Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Talk to Women 101 - A Lesson in Compliments and General Observations

I've been a woman for a long time now, well...all of my life, actually and so I feel pretty confident when I say that there are some things you never say to a woman.  This goes beyond the age old "You never ask a woman her age".  It is much deeper than that.  Seriously, though.  There is only one time when it is ok to ask a woman her age and I'll get to that after I waste a little more time in the opening paragraph.  Well! I have nothing else to say so, let's dive right in, shall we?

1.  "When are you due?"
You never ever ever ever ask a woman this even if you are 99.9% sure she is pregnant because there is always that .1% chance that she's not.  And even if you are 100% certain, you still don't just in case God hates you.  Ok, fine.  You can ask this but it is only advisable during key points in the pregnancy:

Worst:  Any period between conception and birth especially if you don't know the person.  Otherwise you have the awkward possibility of having the following (true. as in this happened to a friend of mine recently) conversation:
     Waitress:  Awww! When are you due?
      My Friend:  ...I'm not due.
     Waitress:  Oh, shit.  Wait here while I go to the back and drink some bleach (NOTE:  the waitress didn't      actually say this but I bet she wanted to)

Bad:  At the baby shower.  True, it's a baby shower so you know someone somewhere is pregnant but are you really sure who it is? What if you pick the wrong lady?

Ok:  When her water breaks you can ask the following question and be relatively safe:  "Are you due now?"

Good:  In the delivery room, moments before the little bundle of joy arrives.  "Oh! I guess you're having a baby!"

Best:  Two to three years after birth is the safest time to bring it up and it should be handled in the following manner:  "This is your kid?! I didn't even know you were pregnant!"

2.  Always ask a woman for her I.D.
This is the exception (sort of) to the rule of not asking a woman her age.  You never ask a woman her age unless she needs to be a certain age to get in somewhere or do something.  A woman buying alcohol in a bar should always be asked for proof that she isn't as "young" as she looks.  Even if she is using a walker.  I used to find it frustrating that I would get carded for cigarettes because I am obviously over 18.  But when the bouncer at a club a couple of years ago asked for my friend's i.d. and not mine, I wanted to sit in the corner and cry.  I remember that guy.  He's on my list.

3.  Never assume that the woman is the mother of the other people that are with her
This also ties into the age thing and is one of my most horrifying experiences.  At Taco Bell, of all places.  I was meeting a friend of mine to eat and although she is younger than I am, she's not that much younger but the manager asked me if she was my daughter.  I wanted to spit on him.  Or something disgusting of that nature and then do something that all the kids are doing nowadays like...listen to my ipod and look gloomy and unpleasant.  And I wanted to get a lot of facial piercings and color my hair four different colors.
4.  Never comment on a woman's diet or the fact that she isn't adhering to said diet
Women in general like to diet except for me because I actually like food and dislike torture so I eat food that tastes good and I eat it in large quantities.  With that said, I am still "technically" on a diet because that is how we women tend to justify our eating habits.  "I know that this fried chicken smothered in gravy, cheese, bacon, and chocolate syrup isn't actually on my diet, but I've been good this week."  In this situation you would never say any of the following phrases:

"I thought you were on a diet."

"I guess you're off your diet, huh?"

"Wow.  You must be hungry."

"The weather sure was nice today."

Basically, just don't say anything.  The hungry woman spooks very easily.

5.  If a woman looks nice, never point out that she looks "different"
Women are touchy about their looks, even those who don't really make an effort to look me.  Though, on occasion a woman might be in the mood to do her hair or wear make-up or wear something nice for no reason at all.  It is perfectly acceptable to compliment her on her looks but it must be done in a certain way.  The following is acceptable:

"You look nice."

You should stop there.  Never ever add the word "today" to the end of that sentence.  This implies that on other days, she looks like medusa.  Even if you don't mean that, trust me.  That's how she'll take it.  In fact, never add the word "today" after any compliment.  Other phrases to avoid:

"That outfit makes you look so slim!" - What this translates to in the female brain is this:  "Under that outfit you're a big fat cow!"

"Your hair looks soooo much better!"

Now, these are just suggestions and you don't have to follow them but if you do, one day you might look back and thank me for saving your life.


KiraRin said...

We had friends round the other evening for a night of good food and wine. There was a frosty atmosphere that settled when Graham said to his wife "why can't you cook like this?".

I guess it was a compliment to me, but my fiance would be a dead man if he said the same to me....


Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me! Went with a younger friend (again, not THAT muchy younger) to get pedicures and the lady asked me if she was my daughter. No tip for her!! Yeah if I was 8 when I delivered yo crazy B*%$!.

Glad I'm not the only one that has happened to. Thanks for giving idiots like that advise. Hope they embrace it.