Q. I met a very interesting and attractive person at a singles group a few weeks ago. As we had many interests in common, we went out for brunch, and a week later we had dinner.
The next time we met was at the same singles group. She offered to take me out to lunch next time. I agreed, and a date was set for a few days later.
During the course of that evening at the singles group, many men asked her to dance. This was fine by me, as I am not a jealous person and certainly had no rights or claims.
Then she danced with one man, and danced and danced, and out came the ballpoint pen, and phone numbers were taken. They danced some more and left together, passing within 10 feet of me without her saying good night or mentioning that she would see me as previously arranged.
The next day was one of the most miserable that I have spent in years. I truly felt that she had made some decision about this other person and that it wouldn't be appropriate for me to keep our rendezvous.
I did not keep the date. Feeling miserable, I visited my daughter instead (I am divorced). When I arrived home, there were a number of messages asking me where I was.
I phoned back and attempted to explain the situation as I saw it. I was accused of having the most atrocious bad manners and was hung up on without being able to offer my complete explanation. What do you think?
A. That you did show bad manners in standing her up, and that she showed atrocious bad manners in the way she berated you. But that is not really what you want to know -- you want to know how to repair this once-promising prospect.
Grovel. Send flowers with a charming letter, pleading -- well, temporary insanity: "I somehow convinced myself that you meant to snub me, but of course I was totally wrong. Will you ever forgive me?" You might graciously omit pointing out that she could have handled her side better.
And then repeat to yourself 10 times what you told Miss Manners about not being a jealous person and realizing that you had no rights or claims on this lady at such an early stage.
Having no reason to assume that all her romantic ambitions had been realized, she was certainly free to return to the singles group, and once there, to conform with its purpose.
For that matter, what were you doing back there?
Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper.