In honor of the 9/11 anniversary, here is an old column of mine reflecting on the aftermath. There’s also some golden advice tidbits we should all review:
I’m a whiner. I’m a big baby. I exaggerate my own problems while I diminish the problems of others. Which makes me a lot like you. Usually, I enjoy making fun of myopic whiners like myself, but the events of last week (September 11) have taken the joy out of teasing romantically challenged cry-babies. I’m having trouble getting motivated by yet another letter complaining about the opposite sex. It’s a sign of how lucky we’ve been, how lacking in real problems, that we focus so much of our attention on dating. Maybe romantic love is the opiate of the masses – draining our energies and distracting us from more vital issues. I’m not suggesting the terrorist attacks could have been avoided if Dick and Jane spent less time thinking about getting laid or falling in love – I’m merely suggesting we spend too much time thinking about those things, and too little time thinking about what we each can contribute to the world.
Some relationship problems require considerable attention, like – ‘my girlfriend’s family hates me because I killed her cousin in a fencing duel.’ However, most issues can easily be resolved. In fact, the majority of letters I receive fall into four categories. Let’s address those now and, hopefully, we can move on to something more important, like a discussion about world peace, or enlightenment, or the proper lubrication for sex toys.
Category 1 – “Most men are losers and the good ones are already taken.”
Welcome to the animal kingdom, where mammals divide into alpha males, beta males, and gamma males. Humans like to think we’re better than animals, but we’re not (with the exception of driving cars, flying planes, and making milkshakes), and just like animals, humans have a limited number of alpha males. If it makes you feel any better, we also have a limited number of alpha females. One solution is to be like the lions (and tigers and bears) and have sex with an alpha male who is already having sex with other females. Or, you can lower your standards and date a beta boy, or a gamma guy. What they lack in DNA, they make up for with gratitude.
Category 2 – “I like somebody who doesn’t like me back, how do I get them to like me.”
If you fall into this group, go directly to therapy. Don’t try to figure out how to make the other person like you. Try to figure out why your self-esteem is so low that you don’t get involved with somebody who already likes you. If nobody likes you, then I’m sorry. Love is like musical chairs – it’s a cruel world and when the music stops, everybody doesn’t get a chair.
Category 3 – “I can’t find a woman because most women are hard-ass bitches?”
I think women are great and superior to men in many ways (or, at least, six ways). Three out of four women are very kind. If you think most women are hard-ass bitches, it’s probably because you’re attracted to hard-ass bitches, or you’re rude to women, or you’re a gamma guy who isn’t meant to re-produce. In my opinion, you can’t throw a rock in the air without hitting a decent woman who is probably not a hard-ass bitch. Which is a damn good reason not to throw rocks.
Category 4 – “The problem with men is that American culture hates women.”
I disagree; America loves women (except those guys who think most women are hard-ass bitches). First, America compares favorably to other countries (who shall remain nameless) where women are stoned for having jobs, or sex, or the urge to vote. Second, America gave birth to feminism. Third, women are major players in creating our culture – from Oprah to Madonna to Condoleeza Rice.
But that isn’t the real issue, is it? The real issue is that American culture is shallow (unlike other countries, where advertisers employ fat women in the marketing of cosmetics and beer). America’s fashion magazines are full of thin women with big boobs instead of ‘real’ women. Here’s a news flash – most of the people who control fashion are Europeans – so blame the French (or the Italians). However, America does prefer thin women and, usually, thin men. Sorry – like I said, everybody doesn’t get a chair.