Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Evading Attention From a Married Man

Dear Grace,

What is the appropriate response to an acquaintance's husband being overly attentive? He hasn't made a pass per se, but I have the feeling that one is coming. Help!

Grace Says:

I lived through a similar scenario a few years back when an architect who was doing some work at a friend’s house started giving me some very focused attention. Naturally, he was more this: Than this:
But that's beside the point. As it happened, I knew the guy’s wife and kids and had met him a few times; as it also happened, he didn’t realize that (since guys like him rarely pay attention to the lives of others). I nipped the inappropriate interaction in the bud by asking the lecherous troll how Ann, Johnny and Susie were doing. He looked aghast, and was staggered when I reported that I knew them since my kids went to the same school. Needless to say, he sputtered, gurgled, and couldn’t exit stage left quickly enough. This strategy certainly works, and you can customize it to your situation, essentially changing the subject to remind the lech that he is married and you are not in the market for his type.

Try whatever version of these fits your situation:
1. "Ann looks so lovely tonight; you sure are a lucky man"
2. "Congratulations on Johnny's winning goal in the soccer game. My husband is an assistant coach."
3. "Ah, there's my husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/bodyguard. I don't believe you two have met?"

And of course, you can try to avoid him, but instances will undoubtedly arise when exposure to this Don Giovanni is unavoidable; in such cases, use the buddy system. He will be far less likely to grope/ogle/proposition you with an audience. When DG lurks, make sure you have your significant other, a fellow Grace or a live human of some sort (the building custodian, the event caterer, the local axe murderer) nearby to buffer. If he does circumvent these measures and manages to make an overture, ignore it. Excuse yourself as quickly as possible to the bar, the buffet, the rest room, and go back to keeping your distance and employing the buddy system. If he actually makes a grab for you, be immediate and firm with a variation of "Not if pigs fly and the ocean turns to honey."

Pepper spray can be effective, too.

Kidding. Sort of.

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