How to Pick a Lover

English: Little Red Riding Hood Meets the Wolf...

Image via Wikipedia

Wolf: the kind of guy with whom a woman should eat, drink, and be wary.
—Louis Safi an, Two Thousand Insults for All Occasions

Whether or not you can tell the sheep from the goats, it is quite easy to tell the sheep from the wolves. The folklore is full of jokes about wolves and their erotic aspirations. Wolves are, after all, one of the first types of would-be lovers that a girl encounters since they prey with special enthusiasm upon the young and innocent. A wolf ’s life is a bed of ruses. He is a man of single purpose and double talk. He has wandering hands that go from touch to worse. He whistles while he lurks. In short, he is the kind of man that men don’t trust too far and women don’t trust too near.

Alas, men are not easily classified as merely being either wolves or nonwolves. There is another type of man to watch out for: the wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is a more exotic type, usually encountered in later life, and he provides a surprise on the order of Little Red Riding Hood.

The wolf in sheep’s clothing seems to be a harmless fellow. He is careful not to use bad language in front of you, and if he slips, he apologizes. He scurries around to open the car door for you and insists that you walk on the inside of the sidewalk. He is a model of gentlemanly conduct until you find yourself alone with him in an elevator perhaps or, even worse, in a closed room. And then, with wolflike cunning and a sense of territoriality, he pounces.

The wolf in sheep’s clothing is an especially difficult problem if you do like him. Worse yet, if you work with him, you will then have to resurrect some semblance of an ordinary situation after he has pounced and you have reacted negatively. There is only one defense against this kind of wolf, and that is the presence of other people. The instant you are alone with him, the hassle begins again. He has likely had little experience with women, except perhaps with prostitutes, and so has little understanding of courtship. It is unlikely he will learn and even more unlikely that he would be worth teaching anyway.

Take evasive action.

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