In my tween years, which was before the term “tween” had massacred our glorious English language, I read a book by one of my favorite authors, Gary Paulson. It was entitled The Boy Who Owned The School, and it detailed the life of teenager Jacob Freisten as he simpered and wussed his way through the halls of his high school. The only remarkable thing about this boy was his complete unremarkability. Not only was he not smart, good-looking, athletic, or possessing of a great personality, he didn’t even desire any of those attributes. He slid through the school unnoticed by anyone, particularly by his secret crush: Maria Tresser.
Maria was that girl everyone knew in school: beautiful, smart, good at everything, pursued by everyone, and topped off with a wonderful personality. She wasn’t just out of Jacob’s league, she was out of his species. He doesn’t even attempt to pursue her.
Through a series of events usually brought on by Jacob’s many failures, Maria finds out the boy is obsessed with her, and agrees to date him. She does this despite Jacob’s total lack of any redeeming qualities, because in her words, he’s a “winner.” While Jacob is not a bad person in any way, the story grinds my gears.
This is a storyline I see repeated in popular culture; Girl has or is pursued by a successful dude, but she ends up with an awkward guy with no skills or masculine traits, just because he desires her. He’s cute, but not the kind of cute associated with Brad Pitt or Charles Bronson. It’s the “cute” associated with puppies, kittens, or bunnies.
I call this “Baby Bunny Syndrome.”
It happens when a girl looks at a guy and says to herself, “Awwww…” like she’s looking at a baby bunny. This type of guy portrayed in pop culture is essentially useless, non-threatening, and soft. Seems harsh, doesn’t it? Consider the “hero” of the following movies;
“She’s Out Of Your League”
“Win A Date With Tad Hamilton”
“Take Me Home Tonight”
“Scott Pilgrim Vs The World”
“Any Movie That Has Topher Grace In The Cast”
A desirable girl throws away a chance with a successful businessman, actor, or in one case, a freaking fighter pilot, just to end up with a boy whose only positive trait is that he has a crush on the girl. The assumption is that all successful men are knuckle-dragging Philistines around women.
At least in “Revenge of the Nerds” they were geniuses.
I see real life examples of this in today’s young males. They realize that men in the past have sometimes done evil to women, but they resolve to fix this my chopping off their own wedding tackle. They make themselves as emasculated as possible, and void their lives of evil things like ambition, self-respect, and strength. They mope around, asking why girls don’t like them, but never do anything to better their chances. You know, the guys who think they can get a woman to like them by making her feel sorry for them.
“Somehow, she’ll see SOMETHING in me, she’ll see through the awkwardness and notice something different about me as I spend my life watching her in silence.”
I got news for you, Awkward Man; you have nothing to offer her. When given the choice between two guys, all other things being equal, a woman of average intelligence will choose the man who has confidence and success. She would be smart if she did, not judgmental or shallow. The other guy will either be stuck in the friend zone as a pet of sorts, or end up with a woman attracted to guys she feels sorry for. That kind of woman is just as much bad news as the guy.
My wife and I have spent the past ten years of our marriage watching the show “Friends.” While the previously mentioned movies portray the relationships as ideal and ending happily, “Friends” shows you the logical conclusion.
-Successful eye doctor
-Generous and kind
-Respected by everyone
-Tom Freaking Selleck
-Didn’t want kids, though this changes
-Cute like a bunny (He literally puts on a bunny suit in one episode)
-Hates his crummy job
-Lacks self respect
-Terrified of commitment
-Never on Magnum P.I.
In the end, Monica chooses Chandler to marry. I get it. She couldn’t end up with Richard because he’s perfect, and perfect relationships make for bad TV. The viewer is then able to see what happens when a woman chooses a Chandler over a Richard. She bosses him around, constantly disrespects him, and is even lightly (but consistently) mocked by her own friends for choosing him. Why would she respect him, when she seemed to pick him so that she wouldn’t have to? What we are left with is a slightly funnier version of Jon and Kate Gosselin.
Now, do you have to be successful and rich to be worthy of a good woman? Obviously not. However, each man has to ask himself what it is that he has to offer the woman of his dreams? She can’t read your mind and see how awesome you are, especially if all you do is mope around and make Facebook posts about how sad you are. Give her something to admire!
Here’s the takeaway. A man who seeks to be in a relationship with the woman of his dreams should work to be the kind of man she can be in awe of, not say “Awwww…” to. I personally strive to be Tom Selleck in all ways.