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Ronda Rich - Romance by committee

It would behoove all you men to thoroughly understand one thing: we women normally conduct our romances by committee.

That is to say that if you tickle one of us with a special notion, you've tickled all of us. On the other hand, if you tick off one of us, the entire committee is ticked off. One man, unbeknownst to him, is often dating two or more women. Every date followed by the situations that ensue are brought before the committee and properly discussed.

I had dated a guy several times. Common courtesy dictates that a man should touch base within a couple of days after a date. It doesn't mean you're in a relationship. It just signifies manners. This time he didn't call.

Now, I have a strong self-esteem so I never think it's anything I did wrong. I immediately cast the blame in the guy's direction. Ten days after the date - which, by the way, had taken a good bit of effort on my part - and a trip out of town for him, he e-mailed. I called Karen.

"I got an e-mail from him." I read it to her.

"What are you going to do?"

"Uh! We have already agreed that I'm not going to reply. Remember?"

"Yeah, but." She paused for a second. "Well, you're right. Don't. What are you gonna do if he e-mails again?"

"Then, I'll call you and we'll discuss the next step."

All over America, this happens every day. Rarely, does a woman make a decision - after the first date, that is - without the combined consent of her trusted committee. A guy, on the other hand, never even mentions to another guy that he has a date. But I have noticed that if a man ever runs into romantic trouble and a woman has snagged his heart, he will go to the appropriate sources for advice. He'll call another woman.

That's because we have outstanding experience in romantic strategies. In the war of love, we're five-star generals.

It isn't that we're incompetent in running our romances. On the contrary. We've watched as corporations, politics and non-profits were successfully run by committees, many formed by the opposite sex. The Declaration of Independence was written by an all-male committee and the National Football League and Major League Baseball established by others.

We learned to rule by committee by male example. I suspect, though, they never expected it to be used against them.

Editor's Note: The Citizen recently learned that Ronda Rich's mother, known affectionately to readers as "Mama" and a character often featured in Rich's column, died suddenly on Sunday, Feb. 24. To learn more about her passing, visit http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/3713 .

Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should) and The Town That Came A-Courtin'.