I recently watched Wreck-It Ralph. That movie is an attempt by Disney to cash in on the recent craze about all things "retro", and of course it has to conform to mainstream media gender stereotypes. There was one rather surprising scene in it that highlights realities in dating, which I will expand upon further down.
Let me briefly introduce the main characters:
- Wreck-It Ralph: A humanoid version of the gorilla in the original Donkey Kong video game. Fat, slow, and dimwitted.
- Fix-It Felix: A rough analogue to Mario in Donkey Kong. He's very short, thin, and has a slavish sense of duty.
- Vanellope von Schweetz: Female support cast: creative, witty, and resourceful.
- Tamora Jean Calhoun: The lead character in the Call of Duty parody Hero's Duty. She's the typical "strong female character". Of course, without her, the male leads would achieve nothing. I mean, just look at this:
If this isn't a complete reversal of gender roles, then I wouldn't know what is.
The most interesting part of the movie, for me, was the following scene, which depicts a facet of female behavior that doesn't seem to be widely acknowledged. Here's the clip:
To summarize, the doofus hero Fix-It Felix says to the tough yet hyperfeminine Tamora that she is "one dynamite gal". This reminds her of her adonis-like ex-husband who used to say those very words to her. She then gets pissed and tells Fix-It Felix to get out of the space ship. Expressed more abstractly, the pattern is as follows:
1. Guy says something random
3. Girl does something completely unexpected
The missing step in 2) isn't just a reference to an Internet meme based on South Park. Instead, it refers to the underlying logical structure. View 3) as the conclusion and 1) as the premise. However, to a sane person, there must be something missing because otherwise you can't really explain the reaction. Let's now talk about the missing part. First, you have to keep in mind that the view girls have of guys is often nothing more than an amalgamation of previous relationships and idealized notions taken from movies, magazines or, in rare cases, books. This is highly irrational, but what's more irrational is that those phantasies then guide their behavior. It can be good or bad for you, which I'll illustrate via a couple of examples.
Here's a relatively common one: The girl asks you about your zodiac sign. You only want to get laid so this sign of stupidity doesn't make you walk off right away, and you say it's X. It's just so happens that it's your lucky day and X is also the zodiac sign of the guy with the biggest cock she's ever had in her. Suddenly she thinks of that and she likes you a little bit better. For her, the following logical inference might be entirely plausible, even if you spelled it out for her:
1. That guy's zodiac sign was X and he had a huge cock.
2. Your zodiac sign is X.
3. You've got to have a huge cock.
However, it could have gone a lot worse. You may not just have the wrong zodiac sign. Imagine you happened to have the same first name as the most recent guy who pumped and dumped her. She will invariably be reminded of that and may associate all her negative emotions with you. I once had a woman ask me, coyly, whether I intend to just fuck and leave her. I laughed and asked what she meant, and then she said I had a name quite similar to some guy she recently met and that some of my antics reminded her of yet another guy. Please note that I had spent at most 15 minutes with her at that point. Really, the stupidity of some people is without bounds. (In her case, the problem, though, was that she was the kind of girl no sane guy would consider for anything serious.)
Being compared to some random guy who fucked her years ago, good or bad, is bad enough. Even worse is when women dream up an image of how men are supposed to be. This is more of an issue with younger, inexperienced women. I'll tell you another of my war stories: I met that 17 or 18 year old girl in London. She lived further off, and one fine day her parents weren't home, so she asked me to drop by. She met me at the station, and on the way back to her place she said that the fridge was empty and wondered whether I'd like to grab a bite to eat somewhere. She seemed oblivious to the fact that it's possible to buy food at the supermarket and prepare it herself, so we went to some pub instead.
Eventually it was time to pay, and I pulled out my wallet. The food wasn't particularly expensive, even on a student budget, so I asked her whether I should pay for her. She declined, so I said, "Sure." and put some money on the table, and so did she. My share was slightly larger. The waiter came, I tipped him. I got 2 pounds in return, flipped one coin over to her, and kept the other for myself. So far this was completely unremarkable, and something I would normally have forgotten. However, without knowing it, I saw myself at the receiving end of a shitstorm, and this little girl tried to educate me on how this interaction should have gone, and how a "real gentleman" should have behaved.
This was the script she had expected:
- I should either have paid for all of it myself without saying anything (This doesn't agree with my perception of social customs since it wasn't me who suggested eating there) or I should have engaged in the following ritual:
a) Asking whether I should pay for her
b) Let her decline
c) Insist on paying anyway, "because that's what men do"
Do you know what the "absolute worst thing" was? That I tipped the waiter with her money. Apparently the very least a gentleman could do is covering her share of the tip. (This reminded me ever so slightly of one time when I was brunching with a friend and two girl from school. They ordered one item after another, and at the end they wanted the four of us to all "share the bill equally".) Eventually it emerged that she had seen a scene like that in some TV show or movie, and her fantasy was that some "real gentleman" would treat her "like a lady" and "like on TV".
You think this is crazy? Wait, because I've got another one for you, this time not featuring a teenager but a woman in her late 20s. I was the same age in both scenarios. Well, what had happened in that case was that she reacted offended when I wanted to pay my share of the bill. The dynamics were quite different because she had a pretty decent job and I was basically constantly broke. She said that my actions were "demeaning", and that it said a lot about me that I wanted to pay for my part even though I had no money. It seemed no matter what I do, I'll always be a sexist pig.
Please don't view this post as an incoherent rant, though. The point of those examples is simply that you have no idea about her history with guys or her values, and the often irrational conclusions about life and men she has drawn for herself. It's impossible to plan for those contingencies. Some girls are a bit more rational than others, but if you spend enough time with a girl, you are almost guaranteed to end up in a situation where you'll ask herself what the fuck just happened. Instead of planning for all kinds of contingencies, just present a side of yourself you're comfortable with. However, if you meet enough women you're almost guaranteed to end up in a situation that may remind you of "Fix-It Felix".
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!