For a long time I worried that I hated women. As I’ve re-read many of my posts on the subject, I’ve concluded that I never actually hated women, I just fear them. Why do I fear women? Because they have a power over me that I don’t give to men. However, this power that they have isn’t merit based, unless being born is difficult, hence the fear. Allow me to explain.
Except for maybe TC, I have never looked at a man, no matter how attractive he was, and on the basis of his looks alone, thought, “I would like to be his friend.” With men, I size them up. What have they accomplished? What is their personality like? What obstacles have they overcome? What are their goals? And on and on.
But with women there is this very difficult to describe feeling that comes over me based simply on their appearance. You might call it an erection. If a woman appears a certain way, all the criteria I normally apply–all my choosiness–goes right out the window. And for what? The possibility of breeding?
How does my refusal to compliment women fit in? Yesterday’s examples of my icebreaker line stylings evoked several responses that suggested or made mention of the use of compliments as a means to advance my endeavor to meet women. Well, ladies, I won’t use them. And here’s why.
First, Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” Likewise, I don’t care to be with a woman whose heart flutters at a stranger’s compliment. I can’t think of anything more difficult than discerning the truth of a compliment. As a rule, then, if a stranger pays me one, I fight off every instinct to ask for another, politely accept it, and then immediately discard it. You should too.
Second, one commentor in particular (my mom) offered that my style of “line” signals that I’m only after one thing [punany] and that’s why they are falling flat. Is that a joke? We’re saying that clever attempts to make a woman laugh indicate that I only want sex more so than telling a woman she’s beautiful? Than making an assertion that I can’t possibly know to be accurate? Please. It’s more like I expect women who find themselves among big people to acknowledge that men don’t approach women whom they can’t imagine sleeping with in some scenario or other–and then get over that fact.
Third, while the historical record may lead you to believe that I’ll sleep with any woman who wants to sleep with me, I don’t really care to sleep with a woman that is not first my friend. And I have high standards for friends, especially regarding their ability to laugh at life. So I test women, not compliment them. If I say something so ridiculous that I think they should fall over laughing at the entirety of the scene, and instead they think I’m serious, then there is no way in hell we’re going to get along in this lifetime.
Lastly, in defense of myself, I am shocked at the comments which seemed to imply I was earnestly giving advice to the ladies I approached. Seriously? After everything I shared you thought I was concerned with helping the women? Sorry, but no. I care about making people laugh, not about how people exercise. That’s my favorite part about gyms. All of us can be the disasters we are and it has no effect on any of our results. By way of example, compare the folks in a gym, even the staff, to, say, an aircraft and its flight crew. People in a gym can be utterly wrong and misaligned and it doesn’t affect me in the least. More reps. Less reps. Half reps. Forearm exercises. Tweaked shoulders. Recent surgeries. Shirt-matching shoes. Butt-hiding shirts. Headbands. Wristbands. Earbuds. Dr. Dre’s headphones. Cardio then Costco. None of that has anything to do with whether I get results. Whatever your preference, just do it.
Let it be known, women. I am afraid of you. I am a lot of thrust just waiting for a vector. Yet, I’m certain that with the wrong one of you at my side, I might not recognize the fast rising earth soon enough to avoid disaster. So I’m not going to make this easy on you. Want a compliment? Impress me. To begin, I’d lighten up.
One of the reasons I joined the mega-gym in town was to be more social and hopefully meet some new people. It has not gone well. I can’t quite put my finger on why not, but I think I am beginning to see a bit of a pattern.
First, and foremost, I am often motivated to talk to female members because I watch them talk to other men and everyone looks like they’re having fun. And especially of late, I’ve been more bold in striking up conversations with people that I’ve wanted to, regardless of my estimation at success. For your enjoyment today, I’d like to share three examples with you.
Before we get going though, I wonder how many of you have ever read Ben Franklin’s letter to a young man about a mistress? I doubt many of you have, so I’ll post the meat of it here for easy access. It’s well worth a read. I promise.
…then I repeat my former advice, that in all your amours you should prefer old women to young ones. You call this a paradox, and demand my reasons. They are these:
1. Because as they have more knowledge of the world and their minds are better stored with observations, their conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreeable.
2. Because when women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their influence over men, they supply the diminution of beauty by an augmentation of utility. They learn to do a 1000 services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old woman who is not a good woman.
