Monday, February 7, 2011

Little Tragedies

A few years ago I had a position for a local company that involved training the employees of our clients. I hate being so vague, but you know, anonymity.

Most of the people I trained were pretty young. Once I walked into a client's place of business and saw a pretty, young girl sitting at a table, waiting. Being the fine, upstanding gentleman I am, I immediately started thinking about how I would strike up a conversation before my work was over. I talked to the owner of the place, and he said, "We only have one person for you to train, actually... she's sitting out front." Awesome.

She was 17 or 18, she was extraordinarily pretty and let's call her "Rowena." Rowena had dark eyes, elfin cheekbones, and a luscious mouth that showed a row of beautiful straight teeth when she smiled. She was a bit on the short side — positive points in my book — with a natural curve in her spine that made her lower abdomen push out in front and her rear in back. It's the kind of physique that screams sex without huge breasts or long legs.

I'm not sure how I kept it together so well during that training session. Because when she came into our place of business for the customary follow-up session, I almost totally lost my cool. I was showing her how to perform some basic operations, and I kept leaving off mid-sentence, totally unable to remember what I was trying to say. It went like this: Looking her in the eyes and seeing her looking up at me with that "teach-me" expression, looking back to the work and beginning my explanation, then suddenly forgetting everything I was trying to say, stammering for a moment, then looking back at her and saying... "Um..."

I did this at least three or four times. The training lasted a couple hours. It was afternoon on a bright, sunny summer day. I told her I was gonna go walk around in the park with a coffee and that she should come with me. She agreed, and after a while we ended up sitting on the grass. I can't quite remember exactly how I made the move, but I know it came naturally at the time. We kissed there on the grass, and after a while, strolled to my place (nearby), where we made out in the kitchen and on my couch.

She was a strikingly attractive girl, one of the three or four most naturally beautiful women I've been with. It didn't hurt, of course, that she was so young, spilling over with charm and sparkle and freshness.

I never saw Rowena again that summer. It was, in fact, a little over a week before I was to leave that job and that city to move to New York. I had already told her my situation (i.e. I didn't just up and leave without a phone call or anything like that). I contacted her once when I was home visiting my family for Christmas but she never got back to me.

Flash forward four years. I'm back in that city once again. I go into a local business — in fact, that same local business I used to work for — and there she is behind the counter. I recognized her, but couldn't place her at first. Her hair had changed, four years and many women had gone by in the meantime...

Many women. You, dear reader, don't yet realize how true that is. I'm getting there.

One thing I noted with dismay was her awful hipster hairdo. She still looked very cute, cute enough for the hipster pigeon's nest to be the self-handicapping of the natural beauty. But there was a general rattiness about her appearance and an incipient general slovenliness.

Back to many women. You see, on a return visit, I finally placed her. (Is your name Rowena? ...Yes, and you're Dogen). I pointed out a charm she wore on a chain around her lovely neck.

"That's a nice charm."

"Thanks. My partner gave it to me." She paused and gave a slow nod, as if to say, Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like.

"Ah! I see," I said. We both smiled and she seemed to blush a little.

"She has a matching one," said Rowena, just in case I didn't get the picture. After a moment, finding myself flat-footed again (what was it about this girl?) I ended by smiling and saying, "Well, it's lovely."

I see Rowena from time to time, but never in a social setting. Once I had a chance to get over her new-found lesbianitudishness, naturally I reverted to my default charming self. You know the drill (or you should): eye contact, a smile, teasing, general friendliness paired with the occasional withdrawal of my approval. I saw the flame of attraction in her eyes, but the opportunity to act on it never came up, and her self-proclaimed lesbian taken-ness complicated the whole thing.

Just the other night, I ended up having drinks with Rowena and some mutual friends. It wasn't a planned outing, just happened to run into each other. We spent some time talking one on one. We went outside for a cigarette. She mentioned casually her girlfriend, to which I said, "Oh yeah, how's that going?"

"It's ok. I mean, it's still going. I just, you know, it's not that serious."

I nodded, offering nothing.

"What about you?" she said after a moment. "You have anybody special."

"Nah, not really. I mean, it's complicated." I smiled.

"Ahhhh! You're giving me that look again," she said and laughed nervously, and looked back. That was the moment, the moment to go in for the kiss. But to my shame, dear readers, I didn't.

You see, I left out one complicating factor. Among our little group that night was her co-worker. This woman, somewhat pretty but nowhere near Rowena's league, is a true-believer ACLU, feminist, suspicious of all happiness or success. She always gave off a vibe of monitoring Rowena's behavior, making sure she didn't break with the sisterhood or anything. Classic cockblock.

Here's my read: Rowena had invested a lot of social capital in her "identity" as a lesbian. It's the kind of thing that is met with wild approval in towns like this one. People call you brave, forgive your every shortcoming, and generally fall over themselves to be friendly to you, if you simply announce you are gay. By not just fooling around with girls, but getting a "partner" and wearing her partner's charm, Rowena had publicly claimed a gay identity.

Here she is now: 21 years old, having doubts about her "partner", most likely having doubts about being a "lesbian," but surrounded by waves of people that call her brave for being gay, by people who show open bitterness and resentment of mainstream culture (like her coworker), and also surrounded by waves of the most mewling, pathetic, shoegazer betas you could imagine (those of you who have spent time on the West Coast or in North Brooklyn know what I mean).

And here she is now, one of the crown jewels of American women. An easy 9, only 21 years old, with an easy laugh and a naturally friendly personality. America may not have many truly worthwhile women left in her decaying corpse. But it's a big corpse, and there are bound to be a few. And here's Rowena... the 21 year old beauty, with her mixed blood, her bright eyes, her friendly demeanor, her sweetness, her wonderful little body, her attraction to men.... and she's chosen this cocoon-like lesbian existence from which there are few escapes. And everyone is telling her she's done the right thing, happiness be damned.

I may not be the right guy for Rowena, she may have only a casual and passing interest in me. Obviously she's attracted to me (we did make out, after all). But the way is very nearly cut off for her. Me, a guy who normally loves to charm women and make them happy in the push-and-pull of seduction — I was hesitating and temporizing because of the various roadblocks she has thrown up and now probably regrets. It's like the institutionalization of beta. You can fight it, but you better damn well pick your battles well.

I may run into Rowena alone tomorrow... we may get tipsy and get kissing and get naked for all I know. Or it may never happen, and she may become more and more entrenched in her social role, throwing away the most beautiful years of her existence as a female (she's 21 now), getting fat, getting covered in tattoos, getting bitter and becoming more and more reliant on the "community" of people that really just wants to claim her as one of their own and not offer anything back in the form of lasting happiness or love. If it's all an act (and that's only my suspicion, not an established fact), she'll realize it when she's already ruined goods, and start fishing for a beta to take her in before she completely hits the wall.

It's a little tragedy for me to not have kissed that girl the other night. It's another little tragedy — slightly bigger but still a blip in the big picture — that she may have very few chances to turn back before it's too late.

17 comments:

  1. Nice to see the blog back.

    Looking forward to more posts

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  2. Little tragedy indeed.

    Nice to see the blog back, didn't think it would be. Funny how this one starts up the same day another one I read ha shut down.

    J.H

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  3. I know exactly what you mean. It's tragic that pretty young girls think they have to "be" certain things, and tarnish their value and charm w/ things like tattoos and look at me personas and contrived beliefs ... a beautiful garden full of weeds.

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  4. Thanks for the encouragement, fellows.

    luvsic: "a beautiful garden full of weeds." Well said.

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  5. This does strike a chord with me, having dated one of these reformed lesbians last year. She had pretty masculine features combined with average-at-best looks but had a lot of other positively feminine things going for her. Odd combination, strangely attractive. She'd been exclusively dating and living with women for years before me, and is now seeing another man. While we were together, I had the opportunity to pick her brain about lesbian dynamics and the gay culture in general, and to me the "social capital" hypothesis sounds very plausible.

    This town isn't exactly Seattle, so the gay scene isn't too integrated into the normal society although there is a strong pro-homosexual vibe in the generic city magazines etc., you know the drill. Nevertheless, the social capital she had built was almost completely in the gay scene and although I had some hunches, it did surprise me how vicious and puritanical those people could be. Without _any_ exception, the strongest negative reactions towards the fact that she was dating a man came from the gay side.

    It was also interesting to hear a first hand account of the status hierarchy in the gay world (as always with hierarchies, this seemed to be more prominent in the female side, the homos were a pretty laid back bunch). As you might expect, the best prizes were those who had never been with a man, next came committed lesbians, about in the order of their dedication to their lesbian identity and at the bottom were bisexuals, who were considered clearly lower class even if they had a long-standing reputation of being into both sexes and untrustworthy posers if they were new faces. Stories such as this are par for the course: http://www.popeater.com/2010/07/10/mark-ruffalo-kids-are-all-right/

    "you lay off our women" ...sounds about right.

    I'm not sure whether I read the "way is very nearly cut off for her" section as intended, but I don't see her situation being that dire. The term 'Lesbian until graduation' does have its own wiki page, after all. Given the right man in the right situation, I get the impression that she'd be likely to bounce back. Some time ago there was a lot of talk in these game/men's forums and blogs about women's sexuality being more fluid, and given stories such as this and my own experiences, it seems so.

