Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And the Creek Don't Rise, This Will Be My Last Post About Jacqueline-Whoever-Whatever

In the comments here, Darleen said something about that Internet Rockstar of Sizzling Hotness, Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey* (or, as her inner circle refers to her, J-Pimp), that made a light bulb switch on for me:

It just takes me right smack back to junior high when the "popular" girl gathered her admirers into an exclusive circle and held court viciously running down all the "outsiders"...especially any other girl that her highness deemed "competition".

I don't see JMPP as someone "unafraid" to state her wants, I see her as a 7th grade bully.

I realized, then, that I did not see her this way at all. Where Darleen was seeing a 7th grade bully, I was seeing an overcompensating misfit.

I also realized I have probably been defending J-Pimp, however tepidly, because I have seen myself as an overcompensating misfit for most of my life.

When I was about 29 I joined Great Expectations (yes, that is how I met the boyfriend, eventually) in Dallas. I did something I would not ever, ever, EVER advise any other woman to do:

I put down very lenient to nonexistent criteria for "my type" in the profile. I asked only two things:

  • Please do not be a born-again Christian.

  • Please do not be a Dallas Cowboys fan.


  • And, to cap this stunning display of doormattery off, I gave a thiiiiiiiis wiiiiiide range of ages I'd consider dating. Basically it amounted to writing down, "Please do not be dead."

    (We can blame my Differential Equations professor for the generous age range. The man was 50 if he was a day, but he moved with three times the speed and agility of any slouch-ass twentysomething--it is a cliche but it always seemed as though he had been launched into the classroom, just flew into it--and my, oh my, was he sexy. So when I went to Great Expectations, the thought that my being "too picky" on acceptable ages could conceivably cost me a date with someone as molten-hot as Dr. Korzeniowski was simply too horrifying to consider.)

    The chief thing I forgot when I filled out my profile at Great Expectations was that I lived in Dallas. Dallas is a city I can recommend wholeheartedly to the Nice Guys and men's rights activists of the world. "Go ye forth and bask in thy entitlement," is what I would urge them, because I am helpful that way. And because Dallas is kind of a sea of prickitude.

    You go to a restaurant in Dallas and you're waiting--because Dallas has this herd mentality that says, if you wait at least 45 minutes for a table in a restaurant, it must therefore be a very good restaurant, and everyone in Dallas believes this even when it is categorically untrue--and you see couples who look more or less like this:

    Woman: Hair like she just stepped out of salon. Fabulous, but not too gaudy, jewelry. Silk blouse. Skirt or well-fitting slacks. Stockings. HEELS (it is the law there). Full makeup. Elegant handbag.

    Man: Dirty t-shirt or wrinkled polo. SHORTS (also, the law). Ball cap. Paunch. Sweat.

    I am not exaggerating, I am not making this up. Men go out dressed like ass. Women go out dressed to the nines. In any white middle-to-upper-middle class neighborhood, it is so.

    So you can just imagine my surprise, she said with dark irony, when hordes of 50-year-old guys of EXACTLY the type described above wanted to meet my dumb ass.

    And that surprise, I am only half-sorry to say, quickly turned to resentment and anger. I had put a truckload of money and time and energy into this and I had not-coincidentally ALSO put a truckload of money and time and energy into making sure I put my best face forward.

    You can say I'm a shallow, mercenary bitch (go on, you know you want to), but I defy you to put yourself in my shoes and feel any differently, especially if you are a heterosexual woman because, ladies, you KNOW what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the diet and the exercise and the professionally-done highlights and the makeup and the clothes (men always say clothes are unimportant to them, but funny thing: Now that I scoot around town in gigantic t-shirts and men's sleep pants, I don't get nearly the attention I used to) and--look, I know the feminists hate him, but when Chris Rock said that 75% of a woman's fineness comes from money, Chris Rock was not wrong. It's not cheap to look fabulous. It's not quick and easy to look fabulous. It's not a breeze to look fabulous. AND THESE MEN COULDN'T TAKE OFF THEIR DAMN BALL CAPS BEFORE POSING FOR THEIR PROFILE PHOTOS. OR EVEN PUT ON A CLEAN SHIRT. THAT IS NOT RIGHT, PEOPLE.

    So that is the experience that lurked in the back of my mind when I read J-Pimp's "Quality Dates Quality" post. And I still say, by all means, Jacqueline, spare yourself that. By all means.

    Incidentally, or maybe not, the boyfriend posed for his photos in a well-pressed dress shirt and a snappy tie. And that is why we are today two happy, shallow people who mutter under our breaths in Jacqueline's general direction, "Well, she's not entirely wrong."

    14 comments:

    Auguste said...

    Now that I scoot around town in gigantic t-shirts and men's sleep pants, I don't get nearly the attention I used to

    I like men's sleep pants on women, he said as much unlike a leering jackass as possible.

    Alecto Erinyes said...

    I hear you - I don't know about Dallas, but down here in Oz a sizeable proportion of heterosexual men think lack of attention to appearance is a mark of masculinity. Only a poofter would wear deoderant!

    A quote I read somewhere - and I can't remember where darn it! - from a woman who was accused of still being single because her standards were too high: "How can they be too high? They're my standards !"

    jmpp sure is annoying, but the statement "I would rather be single than date you " is still a legitimate thing for a woman to say - and a mighty threat to the gender order.