3. Because there is no hazard of children, which irregularly produced may be attended with much inconvenience.
4. Because through more experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an intrigue to prevent suspicion. The commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the affair should happen to be known, considerate people might be rather inclined to excuse an old woman who would kindly take care of a young man, form his manners by her good counsels, and prevent his ruining his health and fortune among mercenary prostitutes.
5. Because in every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the fluids that fill the muscles appears first in the highest part: The face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are grey, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.
6. Because the sin is less. The debauching a virgin may be her ruin, and make her for life unhappy.
7. Because the compunction is less. The having made a young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflections; none of which can attend the making an old woman happy.
8thly and Lastly: They are so grateful!!
It’s difficult to write after reading something as great as that. Anyhow.
Still with me? Good. The point of including that advice is to say that there is this older woman at the gym. I noticed her straight away one morning and couldn’t help but think to myself that she had a very natural beauty to her, the kind that is possessed by women who don’t know they have it. One day I introduced myself and we had a brief chat. The following week, her daughter was with her. Besides receiving all the important genes from her mom, the daughter appeared to be equal parts college student and cross-fit games champion. As such, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the pair. Suddenly, however, I was struck by something funny. On this day, unlike all others, the mom was going balls-to-the-wall as they say. Her daughter was spotting her every set and it seemed like some real results were nearby. This was rather silly to me. Nonetheless, my brain filled with what I thought was a good enough line to use to open the door to conversation. So I went with it. I finished watching them double team a machine from the close by station I was at and then walked over and said, as if delivering a useful secret, “I don’t know if you two know this or not, but the gym kinda frowns on two people using one machine at the same time. Something about liability.” Only half way through the delivery did I notice the daughter had in her ears the smallest, most invisible of ear-buds, which left the mom to be the lone recipient of my charm. And despite outstanding delivery on my part, which concluded with my beautiful smile, she responded with, “What?” And like a fool, I repeated myself. It was hell. No laughs either time. I walked away tail tucked between my legs and later apologized. Oh well.
Next, I have seen the same employee lady nearly every day I go and sometimes she even smiles at me. I figure to myself that gym employees, like all employees, would always prefer a fun day to a boring day. Boy was I wrong. This particular day I see that she’s helping a lady who talks like the Champion of Everything but appears to struggle daily with at least one thing. In any case, I happen to notice my girl enter a one-handed battle with a weight rack for possession of a 45lb plate. Again, leading with a tip-giving countenance, I offer, “You’ll find it takes less than half the time if you use two hands next time.” Crickets. I might have broken the no running policy to escape that real-life example of awkward.
Lastly, I see a lady with whom I’ve nearly successfully delivered one of these singular conversation starters in the past. She’s on the lying down leg curl machine. It’s the only one in the building. I would like to use it. Trouble is, she’s doing some other fandangled exercise on it. However, the exercise she’s doing on it is so wrong, that it must be right. Or, put another way, she must be intending to do whatever she’s doing. As an ice breaker after which I’ll ask to work in with her, of course resetting the machine for her after every set of mine as gentlemen do, I say, “So when I’m not sure how to use a machine, I usually look at the diagrams posted on it. For instance, you’ll see pictures right here. And if I’m still not sure what to do, I-” She cuts me off, asking, “Are you serious?” I continue unphased, saying, “-I then move to the written description of the movement. And, like everything, read left-to-right, top-to-bottom.” Another “Are you serious?” later and I smile. Minor conversation starts and I determine that the only reason she was a willing participant is because she has very, very low self-esteem and figured such a demonstrably wise man as myself might add himself to the list of men who award her daily validation from here on out and that’s just not my game. Conversation over.
And there you have it. I know I’d be friends with a guy or girl bold enough to deliver these lines.
Lazily leaning against the kitchen counter, George routinely placed some kind of large green leaves into the pan on the stove as Pete unknowingly wrinkled his face in disgust.
“I think I told you that I finally joined that gym.”
“How is it?” George answered.
“It is quite the place. And it’s ridiculously cheap for what they have. They have a lap pool open twenty-four hours a day,” Pete said. “And a towel service! The last club I belonged to that had a towel service cost one hundred thirty dollars a month. This place is just forty.”
“That’s not too bad.”
“And, I might add, even at ten in the morning there were a lot of young fit women,” said Pete.
“Those places are meat lockers for sure.”
“On principal I have never picked up a woman at a gym, but I’ve also never seen such a high ratio before,” Pete continued. “It’s crazy. I’ve always hated the feeling I get that I might meet a women there. Luckily, I have my sights already set on this Cammie.”
