Nametag, a word, and a bit of clarification on my part (old, long n' very mild)

I just recently noticed your final response to me in this thread, and quite frankly I found it a little insulting at first. But reading through the thread again, I find that I probably did misrepresent myself in regards to what I was actually saying. Or, more accurately, it’s likely nobody could tell what the hell I was talking about. That said, some people did seem to jump to some interesting conclusions.

Interesting and wonderful? I agree wholeheartedly. I think most people are interesting and wonderful, especially when I first meet them, because discovering their different personalities and ideas is one of the joys of life. That’s not the behavior I’m referring to here as lying. What I am referring to is, well, lying, such as what my father does when he’s spouting his hokey bullshit at his latest target. Real Line Used By Roland Orzabal’s Dad, not five minutes after meeting a woman: “I can tell you are a child of thought. You find special qualities in things those around you take for granted. I’ll bet you like some interesting movies, don’t you?” Great, pop. While you practice your Psychic Hotline cold-reading on her, I’ll be over here puking. Not because of your actions, mind you, but because she’s falling for it hook, line, and sinker, and now seems to think you have some supernatural insight into the inner workings of her mind. If you want to get overly technical, I suppose this specific line isn’t a lie in the classic sense; all he’s basically said here is “I bet you think you’re smarter than everyone else, and you also like the movies you like.” But pretending to have deep and intimate knowledge about someone you just met smacks of dishonesty to me, and I’ll refrain from doing it.

As for being “all moral and sincere and everything”…sincere, I would go with. I don’t pretend to be anyone I’m not, and I don’t say things I don’t mean. Which is why, most of the time, I just don’t say anything at all. Moral, though? Not by a long shot. My morality is pretty easily summed up for all practical purposes: if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, and you want to do it, be my guest. That’s why I don’t fault my dad for what he does (if you’ll recall, my original point was not that my dad was wrong, but that the women he wooed were self-contradictory). I just choose not to do it. It’s not morality, just personal preference.

I know. My point exactly. That was the general tone of the advice I was getting, and it didn’t make any sense to me, either.

I agree. But, as I said, my main interest in women really, truly is more mental than physical at first. When I said I was weird as hell, I meant it; it wasn’t a snarky way of implying that I’m better than everyone else. It was a sincere way of implying that I seem to be basically fucked.

Non sequitur yourself, my friend. How else to determine these things I’m supposed to be judging, if not by talking about them? I’m not psychic; neither is she. Yes, we’re both human, and thus able to read certain feelings and tendencies by way of non-verbal communication, but that’s (usually) not enough to indicate whether our personalities are in tune. Yes, sometimes two people will just click, but that’s by far the exception rather than the rule, even for one as socially well-versed as my father. As to determining attractiveness, physical is easy enough: I look at her, she looks at me. Mental and emotional? There’s where the conversation comes in, and while idle chitchat is certainly fun, it does not communicate anything substantial. If I’m trying to hang out and shoot the breeze, that’s what I’ll do. If, on the other hand, I detect a mutual interest and I’m trying to get to know you, I’ll probably venture a step or two into the deep end.

I agree that the conversation is about her. That’s why I almost never offer up an initial topic. I’ll ask her about her interests, and then attempt to explore them rather than countering with one of my own. Which brings up the question: how am I to display my interests “like plumage” if the conversation is to be solely focused on her? I’m not trying to be argumentative, just honestly trying to understand what it is you’re suggesting that I do. Also, I take issue with the statement that “interesting people do not discuss, converse, debate or argue” in ANY context. In my experience and opinion, that is precisely what interesting people do. The implication there is that my opinion is wrong, and because I’ve found others who share it, they must be wrong as well. Speaking of which…

Yeah, there’s the ticket: my opinion is wrong, and so is that of everyone who agrees with me. What may be “dull company” to you makes for intriguing conversation to me, and frankly, I find endless streams of mindless drivel (quite a popular style of social interaction) to be infinitely more dull than a simple comfortable silence. You’re right about one thing; my dad is not dull company, because when he’s talking to me, he talks about the interesting stuff. When he’s with me, he isn’t posturing, he’s just a smart and interesting guy who can shoot the shit with the best of 'em. If he ever tried to talk to me the same way he talks to his propects, I’d tell him to cut the crap. But of course he wouldn’t do that.

And no, that blank stare I get, nine times out of ten, means “I do not understand a fucking word of what he just said.” You must remember that I’m 20. Therefore, the girls I’m talking to are 20-ish, some younger, some older, but not much variance either way. Far be it from me to cast unfair generalizations, but in my experience, girls (and guys) of this age don’t much care for in-depth discussions. Fresh out of high school, most have had a strong sense of superficiality deeply ingrained into their consciousness, and it takes a few years before reality manages to pop it out (excepting the unlucky few for whom that never really happens). If you think I’m just being pretentious, you ought to hear some of the things I’ve actually had girls say to me. “Ian, stop using all those big words; I’m not smart like you are.” The word in question being cynical. Sorry, I’ll try to confine it to two syllables from now on. “Morality? Why would you want to talk about that? Shouldn’t you just, like, believe your own stuff?” Yeah, heaven forbid we take alternate viewpoints into account. That might be too much like thinking, which you haven’t done since I told you it was possible to drive to Canada from New York (that was later, and despite her best efforts I don’t think she ever got it).

