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Words in parens are mine.
Q: Dear Laurie,
There's a guy I met and like at work. I am interested in him and I believe he's interested in me. Recently, I ask him out for ice cream or movie etc. (I thought only couples from Mayberry went on ice cream dates.) He told me okay, give me your number when I gave it to him he said, "I'll Call," but he has yet to call. I see him everyday and he always speaks and says hello or waves (Waves? These two are definitely from a parallel Mayberry universe).
On a couple occasions we have held a brief conversation (how do you like that, waving and talking). Lately I notice when I go on break or when he's driving around delivering parts (parts?) he is staring at me intensely (ree ree ree!) especially when another person is speaking to him. If I happen to be in the area he tends to get distracted and starts looking at me (ice cream? movie? ice cream? movie?).
One day I asked him about the stares, he said he was just looking at me and didn't mean nothing about it (or by it). But I think his looks mean something else (thorazine?). I don't feel threatened by him (ok, then I'll feel threatened for you) but I just want to know what this means. 1.) Was I wrong to ask him about his stares? 2.) Should I ask him why he never called? Please help to understand what this (awkward, creepy fellow) means.
Signed: Confused Co-worker
A: Dear ConfusedCo-
First things first. In general, we do not ask men out. I know that sounds so Victorian. I've said this a thousand times (and a thousand times better,) but if you ask a guy out you're not letting the guy be the guy. You're commandeering the male role and are setting the tone for the entire relationship (should you ever get drugged-out Opie to go out for ice cream and actually have a relationship, that is). While I used to adamantly deny this, men and women are very different and therefore play very different and quite lovely relational roles so let them play them.
I recently had this very same conversation over dinner with one aggressive women and a guy. The aggressive woman wanted it to be "all right" to ask men out. Well, it is all right.if you want a wuss. Interestingly, the guy in the conversation didn't want a woman to ask him out or make the first move. He felt it was too pushy, too emasculating. Instead, and assuming he was interested, he wanted the woman to give him Shuttle Discovery-sized hints she was interested so when he finally screwed up the courage to launch she'd almost assuredly accept.
So, if you flirt with a guy, i.e. look his way, smile, say hello, wave and he is interested, chances are great he will ask you out for dairy. If he does not, he is either not interested or incapable of acting on his interest, i.e. able only to stare and deliver parts. Immutable Law #48: avoid incapable men.
1.) Was I wrong to ask him about his stares?
If you weren't packing heat or with a very large friend, yes.
2.) Should I ask him why he never called?
No, because we know why he never called: he's cock-eyed in the head with a staring problem and probably jacks off to you at night. Or got knocked in the head with a part and is now mute. Or is a creepy axe murderer with the parts to prove it. Or all of the above.
The Short Answer: Do some women ask men out and live happily in-charge ever after? Sure. Some couples are great at role reversal but you don't strike me as one of them. I'm thinking you weren't confident that Staring Parts Man would ask you out if left to his own Silence-of-the-Lamb devices so you did the asking for him. Now things feel weird and icky because you trumped the natural order of things and because this guy is just a-social and creepy. He never thought a woman would be interested in him let alone ask him out which has caused him to stare out into the universe asking himself many deep and unknowable questions like why is the earth round and do I prefer vanilla or chocolate?
Lovingly&logically yours, Laurie