    Of course, this is a tragedy no matter whether she comes back to her senses or makes peace with her lesbian identity. It's quite obvious from this story that this girl had all the makings of a good woman in her, and even if she resumes normal heterosexual life, deep multi-year immersion into the queer/lesbian/feminist world is not going to do a young woman any good and she'll come out of it with some unfortunate mental baggage. There is a lot of self-feeding dysfunction in that world that sticks to you if you're even partially receptive to it and it's got to be difficult to rebuild your sexual identity again. If she remains a lesbian (which I also doubt from reading this, even the limited details do not fit any archetype I'm aware of), either her heart's not in it as it once was or if she truly is content with her choice, I'd say we've lost someone who had a reasonable chance of being a good wife and mother eventually.

    The state of young men in the First World is truly wretched if none of them are attractive enough to lure in these kinds of fence-sitters.

    I haven't yet asked the girl I dated how much (if at all) does she see feminist politics affecting her becoming lesbian at the time. That seems like an awfully steep price to pay for your imagined convictions.

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  6. voukmn:

    Comments like that make me eager to keep writing more on the blog. Excellent stuff. Thanks a lot.

    First of all, I have also encountered what you mention about status games in the lesbian world and a generally relaxed mood in the world of gay men (status-wise).

    Regarding L.U.G.'s, you are definitely right. And this girl clearly could do a 180 (or at least a 90, if you will) at any moment. It's happened many times before.

    I didn't make this clear in the post, but one of the reasons I put her chances a little bit lower than average is that she's not doing this at college. When people make a drastic life change, at say, age 24, it's often because they move away from college, because they move to a new city for a job, or because they move somewhere to be with a boyfriend.

    In this case she's rooting herself pretty deeply in her current identity and none of those three circumstances is likely to happen. She's not off at Smith College for 4 years of experimentation. She's not on a career track. She's not dating any men... the only person that would get her to move somewhere (as it stands now) would be a woman who would presumably involve them in the lesbian community in their new place.

    You are right, though. Anything is possible. And if desire is strong enough, it's even probable. Perhaps I'm letting my own feelings color my judgment in this particular case.

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  7. What a waste, a girl like that throwing away the chance at a true pump-and-dump or maybe even a place on some scumbag's roster of sluts for some "alternative lifestyle" bullshit. She's really missing out.

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  8. modernguy:

    That's pretty witty and mordant, I will admit. So, touché. Kind of.

    But I think you have me confused for someone else. This isn't Roosh's blog.

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  9. met a couple hipsters that weren't genuine hipsters. they'd fallen into the scene, lured in. girls actually cute enough to be cute on their own merit...not hide their lack of base attractiveness by stupid hair, purposely mismatched clothes, and spending time with guys with ironic facial hair and talking utter bullshit.

    it's always sad and it's always a f'ing waste.

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  10. "Comments like that make me eager to keep writing more on the blog. Excellent stuff. Thanks a lot."

    Thanks, dude. It's a pleasure to see this blog back in action, it was one of my favorites. You guys never seemed to share the annoyingly sociopathic tendencies or jadedness that are way too common among gamesters.

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  11. modernguy's comment is pretty funny, but rather disingenuous. At their core, guys who are drawn to seduction and game writing are guys who failed with women by being too nice, predictable, etc. We all know it well. And even though we enter into a bit of a dark side in trying unlearn these habits, and learn more attractive habits, the over-arching goal is to have quality relationships with women.

    We're just not so insane as to keep doing something that doesn't work.

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  12. Well put, luvsic. Master Dogen wrote a great post along the same lines some time ago.

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  13. Glad you're back, loved the story, disappointed in your disapproval of women with tattoos.

    Anti-tattoo sensibilities aside, your empathy towards her social situation was surprising and intriguing. Truly impressed me.

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  14. Thanks, Poetry. That's kind of you.

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  15. Beautiful, romantic, and tragic; I love your writing, man. Roissy's analysis is brilliant and analytical, I love the guy - but you've got some poetry in your soul. This post made my heart ache.

    Speaking as one writer to another: keep it up.

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  16. Loved this post.

    I think you've nailed it with your analysis about how invested she's become in the full up lesbian subculture of her town, without being at base herself a full up lesbian. She seems to sort of les that's that in preference to guys who aren't really alpha, in a way that's also not cold and completely cruel.

    She seems very bidable to me. Moldable.

    A guy like you could seduced her, dom her hard with male sexing, and take her completely out of her social circle, back w/you across the country.

    Course then you'd probably feel all responsible for her. But you could also look at it as a rescue.

    Course I have to admit I pretty much can't stand and loath full up lesbians. I haven't got the same animus or really any at all towards gay men. It's that full up lesbians are so often so much about man hating feminist politically rolling over men and masculinity.

    Great to have you guys back. Hope 11 minutes posts again too.

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