My older brother, Mark, has no luck with women. He doesn’t understand why. I do.
To begin with, when he first meets a woman, he goes into one of two styles of conversation. The first is to assail her with a stream of personal questions: “What’s your name? Where do you live? Is that your real hair color? What kind of work do you do? Do you want to have kids someday? Are you seeing anyone? Would you like to have dinner with me?” Naturally, most women find this surprising and annoying. His other approach is to say the most banal things imaginable: “Nice day, isn’t it? I thought it might rain this morning, but it didn’t. It might rain tomorrow, but who knows. Last week was nice weather, too.” By this time the poor girl has either walked away or passed out from boredom.
Another thing Mark often does in his encounters with women is to say things that make him sound totally mercenary, as if money were the most important thing in the world to him. He makes frequent allusions to his own salary, asks the woman how much she makes, and complains about the prices of everything on a menu. When he takes a date to a movie, he sometimes embarrasses her by trying to get his money back from the theater manager afterward, claiming he hadn’t liked the movie. Naturally, this sort of behavior somewhat taints him in the woman’s eyes, and he rarely gets a second date. When one of his former girlfriends complained to me about Mark’s behavior, I tried to appease her by telling her that underneath it all, Mark is really a nice guy. She replied by saying that she wasn’t interested in digging that far down.
Mark, of course, finds women’s reactions to him completely arbitrary. He shakes his head and says, “Women are just not reasonable. Here I am, as nice as can be, and they act as if I have some horrible, contagious syndrome.” I try to be a(n) _____ sister and help the guy