Who makes the first move?

In the first installment of her new weekly column about life on the romantic frontlines, Ms. Weaver confronts a chicken-and-egg question: Should an amorous lady offer a gentleman her number?

Published June 3, 1996 7:00PM (EDT)

when I got to the party, Minta, playing deejay, had just put on the Gap Band's "You
Dropped a Bomb On Me." The twenty-somethings looked confused but
obligingly gyrated. The forty-somethings continued talking, looking condescendingly at the living
room dance floor from their positions on the sofa.

As a thirty-something, I was pleased. "You're showing our age, Minta," I
said. She was wearing a green velour top and smoking a cigarette. "Where is

"Over on the sofa, talking to the gap-toothed chick," she said.

"Does he know about me?"

"Graham filled him in. You know how guys talk."

I certainly knew about Michel, the host of the party. Tall, liberal,
thirties, environmental lawyer. Smart. From back East. I glanced at him and he
smiled and waved.

I turned back to Minta. "You didn't tell me he was crunchy."

"He's an eco-lawyer. What did you expect?"

"Certainly not Birkenstocks."

"Give him a break. At least he's not wearing socks with them. A small price
to pay for love."

"Or lust," I said. I wondered if I could go out with someone "natural." Would
he make me go on hikes on Mount Tam? Would he deride my MAC
makeup? I imagined myself protesting, But it's cruelty-free!

"It's worth a try," Minta said.

"Well, I guess," I said. "I do recycle. That should be worth something."

I ambled my way over and introduced myself. Minta was right: there was
something vaguely sexy about him. He had longish black hair, and nice teeth. I
wondered if he used deodorant.

We danced to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. "I think the BeeGees really
meant something at one time," he said. He told me his mother was French,
and started to tell me about his childhood in Canada, when Gap-Toothed-Girl
came over and announced she was leaving.

I drifted back to Minta. Her boyfriend, Graham, wandered over and asked me to
dance. I watched Michel escort the woman to the door and tried to not look at
him for the rest of the party.

As the crowd began to thin out, I approached him again. He was talking to two
women who seemed very young to me, one of whom was wearing one of those
extremely tiny backpacks, no larger than a credit card.

"Michel," I said, rallying. Well, why not? I thought. Why should the man
always be put in the decision-making role? "Do you want to go out sometime?"

"Sure," he said. "Let me get your number. And I'll give you my card."

We exchanged numbers. We said we'd call. That was two weeks ago.

I'd like to call him. If I were a guy, and he were a girl, I probably would
call him. But it seems to me, since I'm not, that he should call me. After
all, he knows I'm interested. I am interested, right?

I told my mother about the party, and Michel. She looked horrified when I
said that we had exchanged phone numbers.

"I sense an impasse," she predicted darkly.

"It's not like that anymore, Mom."

She rolled her eyes. "We'll see."

By Courtney Weaver

MORE FROM Courtney Weaver

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Love And Sex Sex