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Kevin

I think you'd really enjoy the Sage Francis song "Smoke and Mirrors."

Law Bob Esq.

Disclaimer: I'm Married.

From my own experience, it is not a question of dishonesty in appearing "untouchable" but rather a change in identity. Notice the words you used in the post today: "Guys" and "girls." You did not use the terms "men" or "women." My advice is this, stop being a guy and start being a man. Too many guys think they need to look pretty and get girls. They think they need a fancy car, an X-box, and nice digs. They can figure out life afterwards. They think they need to keep their options open so they can accomodate whoever their dream girl might be. This is completely backwards. If you can tell a girl, "This is where I'm going with my life, and I invite you to come along," It will seldom matter how much your shirts cost.

On the other hand, if you just plan to work at a job you hate so you can buy sh*t you don't need, then playing the game really is your only option.

Nicole

Adam, You just described most of the girls at my ugrad. My brother makes the same complaints about women, I guess maybe that's why I always was brazen about asking guys out, letting them know that I liked them, and giving them a call. I'm just a forthright person. In fact, if it were left up to Kevin, we probably never would have dated, much less be married. (Although, he DID ask me that).

I have done my fair share of bar hopping, but I never dated a single man that I met at a bar. It made me suspicious of him in the first place, "Do I want to date a man who would date a girl he met at a bar?" There are a lot of women out there who are shallow, stupid people. There are a lot of shallow stupid men, too.

I say that when you like a woman, let her know it. Woo her. Ask her out, (Kev and I split the bill for a very long time...), take her places, email her, call her on the phone now and again. But don't go and lick your wounds if she rejects you. Every attempt to start a relationship is an "ask" and the answer can be no. I'm not saying you do that, but I just know that I got rejected a few times. It sucked. But such is the nature of being forthright about who you want to date.

And please, tell me that you're too smart to actually want those scantily clad women at the bars.

rose

Few things: I hope you all will read through.

I have frequented the bars also. I also have my share of skank clothes. I am more of a wear t-shirts to bars kind of girl...but sometimes that tank top will make it's way to the top. I like to wear short skorts sometimes. It gets too hot. I am not into meeting any guy in a bar. Sometimes it is great to find a sober one to talk to because I am never drunk. I also like to dance with cute guys. I care nothing about their status..and am more attracted to the t-shirt and jeans type.

Now..to keep guys away..I have a good bitch face and walk..I guess that is part of the game..huh?

This all said..I met the most amazing guy of my whole entire life at a bar. I am going to tell the story..read if you like.

The 23rd of last december..going into Christmas eve.. I was sitting over at my friend's wrapping presents. the weather was awful, and we thought to ourselves...what kind of crazy people go out on a night like this. We decided to do an experiment and went out. It was too cold, so we walked into the first bar we came to. There was a band playing. The first thing I said was hey..I like the curly haired guy. Oh and look..he is a bass player. I must have a thing for curly haired bass players. (This comes from the fact that my ex-boy was a curly haired bass player). The group was pretty good, so we stayed. At one point, the cute curly haired bass guy made eye contact with me. I am not sure how. It was crowded, and I was near the back. He did a funny thing with his eyes..raised his eyebrows or something. It embarrassed me. I thought..oh crap..he saw me looking at him. Soo..we ended up staying till the end of the show..and then for some reason, as soon as they were done playing he came off the stage (which I never have seen him do since) and came and talked to me. He then told me his name was Brian..that weirded me out a bit. That is my ex-boy's name too. weird. Then he told me he was in a Christian band. Everything was crazy about all of this. My friend and I must have been looking at him a little too weird, because he then stopped talking to us. We were about to leave, so I went to go say bye to him. We then spent 15 minutes talking about God and the Bible and bars and drinking. It was amazing. I gave him my number. I thought about him non stop for about a week, and then he called...There were a few more crazy coincidences that went on..but this comment is already a bit long. Long story short..it is so weird that we met at a bar. He is an awesome awesome guy. Our relationship is so Christ-centered. That is something I strive for but never ever have accomplished. He has helped me grow a lot. I am so incredibly glad I randomly decided to go out that night and went to a bar I never go to and gave my number out (which I never do) funny thing is he didnt even ask for it..I asked him if it was ok for me to give it to him. Bars can be good sometimes...

wow..that was a long comment.

ryan king

Adam, I'm definitely feeling your frustration. I've been hitting the bar scene quite a bit myself lately, which puts me in a weird situation:

I don't really want to meet a girl in a bar. But, wait, if I'm the kind of person that goes to bars, why couldn't I meet someone else?

Thought I don't really want to meet a girl at a bar, I just moved, so its kinda tough to meet people. Plus I usually have nothing to do. Plus, there are good looking girls at the bars I go to.

Adam, there's gotta be a better way for us to meet girls.

greg

become male strippers.

