I have a new crush. This is Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. Of course I’ve read everything that Wikipedia has to say about him, about the series, about what a breakout character is and what ‘experts’ have surmised about his supposed autistic tendencies.
Now this doesn’t really feel either new or unusual to me. One of my earliest crushes after all, was Jupiter Jones of The Three Investigators. Jupe ‘Baby Fatso’ was a short, stocky know-it-all and strangely devoid of the inadequacies that plague teenage boys. Awesomeness.
I’ve sought to explain this earlier as an Elektra syndrome for men in spectacles. I’ve thought at length about the merit of intelligence as a key point on the list of appealing male attributes. I’ve referred to intellectual stimulation, personal growth and entertainment all in one.
I have even contemplating writing a short story, a romance set in a bookshop. Yes, of course I know it’s a great place to check out books..and umm, their readers.
And now I come upon this site. I actually chanced on an article that talked about why this blog might appeal to women. And then I turned up at the blog itself. To my surprise, relief and mirth, Hot Guys Reading Books is just that. Candid shots of men who are reading. I’m clicking through the archives as I wait for this post to save.
And I’m given to wondering – do I need to explain why I like what I do? Have you ever asked a guy why he prefers blondes? Or within the Indian context, women with long hair? Does anyone seek to understand the various fetishes and quirks that different men find appealing?
I knew a guy who only liked Alpha females. And another one who would never date a woman unless she was Fair n’ Lovely. How about the one that was promptly turned off by women who sat on bikes astride when they were wearing salwar-kameezes? He thought it looked sluttish. Well, there’s no accounting for tastes. And there’s no reason to, I think.
Which is why I’m not going to explain my geekboy obsessions. There’s a world of reading men for me to check up on! (This one I particularly like. It’s funny and smart all in one. Oh okay, I’ll stop thinking and go back to looking!)
So I just read this article by [Redacted] Guy (yes, that’s what he calls himself) about the ten things he wishes his dates wouldn’t do while out with him. He asks for suggestions, so here are mine. Considering it’s a long list (List! List! My favorite word again!), I put it up as a post. Here’s what I soooo wish guys wouldn’t do when on a date with me.
1. Staring at my bust
There is just no excuse for this. Without entirely condoning it, I’m willing to see that a random guy on a bus or across the street may do this. He has the right to look where he wants. And I have the right to mentally strike him off my list of people I would ever go out with. But when I’m on a date with you, I don’t have that option anymore. Not at least till the end of the date, I’m at least that nice. Be nice to me and don’t treat me like a sex object the very minute we start the date.
2. Ogling other women
This follows from the first since some men use the excuse that ‘I can’t look at you so I’ll look at others’. We’re out on a date. That means you and I are getting together to spend some time with each other. Focus on the last three words. One date does not tie you to me but it does warrant the courtesy of your undivided attention at least.
Showing off probably comes naturally to the male species especially when in the presence of the opposite sex. Animals do it, insects do it and human men do it too. Only don’t go on and on about it. The showing off is a mating ritual among the aforementioned life forms and ceases once the connection has been made. Assume that the connection has been made the minute the date has been accepted. There’s really no reason to go on and on about the number of foreign trips you go on, how earth-shatteringly important you are to your company, how you were having tea last week with the Dalai Lama and how many thousand books you read in the past year. It’s off-putting and most importantly it’s boring. I tuned out the minute you started throwing numbers at me.
4. Not listening at all
It’s a conversation. That means both people talk and listen. Talk some, I’ll listen. Then I’ll talk and you need to do more than stare around the room, ask the waiter for refills and interrupt to tell me about the movie I saw. Believe me, I could interest you with more than my bust. I have a sense of humour, an opinion and intelligence too. Give me a chance to let you see that too.
5. Calling me things like ‘Babe’, ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘Honeybun’
It’s a first date. I could be your girlfriend but I’m not, yet. We could be friends but we haven’t gotten to the place, right now. Undue familiarity and worse, sexist phrases are instant turn-offs. I have a name, use it. I might permit you to give me a nickname, but at least be original.
6. Playing SuperShrink
You’ve probably heard that women dabble in pop psychology. Maybe I have issues. Everyone does, it’s normal. Don’t put me under a microscope and psycho-analyze me on a date. It’s immensely offensive to tell me I am afraid of getting too close to men because of my Electra complex. If you’re a doctor, that’s work during a leisure activity. BORING. If you’re not a doctor, it tells me you’re just being a creep.
It’s not cool to be commitment-phobic. I am not concerned with how messy your love life has been so far or how busy you are at work. You can go for a movie alone or have lunch on your own if those are true. If this date is happening, it’s because you agreed to it. Don’t waste my time and yours by coming to a date and then telling me why it can’t go further. If it’s not coming along as well as you thought, just tell me so. I may be disappointed but that’s better than being disgusted. If you’re that terrified of telling me the truth, at least wait till the date’s over. Don’t scuttle it while it’s in progress.
8. Bringing other people along
Are you serious? Friends? Mothers? Siblings? Colleagues? If it’s a date, it’s between two people. Any more and it’s a party, a group or worse – an orgy. I’ve nothing against meeting big groups of people. But not on a date. You ask people out because you want to spend time with them alone. You accept a date for the same reason. For group dos, you get invited and drop in or not. It’s different. Please get that, it messes things up if you don’t.
9. Self-help style follow throughs
This is important. If the date went well, it’s okay to keep in touch. Strike that, it’s good form, it’s good for you and for me to keep in touch. Please forget what you heard about waiting 2 days before calling (or whatever it was you learnt in school and college). Those games are for adolescents. Send a text message saying it was fun and you’d like to catch up again. Add me on Facebook. Email or drop me a note. Open a chat window and say hi. There are loads of embarrassment-free ways to say that you liked what you saw and would like to know more.
10. Being a jerk
This is super-critical so listen up: Do everything or anything in point.9 only, repeat ONLY if you are interested in going out again. There’s no easy way to say that it didn’t quite ‘happen’ so just don’t say anything at all. But don’t prolong the agony by keeping up the conversation. We’ve spent some time in each other’s company. If it didn’t work out, there’s no reason to waste any more of each other’s time. You don’t get brownie NiceGuy points for acting interested when you are not.
* A version is posted to Yahoo! Real Beauty.