Friday, March 16, 2007

Musings on the Muse

Yesterday, I practiced yoga next to a new friend-- an extremely muscular and heavily-tattooed young man. Henceforth, I will call him Timor, due to his on-going work in a this part of the world. Timor just returned from working for a year in East Timor. He's now back in town to finish up his Master's degree this spring before he will return to build more community centers in the region in order to give the kids there some better things to do than literally slaughter each other. As far as One Miss Namaste is concerned, Timor is already a very interesting person.

For months prior to his arrival back in town, a mutual friend of ours kept chatting him up to me. "He's complex. He's one big muscle with an even bigger heart," she said. She assured me that I was going to fall madly for his brains and exceptionally ripped physique. On the flip side of this, she privately assured him that he was going to fall madly in love with me, and I was going to to be the girl to break his heart. An interesting way to be set up, if you ask me. Clearly, it is far too premature to say that any of these predictions are worth much more than putting us together to hang out. However, I will say that it was very much in his favor to attend a yoga class with me yesterday. There is something extremely compelling about a muscle-bound, machete-carrying, 4th world globe trotter who voluntarily falls into child's pose on the mat beside me, and actually looks comfortable doing it...

Normally, I would wait before writing about someone I just met. In fact, I would normally go through several rounds of analysis before rendering a person uninteresting to write about in the first place. While all people are complicated and capable of wonderful surprises, I usually find that most people, in a very archetypal sort of way, tend to operate on a few basic frequencies without a whole lot of variation. This is especially true for men. They operate at longer and more self-sustained frequencies than women. This certainly makes them more low-key in general, but also more inflexible and predictable as a result, which is possibly why I find most men incredibly uninteresting, dull and overwhelmingly boring.

I know it probably says something horrible about me to admit that the majority of men out there bore me to tears, but they do. Take, for example, a guy I met at a party a while back who had the emotional frequency of a man who might consult with his old fraternity brothers (who now play on his softball team) to get the "thumbs-up" on everything from his wardrobe to his luxury car to his choice in women. If he had mind of his own under his hair pomade, he certainly wasn't in the business of using it. When he asked me what the point of "all of this education" was for me, I pretended to ignore his insecure slant. Every time I opened my mouth to participate in my side of the conversation, he looked at me like I was speaking Swahili. Only, I was personally led to doubt very strongly that he's never heard Swahili spoken in his life, nor has he the faintest curiosity in doing so.

On the flip side, there are men who legitimately say that they want a "woman with a brain". Hearing this, I instantly decipher this as code for: "I want a woman who won't embarrass me in front of my elitist crowd of friends and colleagues, but it is imperative that she is much more insecure than I am, yet smart enough to never challenge my superior position of control and power in the relationship." It's safe to say that I've dated this guy a few times. Thusly, from my line of observations, anyone who uses this specific phrase may already be inclined to think that he is smarter and better than the rest us. He doesn't classify himself as a bad guy, but he is incredibly self-serving. It's entirely possible that when he was in primary school, someone told him that he was smart enough to rule the world some day, and so his entire self-identity is devoted to the externality of who he considers himself to be. I have found that the majority of men who say this fall on the spectrum of manipulative personalities, spoiled by their ability to construct their own world as they see fit. Ergo, a "woman with a brain" is somehow supposed to fit into their pre-constructed mold for her, the space that they have designated "Woman" in their closet so that they can appear to live a "well-balanced" life. The intention is that she's professional and accessible, but that she comes from a background of just enough low self-esteem that she never asks questions or demands too much of him except for thinking that he's 100% great, 100% of the time. After all, she's really the lucky one to be with this fine speci-Man of infinite superiority. But let's face it, no one is absolutely perfect, and any woman with a "real brain" can patiently and confidently figure that out and find a way to navigate herself through the social dilemmas of being in a relationship with a man who values nothing about her brains at all.

Of course, it isn't my intention in this little missive to cast a negative light on men. Quite the opposite, in fact. I, for one, happen to be a card-carrying Number One Fan of the Man. I'm a complete sucker for the kind of man who thinks and constructs his reality "outside of the box", and I will say that I'm getting better at spotting this type of individual in his native habitat. I won't go into my lengthy proscription of why there seems to be a paucity of agency and integrity among the men of my generation, because that's another missive entirely. But I do think that it's fair to say that it is extremely redeeming to note that not all of my fellow, opposite sex-ers have become emotional and intellectual weaklings and one-dimensional beings in our tough, post-modern jungle of modernity and co-optation of individuality and all authenticity. I'm simply over the flashy, yet shallow emotional and spiritual death that we have replaced with masculinity in our generation. Whatever happened to the understanding that we are all, in fact, intellectual animals, which may or may not rightly assume that a man or a woman can be all things at once without having an identity crisis? Beyond just being human, doesn't that magical connection of mind and body say something more about who we are and what we commit to doing in this life?

At least, these were all of the things that naughtily and very subversively passed through my mind in yoga yesterday. I guess you can say that I was multi-tasking as I patiently worked every fiber in my body whilst breathing in that wonderful aroma of invisible Man pheromones emanating from the person beside me. He makes for quite an interesting muse. But, more importantly, he has excellent yogi potential, not just in his body, but between his ears.

"You're the best time I ever had, Jack Colton." My, oh my ... indeed.


la rebelde said...

On your 2 examples of how men tend to deal with women's intellect--so well put! I have experienced exactly those two scenarios over and over, since I began graduate school.

btw-I only recently came across yout blog. and I love reading it!

Head Troller said...

Thank you, Namaste. Although we all know that Roosh is still in love with you. No need to look elsewhere when you know that your intelligent mind and sweet heart can easily tame that SOB. Now that would be a blog worth reading. Too bad you're way too good for him. His loss.

inowpronounceyou said...

Just friggin brilliant. I mean, dead right on. I WAS the guy that was told I could rule the world. It took a woman to help me get over myself.

Nice Romancing the Stone reference.

Zed said...

Nodded my way through this entire post! I've only recently learned to be sceptical of the man who brays "I want a woman with a brain" - you described him spot on.

floptomistrist said...

You're a very gifted writer and you need you're own column. I've been reading you for a while, and I have to say that your best posts are the ones about relationships. You're unlike a lot of women bloggers who come off as angry or insecure. You clearly love people, and really have a good idea of who you as "Namaste" vs. "Man". You really are spot on when it comes to this. As a man, I think I can say that you have a knack for really getting to the root of who we are underneath all of our bravado. Whoever does finally snag you is a very, very lucky man. Best of luck to Timor. I hope he can hack it like Michael Douglass, too.

VJ said...

Me, I had only a few requirements when I was looking for a mate. She had to be brilliant, fairly easy going, and know herself and what she wanted from life. I was dead serious about the brilliant part, and I got her & it, and I've always been grateful. I tell any guy I meet, 'Marry the smartest, sensible gal you know. You'll never regret it'. It makes so much of life so much easier. We're not arguing over the simple crap, and much of life is just that. So yes, mostly it's quiet & peaceful like. For N, I imagine that would have it's own perils though!

All women have brains. Some of them even use it to their good advantage too. Have you ever been with a simple down to earth good looking kid and thought, gee he/she is simply really very smart yet not obnoxious about it at all? Those types.

But in any case, enjoy yourself N! I imagine he's a decent candidate for a good work out. You might have a conversation about 'ol Noam, and how he was howling in the wilderness for so long, and still got it wrong in the end. (He thought they'd never be free). Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'