“You’re wasting your time, Pete,” said George.
“I mean, this one blonde, there was no reason for her to walk right past my machine. No reason at all. But she did.”
“I’ve been trying to tell you, Pete, that women are more forward than you ever let yourself believe,” said George.
“No. No way. This one was gorgeous. She wasn’t checking me out. She came by because she was pissed I wasn’t ogling her,” said Pete.
“That’s beautiful women for you. And that’s why they hate the mustache.”
“What?” asked Pete.
George then elaborated, saying, “My mustache. Beautiful women can’t stand not getting the attention. And a mustache, different than a beard, demands so much attention, that women can’t stand them. I was with M- at the mall the other day. She was actually getting upset. She thought it was a fluke the first time, but a total of three random strangers complimented me. Nearly everyone else stared at me, not her, as we walked around. It was eating her alive. It was so funny.”
Men fall into one of two categories. There are those who-can-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively–and those who cannot. Those who-cannot-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively can be subdivided further into two groups: those who-cannot-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively because they are weak and those who-cannot-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively because they over-think it; whereas those who-can-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively remain united. Being fairly strong, Pete found himself in the category of unable-to-swing-a-sledge-hammer-effectively because of over-thinking it. Roughnecks nicknamed some variation of Thor seem to limit their thoughts about the task at hand to “object needs to be struck; strike object.” To his detriment, Pete, on the other hand, took a more studied approach. To him, the task included thoughts such as, “Is this really the only way to accomplish the task? How many people are watching? I hope they’re standing far away, because once I begin there is no telling how this will end.” And, “While I realize that I am supposed to be swinging this 12-pound piece of metal as hard as I possibly can at this other piece of metal, is it possible to unintentionally break anything? Follow-up: If so, will someone be mad at me for breaking it?”
There is another nuance of sledge-hammer use that rarely surfaces in white papers. Men like Pete have full awareness of what happens at that moment–the moment the back-swing ends and the forward-swing begins. Despite increasing his effective swinging average from .500 to .734 in seven months time, Pete couldn’t forget about the remaining .266 that was unpredictably divided between missing completely and striking the object in such a way as to cause his muscles to have to transition from “HIT THAT MOTHERFUCKER!” to “PROTECT THE MASTER!” in an instant. Lucky for his face and feet, an instant was plenty of time.
“Want a break?” one of them asked him.
It was night. It was always night. They were in the middle of rig move and in the process of hammering up one of the mud-line’s hammer unions. A hammer union is a particularly fiendish way of connecting two pieces of pipe–several inches in diameter themselves–which must not leak under pressure. A thick metal ring with three or four gear-type knobs protruding at even intervals, the hammer union (permanently affixed around the male end of the connection) is first twisted onto the female end’s threads by hand. Upon reaching the limitation of its human’s tool-less ability, a hammer is then lifted by a gloved hand and proceeds to strike the knobs in an effort to seamlessly seal the union.
“Na, I’m good,” he answered in the middle of his quick breather.
After a few more solid swings, the tone of the metal-on-metal contact lowered several octaves until the four men heard the deep sound of the hammer hitting the entire mud-line that signals the job is complete, rather than the high-pitched sound that informs all that more swings are necessary.
“Peter, I bet you one hundred dollars I can get one more full turn out of it,” Becki volunteered.
Breathing hard, Pete peered into Becki’s soul, saw innocence, and said, “Whatever man. There is no way. No way. That one is not moving anymore. It’s good.”
“If you think so, then bet me,” Becki rejoined.
“You bet me one hundred dollars that you can get a full turn on that union?” Pete asked, his winnings already spent.
“Okay. That’s a bet,” said Pete, offering his hand.
Glee filled the other two men’s eyes as they each claimed witness to the bet and excitedly awaited the outcome. But not as much glee as filled Becki’s eyes.
“That’s the wrong way Becki,” Pete said, shaking his head that even the fastest roughneck messes up righty-tighty lefty-loosey sometimes.
“Wrong way!” yelled an onlooker to the unceasing Becki.
The twinkle in Becki’s eyes could be seen for miles. It spoke so loud that he needn’t put his voice to use until the loosening turn was completed at which point he asserted, “Like I said, one full turn. Pay up.”
A very sad Pete put up one volley in a futile argument concerning unstated betting assumptions.
At the young age of twenty-two, Becki had waited a full tenth of his life to put to use one of the oldest oil-field bets on an unsuspecting worm. Suffice it to say, Becki got more than one hundred dollars. He made a friend.
