Earlier this week, my colleague Lisa Fischer interviewed Movies (And Other Things) author Shea Serrano about the ever-lasting endurance of romantic comedies. He argued that the best rom-coms abide by a particular format, and as time goes on, the pieces maneuver to create something interesting-yet-familiar. At the center of the rom-com, of course, is the meet-cute—a rare occurrence when two consenting parties interact and, inevitably, fall in love. Meet-cutes are pretty exceptional, but when they happen, they make for a wonderful story sure to fill loved ones with jealousy. So now I ask you, dear Jezebel readers, to tell me and your fellow commenters about a nauseatingly sweet meet-cute you experienced. Regale us with your romance. Overwhelm our hearts. This is the fucking love Olympics, and you’re in it for the gold.
Don’t you want to see last week winners first, though? Me too! Here’s a taste of the best unsolicited advice y’all have ever received:
GoPonyGo, this is an INSANE story. I hope you got the treatment you required:
I was working as a cocktail waitress in a topless bar, and it was exactly as tedious, gross, and demoralizing as you would imagine it to be. One night, I went to close out a table of older men, and when they started talking in front of me about what to tip me. One of them turned to me and said “Honey, here’s a tip for you: get that mole checked out. Here’s my card!” I rolled my eyes and finished closing out their tab and stuck the card in my garter; the old “I’ll give you a tip!” line is just tiresome. Ten minutes later, one of the other waitresses tells me a guy from one of my tables wanted to talk to me. It was the man with the dumb line. He handed me $20 and said, “Seriously: I’m a clinical dermatologist, and you need to get that checked out. If you don’t want to see me because you think I’m a scumbag, that’s fine. Just see someone.” I was shocked enough to make an appointment with a different dermatologist. Turns out it was Stage I melanoma.
trexarms-isaunicorn, I wish the right-wingers who email me everyday would heed your advice:
Not exactly advice per say, and not exactly given to me... but an interaction I watched in traffic once has stuck with me, wherein one party was busy trying to cut off the other party, shouting and gesturing, etc. They arrived at a red light at last, and the offended party exited his vehicle, pounded on the asshole’s window and screamed “DON’T FUCK WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW!” I’ve kept that aphorism for 15 years now, calling it to mind frequently. You have no idea what other people are like or what they’re capable of; don’t fuck with people you don’t know.
LooseSeals, I wish your entry went on for at least four more paragraphs:
I was just starting out in politics 20 years ago, and I had this advisor that looked just like Katherine Harris, the Florida AG of Gore v. Bush fame. My advisor was a staunch Republican (formero GOP adviser) on a very liberal campus, and she always looked like she just ate a lemon.
I had to meet with her on a regular basis and always dreaded it because she was such a hard ass. (In retrospect, she really wasn’t. She was right. Typos on resumes are unacceptable.) We were talking about my shitty experience at a women’s nonprofit where I was unpaid slave labor. She took off her glasses and said:
“Lucille, there are people who will shit on you in this town and in this world. If you think only Republicans do it, you’re wrong. Greed is very much a bipartisan thing. So you need to know your value at all times - as a human being and as a woman. Men will use you and treat you like shit if you let them. No man and no job are ever worth your dignity and self-respect. If you find yourself unemployed because of mistreatment, call me. I will help you find a new job.”
She was more right than she’ll ever know.
Parliament, this is good advice and also a lovely story:
When I was 8 years old, my dad took me to see John Smoltz (Hall-of-Fame Atlanta Braves Pitcher) speak at a father/son breakfast at our church. After Smoltz did his bit, he took some time to sign some autographs. We were watching all these shitty kids and their equally ill-mannered fathers jostle each other and shove baseballs and bats in this poor man’s face. My father takes in the whole scene, leans over to me and nonchalantly says, “A handshake is worth more than an autograph.” We proceeded to stand at the back of the crowd and were the last ones to talk to him. He shook our hands and talked to us for about 10 minutes. He asked me if I played baseball and what position I played and was generally the nicest guy. I walked out beaming and I’m pretty sure my old man was as tickled as I was.
All these years later, I still think about it a lot. Especially with the prevalence of selfies with famous folk. I’ll always content myself with a handshake. Feels like it means more.
thundercatsarego, you’re gonna make a bitch (me) quit a job and move to Santorini with this one:
“It’s OK to be selfish with your time.”
This advice actually came from a prof whom I didn’t particularly like, in part because she perpetuated a lot of the harmful parts of academia that make people miserable (competitiveness, misery as a virtue, “my grad experience was miserable so everyone’s should be because it makes you stronger.”). But she was right on with this.
She was talking primarily about saying no to the things that won’t help further your academic career, but the point is broadly applicable to life in general. Your time is truly one of your last and most valuable commodities. Where you choose to bestow it says a lot about you. Make sure your choices are worthy of the person you want to be. It’s OK to be selfish with it. It’s OK to say no to things so that you can pursue other, more worthy or productive things.
harveyburnstein, put this on a decorative pillow:
“Don’t put spoiled milk back in the fridge and expect it to be fresh again” - My Uncle’s advice re: getting back with an ex
Maxine Floeffler Was On The Call, good niche advice that is applicable to every city, not just this hellhole Jezebel calls “home”:
“Never board the somewhat empty subway car on an otherwise packed train.”
Prepare to one-up each other in the comments below. Best romance wins.