Friday, November 25, 2005

What I Have to Offer

The other night I had dinner with Jersey Shore Boy (my Ex). It was good to see him (he's having just as miserable a time being single as I am) and we talked about all his dates, my dates, what hasn't been working (clearly not much has). Anyway, he proposed an interesting theory about why I'm not getting anywhere with guys.

It turns out that when we were together, some of his friends couldn't understand why he was with me--basically because I never cooked or cleaned and my job situation is always sporadic (the actress life and all). This kind of floored me. "You mean your friends didn't want us to be together?" I asked.
"No, not that. They just couldn't understand it," he replied.
Uh, okay. At first this really upset me. Cooking and cleaning? Not my forte. And are not ever going to be (though I do make the best chocolate-chip cookies in the world). I just can't really ever see myself being a great housekeeper--I'd like to make enough to hire someone to take care of that stuff for me--and if that's what guys are looking for, well then, I'm totally screwed.

"So why were you with me?" I asked.
"You're smart, you're pretty, you're classy, you're fun. I liked that when we were out together, I was with one of the hottest girls there. You're good at talking to people at parties or business events, and you don't come off as an idiot, and you're equally at home at a dive bar and the opera," he replied.
It was clear that he had remembered that he needed to be nice, after saying something not-so-nice... "But who's looking for that, I mean, besides you?" I told him.
"I don't know--but not some regular joe. If you lost 10 pounds, you'd be a good trophy wife for a doctor or lawyer," he ventured.

Trophy wife? Um, I'm not entirely sure about that, but I do see what he's saying. Most of his friends (and Jersey Shore Boy himself) are just regular, middle-class guys, who want to have kids and a nice wife and a nice life (probably in the suburbs). And guys like that would obviously want someone who would be a good housekeeper--that would be a critical feature in choosing a mate. And that's not me. But, Jersey Shore Boy argued, there are men out there for whom housekeeping skills are of low importance. For someone who has a lot of work events, benefits and parties and such, he said I'd be a good catch--I'm attractive and intelligent, I'll wear the right thing, and you can leave me alone at the buffet table and I'll be able to take care of myself. This is where I shine (he used his company Christmas party as an example multiple times).

So, he concluded, I'm targeting the wrong guys. Now, I'm not sure my lack of housekeeping skills had anything to do with the disappearance of fellows in the past, but I get the point. Perhaps I do need to focus more on guys that are predisposed to appreciate what I have to offer--and for whom my utter lack of housekeeping skills won't be an issue. Don't really know how to go about that, but it's certainly something to consider...

24 Comments:

At 11/26/2005 2:25 AM, Blogger Damn It Anyway said...

Ok I may be drunk..but.....cooking and cleaning??? What is this the middle ages? Being a good cook is a bonus...that's it...just a bonus.

 
At 11/26/2005 5:46 AM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

Thanks for the link :-)

OK...I just have to ask you how your resisted stabbing him in the chest with a butterknife after he said, "I don't know--but not some regular joe. If you lost 10 pounds, you'd be a good trophy wife for a doctor or lawyer."
What the fuck was that entire conversation?

So, you're intelligent, charming, attractive, etc, and you can't/don't cook & clean, so in the "mate department" you're only qualified to be a "trophy wife?" (Oh, wait...But only after you lose 10 pounds.)

Can we send this guy somewhere to be exterminated?

 
At 11/26/2005 6:05 AM, Blogger FUNKYBROWNCHICK said...

WHAT?!?!?!! "...though I do make the best chocolate-chip cookies in the world.

Okay, suuuurrrely you've never tried a stoliemade Choc Chip Cookie. ;)

Now, about the boys ... maybe there is something to the whole "going after the wrong guy" stuff. I've often wondered if this is my problem as well.

My friend Bro claims that I date the same guy over and over, just in different clothing. She'll say: "Guy Z is just like Guy B, and he's just like Guy T."

She'll suggest that I date a particular guy and I'll say, "But, he's not my type." Her response? "Yeah, and look how well your type is working out for you."

It's something to think about ...

 
At 11/26/2005 6:33 AM, Blogger Vincent said...

Mmm, chocolate chip cookies...

 
At 11/26/2005 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well... dating a doctor never hurts:)... I find that some of the best guys I've dated are doctors and lawyers...highly educated is great! Plus they tend to be more cultured, higher class from good family

 
At 11/26/2005 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tell jersey boy you'll be making enough money to hire a maid & he could lose 10 pounds of beer belly....

 
At 11/26/2005 3:19 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Hi, just checking in from Thanksgiving.

Jersey Shore boy is right that you have a lot of offer. You are beautiful and beyond classy, but 10 pounds doesn't make a damn bit of difference to that. Plus, if you take off too much weight you'll look scary.

