My relationship with women, as a whole, is rather unique, at least in some ways. I am attracted to women in a basic heterosexual way, at least to the standard form of the average type female body. I don’t think there is anything particularly unusual in that. I am attracted to the female psyche in the usual way, perhaps more so than some men. I say so because I like the company of women and their usual agenda of interests, and there is at least one subset of men who seem to be hostile to general feminine topics.
For example, in the eighties, I often watched soap operas. All My Children, General Hospital, Santa Barbara. The latter was a short lived but very intense soap that had the girl from Princess Bride as a lead character. I spent several years writing romance novels. In contrast, I don’t care much for sports, cars, hunting or most things masculine. A standard conversation with a basic male peer, I find incredibly dull.
Where I begin to really diverge, however, is that I go out of my way to not attract women. Because I am, more than usual, attractive to women. Not in a superficial way, mind you, for I am probably only somewhat more attractive, physically, than the average man, depending on any given woman’s taste in men. I am typically not physically unattractive to a typical woman.
The real difference between me and my brethren lies on a more spiritual plane. I am a highly intelligent, sensitive, expressive man, if you will excuse the immodesty. I have read nearly every great book ever written, including an inordinate amount of poetry, drama, philosophy and literature. My education in psychology is well beyond a simple PhD. I can listen to and fully comprehend the trials and tribulations of almost any human being. Compared to most men, in the eyes of most women, this alone makes me rather attractive as a partner.
I should point out that I’m not talking about the kind of attractive that makes women swoon in anticipation of a good shag. I can hold my own in that arena, but I’m far from buff, ripped and definitely not dreamy. I’m talking about hooking up seriously, a companion, a partner, a boyfriend, a mate, a husband.
Throw into the mix the fact that I have superior talents in math, science and rhetoric. I’m a physicist, engineer and lawyer. I can make money at any level I desire. I’m also an excellent singer and a passable guitarist. I’m a maverick, playing entirely by my own rules.
I’m not trying to brag. Although I love the ladies, in theory, I consider all of this to be a burden, a major pain in my ass. I can hardly speak to a woman without causing a stir in her mind and heart. I disrupt their circuits. I cause meltdowns. Women will try to grab hold of me and refuse to let me go. As much as I like women, I bring out the worst in them.
So I keep them at a distance, always, instinctively. With rare exceptions, I keep every woman at arms length. I deliberately cripple myself, to reduce the impact. I only make as much money as I absolutely need. I don’t go out in public. I emphasize my non-comformity. I spend a great deal of effort trying to unattract women. It is my destiny.
My wife is a very special woman, because her intense practicality keeps her from swooning over my powers. I am able to truly love her because she doesn’t put any value on merely esoteric abilities. She loves me for who I am, not for what I can do for her.
Anyway, all of this is merely a setup for the scene I want to explore. At the turn of the millennium, I moved to Dallas to join one of the minor biglaw firms in the city. The experience was strange because I, a devoted underachiever, now made my living amongst a pack of overachievers. I was trying to downplay myself and they were, as a whole, trying to laud themselves. It was an eye-opening experience. I’m glad it’s over.
One of the strangest aspects for me was the sexist nature of the firm. I had come from Washington DC, where every word is measured, every secret is hidden and political correctness is not just an idea, but a key part of daily living. No one ever said anything offensive without expecting consequences. Texas biglaw proved to be different. Once the door closed and only men remained, the conversation became crude and lewd, exploring and dissecting the sexual beauty of every woman who came into view, particularly the lady lawyers within the firm. No holds barred. Even the most simple, docile and kind men would participate in the catcalls and nudge-nudge-wink-winks. I was aghast. I was truly shocked.
So, one summer, we hired a summer associate who was a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, a four-star member of that special breed of completely sexualized women. She was seated in the office next to mine, for no particular reason.
Because of my attitude toward women, I naturally kept my distance. Because I understood the travails of being attractive, I stayed even further away. I knew she didn’t need my attention, any more than I needed hers.
All through the summer months, from the very start of the day to the very last hour, there was a parade of male lawyers stopping by her office, to see if she needed anything, to offer their help, wisdom, guidance, appreciation. She was polite to them all, from what I heard, but continually exasperated. Here she was, trying to get a job in a relatively presitgious law firm, and there was never a moment when she wasn’t treated like meat. There was no time for her to work, no opportunity to showcase her non-titted skills. The men dogged her like a bitch in heat.
Of course, she was engaged to some ultra-powerful man who only made rare appearances at the mandatory social functions she was required to attend. His existence didn’t slow down the stream of testosterone that occupied her days for an instant. They slobbered and fawned. She cringed and smiled.
By the end of the summer, assigned to her golf team at the drunken escapade of a firm golf game, I spent enough time with her to express my pity. She shook her head. It was her destiny. Her lot in life. We compared notes and went our separate ways, encouraged by the fact that we were not alone in our troubles.
Being too attractive is a curse.