Russ Redux

Once we were all seated around our regular table at Great Godfrey Daniels, Malka launched into the latest news of Russ, her grade school crush. 

“He’s got a girlfriend!” she cried. 

“Hm,” I said. 
“Play Hard-to-Get.”  

“What do you mean?” she asked. 

Good question. But instead of being honest, I evaded and said, “Nothing’s serious until high school.” 

But what had I meant? Set aside, for a moment, that this is about the unrequited puppy love of a tweenager. How do you play Hard-to-Get with somebody who isn’t interested in you? 

Well, if you treat someone like merde, then you will be on their radar. 

For starters, then, every time Malka crosses paths with Russ, she could stick her tongue out (at him). This should be a stick in his craw, so to speak. Yes, it should nag him—that is, unless he’s too self-absorbed or too iron-willed to focus and pay heed to a girl’s stuck out tongue. To that point, his father is a pastor, or a minster, or something that has to do with a church and its flock.

But let’s assume it sparks his curiosity. Say he stops her in the hall and asks, “What was that for?” Should Malka’s response be cryptic, mysterious?  With faux casual indifference, she might answer, “Just because,” and walk away. 

So, yes: Malka should stick out her tongue—so to capture the boy’s attention—and then proceed to treat him as she so frequently treats me: with mock disdain (unless it’s genuine disdain). 

But then what? Malka should proceed to confound him until he can’t stop thinking about her. 

Oh, but she’s already been forthright with him. This puts her at something of a disadvantage. Best not to tell a crush you’re crushing, at least not until you’ve turned the tables and crushed his toes (or crushed something). But as the situation stands, would a “neg” approach still work? Good question. Alas, I know too little about the lad. (Thank God.) From what Malka has told me, he’s athletic, but probably too young to be a dumb jock.  

Regardless, Malka should seek, if not concoct, opportunities to be mean to him. If a stuck out tongue doesn’t do the trick, then a punch in the nose can’t miss. 

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