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Back to David Foster Wallace or Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.


The Narrator's wife's roommate's younger sister (excuse the wordiness) attempts to seduce the narrator while everyone else is away at the mall. The way she carries herself appears to the narrator to be inspired by things she had seen in the media, namely the Victoria's Secret catalogue and an unnamed movie. The narrator notes that this behavior is attractive in the media, but when he is confronted with it in real life it is awkward and strange. The woman asks the narrator an unspecified three word question, and the narrator can't help but wince. He answers "It's not what you think," and she becomes aware of how "silly" her behavior might appear to another. The story ends with the sentence "And what if she joined him on the floor, just like this, clasped in supplication: just this way."


  • Narrator
  • Narrator's wife's college roommate's younger sister

Themes & Motifs


Media Representations

The woman confuses what she has seen in the media for what is the appropriate way to act in an intimate situation.