In Which We Discourage Pouncing On Almost Anything

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


My friend Judy is a lovely little thing. Her one problem is that she tends to get a little fresh with the guys right away. She rags on them about voting for Obama and loving Christian Dior. Guys that meet her say she seems to operate in her own orbit. As a result, it feels like they don’t get to know the real Judy. How can I tell her to tone it down a smidge when you are first getting to know someone?

Virginia M.

Dear Virginia,

Men love charismatic women, so I can only assume Judy’s behavior borders on extremely inappropriate. I had a Pekinese who was like that and suffice it to say she later became the star of All Dogs Go To Heaven.

To correct a dog’s behavior, it is only necessary to offer some trifling reward. You must do the same with Judy. You say she has trouble making a first impression. Find a man who can last a bit beyond that. When he is unable to tolerate her, you will know to get a new friend. If he tolerates her, then your problem is likely solved.

It’s also possible that Judy doesn’t need your help. Operating in your own orbit is hardly the worst thing you can do. Think of Luna Lovegood.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.


I spent the weekend with an amazing guy. It was my first time meeting him in person after a few online interactions. He filled me with excitement about dating again. I felt an immediate connection with him after our dinner date and we went back to his place, but nothing physical happened.

It was a tiresome weekend for the both of us since we were tied with obligations, but we tried to spend as much time together as possible. We spent one evening watching a movie. I wanted to make a move the entire time, but was too nervous. I didn’t want him to think it was a one time hook-up. I haven’t dated anyone formally in two years and didn’t know how to behave myself. I was taken aback. I want to let him know I feel without ruining what we have. I want to know how he feels, but I don’t if I should bring it up the next time I see him or through text. We have a 10-year age difference, but it doesn’t feel that way. What should I do?

Lacey M.

Dear Lacey,

During an extended, awkward first encounter like the one you are describing, some men will not make the first move. If you do not reciprocate, then their entire weekend is kind of unpleasant. Also, you might reciprocate just to smooth through the weekend rather than some genuine attraction. In our experience, people are most hesitant to pounce on a woman when they actually do like her, so there may be hope for you.

The fact that you didn’t make a move is probably viewed by him as a sign of disinterest, though. I mean, you were there and hanging out for awhile. You probably watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and he empathized with Tilda Swinton and wondered if you were only interested in him for the heady bequest you would receive from his will. Never watch a Wes Anderson movie when sex is in the offing; it makes legs flaccid as well as penises.

There is nothing wrong with being the initiator, as long as he doesn’t feel it is expected. Keep him on his toes by entering and exiting rooms very quickly. Perhaps too quickly? And use emdashes, but not too many emdashes. Guys don’t like that.

“Plush” – Tiga (mp3)

“Planet E” – Tiga (mp3)


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