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Rodney tries to help

Ronda Rich's picture

My brother-in-law, Rodney, called me up one day. He’s one of my favorite people and even when I should get mad at him, I never can. He’s so charming and funny.

“I found you a good one to go out with,” he began.

“I’m not looking,” I replied.

“Well, I know that but still this would be a good match for you, I think.”

“Who is it?” I asked with a great deal of wariness in my voice.

Long ago, I stopped being hopeful when folks call up with someone they’d like to fix me up. Men outnumber women so all the good ones are snatched up and gone. The ones that remain are the ones who need folks like Rodney to fix them up.

Plus, I find plenty of guys on my own so I don’t really need help. But, just in case, the perfect one for me slipped by all the others, I’m willing to listen.

“Well, first off, I’ll go ahead and tell you that he ain’t much to look at.”

Great. Just what every person wants to hear straight out of the chute. No looks. That explained why he had gotten past the other single women out there. But lest I be thought of as shallow as I think about many of my friends, I swayed but I did not crumble.

“What’s wrong with him?” My tone was now plain and straight forward.

“You could probably fix him up and make him look better. He needs a stylish haircut and some new clothes.” Now, you know it has to be bad when another man recognized the need for an updated haircut and stylish clothes.

“And another thing,” Rodney continued. “He ain’t got no money. He just works by the hour, probably for minimum wage.”

Here, I have to hand it to my brother-in-law. He’s straight-forward and gets all the bad stuff out of the way first. Normally, people who are trying to sell you on someone, lead with the good stuff, gets your hopes all built up then segue into, “Oh, by the way.”

I took a deep breath. “Okay, Rodney, no money, no looks. It’s nice to see how much you think of me. I can get these kind guys on my own, without any help from you.”

“Now, wait a minute, hear me out on this. He’s smart as a whip. He reads books all the time. There’s nothing he don’t know. He’s just like you – he knows everything. Seriously. He’s the only other person I ever met as smart as you are.” Then Rodney began telling me some fascinating piece of trivia that the guy had recently shared with him. “He could keep up with you in the smarts department and that’s hard to find.”

I softened. Of course, I did. “That’s sweet, Rodney.” I meant it. After all, being called “smart” is the next best thing to being called “pretty.” And it’s a whole sight better than being called “sweet” because people call you that when they can’t think of anything else to call you. They say that when they can’t say, “Pretty,” “smart”, “talented” or “popular.”

Be wary of being called “sweet” too much. Of course, this is coming from someone who is rarely called “sweet” for obvious reasons such as not being sweet.

Anyway, back to Rodney’s well-meaning help. He continued on about how smart the guy was and how two people with minds like ours should meet.

“Looks aren’t everything,” he pointed out. This from one of the best-looking men that God ever blew breath into, who is married to a beautiful woman.

I was flattered but not swayed. “If I’m really as smart as you think then I should be able to figure out how to find a man who is good looking, smart and talented.”

I’ll get back to y’all on that.

[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should).” Visit to sign up for her weekly newsletter.]

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