We know how “the game” works. More importantly, we know that anyone in their late 20s who still plays “the game” is still single — because all the straight-up people who never played games are long gone, happily married and living in a chic pad in downtown Toronto hosting extravagant dinners on a Saturday night. Games don’t work. We know this.

We are the 20-something female neo-feminists whose posse consists of jocks and intellectuals who all just so happen to be male. We don’t get along with girls because they’re catty, analytical ... and each other’s worst enemy.

So we befriend guys. We hang with guys. We like their tell-it-like-it-is mantra and, yeah, we try to adopt it and make it our own. And we do. Quite successfully. And it’s always spectacular, until “it” happens. And it always happens.


Flashback to last Tuesday. Ben and I are in the boardroom (and it isn’t until much later I realize we’re alone). But he’s my friend and we’re talking hockey.

“You want to go to the game?” he asks.

“Sure!” I say.

Mistake No. 1.

Back at my apartment, I check with my roommate that this is not a date. I’m under the impression we’re both only going because we’re good friends and we like the same team.

Mistake No. 2.

The non-date goes superbly and we bid our adieus on the subway. And then this:

“Had a great time. Next time — dinner?”

I curse. It’s the ambiguous date invitation. Just when you swore things were cool. Friendly.

Flash forward to Friday when a colleague I consider a dear friend professed his love for me. His motive for confessing? If I was so straightforward, he could learn to be, too.

See, this isn’t necessarily what we’re after. But it’s what happens. It’s what always happens. And it makes me wonder: Is too straight-up a downfall?

Women, this is your call to action. (Read: Our plea). Let us off the hook. Quit the games. Tell it like it is. Say what you feel. Don’t analyze. He means what he says and he says what he means. Do the same and we would all be better off for it.

Because the more you disclose, the rarer we are. And the better you look. And the less frustrated he is. And the happier you both are. You see a pattern here?

A world where what you see is what you get.

Think of all the friends you could make.

Susie Mowers is a 20-something writer living in Toronto. She studies corporate communications at Seneca College.

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