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From A Woman's Viewpoint

      Guys, you know how things go. You've been dating the most wonderful girl in the world for several weeks, even several months, when something odd happens. Maybe something small, like her starting to wear a particularly rancid brand of perfume, or maybe something major, like her informing you that she was only kidding when she said she adored football. Whatever. All you know is that the thrill has ebbed. Your dreams of this girl are no longer feverish. Your finger seems loath to dial her number; you become re-enamored of airline stewardesses. The love affair is, in fact, history.

      That middle period of relationships, that perilous time between the starry-eyed first moments and the cozy, settled period when you may even have the nerve to fart in bed, is always fraught. It's tricky business, getting to know each other, a pitfall-a-minute affair. And we women can be just as finicky as men. Strike the wrong note and we have a tendency to go off our feed completely. Therefore, I am going to list some common grievances, the things that make womens' eyes go opaque and cause them to stop returning phone calls.

1. Playing Hard To Get-- If a man constantly breaks dates at the last minute and is often seen squiring different blondes around town, a woman will quickly tire of him. We've all played that game called "I don't like you as much as you like me", usually in junior high school. A few of us will play this game unceasingly, but most of us have better things to do with our time, such as crocheting doilies. So don't say you're going to call when you're not, don't leave lipstick-stained cigarette butts in your ashtrays, don't disappear for weeks at a time. We'll only yawn.

2. Playing Easy To Get-- We don't like this, either. (Damn, we're picky!) There is something off-putting about a man who brings up marriage and children during the first weeks of courtship, who discusses adjoining burial plots on the first date, or who professes undying love with lightning speed. A human door mat is neither amusing nor attractive. And we all know (too well) that a man who is too intense too soon has no staying power; he is in love with love and not with us.

3. Refusing To Gossip (Especially After A Juicy Party) -- This is crucial. Most women will forgive a man anything...trampling her flower beds, ignoring her nipples, forgetting her birthday...if only he will stop pretending not to enjoy a good gossip. There is nothing in the world more irritating than a man who preserves a stony silence in the car ride home from a dinner party where Gladys pulled Myrna's husband into the broom closet while Myrna decided it would be fun to launch into an impromptu cancan right after George announced his sexual preference for Lithuanian bus boys.

4. Forgetting Foreplay -- One must never, as John Cleese put it, stampede the clitoris. All men know this during their dispassionate, reflective moments, but when sexual lust rears its insistent head, some men become stricken with amnesia and think they can just hop on and go at it. They can't. It takes us, I don't know, approximately 11.7 minutes to become fully aroused. We like to be fondled, we like to be kissed, we like to be told how gorgeous we are, we crave more than a bare minimum of caresses. Otherwise, we become cold and hard, which is not the way you want us.

5. A Plethora Of After-Shave (Or, God forbid, cologne) I personally prefer the smell of clean, honest sweat above all else, but many women delight in a hint of subtle fragrance. None of us, however, is partial to an overpowering, mind-numbing, sticky-sweet odor, so be gentle with your Brut. And eschew all "essential oils" purporting to smell like strawberries.

6. Telling Dirty Jokes To Get Us In The Mood-- No, we are not interested in the antics of the traveling salesman and the farmer's daughter, though we may be vaguely intrigued to learn what the bishop said to the actress. The trouble is, most dirty jokes are not funny. They are simply slimy, smutty, smarmy, and stupid. These things do not, somehow, turn us on and get us in the right mood.

7. Plying Us With Drinks And Drugs To Get Us In The Mood -- We will not respect you for this clicheed ploy. We may even become contrary.

8. Plying Yourself With Drinks And Drugs -- I have a good friend who often tells the story of a man who, after knowing her for two weeks, decided it would be fun for her to see him at his worst. He was a wonderful, brilliant, witty man, but she wasn't prepared to deal with him as a Romilar and Wild Turkey- saturated psychopath.

9. Bad Laundry Habits-- There are men who forget to wash their sheets for months on end. They think they're being clever buying that dark paisley pattern, but the nose, unfortunately, knows. Clothes must also be washed occasionally; it's no good taking a shower only to climb into clothes exuding petrified body odor.

10. Being Overly Critical-- Too much criticism makes anyone want to curl up into a ball.

     So take some advice from a woman..