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Intermission, 2001/09/18:04:48

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  • wrote a program to let people add to the prayer (please do!)
  • gave Gayle paper copies of the prayer to take to her son, a New York City paramedic working in the disaster area; sent him an electronic copy
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  • boy meets girl
    I've had the news on all evening, and now the very weird "Rendez View" dating show is on. Commentators watch a video tape of a blind date and make predictions and assessments. I'm especially disturbed by the interpretations of the woman's mannerisms and gestures. Here are the thoughts the show inspired:

    1. What does it mean when a woman licks her lips? (It means that her lips are dry, she has a nervous habit, she's checking her lip color, or she's making sure there is no food stuck on her lips or teeth. Does it mean she wants to have sex? Get real. Is that what you mean, when you lick your lips?)
    2. What does it mean when a woman "tosses" her hair? (It means that her hair is in her way, in her face, itching her neck, or otherwise bothering her; or that she has a nervous habit; or that she's just trying make sure that her hair is neat and organized. Women with long hair do this. Women with short hair do not. Make sense now?)
    3. What does it mean when a woman's hand brushes a man's thigh, apparently by accident? (It means that it was an accident. You're familiar with the concept, yes?)
    4. What does it mean when a woman laughs at a man's joke? (It means she thinks it's funny; or she's being polite; or she's nervous. Does it mean she's hot for you? Please. Is that why you laugh at jokes?)
    5. But what if it's a dirty joke? (See previous answer.)
    6. What if you tell a dirty joke and the woman doesn't laugh? (It means she didn't think it was funny. If you try another dirty joke and she still doesn't laugh, you're already boring her. Knock it off.)
    7. What does it mean when a woman touches her chest? (It means she's adjusting her bra, or making sure nothing is showing, or something itched or felt uncomfortable, or it's a mannerism. Does it mean she's trying to tell you to have sex with her tonight? Good grief. Is that what you mean when you touch your chest?)
    8. What does it mean when a woman tells you she'd like to have sex with you? (It means she'd like to have sex with you. Does it mean, like, right now? Not necessarily. What's the context?)
    9. What if you can see her nipples standing out through her clothing? (It probably means they're cold or uncomfortable. Does it mean she's ready for sex? No. It's not like a penile erection; experiment with your own nipples to understand this important fact.)
    What should you do if you think you're getting mixed signals? Very simple. Stop reading "signals". Talk to the woman. A few sentences of conversations are worth a million "signals".

    Never, ever, ever, ever ask another man what any particular behavior or mysterious phrase means: he will not know, but he will feel compelled to make something up to seem knowledgeable about women. You're better off staring into your tea leaves or getting a tarot reading. Don't listen to men's unsolicited advice about or assessments of women, either. I don't think I've ever heard a man say anything sensible about what women want or need or know or feel, other than the few who have conjectured that they are probably quite similar to men in virtue of being human. Instead of consulting a man on such matters, ask a woman. Ask her what it means when she flips her hair or licks her lips. You will almost certainly learn that there is nothing mysterious about what she's doing or saying, and that she is very much like you.

    If, on the other hand, you find that what she tells you is still confusing and mysterious and alien, ask several other women to develop a balanced perspective.
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