Aaron

ryan, you should be a male stripper. i second greg.

joyrhino

Go to church! Ha! I just had to say that. Couldn't help it. Sounded so right for this. Go to church, meet a nice Christian girl and you will live happily ever after. That is until you realize that there is no happily ever after. Then you either join 50% who divorce and continue to pursue paranoid delusions of grandure, or you stick with the other 50% who realize that love is a decision, not a cheap aftermarket add on to a new toy that can be returned when buyer's remourse sets in.

Law Bob Esq.

I really like that "love is a decision... aftermarket add on.." quote. Can I borrow it?

Meg

Alright, its about time I weighed in on the issue. The timing is ironic because I just got back hanging out at the bar with 5 guys (Ladies, to quote my friend Michael: "For women at the seminary, the odds are good but the goods are odd." Those are Michael's words, not mine and I think he's wrong. . .but funny.)

Here's my theory on dating and the bar scene. Everyone has bait and a hook in the game, so I guess the game is a bit like fishing. The hook is emotional depth, capacity for intimacy, a brain which churns out engaging and unexpected thoughts from time to time, etc. I would venture to say that most of us who interact in this particular blogosphere are well endowed hook-wise and we're looking for someone else who can meet us here.

But then there's the bait and that's the external: being able to do yourself up right, knowing how to let someone know when your interested and when you're not so interested, basic social skills, and flirtation.
So I guess, Adam, that your frustration is with the fact that in this world, the bar scene especially, we have to bait our hooks. I feel your pain. I've spent most of my life feeling a sort of righteous pride in not baiting the hook. People should love me for ME, right? So then I sit back with my arms folded across my chest just waiting for someone to come up to me and ask about the Barthian view of Christological election. I, therefore, sit alone all night and begin to wonder what is wrong with me. Am I unattractive? Are these people all so shallow? etc.

I'm beginning to realize that bait and hook are not mutually exclusive. When you talk about the women you meet (or rather observe?) at bars, you are pretty dismissive of their intellectual or emotional capacity simply because they wear cute clothes. To this I protest UNFAIR!!! I wonder, if you and I were in the same bar, having never met one another except over the impersonal internet, whether you would misjudge and underestimate me as well simply because I enjoy wearing high heels and short skirts ("and a l-o-n-g jacket" name the band for bonus points.) I am learning that, while I CAN converse on Kierkegaard, doesn't mean that I have to in every situation. Frankly, yelling about subjectivity over an unknown indie-rock band and a ruma and coke isn't the place to show off that skill.

So I say, if you don't want to play the game, get out of the bar. Find an intentionally "hook"-based group - some book club, poetry class, or (you're going to hate me) church group. If that's not for you, then quit protesting, learn the rules and dive in. It may sound harsh but I'm preaching to myself as much as to you. I've actually discovered that the game can be fun IF you realize and are intentional about the fact that you are playing a game.

So now that I've tipped my hand, you can see how vapid I really am. For the first time in my life, it is OK with me if someone thinks that now and again. I know the truth. I know I'm a nerd with sub-par social skills. If I can fool you into thinking otherwise, then I've baited my hook and that's ok by me.


rose

for those who said go to church...I have article that gives you all the pointers...it's great.

http://msn.match.com/msn/article.aspx?articleid=3521&TrackingID=516311&BannerID=544657&GT1=6428

Adam

All very interesting.

Meg,
If you haven't picked up on it by now I tend to speak in hyperbole very often. I just find it much more interesting to read. So when I said what I did about girls intellect in the dating arena I wasn't talking about all of them. As a matter of fact I would find it a bit odd if someone busted out some Spinoza over a long island ice tea and game of pool. But I've had the unfortunate opportunity of having a real conversation with some of these girls and have found them lacking when it comes to personal reflection. I don't care if someone knows what Aristotles unmoved mover is. I would just like to have a real conversation with someone instead of them revealing to me how much they care about the grown-up popularity contest.

I like what you said about the hook and bait metaphor. It says it much better than what I slopped onto this cyber-paper. I, also, want someone to be attracted to me for me and I have never once thought I would find that in a bar setting. I enjoy flirting and joking around sometimes, "playing the game" if you will. I've found though that there is a sharp difference between the thoughtful game players and the shallow ones.

I know how the bar scene works and I am rarely surprised at what happens. Honestly I don't really care about finding someone at the bar scene. I'm not opposed, but it doesn't even register on the priority list. I'm still wondering what it is girls are looking for in any situation. Is there another game I'm supposed to be playing?

And who knows Meg, perhaps some day, in the most unexpected bar, I may decide to play the game and take your bait after all. Because isn's it every man's dream to find a girl from seminary wearing a short skirt at a bar?

joyrhino

Only if they listen to Cake and wear a l-o-n-g jacket.

meg

"Is there another game I'm supposed to be playing?"

