Recovering Nice Guy…

My friend Shawn Benoit wrote this piece and I just had to share. I’m not sure I could write this any better. Edit: Ok, Shawn admitted to not being the author, but still, quite good, if a little cynical.

“What Happened to All the Nice Guys?”

I see this question posted with some regularity in the personals section, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain things to the ladies out there that haven’t figured it out.

What happened to all the nice guys?

The answer is simple: you did.

See, if you think back, really hard, you might vaguely remember a Platonic guy pal who always seemed to want to spend time with you. He’d tag along with you when you went shopping, stop by your place for a movie when you were lonely but didn’t feel like going out, or even sit there and hold you while you sobbed and told him about how horribly the (other) guy that you were fucking treated you.

 At the time, you probably joked with your girlfriends about how he was a little puppy dog, always following you around, trying to do things to get you to pay attention to him. They probably teased you because they thought he had a crush on you. Given that his behavior was, admittedly, a little pathetic, you vehemently denied having any romantic feelings for him, and buttressed your position by claiming that you were “just friends.” Besides, he totally wasn’t your type. I mean, he was a little too short, or too bald, or too fat, or too poor, or didn’t know how to dress himself, or basically be or do any of the things that your tall, good-looking, fit, rich, stylish boyfriend at the time pulled off with such ease.

 Eventually, your Platonic buddy drifted away, as your relationship with the boyfriend got more serious and spending time with this other guy was, admittedly, a little weird, if you werent dating him. More time passed, and the boyfriend eventually cheated on you, or became boring, or you realized that the things that attracted you to him weren’t the kinds of things that make for a good, long-term relationship. So, now, you’re single again, and after having tried the bar scene for several months having only encountered players and douche bags, you wonder, “What happened to all the nice guys?”

Well, once again, you did.

You ignored the nice guy. You used him for emotional intimacy without reciprocating, in kind, with physical intimacy. You laughed at his consideration and resented his devotion. You valued the aloof boyfriend more than the attentive “just-a-” friend. Eventually, he took the hint and moved on with his life. He probably came to realize, one day, that women aren’t really attracted to guys who hold doors open; or make dinners just because; or buy you a Christmas gift that you mentioned, in passing, that you really wanted five months ago; or listen when you’re upset; or hold you when you cry. He came to realize that, if he wanted a woman like you, he’d have to act more like the boyfriend that you had. He probably cleaned up his look, started making some money, and generally acted like more of an asshole than he ever wanted to be.

 Fact is, now, he’s probably getting laid, and in a way, your ultimate rejection of him is to thank for that. And I’m sorry that it took the complete absence of “nice guys” in your life for you to realize that you missed them and wanted them. Most women will only have a handful of nice guys stumble into their lives, if that.

 So, if you’re looking for a nice guy, here’s what you do:

 1.) Build a time machine.

2.) Go back a few years and pull your head out of your ass.

3.) Take a look at what’s right in front of you and grab ahold of it.

 I suppose the other possibility is that you STILL don’t really want a nice guy, but you feel the social pressure to at least appear to have matured beyond your infantile taste in men. In which case, you might be in luck, because the nice guy you claim to want has, in reality, shed his nice guy mantle and is out there looking to unleash his cynicism and resentment onto someone just like you. If you were five years younger.

 So, please: either stop misrepresenting what you want, or own up to the fact that you’ve fucked yourself over. You’re getting older, after all. It’s time to excise the bullshit and deal with reality. You didn’t want a nice guy then, and he certainly doesn’t fucking want you, now.

Sincerely,

A Recovering Nice Guy

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Strange Days

Twelve hour days. Thats what my work life is like right now. Every day is another 12 hour day. Not by my choice but due to the incompetence of the people I work with. I’m not exactly scheduled for 12 hours, but it is ‘suggested’ I come in early or stay late because nobody else can do my job. Instead of compromising and have someone come down from our other store to cover my shifts when I’m gone, they hired this idiot who can’t pull together a coherent sentence let alone do my job. It’s an intolerable situation and to make matters worse: I opened my mouth and said I was free tomorrow on my day off. And of course, it was ‘suggested’ I come in and help since I’m available. Arrggh!

Why do I do this to myself???

