The quote from Mae West supposedly went “When I’m good, I’m very good; but when I’m bad, I’m terrific.” I’ve always liked the humor of it, but it points up something interesting. As a response to my post on the “fines” for being bad, Suzy (who managed a respectable $610.10) had this to say – before she yanked the post from sheer embarrassment:
I actually did this on the up and up. Pretty much all the bad stuff was before I became involved in with Ty. Some of the fun stuff was afterward:)
I’ve known Ty since high school but of course I was not interested in him at all because he was:
Being with him would have seriously derailed my master plan to completely fuck up my life. In the infinite wisdom of youth I wanted guys who were none of the above. Boy there’s another whole blog. Better go before I get all bummed out and start running up the fines again.
Really guys.. I used to like you ten years ago.. So why now are so many of you such uptight, ungenerous, unadventurous, unromantic, pain in the arse bastards?
[Do you] guys get dicked around by women who promise they’ll call and never do.. by women who leave you as soon as the sex is over, your pants still around your ankles?
I’ve belonged to several web groups where the longest running threads often had titles like “Why do women like jerks?” or “I’m a nice guy, why can’t I find a nice girl?” And as much as I hate playing up the stereotypes, I think that this one deserves some discussion. Like Ty, when I was young I thought that the way to attract women was to be polite, decent, honest and considerate.
Umm… not that I ever was all of those things consistently, of course, but I did make an effort.
In high school I did the “nice guy” thing and consequently spent a lot of Saturday nights hanging out with the other nice guys. In college, though, I began to wise up. Good thing, too, or else I’d have missed out on a lot of interesting experiences and this blog would have to be called “The Solid Middle of Vanilla.”
I was reminiscing about some of those experiences from back then, and I remember something interesting. When I was about 21 or 22, I roomed with a guy I’d met when I was a freshman. We became good friends over the next few years, and after college he and I shared an apartment for a while. It was our first bachelor pad. No lava lights or shag carpeting, but it was a nice place, warm, off-street parking, and working utilities. We were both polite, attentive, sensitive, and well read.
Translation: we were often dateless on Saturday nights. And Fridays. Not much happening on Thursdays, either. Well, we did get a lot of the “chaste kiss followed by ‘I really like you as a friend…’ ” routines.
My friend finally snapped under the pressure. He was tired of being a “friend” to all of these women who only wanted to cry over what a jerk their last (or current) boyfriend was being toward them. He decided that the only way to get any action was to be a real jerk, himself. An “insufferable bastard”, I believe he termed it. And he methodically set about acting as boorish and loutish as one could imagine. I tried this, too, but when we traded tales, he was much better at it than I. He stood women up, neglected to call them afterwards, stopped taking them to nice places for dinner and instead took them to dives. He would take their number and not call them after sex – which he seemed to be having in record quantities.
He stopped picking them up, insisting that dates meet him someplace. And unbelievably, his social calendar was always full. He did this for about a year and a half. I met many of his dates; some of them worked with him, some of them met him through other friends. The weirdest part was that some of them told me that they had “never really noticed him before,” but lately found that there was “something different” about him. One of them used to call me monthly to complain about how he never called her anymore, and asked if he had said anything to me about that.
He and I lost touch over the years, but we reconnected a few years ago, and one night we went out to dinner and spent a few hours talking about that whole thing. I now think that he used it as an excuse to take out some hostility, but that’s a completely unprofessional opinion. But the fact remains that date-wise, he was much more successful at attracting women when he acted like a jerk.
He finally met someone that he liked enough to make him stop. There is no small irony in that she turned out to have a bitchy streak a mile wide, and after about 15 years, she divorced him and married the guy that she’d been cheating on him with. An alcoholic with a poor job history and a motorcycle.
There’s a lesson in here someplace. Isn’t there?