To be filed in the It’s All So Awful I Can’t Turn Away dept., many of you may have seen this email from an investment banker named “Mike” to a would-be maiden (“Lauren”) after an allegedly-horrific date they had to the New York Philharmonic. The note first appeared on Reddit a few days ago, which (as internet boards go) has a typically honest clientele.
The letter is egregiously stupid-feeling-inducing, especially given his enumeration of why they should go on a second date. Nuggets abound, like “You played with your hair a lot. A woman playing with her hair is a common sign of flirtation…” and “On a per-minute basis, I’ve never had as much eye contact during a date as I did with you.” And then he talks about money, and her age, and… It’s All So Awful I Can’t Turn Away.
scene of the crime
Needless to say, if you read the email, Mike seems to be surfing right down the middle of the Aspergian spectrum, and given my experience with the subject, that’s not a term to be thrown around loosely. There but for the grace of the Buddha went I, as they say.
My first reaction to this was “oh the horror”, putting myself in the shoes of the poor, obtuse dork who obviously had no idea how to behave, nor any translation mechanisms for the social cues that said “go the fuck away”. And if this guy was truly on that spectrum, he will probably just sit and suffer the humiliation without any real way of figuring out the rules, since they’re spoken in a language he only vaguely understands.
But then I was reminded of Rule 34 of the Internet, or more specifically, Rule 36, which states “If it exists, someone has a fetish for it. No exceptions.” Obviously, that’s meant for things like women’s shoes, nipple rings, blue cheese dressing, fireplace bellows, viola cases, toll gate coin baskets, and the Large Hadron Collider – but it also means there is someone else out there for “Mike”.
The internet itself upends the concept of celebrity and changes all games, meaning that Old Rule 16 takes over, and the immensity of the failure itself morphs it into a success. Simply put, the breadth and scope of Mike’s embarrassment ensures that his story will reach the right person for him, and perhaps legions of perfectly wonderful women will line up to be taken to the New York Philharmonic. They will twirl their hair, give him more than the requisite amount of eye contact, and maybe someone might actually live happily ever after.