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Little Photoshop Of Horrors

I’ve been talking to a woman via e-mail and phone for several months. We live hundreds of miles apart, but I’ve suggested we meet for a date in her area. She enthusiastically agreed. My usual modus operandi is to buy a woman a cup of coffee so we can casually get to know each other. Does a long-distance lead-in require something more elaborate?

--Coffee Lover

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an escape route until you find out whose picture it actually is? Priceless. Before you go, joke with this woman that every seat on your date should be considered an exit-row seat, with either person being free to yank off the emergency door and jump at any time. While your usual m.o. might be a great way to get to know a girl you just met at Groceryland, you may want to make sure you have easy access to beer goggles in case your online love isn’t all she was JPEG’ed up to be. Plan to meet over a glass of something alcoholic in the late afternoon or early evening, and you and she can always opt to go on to dinner -- perhaps with other, more attractive people you bumped into while sprinting away from the bar.

Copyright ©2003, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.