The German word’s English meaning can be “nice one”, “beautiful”, “lovely”, even the simple, yet elegant, “good”. “Fish-hooker”, however, is nowhere on the Google Translate list of twenty-two words/concepts. Then again, he doesn’t go by Schoen these days. It’s too difficult to pronounce, he says.
I still prefer Schoen (pronounced “Shane”) though. You see, for me, Schoen was a senior in the fraternity that I was certain I’d never join. And Schoen ended up being my tag-team wrestling partner against a heavyweight Brent and lightweight Climer. Of course, while freshmen might be bold enough to challenge seniors, no senior would ever risk losing to a freshman, so despite the unpredictable nature of tag-team wrestling, I wrestled Climer and Schoen took on Brent. The match-up was more even than expected, Climer’s gangliness undoing much of my strength, and Brent’s weight putting to test much of Schoen’s.
The rectangular room had newer carpet, not plush, but fuller than the thin stuff commonly found in high traffic areas. Blue folding chairs lined the walls. The lighting was excellent. Anytime a wrestler’s energy or motivation began to fade his partner would tag in. Consequently, the other partner tagged in. My confidence in Schoen never faltered. One can imagine my surprise, then, as Brent managed (likely a surprise to himself) to maneuver Schoen into a nasty headlock. Wriggling like a python’s prey at first, Schoen quickly realized the futility of purposeless movement. Instead, he opted for a move that is illegal in every version of sanctioned combat across the globe: the fish hook.
For the ladies, the fish-hook is a tactic where one combatant curves his index finger into the shape of a “fish-hook” and places it into his enemies mouth. Obviously, this act alone would cause no advantage. What does cause an advantage is when this finger pulls against the cheek of the enemy. So picture the scene with me. Brent was standing a full head higher than Schoen, holding him in a head lock. They were spinning in circles. They were spinning in circles because Schoen, on his knees, was reaching up with one free hand and fish-hooking Brent’s right cheek. Eventually (moments like these do not last) I heard I tear. I guessed that Schoen had torn Brent’s cheek. Raising my guess to the level of certainty, Brent immediately tapped out, and as Schoen removed his finger, ran to the restroom.
Thick. The anticipation was thick. Breathing heavy, but relieved to be out of the headlock, Schoen lowered his chin towards his chest while he raised his eyebrows and stared at me. It was a knowing nod, a victor’s nod.
The restroom door handle’s jiggle announced Brent’s reappearance.
“Dude, I just vomited,” said Brent.
Apparently, Schoen’s finger had touched a nerve, so to speak. I know I was hooked.
(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)
“So, guess what I just got?”
“I don’t know. What?”
“Tailored shirts. They’re great. Gone are the yards of fabric that hide my svelte figure.”
“Yeah, I actually heard the radio talk about how women like men who wear tailored clothes the other day. Though, I have to say it seems out of character that you’d do something like that. Did you have them done at the store? When did you even go shopping?”
“Oh, I didn’t get them done. My friend was going to throw some away, so I said I’d take them.”
“So, they’re not tailored…to you?”
Instructions for How To Stay Single
Step 1 — CROSSFIT for life.
Step 2 — WALK through Costco like a kid in a candy store.
Step 3 — ABSTAIN from soap.
Step 4 — TELL everyone you know about Steps 1- 3.
“I heard that his face was blue.”
“I heard that he still had a faint pulse, so they tried CPR on him for a long time. It’s all about oxygen in the brain. Doesn’t matter if there’s a pulse if the brain’s been deprived of it for that long.”
Any teacher looking toward the boys during the passing period could tell by their enhanced self-awareness that none of them possessed tools capable of handling the news. As if bound by tacit consent, each of them did their part to keep the silence–the sadness–at bay.
“His parents were the first to see him in the tree early this morning. Can you imagine it?” the boy asked, almost forgetting to avoid silence. “Knowing that,” the boy stumbled to resume, “knowing that while you were sleeping in your bed, right outside your window your child was…” the boy couldn’t say it.
“I’ll tell you something. His brother, Josh, is probably the reason I began lifting weights,” another interrupted in an attempt to lighten the mood. Attentive and curious eyes rewarded his move. “Seriously. I remember in gym, in 7th or 8th grade, that a girl was in awe upon, at her request, seeing his flexed bicep. She had such a big smile.”
