Truer words. . .

"[She] needed to do more than just sparkle.

Sparkle works for teenagers falling in love. They flirt by charming themselves in each other's vicinity. Sadly, that's what most of the scenes between [Him] and [Her] are like: he falls in love with her, and so does she." - The Casting Broad

That's smart writing.

The author has hit on a lovely little point about teenagers and growing up.

Something that is important before I explore this idea further: I flirt.

I imagine very few of you who know me are surprised. I get it from my father, who is incorrigible. He can talk about anything, smile about everything, and make almost any woman laugh.

I wouldn't say I'm that good, but I have certainly proven to myself that I can catch the eye and attention of most women, and even coax a smile and a sparkle from many of them.

But how do I go about it? As TCB puts it above, the youthful and immature do it simply by engaging in a bit of narcissism and letting the magic of popularity do the work for them. As teenagers we are pack animals. If other people love someone, we must love them too. Whether they are the person that loves themselves is irrelevant, as long as they are charming and trustworthy enough, we'll buy it.

I swung into a tenuous (and in the end, very futile) relationship on these grounds, I think. She was a great girl, don't get me wrong, but she was charming and lovely with everyone, and guys were constantly falling for her. I, on the other hand, thought I had what it took to win most girls and set my sights on her--in hindsight--almost arbitrarily. We charmed ourselves in each other's vicinity.

Now, I think I am learning to move beyond that. In the wake of the tragic pitfalls and romantic pratfalls of the last three years of my life, I no longer want to "have what it takes" and don't advertise those facets. Instead, I attempt to put up a blind around them, sharpening my tongue and wit until many can only get so close to me before they resist coming any nearer for fear of getting hurt. I have created a porcupine's defense system, the warnings of pain are enough to keep most people out of reach--which is where I want them.

As I told a friend on the phone once "Few people willingly hug a cactus." But in making such a defense I am moving (albeit in a strange and probably artificial manner) out of the teenage methods of romance. I no longer am in love with my ability to woo, or my qualities that make me prince charming come to rescue the poor helpless lady that no-one loves. I have grown tired of those who love themselves and are looking for someone with whom they can entrust the rest of their lives, as if their lives were the most precious of treasures.

Instead, I seek for someone who seeks for me. Someone who looks into life as an adventure, and a relationship as a way of learning to love someone else, not of charming someone with how wonderful she could be. No more self-centric mentalities full of sad monologues about how wonderful everyone would think she was lovely if they would just get to know her, and how she doesn't want to be hurt anymore.

No! Stop moping about within the confines of your self-obsessed mindset! Rejoice in life! Cast off your mantle of doubt and selfish fear. Turn your mind's eye outwards. I am not here to make enemies, but friends! I have no need of those who feel their lives an endless drama of romance missed because people didn't understand poor little them. If you can't survive on your own, then I certainly don't want to lend you any of my life, for it will only make me that much weaker!

But, my instinctive and naturally flirtatious self attracts these sorts of women, still wrapped deeply in their childhood fantasies, like moths to a flame. It is only with my character's sharper points that I can hope to hold them at a constant distance, where they realize that they are not yet ready to challenge my defenses and slip within the boundaries of my carefully built illusion.

So I have created a wall of barbs. Sharp criticisms of those without patience. A distaste for children (except as appetizers. . . they make a lovely flambé). A disdain for romantic ideas about sunsets and gondolas. A harsh word for any who criticizes her own beauty or intelligence (if you are doing so to appear humble than it is likely a lie, if it is truth then there is no need, dear, to advertise the fact.)

In short, I have attempted to build a wall of the sort of things that drive away women who think they are looking for the perfect man. Rather I want a woman who looks and sees what is before her and chooses whether she can appreciate it for what it is, or must leave it be, in search of something better.

That, my friends, is the woman for whom I search.

If you see her, tell her that I'm lying about the children.

Really. I love children. That bit about appetizers was total rubbish. They're much better as a main course.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


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