Follow-up to Friday’s blog…
The funny thing about life is how much you get away with when you no longer have a dog in the fight. The ONLY reason I’m able to spew forth on these topics of gender-related oafishness is because I’m a member of the subset of perpetrators, and I haven’t had to deal with the goddamn dating pool for about seven years. Which, in several ways, would seem to make my advice useless, but to paraphrase Wordsworth, I do get the benefit of “emotion recollected in tranquility.”
Many folks have written to me about their own situations, and I would beg of them to write in the comments section, where their stories can find the right oxygen for conflagration. Besides, I can’t claim I’m particularly right about any of this. I’m speaking of a certain kind of guy milling about the womensphere of various college towns and hip cities, and I’m more than happy to hear about the wondrous exceptions you have met (and occasionally married!)
I also realize that commitment-phobia and emotional retardation is an equal-opportunity employer, but I think it afflicts women in vastly lower numbers than men. Two factors ensure this: the plummeting fertility rates over the age of 41; and the disgusting way aging women are undervalued in a society that grotesquely fetishizes its young.
Besides, guys possess a unique ability to morph the boundaries of their morality to the terrain of any given situation – give them an inch, and they will take the inch. If you give them 27 women to date, they will not stop at 26. They are patently unable to dictate the end of the lengths to which they will go; when someone says “at long last, do you have no shame?” they will be confused by the wording of the question.
I don’t say this as some self-loathing weirdo, nor do I think guys are inherently malevolent. In fact, most of them are downright well-intentioned, and as I said, have convinced themselves they are still looking for true love. But they come to the game so poorly-equipped for any real communication – between themselves and women, at least – that they surrender to the cheap joke, the guffaw between two guys at the urinal, the “boys will be boys” loopholes, and the fact that “lothario” sounds so much more fun than “slut”.
For their part, women routinely mistake their charisma for depth, their bursts of honesty for true commiseration, “childlike” for “childish”. They might date a complete zork believing that the zork will never leave them, not realizing the zork pines for the fjords of every other woman on earth.
The good news is most guys can be rehabilitated, but it does involve the trickery and steadfastness mentioned in Friday’s blog. It requires the full-scale abandonment of two tenets they hold dear: that they will live forever, and that there is always someone hotter/smarter/cooler than the person they’re dating now. Once they let go of this double-headed chimera of bullshit, you might consider taking them seriously.