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February 21, 2002

The Queen’s Advice

http://www.jewishjournal.com/celebrations_simchas/article/the_queens_advice_20020222

The Megillah tells us that Esther found the courage to confront Ahasuerus, confess she was a Jew and not only save her relationship, but the entire Jewish people. And yet more than 2,000 years later, this Jewish girl can't even find the courage to confront the guy I'm dating and confess how much I truly like him.

Dave and I met ordering margaritas at El Cholo. He asked for blended, I asked for salt; he asked me out. And while we both agreed to "just have fun," my heart's come a-knockin'. There's just something really special about him. I get butterflies when we talk and my spine tingles when we kiss.

I know we said we'd "keep things casual" and "see where things take us," but Dave takes me to unexpected places. Sometimes your heart's coming up, so you better get this party started. Until now, I've spiced our courtship with a dash of flirting and a pinch of passion, but I've been too scared to turn up the heat. Dave's "smarter than the average bear," and probably knows that people in a relationship may be closer than they appear. And yet, I can't find the chutzpah to say those three little words: "I like you."

But why? I think I like him, so what am I so afraid of? His reaction. I'll give him my heart; he'll give me a pen.

See, boys like the chase, the mystery and any girl they can't have. And confessing a crush puts a halt on the hunt. Men also have exclusivity allergies. They want to be with you but keep their options open. Like Ahasuerus, they want to have their queen and their harem, too. So revealing my true feelings to Dave will be more controversial than The Heidi Game.

We interrupt this exciting flirtship to bring you chick-flick sentimentality.

So how can I open up to Dave without scaring him off? How can I tell him how I feel without ruining what we have? Survey says: never tell your man "we need to talk." That phrase is the Sports Illustrated cover curse of relationships. He'll be outta there faster than Casey FitzRandolph on speed skates. I also fear our heart-to-heart will take a turn for the sappy, and I'll sound more desperate than a teen with a Casey Kasem long-distance dedication. How do I keep the talk truthful, but the tone teasing?

And so I turn to Esther for advice. She's a smoking-hot babe who holds her own with her man. Perhaps she could teach this margarita-drinking, mensch-seeking singleton how to take a relationship risk.

When we meet Esther, she is a typical Jewish girl trying to please her new beau, Ahasuerus. She spends a year getting ready for their first date. She lets it slide that he doesn't call the next day, or even the next month, after a rendezvous. And she refuses to call him first, scared to death of making the first move.

But then our heroine ditches her high-maintenance, timid beauty queen shtick and boldly goes where no girl has gone before. According to the Megillah, Esther breaks all the relationship rules and conquers the final frontier: The heart-to-heart talk. Who needs "Loveline" and Dr. Laura when we've got the Persian princess? Everything I need to know about relationships I can learn from the Meghillah.

Esther says, the best place to confront a man is over dinner. As men are more likely to swoon over a svelte girl, Esther also recommends dieting for three days before the big date. Our queen wore couture royal robes by Armani, but if yours are at the dry cleaner, any low-cut shirt, high-cut skirt will work. And most importantly, Esther reminds us to get the man stuffed with grub and plotzed on wine. When he's full, drunk and happy tell him what's really on your mind.

And so, this Purim I'm going to pull an Esther. I'm not going to wait for Dave to call me; I'm going to pick up the phone, reach out and touch someone. I'm going to lure him to my pad, cook up a feast, look him straight in the eye, and say, "Dave, I'm in crush with you." So thanks to Esther, Dave and I will be making hamantashen in no time.

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