Let’s face it: women are as mysterious as they are intoxicating. When I had less hair on my chest I regularly found myself tripped up by the cryptic web of nonsense that the fairer sex would throw my way. I don’t claim to be an expert but I survived those pratfalls with no permanent damage and now live the life of your run-of-the mill Bro. For those brotheren (see what I did there?) that are still in high school or college, I’ve compiled a list of some of the curveballs that females will throw your way. My compatriots, a PR man and an ex-baseball player and I have agreed upon literal translations based on our shared experiences with women. We even threw in a nickel’s worth of free advice for each. Memorize and take heed.
1. “My cousin is so pretty, isn’t she?”
Translation: “Do you want to bang my cousin?”
Our advice: We started you off with a pretty standard switch-and-bait that every chick has in her wheelhouse. Trust me: she doesn’t want to hear that you think her cuz has developed into a babe of Upton-level proportions. She also doesn’t want to hear that you don’t agree with her opinion about her cousin, no matter how stupid of a concept that is. So for the first of many times today we’re going to tell you: don’t answer this. Instead respond with something along the lines of “She’s not as pretty as her older cousin,” and quickly change the subject. It’s a compliment as well as a non-answer. A non-answer is essential in the development of your expertise in navigating these waters.
2. “I’ll just have a salad.”
Translation: “I’m starving, but I’m mad we went somewhere I don’t like.”
Our advice: Nine times out of ten, the conversation that proceeded went something like this. “Where do you want to go to eat?” “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” “Doesn’t matter to me, just choose somewhere.” So you choose, and surprise surprise, you chose wrong. So instead of just telling you she came to the epiphany that she wants Thai food, instead she puts herself in a worse mood by eating carrots and a few scraps of lettuce for dinner. Our advice on this is to weather the storm. She’s only shooting herself in the foot. Plus you get to save money on her meal as well as enjoy that slice of banana cream pie from Max and Erma’s you’ve been craving.
3. “What are you thinking about?”
Translation: “Compliment me.”
Our advice: Don’t answer this. She doesn’t want to hear what you’re actually thinking about (for me, it’s usually sex, quotes from The Departed or the current state of my bowels). She wants to unlock the treasure chest that she thinks is your emotional and fragile soul. One that, according to every romantic novel she’s read, pines and obsesses about her day and night. Basically nothing less than “Just how happy I’ve been since the day I met you,” will suffice. Bro, don’t lower yourself to this level. Instead, show a sliver of vulnerability by telling her something is bothering you. Nothing major, but just say, “Ah, my neck is a little sore from LA Fitness,” or “Just worried about this presentation next week.” Her mothering instincts will kick in and she’ll feel bad she brought up something that is causing you pain in the first place.
4. “Soooo many of my friends are getting married…”
Translation: “Put a rock on my finger STAT, I'm starting to feel pathetic.”
Our advice: It’s natural for her to experience some jealousy over her sorority sisters having picture perfect fiancés and picture perfect weddings. God knows she’ll drag you to enough of them this summer. However you’re not just being paraded around in front of her friends as arm candy. It’s a warning to the other girls. A warning that goes, “Meet him and like him ladies because soon you’re going to be coming to our wedding. Which will kick the shit out of this one.” If you’re not with The One or doubt such a thing exists, the best way to deflect this statement is simple. “Yeah, I hope they work out. My [random person] got married young (random person can be aunt and uncle, neighbors, etc) and they didn’t last long.” This will hopefully bring her back down to planet Earth, where she realizes she needs to get a steady job and her life together before wedding bells ring.
5. “Look at this photo of my nephew Aiden! And this photo. And this photo…”
Translation: “Put a baby in me STAT.”
Our advice: If you’re not engaged to this chick or you’ve only been seeing her for a year or so, our advice is simple. Run, son.
6. “I’m fine.”
Translation: “I’m decidedly not fine, and I will not tell you why until the most inopportune moment. Like the fourth quarter, or while we’re walking into the family party.”
Our advice: Our condolences if and when you find yourself in this predicament. Most guys voice their opinions when they feel them. If you did something that pissed me off, I’m going to call you on it. The opposite sex is just that, the opposite. They choose to take whatever it is you did to upset them and spin it around in their head on a demented merry-go-round of instability until the moment they know you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security. Then the hammer comes down. If it’s been some time since the incident, you might not have a clue as to what she’s talking about, which will just give her more rounds of ammunition. Ball games, movies and drinks with friends have all been ruined because “You didn’t seem excited when I reminded you that I’m going to Spain in two months,” or “You clearly weren’t listening when I told you about what happened to me at work today.” Also: anything involving her and her mother → you’re wrong. Here’s our advice: when you hear these dreaded two words, just say, “I know you’re not happy about something, but I really want to talk about it now because I don’t want to spend the rest of our evening upset with one another.” You’re shouldering part of the blame already without knowing what it is and you’re looking out for the both of you. If that doesn’t work, just open the car door, tuck and roll.