Tuesday, September 9, 2008
How to Date: Advice: Does It Have a Point? Do I?
I don't know if you've figured this out by now, but "How to Date" carries about as much actual dating advice as a taco. Really, it's just an opportunity to talk about my own hilarious and sometimes depressing dating hijinx and make fun of people. That way, we can all come together and laugh at our shared crappy experiences later in comments.
However, I do find it amusing to read actual "dating advice," particularly from the likes of Cosmopolitan. Where "real guys" use phrases like "my shaft exploding inside you." Is it a penis or is it a pipe bomb, Cosmo? Time to stop huffing the erotic massage oil perhaps?
Cosmo represents very important misconceptions about people of both sexes. Women are all hell-bent on marrying rich men with hairless chests and a dwarf planet in their pants. And men all talk like Fabio.
Cosmo columns offer advice on reading men, knowing what they like and might be thinking, and what everything they say and do means. That way, if something goes wrong, Cosmo readers are ready for it. Ready to hold on to that man for all it's worth because, if you lose that one, you may never love again. So sayeth the Mighty Fabio. Or what passes for the men on the pages of Cosmo.
One of the quotes I read yesterday in an article entitled "Why Guys Dump Girls They Dig," goes like this, "It was hard. I cared about her and didn't want to hurt her. But I knew that if I stuck around, she'd have been happier at first but miserable later on. After all, she deserved to be with someone who loved her as much as she loved me."
And then I laughed for 10 minutes. I imagined this guy sitting in his dark apartment, fist to mouth, thinking about what he had done to this woman. His chair turned so that he could look out at the skyline and remember the good times. Post break-up life in Cosmo is like a bad 80s music video. How can anyone take "advice" from a magazine so out of touch with reality.
But prepare yourself. I have more quotes.
"I can never do anything spontaneous with my girl because she won't leave the house unless she looks perfect. It takes longer for her to get ready for dinner than it does for us to actually go out and eat it. First she asks if I like her outfit. Next she asks how her makeup looks. Then she drops the fun-crusher on me: 'Do I look fat?' I get so aggravated. Don't ask for my opinion if you don't want it. By the time she's ready to leave, the evening is already ruined because I'm in such a pissed-off mood."
I suppose it goes without saying that Cosmo quotes are probably entirely fabricated. Probably by an editor who stays locked in a room with only other copies of Cosmopolitan for company. Or something. Because how else can you explain the generic-ness of the above quote?
When you study writing, one of the first things they teach you is to avoid cliche. And what is more cliche than a woman being all, "Do I look fat in this?"
And finally, this little piece of sex advice:
"Treat oral sex like a vitamin, and give it to him once a day." I don't know about other women, but I really don't have time for such things. You see, I have hobbies. And a job. And self-respect and stuff. I'm really not too much into the idea of being someone's pleasure receptacle, thank you very much.
So, let's talk about the reality that exists outside of Cosmopolitan's Unicorn Valley.
The message that Cosmo puts out there is "Try harder. Do it better. Stay interesting. Get a ring on a finger and a baby in your belly, or you'll shrivel up and no one will look at you ever again. You'll be shamed and sent away. The end."
My advice, in the end of this long and incredibly ramble-y post is this: avoid advice. I'm going to go recover from this aneurism that reading Cosmo gave me. Ta!