Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just Friends...?

One of the hardest things about dating someone is trying to get an idea of the web of their friendships. While you may meet the best friends if you make it through the preliminary rounds of courtship, and while you may be taken to places, parties, or events where you meet some of the outer circle, the "good for a fun time" friends, you'll never get to meet everyone, or neatly sort out all the knots of confusion into neat, tidy little bundles of friendship strings. What can be hardest yet is qualifying the relationship the guy you're seeing has with his girl friends-- as a woman, you always have to there something else there? What is the best way to ask if there's something more going on between him and his female friend he seems to be very close with? IS there even an easy way to ask anyone this without sounding like a total freak of nature?

Recently, I've been driving myself borderline insane trying to figure out the answer to this question. While I may currently be in a relationship, and monogamous, and everything seems to be going well, that question that shouldn't be asked seems to keep rising its ugly green head and begging to be asked: You've been talking a lot about a certain person recently; is there something I should know about? I'm fragile from the answer to this question being answered incorrectly in the past, and I need more reassurance and feedback on it than the average, well-adjusted woman does because of it. I get that I may just be A Little Crazy about it. But at the heart of the matter lies an even deeper-seated question: Can men and women Just Be Friends?

My friend Robin doesn't think so. Robin and I spent 4 months studying abroad in Italy together, and hence got very close. Robin, coincidentally, has been the guy most despised by every man I've been in a relationship with since. When I got back from Italy, my current flame questioned me up and down about Robin, then snubbed him at a party later on when he showed up to say "hi" to me. Very early on in seeing each other, the guy I'm currently seeing asked for the 4-1-1 on Robin, himself. Poor, misinterpreted Robin is a believer in Ladder Theory, himself-- the theory taken from "When Harry Met Sally" that a man and a woman are incapable of being platonic friends without one desiring something more.

Maybe I should be appeased by the fact that the guy I'm currently seeing thinks that Ladder Theory is complete bullshit, and that he has many perfectly functional friendships with women that are purely platonic...from his side, at least, he admitted, one morning when we went downtown and I asked him about it as we waited for our breakfast sandwiches by the beverage coolers. Or maybe I shouldn't listen to that at all, as not five minutes later, a girl appeared, and they hugged, exchanged pleasantries as all around were introduced, and after she and her friends left, he turned to me, slightly pink, and said, "Well, that was kind of funny. She's had a crush on me for over two years, but I just don't find her attractive at all." Hmmmm. So, CAN a man and a woman just be friends, or is all my round-and-round, hamster-wheel worrying actually energy spent on something worthwhile to ponder?

I try to temper myself by reminding myself that I am an undeniable Guy's Girl-- I always have more platonic male friends than female-- and that at one time, one of my closest guy friends, if not my CLOSEST guy friend, admitted he found me attractive and tried taking me out for dinner before we both decided it was maybe a little too awkward. But nothing EVER happened, or ever even ALMOST happened, and he and my other guy friends would ask me to come over and just hang because, sometimes, guys just like to have a girl friend around. I get this. I know this. I am usually That Girl that my guys call to come over when they feel the need to have a double-X chromosome make up in the room to balance out all the testosterone. The Older Brother/Younger Sister/Best Friends relationship dynamics are now firmly in place. There's no question anymore about the fact that I'm just a chill girl. Nothing makes me happier than to have a beer in hand, sitting on someone's couch, watching a movie and shooting the shit in a sweater and jeans. But am I always perceived as such, especially when I'm dressed in heels and a sweater-dress, or am I always like that? No. And when I found myself dressing (relatively) up and re-applying my make-up one night after I invited my best guy friend out to eat dinner with me, I realized that if I am doing it, maybe I should cut other girls doing it a break, even if the thought of another woman whom I'm still ambiguous about her intentions out at lunch with the guy I'm seeing makes me a little queasy.

I've been benign about this thus far, but I've been relaxed about this in the past and it's come back to bite me in the ass, so I'd just like to be clear about what's going on. Maybe I need to know that I'm not the only one really sticking my pale neck out there, trying this thing on for real.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Boys Are Made Of Snips And Snails And Porn And Gay Tales.

