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Friday, March 16, 2012

Boys & Girls

by Sam Nelson (bio)

When I was in high school there was a huge craze over the Satsuma scented body butter by The Body Shop. Girls would lather on the potent orangy-smelling lotion and fill the halls with the rich tangy smell of satsumas. In the minds of the girls and all their friends, they were cleverly luring the boys with the strong smell of sweet artificial oranges. What they didn’t realize, though, was that this particular smell wasn’t really that attractive to us.To boys, the strong artificial orange smell reminded us of urinal cakes. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with the smell ... it’s a very fresh smell. It just reminds us of urinals.

From my observation, I’ve noticed there is similar confusion about what is interesting in the returned missionary dating field and I want to clear up the fog a little bit.

1. Boys are the best source for info about boys. Sometimes I wonder if girls aren't spending a lot of time trying to attract boys by worrying about things boys don’t care about. Want to hear a secret? Weird new styles that clothing vendors try to push as the latest fashion make girls no more attractive to me. Nor do their nails, shoes, poofy shorts, or giant belts. These things don't make you less attractive, either. I’m just pretty sure the only people who will ever care is other girls. (Unless you're pursuing a guy who is really into women's fashion).

I think the problem is that girls get all their boy advice from other girls and boys get their girl advice from boys. The other night we had a bunch of girls over and had a really long discussion about what girls and guys really like. It was fascinating for us guys to hear what girls thought was appealing to guys, and vice-versa. Girls had a really hard time understanding such basic things. When one of my friends said, “If I really like a girl, it will be a long time before I kiss her,” it immediately made sense to every guy in the room, but none of the girls understood what he was talking about. When one of the girls said, “I never text guys first even if I really like them,” all of the guys in the room were surprised. Which actually brings my to my next point ...

2. The hard to get game doesn't work. At least not with me. I know you are smirking and thinking, "Ooooh, he THINKS it doesn't work, but he has no idea,” as if it does but I don’t realize it. But really, it doesn't work. If your goal is to be more intriguing, I guess it works kind of. But not enough for the strategy to ever work out if they want to date me. I've never ended up “going out” with a girl who was “hard to get” in the beginning.

This is usually what happens ...

1. I’ll be interested in a girl and ask her out.
2. We'll have fun and I’ll be pretty sure she's interested in me.
3. Even after the date she is slow to text me back and never texts me first.
4. I assume (i) she isn't actually interested in me, (ii) she is playing games or (iii) she is dumb.
5. All of these reasons bug me.
6. I move on.
7. A couple weeks later she texts me out of the blue to see how I’m doing.
8. I roll me eyes and don’t respond.
9. There’s another girl I have my eyes on anyway.
10. (see step 1)

Playing “hard to get” might make a girl more intriguing, but also makes her easily replaceable.

3. Boys speak and interpret directly. I don’t know if I will ever be able to decode the communication system of women. She will say I "always" do something that bugs her, I will disagree (because it’s true), then she will say she didn’t really mean "always" and then start talking about completely unrelated things she is right about. Then she will start arguing with me as if I disagreed with her about those things in the first place! How in the heck am I ever supposed to know what she is talking about?

4. We have different senses of humor. When girls are together they start making funny faces, or weird voices, and often dance in “crazy” ways. This will be so funny to them that they start genuinely belly laughing and will talk for days about how funny it was. I have a different sense of humor. Don’t be surprised when I have a hard time laughing about your antics or when you don’t see me making these types of jokes with my friends.

5. Forget about high school. Girls not sought after in high school may be in for a surprise when they start dating returned missionaries. My taste in women switched 180 degrees after the mission and every returned missionary I've talked to feels the same way. Interestingly, the cream of the crop right now (at least for me and the guys I hang out with) often weren't sought after in high school.

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