Archive for February, 2011
What Girl’s Experience…
What Guy’s Experience…
J Crew Called it Robin’s Egg Blue…
Let’s finish off this post, with an example of the real thing…
Oh Shit, You Made Flashcards.
I got a great reflection from a friend that I would like to share when I emailed them a recent article from the Wall Street Journal. The article, titled Where Have All the Good Men Gone is an argument by author Kay S. Hymowitz who argues that too many men in their 20s (such as myself) are living in a new kind of extended adolescence. Check out my friend’s reflection / response below.
Before the intricacy of the argument is attacked, I must first admit I agree the premise of the article is correct. Today’s generation of males would disappoint both your mother and my mother if they had met them back when they met our fathers. There is a deep arrested development within the 21st century male. Males in their 20s are not settling down and beginning their family lives as our fathers had once done. Many reasons can be given for this evolution, including longer life expectancy, access to a larger pool of potential mates, and increased levels of education. At the end of the article the author touches on something that is key to her premise, yet left undeveloped.
The author focuses on how the male has little drive to become mature and sophisticated in today’s society. Statistics are shown how this pre-adulthood has shaped males into what the author believes is under-performing compared to females. She cites the higher education figures as examples of how women are forcing themselves to accept responsibility at younger ages. It may be easy for an educated woman to forget, but a vast amount of the jobs in America that women don’t want to do are done by men with little education. It would seem those men are accepting responsibility in their careers much sooner than women who go to college, even if that means they make less over their lifetimes.
While it is important to focus on the mental state of the male to understand why we remain in pre-adulthood so much longer than women, we should also focus on what motivating factors are present/lacking. More attention should be paid in the article to what social cues women send men from a young age and why that has prolonged adolescence in males, creating the pre-adulthood.
Most males have the desire built into them to settle down with a girl and have a family, the same as their parents did. Today, it is all about motivation. If I go out and project that image to the world, I may attract a few women who are my age and at that point as well. However, in a metropolitan area with women who are making enough money to support themselves in an expensive market, they no longer need a guy to take care of them, and therefore look for a guy with other qualities.
Women look to many different indicators in a single man to determine whether he is a suitable candidate for them to give their time and interest to. Many times this comes in the form of attractiveness, popularity, wealth (parents usually), among others. While these qualities are valuable when mixed with maturity, drive, and family orientation, alone they will leave women feeling unsatisfied and longing for the qualities they have driven out of men by lack of demand. A market will only produce as many “men” that is required.
Her example of the male who remains fascinated with Star Wars is a confusing example of what is wrong with pre-adult males. Her view is that such interests are not condusive to settling down. In reality, those Star Wars fans have the potential to be better mates than most of the men women date. The Star Wars fan she describes is passionate, loyal, and analytical. He has probably turned his passion towards the saga and away from women because they could not understand his interests, and subsequently shunned him. The fantasy within the story ultimately became better than the reality he faced daily.
If women were taught at younger ages to demand the qualities the author suggest males lack, then maybe there would be a chivalrous renaissance. The head cheerleader should want to date the guy who will compliment her personality the best; society says the position in life she holds deserves that in addition to other vain and superficial considerations. Girls are convinced from a young age that they deserve to have the best of all qualities in the guy they settle down with, and that it is admirable to not settle unless a perfect specimen is located. This would explain the fascination by women with Sex and the City: a glorification to the endless search for a man that will satisfy your every need.
Every guy will tell you such an outlook is futile. There is no such thing as a perfect man, and the same can be said for women. If women are finding it so hard to locate a man, then I suggest they take a look at themselves first before turning to ask what is wrong with males. Are you really filtering those in your personal life to those modeled after your father?
Women are uniquely positioned to have a conflict with the time period that pre-adulthood arises. Nature works against them by starting the biological clock at the same time their appearance begins to wane. While guys can relax during this time period knowing that their 30s will not be much different from their 20s, women are faced with a looming drop-off of interest from the opposite sex. They are not afforded the luxury of the pre-adulthood, and are right to be jealous of males who allow themselves to slip into this state.