Relationships are often hard enough contending with other women; when a girl gets mind-fucked and finds out that men are included in the mix, it's often enough to send anyone off her rocker. I remember finding an ex of mine on a gay website. He had been so manly, so masculine, so snide about homosexuals, so normal, so badly dressed, so straight. And now THIS. The love of musicals and ass-appreciation began to make more sense. I FRRRRREEEEAKED. First, about the deceit and wondering if he ever even found me attractive, and second, about the fact that now I knew that he had, or was looking to have, sex with other men I now REALLY needed to get tested for AIDS, considering I'd had unprotected sex with him. Long story short, I was healthy and clean, and it was better to find out post-relationship than during, but a friend brought an interesting, related question to me the other day that brought it all back up again: While snooping around, she uncovered a few random gay porn sites that her boyfriend had visited in the past. What if your (straight) boyfriend occasionally viewed gay porn while doing his internet porn thing?

Between the anonymous, impartial jury of myself, my Gender Comm. class, my best gay friend, and my straight best friend, we pieced this together:

1.) Sexuality is a flowing thing, and curiosity is natural.

This image is the Kinsey scale. It denotes the 6 main (seven, if you include being asexual, which I personally don't count as being sexual AT ALL,) different kinds sexuality. I waver somewhere between 1 and 2, depending on my mood, and if I'm in a relationship (straight, only ever been straight,) or not. I say a 1 or a 2 because of a few facts: I've kissed some of my female friends while playing high school games of Spin the Bottle and not wanted to kill myself directly after; I always am aware of my Sexception List, or where in rank a list of famous women I find stunning and would possibly after a few bottles of shared tequila and in the right mood lighting I may attempt to sleep with if I was feeling my most self-confident of my life, or had taken a shit-ton of E beforehand, but nonetheless, I know the women I'd volunteer to be sexual with; I watch lesbian porn on occasion, of my own validation (see below for more). Does this 2 rating mean I'm constantly checking women out? Yes...but only to see what she's wearing. Men are the only ones who I scope in a sexual nature. You could be the bro-y-est of the Bros and still find yourself rating as a 1 or a 2 because of the fact you can never keep your eyes to yourself in the men's locker room, or that one time after winning the homecoming game got too drunk and tried to confess your feelings to your team's tight end (pun intended)-- "No man, I really, REALLY love you!" while in reality, your high school sweetheart Jennifer who followed you to college and still cheers is your Tru Luv 4eva and the only person you want to be with. You, sir-- are you gay because you're a 2? No, you silly boy, you're straight-- not a 4, 5, or 6.

2.) Do you and he have regular sex, does he initiate, and is it passionate? These are all good signs if you answered "yes," to them, and he obviously finds you attractive. Bonus points? My gay friend pointed out that most secretly gay, closeted, or even man-leaning bisexual men have an EXTREMELY hard time enjoying giving a woman oral sex. (Hint: You can't fake enthusiasm.) If he likes and is eager and willing to go down undah, congratulations, because at most, he's bi or at least bi-curious. At best, he's still your straight boyfriend.

3.) As my "extremely blessed in the size department of her lovers" best friend pointed out, penis envy is real. For some men, there's just something about looking at a cock bigger than theirs that really just does something to them. Just like women can look at a really great rack in fascination, men can appreciate a nicer penis than theirs. We are an aesthetic society, after all.

4.) Porn is a fantasy land. What someone views in privacy is often very different than what they want in their own life. Some people have rape fantasies or watch simulated rape porn. Does this mean that they themselves want to ACTUALLY be raped? No, not at all.

5.) As my best gay friend said, "He could be intrigued, but may not act on penis desire." In other words, viewing gay porn is the best and most healthy way for him to examine his own sexuality-- maybe he's not the sort of straight man who runs screaming at the sight of another man's naked body, but he also probably isn't looking for any backdoor love of his own from another man.

