Originally published in The Hudson Reporter
With Chelsea Clinton recently married, I thought now would be a good time to share something with you that I got many years ago:
The White House
October 5, 1999
Dear Mr. Ethridge:
Thank you for inviting Chelsea Clinton to visit with you while in Skaneateles. Although she appreciates the many invitations she receives, Chelsea’s plans for the summer preclude her participation in any additional undertakings.
I apologize for the delay in responding to your letter. Due to the unprecedented amount of mail the First Family has received, we have not been able to respond as promptly as we would prefer.
Thank you for your kind invitation.
Alice J. Pushkar
Director of Correspondence for the First Lady
Yes, this is my official rejection letter from asking out the (at the time) First Daughter. In terms of risk, asking out the daughter of the leader of the free world ranks right up there! I have always been a risk taker, so this was nothing new for me. In fact, I have probably been turned down, blown-off and epic-failed with more women than most people will over their entire lives. But this is also because I take risks. I could try to coast and not really go out on a limb, but you’ll never win big if you don’t go all in.
In the dating world, too many people try to play it safe. I find that people will risk their savings (in the market), risk their car (lending it out), and risk their careers (on whistle blowing or lawsuits), but that most people are unwilling to risk their hearts. There is an intense fear of personal failure – that if you are turned down, it means that there is something wrong with you.
This far from the case. A puzzle piece is not going to fit with every other piece. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with that piece, just that the two pieces were not compatible. Luckily there are a lot of puzzle pieces in the box!
If you can get over that fear, your confidence will soar and a whole new world of dating possibilities will be opened to you! Says Andrew: “I saw a girl in Barnes & Noble I went to grammar school with – she looked HOT. She was in the cafe with some dude. I said hello and sat with them. I didn’t know if this was her husband or what… turned out they just met and he was buying her coffee. I dominated, he ended up leaving, and now I’ve been with her for one and a half years. Normally I wouldn’t talk to a girl flirtatiously if she was with another guy out of respect, but I couldn’t let this one go. And it paid off big time.”
I know that a lot of guys automatically assume if a girl is with a guy that they are dating, but think of how many times you’re out with girl friends, your friend’s sister, co-worker, etc. Watch her body language and try to figure it out. Diego puts it a little more succinctly: “I used to have a huge crush on this girl in college. I asked for her number like ten times but she always refused. Three years later I ran into her in Hoboken, had a few drinks and I said ‘screw it’ and leaned in for a kiss. Worked out great for seven months after that!”
Big risks like that can be hard, but the way I look at it is like this: What’s the worst that could possibly happen? She turns you down and you feel embarrassed and maybe upset for a few minutes, then you forget about it. The best that could happen is unlimited, so logically it makes sense to risk!
Over the years, this coming week has seen its fair share of bravery. Davy Crockett, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs, was born, as was Virginia Dare, the first documented child to be born to European settlers in America. It is also V-J Day, marking the final end of WWII. A lot of good people sucked up their fears and boldly marched forward. I would love to hear some of the stories you, the readers, have of your dating boldness and how it worked out for you. Feel free to email me or comment below.
As for Chelsea, oh well. It looks like she found someone else for her. I’m sure her dad is happy….who was also born this week!