Writing left handed

(M)anthropology, Part 5: Those Guys who are just THERE

The Turbine Hall. No art work was on display i...

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He who was following me on Twitter is no longer following me on Twitter.  One can only presume that he read the associated blog post and subsequently decided to “unfollow” me.  Oops.

Maybe one of these days I’ll learn that blogging about my love life is not exactly the most effective way to build relationships.

But that day isn’t here yet, and lest I succumb to another sob-fest like I did yesterday, I’ve put together a (m)anthropological analysis of what I believe will comprise my fifth and final “type.”

I’m not sure what to call this last one.  So far, I’ve got the Impressionists (men who like to impress women), the Pre-Raphaelites (men who like to love women), the Surrealists (men who like to confound women) and the Old Masters (men who like to bore women to death) but here my knowledge art history maxes out.

I need to go back to the Tate Modern.  The Tate has that great wall just above the escalators that’s painted like a timeline with all the major periods in art history listed (the Old Masters, Cubists, the Dadaists, etc.)  Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve been at the Tate and it will probably be a while since I get back there again so I’m going to need some help for this one.

What do you call those guys who are just… there?

What should I call them?

You all know the ones I’m talking about.  They’re the nice guys—they’re not exactly lighting the world on fire and they’re not exactly Calvin Klein underwear models and they’re not exactly threatening to kill themselves if you won’t go out with them, marry them, have their babies and live happily ever after.

They’re solid.

They’re dependable.

They are—in a word—boring.  (The subject of yesterday’s post was, for of all his breakfast in bed charms, exactly as I have just described.)

I’ve got seven such men on my Great Date spreadsheet.  Statistically speaking, this means that I’ve gone out with more boring-but-nice-guys than any other type: only four Old Masters, only three Impressionists (thank God!), only three Pre-Raphaelites (thank God again!) and only three Surrealists (thank all gods of all religions!).

This would suggest that subconsciously I know the sort of guy I ought to be with—one of these boring-but-nice types—and that I’m not nearly as big of an idiot/martyr/masochist as I had originally feared.

But here’s the thing about boring guys: they’re, well… boring.  (Unless you take the time to really get to know them, of course and this is where it gets complicated.)

Without fail, they call when they say they’re going to call, they pay for first dates, they’ll offer to drive you home (and sometimes even to pick you up, which is rarity in the 21st century, especially when you live in the city and profess to be a well-adjusted, financially independent, cosmopolitan sophisticate who can take care of herself, thank you very much).

They’ve traveled a bit, gone to college a bit and some have even lived abroad (this last one is always a major turn on for me).

So why do I never hit off with these guys?

Well, as usual, I blame Jane Austen.  And Carrie Bradshaw.  And my last boyfriend, who was rather solid but also quite dull.  All three have left me wanting something… more.

Before signing off this morning, I should note that I have been diligently reading your comments and I agree with what many of you are saying: it’s not the “type” that matters.  It’s the reason(s) that I gravitate towards certain types and the qualities that make these types “workable” (for me) or not.  I’ll be attempting to wrap my head around these ideas over the weekend but in the meantime, I need your help with the last phase of my (m)anthropological analysis: what do I call these guys, the solid but boring ones?

Any art historians out there?  And, perhaps more importantly, any success stories?

15 Responses to “(M)anthropology, Part 5: Those Guys who are just THERE”

  1. Lee

    I refer to these types as “Volvo’s”…….always reliable.
    (and the bad boy types as “Ferrari’s”). I’d like to think that there are men out there who are 75% Volvo and 25% Ferrari (as it’s important to me to have a man who’s very reliable but has some excitement in him as well)

  2. chauffeur

    I love Lee’s car analogies, almost as much as I love baseball analogies, (they would be utility players) but in keeping with the art theme, perhaps illustrators. Not really artists by defination, but surely in the game, solid, can churn it out, and can be wonderful. Think Norman Rockwell.
    BTW, I kinda like the suggestions a few days ago, have your folks set you up, and the Brazilian nade a few very astute points.

  3. Lost in France

    Sadly I was going to suggest Cubist’s but was beat to it.
    It does seem adapt, as they really tick the boxes of being ‘square’ May be then Cubist gives them more depth than they deserve?

