I have my share of bad habits. I lose things. I zone out when people give me directions. I forget to pay my phone bill (thank you, Verizon, for your generosity). All in all, though, I think I’m a pretty good catch. So, if a guy is interested in more than friendship with me, he should avoid the following mishaps:
1. Laughing/joking too much.
I laugh ’til my head hurts. I’ve had laughing fits for upwards of twenty minutes. I find the humor the mundane. If something crashes to the floor in a silent room, I have to tuck my lips to contain my giggles. That doesn’t mean, however, that I want to laugh nonstop with you. Take this phone conversation, for example:
Me: “What did you think about the Time article on female genital mutilation?”
Me: [Side eye. Quizzical chuckle]
Me: [End call]
Laughter is not a substitute for intelligent discourse. If we’re talking about child endangerment or adult illiteracy, a giggle fit is especially inappropriate. Even if we’re talking about something more mundane, I’d prefer that you just chill out sometimes. Instead of being one of those I-don’t-have-anything-to-say-so-I’ll-just-laugh-like-a-hyena people, why not ask a simple, relevant question to move the conversation along?
Sure, a sense of humor diffuses negative energy and makes you feel good. But a guy who doesn’t know how or when to cut the comedy and be serious will most likely end up in the “just friends” category.
I met Joe online. Joe told me he was 25 and 5’11”. When I met him in person, his name was actually John and he was four years older and four inches shorter, with no premolars and a receding hairline. Don’t ask why I kept talking to him. The lies continued: The company he claimed he worked for had been closed for months, he lived with his sisters and her children (not roommates, as he called them), and he kept photos of girls he was supposedly just friends with on his phone.
As time went on–again, don’t ask me why I continued to entertain this person–he just got weirder. He showed up unannounced at my job with a bootleg “Sex and the City 2” DVD. He threatened to take back the gifts he bought me because I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. When I finally cut him off, he stalked me for over a year, no joke. I guess he finally realized I wasn’t playing about calling the police.
While John’s is case extreme, it exemplifies the tomfoolery that lying inevitably spurs. Just tell the truth. If you don’t have a job, say so, but at least put in a few apps every day. If you live with your sister and her six kids in a two-bedroom apartment and have a particularly grotesque case of OCD, that’s alright, too. Just be honest about it. That way, you at least give me a fair chance to say: Next.
3. Calling or texting at o’dark thirty.
I’ve been an insomniac since I was about 10. I’ve tried melatonin, popcorn, Calms Forte, CVS-brand pills, almost everything to get a good night’s rest. Bedtime is just a pain for me.
Even more annoying is when I’m browsing YouTube for tips on how to clean a dirty pair of Uggs at 2:36 a.m. and some random guy pops up in my notification center. What are you going to say that you couldn’t tell me 12 hours earlier? Do you expect me to respond favorably your booty-call-hour small talk? I hope not.
Most of my friends or associates know that I don’t like late-night calls. Still, some forget there’s an appropriate to time to call a lady. Like before 10 p.m. EST. Maybe a bit later for friends I’ve known longer. If you don’t know my middle name, shoe size, or place of birth, don’t call or text me late if you expect to be anything more a nuisance.
4. Buying me stuff at your own will–and then complaining about being broke.
Some men give compliments. Others give pedicures, Skittles lip balm, Snuggies, tickets to Tyler Perry plays, and steak dinners.
I can’t lie: I like gifts. But they don’t have to be elaborate. A simple bag of Sour Patch Kids will do just fine. It’s the begrudged gift-giving I have a problem with. Don’t buy me stuff like I’m Vanessa Bryant and then gripe about your No-be bank account. You only make yourself look foolish if you pretend you’re balling out of control.
I’m not looking for a sponsor. We don’t have to go to dinner and a movie three times a week. If we do, I’m willing to split the bill or take turns paying, and most of the time I’ll be satisfied cooking a lovely dinner at home and flipping through Fios On Demand. You don’t have to pay my train fare, nor must you pick out a pair of Jessica Simpson peep-toe pumps for me. Be honest about your budget and think about creative, economical things we can do together. Make me a collage instead of plunking down cash on something you can’t afford. That way, you won’t need a moment of silence when you check your account.
Attraction to the dude who calls you a snaggle-toothed, pizza-faced heifer only occurs in the movies, if even there. Nobody likes a name-caller. Well, at least I don’t. I usually don’t get along well with people who use the b-, n-, and f- (referring to gay men) words, just to name a few. Those words make you look like a callous buttwipe.
The world is a much sweeter place when we call each other by our given names, not the racist, sexist, homophobic ones folks tend to chuck at random. So just stop it. Use of those terms only reveals ignorance. And the last thing anyone wants is an ignorant man.
What say ye, ladies and gentlemen?