Be Brave, Boys!


Why do good girls go for bad boys? So many sensible, and perhaps embittered, young men have voiced the question. The answer is quite obvious. Bad boys are often brave boys. That’s it.

My cat, Oreo, has mastered the art of manipulation. He knows exactly how to play me in order to get what he desires. When it is close to feeding time, he meanders by me, purring and watching me closely. If I enter the kitchen, he closes the gap between us and rubs his little body against my legs. Then he peers up toward my eyes, hoping he has captured my focus. When, at last, he believes I am paying attention, he bolts to his food bowl. If I ignore him, he scrutinizes my every movement, waiting for the opportune moment to repeat his ritual. And he does repeat that ritual. He repeats and repeats until he sees results.

It amazes me what my cat is willing to try in order to eat a little more than usual. Ordinarily, he is timid. If a stranger enters my home, my cat retreats to my bedroom. If an adventurer such as my nephew enters my home and searches for my feline, he cowers in a box in the closet of my bedroom. Boldness is not one of Oreo’s primary attributes. However, hunger transforms my cowardly kitty into a fearless lion. If someone new enters my apartment within a half hour of his typical feeding time, he faces his fears and flirts for food. All the same tactics he uses on me are aimed at this new person. Anything to satisfy his hunger. Even more striking than his newfound courage, however, is his persistence. Oreo never gives up. If he is blatantly ignored, he sometimes rests. But as soon as he sees a person notice him, he tries again.  And again. And again.

The bank examiners are visiting my workplace this week. One of the group looks to be roughly my age. He’s pretty cute. No wedding ring. So I walked by him today and chirped, “Good morning!”

He looked up at me, visibly surprised, and returned the greeting. Makes sense he looked surprised – what kind of a banker looks happy to see an auditor? I’m sure he’s accustomed to getting nasty glares or syrupy sweet suck-up comments – not genuine friendliness.

Anyhow, after that the door was opened. When I ran into him in the hall I smiled warmly. Each time I passed him I tried to exude affability. It seemed to be working, too. He looked back into my eyes and returned the smile – hesitantly at first. But as the day progressed his smile broadened more and more.

As I gazed into this man’s eyes I perceived some introversion, intelligence, and of course, interest. He likes me! It is so obvious… I can see a kind, somewhat nerdy, bashful boy when I look into those eyes. I like that type of guy. I am totally intrigued by a man who is stable, loyal, and mature. He does not need Brad Pitt’s facial features. He does not need Hercules’ strength. If he turns out to be a genuinely nice guy, he does not need an extraordinary measure of charm either. I will take a man with solid integrity and a personality that meshes with mine any day over the Casanova from the other office.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lady-Killer in the other office has something that Mr. Sweetiepie Bank-Examiner does not. Guts. No, not a gut. Guts. Mr. Lady-Killer is fearless about asking for phone numbers, hinting toward dates, and flirting just for the fun of it.

As much as I already like Mr. Sweetiepie Bank-Examiner, I have zero faith that the man will be brave enough to ask me for my phone number before he’s finished working at my bank. He beams at my smile. My attention toward him probably made his day.

Sadly, when he sees me on Monday, the most he will hope for is another winning smile. He may strike up the nerve to say something to me. But we don’t run into each other all that much. The only way he will be able to make things happen is if he repeats his ritual, much like my cat does. He will not succeed in our first conversation. He is going to have to talk to me multiple times in order to get somewhere. That means he will have to be brave several times over next week in order to obtain his desire – which we will assume is a date.

We women like to be pursued! We want to be wanted! He may give me fabulous eye contact and delightful smiles, but if he is not brave and persistent enough to get contact information before he leaves – he is nothing but a disappointment.

After several disappointments, girls begin to settle for the less than best guys, who ACTUALLY seem to like us! Ya know, the ones that take some initiative and invite us out for coffee, or dinner, or putt-putt. Good men – we ladies are begging you, “Be brave! Ask us out before you miss out!”

We don’t want to settle for Mr. Lady-Killer and Company. And although I like living as a Cat Lady, I wouldn’t balk at an invitation for coffee from a nice guy. But if the nice guys don’t speak up, they really will finish last.


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