The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 February 2008

Score one for the girl next door

Few things in life are quite as gratifying as discovering that most people will happily ignore the very existence of a Paris Hilton film.

Meanwhile, as America's Least Appealing Sex Symbol bombs out on the silver screen, we have a field report from the Land of the Normal:

Women who should worry about losing their looks are women who haven't bothered to develop an appealing personality. They haven't invested any effort in educating themselves and having something to say. They have no sense of humor and they're superficial. Often, they haven't managed to find a way to earn enough money to take care of themselves.

You can only get away with that when you're young and beautiful. Some men will put up with a vacuum between the ears if you offer what they consider an acceptable alternative — being hot. Once you stop being hot, you're screwed, because you’ve got nothing to counterbalance your shitty personality.

As much as I hate the stereotypes about what "all women" want, I equally hate the stereotypes about what "all men" want. The idea that every man is more interested in looks than anything else is BULLSHIT. It's simply not true. I'm a perfectly average-looking female and I've had four serious relationships, all with high-quality, good-looking men, and every one of them liked me more than they liked better-looking women who were interested in them because I'm smart and because I'm not crazy. My lack of big boobs and perfect face haven't hindered my man-catching adventures in the least, because smart men want women they can stand to be around outside of the bedroom.

There's a lot to be said for both "smart" and "not crazy."

And there's this:

I'm not that smart or that interesting, trust me, but the point is that there are tons and tons of men out there just dying to find women who stand out from the masses of insipid drama queens with princess complexes who HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.

Not to mention the occasional lunatics and child murderesses. I consider myself fortunate that despite the extremely tenuous, even haphazard, anchoring of my heart, a serious disadvantage in the fine art of self-preservation, I've managed to avoid this genre of not-entirely-stereotypical female more or less entirely.

This is normally the part of the screed where I note wearily that, as usual, I'm copying down all these ideas from someone who is of course utterly unavailable. With the feast famine of Saint Valentine at hand, I think I'll skip it.

Posted at 7:02 AM to Table for One

Maybe I'm being a bit conspiracy-theorist here, but it seems that these types of stories - there's one in the Atlantic that's making the rounds, about how women should "settle" lest they wake up at 35 filled with regret because they now can never have children and thus (apparently) never be fulfilled in life, and other stories about the "battle of the sexes" which just make me want to continue my Conscientious Objector status - they all seem to come out around Valentine's Day.

And the thing that concerns me about the story you linked - I am reasonably intelligent, arguably sane, I don't have any extreme drama in my life. And yet, men who apparently want that are not falling at my feet. I think for a lot of women there is a sort of perverse comfort in the "men just want girlies with big chests and nothing between the ears" stereotype, because if it's actually true that men want mature women of intelligence...and I am that...and there isn't a man in my life...then somehow it must be my fault.

And it's kind of uncomfortable to face up to the fact that it might not be THEM, it might be YOU.

(Then again - some of the fish in the dating pool around here? I'd definitely throw 'em back.)

Posted by: fillyjonk at 7:31 AM on 13 February 2008

It's a two-way street, always. After a few years I figured out that I didn't have much of anything to offer, and therefore I should keep my expectations as low as possible. It's worked, if for "worked" you read "kept me from wanting to rip my heart out with a Sawzall."

I read that Atlantic piece; it reminds me that there are other sounds in the universe at least as compelling as the ticking of the biological clock.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:43 AM on 13 February 2008
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