Sunday, January 13, 2013

Possible Conversation with my little sister

Sister: Chad, why do boys only like mean girls?

Chad: Well, selfish girls tend to do a better job of fixing themselves up, because all they ever think about is themselves. Plus, their focus on their own worth does a decent sales job of making boys think they are something to fight for.

Sister: What? Um, but why do they like girls that are pretty on the outside and awful on the inside?

Chad: Tolstoy said, 'It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.' The boys want a girl who is exciting and very good. Some boys don't have things figured out that far, and those don't know what they want- and those are a pretty waste of time that you should avoid.
   In other words, the good catch boy is continually being deceived by good looks, which keep him walking a confusing path as he searches for the authentic amongst the counterfeits.

Sister: So you are saying all the good boys really want the good girls, but they just have trouble recognizing the real deal?

Chad: Yep. There is the real thing, and there is a fake version. The fake version can have many different forms. Once I saw a girl who seemed special even though I had never talked to her; another girl pointed out that the 'special' girl never wore less than a thousand dollars worth of fashionable clothes. The clothes provided a counterfeit excitement. Another girl I met was not very expressive, and it made her seem more beautiful. Sometimes qualities may be counterfeited: if a girl acts like she loves sports, it may seem great to the guy, but it may reflect that the girl doesn't know what it is like to "like" anything, so she finds little wrong with her utilitarian attitude towards sports.

Sister: How do I get the guys to see the real me?

Chad: You have to make sure you are dealing with a guy who actually wants to see reality, and then you have to figure out what is genuinely exciting between the two of you. If you can talk about things and understand each other in a way that is deep, that can be really exciting. If you have the ability to bring out the best in each other's hobbies or career that can be great. If you can enjoy hobbies together that can be great.
   Counterfeit excitement needs to be identified. If a couple helps fix broken confidence for each other, I expect that it is only a temporary blessing, so don't think of it as a match made in heaven. Physical attraction can be fake, fixing the 'bad boy' is fake, I-like-whatever-you-like relationships, and wordless stare-into-each-other's-eyes is fake.

Sister: Okay, I have to go...

Chad: One more thing- while you are trying to help the guys see things clearly, make sure you see things clearly yourself; make sure you aren't chasing a boy who is a counterfeit!

Sister: You talk too much.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I really really really wanna Ziga-zig Ah.

I apologize to anyone who finds themselves in the lowest levels of productivity, far below the strata of entertainment, underneath the layers of pretentious blather, in this, the place where I am going to tell you about things I have been thinking about. Surely, if someone loved you, they could prevent you from reading any further and tainting your mind. But if those who love you are too far away, and if your brain is driven by a self-destructive need to read more, then I hope you can make yourself comfortable.
   Michelle peers into the photoshop box like she is doing surgery. Her passion focuses and burns through her goals. The pictures fly into the internet and become immortal for a week, before they are drowned under the other pictures. The friends all like each other over and over with a cacophony like a silent high school cafeteria. There is so much meaning in a thing when lots of people say they have meaning. But those pictures have real meaning too. Max knows how to smile as if his whole soul were connected to the smiling muscles. Liam has a way of making me wish I had played with him an extra hour each day, even on the days when I play with him several hours. They both change so quickly, like the clocks with hands that spin fast in cheesy movies to portray time travel. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have those pictures.
   Michelle really has fun with the photography- I mean, she finds a lot of happiness there.
   Occasionally, Liam cries and throws himself down with frustration when things don't go the way he wants, and there we stand, repeating like a mantra, "Liam, what do you want? What do you want, Liam? Say, 'I want...'" It becomes a very difficult question to answer. Someday, he might suddenly stop pouting, turn to me, and say, "Gosh Dad. You ask that like it is such an easy question. Yes maybe I want a drink, but perhaps I want a juice, and I don't know how to ask for the particular kind of juice I want. Or what if I have a combination of unfulfilled needs, some of which may not be possible. Can I just go back to crying?"
   I like to try to dissect my wants. Do I really want to go to Bora Bora someday? Or do I just want the level of relaxation that I imagine when I look at pics of Bora Bora? What if I went there, and the relaxation wasn't there? Would I have missed my Bora Bora?
   When I was first looking at dentistry, I asked a dentist about the suicide rate, and he told me that some dentists only want to be great dentists. They get out of touch with other wants. It is fun to get really good at dental procedures and things, but when dentistry becomes your whole life, the meaning seeps out of it.
   I have some big debts. If I weren't careful, all I would want is to get out of debt. I am often tempted to  stop all spending, insist on beans and rice every meal, and try to get out of debt faster, even if it feels like holding my breath for 3 years. But I want more from life than just to work, get out of debt, buy a tv or two and then die.
   Again, as the philosopher asked, "What do you want, do you really really want?" We have to watch out for the natural- tendency- wants and make sure they aren't ladders on the wrong walls.
   Man, how do you end one of these things?