“Seriously dude, I think you should get out there and just see. I mean, what can it hurt?” He asks.
I try to ignore him.
“I mean look at her. She’s cute!”
Again, I ignore him.
“Seriously tell me you wouldn’t date her.” He says.
”I wouldn’t date her.”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!!” He yells.
There is nothing wrong with me. Well, at least, that’s how I feel. These are how all of our conversations go. They can happen any time, anywhere. This particular conversation is happening while surfing the web through MySpace profiles and internet dating service sites.
“Look you just need to get out there. I mean, they can’t be all that bad. Can they? Seriously, I mean seriously. Have you even tried it? Because you don’t know what it’s like unless you’ve tried it. Am I right? You should just do it. Just sign up for the online dating. It can’t be that bad. What have you got to lose? It’s not like you’re doing anything now. I mean seriously dude. Seriously.”
He likes to use the word “seriously”, a lot. Which is almost ironic because I rarely take these conversations seriously. The: you need to get out in the world and date people, and you should do this via internet dating, so stop being chicken shit and sing up for E-Harmony or something! The reason I don’t take these conversations seriously is because way back in 2002 I did sign up for an online dating sight. Yahoo personals. I met some people, none of whom I talk to anymore. I went on some dates. None of which were particularly memorable. I’m not in any hurry to duplicate the experience.
I also had an experience going to an actual dating service. I don’t remember the company’s name, or how they got my number, but they were relentless in trying to get me to sign up with them. I finally agreed to go into talk to someone. A large pregnant woman gave me a twenty minutes sales pitch and told me the service was ridiculously expensive (my words not hers). I politely declined to join, and she got very mad, and damned me to a long lonely life.
“What about this one? She’s cute!” he says. Except he doesn’t say it like that, he says it more like this, “She’s cuuuuuuuuuuuuute.” The extended “ou” sound means that she isn’t cute.
“No she’s not.”
“Come on dude. Maybe she’s got a good personality. Maybe she’s funny. Maybe she’s smart. You can’t just judge people by the way they look. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
This is, of course, a lie. This is the biggest myth of all time.
YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER
I work in a bookstore, I judge books by their covers all the time. Here’s the truth: books that have good looking covers, are usually good. Books with generic or bad looking covers, are usually bad. A book is completely capable of surprising you, so yeah, on the rare occasion you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but more often than not, WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET, I know, cause I work in a bookstore. (that’s why you can’t buy into bumpersticker sayings, there’s always another saying to contradict the first… Early bird gets the worm huh? Then why do good things happen to those who wait? Explain that!)
Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But everyone does. I judge on looks (and feel bad about it), you judge on looks (and feel bad about it… maybe), your parents judge, your grandparents judge, judges judge, Hanna Montana judges, everyone judges. That scruffy homeless guy standing on the side of the road could have been a victim of the tech crash, causing his wife to leave him, taking the kids and the house, leaving him with nothing but his pride, and a scruffy beard and a cardboard sign, but I wouldn’t really know, cause I’m not going to go up to talk to that guy who just wants money for booze.
“What about that one? She’s not that bad looking dude.”
“Seriously, dude, She could have a good personality. You don’t know. You don’t know unless you talk to them, you have to talk to them.”
“No. Good personality and good looking are not the same thing.”
“She could be nice.”
“That’s what you say. That’s what you say about people who are not traditionally attractive. You say they are nice, or funny, or interesting, or he or she has a good personality, or they’re good at math, or they have good memory retention, or they’ve successfully fought off a bear attack. That’s what you say about people who don’t look like they belong on One Tree Hill. Think about the people you see out in public. We’re walking through the mall and you see a guy and you say…”
“Dude, you’re not listening to me…”
“You say, ‘Oh my God that guy is so hot.’ You never say, ‘Oh my God I bet that guy is good at math, and thus I am attracted to him.’ Because no one cares about math.”
“Dude, seriously, she could be smart.”
Here’s a quote I found on Abraham Lincoln.
“And how he did like to tell funny stories! He would sit in front of the country store or on the counter inside and tell of all the funny things he had seen, or heard, or knew. He would make up poetry about the men and women of the neighborhood, or make a speech upon things that the people were interested in, until all the boys and girl, and the men and women too said he knew everything worth knowing, and he was a smart chap.”
Abraham Lincoln. One of the greatest Presidents ever, sure he may have been a tad suicidal, but the man lead the country through a civil war. He abolished slavery. Good man. Great man. And he was smart, and funny, and he could make up poetry, but he wasn’t what one would call attractive. But he could tell a joke.
His wife, the woman, who would love one of our country’s greatest Presidents, well, she wasn’t a looker either.
“The great debates marked television’s grand entrance into presidential politics. In August, Nixon had seriously injured his knee, and spent two weeks in the hospital. By the time of the first debate he was still twenty pounds underweight, his pallor still poor. He arrived at the debate in an ill-fitting shirt, and refused make-up to improve his color. Kennedy, by contrast, had spent early September campaigning in California. He was tan and confident.
…Those who heard the first debate on the radio pronounced Nixon the winner. Among television viewers, Kennedy was perceived the winner of the first debate by a very large margin.”
So Kennedy was a handsome dude (and smart, he won a Pulitzer. And he got us into space, and avoided nuclear war with Russia… but mostly he was handsome).
and beautiful people get to be with beautiful people.
