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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Ask Todd Parker (04-20-2016)

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Dear Todd Parker,

I've been in a relationship with a guy for about six months. Things are still relatively new, but it all seems to be going really well. We have a lot of the same interests and I really like him.

There's this one weird thing, though. I feel strange even bringing it up because it seems like it should be no big deal, just a little quirk, but as time passes, I think about it more and more.

He slow claps.

You know the whole sarcastic slow clap thing? He does that. All the time. Only he's not doing it in a sarcastic way; it's just how he applauds. No matter how great a time he's having, whether we're at a concert or a show or whatever, he slow claps.

Now, I know that his slow clapping isn't sarcastic, but the people around us don't. Whenever it happens, I find myself looking around, trying to see if anyone is watching him. Sometimes they are; I just worry that it makes this guy who is really nice look like a jerk.

Writing this down makes me realize how ridiculous all of this must sound, but I have to do something. It makes me hesitant to go out and do things with him because I don't want people to think that he's this judgmental ass who doesn't like anything.

What should I do?

Clapped-out in Orono

Dear Clapped-out,

So what you're saying is that you'd like me to give you a hand?

I have to admit that this is a new one on me. As someone who has been known to make pointed use of the slow clap on a semi-regular basis, I have difficulty imagining anyone who is blind to the implications of the act. Yet it sounds like that's the case with your boy.

I'm curious as to why you can't just come out and tell him that you think it's weird. My guess is that it is one of two reasons either A) you're worried that you'll somehow hurt his feelings, or B) you're concerned that he's going to discover just how much the opinions of others matter to you.

I'm leaning toward B.

Here's the thing you say that you like this guy. Well, is that affection a two-way street? Because if it is if he likes you the way you claim to like him then you should be able to just come out and tell him that the way he claps is weird. I mean, he has to know he's doing it differently than literally everyone else, so he has to be aware on some level.

Of course, the real truth is that it shouldn't matter. Your guy should be able to do how he do, regardless of the occasional side-eye you might get from some random Judgy McJudgerson. Who cares what they think? All that matters is what the two of you think.

In the end, this is weird, but hey it's far from the worst clap-related letter I've ever gotten, so let's call it a win.

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