact, and gave the impression that he wanted us to enjoy ourselves.

In Bayside yesterday, we hit another diner for lunch. Despite our attempts to engage our waiter as a human being, he didn't look up from his pad, plunked our plates on the table, and gave the impression that he couldn't care less if we got stabbed in the parking lot.

Food always tastes better when it's served with a smile, and ours hadn't been. I left the diner feeling strangely unsatisfied and unloved.

As I got to the car, I remembered an incident from a year ago at the Pig and Whistle, an Irish pub near my father's in Manhattan. A pack of regulars had lodged themselves at the bar to get roaring drunk. And they were roaring, let me tell you. You couldn't hear much besides them.

I felt uncomfortable. I'd suggested that our group go there in the first place and built the place up as a good spot for fish and chips and a pint of Guinness, but the crowd at the bar threatened to ruin the evening.

And then the manager made his way to our table. He introduced himself and asked if we were tourists enjoying our stay in New York. I told him my father and his friend lived nearby, and we'd just stopped in for dinner. He didn't apologize for the behavior of the people at the bar, but you could tell that he was concerned that they'd killed our chances for a good time. He impressed us to no end.

Face it, if we'd walked out in a huff, why should he care? The place is crowded at lunch and jammed to the rafters at dinner. He didn't need us. But he went out of his way to consider our feelings. Of course we went back. Which diner do you think I'll visit the next time I go to Bayside?

I've made it my policy to support businesses that support me, and I suggest you do the same. If your dry cleaner sneers when you ask to pick up your shirts a day early, find someone who'll do it cheerfully. Avoid supermarket checkers who delight in blasting your eggs with jumbo bottles of Tide. If you have to, wait on longer lines for better service.

Surround yourself with people who treat you as you would treat them -- in every aspect of your life.

What does this have to do with dating? It has everything to do with dating. When you expect people--even strangers-- to treat you well, you become accustomed to being treated well.

Then you attract men who treat you well.

Make sense?