Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's Only Romantic If He's Cute

You must be at least this dreamy to try this.
Somewhere in suburbia, a teenage girl lounges in her room, flipping through the channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  She comes across a decades-old movie about the unlikely relationship between a high school valedictorian and a hopeful kickboxer, looking to make it big in the sport of the future.  Rapt by the timeless story of love, loss, and love reclaimed, she witnesses an iconic scene.  This attractive, young man, desperate to win his love, stands outside her window, holding up a huge boom box, playing the only song which can truly express how he feels.  In your eyes…  And as this young girl watches the couple fly off to Europe for their happy ending, she sighs dreamily and thinks:

Oh, I wish someone would do that for me.  That would be soooo romantic.

Little does she know that Gerald Weinerschmidt down the street has had a crush on her for years, and he, too, just watched the enchanting Ione Skye leave for England with John Cusack.  Gerald’s been trying to find a way to express his feelings, and for some reason, simply telling his love just won’t do.  “This is perfect!!,” he thinks, “But I need to find the perfect song.”

And so, two nights later, as the young girl tries to sleep, she hears a vaguely familiar melody…

I want to know what love isssss…

“What the…? Did my parents leave the radio on?,” she thinks.

I want you to show meeeee…

She soon realizes the sound is trickling in from the front yard.  She stumbles to her window to see what is going on.

I want to feel what love isssss…

And there she finds Gerald Weinerschmidt, a husky, pock-marked beacon of love standing not-so-tall, trying to win the heart of his one true soul mate.  His arms are trembling, as he clearly overestimated how long he’d be able to hold his stereo over his head.  So moved by the emotion of the moment, or possibly physical pain, he lets a single tear run down his cheek.  He has a burning in his heart, a longing in his soul, a nice selection of pens in his pocket protector.  How could this possibly fail?!

I KNOW you can show meeeee…

And of course, his crush is so taken aback by this dramatic gesture that she is forced to call out those three little words for all the world to hear:


Crestfallen, shocked, and overly sweaty, Gerald takes the long walk back home.  “I don’t get it,” he says to himself, “It was bold…daring…ROMANTIC!! How come it didn’t work?”

Silly, Gerald:  It’s only romantic if you’re cute.

Not objectively cute, mind you.  Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  You could look more like George Costanza than George Clooney, and a woman will find you adorable.  However, there is one absolute and deniable truth:  You could launch a thousand ships, but Helen won’t even be moved to yawn if she thinks you look like Hephaestus.  Poseidon knows what I’m talkin’ about.

So, if you’ll never be confused with Matt Damon, but have the guts of Jason Bourne, here are the responses you can expect to illicit:

The Stalker Indictment – “Ew. Get away from me, stalker!! Call the cops!” Yes, strong actions can illicit strong reactions, one of which can be an accusation that you are a stalker.  You can’t win in this scenario. Try not to make eye contact with this woman or any of her friends ever again.  Move on.

The Friendship Conclusion – “I don’t want to ruin our friendship.”  She’s being kind.  It’s a big load of hooey. Either you never really had a friendship or you just made whatever friendship you had AWK-WAAAAAAARD anyway.  You struck out, “friend.”  Move on.

The Lost Puppy Paradigm – “Awwww!”, usually accompanied by “That’s so sweet.” or “That’s so cute.”  Is it belittling? Probably. Is it condescending? Definitely.  “Awwww” is something you say to puppies or babies, not grown men.  If a woman responds like this, rest assured that she thinks you have the sexual magnetism of a toaster.  However, like the friendship conclusion, she is only trying to spare your feelings, and her intentions are good.  Accept the kind gesture gracefully.  Move on.

The Null Inevitability - Consisting of at least 782 other forms of rejection. Move on.

The “Holy Crap, It Worked!” Proclamation – Last, and certainly the least probable of the possibilities, is that she is actually touched enough to give you a shot.  Congratulations!  You’ve got your foot in the door!

Now, is all this cynical or shallow? Possibly, but I don’t think so. A certain level of physical attraction must exist for any relationship to be successful.  One could argue it’s just as important as other levels of attraction.  And it doesn’t just apply to women, of course; men need that aesthetic spark as well.  And if it’s not there, you’re probably doomed to take the same long, lonely walk as poor Gerald Weinerschmidt.

But here’s the unlikely twist in all of this:  I think you should go for it, anyway.*

I may have given you less than a 1% shot of it actually working, but you have a success rate of 0% on the chances you don’t take.  In Love, Actually, young Sam decides to throw caution to the wind in the name of his beloved.  “Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love,” he commands his stepdad with enthusiastic naiveté.  And therein lies the rub:  Love will punch you in the mouth, kick you in the groin, and rub your face in the dirt.  Love will twist your arm, tell you to scream “Uncle!,” and pretend not to hear you when you scream “Uncle!”  Love will hang you on a flagpole by the back of your underwear.  And gosh darn it if it isn’t worth it.

And I mean, what’s the worse that could happen?  She could say no…and tell her wrestling state-champion boyfriend about it…and he could punch you in the mouth…and kick you in the groin…and rub your face in the dirt…

*This advice does not apply to actual stalkers.  If your idea of romance is one or more of the following, you should leave the object of your affection alone and seek some help, unless you’re a sparkly vampire. Apparently, women are totally cool with it, then:
o   Sending her dead flowers, the heart of a bird you recently killed or found on the ground, and/or your left ear
o   Making “love notes” out of magazine clippings
o   Threatening her in any way (I know. This one surprised me, too.)
o   Watching her through her window as she sleeps.
Seriously, all.  Keep it reasonable. Keep it legal. If she has no interest, move on.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I can relate to almost all of your situations except the "holy cow it worked" and the "Stalker indictment" (ironic I know). I have lots of "friends" now.