Once again, I witness the insanity with bemusement and equilibrium. I’m at an event this weekend with an acquaintance of mine, one of the most attractive women I know. She’s not quite drop dead, movie star gorgeous, but close, kind of “girl next door” meets playboy: blonde, blue, perfect features, petite, very feminine. The thing is, she knows it. Not in a hugely stuck up way, but she carries within herself a deep sense of entitlement, for she has always been the prettiest girl, and along with that has come a set of expectations and exemptions.
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Now I’m not jealous, though at times have been envious. I’m attractive, cute, been called beautiful even, with nice features—but not model looks. I’m a size 6, not 2, I have a cute bob, not the sexy long locks, I forget to do my nails, and I usually wear pants to work, not a tight, designer skirt suit.
So anyway we’re at an event, full of young-ish, single-ish attractive people. Within 20 minutes, she’s got a few guys competing for her attention. I make eye contact with a cute, but not hot, guy, you know the one, a bit skinny, wearing khakis and glasses. He wanders over, we chat, I introduce him to my friend and bam….his eyes glaze over and he throws his hat into the ring with all the other men vying for her attention. I might as well be invisible, and at this point am free to watch the spectacle with bemusement: three or four men competing for her attention, a few more hovering around, wondering if there might be a strategic inroad at some point.
Now, some of those guys might—might--score a number. Maybe—if you play your cards right. But that one—the cute but not too hot, not too tall, not too rich guy—you’re wasting your time. For while she may happily accept a 14$ martini from you, she’ll turn to me, roll her eyes, and mouth “save me.” Or you, super smart policy wonk who is bedazzled by her pearly whites, you don’t know that she actually told me she prefers frat boys. She’s never even heard of Thomas Friedman, much less read an editorial. And you, the one who is under 5’10” and a grad student? Forget it. Too short, too poor.
Now, you might intuit some of these things, but go for it anyway. Here are a few things you probably can’t intuit. She’s never traveled further afield than Mexico. She spends her weekends shopping, working out, and getting ready. She thinks dating a guy who drives a Porsche is an accomplishment. More to the point, although she is not unkind, she’s always been coddled because of her looks and consequently has never been forced to develop other characteristics—like compassion, empathy, strength, sexiness, vulnerability.
And you know what else? She’s like a dead fish in bed and finds anything beyond blindfolds to be wholly unacceptable and disgusting (This straight from an ex boyfriend of hers, who admitted it to a friend of mine). Why? She’s never had to learn that looking good is not enough once you’re past the bar scene.
What you also don’t know is that standing near here, outside the spotlight, is another woman—attractive, strong, accomplished, adventurous (in all ways) funny, and down to earth. The kind of woman who appreciates your gesture of buying a drink, but does not expect it, who actually prefers grounded, if imperfect, men to "hot guys", who doesn’t do her nails because she’s always breaking them going camping or building shelves, is not interested in the car you drive (she rides a bike to work) but is interested in what you’re reading, what you’re thinking, what you want, what turns you on--who you are, not what you appear to be or what you can do for her.
So all you guys complaining that all DC women want are tall, rich, hot stupid guys and there are no nice, normal, cool women--, its, time to wake up and smell the cosmopolitan. She’s only hard to find because you—blinded by the blonde—aren’t looking.
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