Alison Brie was gunning it.

A guy she liked had invited her to a concert. She’d been stuck late at work, and he was saving her a spot at the venue while she raced over and . . . There went the car. Out of gas. Great. So she called him from the side of the road. “He got so mad at me!” the 26-year-old actress says, still indignant. “He gave me such a hard time and made me feel really guilty about possibly missing this date. So I felt obligated to go.” Which meant hiking a few kilometres to buy petrol and showing up at the concert hardly in the mood to rock, which he clearly didn’t notice. “And then he was all bummed that I didn’t take him up on his offer to drive us both back to his place.”Baffling, right?

What kind of idiot strands a woman—any woman, really, but come on, look at her—on the side of the road just so he won’t miss some rock band’s smoke-machine entrance? Especially given the fact that if he’d abandoned the show to rescue her, the date would have gone way better than he’d originally planned.
A word about Brie: Her roles are all wrong. Upright housewife Trudy Campbell on Mad Men? Uptight student on Community? How she manages to reel herself in is remarkable. In real life, Brie is all over the place: a loud, theater-trained art-school grad raised by “hippie parents,” energetic on just an hour of sleep, best-friend-hanging-on-your-couch cool. At our photo shoot, her top literally fell off in front of everyone, and she just shrugged, amused, as all eyes sunk south. (Jealous you weren’t there?)

But after enough dates with the likes of Concert Guy, she’s suddenly . . . traditional. “There’s something to be said for a man who’ll pick you up for a date—actually drive to your house and ring your doorbell,” she says. “In high school I dated emo guys who were sort of effeminate or androgynous. But after college, something clicked and I started dating men from the Midwest, men who shot guns and hunted. I think it’s carnal to be attracted to a guy who looks like a man, who has hair on his body and smells like a man.”

She pauses, and laughs: “Strange thing to learn about myself.”

But not so strange, really. This is what happens after enough bad dates: Women begin looking everywhere for signs of maturity. They’re not judging you—they’re protecting themselves. Soon, every indicator matters. Sense of humor. Reading habits. Table manners. Ties. (Seriously, ties!) Brie—understandably, after spending three seasons deep in the 1960s on cable’s AMC channel—prefers that era’s skinny ties. She thinks they make men look as if they put thought into their attire. “I don’t like how men these days dress like they’re 15 until they’re 60,” she says.

Alison Brie was gunning it. A guy she liked had invited her to a concert. She’d been stuck late at work, and he was saving her a spot at the venue while she raced over and . . . There went the car. Out of gas. Great. So she called him from the side of the road. “He got so mad at me!” the 26-year-old actress says, still indignant. “He gave me such a hard time and made me feel really guilty about possibly missing this date. So I felt obligated to go.” Which meant hiking a few kilometres to buy petrol and showing up at the concert hardly in the mood to rock, which he clearly didn’t notice. “And then he was all bummed that I didn’t take him up on his offer to drive us both back to his place.”Baffling, right?

What kind of idiot strands a woman—any woman, really, but come on, look at her—on the side of the road just so he won’t miss some rock band’s smoke-machine entrance? Especially given the fact that if he’d abandoned the show to rescue her, the date would have gone way better than he’d originally planned.
A word about Brie: Her roles are all wrong. Upright housewife Trudy Campbell on Mad Men? Uptight student on Community? How she manages to reel herself in is remarkable. In real life, Brie is all over the place: a loud, theater-trained art-school grad raised by “hippie parents,” energetic on just an hour of sleep, best-friend-hanging-on-your-couch cool. At our photo shoot, her top literally fell off in front of everyone, and she just shrugged, amused, as all eyes sunk south. (Jealous you weren’t there?)

But after enough dates with the likes of Concert Guy, she’s suddenly . . . traditional. “There’s something to be said for a man who’ll pick you up for a date—actually drive to your house and ring your doorbell,” she says. “In high school I dated emo guys who were sort of effeminate or androgynous. But after college, something clicked and I started dating men from the Midwest, men who shot guns and hunted. I think it’s carnal to be attracted to a guy who looks like a man, who has hair on his body and smells like a man.”

She pauses, and laughs: “Strange thing to learn about myself.”

But not so strange, really. This is what happens after enough bad dates: Women begin looking everywhere for signs of maturity. They’re not judging you—they’re protecting themselves. Soon, every indicator matters. Sense of humor. Reading habits. Table manners. Ties. (Seriously, ties!) Brie—understandably, after spending three seasons deep in the 1960s on cable’s AMC channel—prefers that era’s skinny ties. She thinks they make men look as if they put thought into their attire. “I don’t like how men these days dress like they’re 15 until they’re 60,” she says.

These days, she says. Men, this is how fast a woman evolves. It’s how fast you have to keep up. And if a free spirit like Brie is saying that, it’s really worth listening to.