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The Goofiest Game, March 28, 1999 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: March 28, 1999
"The Goofiest Game" [permalink]
    keywords: sex, love
    soapbox #: 181
    written: March 28, 1999
    words: 2002

"The Goofiest Game", an Essay

You know, as much as I've learned and experienced since the days of high school and my freshman year of college, sometimes it feels like I haven't changed much at all. I'm basically back to my own tricks, emotionally comatose and somewhat willingly accepting of it. So when I say what I'm about to say, it's not because of any personal shit -- it's just something I've observed in others. And even when you avoid people as much as I do, you're still subjected to their outbursts of random yells and fits of gossip and trashtalk. Humans are so...pointlessly annoying. You don't even have to know people to be thrusted into their worlds anymore. Excuse me, sir, could you keep your FUCKING ANNOYING voice down please?

Everyone's wrapped up in this little silly sport we call "Finding a Significant Other". Have you thought about how much energy and motivation and money and ethics and sane judgment and, most of all, time we sacrifice in order to maintain this little dirty addiction? If we could redistribute all of that into actual study, work, or recreation, can you imagine the returns?

Go ahead, take this the wrong way... Someone is always offended. What's with women, anyway? This whole woman's initiative thing is overhyped and underperformed. Guys, when was the last time your girlfriend or wife treated you to a surprise or something special? Something spontaneous... When did she last go out of her way to make you happy one day? It just isn't a common thing yet, even though it's probably more common for women to take the initiative than in the past (I can't say for sure, being only a young upstart). Sure, some women propose marriage now, or make secret reservations to a nice restaurant, or offer something special in the bedroom, but let's be realistic here: bottom line is that in relationships, dating especially, and trying to find the right person to spend time with, it's the guy that's pushed into doing things first. It's the guy who has to say hi first, it's the guy who has to be the patient friend who waits for the girl to be ready, it's the guy who, if he overreacts to anything at all, it's minus 100 points for him. If a guy screws up, he's an asshole. If a woman screws up, the guy is not sensitive enough if he doesn't put up with it. I can see how this happens, seeing how almost every fucking man on the planet is up to no good and probably shouldn't be treated with respect anyway. But still, guys have to traverse that death-defying American Gladiators arena bone-crusher labyrinth maze in order to even be considered as a possible candidate for dating.

If a guy doesn't make the phonecalls, ask out for dates, and all the rest of the dog & pony show tricks, he's too shy to be a worthy man. If a guy doesn't have grade A clothes, hair, smile, body, mind, etc. etc., he's a loser. Even if a guy does manage to convince a woman to accept his slimy self, he could screw up at any moment by saying the wrong thing or doing something her girlfriends disapprove of. Oh, you know what I'm talking about: the three or four female judges in black and white suits sitting on the sidelines, making sure the guy doesn't over-rotate on his dismount or wavers as he tries to stick the dismount. Yes, the incomparable Witches of Criticism, guides to the Modern Woman.

And perhaps what's most amazing about this is most guys are willing to put up with it! You know what they're looking for, anyway. Yes, I'm not being a misogynist here... I'll be the first to admit that guys are not usually looking for kindred minds to share their lives with when they go to a club or see that fly honey walking across the street. Do I speak from experience? Not really. I'm feeling somewhat asexual right now. Friend see breasts. Me see distraction.

Yes, guys will jump through hoops, humiliate themselves in public with their apologies, write silly little love poems, and so on, all so they can perhaps one day receive the crown of laurels as potential sweet, sensitive, caring, successful man of the half-minute. Women have men like strings around their fingers.

I'm not recanting on the wonderful experiences of love and marriage and all that happy good stuff that very lucky people find when they become involved in romance and flowers and chirpy talking squirrels and sugar-coated heart-shaped candies and shit. I still believe in that stuff. It's the dating aspect of it that seems so pointless and humorous to me: it's all a big game, and the women have possession of the ball(s). Who needs this?

If there are any women who read this, and you have a husband or boyfriend or just some schmuck you hang out with, do something nice for him, okay? Prepare a candle-lit dinner, or make dinner reservations, or plan a trip, or take him to a football game, or just spend an evening talking to him about stuff, or something. Sheesh. You have no idea how much your guy would dig that. We spend hours upon hours coming up with elaborate schemes to make you happy (or in many cases, to just keep overdemanding women satisfied for the time being), to make sure that you feel as special as you deserve to be. Imagine a man's delight when he realizes his special woman took out that time to prepare something nice for him, too.

