A Terrific Trio

Man, do I need to read this novelHow to Talk to Girls at Parties, by Neil Gaiman, Fabio Moon, and Gabriel Ba.

Girls make me nervous.

“Maybe you should get out and meet some, then,” she says.

God, I wish she’d shut up sometime.  Nag, nag, nag.   That’s all she does.

I’m your conscience, idiot.  That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Yeah, well, couldn’t you do it with a little more grace, a little compassion, maybe?

“Nope.  Your guilt is textbook Calvinist.  My contract is very specific for such people.  Deal with it.”

Oy, the things I put up with.

I do meet girls, honest.  Lots of them.  Some I like, some I don’t.  Most of them are ok, especially the ones who don’t have dolls in their heads.  But I’m a guy, and girls remain a mystery to me.

(I think girls are a mystery to girls, too.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t spend as much time on the phone with their girlfriends as they do.)

Anyway, I need as much help as I can get.  And if Gaiman, Moon, and Ba can offer some, I’ll take it.  I’ve liked Moon and Ba’s artistry and storytelling ever since I found their graphic novel Daytripper a few years ago, a work so excellent that it belongs on everybody’s list of must-read books.  When you team up these gentlemen with Neil Gaiman, who is a living legend (seriously) in the realms of fantasy and illustration, well, you have a trio of artists who will entertain you and give you genuine food for thought at the same time.

Angst is part of living, no matter one’s age.  We’re supposed to be nervous, a little scared, when we’re headed into a circumstance we’ve never faced before.  But the knowledge of two things can help us:  other people have been in those situations before us; and, second, we usually find that, if we acknowledge our anxiety to the person we’re meeting, turns out he or she is just as nervous as we are.  Sometimes, that’s exactly the connection that needs to be made for good things to happen.

In the meantime, though, it seems there are always a thousand little things we need to know and do to fill in the gaps of our social ignorance and awkwardness.  Any advice we can get on those matters, person-to-person or in print, is most welcome.

“Advice?  You want advice, wallflower?  Don’t pick your nose in public,” she says.

Oy, the things I put up with.


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