To all St Andreans: with no other public forum in which this debate might be had we finally feel we must take to this sainted publication to tackle one of the most important issues of our generation, which also affects our posterity, head on. Yes, it may be a difficult conversation to have, however time must be called and, as they say, ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’. We are making ourselves martyrs for the future of our children and our children’s children, and we hope our sacrifice is not in vain. Ladies: take heed! Gentlemen: share this far and wide! Together we may pitch our tents in Elysium.
You may remember me from my previous article on the trials of being too popular or maybe you heard my name shouted across main bar. I am an idiot, to those that know me this is not a surprise. However, it is possible that this is a surprise to the scores of women who possibly(?) attempt to flirt with me. I have absolutely no ability to read what some might call “signals” unless that signal is the obvious lean in given to me by women at main bar. My inability to understand the subtleties of elbow touches and lip biting means that I often seem to find myself drunkenly stumbling home alone in the rain. Due to my general ineptitude I believe that this is something that should be taken completely out of my hands and possibly out of the hands of men in general. From this moment onward women should take the lead on courtship and start asking me out.
The obvious next statement is “Al, maybe you don’t have a girlfriend because you have a 2/10 personality, could be a borderline alcoholic, and are generally unattractive”. While all 3 of those things may be true, I have a belief deep in my heart that someone out there will at least take pity on me. I’m nearing desperation and this is quite clearly a call for help. There must be someone out there who will deal with me as a person (and benefit from the perks of my popularity). On arrival in St Andrews you’re constantly told that you leave alcoholic or married (or both) and as I hurtle towards graduation, I hope alea non iacta est on the side of that dichotomy that I’m clearly more likely to end up on. However, more important than my own failings in the romantic world is the fact that this is not just a problem for me, but I can imagine that female led courtship in St Andrews would help nearly everyone.
I was never the sportiest of chaps at school, but one area of PE I really fell down in was the six weeks in which I played basketball. This was particularly hindered by my inability to shoot my shot. But while my life is no longer plagued by the sound of a whistle and a cold shower before physics, this lack of talent has managed to wangle its way into parts of my life which I never thought required hand-eye coordination. As such I don’t think I have ever asked someone on a date – I have ended up on them through mixtures of strokes of luck or series of unfortunate events, at different points in my life, but the tried and tested way has been to have one of their good friends shout at me aggressively to let me know (in the immortal words of the 4 non-blondes) What’s Goin On. Would that I could walk around with Paddy McGuinness to introduce me every time I enter a crowd of fawning admirers, that my advent could be heralded by a cry of ‘let the goosies see the gander’, and that I could gauge my general interactions with the help of ‘no likey, no lighty’. Alas, this veritable harem is kept at bay by my sheer incapacity to ask.
Perhaps what is necessary is some sort of dating white paper which could be proffered; girls don’t necessarily need to ask guys out, but just give them a form saying there will be no flat rejection and then it is in the guys’ hands to do the actual asking. With the confidence that something is on the cards, I might even be willing to play my hand. Given the recent spike in posts on the plethora of St Andrews anonymous submission pages asking this very question – whether a girl might ask a guy out – this seems to be a logical and fully practicable solution to help the St Andrean population through these cold winter nights. However, if the general populace refuse to adopt this proposal we have offered, there is one last ray of hope for those nameless romantics: the 2020th annus domini is a leap year and so even if rationality is rejected, the ages permit a woman to propose to a man on February the 29th!
Men in general are idiots and for long enough have we had to listen to our academic daughters and female friends bemoan their crush’s inability to pick up on their hints and ask them out. As Churchill one said, we are ‘Divided by a common language’; unfortunately, there is no evening class in understanding the different meanings and gradations of ‘ok’. We are often told to be the change we want to see in the world and while this advice usually falls on deaf ears, we have found a hill to die on. For our sake, your sake, his sake, their sake, or all our collective livers’ sakes, ladies please just ask us out. You most likely will only be a little disappointed and you can stop complaining to your male friends that all men are stupid, we know they would appreciate that.