Once upon a James
I’m trying to figure something out today. I read an article in a Saturday Mag once. It described how women and men see things in a different light, the way us girls like to analyse every word and gesture and nuance, and how a ‘white elephant’ to a guy is a ‘thing’ to a girl.
How he didn’t try to ‘catch’ for three months coz he really liked her, how she thought he was a gentleman for the first three dates of chilling, then started to wonder if he was gay. How he finally asked for the next level. To him the next level was breakfast, in her kitchen. To her it was marriage. Long nasty story.
I’ve had my fair share of ‘lost in translation’ moments so I want to try and debunk a few myths. No offense to any of my IM buddies – ahem*ahem* – I quote in love, not mockery.
The imaginary conversation is between me (being CB), two 21st century girls, and a guy we all adore, in a totally platonic, used-to-have-a-crush-on him-back-in-the-day kind of way. I credit KK for the style – I knicked it off his Vals post. NB : James’ italic statements are not meant to be heard by the rest of us.
CB : So I met this guy today.
Sue : Was he hot?
CB : Duh!!
Tina : Any good vibes?
CB : Plenty
James : oh boy
CB : He reads my blog
Tina : Point. Does he like it?
CB : He says I write delectably.
James : Groan
CB : What. You have a problem with my delectable writing?
James : Normal guys don’t say ‘delectable’. If he likes your blog, he’ll say it’s good, or cool. Or simply that you write well. ‘Delectable’ is a word you use in your CV. Or to score.
CB : Oh yeah? well he said delectable. In context. That means he’s smart.
James : No, that means he reads newspapers and owns a dictionary.
Tina : (sang in the tune of the wedding song) Here comes the jacket…
CB : (blushing) Maybe…probably…
Sue : You are so easy! So did you offer it?
CB : Yep
Tina : And he said…?
CB : That he has the uneasy feeling it would be a perfect fit.
Sue : Ooooooh that’s sooo romantic! Did he try it on?
James : I bet he changed the subject.
CB : Actually, he did change the subject…how did you know?
James : Coz he didn’t mean it.
CB : And how would you know that?
James : Coz if he meant it, he wouldn’t talk about it, he’d just wear it. If a guy likes you, he’ll say so. He won’t leave you guessing.
CB : But he did say it. He said my jacket would be a perfect fit. That means he wants to wear it.
James : CB, if a man wants to wear your love jacket, he will simply take it, wear it, and swap with his, so that you don’t feel cold.
Silence as the girls discover James has depth.
James : What.
CB : Nothing. But you’re wrong. I know he likes me. He kept saying all these beautiful things to me…
James : That’s called flirting.
CB : But he wasn’t! I told him not to flirt with me. I told him I always take flirts more seriously than they meant to be taken.
Tina : What did he say to that?
CB : He said he would double the dosage in future.
James giggles. [do guys giggle?]
CB : WHAT.
James : Kwani what do you think he meant?
CB : Obvious! If I take flirts seriously, and he wants to double the dose, then it means he wants me to take him seriously.
James attempts suicide, in more ways than one, by laughing his head off. CB ignores him.
CB : It was in his voice. The way he said it. His voice was reaaaal soft, you know, almost whispering. It sounded sooo tender. And he was looking right into my eyes…sigh
James : booty call
CB : What was that?
James : Any dude who reads your blog knows how to push your buttons, you don’t exactly hide them.
Tina : He makes a good point.
CB : Shidwe. The lot of you. Sue, surely you can recognise the look. Besides, he gazes at me, then he smiles, this secret smile. You know the secret smile.
Sue : True, if a man looks at you like that and smiles, it means he likes you.
James : Or it means your dress is funny, or you have spinach in your teeth, or he’s thinking about the girl at the strip club last night…
Luckily for James, all the missiles in the room are stuffed with faux cotton, and they all head his way.
Sue : Did you ask him what he was thinking?
CB : Duh
James : (smothered by cushions) And he said?
CB : That he was thinking I’m beautiful.
James : smart man
Sue : He totally digs you.
James : Ladies, guys are not as complicated as you are. If a man likes you, he’ll tell you, and ask you out. If he doesn’t, he won’t. Sometimes a guy just flirts to flirt. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere, that’s why when you step up the flirts to more, he runs.
That silence again.
CB : Why would a guy do that?
James : I dunno. Coz he’s a guy. It’s an ego boost to flirt well. And it’s good target practice.
CB : Target practice? Do I look like a dartboard?
James : Yes.
CB : Why you-
James : Si kwa ubaya. Look, a guy has to polish, so that when he finds a girl he likes, he has some back-up. You said it yourself, when a dude finds his Eve he goes ga-ga. The mind goes blank, the palms sweat, the tongue refuses. So it helps if he can call some lines from memory. (Sigh) Sadly when you really need those skills, they fail you.
CB : So assuming you’re right, then if a man flirts with me, he doesn’t want me, but if he doesn’t flirt with me, then he likes me.
Sue : That’s ridiculous. That means half the men on earth want to marry me.
James : That’s another thing. You girls see an interesting dude and you’re on wedding bells mode. A guy dates a girl to date a girl. Period. Marriage comes later. So if you push the ring too soon, he runs.
