Recruiting Prince Charming

20 Jul

“Tell me something about yourself,” he cooed over drinks.  It was a deceptively innocent request—one that hovered awkwardly in the air as I gulped down the last bit of water in my glass.

“Tell me something about yourself.”  Hours ago, a Boston company issued the same demand.  Then, I knew exactly what to say: I knew that roughly translated, it meant “Tell me something about yourself that will prove why I should hire you.”  

I KNOW the code.

But the sumptuous atmosphere of this Uptown restaurant seemed a world away from resumes and cover letters.  Was I really supposed to mirror this morning’s tactic—reducing my life to a series of sound bytes and buzzwords to prove my value and worth to my date?

Dates are interviews in disguise, a time where attributes are revealed, benefits are weighed and evaluated; a meeting where BOTH parties face intense scrutiny. 

The assessment begins long before hello is even uttered.  Traditionally, it starts when the dame or dude in question is first sighted–in the office, at a bar, in the grocery store, wherever.  First impressions reign:  Good ones attract; bad ones repel. Non-negotiables like height, weight, age, and beauty are screened.  Everyone’s metrics are unique.

Those that pass this first assessment are subjected to questioning.  Here, stats like name, age, occupation and availability are gathered—in varying order of importance.  In Oak Cliff, sessions  begin bluntly with “You have any kids?” and precede from there.  For such candidates, the affirmative, “Yes, in fact I have five,” is always fitting.

I met this one in the mall.  His opening line went along the lines of “I own a couple of restaurants in the area.”  While this sentence would send many women into foolish fits of fantasy, I simply blinked, unaffected and frankly, found him a bit cute, but obnoxious. 

The booming music ushers me back to the present.  Ahem.  What was the question again?  Oh yes, something about myself. . .something about myself.  I tell him something vague about my background, still uncomfortable with pitching myself.

It seems so, I don’t know, commercial.  Perhaps it’s wrong.  I mean, I hold any guy approaching me to intense examination.  What are your goals, your aspirations?  Where do you see yourself in the next five years?  What are your intentions?

Perhaps I’m being hypocritical, I think, as he nods absently.  He continues to talk about himself, rambling on, name-dropping at every chance.  I eye my watch longingly.

Later, in the car, he offers “The women I meet are either too materialistic . . . or not interested ina committed relationship” in explanation for his single status.

I decide against telling him that if he didn’t broadcast his affluence, he wouldn’t have that problem.   I wish him luck in his search before bidding him farewell.

Hopefully the next candidate will fare better.

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