Parents, teach your sons how to approach women
Personal space and verbal communication will get men so much further with women
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on October 12, 2020.
When I interviewed the group of four, I sat on a leather bench in the basement. I was very aware that I was in a home studio with four grown men, plus a couple of roamers who came and left upstairs. I’d enjoyed their socially conscious live performance at a festival and saw one of the lyricists perform for “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam,” so I felt like I reasonably “knew” they were safe to be around — even if I was the only woman in this house. My boss knew who I was going to interview anyway, so if I didn’t show up within a few hours, I was sure I’d hear from him. Still though, I’m a woman before I’m a journalist. I memorized all exits upon entry.
Three of the four sat within arm’s reach away from me, one sat near my left hip on the same leather bench, another moved back and forth in a computer chair and the third stood over me to my right. But it was the fourth guy, the one who sat on the carpeted basement floor steps, that kept catching my attention. He didn’t talk much. He leaned back, sipping an orange pop (non-Chicagoans would call it “soda”) and lazily glancing my way. He barely answered any questions and seemed like he had better things to do. Still though, he was polite enough and I knew he was nice on the mic so he could talk if he really wanted to.
When that interview was over and the post was published, I sent them a link. My phone rang a couple days afterward. I was puzzled to hear Orange Pop on the other end of the line. He wanted to know if we could hang out.
“Is this a joke?” I asked.
“Nah, why would it be?” he asked.
“You barely looked like you were interested in the interview, never mind me,” I responded.
“Seems like you were already getting a lot of attention,” he replied. “I wanted to see if you reciprocated. I was interested then and I’m interested now.”
I. Was. Sold. On. This. Dude. He and I ended up dating for a little while, with him attending an office party with me and hanging out almost daily. At one point, he even kept a toothbrush at my place. We didn’t work out in the end for numerous reasons, but I’d still say he was a reasonably good dude. But I could tell this story again and again for every boyfriend — or even random passersby — who I’ve dated. None of them were desperately trying to get at me.