2005-09-08

Wayward fruit

Does anyone know how to respond to the 5M's latest? I'm suspecting there is a little bit of "What-does-this-woman-want?" going on. The fellow with the nice car offers to help her with her grocery bags, and she refuses. Then, she's offended when he doesn't help her pick up her peaches. Clearly, she likes male attention, but the "olive skin"/"scraggly hair" comment just doesn't quite work for her. Neither does the sitting next to her ogling other women thing. The men in the 5M's orbit are not quite getting it right.

This brings us back to recent stats and conversations on the former Chair's blog in which it was noted that "Knowing what you want" seems to rate high on the Lavalife "values" list. Dwarfie interprets it as follows: "I don't know what I want" can be code for "I don't know exactly what I want, but it's not a committed relationship with you." So, perhaps, those lavalifers who have been rejected in the past, opt for this "value", thinking that they just need someone who KNOWS WHAT SHE/HE WANTS--in other words, someone who won't reject them.

In the lavalife schema, the 5M would be considered one of those people who doesn't know what she wants. How about in the ESI schema?

22 comments:

coyote said...

Well, we know it's a skin hue appropriate to Bridgehead: cafe au lait. As for what the woman wants, I can do no better than to pull a Siren, and quote, god help us, the Bangles:

If She Knew What She Wants
by J. Shear/ vocal: Susanna Hoff

If she knew what she wants
(He'd be giving it to her)
If she knew what she needs
(He could give her that too)
If she knew what she wants
(But he can't see through her)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her
Giving it to her

4th Dwarf said...

I was thinking similar thoughts, Aggie.

We don't know who this ogling Costa Rica bound fancy car fellow was, so it's a bit hard to judge him.

First, one person's "ogling" might be another's "people watching". Especially, if it's someone with a European background. Sitting across from each other at an outdoor cafe in Paris? Unthinkable.

And if this is a fellow that 5M has given every reason to believe he has no chance with her, why shouldn't he look at others?

But... She's a straight Canadian woman. And straight Canadian women don't like their male friends looking at other women while they're conversing.

This is why I like dating bisexual women. If another pretty woman walks by, my date isn't looking at me to see where I'm looking, she's looking at the other woman.

As for the compliments... We've already learned it's nearly impossible to succeed in complimenting 5M on her appearance. "Scraggly" is a poor word to choose. I'm guessing by "olive" he meant the brown kind, not the green ones they put the pimentos in.

The point is, he said she looked nice. He liked her hair, he liked her skin. He didn't know that she holds a different idea for the requirements of female beauty.

Then the groceries. He could have parked the car and insisted. "I'll carry those." Made out that his male pride was on the line or something. It could be that she's already communicated that she doesn't care for this kind of crap.

When the peaches spilled, he was fucked. Stay in the car, look like a jerk. Get out of the car, and she'd have them all picked up by the time he got to her.

Does fancy car man (FCM) know what he wants? If he thinks he wants 5M and was ogling other women -- no.

If FCM enjoys an outing with 5M, but doesn't want her getting the idea that he wants a relationship, he knows what he wants and it's not her.

As for 5M, she doesn't want a relationship with FCM, right?
a) She takes him to be an ogler who doesn't pay proper attention to her (points that are debatable on the information she's given us, but it's her reality), and
b) She didn't want him back up in her apartment.

But it seems she wants him to act like a good suitor. I'm not sure she knows what she wants in any schema.

4th Dwarf said...

p.s. mmm, Susana Hoffs... even more relevent lyrics later ...

But she wants everything
(He can pretend to give her everything)
Or there's nothing she wants
(She don't want to sort it out)...

I'd say her values are corrupted
But she's open to change
Then one day she's satisfied
And the next I'll find her crying
And it's nothing she can explain...


In retrospect, I consider this to be an evil, evil song. It makes it seem romantic to have a relationship with a high maintenance woman.

Agatha said...

Hmmmm. 4D...I can see that your pirate school training has affected your approach to this. I think we are dealing with a very complex schema here. It seems to me that "knowing what you want" has come to mean operating in the rational world-- ie. "I have a goal and I will pursue that goal." Does this mean the 5M doesn't know what she wants? I don't think so. I think her wants are complex and sometimes in the realm of the irrational. Irrational is not even the right word.

coyote said...

Oh, but 'complex' is, definitely...

The songbird formerly known as Siren said...

Coyote! You can pull a "Siren" any time you want! What perfect lyrics. But what does it sound like when a coyote sings? Just like howling at the moon, I bet.

