20 July 2005
At least I try to finish last
I read this over two or three times to make sure it didn't apply to me:
[G]uys who attribute their dating failures to niceness per se are often being self-serving. It's comforting to attribute to excessive niceness what might be better explained by shyness, awkwardness, or other less flattering interpretations. (I'm equally suspicious when Maureen Dowd complains that she can't get a date because she's too intimidating. Frankly, there are more parsimonious explanations.)
Often, the self-proclaimed nice guy wants special credit for just for being nice. It's as if he wants you to exclaim, "Oh, you poor fellow. What a burden it must be to treat women as you'd like to be treated. Above and beyond, old chap. Above and beyond!" I'm all for niceness, but I consider it a basic moral requirement for all humans, not a special bonus feature.
With certain notable exceptions, nice guys don't feel compelled to tell you how nice they are. In my experience, most of the men who explicitly attribute their romantic failures to their own niceness are playing some sort of unendearing head game. Note, I'm not talking about acting nice, considering oneself to be nice, or valuing niceness in others. I'm talking about guys who tell you how nice they are and go on to complain about how women (read: you and your friends) don't appreciate nice guys (read: me). The subtext is that if women (you) weren't so stupid and hypocritical you'd appreciate nice guys (beg to blow me).
She's definitely got a point. As for a "less flattering interpretation" that might apply to me, some mix of "old," "decrepit," "argumentative," "mercurial," "fugly" and "difficulty with forest-spotting due to tree quantity" could approximate it.
(Swiped from Caren.)Posted at 9:47 AM to Table for One