Their acceptance of a prolonged silence told him they were happy to hear more of this odd revelation.
“Yep. I remember going home and flexing. I was so ashamed. He wasn’t much stronger than me, but compared to the sphere sitting between his elbow and shoulder, mine was like a straw. In that moment, I knew what I had to do if I wanted a girl’s attention.”
They shook their heads in disbelief at his confession, so he continued.
“Of course, if we were to replay the situation today, he’d look puny. On that day the big difference between he and I was that he was flexing incorrectly, his arm bent all the way, while I was already using a more proper pose, arm bent at ninety degrees,” he modeled to an approving audience. Dropping his arm, he concluded, “But she didn’t know any of that. And without her, without that smile, I can’t say for sure that I would’ve ever picked up a weight.”
“Great story man,” one of them voiced, lighting laughter’s fuse.
“Give me a break! It’s just a memory I had,” he answered, smiling as they shuffled off to their classes.
Last summer an entrepreneur, friend, and sometimes blogger told me, “If you blog daily for six months, you should have 1000 followers at the end of those six months.” Well, it’s been more than seven months of daily posts on Captain’s Log, and I’m sitting at 199. As is the case with most facts, this amuses me. Just the same, seeing that I am a part of the human race, and therefore partial to round numbers, I’m excited to amass follower number 200. And I’m shameless when it comes to getting what I want. So here’s what I’m offering: the blogger who follows me as number 200 will get a free review of their blog. That’s right. I’ll take some time between now and Monday to peruse your blog and then I’ll write the review for Monday’s post. You can trust that I will be sure to say nice things as well as true things. If you’re on the fence, think of it this way: in return for a simple click of a mouse, you’ll get exposure to 199 readers who possibly aren’t aware of your stuff. Heck, I might not be aware you exist.
This is a one time offer, and it is sure to go fast. A little book called “The Magic of Thinking Big” mentions that “everyone you know craves praise”. Well, I’m offering praise in exchange for bliss. Whatdya say?
Schwartz, David Joseph. The Magic of Thinking Big. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1959. Print.
“Man, we knocked this lot out quick!” he thought to himself, looking up after the concluding push of the shovel. Turning towards his co-worker, Pete caught the tail end of his favorite human activity to witness: unexpected sharp pain–albeit temporary–caused by extreme focus on less important things. In other words, he just watched his buddy nearly knock himself out as he hit his head on a post that intense shoveling had hidden from sight.
As if physical touch could heal all wounds, Pete kept a constant hand on the man’s shoulder while laughing and asked, “Oh man. Are you okay? You really hit that thing hard.”
“Stop laughing man,” the third worker on the project admonished, shaking his head.
“It’s okay,” the injured man said, still not himself. “It’s not my head, but my cheek. My mouth was open and I bit my cheek really hard. Ahh!..shit,” he let out, trying to maintain his man card.
His fingertips still in contact with the wounded man, Pete nearly doubled over with a guffaw that revealed itself to be only the engine of a freight train carrying mankind’s most precious cargo–uncontrollable giggling.
“Jesus Pete!” the third man again chimed in, attempting to add some reasonableness to the situation.
“You don’t…giggle…understand,” Pete managed. “Watching that happen was like seeing a double rainbow. I can’t let social graces ruin this moment! Teehee. He almost knocked himself out and bit his cheek. Man…hahaha…I wish I could’ve seen him when his mouth opened. It was probably all the way. BwaHAAhahaha! Don’t tell me you’ve never noticed that when people bite their tongue or cheek their mouths open to the extreme. It’s like upon chomping down the body screams to the mouth, ‘OPEN!! Open, open, open! Disregard any other thoughts; just open to your widest. Now! And whatever you do, don’t bite down again until we can fully assess the damage.'”
After he had finished his defense, as one they asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
On this the 27th day of December, in the year 2013, I hereby challenge anyone worthy enough to accept. The object: spend money faster than me. That’s right. All you have to do is demonstrate to me that you can keep money in your possession for less time than me, and you win.
Think this sounds easy? Think again. I’ve been known to release dollars back into the wild faster than teens develop excuses.
Oh, and let’s not forget spending money before I even have it. Consider the upcoming tax refund? Yep, already spent.
So what do you say? Think you have what it takes?
I know some of you have the competitive spirit. If you’re worried about losing, don’t be. This is the only competition where the loser also wins. I know, I know. You’re nervous. Why? I’ve seen how you spend. You may be able to beat me. There’s only one way to find out.