Civility: A thank-you note from Briar

Part Four: A left-brain/right-brain couple?

A continuation of a three-way communication between the columnist, a young man who wrote to her for advice, and a young woman with whom the young man is – or would like to be – acquainted.

Diana: My mother always told me to be a gentleman at all times when around women and it will pay off. This experience was a great illustration of that, as Briar really seemed to appreciate how I conducted myself in the aftermath. I will definitely let you know how the coffee date goes — it’s tomorrow. —Blaine

Diana: Just wanted to let you know about the coffee date, as promised. We went ahead and had the coffee date today. It was a very nice time and it felt like we picked up where we left off as we chatted for a few hours. I walked her to her car and before she left she gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek — a much different ending than last time. So it looks we'll be getting together again, and we'll just take it one step at a time. You have to love the happy ending. Briar was extremely impressed when I told her that I contacted an image/etiquette consultant to help me with this situation. If it's OK, she said she would like to send you a brief e-mail to express her gratitude. —Blaine

Blaine: Yes, I would love to hear from her. What kind of teacher is she? I am curious, Blaine, what is your occupation? You obviously have refinement, because you were at an art gallery. —Diana

Diana: You're too funny! I'm what they call a “techie” and do lots of computer programming work, etc. Though I like to think of myself as something of a renaissance man and have an interest in art, music, etc. She's a high-school teacher and teaches English literature, writing, etc. So definitely a right-brain/left-brain couple, as she's more verbal and I'm more analytical. Well I guess the term “couple” is premature at this phase, but who knows where things will go from here. Anyway, you might hear from her sometime tonight, but it will just be a short-and-sweet note and she won't take up any of your time. —Blaine

Diana: This is Briar, the woman Blaine spoke to you about. We met for coffee today and had a really nice time. I was quite impressed that he sought the advice of an etiquette consultant. Very few men would go to those lengths. Despite the shaky start, I think there may be some possibilities here. I owe you a debt of gratitude for giving him some well-needed guidance. His comments, however well-intentioned, came off as sleazy and classless and I responded accordingly. But I now know that it was really out of character with who he is, and hopefully we can move forward and put this behind us. Thanks again. —Briar.

We conclude this correspondence next week.


DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, is an etiquette & civility specialist/image stylist. She can be reached at (626) 584-9761 or via e-mail:, or

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