Dear Males of the World,
You probably think you know where I’m going with this. RomComs and Sitcoms and just plain common sense offer plenty of classic inquiries that you should just never ask a woman. I.e. How old she is, how much she weighs, and if she’s pregnant (coincidentally, I was once asked two out of three of these questions by a co-worker attempting to take me on a date. True—and unfortunate—story). And yes, asking the above questions will more likely than not end in tears and recriminations and a few missing teeth—if you’re very lucky. But I’m going to assert that there’s actually another question that is a real contender for this list:
Where’s your sister? (or best friend or co-worker or roommate, as the case may be)
On the surface, this may seem like an innocent enough question. You are merely expressing an interest in the well-being of my beloved sister/bff/roomie/co-worker; what’s the harm in that? The simple answer is this: you may think you’re being subtle, but you’re a man, so you’re not; and you may think that I don’t know what you’re getting at, but I’m a woman, and I do.
I suppose there are a few exceptions to this rule, and they are as follows:
- If you are my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker’s boyfriend. Because to me, you already have the sex appeal of a fire hydrant, and I am already well aware that it goes both ways.
- The event we’re at is a surprise party for said sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, and she is three hours late.
- You have been injected with a fatal poison, and only my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker has the antidote (but again, ask me how my day is first. It’s common courtesy, people).
- I am happily married with a super-hot husband and lots of babies, and my one true joy in life is finding a soulmate for my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker (The exception to this being if you are my ex, in which case it doesn’t matter if I have ten children and am married to Hugh Jackman, you must still NEVER attempt to date my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker without fear of certain death and dismemberment).
- You are sort of adorably awkward and I have openly supported and encouraged you in pursuing my sort of adorably awkward sister/bff/roomie/co-worker. I.e. If you are Charles Bingley and my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is Jane. If you aren’t Charles Bingley, don’t ask. Just don’t.
The reason this question is so offensive is because the real subtext is that you think that my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is much hotter than me and that you wish she’d come in lieu of myself to whatever social gathering has placed us in each other’s path. You’ve made this abundantly clear by barely bothering to speak two words to me before jumping straight into this incredibly rude query. Couldn’t even warm a gal up, could ya? Couldn’t even pretend to be interested in my job or my interests or my life before finding a natural way to insert this blunder into the conversation? It’s fine, really, because chances are I’ve already determined that you’re a tool who isn’t worth my time, and I’m only talking to you to be polite (or to win a bet). But there are many reasons why asking me this question is counterintuitive to your dating happiness, and so as a concerned citizen, I feel it is my duty to set you straight.
Trust me, you want me on your side. Remember my hot sister/bff/roomie/co-worker? Well, that works both ways, my friend; just as she is my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, I’m also her sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, which means that you really want me on your team. I’m the person who can put in a good word for you, who can explain away the weird hair or the teddy bear collection and convince her that underneath it all, you’re actually a really great guy. My services to you are invaluable– but they come at a price, and it’s this: You need to learn the art of actually talking to a girl, even if you’re not trying to hook up with her. Actually getting to know her as a person. Seeing her value as a human being. I know, it’s a bizarre concept, but trust me, this will get you places. The girl network is a very real, living, breathing thing, and you do not want to be blacklisted. Help me help you, my friend.
Learn to play it cool, man. You know how part of what attracts you to my super-hot sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is that she isn’t super desperate and throwing herself at you all the time? Well, that’s what she’s looking for, too. I know we women can be a fickle bunch and that sometimes it’s hard to know what we want. I admit, sometimes it’s a very fine line. We want you to be manly, but sensitive. We want you to inspire us to be better, but also love us for who we are. And we want you to pursue us, but pursue us with confidence. Take some pride in yourself, dude. A little boy pulls pigtails and writes notes and goes around a playground asking a girl’s friends about her instead of talking to her himself. A man doesn’t need to play those games. And what virtually every woman has in common? We want a man, pure and simple. Because until you become one of those…
She’s Just Not That Into You. Did you ever stop to think that there’s a reason why my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker isn’t at this social function that you’ve been lurking around, waiting for her to show up at? Because she’s seen what you’re selling and she’s not buying. She’s out with her musician/fireman boyfriend from Spain named Raul who loves Pablo Neruda’s poems and who volunteers at animal shelters on the weekends. Aside from some of the obvious glaring differences, do you know what Raul has over you? He took the time to get to know her as a human being, not just someone’s sister/bff/roomie/co-worker. Also, he can cook. Just sayin’.
So next time you find this question forming at the tip of your lips, stop and think. I know, I novel concept, but one that I am confident will take you far. Doubtless there will be other glaring blunders that you make along the way, but at least you will have learned to treat women—even the un-hot ones— like human beings. And who knows, eventually you may just become one, yourself.
A Concerned Citizen