Rotten vegetables to get the attention of a boy?

Yesterday woman from Germany, who lives near Detroit, told me that her 11-year-old son found some rotten vegetables in his locker. She went to his teacher and asked him if he knew why this could have happened. The teacher said, “I don’t know. Maybe some girl has a crush on him.”

This startled the woman. She said that girls in Germany would probably write a love letter instead of doing something insulting to the boy. I had to explain to her that American girls around 11 to 13 years old often insult a boy to get his attention.

What would girls of that age in other countries do in that situation?

Sadly, writing love letters is a dying art. But from that to insulting the boy, there must be a whole range of tactics to draw his attention or interest. I will have to ask my daughter, who is around that age. Girls are said to be more manipulative by nature or more subtle. And it’s a fact that girls that age are far more emotionally mature than boys. Yet when I was a teenager, the more I felt attracted to a boy, the more I would ignore him, inexplicably (that blasted shyness again, I guess), later calling myself all kinds of names for my silly behaviour (Ah, had I known about the rotten vegetable manoeuvre back then!).

All in all, love has funny ways…

A girl was 22 brought me a dead spider and put it in my palm while we were on holiday at the lake Balaton, although she knew I’ve never been a big fan of those dead spiders at all.
I thought she hates me,but she’s my wife already,so it must have been the same kind of motivation.
I think it could’ve happened in Germany as well, when girls like someone they can do a lot of funny things for some attention.
Personally I understand why,because I wouldn’t write a letter to no boy if I was a schoolgirl since I know OUR reaction if one of us had got a piece of paper from a girl.
The same works the other way as well,boys bit girls up methodically if they find them attracive.
I think it’s better, more innocent than writing letters, even if it sounds brutal.
When my doughter grows up to that age, I’ll prefer her biting those boys instead of writing letters to them.
She’ll be working out, and biting up all of them at once :slight_smile:

Spencer, do you mean ‘bite’ like in ‘gripping or cutting with your teeth’ or ‘beat’ like in ‘hitting’ or ‘striking’? Or maybe what you had in mind was the expression ‘to bite someone’s head off’ (to reply angrily and in a bad temper)?


I meant beat, but my writing skills don’t let me write properly. Sometimes I surprise myself by writing a word what looks correct to me, and it IS correct,but it’s meaning is far from that word what I wanted to write.
I still consider it as a kind of developing, because even if it’s wrong but at least it does exist unlike those words I wrote before.
Thanks for pointing at it anyway and sorry about not being understandable

No apologies needed, Spencer. We all make mistakes. In fact, I meant it as a kind of (questionable!) joke. Like your post, which describes typical features of what happens to some of us and could be titled something like “Misadventures of a Laborious Student”!

My daughter seems to have inherited this peculiarity from me!! If she likes a boy, she doesn’t even dare speak to him (at least, that’s what she tells me). I find it reassuring, somehow.

By the way she found the rotten vegetable anecdote very funny.

Well, there was a girl I knew in high school who gave me the cold shoulder all the time. We ended up dating when we were adults, and I found out that she wasn’t hostile to me when we were kids, but was just terrified to talk to me. All those years of self-examination over what I might have done to her, and it turned out to be nothing.

As for the rotten vegetables thing, I asked a whole class of students from countries ranging from Iraq to Lithuania, all the way down to Senegal, and they had absolutely no idea what the vegetables could have meant. They couldn’t even guess. I guess it’s probably an American thing. But then, Spencer’s story about the dead spider makes me think it’s not exclusively American.

Jez, Jamie, till this very moment I thought that You are a girl!
Although I know that Jamie is a male name (we had the Jamie and the magic torch cartoon on TV).
I still got a hint at the first moment I saw Your name that You were a girl and since then I’ve never questioned it somehow.
It’s funny, it’s like to know someone for a while by phone, You picture him, or her and when you meet finally they look thoroughly different.
It’s even tougher, cause I didn’t expect no meeting and I didn’t miss Your look but Your sex!
I checked all of Your messages I read already, and haven’t found anything what could give me that hint, so I just built You up in my mind as a woman.
Anyway, better late than never,
At least I’ve learnt something again on this forum

Wow! I didn’t know I wrote so androgynously! :smiley:

Have you ever seen those or skits on the American show “Saturday Night Live” about the person named Pat? There’s a movie about “Pat” too. Some guy gets a job at a company, and one of his supervisors is “Pat”. He can’t figure out whether Pat is a man or a woman, so he asks the buddy who got him the job. His buddy doesn’t know either.

So, for years this man is trying to figure out Pat’s gender, but nothing gives it away – not the body, not the hairstyle, not the voice, not the movements, nothing. He invites Pat to lunch, figuring he’ll see if Pat brings a purse. Pat brings a backpack. He asks Pat if Pat is dating anyone, and Pat says, “Yes, my friend Terry.” Later, Pat breaks up with Terry and starts going out with Chris. The man meets both Terry and Chris, but it’s impossible to tell if they are men or women either.

So for a few years we got to see the adventures of Pat, but still nobody knows what Pat is.

Hi Jamie, what exactly does androgynously mean? I couldn’t find it in my Langenscheidt Compact Dictionary. Of course the context you have used it in indicates that it means something like ‘related to both sexes’ or so. Also, can you tell us how many average Americans would know this word and how many of them would use it?
Have a good Friday night.

The LEO online dictionary has “androgynous” defined in German as “androgyn”, “zweigeschlechtig”, “zwitterartig”, etc. “Andro” means man, and “gyn” means woman in this word. It means you can’t tell if something or someone is male or female, or that it has properties of both men and women. This is a very common word in the US (and elsewhere), and any educated person would probably know it.

There’s absolutely nothing androgynous or ambiguous about the way you write (though I wouldn’t see anything wrong with that). Come to think of it, maybe social scientists have done some kind of studies on the differences in writing according to gender – it would be interesting to read about that.

Now, if one gets the wrong impression at the start, it’s easy to keep it, I should imagine, until some little thing gives you away and upsets the mistaken notion.

Wouldn’t it be fun to play at guessing people’s genders? No names or other clues would have to be given, of course – though it can be enough of a puzzle with some names (Americans, for instance, often have surnames for names)! Oops, that makes one or two too many of the same word. (…) Well, try as I might, I can’t find a good synonym for ‘name’ here.

Hi Conchita,

How about monniker as another word for name? Not of course to be confused with Monic(k)a. That would put the cat among the pigeons.

Thank you, Alan!

It’s amazing how bigger my vocabulary is getting by the minute! I’ll try not to miss the opportunity to use the word if I need to impress someone :slight_smile: . Thanks for the interesting idiom, too.

Hey Conchita,
I’m happy You put your picture up, You look nice, just how I imagined You!
Jamie, If you had a picture of yourself displayed,
I wouldn’t have mistaken You this much! :slight_smile:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a maniac who needs pictures of everyone I talk to, but I’m still a bit confused when I see a message written by You. :slight_smile: