Much like myself, this post isn’t really going anywhere but contains valuable information. You will likely find it of more usefulness than my other posts in the “Dating While Poet” series, because this one isn’t about me actually going on a date and therefore offers something beyond examples of what not to do that, although amusing, fail to be instructive because, unless you’re me, you already knew not to do those things anyway. (And if you are me, Chris, stop reading your own blog and do something constructive with your day.) As I’ve said, this post isn’t about me going on a date. It does, however, involve a beautiful woman asking for my number. Unfortunately, this was only so she could enter it into the computer at the bookstore and call me when the book I’d ordered arrived. In all fairness, I would like quickly to clarify that this was a book I’d already planned on buying when I walked into the bookstore, and that I wasn’t just ordering it because the girl at the Information desk was pretty. Although, in further fairness, I was just ordering it because the author of the book is pretty. I’m going to change the subject now.
It’s the first day of Spring and I woke up in a good mood, knowing perfectly well that you’re only supposed to capitalize the name of a season if it’s a poem and you’re addressing it, but not caring at all. That was how good I felt. Like with most people, when I find myself in a good mood I want to make it even better by doing something crazy that I don’t normally do. Unlike with most people, going outside in the daytime for a reason besides work counts for me as one of those things. I decided to walk to a bookstore and purchase comedienne Kristen Schaal’s The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex, which I’ve been meaning to buy because it has funny stuff on the inside and a picture of Kristen Schaal in her underwear on the cover. It’s been out for a year and a half, and I would have bought it sooner, but I had to wait until I was having a really good day so the funniness of the book wouldn’t be negated by my depression over the fact that I’m never going to marry Kristen Schaal, despite the fact that I’m an adventurous yet soulful lover and spell her name right more than half of the time.
I felt so unstoppable that instead of walking all the way up to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, I decided to throw caution to Zephyrus and go to the bookstore three blocks from my apartment that I usually avoid because everyone who hangs out there is so much cooler than me. Yes, I walked right into that cool bookstore with my head held high, and I kept it that way. There was a woman drinking coffee while wearing the biggest pair of sunglasses I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t start crying even a little. It was like there was some kind of cool forcefield around me, which I attributed to the fact that I was wearing my pants with the dried paint on them. I got them at Salvation Army, so there was already paint on them when I bought them, rather than the paint being on them because I was actually painting something myself, but I had spent the walk to the bookstore mentally preparing to lie about that if anyone asked.
The logical guess was that the book would be in the Humor section, except for the fact that it’s probably actually funny and no books in the Humor section of a bookstore are ever actually even a little bit funny. It wasn’t in the Sexuality section either, so I went over to the Information desk to ask. I did notice on my way over that the woman sitting behind the Information desk was gorgeous, but I made up my mind that this was definitely not going to ruin my day and force me to go home and write something about it. If you’re wondering why a professional writer would consider a day ruined if it results in him doing his job, don’t worry, I’m seeing my therapist tomorrow and I’m going to open with that.
When I say that the woman behind the information desk was gorgeous, I’m not exaggerating for effect. She was probably a model. Normally that’s just an expression, but when you’re talking about a startlingly tall and skinny woman who’s dressed uncommonly stylishly while working a part-time job at a trendy store in SoHo, it’s not. I mean she was literally almost certainly a model. And if that usage of literally made sense to you despite the fact that there’s no way for someone to figuratively almost certainly be a model, shame on you, you’re what’s wrong with America.
I’m not going to describe the woman beyond stating the fact that she was gorgeous, because if somehow she ends up reading this, the odds that she would be flattered are infinitesimal compared to the odds that I would get banned from that bookstore. So if you’re her, and you are reading this, don’t worry, I’m talking about a different woman in a different bookstore in the same neighborhood that I ordered the same book from on the first day of Spr— fuck.
The problem with being in a good mood is, it doesn’t take much to screw it up. That’s why in general I advise strongly against it. The literal model explained that they were out of The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex but that she could order it for me and it would arrive tomorrow, and I managed to get through the conversation and give her my information to enter into her special model computer that probably does weird secret model stuff that normal computers don’t do without looking at the floor and mumbling so quietly that she had to ask me everything twice. I did somehow manage to forget what I normally do with my arms when I’m standing still, but that’s to be expected. It won’t ever happen again, though, because this time I made a mental note to notice what I do with my arms the next time I’m talking to an ugly girl and remember. So look out, pretty girls, because the next time you have a 30-second conversation with this guy, you’re not even going to believe how natural his arm movements seem.
Anyway, remember that useful information I promised you at the beginning? Here it is. Obviously, I wanted to keep talking to this woman. Also obviously, I couldn’t think of a plausible reason to do so and just left. And because of this, I finally figured out the correct answer to the age-old question of whether beautiful women like jerks. The answer is that technically they don’t, but it comes to the same thing. And here’s why.
Now, the reason you always hear people say that beautiful women like jerks is because beautiful women keep ending up with jerks, so you can’t really blame people for concluding this. But in reality, concluding that beautiful women are especially attracted to jerks is like concluding that lightning is especially attracted to golfers. It’s true that golfers are the ones who always end up getting hit by lightning, but there’s no inherent quality golfers possess that causes this. Lightning is equally attracted to all human beings, because our bodies are all mostly water and lightning is attracted to water. And even though, all things considered, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be struck by lightning no matter where you are, being on a golf course makes it considerably more likely than being anywhere else. And golfers are exponentially more likely than non-golfers to be on a golf course.
In other words, in order for me to end up dating this woman, I would have had to keep talking to her. It’s unlikely that I would have ended up dating her even if I had kept talking to her, of course—but it’s impossible that I would have ended up dating her if I didn’t, and unlikely outranks impossible. Since I had no valid reason to keep talking to her other than that I found her attractive, I would have had to make up some phony bullshit reason to keep talking to her on the spot. And in order to be capable of doing that, I would have had to believe at least one of the following two things:
A) She is so stupid she’s not going to figure out that my reason for continuing to talk to her is a phony bullshit one, or
B) I am so awesome she’s not going to care that my reason for continuing to talk to her is a phony bullshit one.
And in order to believe either of those things, I would have to be a jerk. Remember, I’m not saying I would have to be a jerk to believe that anyone would be interested in me. I would have no trouble believing that a woman who’s read my poetry book or sat through one of my brilliant lectures on Frankenstein would want to date me. To be perfectly honest, I would think she was crazy if she didn’t. But here, we’re talking about a woman I talked to for half a minute and who knew absolutely nothing about me. And for that matter, I knew absolutely nothing about her. So in order for either of criteria A and B to be met, I would have to be walking around in a constant state of thinking either that all women are stupid or that all women find me awesome based on absolutely nothing. And walking around in a constant state of believing either of those things is the definition of a jerk.
So, in conclusion, this is why all jerks play golf. No wait, that’s not it. But hey, isn’t it weird how that’s also true?