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Boys Be Ambitious!

   They say youth is wasted on the young and you need no further evidence of this than the dismal results of an impromptu poll I conducted in some of my classes recently.

   The above is a poll of 39 university sophomores, all boys, at a local national university dedicated to information technology. 28 of them were single at the time of the survey, and, well, when you take into account that the university is only about five percent girls (biologically speaking, that is), it's hard to blame the guys. While there is the occasional knock-out among the co-eds--scarce as hen's teeth, though--the vast majority of women studying at the university will not be winning any beauty contests.

   What surprised me the most was that more than a third (35.9%) had never in their 19-odd years on this planet dated. That's pretty sad.

   You'd think that the situation would be better with women studying English at the famous co-educational private university where I teach part-time, but no, the figures are equally dismal. Of the 18 freshmen girls surveyed, only three had boyfriends. Two met their sweethearts in high school; the third was introduced to hers only a few months ago by a friend. Two claimed to be "lovey-dovey" at the time of they survey.

   In this class and another freshman class there was a handful of boys, as rare a commodity as girls at the public engineering college mentioned above. Nevertheless, none of lads had a lassie they could warm themselves with in the coming months of autumn and winter.

   A year ago, I invited a Nepali student at the engineering school and now a good friend of mine named Adi to come down to Fukuoka to observe some of my classes at the private university. I had the girls ask him questions--where are you from, why are you in Japan, what is your hobby, and so on--first. Later it was Adi's turn to ask the questions. He pointed to one of the few boys among the third year English literature students and asked if he had a girlfriend. No was the answer.

   Adi came down on the guy like a ton of bricks: "Shame on you! Man, you're surrounded by women and you haven't got a girlfriend? Shame on you!"

   The boy hung his head in defeat.

   Adi was right, of course.

   Yesterday morning, I asked the three boys (English Lit. majors) in my freshman class at the private university if any of them had girlfriends. None did. When class ended, I took the boys aside and said, "You're all reasonably good-looking. I mean it. When you're surrounded by women like this, there is no reason why you shouldn't have two or three girlfriends each. Seriously. So, I'm giving you some homework: get a girl before next Monday's class."

   "Will we fail the class if we don't?"

   "No, of course not. You'll still get an A, but you'll fail in life."

   One of the services I provide these hopeless boys is to show them what women are looking for in a partner. In the above, I asked the boys what they thought girls wanted. Then, I asked the girls what they were hoping to find in a boyfriend. It's funny that so many of them said chose "kindness" but, as I told the boys, girls will run all over you if you're too kind. Be cold, distant, uninterested, aloof, and the girls will flock to you. Nothing turns a girl off more than a guy who's desperate.

   Oh, yeah, be sure to make them laugh.

   The above was a survey of about ten freshmen women studying English literature. Below is a survey of twenty freshmen girls, all English majors, who were told to choose the three most important aspects from a list they provided. "Kind", "taller than me", and "funny" were the most popular answers. I suspect that the first two garnered the most votes because they were at the top of the list. In every single one of these surveys that I have conducted over the years humor has been found to be one of the most sought after attributes in a prospective partner. 

   Make 'em laugh, and you're halfway up their leg.

   Note: sawayaka, near the bottom of the first column, means "fresh", "refreshing". I suppose it refers to someone who isn't stuffy, gloomy, or introverted. Sociable, but not overly so. Cheerful, but not gratingly optimistic.

   Good luck, lads!

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