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Of Mice And Mice

Last week, after running into a girl I used to date, I called her. I said it was good seeing her again, and we should get together soon. She said "definitely." Yesterday, I called again and left the message, "Do me a favor and let me know if you want to have lunch this Friday." I probably shouldn't have said "do me a favor" to a woman I'm interested in, but is it a big deal?--Comeback Kid

Women fantasize about being swept off their feet, not being surveyed from a safe distance by a man who's had his testosterone siphoned out and replaced with pure essence of potted petunia. That's why there's a certain kind of man who gets all the dates -- one who asks women out. You did that. Sort of. Kind of. Ish. Here's where you went wrong:

Error #1: Women want to go out on actual dates, not sit around contemplating the prospect. You tell her, "We should get together soon!" She's thinking, "Yes, and we should also have world peace. How about you just ask me the hell out?!"

Error #2: Women want to be asked out by men, not by voicemail. Why not just send her fax spam? Maybe offer her a bonus penny stock pick with every date?

Error #3: "Do me a favor." No, do yourself a favor, and refrain from groveling for a date. And sure, outsourcing is all the rage in the corporate world, but expecting a woman to pitch in during the chase phase will not win you points -- or dates. You're the man; you do the work. Is this fair? Of course not. You can either sit home and have a good cry about it, or let your fingers do the walking.

Error #4: Lunch. Forget plotting a wild, Bordeaux-fueled alleyway makeout session after a late dinner at some candle-lit French bistro. There's no time like high noon on a work day to grab a few stolen handshakes -- after slipping out into the cloak of glaring sunlight following lunch at the Olive Garden.

So far, you've forgotten only one thing: to apologize for being interested in her. Apparently, the Victim-Feminist Industrial Complex somehow failed to wring you like an old washrag until all residue of man was gone. Although equal pay for equal work is a wonderful thing, the insistence that men and women are the same is simply silly. Yet, humans are now the only mammal mating while deliberately ignoring the biological realities of existence: It's the alpha dog who gets the girl, not the guy who responds to the femi-ninny complaint "men just want sex!" by hanging his head in shame and insisting, "Oh, no ... we just want to sit around and read you communist poetry."

As loudly as the anti-leg-waxing cabal squawks that femininity is merely the product of some nefarious patriarchal conspiracy, several studies published by a team of Swedish researchers show otherwise. They found that toddlers as young as 1 year old show sex-based preferences for toys, apparently corresponding to the presence or lack of male hormones. Regardless of femininity's origins, women who refuse to melt down their lipsticks, saw off their high heels, and run around dressed like farm laborers are not diminishing themselves. So what if they want to play the role of woman? Yes, it's a role. And there's play involved -- which is what makes it fun. This doesn't mean the woman playing it is some Little Miss Pushover. Actually, it's the powerful, happy women who are most comfortable getting girly. They rule the world all day at the office; the last thing they want is to come home and be the one on the ladder wielding the socket wrench.

That said, you don't need a doctorate in carpentry, just a take-charge (as opposed to take-cover) approach to women. For role models, study Bogie, Gable, and King Kong -- probably the most self-assured suitor in all of cinema. Everything about you, from your body language, to how you speak, to what you say, should telegraph "I'm a man," not "I'm a houseplant with a peculiar need to shave." Assume women you're interested in are interested in you until proven otherwise. If you're rejected, don't take it as an assessment of your worth as a human being; it's merely an indication that it's time to ask another woman out. Finally, remember that women are drawn to confidence, which is why they flock to you when you have a girlfriend, but step over you when you're sitting on the corner with the cardboard sign, "Spare a date for a loser?" This isn't what you'll hear from girls who claim that "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Then again, the rest of us need that kind of thinking like a hammer needs a spinach salad.

Copyright 2004, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

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