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Dating For Godot

I moved here two months ago to start a new job. Ever since, an adorable 33-year-old coworker has been standing outside my office door at the end of the day, chatting with me for a half-hour or so. He often invites me to lunch and on outings with him and other coworkers, including last weekend’s party on a coworker’s farm. There, he said to tell him when I’m performing (I’m in a band) so “they” -- the office crowd -- could come listen. Basically, he’s done everything but ask me out! While I truly appreciate his going out of his way to include the new girl, I’m frustrated -- I really want him to make a move! Am I reading too much into his invitations?

--It Takes Twelve To Tango

The state of men, these days, mirrors the state of the martini, which has gone all frilly and girly, and requires much micro-management -- lest it come in purple, with green Jolly Ranchers bobbing around Malibu Barbie’s floating head.

A lot of women suddenly have a hard time determining whether a man is preparing to ask them out or preparing to be embalmed. This is no news to you, since the guy circling your wagon appears to base his dating M.O. on “How Emulating A Paperweight Can Help You Pick Up Chicks.” Now, maybe this guy is merely a one-man chamber of commerce. Then again, maybe he’d like a date with you that doesn’t require police and fire personnel for coworker crowd-control, but maybe he’s afraid of stepping in something sticky, with sexual harassment written all over it. Probably, though, he’s just as lost as the rest of the men.

How did men get so lost? Rogue feminists helped them. They whacked men upside the head with a big bronze bust of Gloria Steinem. While they were all out cold, somebody did a lot of whispering in their ears about not acting like such hairy beasts: “No, boys, sit down, have a civilized cup of tea, and stick out your pinkies...if you want us to like you.” (P.S. We do like you like this, yes -- we just won’t have anything to do with you on Saturday night...nyah, nyah, nyah!)

Men shot back a big lie of their own: that they want women to pursue them. Wrong! Men are hunters. They don’t want to be gathered. Men love the chase. What they don’t love is a chase that ends with a big wooden club popping out of the wall and clobbering them -- or, worse yet, with the words “Why are you talking to me?” popping out of a woman’s mouth and clobbering them.

Suddenly, men are lying around like slabs of raw liver on wax paper, waiting for somebody to take charge -- just as long as it isn’t the woman. That’s where The Slider Date comes in. It’s an after-work meeting of two colleagues -- a date that’s not a date...unless the colleagues on it let it slide into one. Wait until all potential chaperones have left the building, then ask him out for drinks. Flirt a little, and if it goes well, flirt violently, until he gets the message that you’re just about dying to be chased. You may need to repeat the process, as it can take time to undo the brain damage done by the big bronze bust. If you aren’t the patient sort, you might try washing his mind out with a couple martinis -- you know the drill: shaken, not stirred, hold the marshmallows, forget the graham crackers, and lose the macadamia nuts.

Copyright ©2003, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.