6.) Don't point your finger-- my first, knee-jerk reaction was "Whoa! Normal straight men are so turned off by gay porn! Your boyfriend could be gay!" but then I though about it, empathetically, from the female perspective. As I've stated before, I watch what is probably more than my fair share of porn. And occasionally, when everything else feels tired and old and nothing else seems to be doing it for me, I'll turn to lesbian porn, and no, not exactly the soft-core stuff of heavy-petting, either. For porn viewers, once you've seen it, it feels like you've seen it all, and variety can be called for. Does this mean I am a lesbian? No. Does this mean I can find something sexual or attractive about other women? Yes; then again, some days, I am convinced our garbage can is a stunning piece of craftsmanship and damn fine. Does this mean I would ever have sex with another woman? No. Threesomes are even out of the question for me-- I can barely handle my own vagina; I want nothing at all to do with another one. So, if a woman can watch lesbian porn, TO GET OFF, and not be a lesbian, than logic states that a man can watch gay porn, be turned on, and not even be gay at all. I have always thought, as well, even watching straight porn means a man is looking at another man's penis being used sexually, in a sexual way, so one could argue that all bits and pieces are exactly that, bits and pieces, and a woman's ass is just the same as a man's ass. Bada-boom. Is your mind bent? Because this is my own thesis, and my mind still struggles to bend around it, sometimes.

7.) If you want to see how he responds, or what the draw for him is, suggest watching porn together that you BOTH agree on. Maybe getting into his fantasy land a little will help you understand his viewing habits more, or at least make you a little more comfortable by being present and included in them.

When it boils down to it, you have to remember that if you love someone, you love the whole of them, not just the parts that you agree with. Just like you may not break up with someone when you find out they vote Republican (then again, you might!), finding out that the person you're seeing has some eclectic viewing pleasures shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you love the rest of them as a person. (This can also go if you find out your S.O is into porn with foot fetishes or extreme anal or produce or latex or dinosaur porn, too.) If you can learn to accept it, and as long as it stays in the fantasy of the porn realm, there's no reason to worry about you and your boyfriend macking on the same hot guys at the club. He loves you still. And no, he's not "flaming gay."


NOTE! While I am in full defense of the fantasy of porn, if someone tries to move from viewing pleasure to being an active participant in anything from cams, chats, or full-on meetings and liaisons, that is a problem. In that case, there is probably more than a passing curiously or fascination at work, and this is something you REALLY want to address with him/her, for BOTH of your sexual safety. Also, the amount of porn someone watches is a health advisory as well-- porn addiction is a real thing, and is just as painful and detrimental to a relationship as someone being secretly homosexual in what is a heterosexual relationship.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Help Me Graduate! Q&A Time.

So, my senior thesis revolves around the communication differences between men and woman on the topics of love, sex, and relationships, and if there's any way to write for both sexes so that they'd be equally interested in the material.

That being said, if you could answer the following question-- anonymously is fine-- just including your gender, in the comments section, you'd be doing me a TREMENDOUS favor, and, also, adding onto what will end up being a pretty kick-ass, real-life expose post about men and women's relationships: "What is your biggest pet-peeve in communicating (or in general,) with the opposite sex?"

Example: "That instead of listening to the entire situation I'm telling him when I want to vent, my boyfriend immediately focuses on how to 'fix' it, instead of just listening to me. I'm female."

Thanks, loves!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Secret Agent Relationship

I could, in my spare time (if I had any), probably moonlight for the FBI as a search-analyst-thingy-whatsit. Case in point: When TGIS got a job offer that seemed a little too good to be true and asked me what to do, what was my snap judgement call? "Google the SHIT out of the company and the employer." It ended up being a scam, so it was a win for the home team all around, but still, the fact that I openly shared my love of Googling "the SHIT" out of people was probably not the most clever character trait reveal in the world, or in my relationship.

So note to self (and rest of female population), if you have the power: Looking up the ex-girlfriend is not completely heartening, yet you will always, always keep doing so, you silly little sucker for masochism. It's like we're playing an imaginary game of "Me versus Your Ex" with an invisible scoreboard and everything, but the only problem is, there is no umpire to tell us what's fair, and what are are fouls.

I know there's the whole "it's in the past and ended for a reason; who's with each other now?" argument, but really, when a woman gets into the information-gathering bend or starts thinking about The Women That Came Before, since when is sanity or logic ever heeded or considered a pertinent fact to listen to?

