When I was in college I earned my living as a salesperson and then later as a manager at Nordstrom. Oddly enough I think I learned as much on the sales floor as I did in the classrooms. One thing Nordstrom teaches all of its employees is to always under-promise and over-deliver. In other words if a salesperson thinks she can probably get the alterations department to have a dress ready for a customer by Thursday she's supposed to tell the customer that she'll have it ready for her on Friday or Saturday. Not only does that give the salesperson a degree of wiggle-room but when she DOES call the customer on Thursday to tell her that the dress is ready the customer will love her for it. She may even decide to make that salesperson her personal shopper for the rest of the conceivable future.
It's a common sense strategy. So why don't men use that strategy within the dating world? As a single woman it's not uncommon that I come across men who claim to have the power to fix all my problems. Amazingly it doesn't seem to matter what the problem is. If I want to go to an event that's sold out they can get me in. If I have a problem with my career they have the skills or connections to solve it. Car problems? They know how to fix it.
Except they don't and they can't. It blows me away how many guys tell you confidently that they posses mad skills that they simply don't have. Perhaps they think the girl is going to sleep with them before she figures it out but that's not usually the way it works. Besides, it's not like they stop over-promising once they're in a relationship. Ask any woman whose husband's told her he's going to landscape the backyard and she'll pretty much back me up. For the sake of political correctness I'd like to say that both sexes engage in this behavior but that's just not the case. While it's true that a lot of high-maintenance women honestly believe they're low maintenance and will tell their significant others as much it is the very rare woman who will claim to be able to fix things that she can't fix. That's totally a guy thing.
And I can't figure out why so many guys do it. Don't they realize that they're setting themselves up for a fight and/or rejection? Women know that not every man is "handy." We're cool with that. We can hire a handyman, we don't necessarily need to date one. But we have a much harder time being "cool" with the guy who thinks he's handy but really, really isn't. Because by the time Mr. I-Think-I'm-Handy-But-I'm-Not has torn something apart in order to "fix it," the problem has grown to a (financially) cataclysmic size.
And as I indicated the problem is pervasive. It goes way beyond the guy who thinks he can fix a DVD player. A man who has been unemployed for the last two years will offer to give advice on how to write the perfect resume to the cute blonde he meets in the unemployment line. If she's really cute then he will probably "realize," that he has a connection who can get her a job in her field of choice. The irony of receiving this offer from someone who can't even get an interview for himself will be lost on him.
And what these guys don't seem to understand is that we women know they can't do everything they say they can do and when they over-promise we are in the difficult position of wanting to tell them that they don't have the capabilities needed to deliver without bashing their delicate egos.
So guys, next time you see a cute girl dealing with car problems don't offer to fix it if you don't know how to fix it. Instead give her the name of your mechanic and let her use your AAA card. If the mechanic is your brother and you know he'll give her a ten percent discount tell her you can get her a five percent discount and surprise her later with the truth. If you start under-promising and over-delivering the woman may very well find you every bit as irresistible as a sales sign hanging over the designer shoe department of their favorite Nordstrom. And that's saying something.
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