Jan 06 2009
Girls, you’re dying to know, aren’t you? Why don’t more guys ask you out? Are you not pretty enough? Are you not cool enough? Do you not wear the right clothes?
The whole subject is super complicated. I don’t claim that what I’m about to say in this series is either exhaustive or, come to think of it, necessarily right. I’m writing here for my own sake, for my friends, and maybe even for you – to understand what in the world is going on with guys these days.
All the Single Ladies
I can see it, ladies. You’re all together at someone’s house on a Saturday night. You’ve all put on dresses and you’re sipping the finest Riesling you can afford with a smattering of imported cheeses laid out on a serving dish that costs too much but looks fabulous. You’re giggling and talking about all kinds of girl things like lunges, nutrition, and how you’d buy some La Mer lotion if you could afford it. Oh, but something is missing. Everyone knows it, but no one really says it. Glorious testosterone is absent from your party. Yes, there is another party happening across town.
Dudes Night Out
About 8 miles away, a group of dudes pack into a living room with a big screen TV that is turned up way too loud and showing a sporting event. There’s a bunch of junk food, beer with names no one can pronounce, and a raucous atmosphere characterized by excessive laughing, back slapping, and occasional bowel movements that repulse the entire room. Oh, but something is missing. Everyone knows it, but no one really says it. Glorious estrogen is absent from the party.
Back at the girls party, someone eventually says, “I wonder what the guys are doing tonight.” Wild theories and speculation abound with hasty generalizations about our gross-ness that elicit laughter and disgust simultaneously. Then someone says, “I bet they’re talking about us.”
The High Life
And you’re absolutely right. We’re being gross and we’re talking about you. Not all night, but at a certain point – usually about 60-90 minutes in to the evening – someone brings one of you girls up. The next 15-30 minutes are spent talking about you. Some guy will be bold enough to say, usually out of the blue, “Oh, man, I think [fill in the blank of a girl’s name] is hot.”
This statement serves one of two purposes. The speaker is either making a general observation or laying claim to the girl. The difference can be deduced in the volume of praise the speaker does or does not give the girl. If it’s a general observation, the original speaker will simply make his statement and let it go. An informal vote pours in from around the room, confirming or negating the original observation: “Yeah she is!”, “No doubt”, “She’s fine, homes”, “I don’t think she’s all that”, or “Gross!”
However, if the guy repeatedly states the girl’s hotness and/or talks about her at length AND has a reasonable shot at going out with her, his proclamation roughly establishes an agreement with everyone present that he has dibs. Without actually saying it, he’s basically said, “Listen up, no one else in here is allowed to like her. She’s mine.”
If another guy desires to make a play at the girl within some reasonable period of time (usually 2 months, though more if the guy is sensitive), he must get permission from the guy who made the initial claim. This agreement, dubbed by me as a gentleman’s agreement in its truest form, is only binding to those present at the party. For such an informal structure, it is surprisingly rigid. Anyone who breaks the protocol is subject to being excluded from future get-togethers or ostracized completely from the group. I’ve seen this happen in real life.
Now before you get upset, ladies, it should be noted that the gentleman’s agreement is a distant cousin to your own agreement – the girls’ pact – a mechanism designed by girls to actually forbid the dating of ANY guys. That is a topic beyond the scope of this post.
The End of the Discussion
After we’ve admired girls’ looks, someone else says, “Dude, the other day [fill in the blank of a girl’s name] did the most annoying thing.” He then tells a story that really IS annoying and everyone else thinks, “I don’t want to date her.” If, by chance, you [a guy] had a thing for her before, she loses 10 points. And you’re not really sure how many points she had before, but losing points is bad.
This goes on for 15-30 minutes until the game we’re watching has an incredible play and everyone yells really loud or we run out of things to say and start wrestling. Not really. We’re meatheads, but very few parties contain any form of wrestling.
What would surprise you, girls, is that many of you are talked about positively. Many of you are called cute. Most of you are well-liked. So what gives? Why aren’t guys asking you out? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve been working on condensing some explanation into a (hopefully) useful, semi-compact form where there’s some structure that will lend itself to a discussion and/or further examination/clarification.
The End of This Post
For as jokey as this is, I want to understand our lives better. That’s what I’m after. It is really my hope that this series will help all of us single people start looking at relationships a little differently. Maybe just a super-small-sliver differently – to build momentum and new thought categories to a new way of relationships. If that fails, I’ll at least try to be funny.
It’s going to take a number of posts to explain all this, though. I’m like a crappy local news broadcast: “Want to know why guys aren’t asking you out? Tune in tomorrow.” I can tell you this – it has nothing to do with the guy who is laying claim to you. It’s much deeper than that!
Here’s the link to Part 2.