Thursday, October 20, 2005

A lesson for young girls; or, the jade-ification of a divorcee

One of the first things my mother taught me about boys was this:

If you ignore a boy, he’ll like you.

I am 35 years old, divorced for 8 years, and childless. Obviously I’ve done something “wrong", but it wasn’t until recently that I realized what it was. If I had just followed the simple guidelines laid out for me when I was 7, who knows where I’d be now—or with whom.

As a young girl, I thought my mother was insane. I found it impossible to ignore a boy I really liked. This was counter intuitive – why on EARTH would I want the boy to think I Didn’t like him when I DID?? If I wanted nothing more than for him to pay attention to me, shouldn’t I then strive to capture his attention? Doesn’t it make sense that I should let him know how I feel, so the pressure is off him and he can adore me out in the open?


I can safely say now, that after much, MUCH, trial and error, that is not the case. NEVER admit you like a boy until he has already put it all out there and proven himself vulnerable and smitten. You will not get what you want by throwing yourself at him, by being so obviously available. You must act aloof. You must get up afterwards and go home. You must not always answer the phone when he calls. I hate to say this, but you must “fib” sometimes about what your plans are. He mustn’t know you will clear your calendar at the mere suggestion of the possibility of seeing you “later”.

If he does make this empty promise, then, for the love of God, don’t try and pin him down. If he says, “maybe I’ll see you later” do NOT, under any circumstances, ask, “when?” If you try and pin him down, the boy will not call. If you say “whatever” and go about your business, 9 times out of 10 he will. And when you get this call, act blasé. Do not act excited, or under any circumstances, relieved. Oh, and DO NOT CALL HIM if you don’t hear from him. And to carry this a step further: if you don’t hear from him, resist the almost unbearable urge to email him the next morning and casually ask why he didn’t call. This is a complete turnoff to boys. Boys are, I’ve found, counter intuitive.

If you do get a reply to an email you should not have sent, do NOT reply to his reply unless he has left it open ended. If the email goes like this:

I was out late last night and really tired when I got home.

Don’t reply. However, if the email goes like this:

I was out late last night and really tired when I got home. How was your evening?

Then reply, but be equally vague. Resist the urge to detail your entire evening in several paragraphs of scintillating, witty prose, hoping he will read your words and realize just how precious and funny and perfect-for-him you are. Just don’t do it.

Let me back up right here and state the obvious: Yes, this is stupid. It is stupid that boys are wired so backwards that they respond to these little reindeer games. But in my VAST experience, it is true. The more you act like you don’t want him, the more he will want you. Just trust me on this one.

And why should you trust me, you wonder? After all, I’m divorced. And single. Yes, true. But. I have honed this art during my 5-year involvement with a certain BT, and practice makes perfect. So if the “right” guy ever comes along? I’m so set.

Um, yeah. I’ll keep you posted.

p.s. while my mother was right about this one, the sticks and stones one? NOT TRUE. But that's a whole other post...

1 comment:

sarah said...

This reminds me of something that happened a few years ago. I was really into this guy who essentially quit talking to me. I deemed him an asshole and moved on after a while. A year later he starts calling me apologizing and claiming that he really is a good person and wants to hang out sometime. After much cajoling, he convinces me to meet him for a drink. At 4pm that afternoon he cancels. I didn't hear from him again. Ass. Last week, he emailed me. Why can't guys like this just die already?
*not bitter*