The other day, it came up that the ex of the guy I'm seeing got him possibly the best, most ingenious, most perfect thing he could ever receive for his birthday back in the day. I sat in stunned silence for a minute, thinking about any way I could ever top that, and drew a complete blank. I laid down my sword then and admitted defeat to her-- I can never and will never be or replace her, but I noted some other things, too: I may never be able to come up with such a great present as that was, but I did just randomly pick him up two shea butter shaving cream samples, just because, and I can and do buy him drinks when I'm flush to repay him for all the times he buys them for me, and give him random, because-I-feel-like-it-and-because-you-need-it massages, and will let his friends come over and hang out, and not once but twice this past week he told me how nice I was to him and how much he appreciates it. And I LET HIM USE MY INSTANT NETFLIX (that's when you know it's serious-- sharing Netflix's viewing suggestions). So, in other words, I must have some redeeming qualities for him to have some reason to want to be with me, even if my idea of the perfect gift is a a bottle of men's facial moisturizer so he stops using mine, or a trip down to Atlantic City to visit the craps tables on the casino floor.

Hey. We can't all be perfect. And when I start feeling particularly masochistic about the women in the past, I remember a few things that always make me feel better: Just like I probably have some habits that annoy the ever-living shit out of the guy I'm with, they probably had some habits that annoyed him even more; and, when in doubt, I could probably whup their asses at writing grammatically proper sentences, or when to use a comma versus a semi-colon. It's really the little wins in life.


Monday, March 14, 2011

This Is Just To Say...Men Rule*.

I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. But I have to be That Girl today and write something potentially disgusting that some of you, my lovely, loyal readers who I honestly lose sleep over trying to think of new ways to appease, may hate and thus boycott this blog. But it needs to be said. If I was not currently at work, I would traipse up to the top floor of the library to sing it from the outdoor patio, but alas, leaving the office during hours is frowned upon (even while blogging, reading Cosmopolitan, and taking personal calls is not,) and I'll have to settle for spreading the good word here:

Last night, after taking my second 50 milligram dose of Zoloft (in the future, please look for a really fun post that will more fully detail WHY I am now being medicated for clinical depression [finally,] as well as how to deal with depression in your relationships), I promptly ceased to retrieve messages fired from my neurons and washed it down with two glasses of a very tasty Malbec ( wine, for those of you not obsessed with all things vino), which I will NEVER do again (or, at least, not until I really, really, RULLY want a $5 house margarita at Miguel's), because, suffice it to say, I ended up brushing my teeth while leaning at a 45-degree angle between the bathroom door and wall and then passed out mid-scene while Buffy and Angel were cuddling in bed in Angel: Season One while spooning my cat and WHO REALLY DOES THAT. Anyway, I learned my lesson re: anti-depressants and depressants and that's what really matters. That, and the fact that after receiving "Giant shark vs. mega octopus?" as a response to my 12:30 AM "I'm a dumbass who mixed drugs and drinking and I may not be alive in the morning due to the fact that my heart currently feels like a epileptic trying to dance to dubstep and isn't it always said that heart attack signs are so much harder to diagnose and tend to go unnoticed in women? so I just wanted to let you know 'cause I thought you might care" text to TGIS, he texted me back again this morning while I was (alive) (un-heart attacked) (sober) at work, just to see how I was feeling (and concernedly chastise/advise me about my medicating and self-medicating actions in the future like I was sitting in a high school chem class while he pointed to a pie chart labeled "Bad Life Decisions You Have Made Broken Down Into Things That Contain Chemical Symbols", but that is an after-thought besides the point and sir, you need not worry. Lesson LEARNED.)

...Or possibly maybe just to see if I were still alive or if he is now a free agent. Men. But that's the point...Men.

There. I'm sorry. I had to brag. Sometimes, men are the best. And in my honest opinion, he is the best of the best.


(*Qualifier: "Sometimes." Amazing how easy seemingly insignificant little things can be, yet still make a woman sing a guy's praises, isn't it? Please note, dog-ear, and favorite this notion for future use, you of the Y chromosomes.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

6 Quick Tips To A Better Relationship

Clear space out in your life for them, literally. Yes, yes, we all heard first-hand from me what a bitch it was to lump all my tank tops and long sleeves together in my closet, but making a shelf for the guy I'm seeing has ended up not only being functional so that the extra pairs of socks and shirts he keeps here don't get mixed in my my cast-off clothing, but also, a great visual reminder behind my closet door that it's not just me and my girl clothes in there anymore. Even when he's not here, his stinky socks are, which is strangely more endearing than it sounds.

