The following is an exerpt from a larger work that I wrote over the summer. I have recently finished and will be periodically posting segments here on Wood's Stock. Comment, both positive and negative, is greatly appreciated.
Everything is about love: movies, television shows, music, books. Even Jack Bauer on 24 has had his share of romantic interests. It is the proverbial driving force in the earth’s rotation. Excluding heavy metal you would be hard pressed to find a song that doesn’t speak of love in some way, shape, or form—that is, of course, including all the Rap artists and their army of Bootylicious Ho’s.
In my eyes this causes a problem. When men watch a movie, or listen to a song, we manage to look past the kissing and see the building blowing up in the background; past the angst and emotion to the kick-a## drum solo. Women, however, don’t. Frequently their chief reason to watch a certain cinematic production is for its love story. You’ve seen it a million times; the socially awkward yet beautiful girl/woman longs from afar for the affection of the muscular football player/co-worker, gets her chance but in a display of typical male stupidity is heartbroken, only to have said muscle realize the err of his ways and show up on her doorstep with flowers, OR her slightly awkward yet charming plutonic male friend confessing his undying love, punches muscle and they live happily ever after.
Men are pigs. From the time females hit puberty—which is cruelly before males giving us no chance to defend ourselves—they are taught that men at every corner are just waiting to seduce them and break their hearts. We serve no other purpose than this, so get as much free lobster as you can and get out before you let yourself get hurt.
And that’s the rub. The guy wasn’t a jerk—at least not any more so than any other guy—the girl was, in her own mind, foolish enough to let herself get hurt.
It’s true, some guys are swine. Some men are horrible, disgusting, loathsome creatures; but then again, not every girl is a Disney princess. Sometimes when prince charming shows up to break the spell, sleeping beauty pretends to still be sleeping so that she won’t get hurt again.
I always tell my male friends “no matter what you do, it’s wrong.” If you call, you’re coming on to strong; if you don’t call, she’ll go out with the guy that does. If you never ask her out then you’re not interested; the minute you ask her out, you cease to be interesting.
I don’t consider myself an exceptionally ugly person. I have no glaring facial disfigurations, I bathe daily, brush my teeth in regularity, I even work out; yet tonight I couldn’t get a date to save my life. It’s a Tuesday, on Thursday I have two free tickets to a jazz night with music and dancing, the kind of stuff that girls eat up. The first girl has “a dinner” that night— tough luck—the second has plans with her roommates— no dice—the third has a big test the next day and has to meet with a study group—we’re in college, and apparently some of us are responsible.
Three girls, three soft rejections; granted Thursday night isn’t the optimal night, but I can personally guarantee that tomorrow all three of these women will be complaining to their girlfriends about how they never get asked out. They’ll badmouth all the “pretty girls” that have guys crawling all over them and watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy and McDream of Patrick Dempsey.
I’ve always felt that in the majority of dating endeavors the female holds all the power. Guy asks out girl. By that simple gesture the girl already knows that guy is interested. Now the fun part. After guy and girl go out it’s still the guy’s job to call the girl. Guy has no way, other than a basic evaluation of the date’s success/failure, to know if girl is even remotely intrigued. If guy decides the date wasn’t so good, he closes the door, problem solved. If guy is still interested, he’s now up inside his head, going over and over in his mind the conversation, body language, subtle gestures and circumstances of the first attempt. He’s racking his brain, doubting himself, on whether or not he should call again. It is truly a horrible experience.
What does the girl do? She waits.
I have been known to become somewhat irritated with my female friends when they get all bent out of shape waiting for a guy to call. Did you give him a reason to call? Did you make it clear to him that a second attempt would most likely be a success? Simply saying “call me” before shutting the door is not clear evidence, its common courtesy.
It relates beautifully to the employment field. We men try to sprinkle up our resumes in order to stand out amongst the other applicants. We put on our best suit and try to look nice during our interview. The woman throws us into a giant manila folder and if we’re lucky enough we get a callback interview only to be told that, while extremely qualified, we’re just not the best fit for the company.
The girl has the power. If it were poker she would have a clear view of the guy’s hand. It is the societal norm for the man to do everything. All the woman has to do is wear a nice dress, eat free food, and decide if the poor sap is, as Elaine Bennes would say, sponge-worthy.
It’s all about choice. Many women keep every man that enters their life at arms length, relying on the built-in instinct that the creature means her harm. Until they choose to “let themselves get hurt again” all we men can do is throw mud on the wall and hope some of it will stick.