Advice on girls from ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’
- It is important to listen[to girls]. Human beings are often very self-centered and like to talk about themselves. In addition, it’s an easy subject if someone is nervous. It is good advice to listen closely—unless she has also been given this advice, in which case an uneasy silence could develop, like two owls sitting together.
- Be careful with humor. It is very common for boys to try to impress girls with a string of jokes, each one more desperate than the last. ONE joke, perhaps, and then a long silence while she talks about herself…
- When you are older, flowers really do work—women love them. When you are young, however, there is a ghastly sense of being awkward rather than romantic—and she will guess your mother bought them.
- Valentine’s Day cards. Do NOT put your name on them. The whole point is the excitement a girl feels, wondering who finds her attractive. If it says “From Brian” on it, the magic isn’t really there. This is actually quite a nice thing to do for someone you don’t think will get a card. If you do this, it is even more important that you never say, “I sent you one because I thought you wouldn’t get any.” Keep the cards simple. You do not want one with fancy stuff of any kind.
- Play a sport of some kind. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it replaces the corpse-like pallor of the computer programmer with a ruddy glow. Honestly, this is more important than you know.
- If you see a girl in need of help—unable to lift something, for example—do not taunt her. Approach the object and greet her with a cheerful smile, while surreptitiously testing the weight of the object. If you find you can lift it, go ahead. If you can’t, try sitting on it and engaging her in conversation.