Spend the night where you normally wouldn't. I had an important doctor's appointment last week in the morning, and it's a 2 hour drive from here to my hometown. Fortunately, TGIS lives basically halfway between my college home and my permanent, parental address, and offered to have me come down to him and spend the night before there so I only had to drive an hour in the morning and could get some extra zzz's (in theory, at least). It was charming and enlightening to be in his world (and house) for the night, and to sleep in his bed and watch his TV shows. If you never spend the night at his place because, ick, can you say man-cave?, I'd suggest you woman up and do it, if just for one night. Not only is he in his comfortable territory, but you both get to do something new. If you already swap nights between your place and your S.O's, go somewhere else overnight like a B&B or hotel or offer to house-sit for a friend who's going out of town. Moving your relationship somewhere it normally doesn't exist gives you a fresh perspective.

Uphold your couple habits. I've said it time and time before-- you shouldn't have to talk to your S.O every day. And yet, I'm currently involved in a relationship, as shown, that it's weird to not at least send at least a single text in every day. Case in point: I've been going through a lot of personal things lately, and have talked to the guy I'm seeing about how I really need support right now. Yesterday was kind of a down day for me, and I didn't hear from him, which didn't make me feel any peppier-- until he sent me a completely random, inside-joke text at 1:42 in the morning. I may have been juuuust about to fall asleep, but knowing that he reached out before I did let me sleep so much more soundly. The key here with communication is to uphold without going overboard or smothering-- You don't want to be the type of girl who dominates his Facebook wall, and you also don't want to horn into his time with the boys, though I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you posted random, funny things you find on Youtube from time to time, or if you sent him a single "thinking of you, you great big stud-muffin"-y text or a risqué photo to remind him what he's missing on boy's night. Moderation-- as with in things like drinking, drugs, and shopping-- is the key.

Shower together. During that time of the month, extracurricular relationship activities come to a slow-down for me, and showering together is one of the things that I've found that you can do that's a little romantic, a little sexy, and great for bonding. You don't even have to start anything-- just the feeling of your two naked bodies in a close space doing something most people don't get to see promotes feelings of trust and intimacy. Plus, it's environmentally friendly, blah, blah, blah. Just don't, like, shave with him watching or anything. That would kill intimacy, not foster it.

Cook dinner. If he can/wants to help, that's icing on the cake, but more than anything, you can really get off on a big relationship boost of providing for someone's basic need: to eat. Have a few quick, under 30-minute go-to recipes mastered that you know you both enjoy-- I make a mean risotto that I learned in Italy that TGIS calls "bitchin'," so if he's over and hasn't eaten dinner yet, I make sure I always have the ingredients to whip it up. (No one is EVER getting my secret special recipe, but you can find a similar, definite man-friendly risotto with bacon recipe here.)

Enforced bonding activities. This may not sound like much fun, but if I could, I'd make EBAs mandatory in relationships. They're the things that really aren't fun, but prove to each other that you're willing to put up with them when the shit hits the fan. Cases in point: Retracing steps and keeping a level head when they lose their credit card. Digging each other's cars out after a winter storm. Meeting the parents. Attending your S.O's work functional as their +1. EBAs prove that when the chips are down, you're by their side and not going anywhere fast, which is possibly one of the most heartening and affirming things that you can do or receive in a relationship.

What are some of your best relationship tips?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mmm, mmm, Jailbait!

I found a Tumblr thread today re: why it's freaky as shit when guys date high school girls. The mixed responses were overwhelming. My favorites were the still barely-legal girls defending their choices to older, 20-something boyfriends.

As a definitely-no-longer-barely-legal girl who was engaged in a long-term 8 year age gap (I was 16; he was 24,) relationship in high school, here's my two cents:

It's wrong. Just plain wrong. On so many different levels. And I can see that now.

