At some point, every guy -- player, geek, mama's boy, "regular Joe" -- meets a woman who makes him want to be a boyfriend. A good boyfriend. Problem is, unless he's had some first-rate training (by a previous girlfriend, a sister, a mom), he probably doesn't even know what that means. Felicity Huffman and Patricia Wolff come to the rescue with a rollicking -- and whip-smart -- handbook to navigating the minefield of male-female relationships.
Directed at men (though of course it's women who'll buy it, then leave it at their boyfriend's place -- accidentally on purpose), A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend lays out the many steps involved in becoming a good boyfriend, while still maintaining guy-dignity. It covers issues like:
-Who decides when you become a boyfriend (answer: She does.) -How to look like you're listening, even when you're not (If you're busted, just say "You're so pretty, I'm distracted.") -Ten things never to say on the first date (#4: "I just did that to freak you out.") -Finding the middle ground between too cool (think third grade) and too eager (think surprise visits) -Why becoming a good boyfriend is a lot like training for the A team
Filled with humor, ribaldry, common sense, and assorted outdoor skills, A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend is the next dating guide to dominate the bestseller lists.
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About the Author
Felicity Huffman won an Emmy in 2005 for her portrayal of Lynette Scavo on TV's hit series Desperate Housewives. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in the same role. Her next film, Transamerica, will be released in theaters in early 2006, and her performance won her the Best Actress Award at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Huffman has appeared in a number of feature films, television shows, and plays. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor/director William H. Macy and their two daughters. Patricia Wolff is a producer of both movies and plays. Wolff produced the world premiere of Mamet's play Oleanna off-Broadway as well as the film adaptation, and co-produced the movie Bring It On starring Kirsten Dunst and is a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company. Patricia lives in Los Angeles with her son, Jack, and is an associate producer with Center Theatre Group.
Read an Excerpt
HANDBOOK FOR THE BOYFRIENDFor Every Guy Who Wants to Be One, For Every Girl Who Wants to Build One
By Felicity Huffman Patricia Wolff
HyperionCopyright © 2007 Velocity, Ltd and Patricia Wolff
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWe take pleasure in presenting to you, the men of America, this first edition of A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend. Whether you're a good guy or a bad boy, single or attached, you will find this an indispensable guide to your girlfriend or girlfriend-to-be. You'll also find it an essential collection of ideas, information, and assorted survival skills that will surely come in handy.
Think of this as your AAA guide to love, a decoder ring, a relationship road map, and your very own GPS-Girlfriend Positioning System. We'll steer you toward the right turns and help you avoid the wrong ones so that you don't ever have to change a flat in A Town Called Lame, population one. In addition to offering interesting recipes for the holidays (okay, not really), this book will give tasty tips on the following:
How to apologize without really apologizing
How to look like you're listening while you're thinking about other things (keep eye contact at all times, but if busted, repeat the phrase "You're so pretty, I'm distracted")
How to tell if her "no" means "yes," or her "yes" means "no"
How to avoid long phone conversations
How to survive her driving
How to buy the last-minute present
How to charm the pants off of her (literally)
How to avoid talking about your"feelings"
How to pretend you have "feelings"
How to pretend you're deep
How to talk dirty (a beginner's guide)
How to convince her farting in bed is a sign of your commitment
How to have sex without intimacy (Oops, forgot who we were talking to. Never mind.)
You may think that you're the first guy to try to understand women and come up empty- handed, but you're not. Men have been scratching their heads about the fairer sex since the beginning of time.
Think of the first boyfriend, Adam. You think he wasn't baffled by his girlfriend? You bet he was. Now, there's a guy who could have used this book. You may not think he needed it-after all, he was alone in paradise, had some snacks, and Eve was already naked. But we beg to differ.
