How to Say "Fuck Off" with Panache

From Wiki:

Panache is a word of French origin that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage. The literal meaning of the word is a plume, such as is worn on a hat or a helmet.

The epitome of panache and the reason for its establishment as a virtue, is Rostand's depiction of Cyrano de Bergerac. (Prior to Rostand, panache was not necessarily a good thing, and was seen by some as a suspect quality).

Cyrano's last words " ... yet there is something still that will always be mine, and when I go to God's presence, there I'll doff it and sweep the heavenly pavement with a gesture — something I'll take unstained out of this world ... my panache ".


When I first became single, after 18 years of marriage, I knew I was going to find myself in a game that may or may not be fun for me. I had always had plenty of male attention, so it wasn’t like I thought I was going to have to go out and find the men. I can’t tell you the number of men over the years (namely, my spouse’s friends) who said to me, “What are you doing with this bum? I’d treat you so much better.” And I would invariably reply, “Really? Are you so sure you wouldn’t be exactly the same after 2 or 5 or ten years of marriage?” Part of the reason I stayed married so long was because I was convinced that all men would be the same. Once you married them. Of course I knew this was not true. I have known a number of wonderful husbands.

So back to singlehood. It became very quickly clear to me that I could choose any kind of man I wanted. For whatever reason I wanted. And I liked this idea.

It also became very quickly clear to me that men, in general, are pretty sucky at knowing how to woo a woman. For instance, a man would say he would call. And then he wouldn’t. It didn’t take long for me to recall that rush of a feeling when you are excited about a man calling you, and then the desperate lonely realization that he ain’t callin. These were in the days when I had no cell phone. The last thing in the world I was going to do was sit by a LANDLINE and wait for a call that may or may not come. Nosireebob! So, when a man asked for my number and said he was going to call at such-and-such a time on such-and-such a day, I would say, “Okay, I will give you a 15 minute window. If you don’t call by then, it’s so long dearie!” Always a woeful plaint would utter from said potential suitor at this news. “But…. But…… buttttttttttttttttt….??!!” I said, “No buts (and no butts either) I happen to firmly believe that if a man doesn’t call, it’s because he just didn’t want to. I will take it to mean that. Plain and simple.” (Rita Rudner taught me that.) Again, said suitor would ply me with the “buts.” Talk to the hand.

Silly rabbits. Didn’t they know that trix are for kids?

So here are a couple of stories about how this trouble with wooing would play out. Both of these stories involve online encounters. Men would often “find” me on Yahoo Messenger. They would contact me from places one to two hours away. Then they would say something like, “Let’s meet halfway.” I’d say, “No thanks. I don’t go to men. They come to me.” They’d likely move on. I have no interest in a man who can’t even drive to meet me. If he has trouble with that, then he has BIG trouble with the idea of maintaining a relationship with a woman. That’s a freakin’ easy test. So this one man was much like many others, but I will tell his story just the same. 'Cause he’s so special. :)

The man wanted me to meet him halfway. I said no. He pressed me to explain how that was reasonable. I told him I had no intention of being reasonable. If he wants reasonable, look elsewhere.

He said he really liked me and thought we would hit it off. He was just looking for a friend with benefits. No expectations, no commitments.

I said, “Well get in line, motherfucker. You do realize that I have a number of applicants for that job. And you are waaaaaaaaaay at the back of the line.”

He then asked how he could move up to the front of the line.

I said, “What do you have to offer that makes you exceptional, standing above all the rest?”

He said, "~ insert idiotic and lewd statement here ~"

I said, “Nope. Sorry. Back of the line.”

He said, “I’ve never been one for standing in line.”

I said, “Then why start now.”

The end. (Whew! It took way to long to shake that one off, in my opinion. Which you know to be so very humble.)

Another man contacted me and we liked one another quite a bit. We chatted a lot. About everything you can think of. He lived a mere 15-20 minutes away from me. We talked about meeting from time to time, but it just never happened. He was intelligent, entertaining, sexy… you name it. He had it. Well one day, he said he had nothing to do. Not a thing on his schedule. He suggested maybe meeting for lunch or dinner. I said, “That sounds cool.” He said, “Well, let me think which would work better.” I said, “You think about it. You have 30 minutes to decide what time you want to meet and where. After 30 minutes, whatever you decide you have to stick to, or you will never get another chance.” (Incidentally, he could also choose not to meet at this point and not shoot himself in the foot. The guy was just given ALL The cards.) He laughed. (LOL) He decided on a place (near me, of course ~ he knew the rules) and a time. It was to be dinner. Six o’clock. This was around one. Around five, he buzzed my messenger again (and no, it wasn’t the good kind of buzz). He sort of yawningly said he had taken a nap and now feels all lazy. Thought maybe he’d beg off the dinner and do some laundry instead. Laundry?! Are you fucking kidding me? As if laundry were something to “do.” Laundry is something to be done in between the things you “DO.” Anyway, I said, “Sure, that’s fine.” A little later, he messaged me again and wanted to make plans to meet some other day. I said, “Nope. No chance.” He was stunned. He said, “Are you serious? Because of that, I can never, ever, ever, ever meet you? Ever?” I said, “You got it, babe.” And so… we never did. But we still chat from time to time. And he’s still an intelligent, entertaining, sexy and cool cat.

Panache Galore (her real name)


Sornie said...

Damn. You have some pretty strict rules and requirements. If I were single...

Who am I kidding, I'm in no way a good wooer.

Diesel said...

You brushed off a guy who does his own laundry?

Eebie said...

Hold strong to your integrity (which as I read is the reason for your rules...correct me if I'm wrong). Good for you for drawing the line.

I am surprised you still chat with the second. It's all good that you do just sharing my surprise.

Most of all, I relate to how tough it is to put your heart and hopes into a new possibility.

Someday, I'll find a special someone, I still believe.

yellojkt said...

Clearly he Was Not That In To You.

Brad K. said...


Wooing women is a tough one today.

Most of what boys/men are taught is either etiquette at the titty bar ('cause you get thrown out otherwise), or sniggering at the back of the bus for school trips, or back of the classroom or gym. Much of the rest comes from Bud Light commercials, car ads, and the cover of Cosmo.

Few people today know about etiquette, Emily Post, or the details and practice of polite behavior. It may be that you need to write out your expectations, so they can study up, maybe take some tests. This would be a very good thing, and helpful to many men and women.

Honesty, discipline, loyalty, and respect are a few of the character traits that make a person a good mate-candidate. Being punctual is part of the issue - setting a time, then not honoring your word, that is dishonorable or deceitful, depending on the circumstances. Unless you are in the hospital, with blood flowing, there is no good reason to break your word.

Your rules and discrimination sound harsh, to those that are used to thinking of "a good catch" as good looking, or good income, or available - with no thought to character, ability, or compassion.

Blessed be!

T said...

Wow have I got a lot to learn. Thanks for being such a strict disciplinarian Teri. I like it.


I'm in awe of you!

wanderling said...

I always give men whom I meet out and where a mutual attraction exists, a simple choice. I tell them we can either go back to my place or their place, have fun and then never see each other again, or, we can depart on our merry separate ways for the evening, then if they want to, they can call me and we can see each other again.

Those who have chosen the first option, have (annoyingly) always pressed to develop something deeper, forgetting the fact that a one night stand by definition is a one night stand. Those who take the second option are few and far between, but they are the ones with whom something special has always developed. They are the ones who understand what upholding your word means and they indicate that they understand that in the very beginning by the choice they make.

Jormengrund said...

Well, at least they know up front if they're going to make it or break it.

Sad part is that I'd say about 90% of guys nowadays are going to break, and not make the grade..


cathouse teri said...

Sornie: Oh believe me, babe ~ these are not the only rules. Just the initial ones. ;)

Diesel: I know! Is that dumb, or what?

