Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

I’m Even Scummier than I Look. Say, Is That Beer?

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You’ll have to pardon the broad brush with which I spread this tar: guys are scum. I realize that exceptions exist, but fifty-thousand non-scum males in a sea of nearly three-and-a-half billion scumbags does not a refutation make. So the assertion stands erect, if you catch my drift.

I do not exclude myself from this characterization. My publicly pristine behavior stems mainly from fear of exposure as a slime bucket, not from any inherent revulsion for scummitude. I empathize with the poor dirtbags who get carried away pursuing the scumbag lifestyle, even as I castigate them for it.

This realization hit me for the umpteenth time last night as my wife and I were sitting around with a couple of female friends, discussing the case of one of the latter: she, about thirty years old, was informed by a thirty-three-year-old male that he found her too old for his liking – he was looking for someone about eight years younger. I had three simultaneous reactions: (1) My God, that guy is such a scumbag; (2) This poor woman was probably disgusted, confused and furious; and (3) I see where he’s coming from – if I could get away with such a policy, wouldn’t I give it a shot?

The problem is that it seems to work, if only based on the observation that women tolerate a heck of a lot more crap than guys do in their potential (or actual) partners. Most women know that Mr. Perfect does not exist, and came to that realization at a young enough age, enabling them to consider potential mates outside the perfect range, whether that refers to age, weight, quantity of hair, annual income or some combination thereof. Guys, on the other hand, are always looking for something “better” to come along, and thus keep channel surfing through life, always looking for what else is on. It takes a particular set of circumstances to make a guy realize he’s not going to find anyone better than a particular woman, and put down the remote control.

On rare occasions, those circumstances are maturity and a firm grip of reality. In many others, it involves a shotgun. In others still, it involves money. Often, however, it involves a sensible third party who hits the guy over the head with the revelation that he’s never going to find someone like this again, usually following an evening of intense guy behavior, i.e. something involving beer.

In my case, there was no beer involved, but there was a sensible friend who made me realize how crazy I was not to jump at the opportunity sitting before me for months already – a fait so accompli that within days of our first meeting people were asking my future wife and me whether we were dating each other. We barely knew each other and wouldn’t start dating for half a year yet, but all around us were people seeing the manifest rightness of the match. My inner guy, however, took a while to come around (it should be noted that inner guys, as a rule, don’t live all that far inside, if you know what I mean).

We’re not going to cure guys of scumminess; it’s hard-wired into the Y chromosome, and it served its purpose in the days of the mastodon and saber-tooth tiger. But can we keep enlightened society going for long enough that eventually, Darwinian processes will cause scumosity to evolve into a survival disadvantage?

I’m not holding my breath. You can’t drink beer that way.


Written by Thag

May 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

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