April 22, 2011 by Kat Richter
As it turns out, nothing has changed between you and me. Even though you pause to hand me the morning paper when we say our goodbyes and promise to call, I don’t cancel the other dates I’ve already scheduled for the following weekend. Why should I? You’ve not asked me to. I have no idea where— if anywhere— this is going and even though you tell me you want to see me again, I’ve learned to doubt your sincerity.
And with good reason.
Because when you do call, we set up another date but then you read about me kissing “someone else” and your fragile ego is shot. I ring your cell in the hopes that two rational adults might discuss what they do and do not want from their “relationship” (for all of your wining and dining, you’ve never actually told me) but you won’t take my call.
Then again, why should you? You like your women silent and simpering, and unfortunately, you’re not alone in this.
Since Monday, I’ve been holed up in my parent’s house on the Eastern Shore, writing, reflecting on my “experiment,” trying to figure out what to say in my new-and-improved 50th Date profiles and crunching numbers. (“Yesterday’s” date took place a while ago but for obvious reasons I couldn’t write about it right away.) While I’m still single, I’ve amassed a fair amount of data over the past eight months and now that I’m attempting to analyze all of it, a few distinct patterns have begun to emerge.
(I had a rather fun My Single Male Friend lined up for a today but I couldn’t very well leave you all hanging after yesterday’s post now could I? Plus, patterns are scientific and science is important.)
Even though I generally try to avoid generalizations (and have thus far resisted the urge to discuss “types”) I can’t ignore the facts and the “facts” are as follows: I’ve dated three men who, despite their differences in age and profession, have quite a lot in common—so much so that I’d deem them an official “type” and I would call this type The Impressionist.
(And no, I’m not talking about men like Degas or Monet; just go with it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)
- “Impressionists” are not conventionally good looking. They’re well dressed, they work out and they do their very best with what they have. Nonetheless, under ordinary circumstances, you wouldn’t give them a second glance.
- They’ve worked extremely hard to get where they are in life and as such, they are extremely proud—and rightfully so— of their professional (and financial) successes.
- They don’t come from money. They put themselves through school and even though they’re now “working professionals,” their parents are undeniably blue collar.
- Speaking of parents… they have rather contentious relationships with their fathers. And with their siblings.
- Thanks to their many achievements in life, Impressionists feel entitled and because they’re not so pretty themselves, they like pretty girls. To pursue, impress and obtain a pretty girl is to confirm that they’ve made it (and because they want both pretty and witty girls, you can delude yourself into thinking you’re not just arm candy, at least in the beginning).
- They want things done on their time, at their favorite places and at their request. No exceptions.
- Impressionists like to show off: fancy dinners, vintage wines, bespoke suits, f*cking cufflinks, flowers, tickets to the theatre, members-only clubs and Steven Starr restaurants where they just so happen to know the owners, the bartenders, the waitresses and the majority of the clientele. Their sense of self-worth depends upon your being impressed.
- They love words. And word play. And they’re quite clever actually, which can be quite dangerous if you’re the sort to be taken in by such things.
- Finally, Lord help you if you ever attempt to pull out your wallet during an Impressionists carefully calculated exhibition. These guys take “chivalry” to the extreme and even though they think they want a woman who’s educated, sophisticated and self-sufficient, they don’t. They want a woman who will be dependent upon them, because dependency flatters their fragile egos (and yes, despite their financial and professional successes, their egos are fragile: no matter what they do, they’ll always have their blue collar backgrounds to contend with and their lack of good looks to overcome).
Relationships with these men only work so long as the “balance” of power remains unequal. The moment the potential-girlfriend suggests that she buys this round, that they meet at her favorite coffee shop or that yes, as a matter of fact, she has already been to Europe, they’re thrown off. And the moment she ceases to be impressed, they lose interest because the Impressionist’s sense of self-worth is inextricably bound up with their ability to dazzle women.
Only recently did I realize I’ve dated three such men. (And yes, the man I wrote about in yesterday’s post was one of them.) Obviously I need to stop—because Impressionists are bad news for a girl like me. But how? Is there another “type” for which I’d be better suited?
(And is the notion of “type” such a bad thing if “types” can keep us from repeating past mistakes?)