Eebs: You are correct. These "rules" show whether a man has integrity and grit. And you CLEARLY have both. You'll find someone. Don't worry. It may be when you are 44 like it was with me, but hey ~ I'm still young! ;)

Mello Yello: Definitely. Nowhere near me, let alone In To me. :)

Brad K: I disagree with much you are saying. Perhaps I'll write a part two to this.

T: All ya gotta remember, is that pussy is the commodity. Hee hee.

Wanderling: I like it.

Jormengrund: I firmly believe in not stringing someone along who is not going to make it. I like things to be clear. Clear as mud.

Jormengrund said...

So then if you're as clear as mud, does that make you a dirty girl?

Just wondering....

cathouse teri said...

Very dirty.

dadshouse said...

I think it's great you have rules like that. As a man, I don't want to follow them. And that's the thing - if I really like a woman, I will doggedly pursue her, and meet all the requirements of her rules, without even trying! It's passion that rules the world.

btw - have I ever told you about my idiotic and lewd statement...?

cathouse teri said...

Indeed, David. The cost needs to be plain right up front. Just like in a cathouse. :)

And NO, you have not told me about your idiotic and lewd statement! Do tell!

Loving Annie said...

Very very very smart of you ! Your guidelines are healthy. It will weed out the jerks and a good man will have no problem with them or with you :)

MindyMom said...

This is something I have been learning over time; what a guy does and says from the get go says A LOT! If he's not willing to do what it takes to woo us in the beginning he certainly won't have what it takes to sustain a relationship with us. And it's knowing and being true to ourselves that gives us the confidence to stand our ground and set boundaries.

We teach people how to treat us. Better to teach from the start than change the rules mid-relationship.

Great examples Teri!

Mark said...

Interesting, in the words of Dr. Phil, how is this approach working out for you?

cathouse teri said...

Thanks, Lovely and Loving Annie. :)

MM: Yeah, I'm a fan of the up-front approach.

Mark: Indeed, this approach has worked excellently for me. If it hadn't, I should think I'd have the sense to abandon it! ;)

I suppose some could read what I wrote and think I would find myself home alone a lot, since I refuse to make these allowances for men. But I'm afraid the truth is that I've always had more men than I know what to do with. This helps me to keep to only the cream of the crop. I've met and dated some fantastic men and quite honestly, it restored my faith in knowing that very real and very wonderful men really are out there. And I've had the privilege of knowing a great number of them. Most of them in the biblical sense. ;)

But in all seriousness, all of this has landed me a most exceptional man and I have no intention of letting him go. And just for the record, once he made it over all of those beginning hurdles (which of course are not real hurdles at all) I have made, and continue to make, many well-deserved allowances for him.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Diesel :-)

Turtle Guy said...

All good words of banter here - the only thing I could add is that all of this is not bound by gender. Some women move clear across the country without first checking in with their heart... not a great way to woo a fella.

Do I sound bitter?

The Doozie said...

I like your rules. And I need to develop some just like them. If i'm invited to breakfast, it doesn't mean noon. If I'm asked to go to the movies, it does'nt mean call me at the last minute and say you're broke cause you "had" to spend 300 dollars on a 16 y/o's prom dress. to that I say, later dumbass.

74WIXYgrad said...

I'm sure I'm not your type, and besides I've now been married for 30 years as of the 10th of this month.

I'll just pop in online on the blog and FB every once in awhile.

Mike said...

He called to tell you he was blowing you off for laundry? I have to admit that takes balls. No brains, but balls. I guess he told you where he was putting you on the list.

wanderling said...

I think he probably did more than just take a nap and therefore he no longer had the necessary energy for what the night ahead demanded. He didn't want to appear to be an underwhelming underperformer in bed so he came up with the laundry excuse to avoid embarrassement. Either that or he had double-booked himself that night. This guy isn't sexy, he's lame.