Daddy Bob, my father, has often told me that I would also make a good "Trophy Wife" because of the deb stuff, etc. It is true that I went to the right schools and was in the right sorority, but my goal has always been to avoid being someone's prize. It can also be taxing if think someone only values you because you come off well at parties.

Yes, those are important skills, especially if your partner is in a socially important position. But, that can't be the basis of your relationship. I think men are looking for a total package, a beautful, smart woman with her own passions and interests that she can discuss intelligently at social functions.

I think the best thing is to find a person who values you for being a whole person. Not just a pretty face and not just a maid. To me that is most important.

Plus, the party circuit can get old and those places don't give the best opportunities for real conversation and stimulation. Women sit away from men and talk about shopping. Men sit around and talk about work. Of course, that is a generalization. But, it can get old real fast.

But, I agree with Jersey Shore Boy that you need to date men that are your social and intellectual equals. That share the same kind of passion for their work that you have.

We must go to more law school socials and find other places to meet these kinds of men. They are what you are looking for.

 
At 11/26/2005 3:52 PM, Blogger Actorserf said...

The thing about trophy wives/girlfriends is that they're supposed to be seen and not really heard. From what I know of you (admittedly very little) it sounds like you're in a tough spot; pretty enough that most guys will just want to get with you for your looks but smart enough that they're going to be intimidated and lose interest because they can't just dictate terms to you.

This might sound creepy, and I swear I'm not suggesting anything because...well, that would be pretty creepy, but I'm looking for someone like you, as are most of my friends - though that could be partially because I try not to associate with superficial gits. My guess is that most other people with a more artistic side to them (chefs, musicians, actors, or even just a normal person with artistic hobbies) would also be looking for someone like you, because they're going to be more in touch with and secure in their own personalities, and will be looking for someone who complements rather than supplements them.

As Rilke says, "Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering and uniting with another person, it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person..." Now that's what I'm talking about.

 
At 11/26/2005 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jersey Shore boy thinks that you have all of these wonderful qualites, why don't you get back together? Surely it can't be because of his FRIENDS! Is he still in live with you?

 
At 11/26/2005 11:56 PM, Blogger the deal said...

This seems to be the issue that Maureen Dowd is after in her book. One of her points, from what I read in her NY Times magazine excerpt and listened to in interviews, is that men want to date their secretaries, not their bosses. I.E. powerful, independent, secure women are too intimidating to most men (I envision the Demi Moore character from Disclosure who raped Michael Douglas here.). However, I don't have that view, or at least not consciously. But, like actorserf seems to be saying, I'm in the minority. I went to a good school, got a master's degree and want to be "the king of the world" in an industry where power has to do with influence more than money. My buddies (in Jersey, coincendentally) who I play softball with, watch football with, and play fantasy sports with, didn't go to a prime school, didn't seek an advanced degree, and on the surface are in their jobs for the big paychecks they get, or are on track to get. Unfortunately, these guys are in abundance in good ole' NYC.

 
At 11/27/2005 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cook and I have a good job and I still have trouble with the boyfriend situation. Based on your desire to have guys pay for everything, you maybe would be better off with a lawyer/doctor type, but money only goes so far. I think what it comes down to is, the reason you've been struggling with dating is that all of us single girls in New York are struggling. All we can do is hope our luck turns around, right?

 
At 11/27/2005 1:32 AM, Blogger charming, but single said...

I think it is easy to say that you pick the wrong guys when you're not with anyone. But there are a myriad of things between "trophy wife" and "Suburban Housewife" and I'd say that the vast majority of women fall in between.

So, are we picking the wrong men or are the men all just wanting to fish from the extreme ends of the dating spectrum?

I have mixed too many metaphors. Must be bedtime.

 
At 11/27/2005 12:21 PM, Blogger Vespertine said...

Really...this guy is a total tool. I`m a lawyer, and make good money, and I can cook, and clean, and speak a couple languages, and I went to good schools, can dress well, considered attractive etc ad tedium ad nauseum. But I still struggle with dating. I`ve been told I`m "too independant" and "overqualified".

It seems to me that the problem isn`t with attractive, intelligent women, but rather with insecure, petulant men who don`t want a girlfriend or a wife so much as they want a substitute-mother or a stepford wife.

I realize that there are men out there who would rather date the boss than the secretary, but the majority of successful men seem to be leaning toward the latter. It`s disheartening.

In any case, just remember that it isn`t YOUR problem. And the line about losing 10lbs....jesus. I would have lobbed the nearest blunt object directly at his head.

 
At 11/27/2005 6:35 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

This is horribly depressing. I'm glad I'm not still out there--it sounds like it's getting worse and worse all the time.

BTW--if you broke up with this dork, I think his whole rap is just sour grapes.

 
At 11/27/2005 11:33 PM, Blogger -- said...

