Writing left handed

The (M)anthropologist Strikes Again:The Old Master

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria d...

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The (m)anthropology continues with another “type” gleaned from my so-called fieldwork: Man 4.0.  So far, we’ve had the Impressionists (men who like to impress their women), the Pre-Raphaelites (hopeless romantics of the male variety) and the Surrealists (players, in everyday parlance).

Today I would like to introduce a fourth type: the Old Masters.  Old Masters aren’t necessarily old but like their namesakes, they’re the real renaissance men of their times.  Think Michelangelo or, better yet Leonardo Da Vinci.  Da Vinci was a genius, and so are most of the Old Masters I’ve encountered during my adventures in online dating.

Unfortunately most geniuses (geni?) are lacking social graces.  My theory is that they devote so many brain cells to being geniuses that they can’t handle having normal conversations.  Social awkwardness can be endearing when it paired with say, great abs or a six figure salary, but credit cards and six packs can only get a girl so far.

I know this because I’ve already dated several Old Masters and I’ve found myself bored out of my mind each time.

So how can you tell and Old Master from an Impressionist?  Read on.

  • Old Masters tend to be doctors.  Or med students.  Med students aren’t quite as bad as full-fledged doctors because they have fully lost their ability to communicate but they’re well on their way.  Beware.
  • Old Masters don’t deal well with spontaneity.
  • They have quirky hobbies, such as sculpting, dancing salsa or playing squash and while you might be tempted to think, “Hmm, that’s interesting” let me tell you: it’s not.  This is because the person doing these hobbies is an Old Master and Old Masters consciously cultivate hobbies in an attempt to compensate for their humdrum personalities.
  • Old Masters are forever vacationing with their families.  Now I’ll admit: I regularly vacation with my family as well but only because my parents are 52 (nearly) going on 25 and generally pick up my bar tab— not because I’m too lame to venture out on my own.  In other words, if you’re dating a man who seems a little too close to his siblings, you might have an Old Master on your hands.
  • Because of their involvement in the medical profession, Old Masters tend to be very fussy with what they eat.  And God forbid you order a drink in their presence—let alone two.  They generally prefer tea to coffee, water to wine and sobriety to… well, the alternative.
  • Old Masters tend to be very successful in terms of their careers but they have a weird relationship to money.  Some of the wealthiest men I’ve dated have actually been the least chivalrous (read: cheap).
  • They’re usually very highly educated.  And very cultured.  And well-groomed.  Aside from the social awkwardness, these men are quite the catch, and they know it, which is why social niceties go out the window.  Do not expect an Old Master to hold a door open for you.  Or hail you a cab.  Or offer you his arm whilst crossing an icy street.  You’ll only be disappointed.

So, does this mean you should steer clear of the medical profession in its entirety?  No.  Absolutely not.  I have a major crush on a  friend of mine who happens to be a doctor and even though he fits the bill in terms of quirky hobbies, he’s a renegade in terms of everything else.  (He has, for example, bought me a drink and that drink contained alcohol.)

Nor do I mean to suggest that Old Masters are always doctors or students of the medical profession; there are exceptions, I am sure, but my “fieldwork” has yielded a pretty homogenous group thus far.

I’m not sure where this leaves me.  It would seem that I have a “type” (or several types, rather) but that none of these types are working for me.

19 Responses to “The (M)anthropologist Strikes Again:The Old Master”

  1. girlinblues

    It’s always easier to find out what you don’t want than the opposite, but you’ll get there, just keep looking. 🙂

  2. Landlord

    Hey, I’m still 51 for exactly 14 days, don’t rush it 😉

    Now the question, if all men are “types”, how can you make it work for you?

    That seems to be the elephant in the room— I’m sure your father fits in somewhere in your matrix, and there are/were things that we aren’t/weren’t crazy about while dating, and now married. I think its a question of:

    Which qualities/habits/ticks can you live with?
    Which ones are moldable?
    How can you each help the other learn to appreciate or embrace the each others likes/dislikes?

    None of this is something you can figure out on a first date, this takes time…in our day, (I think) since we did not have the benefit of electronic communication or instant anything, I think we are on our best behavior a lot longer, thereby encouraging subsequent outings, talking on the phone, a real phone, not trying to multi-task while doing so. Then once we were more comfortable with each other, the guard would start to drop. and that is when you would have to decide whether or not there was “something” to hold on to after seeing the quirks and foibles.

    Everything moves too fast nowadays, I’m actually sad for your generation.

  3. Brazilian

    To Landlord, not only does everything move too fast, but the young folks feel they have to do multiple things simultaneously. I often see couples going on dates while talking on their cell phones. How can one feel appreciated when the person they are with is talking to someone else?
    I, for one, am glad I’m not in the dating scene anymore.

    P.S. Is hard to believe that Chauffeur has any qualities you aren’t/weren’t crazy about. 😉

    • Landlord

      Exactly, no one focuses on the “moment” any more, from family time to dating, being on vacation, you name it, in order to do ANYTHING, one has to be doing, doing, doing, God, I do sound all of my FIFTY-ONE years, don’t I? LOL

  4. Rachel

    Such wisdom spoken here in the comments section. Kat, since online dating hasn’t worked well – yet – perhaps you should let the next experiment be dating a few guys that your parents pick out for you. That could be interesting on a whole new level!

    • Brazilian

      Rachel, now that is an interesting suggestion. If anything, it would provide lots of fodder for Kat’s blog. I like it!!!

  5. mydatingprescription

    I had a comment all ready to write when I came here, and then saw the other comments, and have to say letting your parents pick a couple of dates for you would be an interesting twist. Better yet, how about letting tu Abuela pick someone??? 🙂 I also think figuring out what type your dad is could lead you in a positive direction.

    The original comment/question I was going to ask is if you are tracking types and occupations in your spreadsheet. I’m sure if you had to take statistics for your anthropology degree you know the truth is found in large numbers. Unfortunately, forty-nine just may not be a large enough sample.

    I feel your pain. I’m with you there in the dating trenches!

    • Kat Richter

      My ABUELA? Perish the thought! She’d have me going out with some– well, let’s just say that I’m rather liberal and she’s rather not 🙂

      As for statistics… never taken a class actually (my research was always more qualitative than quantitative) but I can’t imagine getting MORE data! 49 has been hard enough!

  6. JennyExiled

    Ooo – I have dated this man. And while he wasn’t an MD, he is a PhD in a science/medical-related field. Close enough, me thinks. 😉

  7. Lost in France

    I love making gross generalities and grouping people or things together by them.

    I like the way you characterise, the old masters, and am now concerned as although not a doctor, I feel I would perhaps tick a number of the boxes

    • Kat Richter

      Yes, these are very broad generalizations– but like I said, I don’t think Old Masters are bad (so it’s perfectly okay if you think you’d tick a few boxes). It’s just a matter of figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you… and admittedly, I’m still learning!

  8. Jessica

    Ahh I love this.. I have a friend going into med school who fits this bill perfectly- it’s almost eery!

  9. E

    I think you need to update this profile to include all PhDs. Yes, there are exceptions, but in general most people with that much education are more than a little of what you describe.

    And I’m totally against letting your parents pick out dates for you. (Wasn’t that an MTV thing a while back?) Part of the fun/ learning experience of dating is coming to realizations about yourself. I believe these lessons are better learned by making your own choices.

    • Kat Richter

      Agreed– PhDs and MDs and DPhils and the whole lot 🙂 As for letting my parents pick who I date… I was appalled when I first read today’s comments but who knows- it’s not as though online dating is working very well for me!


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