I wanna say I can’t complain because my paychecks are awesome. But, as a friend pointed out today, all the money in the world is worthless if you have no life to spend it on. Sitting at work today, I kinda realized that although I’m sorta indespensible, the job is kinda killing me. I keep telling myself that when I finally meet someone special and settle down, I’ll find a job that doesn’t require 60 hours a week. I’ll find something fullfilling, satisfying and rewarding. A job I can be proud of.

But, because this job sucks so much of my life out of me, I find I have less and less time for myself and the people I love. And lets not even get into trying to meet someone. My dating record for the last year speaks for itself: stood up 3 times and no real dates. I find myself going nowhere fast.

Today, the 12 hours seemed especially long, dragging on and on. I filled out surveys on myspace all day, counting the minutes. Exchanged messages with friends as the hands on the clock slowly ticked away. Finally, 8pm rolled around and I leapt from my desk and bolted. I drove home as fast as I could, changed and headed out. I needed to be out of small spaces and around people I didn’t work with….so I headed to the new Chicken Wing Place in North Hampton.

Now I know what you are thinking: Chicken Wings? Come on George, there must have been something decent open.

Actually, this place took over the space of a failed restaurant and seems to be doing quite well for itself. The place was hopping, the bar was full and the food looked good. So I wandered in, hopped up to the bar and ordered a widmer.

The Bar was cozy, with a warm brown and tan color scheme that was very mellow and unobtrusive. The walls were lined with 8 large flat screen tvs, some showing the Boston Bruins (who were winning!!!) others showing ESPN HD and one tv showing the results from Iowa. So of course, since I’m a political junky, I watched the Iowa results. 🙂 I ordered a quesadilla called the Chi CHi Rodriguez, which was chicken, chipotles, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Once it finally came, it was delicious. Crispy and sweet with some nice smoky heat. I barely made it through half.

While I waited for my food, the seat next to me was taken by a woman I didn’t see come in. I smiled and said “Good evening”. She smiled, taking off her coat and draping it on the chair on the other side of her. She had the librarian girl look going ong on: dressed in a sweater, slacks, sensible shoes, funky scarf and little glasses but something was off. She had long (way past her shoulders) straight brown hair and there was glitter under her eyes.

So I couldn’t help myself, even though she looked like she just wanted to quietly eat her dinner and hang out, I struck up a conversation. To my surprise, she was very friendly. She was shivering despite the sweater and it was almost 80 degrees in the bar so I had to ask:

“How can you be cold here?”

“Oh Ah’m from Texas,” she said, the drawl very aparent. I laughed. “Ah wasn’t expecting this kind of cold when Ah moved here.”

“Itt’s awful busy in here,” she continued. “Ah was expecting it to be quiet. Ah really needed to come someplace mellow. My job is so loud.” She lauhed, sipping her iced tea.

“What do you do?” I asked.

She paused and I realized that she didn’t really want to answer. “Ah’m a dancer..Ah mean, Ah’m a stripper.” She gulped down more of her iced tea and looked at me. Don’t know if she was expecting me to be shocked or what, but I didn’t miss a beat.

“I can imagine after a day of dance music, a little peace and quiet would do you some good.”
She started laughing. We talked for an hour about everything from her job, to my job to her previous jobs (para legal!) and making fun of our waitress who was obviously new and more interested in getting the attention of the boys at the end of the bar than tending to the other patrons needs.

At the end, as she was suiting up to face the cold again, I extended my hand and said, “I’m George, it was a pleasure to meet you.”

She smiled and shook my hand, “Nice to meet you to! Ah’m….” and she paused. A slightly confused expression came across her face. She looked up at me “wow, Ah had to think there for a minute because Ah almost gave you one of my stripper names.”

“Well,” I said, “I would have called you on it if you told me your name was Chantelle or Candy or some shit…”

She laughed and told me her real name, a simple boring name like the rest of us. We parted ways, hoping to run into each other agin at this place. I watched her leave as I finished my beer and sat back in my chair. For the first time all day, I felt relaxed, the 12 hours that had weighed on me so heavily had been lifted from my shoulders. I breathed easier and smiled.

Strange encounters like this seem to happen in my life alot and I realize that in the mind numbing 12 hour days I spend at work, I have this tendency to coast through the off hours of my life and not notice the strange and unusual things around me. Meeting a paralegal turned stripper at a chicken wing restaurant while watching the Bruins win a game and Obama to take Iowa, a trifecta of events I wasn’t expecting, and if I had just spent the night at home, I would have missed out on. Twelve hour days may rule my life right now, but I’m not going to let them ruin it.

100 Things Challenge from 2006

My friend H made one of these so I figured I would give it a shot and see if I could get to 100. This will be a totally random list of facts about me, so be prepared to be bored out of your mind. These are all true statements, some are very random, others have a theme.

1. I like to photograph the little things. When I go someplace, I think it is more exciting to photograph a bottle sitting on a windowsill than the beautiful view through the window.

2. I’m an excellent cook.

3. I’m not an excellent cook of desserts.

4. I eat way too much meat.

5. I miss the idea of my father.

6. I have a tendency to expect the best from everyone, even when they have proven that they are not capable of that standard.

7. Sometimes, I really want to kill some of my co-workers.

8. I’m a snob…I don’t mean to be a snob, but when I meet people who are less educated than myself, I act differently.

9. I have a childish crush. Or is it lust?

10. I love red hair. Not sure where this came from in my life. Some time, long ago, I had a crush on a red haired woman and the color stuck. Strangely, I’ve never dated a natural redhead.

11. I prefer dark hair to blondes.

12. I spend way too much time online.

13. World of Warcraft is sucking the life out of me. Why am I obsessed with levelling up an imaginary character?

14. I miss the idea of high school. I didn’t have a normal high school experience and I envy people who talk about the good times they had growing up.

15. I had a gun held to my head once for a mistake I never made again.

16. I kinda like some chick flicks.

17. Driving for hours makes me happy.

18. I’m a history junkie. If I could, I would stop at every history marker on the side of the road.

19. I’m convinced my cat tries to talk to me.

20. I lost my virginity at a church camp.

21. I used to be a leader of a church youth group.

22. I have dyed my hair almost every color of the rainbow.

23. I had a mohawk for ages.

24. My right nipple was once pierced, then got infected and blew up to the size of a baseball.

25. I fall in love easily.

26. I fall in lust even easier.

27. My heart has been broken more times than I can remember, each time vowing that will be the last….

28. I speak enough french to bullshit my way through a conversation.

29. There is someone I really care about and worry about.

30. Dark colored eyes hypnotize me.

31. I have a tendency to have a slight case of road rage when I’m behind a slow poke in the passing lane.

32. I’m addicted to music.

33. I can’t get out of Bullmoose Music or Newbury Comics without buying something.

34. Part of me still thinks I’m in high school.Part of me is still that insecure little kid…

35. I know I’m an adult.

36. I definitely do not feel like an adult.

37. I bought two tickets to see the dropkick murphy’s knowing I had nobody to come with me.

38. When I was young, I thought Horton Center was the most peaceful place on earth.

39. Last year, a good friend showed me a new place of peace and serenity: Monhegan Island.

40. I haven’t sat down in front of a canvas in months.

41. I eat sometimes when I’m depressed. Then I punish myself for it by going to the gym for hours.

42. The stupidest things can remind me of bad times in my life.

43. A smile can make my day.

44. I consider eye contact a sign of intelligence. If someone won’t look me in the eye, I immediately judge them.

45. A hug can make up for almost anything.

46. I cried last september. I cried alot.

47. I love sitting in the window of a coffee shop, drawing the people around me and catching snippets of their conversation.

48. I will do pretty much anything for chocolate.

49. I have an addiction to caffeine. If you cut me, I bleed espresso.

50. I get headaches alot lately. I’m a little worried about it.

51. I have a tendency to giggle uncontrollably at stupid crap.

52. One of my favorite movies of all time is Airplane…why? see above.

53. I started running and I feel better.

54. I started running and I have a feeling I’m turning into one of these people who needs to run.

55. I started running and I love the silence and just hearing my breath and my heart.

56. I try not to be a stereotypical male, but I find myself staring at breasts alot lately, staring like a thirsty guy who just crossed the desert would stare at a glass of water.