And The King of Queens is a fictional television show.
THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE
I adore this hand. This is a woman, a real woman. The kind of woman who has the face to launch a thousand ships. Okay, well, maybe not quite like that (She’s not Helen of Troy, but like more like Helen of Troy’s cousin, Sally of some other place in old Greece). She is smart. She is funny. She is cute, sexy, sultry, smoky, approachable (many times I’ve seen men approach her out of the blue, and I’d be sitting right there with her. They don’t know if we’re together or not, but there they are, being a little too friendly), she’s fierce, inquisitive, proud, and did I mention cute? She can lead you to love, She can take you or leave you, She’ll bring out the best and the worst you can be, She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel. All that can be relatable to this person (If you know who she is, well, bully for you, you get a cookie. It’s in the mail). So, yeah, I think the world of this girl, and let’s be honest… I should probably only think Antarctica of her, alas… (Blame it all on yourself, cause she’s always a woman to me… sing it Billy, sing it).
Notice the cigarette hanging from her mouth. That means she’s cool. Say what you want about lung cancer, and emphysema, and that little box that they make you talk out of, the one that gives you robot voice after the doctors have removed your vocal cords, smoking is cool. James Dean smoked, Marilyn Monroe smoked (and doinked John Kennedy), Chandler from FRIENDS smoked, James Bond smokes, this girl smokes, smoking is cool. I don’t smoke. I’m a 30-year-old man, and every time, EVERY TIME people at work go out to smoke en mass I feel like a 15-year-old band geek watching the cool kids go off to the water tower.
“It’s okay guys, you go out and have your smokes, I’ll stay here and practice my tuba. We’re playing ‘Louie, Louie’ this Friday at the game! Hello? Go Trojans?”
Just look at her hand, it’s elegant, but not overly dainty. It says this is a girl who can charm anyone, and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Yes, this girl has it all, and you will never ever get her. She is elusive and not to be had by the likes of you or me.
Look at me, Jesus. Fricking ridiculous looking. Downright silly looking. Obviously overweight, nerdy, goofy, not cool. At. All. I mean seriously. How am I ever going to get a girl like that, looking like this? See, this girl is unavailable, but even if she wasn't, why the hell would she go out with me? Why would anyone? Look I know her and I aren't going to happen... but, maybe I can get someone like her. Yeah. But not looking like that. No way. No how.
We’re totally going to have to change this.
What a girl wants:
I’m so not ready for the dating world. I’m a total Nixon (by the way, I’d be crazy happy if that definition took off in a sort of urban lexicon sort of way- Nixon (adj): Someone who looks unkempt).
Okay, okay, first off, what’s the one thing girls say, on an almost universal level, they look for in a guy (and by first thing I mean the first thing to make them seem less shallow, like the rest of us… cause guys say it too, but really we mean ass, or boobs or legs, or face), sense of humor. Boy I got that in spades.
Okay, but I’ve been nearly funny for 20 years now, and I can tell you, women don’t want humor. Okay, they do, they just want it from Christian Bail, or Matt Damon, or Ashton Kutcher (really?)
So I have got to get myself into Hollywood shape.
And then come on, come one. I’m way too nice looking. You know who likes nice guys? House moms. House moms like nice guys cause they want you to marry their daughters and nieces. You know who doesn’t like house moms? Me (unless they’re bringing me cake. I love cake).
Girls like a bad boy. They like Colin Farrell (herpes), and Marlon Brando (died fat), and indie rockers with tattoos (not even a dime a dozen anymore, I think it’s a nickel a dozen nowadays). Still if that’s what sells in the market. Then that’s what I’ve got to be. So hello Joe Camel, hello bad boy tat.
You know what? Still too nice. I need to be a bad boy. I’m talking Detroit Pistons 1989 Bill Lambier type of bad boy.
Someone once told me that I can be a bit clingy. She said, “It’s getting to be a bit much.” And it was like a punch in the gut. Is it too much? Am I too much? Overly clingy? Well, no more.
I need to be more aloof. I need to not care, about anyone. Ever. Anymore.
“…and so I don’t know, I mean, what do you think Jeff, should I look for a new job? I mean, my life is pretty great, and I’d hate to throw it in an upheaval, but I don’t want to stagnate you know?”
“I feel like pizza.”
“Excuse me? This is serious, I mean, I don’t know what to do, and you’re talking about pizza?”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry, I should eat a salad. What would I do without you?”
Sigh. Yes, I want you to read that out loud. Sigh.
Dammit. I can’t get a tattoo. I mean, how would I look as a grandfather? My mom died of cancer, and while she didn’t smoke, or die of lung cancer specifically, I know what cancer does to a person, I know that most times smoking leads to some sort of cancer, and I don’t want that (not even for the instant weight loss).
And I don’t know if I can be mean. I just don’t think that’s how I was raised.
Okay, well, I guess I'll try to make it in this world as a guy who’s kind of funny, and occasionally works out, and is sort of in shape (I'm gonna brag, I've been working out a little, and though no one's said anything... the scale tells me I've lost close to 20 pounds. Though when I last weighed myself I was wearing my old English body armor). And I’m just going to have to go on good faith that someone, somewhere at some point and time will come along and say, “Hey, you’re good enough for me.
And I'll look up, see their smile, and say, "Hey I like you too."