  4. Zak

    Well, shit, I finally made your list of types. Not exactly how I envisioned it…

    What do you call the guys who come over to your house and paint the really expensive but accurate/life-like portrait? That type of artist.

    I also like Lee’s comments as well as chauffuer’s comments. I have no idea what a “cubist” is, so until I wikipedia it… In the meantime, I need to go figure out how to be 25% more Ferrari 😉

  5. Lauren

    I think your fixation on types is a mask for what’s become a love of the thrill. You seem to crave the suspense of “not waiting” for a call, and the challenge of conquering a man you believe is determined to have the control in a relationship (him by remaining distant no matter what his professions of love are, and you beguiling him with your charm).

    If you want a relationship the best way into a healthy one is to be with someone who is dependable (by the way, dependable guys can also be smokin’ hot and have cool interests!). But if honesty and dependability from a guy feels boring for you, that suggests to me that a big part of you is just unwilling to be in a committed relationship right now.

    Just food for thought…

  6. amanda

    i’d go with americana…kind of a mouthful, but the “type” you describe perfectly reflects a norman rockwell painting. pleasant to look at, slightly comforting…and ultimately boring. is americana even an art type?

  7. chauffeur

    That friend, (Lauren) speaks my mind.
    (Quaker speak for “what she said”).

  8. Ember

    You asked for a success story, so here goes: I met a wonderful man on match six months ago. We enjoy each other’s company and have great chemistry and are not intent on getting too serious too quickly. It can happen, but I am NOT an Austenian woman. I don’t jump ahead of where the relationship is (to marriage, etc., because I’ve been there and it wasn’t great for me). No need to rush things.
    I’ve found there’s a big difference between my expectations and reality a lot of the time. I don’t project my expectations onto him. I let him be who he is (even if it is calm and boring sometimes) and I’m happier for it. BTW, I would “type” him as your dependable and solid type, but he is also funny, sweet, caring, sexy, and pretty amazing.

    • Zak

      “I’ve found there’s a big difference between my expectations and reality a lot of the time. I don’t project my expectations onto him. I let him be who he is (even if it is calm and boring sometimes) and I’m happier for it.”

      Can you teach this skill to all of the future women I date? Pretty please.

  9. Lee

    Lauren, do you actually know any smokin’ hot guys who are dependable/reliable? I’ve been dating for almost 8 yrs now (I’m 48 yrs old) and from my experience I’ve yet to meet any smokin’ hot dependable guys. Seems to be an oxymoron as far as I’m concerned. I’ve dated totally boring guys (yuck), players (unbeknownst to me at the time), narcissists (scary!), commitment phobes (yikes!) and a few really nice men (unfortunately, the spark was missing with each). I do have standards but I go into each dating situation with no expectations other than getting to know the person better. Unfortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time “investing” in these men and haven’t succeeded in acquiring a solid, healthy, loving relationship………yet. I’m remaining hopeful though. I have a tendancy to “categorize” men I meet and I think it’s because when they start to show certain signs/characteristics I’ll instantly compare them to someone else. Is it fair? Maybe not. I’m sure it’s a natural response a lot of us have (and it doesn’t solely apply to dating situations either – I tend to do it with people in general). The “hot burner” cliche definitely applies to these situations……at least with me anyway.

  10. Renee Davies

    Kat, I think your fifth belongs to the Realism Period. He’s predictable, realistic, and gives the impression of being boring. Here’s a thought and it may not apply to you, but a thought nevertheless: could it be that we subconsciously buy into the idea that we are not “good enough”, and when the Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite types confirm this by not returning calls, by not paying for anything, by not driving us home, by not being there on time, they reinforce our ideas about ourselves. But, for any man to act as if we are “good enough”, who might in fact treat us with genuine respect and some chivalry; must no-doubt be the boring type, otherwise, he’d have recognized the truth about us and not wasted his time.

    I think the men who are punctual, polite and who don’t cross boundaries too soon may appear boring (some men have no opinions and I’m not including them here), but many of them may be gems that only an investment of our time can uncover.


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