Women simply do not understand what men go through when they're smitten by them. Do I do this? Am I trying too hard? Does she like me? Will this make me seem like an idiot? And so on and so on... To a man, it seems like all the woman has to do is attach the badge of approval or the dunce cap of shame. Women could save everyone some trouble and express their gut feelings a little sooner and more openly. Goddamn. You know, most guys will tell you that when they talk about women, it's usually along the lines of "Well, I like HER, but I have no fucking idea how she feels about me. In fact, I think she hates me, but she keeps me around because she needs a token face to stomp into the ground"

So do something nice, something spontaneous. You have no idea how much it would mean to us.

And men! Men are such idiots. When they get a good thing, they go about taking it for granted and then everything falls apart and they regret it and then they pick up a brewski and turn on the sports and then they're doomed to repeat the same mistake again. I mean, how can you possibly forget special times and days to spend with your woman, all because you were watching sports or hanging out with the guys instead? And what happened to men acting decent and mature around women?

All this shit is just a headache. I'm tired of it. And heck, I don't even take part in any of this. But I have to hear it everywhere I go whether I like it or not, and I have to put up with peoples' little sad sob stories about this and that. I have a recent sob story of my own, but hey, wasn't I pretty good about dealing with it? Some people redesign their whole sites to reflect their relationship histories. Me? Not even losing the best thing I ever had made me want to retouch hundreds of different documents. I am indeed that lazy.

;)

Oh yes, this is indeed a game I'm happy to watch from the sidelines. The strange part is that I actually accept the game as a part of life, and even see the necessity and excitement of it. I've just never felt like taking a part in it. With Anna, I didn't have to -- she came after me.

That was nice.

Shit...if you find someone, just be happy, okay? Don't overanalyze things, or obsess over small details... Just drop it and move on. Be glad you have what you have, because tomorrow it may not be there. (Oh God, I sound like Horace...someone shoot me) At least with those old Victorian romance novels, that literature so fondly filling the minds of ideal young women and horny men trying to get ideal young women into bed, the potential spouses had no money, or were lechers, or something major like that. These days, you need look no further than an episode of Seinfeld to see how petty people are with potential significant others now.

Oh God, what is that feeling? Ah yes, right, it's the feeling of me pushing all this useless shit out of the way and ignoring it for good. Is it a bad thing to not feel like meeting anyone new at all? I am so tired of people and their emotional baggage and problems. Everyone has a fucking story, everyone has a little violin song to go along with their woes, and it all makes me sick. I won't say that I don't care about peoples' problems, because obviously I do if I write about it, but I certainly am damn tired of it all. That's why people are such a waste of time to deal with. As long as they keep those servers running, and keep plugging money into the economy, and selling me goods and services, I don't really care what they do with the rest of their time. It doesn't concern me. People are only useful to me functionally. I don't want to spend time talking to anyone. You have to worry about being interesting and thought-provoking and generous and thoughtful and nice and shit like that. Again, I ask, who needs that?

Dispense with the bullshit already. If you're going to spend a lot of time with someone, you better damn well appreciate their presence, and it might do you well to do something nice for them every once in awhile. I know I'm certainly not the model citizen when it comes to this, so maybe I don't have a right to say it. All this time, though, I must admit that I thought by pushing everyone away, I wouldn't be held responsible for all the generosities and gifts and shit. Maybe true, maybe not. I don't know. But you get my point already. I hope. Whatever.

Umm, and as for me... Well, I could spend days upon days thinking about how delightful and wondrous the female is, but I won't. And why not? Because whatever I have seemingly isn't enough, and because I was forced into a situation in which I had entirely no choice at all (when I should have), and because my demands are unreasonable to expect from any woman. Why should anyone else look out for me? Maybe why I demand so much from myself is because I can't expect anything at all from others. I don't know. People aren't dependable, and they probably shouldn't always be. People just aren't a sure thing. What's a sure thing is relying on your own self-interest to keep you true. I'll just save everyone the trouble, and go my own way. It would be nice for things to be different, but they won't be, because everyone is predictable and that's how it works if you refuse to play the game.

And that's the last I have to say about relationships for awhile.


 
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