Willing, and occasional won’ting

“The problem with these young fellows nowadays,” says Robert Stacy McCain, “is that young women don’t know how to play hard to get.”

They knew when I was young, but heck, I’m even older than RSM. Still, this seems fairly inarguable these days:

For a lot of kids, it starts in elementary school with the “boyfriend and girlfriend” game, and any boy that’s halfway cute has girls fawning all over him. (Ask the parents of boys how it is.) Even before there’s anything like actual sex involved, the boys get spoiled by all that female attention. It makes the boys arrogant and gives them an unfavorable impression of women generally as desperate, clinging, needy creatures.

I got my own wakeup call on Facebook one day, when a grandson, then well under FB’s ostensible age limit of 13, posted that he was, um, “in a relationship.” Seriously. Did I rat him out to his mom? You betcha. Now is the kid arrogant? Insufficient data at this time.

There is no reason women should be stuck-up — cruelly aloof and distant — but at the same time, a woman does not enhance the value of her companionship by chasing after men. A woman can be friendly and even flirtatious without being easy, and the most brilliant women are those who know exactly where to draw the line, who convey by their manner some sense of their own dignity.

I’ve known a few who met that criterion for “brilliant.” They were, of course, not the least bit interested in me, but then again, even those inclined to chase after guys were likewise lined up none deep on the porch.


  1. fillyjonk »

    12 October 2012 · 9:45 am

    And it’s been my experience, that those of us who were raised to at least play a LITTLE hard to get (that is, be something that differentiates oneself from what used to be called a “roundheels”) wind up more often than not being left in the dust, I suppose because low-hanging fruit is easier to pluck and is considered to be sufficiently sweet.

    Or maybe I just hung out in the wrong social circles when I was more interested in the dating scene….

  2. nightfly »

    12 October 2012 · 10:08 am

    True fact: when I loaded up the home page, this post was up top, and the sidebar quote was from Woody Allen:

    “Last night I discovered a new form of oral contraceptive. I asked a girl to go to bed with me and she said no.”

    I have it screen-capped for proof.

  3. CGHill »

    12 October 2012 · 10:22 am

    The sidebar quote thingy is random, or so they keep telling me.

  4. Roxeanne de Luca »

    14 October 2012 · 4:43 pm

    Hear hear, fillyjonk!

    (For the record, I wasn’t really raised to be hard to get, but I was raised to have a lot going on in my life and to not see my worth in what a man thinks of me. Same end result that I didn’t throw myself at men nor jump into the sack.)

  5. Peregrine John »

    30 October 2012 · 1:37 pm

    Really? Complaining about boys being spoiled by unwarranted attention? Maybe it’s just the contrast to times shortly before, but they’ve a long, long way to go before they all expect to be on pedestals like another demographic’s precious, precious snowflakes do, pandemically and at all ages.

  6. Windy Wilson »

    5 November 2012 · 4:25 pm

    Peregrine John has a point there. If a guy chats up a girl and gets rejected, he goes and licks his wounds. If a girl screws her courtage to the sticking place and chats up a guy and gets rejected, she shares that with her girl friends and you’d think the planets fell out of their orbits. How dare he refuse her attentions?

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