What’s Your No-Beer Answer?

I have a career problem. Not with the career. It’s great so far. But it wreaks havoc on my dating. Heck, its even bad for not dating. I was at circus school the other night and a happily married classmate asked me what I do.

“Scientist,” I said vaguely.

“Oh wow,” he looked stunned.

“You?” I asked, keeping it friendly.

“Well, now I don’t want to say,” he hesitates. “I’m just an intake nurse at the hospital.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Well, it’s not a smart.”

“So what? It’s a good job and you’re still way better at lion-taming than I am. That’s not going to change how I see you.”

The thing that bugged me about this exchange was that I’d given him my “beer” answer. I was trying to be non-intimidating. What’s a girl to do when her “beer” answer is also a “no-beer” answer?

Here’s how it goes. If a girl is in a bar and a guy comes over and asks what she does, she can give one of two answers: the “beer” answer, which will hopefully lead to further conversation and him offering to buy her a beer; or the “no beer” answer, which will make him suddenly recall urgent business elsewhere. This is purely theoretical for me, as I never get approached in bars, since I’m not generally in them. But the idea still holds: the turn-off answer, and the not-so-turnoff answer.

When I came across this idea, I asked my companions, a preschool teacher and a librarian, what their “no beer” answers would be. After some deep mulling, the preschool teacher answered “Early childhood development specialist.” The librarian didn’t miss a beat. “Librarian,” she said promptly.

Like the librarian, my beer and no-beer answers are essentially the same. Which I find troubling.  What on earth is a girl to answer if people back away slowly from the lite version? A lie?

…then again, it sure is fun to whip out the no-beer answer. “I’m a microneurobiologist specializing in intracellular organelle funambulism. But that’s boring. What do you do? Hey, is something wrong?”


16 thoughts on “What’s Your No-Beer Answer?

  1. It’s funny- I’m married and STILL answer the “beer” answer in casual conversation. No one (unfortunately) really wants to hear what I do for a living, unless they are a similar ‘interesting’ person.

  2. Wow, I love the no-beer answer… and the beer answer is the same as mine (scientist 🙂 … nmf – agreed!

  3. I love the idea of classifying answers into “beer” and “no-beer” – not come across that one before!
    (For what it’s worth, “microneurobiologist specializing in intracellular organelle funambulism” sounds like a “beer” answer to me.)

  4. How about ‘in the biology field..working for some company’ …if they ask what do you do…just some science stuff. of course it’s better if you want to be honest but just a go-to if you’re in a rut.

  5. Volunteer as a preschool teacher on the side so you don’t have to lie. An hour a year should be fine. Everyone stretches things. Like I stopped aging when I hit 25.

  6. I just say that I am doing a PhD in biology. That usually gets me the question “so you want to be a doctor?” to which I answer “well, actually, I want to be the person who figures out which new medicines to make so that doctors can use them.”

  7. Well, if I heard that I’d start parsing your job description: “Microneurology … must be about neurons, or perhaps the brains of very small things. Intracellular, inside cells. Organelles – those things inside cells. Funambulism … tightrope walking? She’s obviously pulling your leg.” Then I’d look up and by that time the bar would have closed, so you wouldn’t get a beer anyway.

  8. Funambulism … tightrope walking?

    Well clearly the politics is bad where she works so she feels she is walking a tightrope.

    Seriously, the “beer” answers sound a lot like “I don’t want to talk about my job” answers. Like when someone comes to me at kiddush and asks “what do you do?” I say “computer stuff.”

    But now I want to know, does all this tight-rope walking have clinical applications, is it a step on the road to drug discovery, or is it purely theoretical?

  9. wrong wrong wrong
    NOTHING is more seductive in a woman than intelligence. NOTHING.
    You shop in the wrong stores, sweetie. Plenty of nice Dati Ivy Leaguers, Oxford, JHopkins, Stanford etc, and a significant number of them are serious Talmidei Chachamim as well.

  10. Dunno about that. Most of the Ivy Leaguers I’ve gone out with were arrogant jerks, to be blunt about it. And those weren’t thrilled to be corrected by a woman either.

  11. 😛 thank you. Too many people asked me since when I started doing scientific research. I don’t give identifying information online. Including what I do. But I try to make it clear when I’m giving false information too. Hence, organelle funambulism.

  12. I have never heard of this until now and it is humorous to me. Why have two answers? Hell, if a man is that intimidated by my answer I don’t want a beer from him anyways!

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