Sunday, May 21, 2006

Decision and Determination

And discretion, as well. Pretty Lady is mildly perplexed to report that the young gentleman mentioned in the previous post, far from being effectively Scraped Off, took the trouble to appear at her Open House yesterday afternoon. Not only that, but he stuck around like glue through a walk downtown, dinner with friends (one of whom was a veritable Basket Case), a desperate screening of 'The Philadelphia Story' in order to get the Basket Case to focus on something--anything--other than the fellow who'd stood her up (it didn't work. Only a shot of tequila caused a brief pause in the repetitive obsessing) and had to be sternly requested to leave at 11:20 PM. Pretty Lady honestly doesn't believe that this was due to her personal attractions; the gentleman is merely Young, Earnest, and Pathologically Friendly. Also he wants to fix her website. Also, being young, he reckons 'bedtime' with a different clock than do the aged Pretty Lady and her decrepit friend Jake.

At any rate, the aged Pretty Lady inevitably ended up playing confessor to the young gentleman's romantic woes. Or it seemed as though his woes were romantic; they may have been merely sexual. It seemed to Pretty Lady as though the gentleman himself was unsure, and this unsureness, she suspects, is at the root of the problem.

He phrased it thusly: "I have no trouble finding one-nighters. But in eight years, only one of them has come BACK. And I have quite a libido."

I am sure my astute readers will instantly divine the issues at hand, here, but Pretty Lady will go into it anyway.

First, she told the gentleman, "It seems like alcohol is a factor in this. When one is in a radically altered state of consciousness, communication is Not Effective. Then, when one wakes up in a different state of consciousness, no lasting connection has been attained."

He replied, "It sounds like you are pretty old-fashioned."

Pretty Lady hastened to disabuse him. "Pretty Lady has achieved her 'old-fashioned' outlook through extreme progressivism," she stated. "I have been down all the other lines, and I know where they end. If you want a lady to take you seriously, you have to court her. Nothing else works."

"I'm not into all that courting thing," he replied.

Mind you, this is coming from a gentleman who met Pretty Lady at a bar, took her card, examined her website thoroughly, found her email address (not a simple task; Pretty Lady takes care that this should be so), wrote to her, obtained directions to her apartment, took more than one train to reach it, and had to be ejected by force, six hours later. Laziness and lack of focus is not this fellow's problem.

No, Pretty Lady suspects that the real problem is that he doesn't know what he wants. This may be an exacerbated phenomenon in New York City, but the malaise, she fears, is well-nigh universal.

You see, New York City singles are inundated with floods of beautiful, fascinating, talented members of the opposite sex as soon as they cross their doorjambs--or at least, as soon as they arrive at the party, the bar, or the art opening. Their attention spans for relating to a single individual are roughly two minutes long. As they grow older they grow more desperate, and start posting profiles on, wherein they relate to other profiles with the same two-minute attention span they bestow at the parties. They will telephone a girl, or seven girls, on the basis of her photo alone, without actually reading to the end of the profile.

Fellows, Pretty Lady has news for you: the problem is not Out There. It's you.

In order to achieve any semblance of lasting happiness, one must take an honest look at oneself. One must note the state and habits of one's gonads, one's intellect, one's social tendencies, one's ambitions, one's financial affairs, and one's overall temperament, without any tweaking or wishful thinking. Then one must make certain that all these many forces pulling on one's soul are as much in alignment as possible.

Clever young gentlemen, and middle-aged gentlemen, and old gentlemen, continually think that they can get away with Relational Compartmentalization. They pick one girl on the basis of her appeal to their gonads, another for creative collaboration, another for intellectual discussion, another for mothering, and then get confused and upset when the whole schemata blows up in their faces. They settle for whoever is easy and available, and then freak out when the 'easy, available' woman turns out to be 1) flighty and fickle, or 2) psychotic and obsessive. They whine that women have it easy, they're shirking this 'courting' thing, and then flee for the hills when a woman actually tries it.

Boys, face the facts. A Real Woman has to be Won, and you don't really want anything else.

But what of my young friend, who appears to know every lady in New York, and can't decide which one to pursue?

Well, obviously, my dear boy, you don't know them, or yourself, well enough. You are too busy having shallow varieties of Fun to explore the depths of anyone's character, even your own. If you took the time and trouble to do this, you would immediately find that the pool of available candidates would shrink dramatically. You would begin to notice whose company you enjoy and why, and who appears to reciprocate this enjoyment. You might then begin to Hone In.

Then, supposing you DO lure an object of this honing into your apartment, and thence your bedroom? Look around. Is this a place that someone you respect would likely be comfortable returning to?

(Pretty Lady just looked around the room, taking note of the empty paint cans, the oily rags, the filthy tarps, brushes, palettes, tools, and winced. But she is, after all, a lady. Few men appear to be deeply disturbed by this.)

And the obvious question, after all these one-nighters, is, how's your technique? Pretty Lady refers you to Dan Savage for that. There are only so many subtleties she cares to explain.


heidi said...

Unfortunately, narcissism is tediously difficult to uproot.

While technique can be taught, it does require some concern for the other party involved. And that ability to even be concerned seems to be a leap of massive proportions to your little Klingon.

Pretty Lady said...

Unfortunately, narcissism is tediously difficult to uproot.

When you have said this, lovely Heidi, you have said it all.

Pretty Lady has made a new vow not to even try. Much. Except when she gets to watch them squirm.

Anonymous said...

You're right on pretty much everything. I learned pretty quickly the important of winning a real woman early on when a... *ahem* partner turned out to be a little overboard on a number of things, including dark spirituality. It is amazing what one does NOT notice or care about when sex is the only thing that matters or the driving force, anyway.

Fortunately for me, an ex girlfriend had grown up enough to want to give things a second shot.

Anonymous said...

I'm not decrepit! Even if all my bones DO ache this morning! -Jake

Pretty Lady said...

Neither, truthfully, is Pretty Lady particularly 'aged.' But evidently there must be something seriously wrong with us, being so tired at the dastardly early hour of 11 PM.