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Parallax - Advice            July 24, 2000

   Romance Latin-Style

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Some men will do anything for love, but is a full-on south-of-the-border serenade over the top? This question, this week, on Conversely's hers & his advice column, where no question is too sensitive and no love too bold for our gallant advice team. Also featured: a woman whose ex-boyfriend can't seem to be just her friend, and a man who has no feelings - or maybe he just doesn't show them?

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The old-fashioned serenade

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I really want to impress my girlfriend and am thinking of serenading her. My mother is from Mexico and she's told me about how they hire mariachi bands and then go to the girl's house and start playing outside her window at midnight. I don't know if this would be a good idea, or whether the whole neighborhood would get pissed-off and ruin it. Do you think it'll work?

Her view:

Dear Crooner,

I think it's a swell idea. I would love it and I'm certain she will too. In this modern day of fax-me-your-marriage-proposal, it's nice to see somebody still thinks the tried-and-true strategies to romance are worth a shot. If your girlie doesn't like it, she is a lost soul.

You may want to rethink midnight - how about ten or eleven - this way the neighbors won't be disrupted and she won't be asleep yet. It would be a little awkward if she slept through your serenade.

Enjoy - I'm betting you get huge praise (and you know what that means). I might even give you my boyfriend's number and you can tell him what a great idea it is.

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His view:

Dear Crooner,

I think it will work. Serenading requires preparation galore - but for the right woman, it should be a labor of joy.

Usually serenades are reserved for birthdays, or - if the guy is still trying to win her heart - as a way to gain favor. If you are doing it for no special occasion, keep in mind she may not think the racket outside her window is intended for her when you wake her up in the middle of the night.

I suggest you research logistics carefully and get as much advice as possible from mother or other relatives who are familiar with the process. Finding good mariachis, deciding which songs they should play, alerting roommate and grumpy neighbors, and choosing the location from which to sing all require timely consideration.

I don't know why you're trying to impress your girlfriend, but this should certainly do the trick. Remember though, a serenade is a very special gift - if she's not ready for so much love, you may scare her away...

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