Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How to Read a Lady's Signals

Pretty Lady has recently become cognizant of a certain amount of Grumbling, among the male element of the population. "Why cannot women be Direct and Straightforward?" they ask. "Why do they seem to communicate their intentions and desires in an incomprehensible, mercurial and all but subliminal Code? Why are they Flirtatious and Complaisant one moment, and slapping us with sexual harassment lawsuits the next?"

Pretty Lady suspects that these befuddled boys, deep down, believe these questions to be rhetorical. Deep down, she suspects, they believe we are Teasing--that we are driving them to distraction in order to further a hidden Power Agenda, to extract free drinks, admiration and sparkly trinkets. So Pretty Lady hopes these boys will not be too upset when she decides to answer their question, in a direct and straightforward manner. She hopes, furthermore, that they will do her the honor of believing her answer to be sincere.

We. Are. Being. POLITE.

How can you not understand this? Were you born in barns?

Really, boys, can you not tell the difference between the Hollow Laugh and the Tickled Giggle, the Bared Teeth and the Glowing Smile, the Respectful Attitude and the Come-Hither Glance? Can you not comprehend that every lady who treats you with superficial courtesy is not hankering for you over a car hood, but nevertheless may have her own good reasons for failing to treat you with visible contempt? Must it be Passion or Damnation?


For those of you fellows who need a remedial course in Signals 101, then, Pretty Lady recommends that you go and rent The Office--Season 1, and pay particular attention to the episode 'Hot Girl.' Study the Hot Girl's attitude closely. Note her behavior when being towed around by the monstrous Steve Carell; is she smiling? How? Does she make eye contact? For how long? Does she giggle? How does it sound? For how long does she go on giggling? Does she make excuses to get away? Are they sincere?

Now, watch the Hot Girl in interaction with the young fellow with untidy hair. Note smiling, giggling, eye contact and excuse-making, or lack thereof. Compare and contrast.

Is there really any way one could mistake bare politesse for smouldering attraction? Really?

Pretty Lady, for once in her life, is at a loss for words.


Anonymous said...

Somewhat related: don't you hate it when someone who you thought was a friend starts hitting on you? I can only conclude that the animal/testosterone/biological furthering of the species urge kicks into overdrive and occasionally overpowers the knowledge of the history of the relationship. I have had men tell me that whenever, WHENEVER, they are friends with a woman, they are thinking about having sex with her. I feel I have to accept this as a natural fact of human biology but I find it slightly disturbing because it makes me feel that I'm never truly safe from the predatory aspect of men.


Pretty Lady said...

Yes, indeed. I had one college friend who would make an annual pass at me, despite the fact that every former attempt had ended with me firmly booting him out the door and locking it behind him. He wasn't even really into me--it was the simple juxtaposition of 'woman here now, how about we have sex?'

The thing that really bothered me was that it wasn't even a 'friendship leading to relationship' situation in his mind, it was just a mindless, compartmentalized animal impulse. You'd think a philosophy major would be more conscious than that.

In latter years I've gotten a whole lot better at saying 'down, boy!' and not having it undermine the friendship, however. Growing older has its good points.

The Aardvark said...

I thought that you were a kind soul, PL. That you would wish "The Office" on ANYONE is monstrous.


I would as soon live in signal ignorance as to be put through that.

(Ya miss me?)

Pretty Lady said...

Yes, of course I miss you, dear Aardvark. But an episode of 'The Office' is not too strong a tonic for some of the idiots whom Pretty Lady has encountered in the course of her travels. Any man who makes speeches, in the face of her bared teeth and folded arms, about the suppressed pining for his unattractive self which he knows he can sense, behind her defensive demeanor, deserves no better.

The Aardvark said...

I bow...chastised.