Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do I Have Something On My Teeth? Uh... Yes? I Mean, No...

Welcome to our second installment of "Awkward Daring Moments."

Girls take significant time and expend a lot of effort to make themselves look good for dates. Makeup is always a significant component (or almost always, from my experience) of their pre-date preparation, because they understandably want to appear attractive for their suitor. However, not everything always goes as planned.

Case in point: one thing I have not really figured out in 2+ years of dating is what I should do if my date has lipstick smudged on her teeth. I know it's rude to point it out blatantly, but I also know that she must feel awful after coming back from a night on the town, looking in a mirror, and discovering to her personal horror that her upper incisors were pink the entire evening.

I've even had one date who called me out on not saying anything to her and was fairly indignant about it. Mind you, we had been going out for a few months, so I guess there was already a pre-established level of comfort that made her feel fine telling me not to let such a gaff slide by again.

Another date was clearly aware of the lipstick conundrum, and attempted to clean her teeth without me noticing on more than one occasion (including when I used the restroom), and only succeeded in changing spread and pattern of the mis-located makeup.

Recent interviews I conducted with several female relatives yielded two answers, depending on the length of time the couple has been seeing one another.

1) If this makeup mishap occurs on a first date or one of the early dates, the guy should neither say nor do anything to indicate that there is anything amiss. It's much worse to critique or point out the girl's colored smile than to not say anything at all.

As an added caveat, I was told that if the guy notices that the girl is aware of her problem and attempting to correct it, he should gracefully excuse himself to the restroom so that she can discreetly wipe her teeth clean in his absence.

2) If the couple have been going out for some extended period of time, it is seemingly the guy's obligation to carefully inform his date of her colored teeth and let her resolve the issue.

I've still yet to directly address such an occurrence while on a date. Even after hearing my relatives' advice, I still don't think I feel so comfortable shining a spotlight on my date's unintentional makeup blunder. It just seems like it's not worth embarrassing her on the spot with me, the guy she's trying to impress, right in front of her. On the flip side, If I don't say anything at all, perhaps she'll think that I never even noticed. Or she might think that being the dumb male that I am, I don't really know the difference in the first place (I imagine this could be true for some guys).

The only parallel example from the male direction that I can think of (that is exclusively male, since anyone can have stuff stuck in their teeth) is the pants zipper caught in "down mode." I would say that more than 90% of the time nothing beyond the interior lip of the zipper area is visible, which is the same color as the pants anyway. It's only the mere fact that the zipper is "disengaged" that can be irksome, I guess, since thankfully there is no real exposure worth being embarrassed about.

For the record, I do think the two are really apples and oranges. If a guy doesn't notice his date's lipstick smeared teeth, then perhaps he hasn't been looking her in the face as he should have while on the date. In contrast, I can't think of any logical explanation to the benefit of the doubt for women-folk who notice that their suitor's "barn door" is open...

Thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?


  1. Good post, as usual, shades.

    Teeth are always a nervewrecking subject for me if I go on a food date because my teeth are neither extremely close together nor gappy, so food often gets stuck, and I'm constantly nervous. Lipstick is probably more embarrassing, and my suggestion to gals is to use lipshine/clear gloss or chapstick if this problem happens often.

    I think the advice you received is pretty much on target. Most gals don't realize when we have lipstick anywhere else (it's not like we feel it)

    Thankfully, I never had to deal with the zipper problem on a date. I can't imagine any non-embarrassing way to tell someone that! I have had to deal with it in other contexts, though. If it's a close relative, I might hint, but other than that, it's just uncomfortable and awkward.

    This reminds me of an embarrassing story that once happened on a date. I don't sweat easily and am usually sweat-stain free. I dressed in a few layers with a light colored shirt on top on a summer date. The guy's car was kind of hot, and we "debated" (aka argued) a lot on the date, so I was a bit annoyed/nervous.
    When I got home I noticed that I had sweatmarks, and it was extremely embarrassing!! I laughed it off and prayed that the guy didn't notice. And that even if he did, I hoped he wouldn't still want a second date because I was beyond mortified. :D

    I'm still not sure why it happened...
    the heat, the nerves, the outfit, or just the combination of it all. Now I'm reconsidering my next date outfit!

  2. The sweatstain thing is something I've noticed once or twice with a date. That is one of the reasons why I'm thankful for tzitzis (aside from the schar I get for wearing them) since they provide an extra layer that prevents sweat from getting through my undershirt to the surface of my exterior shirt. Although it is not so great for the beged of the tzitzis in terms of cleanliness etc, I've thankfully never had a problem before with this issue...


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