Monday, August 10, 2009
Too Much of a Good Thing
A friend of mine recently started dating a guy. I realized that she's always dating a guy, which is strange because I've never really considered her as a dating prospect. And really, it shouldn't be a surprise that she's popular: she's cute, smart, fun etc etc. So why hadn't I ever asked her? Because she's too nice.
That's right ladies. Not only will men scrutinize your every quality (once I even started putting together a rubric of attractive traits, then discontinued when I realized there was no practical purpose for the thing. I'm never torn between choosing 2 dates and wished I had my handy rubric to help out) but you can be rejected for having too much of a positive quality.
Evidently you can be too attractive. Now the ladies in the audience can breathe a sigh of relief because I've never heard a male complain about a prospective partner being too attractive. I've only heard this complaint from womenfolk. Evidently girls want to be the pretty ones, so having a guy that's too good looking is a negative. Also there's some worry of the prettier half receiving more attention and perhaps even caving to infidelity because of said attention. Personally, neither of these reasons would fly for me. Although I can't imagine ever saying "That girl is too cute. Next." I certainly have eliminated girls due to personality traits (self centered, shallow, boring) that I consider directly linked to her attractiveness. But if Kristen Bell showed up at church, and lacked those negative personality traits (as she would, being Kristen Bell and perfect) I'd definitely ask her out. I wouldn't be surprised by a rejection, I certainly understand that there are leagues and I'm not in the top one, but it wouldn't keep me from trying. But supposedly you can be too attractive.
Evidently you can be too smart. As with attractiveness, I've never eliminated someone for being too smart. Too academic yes, but only when this characteristic interfered with them having a personality, as it has been known to do. But I'd never drop a girl because she could do a crossword faster than me. I was reading an interview with Gerard Butler (because I find Gerard more interesting than immunology, as should you) and he said that sometimes he's in the mood for smart girls, and sometimes for not-so-smart ones. The argument that I've heard, not from Gerard, is that dating someone dumb will make you feel smarter. Certainly this makes sense, but doesn't seem at all appealing. Feeling smarter is a poor trade-off for stupid conversation all night, let alone for the rest of your life. So be warned, you can be too smart to date. But if you're smart enough to be considered too smart, you're probably smart enough not to rub your intelligence in people's faces all day long.
As a side note (because why in the world would I not indulge in side notes in a blog entry?) the smart/simple marriage does seem to work. At my long-toothed state, I have a hard time coming up with an old friend that isn't married. And as I've watched my friends get married, who tend to skew pretty intelligent, a sizeable minority have married not-as-intelligent people. And at this point I've seen many of them married for many years, with no signs of this mismatch giving them any problems. Maybe they don't talk about Proust over dinner. But really, who wants to? Evidently matching IQs doesn't really matter, or help anything.
So, finally the point of this rambler: evidently you can be too nice. It's not that I've ever met a girl and said "Uh, gross. I can't imagine kissing a girl as nice as you." Ok, once. No, the problem is reciprocity. It would drive me crazy is someone gave me a cookie every day and I didn't have anything to give them in return. If a girl were nice to me all the time, I'd have to be nice to her. And that would be horrible.
99% of my meanness is joking, so I don't feel bad about it. Maybe I should, but I don't, perhaps due to the meanness itself corrupting my sense of right and wrong. My mean self just doesn't seem compatible with a nice person. So when a girl is obviously, blatantly and continually nice, she's unappealing.
I saw (500) Days of Summer recently. Micro review: it was good but not great, inventive but not terribly so, and JGL shouldn't be allowed to play an adult. In any case, in the movie Summer is not a nice girl. She's not evil by any means, but not terribly nice. She's cute and likes The Smiths, so JGL pursues her. And she never really becomes nice. He loves her and she tolerates him and niceness and caring never really enter into it. And I was greatly reminded of my dating history.
I don't go after the nice girls. I go after the mean ones. And it should come as no surprise to me that they stay mean. They don't start bringing me that daily cookie. We have a good time being mean together, 99% of it joking, but they never become nice. And why should they? And it's kind of draining. Because I feel like I bring a lot of cookies to the table. I may call her fat every so often, I may intentionally get one with raisins, but I do actually bring cookies. Until it ends.
So I'm rejecting girls for being too nice, and complaining about girls being not nice enough. What's the answer? Going to med school I guess. I don't have a good answer. You can't easily change how attractive or smart you are, but you can change how nice you are. I could become more nice so I could date the nice girls. But that sounds unappealing. That sounds like work. And who would I be if I weren't mean? Not Chris I don't think. I'd have to change my name.
If you can be smart enough not to flaunt your intelligence, maybe you should be nice enough not to flaunt your niceness. Bring it out gradually. If you're a saint from the get-go you put up an impenetrable barrier of niceness. Or be kind and make fun of my hair a bit. Maybe then we can get along.