Nope. If you think that “being myself” means that I go around expressing every thought and opinion I have with no regard for the feelings of others, then you’re assuming I’m an asshole. That ain’t the case. I follow the age-old axiom of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, and that works just fine. The thing is, I don’t interpret that axiom as advising me to make up nice-sounding B.S. to fit the situation. I don’t like doing that, so I don’t do it.

I think my biggest mistake in the other thread was confusing my initial question with the issue it raised. It made it seem as though I was objecting to women’s reactions to my dad’s behavior mainly on the grounds that it was disrespectful. That’s blending the two issues. My original point, a question actually, was why some of the same women who claim to hate “players” and “smooth operators” would willingly fall head over heels for such hokey bullshit as my dad tends to use. That was the driving point behind the respect issue: I took that type of thing to be disrespectful not of my own moral standing, but because that was the impression given to me by the women I’ve talked to. A self-contradiction was at hand, and I asked for some possible explanations. By way of reply, I received a whole slew of people telling me that I’m a dumbass for not being exactly like my dad (and furthermore, for not wanting to be), which was where I began to take offense. I don’t think my dad is being disrespectful in his dealings with women. I also don’t think I’m being any more respectful when I elect to act differently. Really, the entire post of mine that you were responding to was a minor point in my mind; I was saying that A) the bullshit in question is indeed bullshit, and B) by the standards laid out to me in that very thread, it was also disrespectful. Nothing to do with my original point.

Anyhow, Nametag, I don’t fault you for getting my main point wrong. As I said, the fault for that was probably mine. However, I don’t appreciate the assumptions you’ve made about my personality, and I don’t appreciate having my personal tastes labelled incorrect. Am I odd? Certainly. Am I wrong? No more so than you are.

Oh, was that your main point? They’re morons (high-IQ morons, in many cases, but still morons). They can’t resist a player, and after it’s all over, they resent having the bait dangled in front of them. Charlie Brown and the football – same thing. They nurture, deep in their heart of hearts, the dream that someday one of those smooth-talkin seducers will be sincere, and the future will be full of romance, cotton candy, and pink tulle.

See, I figured that was a rhetorical question, as it’s so easily answered. I figured the real question was – as it usually is from those who ask – “why don’t the hotties go for me?” If you’re saying that your main problem with womens’ response to your dad isn’t that they don’t respond that way to you, then I don’t know what there is to complain about. Your conversational gambit is guaranteed to weed out the non-conversationalists, and you claim you don’t want them anyway, so…?

As for this:

It is possible to mention a subject without disussing it; to touch lightly upon it instead of dwelling on it; to let one subject lead to another. A single mention of the summer blockbuster movies can lead to a fast-paced back-and-forth, touching on Spielberg, Kubrick, Clarke, Heinlein, Hubbard, Scientology, EST, Esalen, Big Sur, Highway 1, Route 66, Nat King Cole, Nelson Riddle, etc. One can spend many pleasant hours hopping from subject to subject this way, demonstrating along the way that one is well-read, quick-witted, endowed with an excellent vocabulary, and not a bore.

Makes sense. I guess I was just hoping for a more well-reasoned response than “they’re morons” (kinda what I suspected to begin with, but y’know, benefit of the doubt and all). That that particular answer came so easily to you is either sad or a good indication of the general populace’s intelligence level, or perhaps both. My fault for asking an obvious question, I suppose.

Regarding your conversational tactic, it sound in large part like exactly what doesn’t appeal to me (depending, of course, on what exactly you say about each topic; having never talked with you, I can’t know for sure). Which is not to say that you’re wrong; in fact, most would agree with you. I just find scratching the surface of all sorts of different topics, without actually saying anything slightly deeper or noteworthy about any of them, to be a pointless exercise in “Look, I know a lot of crap!”. I got enough of that in high school from academic overachievers claiming to be “intellectuals” (whatever that words means anyway); I certainly don’t want more of the same from someone I’m actively interested in. Incidentally, self-proclaimed “intellectuals” get really pissed if, after they demonstrate their recently-acquired-yet-totally-uncomprehended bit of knowledge, you give them a cookie. I don’t know why. I like cookies. Whatever the case, it certainly shut a lot of pompous asses up.

As for why I started this thread…blame it on a combination of 52 hours of no sleep, and a deep loathing for thinking I’ve been misunderstood. Glad to see it hasn’t attracted much in the way of response, other than yours of course.