Thursday, February 08, 2007

True Class

Yet another lovely lady of Pretty Lady's acquaintance has just informed her circle that she is struggling, quite gracefully, with cancer. In Pretty Lady's view, she epitomizes the manifestation of 'seriously incredible lady who just happens to have a teensy-weensy trivial sort of illness, temporarily' rather than that loathesome term, 'cancer patient.'

In fact, Pretty Lady doesn't believe in cancer. She doesn't believe in heart disease, or diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis, either. Oh, she knows that these things sometimes appear to happen, in the bodies attendant upon the immortal souls of people she knows. But fundamentally, she just doesn't give 'disease' much credence. She sees it as a tiresome sort of lesson plan, like practicing scales.

However, something in dear Kate's blog caught her attention:

we talked of a lot of things.at one point i said i was sorry that he had to have his girlfriend lose her breasts.
he said,you wouldnt get rid of a coupe de ville because you lost the hubcaps.
Pretty Lady is deeply thrilled that darling Kate has a True Gentleman by her side, during this tedious ordeal. It gives her hope that True Gentlemen are not extinct; that class, honor, love, loyalty and the ability to see beyond the surface of things are yet triumphant, despite the prevalence of utilitarian narcissism that infects our world in general, and New York City in particular.

Pretty Lady is not even going to link to the Salon article that gave rise to these dark thoughts. Or, well, maybe she might. It is good for a groaning sort of laugh, anyway:
Eric Schaeffer, a 45-year-old binge-eating, downward-dogging, recovering drug-addict hypochondriac with an online dating habit, a taste for happy-ending massages and golden showers -- and a hankerin' for a wife who wants to bear him three children starting in about five to six years.

...One woman wrote in asserting that her first date with Schaeffer was at a gym, and that he asked her to "fuck him in the 2nd floor bathroom." Other women testified to his obsessive need for personal compliments about his appearance, his habit of demanding oral sex and an AIDS test on first dates, and the fact that he is "the guy all my friends bring up when people start talking about online dating psychos."
Pretty Lady can attest that this appalling specimen IS representative of the sorts of creatures one is likely to encounter, when essaying the online dating scene in New York. She has not, herself, encountered Eric Schaeffer, being thankfully too mature to appear upon his radar, but certain aspects of his character have a certain eerie familiarity about them. The narcissism, the mutually contradictory requirements, the shallowness, the self-absorption, the flealike attention span, the cluelessness, the stupidity, did she mention the narcissism? The narcissism.

Despite her avowedly terrible taste in men, Pretty Lady's taste has never sunk to these depths. Whenever she encountered an Eric Shaeffer-like entity on the end of her line, she cut the connection, usually within fifteen seconds of the initial contact. But, depressingly, there are an awful lot of them out there. Pretty Lady has sworn off online dating, these four years or more.

This is why she is so pleased for Kate. It restores her faith in the order of the universe, that a lady who needs and deserves an increasingly rare gentleman in her life, is not lacking one.

11 comments:

mitzibel said...

Indeed, your friend is so, so lucky, with her choice in a man if not with her current state of cell growth. Her boyfriend's mother and my mother-in-law should collaborate on a book about how to raise good men.

Crom said...

"Pretty Lady can attest that this appalling specimen IS representative of the sorts of creatures one is likely to encounter, when essaying the online dating scene in New York.

In New York, indeed. Odd that in all my travels around the Lone Star state I never seem to encounter any men like the one described in the article. The closest thing that I have met in Texas that resembles this guy is the occasional trophy-hunter, the man who only wants a delicious piece of blonde arm candy to go with the Z4 and the Carrera shades. However, the laundry list laid out by Shaeffer, the archetypal NY male specimen - would cause any self-respecting Texas Lady to not only laugh, but gently lead him to the bar and adroitly abandon him there to champion his narcissism to the captive bartender.

Shaeffer said, "I fucking spend a lot of time reflecting on how to be a better person." No one I know behaves like this. If I caught one of my pals saying something like this, I would be bound by honor to rough him up some.

I do not understand this new type of male, or why they are being produced in mass quantities anywhere. The sad thing is that in New York City I would most likely not be very popular with the ladies, as I have little talent for selfish prevarication nor does my attitude arrive at the restaurant a full fifteen minutes before I do. I would probably be viewed as an uncultured boor, and get to ask in the time-honored NY tourist tradition, "Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to City Hall, or should I go fuck myself?"

prettylady said...

in New York City I would most likely not be very popular with the ladies, as I have little talent for selfish prevarication

Don't be too sure of that. Didn't you read the part about the hordes of women who wrote in about what a boorish nightmare this guy is, or about the fact that he hasn't had a third date with anyone in seven years? New York Ladies are about as fed up as it is possible to be.

Plus, we are overrun with uncultured police officers from Queens, and mechanics from Bay Ridge. We know from 'uncultured.' The place where you would have a hard time is San Francisco.

I do not understand this new type of male, or why they are being produced in mass quantities anywhere.

I do. It is the reason that Pretty Lady blossomed into existence in the first place.

It is the fact that 'political correctness' and 'liberalism,' un-tempered by conscience and maturity, has unwittingly created a pretext for men to indulge their innate selfishness and immaturity, while simultaneously parading this selfishness and immature irresponsibility as a virtue.

Got that?

It's not subtle. Men are incapable of the kind of diabolical subtlety at which the female excels. It's right out there in the open.