Their problems weren't over money, getting out of dinner with her parents, or his addiction to online poker. No, their issues revolved around a small piece of red fruit. God said, "Don't eat it." Eve said, "If you love me you'll bite." The poor guy had God on one side and Eve on the other; talk about a rock and a hard place. Adam tried to reason with his girl, warning her of the dangers of breaking the one rule God had made, but she wouldn't listen. From her point of view it wasn't about the apple or God (she wasn't hungry and had never even met the Big Guy in the sky), it was about whether her boyfriend took her seriously and understood her feelings. Sound familiar? In her mind, Adam was trying to control her ... again. Talk about a power trip. Who died and left him in charge? There he was telling her what to eat, what not to eat, and by the way, was this "don't eat the apple" thing his way of letting her know he thought she was fat? Great. But maybe Adam was just a regular guy, trying to toe the line with The Man and trying to keep his girlfriend happy. It couldn't have been easy. We girlfriends can be a lot to handle. We demand intimacy. We ask a lot of questions: "What are you thinking about?" "Do you love me?" "How come we never talk?" And the transitions are murder. One minute we're lying around happy and naked (think Eve), and the next minute we're dressed to kill, goose-stepping all over your heart (think Eva Braun).
Or maybe what happened that day was just a moment of profound miscommunication:
"I thought you said take a bite!"
"No, I said let's not fight!"
And afterward they found themselves thrown out of paradise and faced with having to find a new place to live (and in terms of stress levels, moving is second only to death in how it can affect a couple).
Biblical scholars have offered various interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve, but we'll never know what really happened. Still we are certain of one thing: Men and women will never see, hear, or feel things in just the same way. That was as true in the Garden of Eden as it is in the Garden State of New Jersey or anywhere else on God's Green Earth.
So what's a guy to do? Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. We can't teach you what to expect from your GF because she will never be the same from one day to the next, or even from one moment to the next. Being with a woman can be like living in a time machine where you are zapped every few hours into another female mood without warning. We can't change that, but we can help demystify some of your girlfriend's behavior so that when the woman you love transports you once again to a galaxy far, far away, you'll have the skills you need to quickly orient yourself and deftly master the situation. Our job is to make sure you are prepared.
* * *
Now, you may not be interested in being a boyfriend, and that's fine. But there may come a day when you want to be thought of as Mr. Right, and not Mr. Right Now. When you do, you'll want this book in your back pocket, right next to your wallet and that ribbed-for-pleasure condom. Read it from cover to cover or jump to the chapter you need.
Become an expert in a couple of hours. Or just look like one.
Excerpted from HANDBOOK FOR THE BOYFRIEND by Felicity Huffman Patricia Wolff Copyright © 2007 by Velocity, Ltd and Patricia Wolff. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
some parts were really humorous but it lacked the really insightful parts that i looked forward to when i first picked up the book. there were a few good points but it didnt have a lot of helpful info and most of the things in the book were largely common sense not in depth stuff you look for in a handbook for a boyfriend
A light look at relationships from a man's perspective. Stereotypical, sometimes annoyingly so, but said with a great deal of humour. More for fun than selfhelp.
If so put im 14- in your headline maybe cell phone number?
This was not at ALL what I was expecting, thinking it would be some sophmoric essay on 'how to pick up women' or some such nonsense. Just the opposite: it was well written, with a sense of humor, and highly intuitive. That said, you have to take this, and every book, with a grain of salt. Frankly, I loved it.
This book is the reason that girls get so psychotic and crazy in relationships sometimes. What girls honestly thinks that if your boyfriend doesn't offer you junior mints that he doesn't love you, that is just pathetic. Maybe he is just a greedy pig. I am so disappointed that she would put her name on such a horrible book that would enourage some of the things this book does. You shouldn't have to build or train a boyfriend. Some things maybe need to change, but you shouldn't need to completely train one. And he shouldnt feel like he is training for the A team to become your boyfriend.
Im single and reddy to mingle!
Is this book good for girls?
What is it with books like this? They encourage psychotic behavior on both sides of a relationship. If two people are just honest and open with each other, and don't play the games that this book encourages, then there would be no need for this kind of junk to be published.