A number of years ago my friend met a great guy. She thought he might be "The One." He did all the right things to secure her affection and their future together. They met while she was out of town visiting her parents. They began a long distance relationship in earnest. They'd met each other families and were visiting each other on a regular basis. He was in the process of relocating to be with her. Everything seemed perfect. Then, it happened. Unexpectedly and without warning, he blew it.
On one particular visit to New York City he insisted on their having a "special dinner." She figured this might be a significant event, as their relationship was progressing rapidly on all fronts. The restaurant was elegant and upscale. To top off their romantic meal he ordered a fancy desert for the two of them. "Here it comes," she thought, "a ring and the proposal." Her mind raceed with excitement as she thought of their fantastic life together. Upon finishing the last morsel of his desert, he busted his move. He raised the plate to his face and languidly licked the last of its remains.
My friend's ardor for this man morphed to shock and disgust. In that single moment every fiber of attraction had been ripped from her body. Although the minutes continued to play forward, her mind was frozen on the visual image that had just caused her dreams to shatter and extinguish her passion. Fortunately, there was no proposal that night. She found herself making work related excuses that necessitated him having to leave town earlier than planned. She said goodbye at the airport and wondered what she'd ever seen in him.
Social etiquette has relaxed very over the years. Most of us know the rules of comportment but prefer to soften the edges a bit in preference of "being ourselves." Still, there is merit in keeping some semblance of correct behavior in public as well as in private. In the grand scope of relationship deal-breakers, a dining 'faux pas' may seem slight. Yet, this small error can greatly affect a woman's image of a man's worth. I know. I recently experienced this, myself.
I received a phone call from a business associate I'd met several years ago. My remembrance of him was that of a kind, polite and respectful gentleman. I doubted I'd said more than 50 words to him in my entire life, which for a woman is less that one breath. He asked me if my work ever brought me to the West coast. Oddly, I was scheduled to be in his city the following week. He suggested we meet up for dinner and "talk shop." Why not? What harm can be done? It's just one meal, right?
The night of our dinner meeting revealed the true weight of this fragmented alliance. There was no connection to be found, even from a business standpoint. I struggled to try to find the other 50 words I needed to urge the time forward as I shifted from topic to topic. Finally, I came to a hard-earned pause born of utter exhaustion. That was the moment he shoveled pasta onto his fork with his hands. Not once, but several times he repeated this behavior. He then ritualistically sucked the juices from his fingers with delight. One finger at a time and one shovel at a time, my repulsion larger stronger. This was amplified by the knowledge we had just begon our entree.
I too felt a jolt of disgust. I did not have any broken dreams to lose. I did not see my future dashed before my eyes. Yet I felt the horror of the realization that these petty crimes of ill-breeding speak volumes about a person. Any respect I held for this man in business was eroded by the off-duty dude who highjacked his body. But was that the case? Perhaps what I saw that night was the real guy who only wore the costume of a "polite professional man."
For those of us who do not subscribe to pretense, there is a known line we draw between being too rigid and too relaxed. The goal of "being ourselves" is not found designing a false-front contrived for social acceptance. It's found in the relaxed manner of knowing how and when to step away from the "formula of presentation" in the desire to express that which is real and true about ourselves. To do so with a sense of style is to be grounded in the knowledge that we can play with life and play with its rules. The only time to alter a known and workable formula is when we have a better version to present.
For those of you who find yourself in a relationship you seek to end, this is the perfect means to do so. You need not go through the torment of "talking about it." You do not need to resort to a messy affair. Just use these two tricks to effectively kill-off your partner's love: lick your plate and shovel food with your fingers. Licking your fingers at the end is an optional choice that may be employed to cement the deal. Think of it as gaining bonus points. Regardless of using this final deal-breaker, your relationship is guaranteed to end quickly and without bitter commentary. Use these tools with caution as there is no turning back. The effect created is final and full-proof. You will be "officially single" in a matter of minutes. You need not worry about your ex being a crazy stalker. They will do everything in their power to never be on the same continent as you. Knowing you'll be finally free of this burdensome partner, enjoy your meal! Lick your plate with bravado. Shovel your food with your hands and lick your fingers with enthusiasm. You have just learned the secret to eliminating an unwanted affair and have effortlessly acquired what few are able to accomplish, with ease.