I don't know but I'm going to babble anyway ;-) What if we were to redefine "flirtation"? Being able to flirt is ultimately about being attractive to other people. So what attracts people, I ask? Well, everybody likes to talk and be heard, to be noticed and found fascinating. Some of the best "flirts" I've ever met are just people who know how to ask good, insightful questions and then actively listen to the answers. That's the bait, I guess you'd say. Ultimately, if people walk away from an interaction feeling good about themselves, they will also walk away feeling good about you. They will be attracted to you. Score! You just flirted! If you are the kind of person that finds other peoples' strengths and draws them out, then I think you are playing the game quite well. Not only that, I would also say that you are:
a kind person,
a pastoral person,
an attractive person and even (dare I say it?)
a Christ-like person.
This is who I want to be.

And let me tell you, the amount of people I've met in this world who can do this are few and far between. Most people at the bars are there to sell themselves, frankly, so their conversation centers around (you guessed it) themselves! A guy doesn't need to be "hot," he doesn't even need to be particularly cool or funny but if he can ask good questions and then genuinely listen and respond to me, I'm smitten.

"Because isn's it every man's dream to find a girl from seminary wearing a short skirt at a bar?"

Not in Michigan, apparently!

(and joyrhino, thanks for picking up on the Cake reference.)

McKormick

I don't believe there is a game. We all crave relationships and all relationships start somewhere. Most of the time relationships happen through the natural course of our lives (waiting at a bus stop, cubicle at work, grocery store). In order for a relationship (of whatever depth) to start, there has to be communication and response. It just so happens that in a bar we've decided to force this relationship experience upon ourselves and all of a sudden, the things that are often natural (dressing for work, talking to a coworker, I don't believe there is a game. We all crave relationships and all relationships start somewhere. Most of the time relationships happen through the natural course of our lives (waiting at a bus stop, cubicle at work, grocery store). In order for a relationship (of whatever depth) to start, there has to be communication and response. It just so happens that in a bar we've decided to force this relationship experience upon ourselves and all of a sudden, the things that are often natural (dressing for work, talking to a coworker, asking a stranger for directions, striking up a conversation with another grocery shopper, sharing stories of our lives) become unnatural. Like the feeling you get when all eyes point to you. Or when you know you are being videotaped and all of a sudden walking feels weird; your hands out of place, your feet too big. This is the experience of a bar. It's forced entry into someone else’s life and vice versa. And this 'game' is the premeditation involved in instigating the relationship. It’s the confusion of trying to be who you think someone else will want to relate to. Premeditating your steps, your words, your look, your vibe to attract and connect. But like what law-bob said, the more you know who you are; what you want and where you're going, the less you need to premeditate your 'angle of entry'. Because we all need to be someone before we can meet someone; the sad part is that many people try to be someone they are not and that is why so many bar instigated relationships are completely superficial. That’s why you feel like you’ve been played or been a player. You need to figure out who you are and what you want. And it’s really not a big, larger than life question. Just decide that what you already want for yourself is valid. Be confident in your ability to make decisions about who you are and what you are and where you are going. Free yourself to fuck up. Choose to try being who only you know you are rather than what someone you don’t know thinks you might be. Just play that game and the pieces fall together.

McK.

mrmoose71943

Some of these comments are not for the Polticilly Correct Fan Club. First women are not hard to figure out Men have turned into something else. Yes,I enjoy a romantic dinner,bring her flowers and wine. BUT not all the time. She can bring me flowers,run me a warm bath, and serve me strawberrys dip in choclate. American Women are spoiled. You go to Japan,their just entering the business world in the last 25 years, Indonisian women are kept in their place because of being poor, and a civil war was or is going on their its a muslin country, Africa has so much AIDS and women are treated as slaves. In Europe in some parts the slave trade is on. But in England,Scot,Iceland and Greenland, their pretty much as equals. The American Women should have a job, be required to pay the bills,and know the daily operation of the household. If the women that you meet are not up to your standards, do not marry them, find a good cooking school, cause kids are a pay thru the nose and the sweet little miss Ill do it for you honey after the I do,will not, untill she gets her way, women do not have all the power in between their legs. Go See The WORLD

Nicole

What? After a long battle with a dictionary and the above comment, and some strong cold medicine, I THINK I know what MrMoose is saying. In response, as a woman who pays her own bills, "knows the running of the household," and expects her husband to be able to do the same, I have to say that MrMoose, you would not make my list of dateable men, if I were single.

If working three jobs and going to grad school full time compared to my husband's one job with some freelance writing on the side makes me a spoiled American woman, then so be it. Yip, my husband does the laundry and dishes, and these days, most of the house work. But I fix the car, and work my ass off in school and at my three jobs. So, good luck with finding a woman that will put up with you. I'll pray for her. ;)

And I'm taking my first stab at seeing the world this summer. So, Adam, ignore MrMoose until he learns how to spell. Evidently, he should have been in school on occasion, in order to learn a little grammar and spelling.

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