57. I can’t relate to anybody at my dealership. If I talk about art, they want to talk about sports. If I mention politics, they are not interested unless there are naked women involved.

58. I will do anything for my friends.

59. My heart is not in my job. I need to find a new place to be.

60. Part of me still holds onto that fantasy that I may win powerball, no matter how improbable, part of me still insists on dreaming that dream.

61. I think I was in shock when they tore my house down. The house I grew up in, never knew it would hurt so bad to see it torn down.

62. I loved living in England. I loved the history, the people, the culture…every aspect felt right and it broke my heart to leave.

63. I have a fetish for glasses. Next to red hair, glasses are a huge turn on.

64. I worry about the silliest crap. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because I forgot to pay (name of random bill here).

65. My choice in music is influenced greatly by whether I can reach the cd as I’m heading to work.

66. I love beer, the more micro the brewery the better.

67. I have an impossibly high tolerance for alcohol. It really takes hard liquor to get me buzzed. Beer has little to no effect, even in mass quantities.

68. I’m inspired by the simplest of kindnesses from my friends.

69. I love my family and hold them more dear than anything else.

70. Part of my job is to pretend I like everybody who sits in front of me and it kills me everytime. I’m always worried someone will see through the smile and see the FUCK YOU behind it.

71. I have a tendency to shoot my mouth off about something that is on my mind, just to get it off my chest. Its nothing personal, but I feel better after I’ve said it rather than bottle it up.

72. Even though I’m not religious, I do consider myself spiritual. I believe it is possible to find a spiritual awakening without involving anyone’s god.

73. Part of me believes there is something after this life…

74. Part of me is terrified that this may be it…

75. I think I saw a UFO when I was 7. My mom and my neighbors swear by this too and it was the same nite of a ‘documented’ ufo sighting all along the seacoast of NH. My first thought in retrospect is: why would they visit NH?????

76. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the food network. I think I have a crush on Rachael Ray.

77. One of my dreams in life is to be a world remowned artist.

78. I’m one of the few men who WILL ask for directions when I’m lost.

79. I can’t follow a map to save my life but I usualy end up where I need to be.

80. I think the word supercalifragilisticexpealidocious should be used more in regular conversation.

81. I envy the surfer boys and girls on north beach. Surfing was the one thing I wish I had given more of a chance. I tried once…took a header into some rocks and that was the end of my surfing career.

82. I have a tendency to really get angry at parents who don’t know how to parent and expect the world to parent for them.

83. My political views are heavily slanted to the left, but I believe in a dialogue with the right. Polarization dos not a political discourse make.

84. I think I have done every drug I could get my hands on. Some of my college days were a blur, but now I have no wish to do any drugs at all. I won’t turn down a doobie being handed my way, but thats about it. I have no wish to try anything else ever again. I don’t regret what I tried in college, just never going to use them again.

85. That being said, acid was a hell of a lot of fun.

86. Last 2 years of high school, I was diagnosed as manic depressive and used that to exploit people. I’ve never forgiven myself for being weak and using people.

87. College allowed me to come out of my shell and become the person I am today.

88. I wish I was in college where my only worry was how we were going to Northampton or Boston for a show.

89. I trust people even when I know I shouldn’t.

90. Sometimes, I need to be completely alone. At these times, I completely close up and am incapable of talking to anyone.

91. I saw Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers throw up right in front of me and then start playing their 1st song. (UNH concert…who else remembers that???)

92. I played Double Dragon with Joey Ramone…I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

93. I miss being a dj. I really wish WUNH wasn’t so stuck up about who they ‘allow’ on the air.

94. I have been to a strip club 11 times in my life. I enjoyed the nudity, but didn’t enjoy myself. Felt like shopping at the mall when you have no money: nice to look, but after awhile, you get bored and its time to go home.

95. My opinions are strong and you cannot sway me.

96. My opinions can be swayed by pie. (read into that what you will).

97. I’m never the life of the party, but I usually know everyone by the end.

98. I go to concerts so I can feel like I’m a kid again, without the stage diving, pits and bar fights.

99. I still need to learn how to be happy with and love myself.

100. I have alot to learn and I’m always open for a lesson.