'What's the matter, do I make you uncomfortable?'

'You think your pussy is made of gold?'

'I just treated you like a Woman.'

'That's okay, it's an open relationship.'

'We can just 're-cast' this relationship.'

'I just like to make women feel good, okay?'

--actual quotes from men who felt virtuously entitled to instant sex without responsibility, commitment or consequences.

And I have encountered these men in the Lone Star State, although, admittedly, most of them decamped for one of the coasts as soon as they graduated from college. (Except for the ones who are married engineers in Fort Worth, still hitting on single women when out of town.) The superficial details may be different; the primary motivations are the same.

Anonymous said...

"...their innate selfishness and immaturity"

These are hardly gender-specific traits, and to characterize them thusly is unfair to the majority of men out there. In my worldview the mantle of manhood is not conferred simply by the presence of the Y chromosome, but in the content of a man's character, specifically his word. If a man is incapable of keeping his word, he is a valueless man. This may be an archaic philosophy, but it has held me in good stead when dealing with modern businessmen from the overeducated rocket scientist to the most illiterate stevedore.

This man Shaeffer and his legions have nothing to offer anyone, he having spent his coin chasing selfish pleasures. He might even have been redeemable if he had learned something from all his debauchery, but he remains as intellectually ignorant at the end of his experiences as when he began. The fact that he reveals his shameful behavior to the world and then is astounded when he is received with scorn reveals his complete lack of understanding.

The venerable concept of "damaged goods" came to mind when I read a few posts on his linked blog. I cannot imagine a woman being proud to introduce this man to her parents at dinner, and no decent father would willingly give away his daughter to a man like this at the altar.

Being a good man is not possible all of the time, for anyone. We are forced sometimes by the exigencies of life to do things we find distasteful and contrary to our values, but a man worthy of the title will always strive to be consistent with keeping his word, and maintaining moral character. And, when a man fails occasionally and succumbs to the temptations of the kind of diabolical subtlety at which the female excels, discretion becomes the watchword to a man of quality, and he certainly does not provide medically graphic details in print or media form to other ladies of future acquaintance. He takes responsibility, and resolutely faces the consequences of his actions, good or bad. The quotes you provided were authored by males of the species, in no way should they be construed as the utterings or thought processes of men.

Crom

Bobert said...

" Didn't you read the part about the hordes of women who wrote in about what a boorish nightmare this guy is, or about the fact that he hasn't had a third date with anyone in seven years? New York Ladies are about as fed up as it is possible to be.

Good grief, PL,"hordes" of women?

Is he the only male availiable in NYC?

A small point of order to Mis whats-her-name:

Women do not raise good men, they raise good children. Good fathers raise good men.

prettylady said...

These are hardly gender-specific traits, and to characterize them thusly is unfair to the majority of men out there.

Well, exactly. To me, the important divide is not, and has never been, liberal/conservative, feminist/antifeminist, religious/atheist, or any other seeming dichotomy we are offered. It is mature and responsible/immature and irresponsible. All the other labels are just red herrings.

What is telling is that many people respond antagonistically to me as a 'feminist,' simply because I am articulate, well-informed, creative and independent. This seems to me proof that they know that antifeminist ideology inherently presupposes that women cannot be these things, by their very nature, and that my very nature is proving them wrong.

a man worthy of the title will always strive to be consistent with keeping his word, and maintaining moral character.

Yes. The second part of this is integral to the first; I have known all-too-many would-be 'men' who carefully avoided 'giving their word' on something, when their actions implied the contrary, and then weaseled out of responsibility by saying "I never said I would..."

A real man is one whose words and actions are, as far as possible, consistent with one another. And a real woman too.

prettylady said...

Is he the only male availiable in NYC?

Bobert, again you reveal your ignorance of the sea of crass perversion that is the online dating scene in NYC. It's all about the numbers. People will contact each other in bulk, based upon the most cursory and superficial qualifications, and set up dates with a different person for every night of the week. In the course of seven years, it is perfectly possible that this guy interacted with upwards of a thousand women.

His personality being what it is, he both failed to recognize anything of worth in any of them, and they properly and rapidly recognized the inherent lack of worth in him.

This is why I largely disregard statistics as having anything to do with my personal life. When a person reaches a certain point of self-knowledge, demographics are largely irrelevant, since the vast majority of people are a waste of time anyway. Selection takes place with entirely different methods and cues.

judy said...

" . . . but certain aspects of his character have a certain eerie familiarity about them."

I had the same feeling. I was wracking my brain, trying to remember if I'd dated him or just a bunch of guys who acted like him! Turns out it was the latter.

Morris said...

"t is the fact that 'political correctness' and 'liberalism,' un-tempered by conscience and maturity, has unwittingly created a pretext for men to indulge their innate selfishness and immaturity, while simultaneously parading this selfishness and immature irresponsibility as a virtue."

Exactly right.

mitzibel said...

Wow. Here's a guy who finds nothing at all wrong with having penetrative intercourse with male and female cousins at the age of 6, and admonishes "naive" parents who don't believe their own children are doing the same, and he's having a hard time finding a woman who wants to have a family with him? I am *shocked*.

Sex & Moxie said...

Schaeffer is a shining example of the type of guys over 35 you meet online. He's bordering on being a sociopath. I hate when people, upon receiving criticism, reach for the "you're just jealous" excuse. No, Eric, you're just a douche bag and we can all see it and you can't.