Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Surviving Lonely, Series 1: “Beauty And The Bell Curve”

(In the Fabcasters’ Christmas Get-Together, several guests and I talked about how I, as a 42-year old man who’s never been in a formal relationship, deal with being single and being lonely. Teens would call that angst; for those approaching middle age, that juvenile term is better known as depression. Be it angst or depression, loneliness is something that you learn to deal with over time; you develop coping mechanisms so that every time loneliness strikes, you figure out a way to get over it as quickly and as painlessly as possible. And at my age, I’m an expert in dodging depression of more than 5 minutes. My methods may not be the most mature, but they keep me sane—for now. Someone suggested, “You should write a survival book about it.” The others chimed in: “Better yet, blog about it.”

Blame the following series on them.)

* * * * *

Beauty And The Bell Curve

I recently met a fellow blogger who’s also an avid viewer of The McVie Show, and afterwards he very graciously complimented me, saying I was “more beautiful in person” than in my pics. Muchas gracias amigo.

Before I’d be all bashful and embarrassed and would most likely disagree in a public display of humility. Nowadays I’ll take any compliment as it comes. Guys, didn’t I mention before that even though I seem so lucky at sex, 4 out of 5 times I actually get turned down or rejected? Well, my batting average for getting compliments on looks is much, much lower than my sex-ess rate. If I had the looks that will make heads turn, most likely there wouldn’t be The McVie Show; I’d be too busy giving and getting good head.


Be that as it may.

It is a form of survival mechanism, this hoping that you’re cuter, hotter and more handsome-looking than you really are. It is also rightfully called delusional when one starts to believe in one’s own mental hype. It’s a very tricky balance: you’d want to think positive and boost your self-esteem and ego, and yet you don’t want to go overboard and self-inflate yourself to the size of a zeppelin—look what famously happened to the Hindenburg.

Most of us fall within the middle of the Bell Curve of Hotness—there will always be people more beautiful than us as well as people who are more ugly (let’s not mince words here) than us. Theoretically it sounds great—we win some, we lose some. But life isn’t always fair, and things become trickier when you’re placed in situations with a group of people where the Bell Curve of Hotness swings you towards the shallower end of the gene pool. Clang! Ouch. We win a few, we lose a lot.

So what do I do in that situation? In classic survival mode, it’s either fight-or-flight. I don’t fight it because I’m sure I’ll end up losing and feeling much worse from the start. Instead I take flight. I stay away from the action—all that preening, flirting and jostling for position. I busy myself with other folks, or preoccupy myself with several tasks. In staying away from it I hope to eventually rise above it.

Does it work? Most of the time it does, and a side benefit is that I get to bond more with the other people. But it only works if I keep away from the action. The moment I see something, or hear something, or is informed by someone that so-and-so did blankety-blank with you-know-who, then the carefully constructed Wall of Invulnerability comes crashing down, easily.

Guys, there are times when, truly, ignorance is bliss.


Mugen said...

Woot!! Beri impormatib!! Hehehe.

If I feel that the target is more superior to me, I'd take flight or put myself down so I won't be able to put up a fight.

In most cases, I'd rather put up a defense rather than let someone scratch my pride. If I like somebody, who likes me back - I'd still let him call the first shots.

If the coast is already clear, and the target, already reloading his ammunition, there and then I'd show up, brandishing all the weapons of love or lust that I got.

~Carrie~ said...

I like this entry. :) Thanks for sharing it.

mraunch said...

isn't there a john nash theory on this?

in my wilder days, i had this mental fight mode that i used a lot. in my mind, i made everyone just physical beings and didnt think about who they were--the judgement was simply: would he be a hot lay or not, no thoughts on his personality--so that if rejection comes along, then i could easily move on to other hunts.

joelmcvie said...

@MRAUNCH: Your mental fight mode actually works well for the bathhouse and other for-sex-only hunts. But in the more social settings (versus the purely sexual ones), then personality and more come into play.

mraunch said...

in social settings, i think the best thing to do is just accept that you'll lose so all the tension is gone and then, go for the jostling part.

the tension kicks in lang naman when there are expectations. then again, the danger is when you do lose the attraction and tension and itsuddenly becoes available to you--would you still have something that you no longer want?