Is not necessarily the same as what a girl needs.
So yeah, I'm back from the Evil Empire / United States... Sorry, I just could not refuse taking a dig at Ronald Reagan. I was reading the Washington Post on the way back from America, and they had a sidebar mentioning how all two-term presidents in recent history (starting with my personal hero, FDR), had record-low approval ratings coming into their fifth year in office, and what they did about it. In talking about Reagan and how he was able to shrug off the Iran-contra Scandal by the end of his fifth year, the Post managed to give him credit for ending the Cold War.
Huh? So Reagan's fundamentalist rantings about how communism was the root of all Evil and how the Soviet Union was the Evil Empire, his desire to build a space-based missile defence system at a cost of hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars, while not cutting back on nuclear arms productions... Reagan ended the Cold War? It had nothing to do with Gorbachev basically telling Reagan that the Soviets were going to dismantle their nuclear arsenal, and whether the US chose to do so was up to us?
OK, now that I have gotten my usual liberal ranting done, here is a rant on a topic that is decidedly abnormal for this blog. I used to, back in school, have all of these thoughts about various topics that I would write down in a notebook I kept. Then, I realised that most of my thoughts weren't as good unless I talked them over with people. Luckily, a few years later, I have found a wife who is (at least) my intellectual equal, and who even puts up with my long-winded way of thinking out loud.
But I just realised that now I have a blog, and what are blogs for if not thinking out loud? So, thanks to the Internet, you can tune into my thought processes any time you dare! Not that this will mean that my poor, long-suffering wife will be spared my rants, of course. :)
So finally, to today's topic: what a girl wants.
I have seen a lot of movies in my time, and read a lot of books. Most fiction is escapism, and escapism tends toward the romantic. Most people who know me also know that I am a bit of a romantic. I am a bit sappy, and yes, I have been known to mist up a little bit whilst watching, say, "Anne of Green Gables" (gee, Mom, wonder where I got that trait?). So I am not the sort of guy to shy away from romantic comedies. In fact, the romantic comedy (and no, Matthew, "Scarface" does not qualify, I don't care what you say!) genre is probably one of my favourites. Granted, I like them a little wittier than "Bring it on Again" (which I refuse to link because I don't want you actually buying that shite), but I do like them.
Romantic comedies, more often than not, are concerned with the question of what a girl wants; in fact, some of them even put that right out there in the title (I will link this one, but be warned: it is not the best movie in which Colin Firth has ever appeared)!
And unfortunately for the women of the world, most of them get it dreadfully wrong, or at least communicate the wrong idea to the Sensitive Male of the 90s. Or 00s, I guess, though the Sensitive Male seems to have gone a little out of style after his mid-90s heyday.
You see, romantic comedies teach us men to be everything the woman wants. Be supportive, be "emotionally available" (whatever that means), be romantic, be spontaneous, be funny, and above all, be good looking. While I personally don't have a problem with any of these requirements (heh heh), they can create big problems for a relationship.
Here is what I mean: women may want guys who are all of these things, but women really need a guy who is willing to be himself (though they may not realise this). I know from personal experience that trying to be Super Guy, the best boyfriend in the world, makes you a shitty boyfriend. Why? Because she may be happy, but she is not getting to know you. You know, the real you? The guy who sometimes gets irritable in the morning before his second cup of coffee, the guy who stays up too late working on his computer, the guy who actually cannot stand her annoying friend, the guy who has no real fashion sense besides what he sees in programming magazines. (None of these examples have anything to do with me, by the way; I'm just putting them out there.)
And sooner or later, you get tired of being the Super Boyfriend, tired of pretending, tired of putting her first. And then you dump her. Or maybe she sees through your charade and dumps you. Or maybe she wants Super Boyfriend, and when she sees that is not really who you are, she dumps you.
In any case, it ends with tears, hard feelings, etc.
This is the part that the romantic comedies do not show you. And I don't blame them: that sort of thing makes for a pretty depressing movie. (Before you ask, yes, I do know about "Hi Fidelity", which actually does show this happening. Great movie. Watch it!)
But, drawing on my vast reservoir of personal experience, I can tell you that when you are yourself, and it doesn't work out, it tends to not work out faster. You know, before the L-bomb has been dropped and everyone is really invested. And hell, sometimes it does work out, as evidenced by my matrimonial state.
There is a good lesson that can be gleaned from some romantic comedies, though: fate. Stop trying so hard to find a girl, fellows. In my experience, when you are relaxed and confident, she might just find you. Or you might find yourselves picking up trash together in rural Japan. Whatever. Just go with the flow, man. ;)
Wow, was that me writing all of the above? I promise that the next entry will be more like what you have come to expect from me: bad language, far-left liberal-fringe lunatic opinions, off-colour jokes, and commentary on life in Japan.
But Valentine's Day came early. What can I say?