That is not to say that there are not those males who already have the qualities the author complains are sorely lacking, it is just they will not voluntarily make themselves apparent. Men who have responsible tendencies will remain hidden for the time being, again, because of a lack of motivation. They are aware they are catches in today’s society, and articles such as this only reinforce that thought. They can float in their pre-adulthood for the time being, taking a relaxed approach to the search for their mate. Revealing their true selves will only occur when they know it benefits them. Until it is universally advantageous to acknowledge we want our father’s life, guys will be required to hide those longings for responsibility and maturity from women.
Want More? Read HERE.
A friend forwarded me this analysis of last night’s Bachelor Episode. For those of you who love the show, you’ll find it hysterical. Enjoy!
Tonight Brad will be jetting off to spend some time meeting each girl’s family. This might be a fairly short episode because, if memory serves, Shawntel was the girl on the show this season who talks to her dad at all. I am hoping that we will get to meet Chantal’s first husband and Dental Ashley’s hygienist but I am most interested to see whether we meet Emily’s daughter. I bet we will not meet her until she appears as a contestant circa 2024.
Because we will be going to California, Washington, North Carolina, and Maine, tonight’s episode naturally begins in New York City. Brad steps out on his veranda donning a newsboy hat because that is what New Yorkers wear when they feel the need to reflect on their adventures in polygamy. Brad shares his deepest thoughts on each girl: Chantal is annoying but crazy. Ashley is hyperactive but insecure. Shawntel possesses sufficiently few distinctive qualities as to leave Brad with almost nothing to say about her. Emily is damaged goods but boring. Basically, we sorely miss Nanny Ashley.
On our first hometown date, Chantal will be showing Brad around Seattle. While Brad and Chantal hang out, Chris Harrison and I will be at Ichiro’s house playing Wii. I have never been to Seattle but I have also never seen anyone on television go to Seattle without throwing and catching salmon at the outdoor market. I give us five minutes before Brad and Chantal follow suit.
Inside Chantal house we learn that she owns two cats and a homosexual dog name Boca. We also learn that Brad’s loft is too small for three pets and their owner. I consider myself to be a fairly inflexible person but what exactly is stopping Brad from moving to wherever any of these girls live? He is a bartender for Christ’s sake.
We go to Chantal’s parents’ house for dinner. Chantal’s mom Billie Joan is better looking than Chantal. Chantal’s dad Michael shares Brad love of purple shirts, though we can give Micahael the benefit of the doubt here because he may be a Washington fan. Chantal’s brother Connor is inexplicably dressed to play basketball. Chantal’s dad goes out of his way to be cool to Brad, but Brad has a gift for making any conversation awkward. Dad, who’s clearly had some work done and has a shiny smooth sheen, and Brad go off to Dad’s wing or whatever and Dad shows him his massive “Self-Made Man” sculpture that looks like something you’d get from the SkyMall catalog. This visit was boring and I have a feeling the entire episode is headed in the same direction. At 9:00 I may go looking for a girl from Seattle who really knows how to have fun and flip to Lifetime to watch “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial.”
After a commercial we travel to Madawaska, Maine to meet Dental Ashley’s family. Brad is dressed in a flannel shirt and it occurs to me that he wore a vest in Seattle and a newsboy hat in New York. I cannot tell whether he thinks himself debonair for dressing like a caricature of the locals or if he is taking regional fashion tips from the Village People. I suppose we will not know for sure until Brad wears camouflage in North Carolina and a hemp poncho in Northern California.
After lunch at a local restaurant eating poutine, which is french fries covered with cheese and gravy and obviously was invented by a HUGE STONER, they head to dinner at Dental Ashley’s parents’ house. Dental Ashley’s dad and brother wear flannel like Brad and her sister has a tattoo sleeve. She is sort of a Goth version of Dental Ashley. Also, the entire family has great teeth, which suggests that Dental Ashley is good at her job. I was down on Dental Ashley for a few weeks there, but she has put together a strong showing the past few weeks. Competent and cute is a good way to go through life.
