John The Baptist In The Pit Stop

There are four modes or levels of not getting the person you want. First, unattainability pure and simple. Second, she is unattainable but wants to be your “friend” and tell you all about her love-life every week. Third, add that she somehow manages to arrange things so that you always seem to come upon her in bed with her lover. Fourth, the woman you love sleeps with everybody except you. Perhaps you learn of this from the boasting of the other men, or perhaps she tells you straight, since after all you are her “friend”.

You will know iron in the soul also when she gives herself to some psychotic asshole and then comes to cry on your shoulder after it all goes pear-shaped. For it is then you discover that she appreciates your kindness primarily as an aid to enduring his abuse. It is a motor-race, and you are the pit-stop. This is merely rational behaviour on her part. Why on earth should she settle for the kind man if she can have attractive men to race with and the kind man to change her tyres and put her back on the course?

Once again, I write from the perspective of the male Ugly. If unattractive women wish to tell me that it works the same the other way round, I shall not faint with astonishment. We are, after all, dealing with the same species and the same laws of sexual and emotional economics, namely buy cheap and sell dear.

In the real world people pair off with the best they can get. Precisely who is “the best they can get” is easily ascertained by the intersection of acceptance and rejection, in a manner very similar to the price graph in microeconomics. Basically you start at the top and lower your price until you find a buyer, then stop. In economic theory, the transaction now occurs, and is generally irrevocable. The mating game, however, is less stable. This is of course partly because no mating choice is irrevocable, but partly because each successful mating is a price signal that you may in fact have undersold yourself. Particularly in men, each success increases their worth, as success in seduction automatically and inevitably makes them more dominant and self-confident. That is, if you can get someone, then you should have been after bigger game all along. It is probably this “up-or-out” mechanism that drives the seduction-rejection syndrome, rather than the alleged Madonna-whore complex as usually cited. For women often do this too: success in landing a given man just makes them feel capable of landing a better one. In both sexes this is an especial danger facing anybody who successfully raises the self-esteem of a partner; his reward will always be getting dumped, because he has made her feel that she should – and now can – find someone better.

The fatal problem with this algorithm is that it has no halting state; anyone following it cannot settle for or with anyone, because every conquest is always a signal that he or she is pitching one level too high or low. Some people never discover the flaw until they are too old to get anyone at all, whereupon they naturally blame the opposite sex as a whole.

One of the unique joys of the Ugly is, therefore, the “John the Baptist Syndrome”. This is when you are an emotional repair shop for a damaged woman, a voice comforting in the desert, crying “Make straight the way” – that is, the way of the handsome man who is certain to turn up just as you had made her ready to face the world again. Your reward is to be told that you are the unique One with whom she will not sleep, because you’re “too special”.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 11:58 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Love Among The Uglies

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