A fan of the site recently wrote to request some advice on “scooping” boys. Now, I’m not up to date on my slang terms, but I’m assuming this is the same as a pickup, or a come-on, getting the attention of those young gentlemen. Well, according to one of my favorite books, Ellen Peck’s How to Get a Teen-Age Boy and What to Do with Him when You Get Him (New York: Bernard Geis Associates, 1969), there are 10 types of boys out there that you might want to get (at least in school):
1. The superstar (athlete-celebrity)
2. The non-athlete-celebrity
3. The “social-register” type
4. The social reformer
5. The activities major
6. The egghead
7. The comic
8. The shadow
9. The escapist
10. The creep
Since the writer didn’t specific what type she might be interested in, I’ll pick one that seems a likely candidate for my circle of friends: the egghead. Let’s read what Ms. Peck has to say:
The egghead often doesn’t get along very well with people. He feels safer with books. Books are more trustworthy, calmer, and don’t require knowing what to say . . . which this intellectual type frequently doesn’t; unless it’s to another intellectual, about something in a book.
The key to your approach to the brainy type is not to be demanding. He’s not used to meeting demands from people. Go slow. Don’t ask him to phone you – even for the most logical of reasons. Don’t suggest anything social – even Cokes at the corner. Especially not during the early stages of approach.
The approach? It’s helpful to use one of his areas of superiority in school. Harold’s best subject is math? Once a week for two weeks, ask for help with classwork. If necessary, do some studying ahead of time, so that you can follow his explanation. That’s important!
For one thing, you don’t want to seem like a dummy. For another, his pride couldn’t take it if he failed to explain something he understands perfectly.
The third week (all but the shyest will be unafraid of you by this time) ask for some explanation twice during the week. And now let’s expand the discussion to other matters – current events or personalities in the news. Do a lot of appreciative nodding when he talks about the export balance.
Here are my favorite versions of the appreciative nod:
1. (Pensive) Lean chin on knuckles of right hand; bend torso slightly forward; look pensively at him; nod.
2. (Dreamy) Put forefinger to chin; lean slightly backward; look at him; nod.
Don’t be in any hurry to talk about personal matters. If the relationship is going to get anywhere, eventually you’ve got to talk to him on a personal level, of course. But take it slowly. Don’t ask him questions about himself, his feelings, his family. You can invite him to do this kind of talking by mentioning your personal opinions, your family. He may respond.
If you’re worried this won’t translate to adult boys, think of all those shy guys at work who are buried in their books at lunch. Surely you could ask them for help with a work assignment! Or try applying the appreciative nod in your dealings with others.
If anyone is interested in learning more about any of the other types, send me a comment with your requested type, and I’ll post some more on the topic.