The 10 to 5 for Guys

“I read your advice columns all the time,” an overserved friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend recently said to me during the Giants-Cowboys game last week at Liberty.

“Of course you read them,” I responded assuredly. And what did you think, Love?”

“Well, I found them funny coming from you,” she responded.

I knew what was coming next, so I simply nodded my head.


“Because since you’re still single,” she continued, “you don’t seem to get how guys screw up with us. If you did, you would be married by now. For you to be an authority on what women do wrong is quite ironic.”

I smiled and cheerfully explained to her that people actually get married in their thirties and therefore should still be able to offer advice on the subject…even if I was portrayed as being “unsuccessful” in the wedding department. Besides, I said, “While some characterize being unattached as ‘unsuccessful’, I prefer calling it being selective.”

Still, it did get me thinking. I have heard the horror stories, particularly in the past month, of some of the mistakes men make while courting those of the fairer sex. I couldn’t believe the anecdotes of incompetence I was hearing…

So while I’m lacking someone to go to Pottery Barn with, and while some ex-girlfriends would sacrifice their 401Ks to share all the past errors of my ways with the world in this space (and I know who you are…insert eye roll here), I’ll still go ahead and offer ten ways guys don’t get it.


Because despite my track record, I DO get it.

10) Falling in love too fast: One of my shore house roommates, the beautiful and intelligent Gina, was recently approached by what she described as a “gorgeous” guy at The Madison on a Friday night. The following morning she called another member of my house, Suzanne, to tell her that she was absolutely “in love.” Apparently Gina and Mr. Wonderful talked for hours upon their initial meeting and her attraction for him and his salt and pepper Clooney thing was something she hadn’t experienced for a long time.

Suzanne then relayed the story on to me.

“So Gina said she’s done,” Suzanne proclaimed. “She met a mature, older guy who doesn’t play games or act like a fraternity boy.”

“How much older?” I asked.

Well, he’s older.” Suzanne replied slowly.

“Old like me?” I pressed.

“Well, you’re old,” the 30-year-old Suzanne replied, never missing a chance to make me reach for the Botox needle, “But he’s, um, old.”

“So what are we talking?” I asked. “37?”

“She thinks he’s about 42.”

“So what’s wrong with him?” I asked. “You can’t be the perfect person, be single, and not have some kind of issue of some significance after age 38.”

“Yeah, something must be up with him,” Suzanne agreed.

On cue, the geriatric formally known as Mr. Wonderful proceeded to call Gina the following day (Saturday) to ask her to do something that night. Mistake #1: While it may seem romantic to act like it was love at first sight by indicating that you really, really can’t wait to see that person again, by calling for a next-day-meeting you will only enhance your chances of never seeing them again. That nonsense only works in Renee Zellweger movies…

You had me at hello?

Not in Hoboken, Mrs. Jerry McGuire…

And for the girls reading this that think that’s sweet, please. Unless you’re equally as desperate or believe that 12 soulmates that live within a 20 mile radius exist for you, guys like that usually end up being a bit too needy in the beginning, which morphs into protective, which morphs again into OJ jealous.

Wisely, Gina said she had plans that night. So he proceeded to make Mistake #2, which I now realize is helping this column practically write itself:

9. Never pick a day when asking a girl out for the first time.

By doing #9 above, men put themselves in an impossible-to-escape-Blair Witch corner. A girl could say no to, say, a specifically chosen date and time for two reasons:

a) They may actually have plans already. b) They are actually trying to blow you off.

The problem with this kind of situation is that there is no way of knowing what her intentions and itinerary are; that is, of course, unless the girl offers up another night to go out upon initial rejection. At all costs try to avoid the awkwardness of a proposal such as, “Oh, you’re busy Saturday night night? Ok, how’s Sunday brunch? Sunday dinner? Oh, you’re going away for the weekend? Ok, how about Monday after work? Midnight at Malibu diner on Tuesday? Starbucks on the way to the PATH on Wednesday?”

Go that route and it will be time to sign up for Pride 101 class.

So when courting a gal for an initial rendezvous, always be ambiguous, i.e., “What are you doing later this week?” or “How’s your weekend looking?” By following this simple suggestion, you’ll be able to pick and choose from several evenings after she’s forced to disclose what’s open and what isn’t.

In Gina’s case of the old man, by falling in love too soon and not utilizing what most men forget is always on their side–patience–he was forced to ask her what she was doing on Sunday by calling again for a second consecutive day. He then called again Monday with the same intention. Gina, a doctor with a quirky, non 9-5 weekday schedule, quickly got scared of all of the attention, as well as his appearance of not having anything to do for the rest of his life but take her out for the first time.