Poor Jersey Shore Boy. He's getting attacked here! He's a sweetie--he broke up with me, but we're still friends--clearly we shouldn't be together, I agree with you all there. The 10 lb comment didn't come out quite like that--I think what he meant to say is if I'm going to be trading on my looks alone, I'd have to lose a smidge of weight--and I would have to say I agree with him. But I don't plan on being a trophy wife anytime soon, so it's not like I'm running out to get diet pills or anything. Just wanting to defend him a little bit...

 
At 11/28/2005 5:01 AM, Blogger ThreeCharlie said...

You can't cook and clean?!? You might as well just throw in the towel and join a nunnery because no man would ever want to be with you.
I thought New York City was supposed to be the epicenter of culture and class and not the Hillbilly Riviera.

 
At 11/28/2005 10:04 AM, Blogger rockthefaces said...

I have to agree with just about everybody else here. Cooking and cleaning? I mean, I'm not bashing on Jersey Shore Boy for even mentioning it - hey, if what somebody wants out of a mate, or what his friends want, is someone who will cook and clean, that's their perogative. But nobody I know, not a single solitary guy, puts that at the top of his list...or on it at all, really. It's kind of staggering to hear, honestly. Maybe I just don't run in high-falutin' enough circles...

 
At 11/28/2005 1:11 PM, Blogger Kim said...

jersey shore boy is a shallow piece of crap. i can't believe he would, first, suggest that you would be a trophy wife, and secondly say that you need to lose 10 lbs in order to do that.
not to mention the fact that his friends are not the happiest bunch of ppl around.
you shouldn't go out with someone for what they do, but for who they are. he just doesn't get that.

 
At 11/28/2005 2:19 PM, Blogger sethro said...

Personally, I think that line of thinking is a load of crap. There is no right type or wrong type, unless we're talking about heroin addicts or mentally unstable serial killer types. Love transcends types, and if two people click in that way, you compromise on things like cooking and cleaning. That true connection with someone is far too rare to put any sort of rigidity like they don't cook or clean around it. I do not currently, nor have I ever, looked for a woman who could cook or clean. Just like most women don't look specifically for a man that can change the oil in their car, or fix the hot water heater when it breaks. Sheesh, that way of thinking is not only antiquated, its downright absurd.

 
At 11/28/2005 3:22 PM, Anonymous pen said...

Hey Kris! Maybe I should have this conversation with the X. one of these days. Here's my two cents, you're an amazing person as is. I'm glad you have the honesty with Jersey Boy that you do, because it leads to some insight, but I think all it does it make you realize more and more he isn't the type of guy you want/need/should be with. I can't tell you who I think you should date cause I have enough problems with that myself, but truly, just keep being yourself-that's all any of us can do. =) much love.

 
At 11/30/2005 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kristin...not really the place for this but have but perhaps you and your partners in crime (some of your date stories are just criminal!) could enlighten a gentleman as to what to get a woman who he has only been dating for ohh...about a week or so but predicts that the relationship will still be around for Christmas. The tale of the fool bringing flowers to a first date make me anxious to avoid the same horrible fate.

 
At 12/01/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger Kim said...

i would def not be too extravagent w/the gift since it's been only a week.... it really depends on the course of the rlnship. do you feel like things are going really well for both of you?
maybe instead of a gift, you can take her to dinner and a concert or the opera or something like that..
good luck!

 
At 12/04/2005 3:07 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

I realize I'm pretty late to the party here, but I thought I'd add a different perspective.

Suppose we have two salespeople, John and Jane. Both are excellent at their job. John uses his skill at sales to sell people what he thinks they ought to have. Jane uses her skill to sell people the product that most closely matches what they want, regardless of what is "best."

Who's the better salesperson here? Jane. By a lot. Why? Because John's customers always come back and complain that they didn't get what they wanted. No amount of explaining how they got a "better" product is going to change that.

Despite his poor delivery of the idea, JSB's basic idea is a good one. You can't sell ice to the Eskimos and expect them to be happy when they realize what they've got. Same thing here. It doesn't matter if "most" guys think cooking is required, or "nobody" thinks cooking is required. If the guys _you_ date want you to be Susie Homemaker, it's not going to work out.

That being said, it seems as though you (Kristin) are sort of between two major demographics. From what I can tell, you're burgeoning acting career leaves you financially spotty, indicating you may be looking for dependence on a SO. You're personality, on the other hand, seems to be looking for independence and equality in a relationship.

Finding a guy who can understand this isn't going to be easy, but JSB's point (that you need to be looking more specifically for these kinds of guys) seems like a valid one.

 
At 2/15/2006 5:03 PM, Anonymous resipsacrap said...

Perhaps the fact that eating out gets very expensive means the person who does not bring home the most money gets to do the cooking and cleaning? And that usually (unfortunately) happens to be the female gender in the relationship?

And hey, he was just saying it like it was/is... trophy wives do have to be ridiculously thin and hot and it makes sense - that's ALL they have to be.

 

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