It was possibly my most dysfunctional, most fucked up relationship ever, and believe you me, that is saying something. A 16, 17, even 18 year old girl does not have the emotional nor mental capacity to make the sort of judgement or relationship or logic calls that you need to be able to achieve to date someone who can legally drink in a bar, or rent a car. I can see that now, clear as the warning signs I somehow conveniently missed back then. I thought I was sooooo mature. He probably thought he had it soooooo easy, going for a girl who had just gotten her license and was as of yet unburdened by emotional baggage or the relationship carcasses of other men. My life consisted of my new license and car and driving wild and free, my high school friends, convincing my older friends to buy me beer, and making out on the weekends, followed shortly thereafter by having sex and staying over on the weekends. His life consisted of college, paying college loans and the utilities on time, trying to find a "grown up" job to pay said bills, buying a car, and going to the bar with his boys. Can we see where we got lost in the other's translation yet?

Being at roughly the same age demographic now as he was then, I could no more date or condone dating a high school or equally age-spanalicious kid more than I could conceive flying to the moon by flapping my arms and wishing really, really hard on a star. I am far too worried about my thesis and grad school portfolios to worry about someone's sub-par SAT scores, though I DO remember when they were the most important thing in the world. It's odd enough dating someone my same age who isn't going through the same end-of-college crunch that I am; to walk across campus on the way to work and think that he's not doing the same. I have too much to think about figuring out how to spread my paycheck over bills and credit cards and debts to be oh-so-taken with someone's infatuation with drinking (tee-hee-hee!) and smoking doobies 'cause man, I am sooooo mature and alternative and deep when I'm stoned. It is not because you're so mature, little girl, and he is so very interested in how progressive and intelligent you are; it's because you're young, and fresh, and naive and unspoiled and he sees something in you that he kind of wishes he still had-- namely, that point in his life where he didn't have to worry about bills or graduation and the Real World, and he's confused about what he wants.

My relationship then was based on playing pretend, that I was so much older and could handle dating someone with whom I'd cook dinner and spend the night and entertain his friends and family with and babysit his dog when he was out of town. Now, my relationships are all about not actually playing at cooking dinner and spending nights together and entertaining and helping out, but actually cooking dinner and spending nights and entertaining his friends and helping out because THAT'S WHERE I REALLY AM IN MY LIFE, AND THAT'S WHERE THE PEOPLE I DATE REALLY ARE. A late teenaged girl doesn't get that cooking dinner and then going to sleep in the same bed and waking up together and digging each other's cars out of the snowdrifts is reality, and not some pretty pictorial spread of The Way Things Should Be When Grown-Ups Act Like Grown-Ups-- in fact, at nearly 22, sometimes I still don't believe it's my reality-- and that it's not all pretty and fun and games: It's work and communicating and stressful and exhausting and emotional and sweaty and stinky and privacy doesn't really exist anymore and you'll never get that sense of childhood back when you thought that this was all so exciting, so baby girl, don't wish it away, and you not-quite-men-yet-not-boys, don't try to enter into her fairytale world while it's in her twilight. She'll realize soon enough, like I have, that it's about finding someone who appreciates my sense of humor and has life goals for themselves more than who wants to sleep with me really badly or can get me beer and bring me drugs, because, like me, that stuff is old, and that ship has sailed. And that is such a bittersweet, really maturing time, that she needs to find, on her own, to really be the sort of girl a 20-something guy would really want to date.

So, for the record-- most 20-somethings dating high school chicks, or even college seniors dating college freshmen? You're both losers. Yes, that means I was a loser, too. Now for god's sake, both of you, grow up, and date someone within a (better be legal) two-year span. I'm not even 22. I shouldn't have to worry about the suitable men my age going for younger women already. Thanks.


P.S-- This is not to say it doesn't always work; though my relationship was a facsimile of a sham, and all of those of my friends' with similar age ranges were as well, my parents married when my mom was 17 and my dad was 23, and they're still together and managed to procreate this wonderful little bundle of joy that is me, and still be relatively sane and still in love, so that's, what? A 1 in 33 chance you crazy kids could make it work? Or, excuse me, you crazy kid and misguidedly-in-love dude? As Matthew McConaughey once famously said in "Dazed and Confused": "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age." Chew on that fact-- she'll always be younger, and those younger girl quirks will always still be there; she won't outgrow the things that she does now that annoy you in her immaturity. I should know. I still have mine when I date older men, and it drives them insane.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?