Game over.

8. You can’t say their name enough.

Nothing personalizes a conversation and keeps one’s attention more effectively than saying a girl’s name when speaking. Men need to understand something: You’re not as interesting as you think you are, so if you want a girl to feel a little more special, a little more like an individual, incorporate their name into the conversation instead of rambling on like you can talk underwater.

For example:

Joe: “Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War in ’03, Jennifer, and now says the war was a big mistake after reading opinion polls and getting booed at campaign rallies earlier in the year. So now she acts like she was always against the war because while it made good political sense to support it four years ago when it looked to be a quick and easy skirmish, she now will say simply anything to get herself elected without thinking of any long-term consequences of a quick pullout.”

Jennifer: “But Joe, Giuliani has a lisp.”

Joe: “You know what, Jennifer? (pause…lean forward…make re-assuring eye contact, perhaps gently touch her knee while grinning so you don’t portray yourself as some political psycho) I would rather have a guy who speaks through the courage of his convictions with a lisp than someone who speaks well enough to get elected but whose words are meaningless.”

See how it privatizes the conversation?

Giuliani/Rice 2008 approves this message…

The pill is one dimensional…

Most men have been in this position: After a fourth-to-seventh date, it’s midnight and candles are burning while that sure-fire John Mayer CD plays in the background of the wonderful world of foreplay back at your apartment. It feels like you’re doing 90 MPH on a bike going downhill without breaks, and both you and your yet-to-be-verbally-defined-as-such-girlfriend are making out like your plane is about to go down.

After the counterclockwise tease of heavy petting is too intense to resist, she breathlessly asks if “you have anything on you.” Since “clothes” are no longer a possible correct answer, “anything” obviously means the square package that George Costanza once stated is best opened when treated “like a bag of chips.”

But in this case, you don’t have anything in the apartment, and you proceed to explain that supplies in the top dresser drawer are currently depleted. She replies that it’s not a problem because she’s on the pill, so it’s okay to go unprotected, at least this time.

Since logic left town fifteen minutes ago, you agree with her assessment of the situation and proceed to make love like sea otters. “She can’t get pregnant” you justify in your mind, and besides, it’s nice for the trunk to actually feel unfettered .

The only problem with this kind of thinking is that it fails to address those pesky STD’s that are more prevalent in a town like Hoboken than most of us care to believe. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes…they’re all out there, and we all know at least someone who has one of the aforementioned. All it takes is one irresponsible experience to attract one of these embarrassing infections or life-changing diseases (Herpes, which, like luggage, stays with a person for life).

So while the pill invariably saves a couple from Lamaze classes in the near future, it isn’t an excuse to ignore other sexual issues quietly facing our generation. For 7-47 minutes of glory, the long-term risk simply isn’t worth it…and she’ll respect the fact that you’re thinking about your collective health. After she gets checked out (and you do as well…like Johnny Drama does “every other week”) go nuts (no pun intended).

6. Arrogance is good

My rival/friend Mike recently dressed up for Halloween as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Brilliant move my the man aptly nicknamed “Arrogance.” Sure, Arrogance won’t be picked to be the next Bachelor (on ABC) anytime soon, but he does exude a peculiar overconfidence that constantly challenges a woman’s motivation to change him into a more humble creature.

Since women embrace a challenge even more than men, a guy like Arrogance is constantly fighting off respectable, attractive women. He’s not an angry arrogant man, but one that mixes in a candid sense of humor with cockiness. His active dating life used to not make any sense to those in his inner circle, but we are starting to get it now.

Despite every girl’s open desire to meet a nice guy, don’t be fooled: Nice guys really do finish last. While it’s, well, nice, that you aren’t an asshole, it’s worse if you don’t provide a girl a reason to be attracted to you in her gut. A woman’s intuition is what drives her bus in the end, and if a guy doesn’t exude a Harrison Ford/Han Solo or Bruce Willis/David Addison or Jack Nicholson/Something Gotta’s Give persona, then it’s going to end up being a case ordering orange juice for one at Sunday Brunch.

Since men are also known to consist of 98 percent of all Attention Deficit Disorder cases, I’ll allow these five points of advice to resonate for two weeks until my next column on September 28, where we will explore the poignant slabs of wisdom known as “Guys Who Get It Pointers Five-through-One.”

In the meantime, here’s a freebie. When you do get a girlfriend, treat her with the same respect as you would your mother. She will partially judge you on the relationship between yourself and the person who gave birth to you; the way you treat Mom is the way you’ll eventually treat her.

See you on the 28th…