CB : Thrrr. Back to the point. So he got a call on his cell. And he was asked what he was doing.
James : Was he on speaker phone?
CB : No
James : Then how do you know what he was asked?
CB : Coz he said “I’m sitting at Tacos with this girl.” Then he was asked to describe me.
James : And you know this becauuuseeee…?
CB : Because he looked right at me and said “She’s beautiful”
Sue : Aaaaaaawww, you have all the luck.
James : all the luck of fly in a WC
CB : Well, James, nothing to say about that?
James : You wouldn’t believe me anyway, so why bother?
CB : Okay smart guy, since you have all the answers, he told me there’s this girl he really likes, but he doesn’t have the courage to pursue her. So I’m going to ask him out.
James : WHAT?? Why would you do that?
CB : He was obviously talking about me-
James : Right. He has the guts to say you’re beautiful – and those are REAL guts – but he doesn’t have the guts to ask you out?
CB : Well…but why would a guy be scared to ask a girl out?
James : Coz he’s crazy about her.
Tina laughs out loud.
James : It’s true. If a guy wants to score, it’s a 50-50 thing. Kama mbaya, mbaya. If he gets, good, if not, there’s plenty more fish. But if he really likes her, rejection would crush him, so he’s scared to try. He doesn’t want to get hurt.
CB : So what ** is a girl supposed to do?
James : She waits. If the guy really likes her, he’s got to be willing to risk getting hurt. Once he does that, it means he’s really sunk, and the girl will be treated like the queen she is.
CB : Ah huh. So I just sit and wait for the guy to find his guts. How fun.
James : It’ll save you getting hurt. Coz he won’t risk it until he’s really serious about you.
James : Look at it this way. It’s the cookie jar. A guy likes to chase. So he chases the girl, takes sample, gets bored, moves on. If she won’t give him a taste, he could try till he gets some, or he could move on. If she doesn’t give, she doesn’t get hurt.
CB : So then…how will I know he’s the one? How will I know he won’t get bored after I give?
James : By not giving, duh! See how far he’s willing to push. And for the record, if he genuinely likes you, it’ll take him a while to gather his guts. He won’t ruin it by pushing you into anything you’re not ready for. He’ll take a while to be ‘ready’ too. True love is scary bana.
Another thoughtful silence.
CB : I met him again later. I said hi and he started stammering.
Sue : Stammering? Oh, he likes you for sure. He’s speechless !
James : Or scared you’d seen him chatting up that girl around the corner.
More missiles . Poor James.
Tina : I got a question. There’s this guy who only calls me when he’s high. What’s with that?
CB : Simple. Dutch courage. Booze makes people do stuff they’re too scared to do while sober. Or too sensible. That’s why you can name-call your boss when you’re drunk. You always hate him, but when you’re sober, you know you’ll get fired. So you do it when you’re drunk.
Tina : Maybe…coz whenever he’s sober he avoids me.
James : Probably coz he’s embarassed about calling you at midnight. Doesn’t mean he likes you.
Sue : Aw c’mon. If a man calls me when he’s drunk and says he loves me, it must mean something.
James : Sure. It means he got drunk, picked his phone, called you, and said ‘I love you.’ Kwani?
CB : Fork jembe! It’s obvious that he adores her and is just too scared to say it!!
James : If a man loves you, he will love you when he’s drunk and when he’ sober. And if he really wants to be with you, he’ll take you seriously enough to say it when he’s sober. Several times, just to be sure you got the message.
CB : Sigh. I give up. Women and men will never understand each other.
James : You’re a genius! Applause to the lady.
And the final missile flies.
James : I don’t know why you bother. You know you have lousy aim.
A few more missiles. These ones land right on target.
Tina : But we don’t!
Sue : Bull’s eye!!
So, in conclusion, four lessons:
1. Girls, if you want to know what a guy means, don’t ask your girls, ask him. Immediately. Before he forgets what he just said.
2. Guys, if you like a girl, tell her. It will save her hours of agony wondering whether that was a wink, a blink, or a drunk mosquito lost in your eye.
3. Girls, men call spades spades. They can’t tell a soup ladle from a dessert spoon. So take what they say at face value. Save yourself the drama, don’t analyse.
4. Guys, women will analyse everything you say, don’t say, do, or don’t do. We will start with the colour of your shirt and end with the direction you chose to tie your shoe. Don’t try to understand it, just accept it, live with it, and try to help us out by being less cryptic when you flirt.
PS : There’s a bug floating around blogville. The symptoms are lack of mojo and discommentiosis. Fatalities include this one , this one and this one. We have been carrying out experiments with necromancy and the like, and have managed to resurrect this one.
The first fatality is clinically dead, but there is some brain activity, so we may be able to jumpstart his left hand, fingers crossed..
My doctor has prescribed bed rest, and lots of chocolate. So if you don’t see me for a while, i’ll be in my blankets getting a sugarfix. Meanwhile, my temp will drop the occasional memo from google archives. I’m off to hunt for mojo. Adios…and asta la vista **waving**