Dear Boys

15 Feb

Dear Boys,

So I was talking to my friend— let’s call her Carmen because that sounds nice and dramatic—  today, who is having a confusing boy situation, and now I’m going to write about it on the internet, like the good friend that I am.

Actually, it’s not that confusing and I’m not really going to say much about it. Whatever, she met a boy, he asked for her number, he never called. She ran into him again and he called about getting a drink sometime but has not followed up to plan said drink.

In my experience, boys (you all) don’t follow up for a myriad of reasons, including that you’re not interested, you’re interested but not interested enough, you’re busy, an ex-girlfriend has called, another girl is more often in front of your face, another girl asked you out which means you have to do less work, it’s less work to stay home and play video games, you got the flu, you’re afraid of rejection if you try to plan something specific (that awful circular trap of “let’s hang out sometime” “yes, let’s” and neither of you have any clue if the other person means it…and let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t mean it and sometimes we do), etc.

But really, I’ve asked around and boys seem to come to a consensus that the main reason you don’t follow up is simple: you’re bad at following up.


Anyway, if Carmen wants to go out with this dude, she could dudette it up and call him and ask for a time and a place for the drink.

To which he might then hem and haw and stammer and be like, “What would you like to do?” because he doesn’t know her and doesn’t know what sort of drinks she likes (ummm…) and also maybe he doesn’t like to plan things. Hypothetically. And then she would sigh and lose a little respect for his ability to make decisions and move confidently and competently in the world and she would make the date. And by the time she got there, she would be like, “ok well I made the phone call then I planned this date and now I am small talking and I could do this by myself since he’s bringing basically nothing but boat shoes to this table.” Except dating by yourself has another name, and that’s why we all keep trying to meet people. Also she will wonder if he could possibly be interested since he demonstrated no willingness to do even the slightest bit of work to make this happen.

Boat shoes are nice and all.

Boys are sick of girls acting like they’re in charge / boys are incompetent (also known as the “you act like my mother”) and girls are sick of boys acting like they’ll have an allergic reaction if asked to make a decision (or a reservation). Or hell, just making one without having to be asked to make one.


Shit, you have not even seen high-maintenance if that’s your definition, and I recommend you get a cactus instead of a girlfriend.

Anyway, chances are good that this boy thinks Carmen is hard to read. Which I sympathize with. If I were a boy, I would find her totally hard to read. Since I am not a boy, I communicate with her in secret-girl language and we understand each other’s every eye-blink (DUDES, THIS DOES NOT EXIST, WE USE ENGLISH).

Then again, I am maybe the easiest person in the world to read— my every single itty-bitty emotion shows on my face, and this has its advantages and its disadvantages, whatever, it’s my face— and I too have been told by boys that I am hard to read.

So now I am just wondering if boys are illiterate.

This crap about reading people is bullshit, anyway. ASK A REAL QUESTION AND YOU’LL GET A REAL ANSWER AND THEN YOU’LL KNOW. HEY-O.

Anyway, guys, if you want to feel like you have at least partial control of your relationship, date (not her, the event), then all I can say is this: take it. There’s no way for somebody else to give it to you.

And don’t give me that crap about feminism and girls hating it if you open a door. Yes, I am capable of opening doors. No, I will never say that to you if you open a door for me. And if anyone ever does, you have my permission to let the door swing back in her face.

In the meantime, it’s the day after Valentine’s Day! Buy some chocolate on-sale and finish off that bottle of wine. The pressure’s off, so call Carmen and ask her out. She’s a little hard to read, but lovely once you learn the language (and worth the trouble).




2 Responses to “Dear Boys”

  1. jerry kurl 15 February 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    ok first let me say this. My interpretation of your post is that one of the critical qualities of a prospective BF (for yourself and/or Carmen) is the ability to “make decisions and move confidently and competently in the world.” So if he doesn’t call Carmen back isn’t it reasonable to deduce that he either a) doesn’t like Carmen enough to make the effort or b) likes Carmen enough but doesn’t have “the ability to make decisions and move confidently and competently in the world,” at least as applied to women? Assuming the above is accurate, a no call should be a sign for Carmen to let go and move on; a tollgate to freedom and not a burden of ambiguity. Unless of course the boy in question is cute enough (or have some other, ahem, characteristics) that a) and b) can be overlooked.

    If this is an oversimplification then I would say that Carmen needs to call him back. While I do concede this step could be misconstrued, a girl calling a boy does not mean she’s trying to be in charge. It may just mean that she’s got a better handle on where both sides stand. A favorite quote of mine is “men need reassurance like women need security.” Wouldn’t a call back provide this reassurance to a guy that may be sufficiently confident but just needs a little motivation to make the move?

    If I can give the ladies out there a piece of advise it’s this. Don’t overthink things. Men think and act in a much more linear fashion than women interpret. “Maybe he is emotionally fragile from a previous relationship and his ex’s phone number is similar to mine and any attempts by him to dial my number resurrect repressed feelings.” This, and all the other excuses still converge to the same conclusion. He doesn’t like you enough to call.


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