I’ve found that making up systems is pretty easy. It must be one of those human impulses, to find a sense of logic in everything. Of course none of it is true. I don’t really buy into many systems of thought used to explain human emotions. For example, maybe you’ve heard of psychological term “displacement,” which is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind redirects affects from an object felt to be dangerous or unacceptable to an object felt to be safe or acceptable. So, when your Mom loses her job she comes home and beats your Dad. OK, I guess we can use a term to describe that emotional reaction- but I’m always a little wary of these things. The same goes for dream interpretation. Yes, I think dreams can tell you things, but sometimes people can be too quick to apply a simple system of logic to the infinitely more complicated processes of the psyche.
Having said that, here’s a system I’ve developed (in about 4 minutes) to describe the intricacies of love (feel free to comment on the variety of flaws and over all under-development in the comments). I’m calling it the F.A.I.L-S.A.F.E system of romantic development. Let me explain:
The system is divided into two parts. The first, F.A.I.L., outlines what I imagine to be the ideal person to start a relationship with and then explains why this person cannot exist. The second, S.A.F.E, offers a more realistic set of qualities to pursue in the opposite (or same) sex.
Part One: F.A.I.L.
Aside from genitalia, sensitivity and strength, one of the main differences between the genders is our senses of humor. Sticking with the most banal stereotypes guys laugh at things like Jackass and Borat, and girls laugh at things like romantic comedies. We are all familiar with the girls who are able to infiltrate groups of guys. The reason for this is that these girls can usually laugh at jokes that guys tell. They are fine with cursing, don’t get offended by scatological humor, and enjoy getting belligerently drunk too. Likewise, when you find one guy hanging with a bunch of girls it is usually because of the hilariously gay perspective that he offers (Please remember I am using the most banal stereotypes here). When it comes to love and relationships you are going to want someone who you can joke with comfortably, and these people can be hard to find. You want to be able to laugh with your significant other and that won’t happen if your senses of humor are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
The second criteria for the ideal partner is probably the most obvious. They should be attractive. Maybe you can already detect the problem with the “ideal partner.” Finding someone who is funny, but not funny looking can be tough. Funny people tend to be self-deprecating; many times they criticize their own appearances. Sure hilarity can make you more attractive (for example, Larry David has had sex), but usually the most beautiful people are a little rough in the joke area. Probably because their faces and mouths are too busy being perfect. At most fashion shows the models will walk down the runways in silence. Rarely, do they ever stop on the catwalk to tell a knock-knock joke. It just wouldn’t make sense.
My third criteria for the ideal partner is intelligence, and I mean like genius intelligence here. Again having brains is a quality that seems to butt heads with attractiveness, and maybe even hilarity to an extent. Think of the nerds. They are so, so smart! The great inventors, philosophers and scientists of the past have all been nerds, and most of them have looked pretty weird. Intelligence can be pretty funny, but it’s a more elevated type of humor- it’s a humor based on puns, wit and clever references. It’s the kind of humor that starts to get on people’s nerves and doesn’t really work in social situations with new people. Kurt Vonnegut, pictured below looking awesome, is very smart and pretty funny, but it’s not really a ha-ha, yuck-yuck humor. It’s more like, I’ll laugh because I’d rather do that than shoot myself.
The final quality of the ideal partner is loyalty. Let’s imagine that you have found a hilarious, drop-dead gorgeous genius. This person probably doesn’t exist, and if they did, let’s be honest, they probably won’t go out with you for very long, if at all. If you are very funny, very good-looking, and very smart the sky is the limit. It is very difficult to pin these people down. Sometimes what will happen is you will be with a person who is not very attractive or not very funny or not very intelligent, but then he/she will become one of those things and he/she will ditch you in order to upgrade. I want to give an example here, but unfortunately I can’t because I can’t think of anyone who I consider funny, attractive and intelligent (and I pretty much mean genius) at the same time.
OK, so, this is a picture of Tina Fey and her husband who she has not divorced.
So, let’s review. First for the guys:
Funny: Zach Galifianakis is very funny, but he is not traditionally attractive.
Attractive: Brad Pitt is very attractive, but Jennifer Aniston would probably consider him disloyal.
Intelligence: Stephen Hawkings is a genius, but he is not very funny (poor delivery).
Loyalty: Michael Scott is very loyal, but he is also a fool.
For the girl’s:
Funny: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is funny (and attractive!), but she isn’t a genius (but she is smart I’m sure. This system is flawed).
Attractive: Megan Fox is attractive, but she is probably not very loyal (I assume?).
Intelligence: Virginia Woolf is acclaimed as a genius, but she was not the best looking (also, a lesbian).
Loyalty: Marge Simpson is very loyal, but she is not very funny (same with Lois Griffin).
The obvious solution is to drop out the genius qualification, because who really cares? Or at least lower the requirement from genius to standard smarts. But, remember I am talking about the IDEAL person, the DREAM partner. The whole point is that people like this don’t exist. If you are looking for a F.A.I.L person, you are bound to fail.
Can you think of anyone who fits all four criteria? If so, can I meet her?
Tune-in to my next post to read about my more realistic alternative system, S.A.F.E.