Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Search of Swagger

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We feasted. We watched football. We fell asleep on our couches. And then the next day we reheated leftovers and did it all again. Tomorrow I'm headed back to Ozark to finish out the semester. Thankfully, I'm on the downhill slope of things, and these last few weeks shouldn't be near as stressful or crazy as the preceding ten weeks. But you never know these days. Joplin is due for another power outage, and that always adds a lot of fun to the mix.

Not a lot of people know this, but my blogging days did not begin with the creation of A Chicken in a Cage with a Ferret. For a while in high school, I had a blog called Less Than Heavy Thoughts From David. Each week, I would write a little single-paragraph post about some random idea that I had. It was my little way of trying to be clever, but it probably wasn't very good. However, I did get a lot more comments on it, which either means people liked it more, or my friends were more bored. Caitlyn actually found it last year and commented to me that I sound the same now as I did back then. It's a little sad that I apparently haven't gotten any smarter in five years. I was also a contributor for another blog, and I'm not for sure, but I think it was called The Relationship Experts (how misleading). Basically, three friends and myself would write about all we knew about girls, dating, and relationships. Understandably, it didn't last very long. Today, though, two of those guys are married, so I guess they at least knew what they were talking about. The other guy was a pretty free spirit and could be anywhere doing anything by now, sort of like Carmen SanDiego.

This post will follow the stream of The Relationship Experts in that I will use a lot of space showing how much I don't know. Because, as hard as it may be to believe, I've not had much luck with such things, if you haven't been able to gather that from all of my other self-depreciating posts. Last November I actually wrote a post all about it called "The Bystander Effect," which has been my most popular post by far. Go figure.

People have told me that my problem is that I need to be more confident. I guess I can see why they would think this because I probably don't show a lot of confidence when it comes to interacting with girls. (I mean, why do you need to show confidence when you already know you're the best thing ever?) In part, this is just my nature. But in part, I sit and watch guys who do seem to exhibit a lot of confidence, and I've decided that I don't want to be like that. There's a very fine line between being confident and being obnoxious, at least from where I sit. I see guys go up to girls they might not even know and immediately start getting to work. It's all especially noticeable the first month or so of school due to all the new students on campus. Anyways, a guy will goes up to a girl and starts talking about how great of a high school football player he was and throws in some comments about how nice the girl looks and a few "mean" remarks (you know, the silly remarks like "Dang girl, those are some goofy shoes" that kind of sound like an insult but are meant to show the girl how funny and clever the guy is). Then the guy will steal the girl's cell phone and secretly put in his own number under the name "David the Stud" and will tell the girl that she needs to text him every night, and right before he leaves, he mentions that he and a few people are going to some lake that weekend and that she should go, and she should bring as many of her attractive friends as she can. And through the whole thing, they're always so dang touchy, tapping the girl's shoulder so that she turns around when no one's there; placing a hand on the girl's knee "on accident"; making the girl feel his bicep since he's been going to P90X.

It all seems so ridiculous to me. I assume that few girls wish to talk to me, even fewer want my phone number, and none want me to lay a hand on them. So I see these "confident" guys, and I think, "Sheesh, what a chump. That girl has got to think that's the most annoying thing in the world." But then I'm shown how foolish I must be, because these guys end up getting the girl, and I continue to sit in my basement watching reruns of The Cosby Show. These guys take a fancy to a girl, and they have enough confidence in themselves to makes something happen. They totally ignore the David Heffren Paradigm of Pursuance (noticing a girl, maybe saying hi in the dining hall, facebook stalking for two months, asking "How are you?" on the way to class, facebook-poking a couple dozen times, and then finally chickening out. Crap, I just revealed all my secrets!). These guys act so fast, but yet so successfully! I honestly can't figure it out.

And so, even though confidence can seem so obnoxious, I guess it's something to be admired. Girls evidently like guys who are arrogant and kind of annoying. But whatever works, I guess. I've noticed a show, I think on MTV, where they take a few dweebs and try to make them ladiesmen by being trained by an recognized "player." Eventually they send these guys into a dance club, and they have to walk around and make use of their new skills. So they'll walk up to some girl and pull an act much like the one I described above by saying something like, "Wow, you look like someone I saw in a movie" or just "Hey, I know you right? From that party last week?" And sometimes they strike out, but sometimes it works well. I'm not sure if it's because of the loud music or the already-consumed alcohol, but the girl shows interest in the guy. MTV has nurtured within him a confident, go-get-'em attitude, and it pays off.

This week, I've been catching up on all the TV shows I like. One of those shows is Smallville. Being a fan of Smallville is probably the most girly thing I do, because it's on the CW, so it's full of all kinds of teenage-y drama. Everybody on the show is beautiful too; they never hire ugly or even average-looking actors. Each new season they bring in some new cast member, and I always think "Wow, look, it's another gorgeous 20-something with nice hair." Not a lot of diversity in that cast. But anyways, in this season of Smallville, Clark Kent realizes that he's in love with Lois Lane. He's talking about this with his friend Chloe, who tells him something like, "Clark, if you want something, you need to just go get it." So the next day Clark strolls into the Daily Planet, sees Lois, and walks right up to her and lays a big kiss on her! And she must have been okay with that, because she kisses him back, and within a couple episodes, they're a couple. And I think, "Man, if only I had the gumption of Clark Kent! How does he do it?" Of course, I'd also like to be able to pick up city buses and shoot fire out of my eyes.

But alas, I'm not Superman. Nor am I on an MTV reality show. I'm just a guy sitting on his bed playing with the rubberband he just found on his nightstand. And for now, I'll let others be the go-getters. After all, I don't want to use up too much energy until intramural volleyball season is over.

With all of that said, I leave you with a couple other thoughts about social situations. For the first, I make use of good old Donald Miller. I feel like I quote him somewhat frequently, and that may be happening even more in the near future, because I started reading his new book last night, and I also already have an idea for my next post, which will use some stuff from Blue Like Jazz. Anyways, he writes, "I can get tired when I talk to somebody new, because if there is silence in the conversation, I feel it's my fault." I feel like that even with people who aren't new. I'm really not much of a talker, and I feel really bad about that. It's not that I'm bored or anything, it's just that I don't really have a lot to say. That's why, if I were to gain some confidence and go on a date, I would be terrified. I wouldn't know what to do with it once I got it, much like a dog who chases a car. How am I supposed to keep another person entertained and interested through an entire dinner? I'll probably have nightmares even tonight thinking about such a horrifying dilemma.

Second, don't you hate it when you see someone who you kind of know but not very well, and they look at you and wave, and you think, "Oh wow, this person is glad to see me! I feel so honored! I wasn't even sure they would remember me!" So you raise your hand to wave back, but then you turn around and see that the person was actually waving at someone else behind you, and now you have your hand in the air like an idiot, so you sheepishly lower it and hope that no one saw you, even though you know they did. And it's always so embarrassing.

I think it's Christmas season. At least, The Santa Clause and Elf were on TV yesterday, so it must be. I really love Christmas season, and I love Christmas music, so that's what will be playing here for the next month. And remember, we here at A Chicken in a Cage with a Ferret are honored that you would choose to spend your holiday here with us.


Anonymous said...

You are so genuine. In my opinion the agreed "obnoxious player men" you discussed are far less interesting and worth the time then someone who is willing to be themselves even if that means being kind of quiet. You're wonderful the way you are Dave. I see no need for a change, maybe just the acceptance that you are great, whether you see it or not, someone does. :)

Big Jim said...

Crap.....I think you named off all the stupid things I do with girls when u wre listing the "obnoxious" dude....come on man