Friday, July 8, 2011

The Liberation of the Long-Distance Queryer

Many years ago, I asked a woman out on a date. She was quite beautiful, while I, in sum, was not. Always shy and lacking in self-confidence, I hated dating anyway, but I was more aware than normally on our date how this particular woman could have her pick of men.

The date seemed to go OK -- I could never tell about these things -- but when it came time to drop her off at home, I was even more uncertain than I would have been normally. What to say, do? Should I just thank her and tell her I had a good time? Should I suggest going out again some time or leave that for later?

Much to my surprise and delight, she relieved me of this burden by saying, as we neared her house, "The next time we go out, we should see a movie" (or something like that). Wow. That was great, I thought as I drove away. Here this beautiful woman has made it clear she wants to go out a second time! So when I call her for another date, the heavy lifting has already been done.

So I waited several days and asked her if she wanted to see that movie. She couldn't that weekend, she said -- she was going camping, or something, with her family -- but she ended the conversation with, "But we should definitely get together again soon" or words to that effect. When I called the following week to ask her out, still feeling confident that this beauty was interested in being with me -- me! -- she was again unavailable, but again ended the conversation with, "But we should definitely get together again soon." Or words to that effect.

The next time I called, I didn't actually ask her out. I can't recall whether it was because by this time my confidence was already shattered or if she was in a rush and I never got the chance. But again, without prompting, she ended the conversation with the same sign-off.

By this time, I concluded that she didn't really want to go out again. So why did she continue to suggest it at the end of each conversation? Why had she suggested it at the end of our first date? Was she just trying to be "nice"? How could she not see that she was torturing me instead? What was she up to?

After that, I still called her occasionally. She never seemed to be in a big rush to get me off the phone. I never again suggested we get together. But she continued to end the conversation the same way, saying we should get together soon. At the end of our first (and only) date, this had filled me with happiness. Later, it was confusion and then a touch of anger -- C'mon, what's the point of this? -- and later, mirth. After our conversation, her suggestion still ringing in my ears, I would just shake my head, laughing to myself, wondering what she was thinking.

What has all this got to do with querying, you ask? You will have to wait for Part II to find out.


  1. Very good! And will have much to do with querying which is very much like dating. The "I love your work but. . ." The "can you change this one thing?"
    followed by


    Yup! Dating and Querying! The same!
    Great post and looking forward to part 2!

  2. I love this. You should tell stories more often. I'm totally on the edge of my seat for Part II.

  3. I'm liking this story too-- please share Part II with us soon!