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Ask Erica Vol. 1 – Boys and Bicycles

April 21, 2009

In last week’s post, I offered some advice on love, life and careers. So far, this week the questions ranged from “kind of vague” to “totally insane.”

Jamie asked:

explain boys to me, please. In blog post form. That way, every time I am going crazy over a boy, I can come to your blog and calm down. Thanks.

I so wish there was an easier answer to this. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can explain boys anymore than I explain girls. To try to do so seems a little sexist, but I can try to calm down your occasional freak-outs regarding boys in general.  You see, boys are a little different than girls. And keep in mind, this is all completely generalizing – but I think boys are better at compartmentalizing. Where we question motivation and intent, and generally seem to plan out our interactions and how it will be perceived, boys kind of just – do their thing. And then forget about it, or move it into another little mental compartment. Not calling you may not mean anything deeper than something else came up.  Irritating, frustrating and inconsiderate? Maybe. Malicious or intentionally infuriating? Probably not. I also have a feeling that if you are anything like me, your sense of urgency is more highly tuned than the boy in question (I partially blame the internet for this – a subject for another post).

I also think that because boys have a different sense of priorities, and make liberal use of compartmentalization, that in general, they may have less invested energy into a budding relationship and if something better or more interesting comes along – the decision made. No need to nurture, or contemplate seeing it through.

My friend Kurt, who I met in the wilds of Denmark and is now a graduate student asks:

Should I get a pennyfarthing or unicycle? I need to commute to school in the most absurd and awesome way possible, and I refuse to wear a helmet.

Kurt, stop being a pretentious weirdo. Get a bike like the rest of us mere mortals. And wear a helmet! How can a boy who wants so much attention that he would be willing to do ridiculous things in the name of individuality be afraid to look stupid in a helmet? If you want to be noticed, get an awesome helmet – maybe something with LED messaging? (Also – pennyfarthing, all the way.)

To get some advice of your own, submit a question in the comments or email me at If you prefer to remain anonymous, just let me know.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2009 10:22 pm

    You ARE good at this advice thing! I Agree about boys and compartmentalizing. (Why can’t WE learn that skill?) Also agreed: Kurt needs a helmet. He might want to just consider ~always~ wearing one if he’s also the type to attempt things like unicycles.

  2. meredithelaine permalink
    April 21, 2009 10:43 pm

    “stop being a pretentious weirdo” — do you KNOW how many times A DAY I want to say that to people?


  3. April 22, 2009 10:19 am

    I have to agree about the boys answer. Boys seem more capable of picking things to worry about then girls. Girls worry about small details and boys are bigger picture types.

  4. Katie permalink
    April 22, 2009 10:25 am


    Totally agree about compartmentalizing… but have you seen He’s Just Not That Into You? Grant it, not as good as all the hype… but definitely a few tasty nuggets of advice. LIKE … “Men don’t forget how much they like you.” “If you can find him, then he can find you. If he wants to find you, he will.” “If a guy treats you like he doesn’t give a shit, it’s because he doesn’t give a shit.” The moral of the story … if he likes you, he’ll call. If he likes you, he’ll treat you like he likes you. And if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t like you … at least not like that. So, yes, men do compartmentalize, but they also know how to dial a phone 🙂

    Good luck, Jamie! And love your blog, Erica!

    • April 22, 2009 10:32 am

      Totally agree. And also, if he treats you like shit? STOP LIKING HIM. Who the hell wants a guy that treats them like shit? Unless your goal is to be the one to change him from treating girls like shit. Which A ) Never works and B ) Makes you an insaneosaurus.

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