The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Nice Guy's Burden


I'm a nice guy, no apologies about it, but this is a cruel world for the nice guy. I try to keep this blog as free as possible of angsty musings, but I've been thinking a lot about this a lot lately and something had to give. I appreciate the indulgence.

Although it might sound like I'm talking about all the women I've dated, it's just the solid majority of them. The exceptions know who they are, and I'd like to say thank you for being exceptional.

On the almost laugh-free Comedy Central Show "Mind of Mencia" recently I saw something that stunned, but shouldn't have surprised, me. Carlos, the host, directed women to ask him questions that he would answer for all men. One women asked him, "Why are men jerks?", to which Carlos replied,"Because women only have sex with jerks!"
He continued by having the women clap who truly wanted to date a "nice guy", and just a few women clapped. He then asked just the women that clapped to clap again if a guy can be "too nice". Almost as many clapped.
"YOU STUPID WHORES!", he screamed, as is often his fashion. That statement in itself illustrates a huge difference in me and a lot of guys I know. I've never called a woman a whore unless she, in fact, has sex for money and I've called a lot more men bitches than women and I've never said it in anger to any woman, regardless of the ferocity of any argument.

I was lucky to have a strong female role model when I was growing up in my mother and her relationship with my dad was plenty contentious, but not abusive.

When I was growing up, I lived far far away from any kids so I was extremely socially retarded much later in life than most people, so I still quaintly hold on to the "Golden Rule" to treat people the way I want to be treated. I'm kind and honest with women I like because that's how I like to be treated.

Unfortunately, this have proven to make me a more effective girlfriend than boyfriend, with some women including me in on intimate conversations about their sexual past, as if I was "one 'o the gals."
"You know what Mark did in bed that I loved?"
"NO! And I don't want to! I've got a penis, we're not suppose to be privy to this intel!"

It was too late, I had been emasculated and placed in the "friend zone", never to return except as sounding board and crying shoulder to hear about how big as asshole the guy that managed to be smart enough to avoid this designation is.

The demonstration on "Mind of Mencia" started me thinking about the luck (mostly bad) I've had with women. I known and dated women that have had boyfriends that have gone above and beyond the usual lying, cheating and stealing. These women have been drugged, more than one beaten almost to death (including one woman that woke up in the midst of being buried in a shallow grave). Another found out that their boyfriend was getting underage girls to send him pornographic polaroids, and another's boyfriend called her so she could listen while he had sex with somebody else. I have more, but I need to move this along. Only in one case (and not the shallow grave one) was this kind of behavior a deal breaker.

I have been far from the perfect boyfriend, but I haven't lied, cheated, or stolen, to,on, or from my girlfriends. But through out my life I've been broke up with, basically, for being "too nice". "I would love to end up with a guy like you someday, but not today." Great, so after you get passed around like a frathouse bong, you mean. You'll forgive me if I'm not waiting around for that.

In my twenties the phenomena was more mysterious. I wouldn't throw around dangerous phrases like "I love you" or "wanna be my girlfriend?" but suddenly girls would stop calling when everything seemed to going great. Of course, I'm a lot older now so I know that (forgive me) she wasn't that into me, but at the time it seemed like someone called them in the middle of the night and told them to break up with me or else. But it wasn't all ignorance and paranoia.

In my mid-twenties I was at a party and found myself in a drunken make out session with a friend, as sometimes happens in your mid-twenties. She went to the bathroom and when she came back she wouldn't look me in the eyes, much less continue making out. Ok, I thought, this might be weird for her since we've been friends and we crossed a line, but it was still a bit puzzling that she wouldn't even talk to me.

A few weeks later she explained what had happened, a friend had stopped her coming out of the bathroom and warned her, "Don't hook up with Pete, he falls in love too easy!

What?! The "friend" that said this had never even met anyone I had even dated, much less been in love with, where could she have gotten this crazy idea? Who said what to who and why? Besides this helpful person was in a relationship where she'd never go home earlier than she was expected becase she didn't want to come home and find her boyfriend having sex with one of her two roommates again.

In my thirties, my sweet and patient nature (their words, not mine) was appreciated much more, but not without problems. I seem to give the women the feeling that they are going to marry me if they date me. I understand that a lot of men in their thirties think about starting families, but I don't do a single conscience thing to suggest that I'm even remotely ready for that step yet. But something creates that feeling in them regardless of my arguments to the contrary.

It has quite an ironic effect, women that I genuinely like run from it.
"I don't want to get married yet, I still have things I want to do!", they say.
"Neither do I, I don't recall asking you to. I just want to spend time together!" I'm paraphrasing, but I've had this conversation countless times with so many women, some I've known less than two weeks. The effect is quite the opposite with women in relationships where things were a bit, um, more casual or it's obvious, despite mutual attractions, that things wouldn't work out.
Her: "So, how badly do you want to have kids? I can't have them."
Me: "We just met 15 minutes ago." Really, that conversation happened to me once.

I got engaged once, when I was 18, and it was a mistake so big you could see it from space. This has made me very careful about approaching that mile stone again.
The mother of my children has to be someone I can stand for the rest of my life, and you can't figure that out until you get to really know someone and that takes time. Besides, what's the rush? I've just wanted the women I've been with to feel as beautiful and special as I sincerely believe they are (present tense because I still believe it for all of them).

But regardless, it's not something I want or feel like I need to change. Being a "nice guy" is not like jury duty, some loathsome activity that can be avoided. I am what I am and I can't change that any more than I can grow a luxurious head of hair , and just like my baldness I don't see it as a problem. It just makes me sad that so many wonderful, intelligent, and beautiful women can't deal with it when someone tells them so.

But if another woman says to me, "Pete, entertain me, my boyfriend's being lame," I'm charging admission.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds like my past ( somewhat )
i am 35 , divorced cause i gave it all i had for her , she lost respect .. blah blah blah .
you will be happy to know there is a happy medium, be enough of a jerk to get laid and nice enough to not run away first thing in the morning ! life is about balance .