Join a church
The Moroccan-French comedian Gad Elmaleh tells a funny story (of course he does; that’s his job) about going to a nightclub in Los Angeles, hoping to meet a girl. He feels too old for the scene, awkward, out of place. He sees one of those beautiful Los Angeles women and offers to buy her a drink: “I’m good,” she says, turning brusquely away. He is sometimes perplexed by the subtleties of English: “When a woman says ‘I’m good,’ that’s . . . not good.” A few minutes later, a couple of Frenchmen walk into the club. Elmaleh is not well known in the United States, but he is quite famous in France. The Frenchmen want to talk, and they ask for pictures and autographs. He’s a big deal to them. The blonde takes notice. “Who are you?” she demands. She offers to buy him a drink. “I’m good,” he replies.
A related (true) story: An attractive young woman is out for a drink with some girlfriends on a Saturday night after dinner. They strike up a conversation with a group of young men seated near them, one of whom takes an interest in the woman. He seems to her pleasingly old-fashioned, and at the end of the conversation he says very straightforwardly that he’d like to take her out for a date and asks for her phone number. “I’d love to do something tomorrow,” he says, “but I have an event at my church.” The word that stood out in that sentence, with an electric charge, was: church. She liked to go out with her friends and was not averse to a glass of wine or two, but the bar-hookup scene was not for her, and the idea of dating an old-fashioned churchgoing man was to her very appealing.
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