Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beauty and The Beast

It seems so obvious. A forest for the trees sort of thing. But really, this is one of those scientific studies where I say “Yes! Thank you! That explains it.” Basically, the idea is that hardsell pickup lines work because they’re sexist. And they work to pickup women who are sexist too. Bam! The old matching theory at work. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like masochists and sadists. Actually, a lot like masochists and sadists.

But there’s also a corollary I think they missed. These books like The Game are written specifically to pickup beautiful women. That’s the limiter that make the whole thing work. One side of that would be, of course men want to pickup beautiful women. Why pickup ugly chicks? Granted.

But the other side of the coin is that, to a great extent, picking up beautiful women is like shooting fish in a barrel. They are easy marks. Especially for the notorious tactic of “negging”. That’s where a guy either gives a deliberately backhanded compliment or out-and-out criticizes a woman. Basically, it softens up her self-esteem so that she’s more open to being approached. The thing is, beautiful women have no resilience in this department. Me, you tell me that “Hey, I really like that you have the confidence to wear an ugly outfit” or “You know the natural look works for you. You can get away with not looking perfect,” and my little defenses go straight up. Zap! Zap! Jerk comments just bounce off like Wonder Woman’s bracelets. Beautiful women? They’re defenseless. They’ve never been attacked about their looks in their entire lives. They’ve never had to have a great personality.

Beautiful girls are also a lot easier to separate from their packs. When they get together, basically their selling point is all the same. So once their out, the further they get from the comparison set, the better off they are. When average girls go out, they usually go out with women they actually like. If I end up talking to a guy who turns out to be a jerkwad, I just go back to my crowd where I know I’m going to have a good time. AND I’ll have a new 5 minutes of material to regale my friends about the jerkwad who just tried to pick me up.

And lastly, beauty is malleable. Most men will accept what they are presented as beauty. They aren’t looking to see if someone is genetically beautiful. Flat ironed hair, tons of makeup, short skirt, breast implants, 6-inch heels. They’re done. A beautiful facade is plenty. Especially for a one-night hookup. And any woman who is willing to subject themselves to the kind of torture it takes to be club worthy is probably just masochistic enough to take whatever what of these bozos dish out.

So, I’m going to submit that “beautiful” is another self-selecting quality here. It is probably way easier to pick those girls up than one that’s just average. And if they were actually able to pickup pretty girls (naturally good looking, yet not acculturated to submit to the patriarchal ideal – see, researcher guys? I can use big words too), then I’d actually be impressed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An Appointment in Delhi

Oh, my god. It’s one of the “me”s.* I’ve always said I have one of those faces. People are always telling me I look like someone they know. Their cousin. Their college roommate. The girl who works in Building 1. Even my own family has seen these people, and almost walked up to one of them to start talking before they realized it wasn’t me. My own mother saw “me” in Amsterdam and was about 2 seconds from walking up and asking what the hell I was doing there.

And now I’ve seen one. It’s a “me.” Picture 3 of this photo essay (hopefully the link will take you straight there). Same coloring. Similar build. About the right haircut. And I’ll even be damned if I don’t own that outfit. Me. And if I was in Delhi, I’d probably be carrying that same travel book.

It’s kind of fucking with my sense of identity. I really prefer to think of myself as unique (aren’t we all?). I’m just contrary enough that I’ll head straight for red if everyone else is picking green. I LIVE for the words “only you would do that”. And that was just a bald and unattractive admission, so please don’t tell anyone else. It’s true enough though. An overweening, singular and slightly silly need to be different. Sad but true.

And there she is. Wearing my . . . me! I feel slightly peeved. Missy. I’ll admit that I fall in the general area of average female of mixed European descent. But really. Get your own face. Thank heavens for the skootch of Native American that gave me a bold nose, otherwise I’d be as interesting as a pile of potatoes. But still. There she is. But for the schnoz, my doppelganger. I’m perturbed. I admit it. Quite perturbed. I wonder if she knows about the rest of us.

* And I have to say, I have no idea how to appropriately punctuate that. Plural, with quotes, and an awkward 2 letter word that ends in a vowel. Punctuation nightmare. Just go with it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dazed and Confused

I’m really annoyed about the argument that people don’t want gay marriage or families addressed publicly because “it might confuse the kids”. Oh, come on. You’ll have to do better than that. Shoelaces confuse kids. In fact, growing up could be described as the process by which one goes from confused by, well, pretty much everything to a state of being unconfused. Well, not completely unconfused. But you know. Pretty much having a handle on the basics.

I think my entire childhood was pretty much one long confusion. One more thing to be befuddled about would have been no big deal. Which pretty much describes the way the only child I’ve ever seen actually go through the explanation of “Annie has two daddies”. He went through about 30 seconds of “What? Really? You’re kidding me? That’s funny. Okay. Whatever.” At 5, he had way more trouble figuring out the ketchup bottle (he’d never encountered one that wasn’t squeezable - hilarious). And a whole lot more interest in the outcome.

So, unless you’re going to eliminate all of the “confusing” things in the world like shoelaces and glass ketchup bottles, parents are just going to have to add two adults who love each other very much to the list of things they’ll need to explain. For the most part, kids brains are still mushy enough that they can take in all sorts of new things, no problem. It’s only adults who seem to have a hard time with it. And, if you really run into a kid who just doesn’t get it, you can always fall back on my Mom’s all-purpose phrase for making awkward parent/child conversations go way: “It’s none of your business.”

Monday, August 22, 2011

Heavy cloud, no rain

A friend of mine has a theory about the 10-day forecast on the weather. If the weather is really awful, the 10th or 9th day will be whatever gives you a glimmer of hope. If it’s bleak, cold, windy, Dostoevsky kind of weather, there’s the hope that a week and a half from now there will be a warmer day with a little sun. If it’s hotter than hell and twice as dry, then somewhere off on the horizon is a day under a hundred with a 30% chance of rain. Not that either of those will happen. We know it’s not really going to happen, but they’re just giving you the thought that there is some other possibility of something not completely awful . . . off in the distance . . . over there. And it’s the thought that counts.

And between the weather and the economy and politics and just some cycle of the moon that makes people seem to want to act like douchebag von assholes, I’m just kind of done. If life was a bully, I’d be handing over my lunch money. Enough already. Uncle. Every day you get up, and every day it’s like this. Son of a bucket. Even Anderson Cooper’s pretty mug won’t get me to turn on the news. Not that you can avoid it. Somehow, somewhere, the crap-a-thon will find you.

Now I like to think of myself as a plucky gal, piss and vinegar, spunky, the little engine that could. A Mary Tyler Moore in a room full of Rhodas. But even I’m getting tired. And I’m not falling for the 10th day promise. I’m just willing to concede misery for the foreseeable future. Peace. The summer will never end. You win.

Or maybe it’s just August. That’s possible too.

TIME: Quotes of the Day