Following dinner Brad expresses some trepidation over the fact that Ashley is in dental school and has career goals. Her sister attempts to relieve him of those fears but Brad is clearly a little intimidated here. Still, this date seemed to be livelier than the date with Chantal was. Brad leaves with a paper bag full of household items he’s stolen.
The next segment starts with a commercial for Shawntel’s family undertaking business. Brad goes to meet Shawntel at a mausoleum in Chico, California. Brad immediately starts breathing heavily when Shawntel shows him how the crematorium works and then brings him into the embalming room and has him lie down on the gurney. Shawntel is freakier than even I would have hoped. I wish they would have skipped the Chantal date and done two of these Shawntel dates. My great uncle Joe was a funeral director. He was a hilarious guy.
That afternoon Brad and Shawntel head to Shawntel’s family’s house for a late lunch. Shawntel’s dad Rick has a mustache that likely earns him a ton of respect within the industry. Rick though makes it clear to Brad that he expects Shawntel to take over the family business and stay in Chico. This leads to a tense moment at the table and Brad reiterates his attachment to Austin where the bar scene admittedly might be cooler than that of Chico.
Shawntel and her dad have a private discussion over the need for Shawntel to remain in her hometown. This probably was not the optimal occasion to have that discussion but Brad uses the opportunity to steal away to kitchen and get a few drinks in Shawntel’s mom. He should have tried this with Chantal’s mom on the Seattle trip. She deserved a rose. The date ends with Shawntel letting Brad know that she loves him but Brad’s reaction is tepid. I think Shawntel might be on thin ice and that is a shame.
After the commercial we see Emily and her daughter hanging out at a park. I have made enough trips to Charlotte to know that this date is going to culminate with the band at Buckhead Saloon inviting Chris Harrison on stage to play drums on “Fishin’ in the Dark.” Brad arrives carrying a giftwrapped kite for Emily’s daughter. The youngster wants no part of Brad but he finally pesters her into putting up with him and they play with the kite. A third wheel is not helping this date move along.
That night we do not meet Emily’s parents but Brad gets a taste of parenting when he is treated to an evening of playing Candyland, tucking in the daughter, eating TV dinners, and refraining from having sex. The latter of these activities comes to pass because Brad cannot perform sexually when a six-year-old is present, which is funny because I can perform sexually only when a six-year-old is present. They end up kissing good night, but things do not look promising for Emily. This is why you have to eliminate the girls with kids, ex-husbands, and dead husbands in the first episode.
Following the commercial Chris Harrison graces us and Brad with a pep talk back in New York. This is going to be a tough Rose Ceremony™ for Brad. I think that any of the girls could be a candidate to get the boot. Chantal is a little intense but Brad liked her dad and Brad probably needs a dad more than he needs a wife. Dental Ashley is playing strong right now but Brad is worried about the fact that she is not as dumb as he is. Shawntel is nice and good-looking but Brad has reservations about her relocation hang-ups and the whole necrophilia thing. Emily is the best looking one but she is not too interesting and Brad clearly was not as into the kid as he expected himself to be. Chris Harrison, who plays this game at an entirely different level from the one the rest of us play on, points out that the visit to Dental Ashley’s hometown went the best but that Dental Ashley is the one girl who has not told Brad she loves him. This is going to brain-fuck our simple-minded suitor.
It is now time for the big moment and I am going to guess that Emily is going home. The roses go out like this:
1. Dental Ashley: She has to be the favorite right now. Chris Harrison called this early.
2. Emily: Wrong again, though on second thought she is no less interesting than Brad.
Chris Harrison steps back in to let us know that we will never again have to be confused about who Brad is talking about as between Chantal and Shawntel. It is nice to get one more run at this where we will not knowwhich girl got the rose until one of them steps forward. I still do not know which one has which last initial. I think that he is going to let Shawntel go, but neither would surprise me.
The final rose goes to Chantal. That was a tough end for Shawntel. Next time Chris Harrison and I find a dead girl in the hot tub, I know exactly who will get the call to embalm her.