Today some of you will doubtlessly cry, "Go jump in a lake, Married Lady!" However, I can't help that. My task is to counsel Single girls, whether you like it or not, and enough of you like it to cancel out the you who don't. Dear me, how aggressive I am this morning.
Anyway, some of you may have been in a situation where you have been hit on by a guy who is sooooo desperate for a girlfriend (or something rather more animal and crude) that his anxiety is palpable and you shiver with repulsion and long to flee. And you would flee if you hadn't agreed to rejoin your friends at exactly this spot, and this has been the longest 30 seconds of your life: where are they????
Of course, sometimes it is not horrible, but comical, like the time my friend Trish and I (then in our twenties) were walking through a very snazzy shopping district and an old man in sunglasses drove slowly past us in a red convertible and drawled, "Hi, girls! Say hello to Johnny Hollywood!" How we giggled. Dear me. But I suppose his was too entirely lacking in self-consciousness to be true desperation.
There is a female version of this desperation and, fortunately, nice boys do not pick up on it very easily, although, unfortunately, opportunistic boys do. So do women, so if you are lucky, such horrible moments of weakness are immediately checked by your girlfriends, who hustle you away. If you are unlucky, only female strangers or your female enemies (if you have any) will be around. Ooooh, the horror!
Suddenly I am reminded of my very drunk Contiki tour roommate. I was not supposed to have roommates, having paid the unjust Single Supplement of Doom. But every two days or so, my harried tour guide bribed me with tickets to extra events I hadn't paid for to accept roommates. These were, of course, female roommates, so I didn't mind so much. This particular roommate, who shared my room in Sorrento, was absolutely determined to commit a mortal sin with any random young Italian stranger, but wasn't sure how to go about it. She decided that getting supremely drunk at the tourist bar we were led to was the way forward.
The venue was right, because lo and behold, the place was full of Italian men, including the plainclothes policemen my trip-friend Angela and I were chatting with in our Italian diaspora accents. However, my new roommate's approach was wrong because Italians-in-Italy think public drunkenness absolutely disgusting, especially in women. But she blamed her failure on her inability to speak Italian, even as she batted her eyelashes at the off-duty cops while shouting, "What do you have to do to get [...] in this country?
The younger cops smiled uncomprehendingly. The oldest cop suggested that Angela and I take her back to the hotel. This I did not want to do as one of the younger cops was a dead ringer for Marcus on Babylon 5, only even handsomer, and I was enjoying our conversation. Was I my new roommate's keeper? Secondo me, no.
I forget if I did take her back in the end. I vaguely remember a show of resistance and her trying her luck with the (frightened) boys in our group. More vivid in my mind were her good-hearted wails of "Oh Roomie, I am so proud of you, talking to those guys."
Extraordinary. Anyway, obviously my readers are never going to behave as badly as that. You may, however, be assailed by sudden attacks of crazy and decide to go for broke by doing a number of things you will tell yourself other women do all the time, and it worked out for them.
These include the following:
Deciding that tonight is the night you just get drunk and che sera, sera.
Deciding that old-fashioned traditional girls can and do wear skirts that are five inches shorter than everyone else's, especially with stilettos.
Deciding that it IS okay to wear a Sexy French Maid costume this Hallowe'en because it is Hallowe'en.
Deciding that being drunk makes it okay to tell a male friend everything you think about everything, either because (A) you love him like a brother or (B) he should know the Whole Truth about you if you're ever going to be in a Relationship.
Deciding that the way forward is a make-or-break romantic dinner, including heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting.
I could include a lot more things, but I am now too appalled to go on. The examples of female follies I have encountered are so many, varied and embarrassing, I would have to find a therapist if I listed them all. If you ever suspect, in your heart of hearts, that a bad idea is a bad idea, stop whatever it is you doing, call up your best, bravest and cleverest female friend, and check with her.
Full Disclosure: I was a Jordan Wannabe one recent Hallowe'en, doing my research by staring with great interest at local girls at bus-stops to figure out women of my body type might express their Wannabe-ness. I only got away with it because I never left the house, our guests were all over 40, the fake tan didn't go orange, and, not to sound crushing, I am married. As long as everybody knows we are happily married and we keep off drugs and no-one posts the photos of us dressed as Jordan Wannabes on the internet, married women can get away with stuff like that. Life is seriously unfair.