And Pirate! My goodness! It's the first time I've ever even come close to agreeing with you. There must be something wrong...I'm getting worried...quick, do something typical (for you), or delete my comment immediately so I can get back into my usual thought process involving pirate/dwarf analysis. Which, need I say, is not often typified by thoughts like: "hmmm, yes another astute analysis by the Dwarf. Hmmmm...I really rather agree..."
But I digress...and I am definitely getting too self-referential here...so I'll just go back to the shady little speak-easy I've been hiding in these last few weeks, and sing myself a sad little tune...Coyote, can you dig up some good lyrics?

6th Apostle said...

Well, Musie has given a rebuttal to our critique of her apparent wishy-washiness. But I have to agree with the analysis on the FCM episode.

Maybe the problem is not so much the generalities of what she wants but rather the specifics. Seems Musie needs to approach her wants much like the Amazon approaches performance measures and appraisals of her employees: they need to be SMART. That is her wants need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Based.

She needs to translate those top three things she is looking for in a man into the details. Take me, for instance, my list of top wants would include "being flexible". And I'm not talking yoga. But more specifically, things like limited food choices and serious allergies are really going to be specific things that are going to drop you from the list. One that I came across recently in the dating world was a woman who could not be in the presence of sugar, meat, tobacco or caffeine. I could handle any three of those four, but not all four. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, if I'm on a roadtrip with said woman, and all there is are roadside truckstops, the no sugar, no meat, no tobacco, no caffeine chick is going to be a problem. Maybe that's me not being flexible.

coyote said...

You raise a crucial point, Nate. It's one thing to be idealistic in general. It's another when the specific requirements of that idealism create internal tensions that may not be easily resolved.

Take the Bologna bottle. It's a thickish glass flask that has been heat treated to a point hard enough that one can use it pound a good-sized nail. Outwardly, it's very strong. But the heat treating places such internal stress on the thing that if you ever drop a single piece of carborundum inside, it will explode in your hand.

My metaphorically-mixed question is, how many wants does it take to pull the vessel in so many directions at once, that a grain of sand may fracture it at some all night truck stop?

4th Dwarf said...

My first thought was to pick at Musie's list and count out how many discrete things are on it.

For example, intensely compassionate, sensitive, kind, and faithful Is at least two things. You could have someone who is faithful but not not compassionate, sensitive and kind. If compassionate, sensitive and kind are not synonyms, you could have someone who is sensitive but not kind.

Then I thought about looking for things that make her list statistically unlikely in the way that Computer Guy's list is. And that's not so hard. When you're into sexy and fit guys, you get a lot of selfish narcissists. (Meself excluded, of course.)

But here's the thing that really strikes me:

If you're supporting and assisting someone to become everything they want to be, you've got to be mighty careful to not give them the message that you're not accepting and appreciating who they already are.

And if you're accepting and appreciating someone for who they are, you've got to be careful they don't get the idea it's not okay for them to change.

And it's tricky from the other side too.

Agatha said...

I like that she included "streetsmart" in her list. I wonder if there is way of measuring this?
But I don't like the word "co-create". It's one of those words I can't stand. I hate the word "empower", too.

4th Dwarf said...

That's very proactive of you to mention your hatred of "empower" before any of us used it, Aggie.

As for measuring street smarts, here is one test.

But it's damned foolish. They told me "You really need to learn some street smarts."

The blighters kept giving me these situations and expecting me to call me parents about them!

coyote said...

That would be a wilful obtuseness on the part of the test's designers about the difference between 'streetsmart' and 'streetproofing', Dwarf. Or on yours.

'Course, another confounding factor that occurs to me, looking things over again, would be the un/conscious choices one makes at the outset. You may indeed hold a set of ideals that are internally consistent and compatible -- then somehow compromise yer ass right off with an actual partner, because you really want to be with them.

The thinking is something like, "I can accept these couple of little things, because we love each other and I'm sure we can work them out if we try..."

Whomever said, 'Love conquers all', though, was probably a misinformed 12th century French abbot.

Months on, you discover that you're the one doing all the compromising, and you can't seem to flex quite enough emotionallymentallyspiritually to accept differences that seemed so tiny in the glow of beginning. Perhaps with all the good will in the world, they have become grains of sand in your Bologna flask.

What's interesting in these circumstances, I think, is that it's possible for each partner in a relationship to feel independently as if he or she is doing all the compromising. Human nature? I leave it to you. Ideals are just that. Ideals. If we take no risks with ourselves at all, we may never have relationships. But learning to take the correct risks, the acceptable risks, is a whole art unto itself, ain't it? Tricky ground...

