• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Chill factor

    Today, Alice’s teatray offers this slice of very good seedcake:

    I’ve finally figured out what I want to say about Maureen Dowd’s argument about most men only marrying women who are younger/ poorer/ dumber than themselves: (a) what else is new, and (b) why would anybody want to marry “most men” unless they are distinctly average themselves and therefore perfectly happy with the status quo anyway?

    It isn’t easy to find a fantastic life-partner. The best things in life are not supposed to come free, you have to work at them. But not necessarily in the way you might expect: attending hundreds of singles-meets might be part of the job, but more important than that is living your life as well as you can, reaching out to other human beings in an attempt to contribute to the world on a personal as well as professional level, and stretching your own preconceptions and seeking out life’s challenges rather than shrinking from change.

    It’s a real head-scratcher when people who aren’t looking for ways to be thoughtful and interesting wonder where all the thoughtful and interesting people are. Why would they be hanging out around you? one wants to ask.

    I think Dowd may have some other problems, though.

    She was on Larry King this morning; somehow, I don’t think I’d ever seen her live. Well, the show was taped, but I mean, I knew what she looked like from her photograph, but I didn’t remember her voice and mannerisms.

    Oh, my.

    I suppose I should have expected this–in fact, once I saw her, it all made sense. Maureen Dowd is a major tease. It was so obvious I giggled into my apple streudel. She flipped her hair. She simpered. She did that thing where girls cast their eyes downward momentarily and then–with their heads still tilted slightly, intimately forward–glare liquidly up at you from under arched brows and thick lashes. Her mouth worked itself into a sassy-petulant moue so frequently you could have made a drinking game out of it. I didn’t see her move her upper arms forward surreptitiously to squeeze her boobs together, but every other arrow in the flirty-girl quiver was there.

    Now, personally, I say: Work it, baby. But if you’re going to work it, at least in that fashion, there’s something important you need to do. You have to integrate your intellectual jousting with your girliness (or maybe some women find a way to divide them firmly) so they don’t seem schizo. Otherwise, you’re sending potential mates a subliminal message that you don’t know what you want and aren’t quite together. Not knowing Dowd, I wonder whether she does in person what she does in her writing, which is to careen, seemingly uncontrollably, between analytical chilliness and giddy sassiness. It’s the uncontrollable part that gives off “STAY AWAY!” vibes. In a culture in which couples make lives in their own little households, without the constant presence of the larger clan to bring things back to equilibrium when tensions arise, you’d have to be nuts to choose a spouse who promises to be an emotional pig in a poke.

    2 Responses to “Chill factor”

    1. Alice says:

      Stay away vibes to sane people, yes. Cranks and nutters on the other hand are very attracted to the deranged and contradictory. From what I’ve read, Dowd has no trouble getting men interested, it’s just that Mr Right is nowhere to be seen. Mind you, half the skill of this is spotting Mr Right when he does turn up.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Or allowing things to develop in their own time, to the point that you can find out.

    Leave a Reply