Today, I was watching one of the the few male members of my Gender Comm. class out of sheer social interest when I realized there was something going on with him that I doubted few other people ever got tipped off about: He's running a tighter game than Mick Vick was this past season, and as an Eagles girl, let me tell you, the only thing tighter than Vick's game is his ass. But back to what was so interesting about my classmate-- He's got a few very good things going for him: He's attractive, fun, extremely easy to talk to, outgoing, bright, and taking a class on gender communications, which, you know, isn't a bad sign at all for someone who worries about being able to clearly communicate and be understood in a relationship. He's also unassuming and self-depreciating-- he knows he's not the "ideal man" type that girls are programmed to go for-- you know, tall, dark and handsome, with suavity like James Bond and an ass like Vick's (oh, wait, I mentioned that already...oh well,)-- but the fact that he's so vocal about this makes you want to prove him wrong. Girls gravitate to him because of all this, so he probably works to further cultivate it. He is, in short, no dumb bunny. "Cause and effect" theory at work, here, as in, "If I play the friendly, slightly geeky guy, girls aren't intimidated by me and want to be friends with me." I've watched his M.O for the past few weeks and seen it at work; I bet he's always got a lot of girls around him, but I also bet he gets friend-zoned a lot when girls meet and then go for a bad-boy type instead. There's the flaw in his game-- I know it, but I wonder, does he?

Take, for example, one of TGIS's best friends. I adore the kid and am very vocal about it-- TGIS knows it; my roommate agrees with me about the fact he's utterly lovable; and I'll talk about how great his friend is equally as much as I talk about how great TGIS is (if not his friend more). He's just the kind of guy who instantly puts women at ease, is really quiet and unassuming, yet knows how to have fun and will make sure to include you in conversation or anything he and the guys are doing. In fact, he's so nice that I often (somewhat) joke around that I'd leave TGIS for his friend in a hot minute just due to niceness, and TGIS is a pretty nice guy of his own accord, too. But one thing makes this a joke, and not something I would ever in a million years actually ever act on: He lacks the je-ne-sais-quoi bad-boy factor that TGIS does have that keeps women (myself included,) enthralled and guessing. And that's the flaw in Gen. Comm. Boy's little scheme-- nice guys never factor in the bad boys. But oh, how they should.

After dating for roughly the last three million years (give or take a century or so), I've dated a lot of guys. Short guys, lots of tall guys, fat guys, thin guys, muscular guys, athletic guys, nerdy guys, smart guys, dumb guys, sweet guys, but the majority of them have been one kind of guy in particular: bad boys. They're kind of a specialty of mine-- slightly fractured, emotionally needy, a little fucked up, and emotionally unattached. After all these eons of observation and the emotional train wrecks they leave behind them, I have come to one conclusion: There is only one kind of guy really worth dating who will ever really keep a woman's attention, especially if she has as short of a dating attention span as I do-- the nice guy with an edge, or, in less flowery terms, a reformed bad boy. Does this mean that he's entirely house- and relationship-trained and won't leave you broken and bleeding at the end? No, but it does mean that he might actually date you properly and take you out instead of just sending you packing the next morning and wait a little bit to have sex with you until he's sure he actually likes you, unlike his previous incarnation. See, he used to be a bad boy, but just like I used to be much more of a maneater than I am now, he too was burned by some of his past choices and reached a higher state of being, mainly called "Nirv-NotBeingACompleteAssholeAnymore," thus making him just about the most illusive and perfect creature a woman could ever track down and wrestle into bed and into dating.

So, in theory, while Gen. Comm. Boy may have his game (mostly) worked out, it's a shame that it really doesn't pay out for him, because when all the chips are down, he's a really nice guy, but we ladies are eternally preoccupied in less green, more shady pastures. We would be smarter if we chose men who liked us more than we liked them, like him, but that's never how it works. And the questioning and the emotional torment that comes with the bad boys, or even with the reformed bad boys sometimes, is the price that we pay for craving a bit of mystery and drama in our love-lives. That's really what it comes down to-- we'd rather not be bored, not that these men are boring, but a little bit of intrigue as toward how someone feels about you is the engine that seems to power our relationships. It's the butterflies-- we always want to have the butterflies. So I guess we have no one to blame but ourselves for our relationship drama and eternal questioning. Go figure. Do I win a Pulitzer for that stunning reveal now?