Conch Shell said...

Seems to me 5M is willing to do lots of risking, what with all this LL and new men met at BH/yoga stuff. Too much for Coyote, I bet. On another note, I think she can't take flirtatious teasing: scraggly hair, olive skin (some would call that a straight compliment), etc. She's too sensitive, always seeing the insult. So she should probably add: straight-shooter, non-sarcastic type to her list. (maybe sensitive/kind encompasses that.)
I agree the peaches man was in a no-win scenario, btw.
And regarding what people say they want, some philosophers, and I'd agree with them, would argue that human beings aren't capable of being that rational and following through. Most of us react to emotional stimuli mixed with our learned social conditionings. Reason comes in lower than these two. However, I think 5M will find what she wants. It's all generic enough. A healthy and interesting guy who's not an asshole, who will love her. She might have to teach him how to dress better, though. I'm kind of developing a theory that the good guys who are single, and over 35, don't quite have the dressing well thing worked out.

coyote said...

You're right Conch -- rational thought probably is way down the checklist of stuff that figures in any relationship decision. Although I have heard it said that women employ this tool rather more often than men when choosing mates...

Too much risk for me? No. I think it becomes riskier the further one engages and explores. At least to to a point, then you cross some invisible no-man's-land, and it becomes very safe, or ya bail because it keeps getting less safe and more difficult. Possibly creepier or more boring, too, but those are for 'nother day. In this schema, cursory serial GetaLife dates, while putting yourself out there in a sense, probably do not count as very great emotional risk.

And doesn't your clothing wrapup kinda allude to that archetypal male/female romantic catch-22, epitomised by the title of the DiPietro/Roberts musical: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change?

Perhaps a rather large subject for a thread that's winding down...

4th Dwarf said...

I have two new thoughts to throw out.

1) Irrational: This word can mean two different things that have a large bearing on these issues of wants and acceptance. When we're following traditional gender roles and we men speak of women being "irrational" we're generally saying that they are thinking or acting in a way that is contrary to logic and reason.

When women counter with "you're being overly rational" they are complaining that men are ignoring considerations that are impossible to quantify, even to consciously identify, but still exist.

It's almost like "irrational" numbers like Pi and the square root of two. They exist, they're useful, but you can't write them out to their last digit.

2) Oppositional Defiant Disorder
I'm not saying Musie has a diagnosable case of ODD, but when it comes to mood disorders, we're usually all somewhere on the spectrum. Her reaction to the Momma Channeling Lawyer Boy (MCLB) makes me wonder how this one will play out.

Agatha said...

6th Apostle: I find your poll too limiting. Can we add one more category? "What she wants is something more complex than can be articulated in an ESI poll."
Conch Shell: Speaking of dressing, that pool guy/lawyer is to be avoided. I wouldn't get in the elevator with him again if I were her. Any man who tries to "help" a woman by telling her how to dress, commenting on wet hair, etc...is someone to run away from. Not creepy --scarey!

4th Dwarf said...

Yes, I'm reminded of a joke I read in someone's blog a couple of days ago:

Pool Guy: Knock knock

Fifth Muse: Who's there?

Pool Guy: Control freak. Now you say, "Control Freak who?"

6th Apostle said...

Aggie, it seems to me if Muse knows what she wants but it cannot be articulated in an ESI poll, that's a very unrealistic want. If the ESI's can't articulate the need, how does she even have a prayer of connecting to some haircut in a pair of pants that portends to be man.

Conch Shell said...

How about this answer:

"Control Freak Who?"

"Control Freak who wants to tend and care and nurture and admire and put you up on a pedestal, providing you don't start interrogating me about where my inner need to take care of damsels in distress who do such cute and irrational things as wear sandals when it's wet outside comes from."

Agatha said...

6A: I don't think I've ever had a "want" that I would call "realistic"... That might explain a lot. I can see that I'm projecting today in a really bad way!

coyote said...

'Kay, everybody, rousing chorus! Dwarf, you can whistle:

"If she knew what she wants
(He'd be giving it to her)..."

The Independent Tony Bravo Observer said...

The 5M still ain't signed up for my Home Maintenance for Women course at Brookfield. Which is a cryin' shame. Cause after that guy M what she really needs is some good ol' fashioned confidence. And what makes ya more chuffed than bein' able to fix yer own plumbing, stedda waitin' for someone ta do it for ya?