Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sturm und Drang

I meant to post yesterday, on Valentine's Day (hereinafter V-Day, because, really, any holiday with a name longer than "Yule" is just too much trouble to type out), but I got busy, and, more to the point, what I was writing was crap.

Anyway, my V-Day started at 7:30 with a phone call, from a very sweet guy with whom I've been on two dates, wishing me a happy V-Day. I'm not sure that waking someone up via cell phone is a great strategic move on V-Day, but whatever. There followed a text message with a ridiculous V-Day graphic, and I was of two minds:
1. Dude. It's only been two dates: ease up a little.
2. What? No chocolate?

It is a sad but undeniable fact that I am more likely to want what is harder for me to get and what I probably shouldn't want. Put another way: I'm more likely to be into a guy if he seems less into me. I am given to understand that many others of all genders and sexual persuasions are in the same boat.

If you analyze this phenomenon (as I have, obviously), you come to a couple of conclusions. First, it's often to your advantage to appear less interested than you are. "Playing hard to get" is the more negative way to put that because it makes me sound like I'm playing games, and nobody wants to be accused of playing games, even if that's what he's doing. In any case, playing it cool is wise not just because it usually makes you more attractive. Emotions often outrace reason, and if you act on the former, you may have already done something you'll regret when the latter catches up.

The second conclusion is that I should really learn to value guys who are into me more than I do. And, you know, for the last several years, I've determined to spend more time with guys who are willing to chase after me and less with guys who I have to pursue. And, well, it's a work in progress. I'm doing better with the not-acting-too-interested part than I am with the rewarding-interest-in-me part. But I find that being aware of the ways in which my psyche acts against my self-interest is a big help in modifying the behavior.

Well. There's my moment of introspection for 2012.

As for V-Day itself, I see a lot of whinging from both the attached and single segments of the population. If you're attached, the whinging goes something like, "Egad, yet another instance of the greeting card-florist-industrial complex conspiring to make me spend money on frivolities." And, well: really? The fact that you have someone to do something for is, on balance, cause for gratitude and celebration, not for complaint. Besides, V-Day is the easiest holiday ever! Finding someone the right Christmas or birthday gift can be really difficult, but on V-Day, you get some chocolates and flowers and you're done. [If you're feeling especially kind, you can throw in some sexy underwear or a sex toy, but I mention this only so that I can tell a story at my own expense. That Guy, with whom I recently broke up, was a very stylish dresser, but he wore underwear (white woven cotton boxers: ugh) that were totally at odds with his image. So early last month, I went online and ordered him some more appropriate underwear, thinking it would make a good V-Day gift. Then I broke up with him. And, well, I'd ordered underwear on clearance, so it couldn't be returned. And it was size small, which I really am not. Fortunately, last weekend, I got a late night call from one of my favorite gentlemen of horizontal acquaintance asking me to come over, and it occurred to me that said gentleman is probably 5'4 and maybe 120 lbs if he's soaking wet, so I grabbed some of the underwear and took it with me. He was happy to have it, though when he tried it on, it was a little too big. I reckon it'll shrink in the dryer, though.] It's pretty easy.

The whinging by the single people usually goes more along the lines of "Egad, the media are conspiring to make me feel inadequate because I'm single." This, reader, is an error. The media are, in fact, conspiring to make you spend money because that's what they're there for. So if you're single, wrap yourself in the mantle of intellectual and moral superiority: "I am too smart and too good to be duped into feeling inferior by people who only want my money." Or, if that doesn't work for you, buy yourself something. Chocolate is half off!

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