The Dismissing Link and He loves me, he loves my toe jam

Q: I disagree with your advice to the guy who has a "Rule of One" (the guy who gives women he asks out only one opportunity to turn him down). You encouraged him to give a woman three chances. I don't see the point in giving a woman extra opportunities to dis you. Better advice would be to take the hint and move on. Example: A few weeks ago, I had a date with a woman I'd met. When I showed up at her apartment, she was in her pajamas. She didn't even undo the chain lock while I stood at her door. She just told me that it was too cold outside to go out ... and this was on a balmy summer night! Why would I want to give this girl another chance? And even if she did accept another date, what kind of evening could I expect? I'd say a zero-tolerance policy is best! —Less Than Zero
A: When your date makes you feel about as welcome as an armed prowler, it's usually a sign that you missed a lot of earlier signs — signs that she'd rather get a colonoscopy or be eaten alive by the insects of her choice than spend an evening with you. Most women do not live to knee most men in the ego. Granted, some women are rude and inconsiderate. But, aggressive rudeness — pajama-clad, chain-on-the-door rudeness — takes a lot of effort. The average woman doesn't exert that kind of effort unless she's been pushed. If this experience was a one-time thing, chalk it up to a bad spin of the wheel of fortune. But, if I'm right, there's a whiff of a pattern in your letter. Which brings us to today's topic: Interspecies Dating — It Doesn't Work. Too many men have too much imagination about which women are available to them. If, for example, you have the physical appearance and personality of a large, undercooked chicken, you cannot expect to date women who in any way resemble centerfolds; not unless your wallet closely resembles that of Microsoft's Paul Allen. If you are an undercooked chicken man (or a member of a related species), you might score a date with an über-fraulein by huffing and puffing until you blow her resistance down. Your chances of getting into her Rolodex increase with the numbers on her bar bill. But on the appointed enchanted evening, you'll be lucky if you get a 23.7-second explanation through a crack in the door. To avoid crawling a little too far up the food chain for your own good, you need only pay attention. The following signs and others like them indicate that a woman you've met is either out of your league (or extremely uninterested in being in it):

• Treating you like you've approached her window at the motor vehicles department five minutes after closing time.

• Swiveling her head like Linda Blair in The Exorcist to see if there's anyone better around.

• Recoiling in horror when you touch her hand, then wiping her hand on a napkin.

Once you find a woman who doesn't treat you like something she cleaned out from under her fingernails, it's safe to proceed. Live on the wild side. Ask her out ... once, twice, three times. If, at first, she turns you down, give her the benefit of the doubt that she's genuinely busy — not simply too busy to bother with a biohazard like you.

Q: Do you think it's normal for a 31-year-old man to be turned on by the soles of certain women's feet? —Footloose and Fearful

A: When you do what I do for a living, "normal" gets all stretched out of shape. What with the letter I got this week from the guy who engages in unmentionable acts with a broiled eggplant (acts which he described in great detail), your being hot for a shapely arch and a supple heel barely elevates an eyebrow. In fact, it seems rather quaint. If you "can't get no satisfaction" without the soles of a woman's feet being involved, you have what's called a paraphilia; specifically, a fetish. Otherwise, you simply have a preference ... kind of like somebody who enjoys bleu cheese dressing, but isn't going to start pelting romaine at the waitress when the diner only has ranch and Italian. As long as you don't knock women down and pull off their shoes or break into their homes and steal their dirty socks, your little predilection shouldn't cause you much of a problem. In fact, a man who's into giving a daily foot massage ... well, let's just say that more than a few women would try to find it within themselves to call him their sole mate. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail [email protected]

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