    John said...

    My DE I teacher was drafted by the Browns. He chose to go to math grad school instead. WTF?!?!? If you like athletic, burly, older mathematicians, "Tank" Sherman would have been right up your alley.

    My wife and I met in grad school. She showed no interest in me until I shaved the moustache and cut my shoulder-length hair. But I didn't do that to get chicks - I had started judo / wresting, and the hair made a really convenient handhold.

    Darleen said...

    Maybe it's the difference between Dallas and Los Angeles, but when I went back to dating...at age 42 with 4 daughters at home .. and put up my first AOL personals ad, I had 300 emails the first week.

    And had a boat load of fun meeting and dating all sorts of men and never had to settle for one slob ... (I had a busy delete finger) ... and I still dated some very interesting men (college professor in music, screenwriter, lawyers, fireman, concert cellist)

    The one true "date from hell" (and I made sure it was only one date) was where the guy dressed fine, knew the right restaurant, the correct wines to order, but had the soul of a slob -- and the guy was so rich (I mean - home in Bel Air, board of directors, bossom buddy with Tommy Lasorda, wanting to fly me to the French Riviera for the weekend rich) he would have JMPP jumping through hoops to land him.

    I met my husband through HIS aol ad ... and basically decided to meet him because his writing made me laugh. (we met in 98, married in 01)

    Obviously we all have some criteria in choosing either friends or mates ... hell, to discriminate is NOT a dirty phrase!

    But we can state our criteria without engaging in pissing on all the other women around us; especially where it concerns such ephemeral stuff like looks.

    I wasn't with the "in" crowd in school, infact I made lots of friends with the other "outsiders" and did a lot of standing up to the rah-rah's, "soches" and other "top dogs" in the school yard hierarchy.

    ilyka said...

    And had a boat load of fun meeting and dating all sorts of men and never had to settle for one slob ... (I had a busy delete finger) ... and I still dated some very interesting men (college professor in music, screenwriter, lawyers, fireman, concert cellist)

    Oh, that's the part I left out, definitely: By and large, belonging to the service was hella fun.

    I kind of wish I had done an online version instead (it cost me, no kidding, about $1400 to join GE, and that was bargained-down from their asking price of $3600 for a 3-year membership), but all in all I can't complain.

    I dated several guys before the boyfriend, nearly all of them delightful, even the Russian mafia guy. No, especially the Russian mafia guy, actually. They might be bad news as a group, and I'm glad I didn't get overinvolved with him, but fun times nonetheless.

    Oh, and it may well be (and likely IS) that you're more accurate in your assessment of JMPP than I am. It was interesting to me that until I read your comment, I had not consciously realized I was identifying with her to some extent. Scary realization, but your comment was certainly helpful in prodding me to uncover my own unacknowledged biases about the whole thing.

    Darleen said...

    Ilyka

    I'm old, but I remember jr high way too well and wouldn't wish some of the crap I endured on anyone. Maybe that's my bias.

    :-)

    Russian mafia, eh? Missed that one.

    The Japanese cellist was fun, but too much the golf nut.

    Ron said...

    Online dating is one of the few things I'd recommend to more women than men. IMO it is like traditional dating to the nth degree. Men do all the pursuing. Women do all the weeding out of unsuitable mates. IMO men have to be good, funny and brief writers to get thier message read. Since I'm adverage to slow in that regard, it wasn't so great for me. I spent a lot of time crafting messages at first. Later I learned to be brief, but it was a lot of work for very little return. I obsessed over photos. Do I go with rugged? geeky? professional? sporty? At first I also had very broad criteria until a friend pointed out that I was saying I'd be happy with a 45 year old who never exercises and had 4 kids as well as an underemplyed 23 year old pothead who still lives at home. This was not going to impress an interesting 30-something with my open mindedness, but make me seem rather desperate. Point taken, I narrowed my criteria and polished the essay parts yet again. Still, after about a year, year-and-a-half I gave up and cancelled my account.

    I did meet two woman through blogs by emailing them directly.

    Then I met my wife the old-fashioned way. We were set up by mutual friends. She called first. I played coy ;) We went to the beach on our first date and decided to extend it over dinner.

    Anonymous said...

    Well, J-Pimp is just an asshole, anyway. Here's a good example:

    I'm also not going to love and accept someone who is slowly killing themselves on *MY* dollar, which is what all the fatties driving up my health insurance premiums and taxes are doing. If they stopped demanding *MY* money to pay for *THEIR* self-induced health problems, then I wouldn't care, but as long as they are taking my money then I am going to try to make them feel deeply ashamed of it. If they don't feel bad about how they are, they have no incentive to change.

    This just cries out for a response of, "Hey, Ms. 86th Percentile, I'd rather date my fun, fat girlfriend than you, got it?"

    Please forgive me for getting off topic. ~JD

    Sultan Knish said...

    blogging is just like high school, high school a second time around with everyone carrying around their old scars and twice as overcompensating twice as neutorically as before

    Sultan Knish said...

    re: J-girl, anyone who titles their blog bildungsroman had better be german or a college sophomore. Or sad. Very, very sad. That's all I can say.

    ilyka said...

    Please forgive me for getting off topic. ~JD

    No, what, are you kidding? That's a hell of a find you got there and it makes me want to give her a swift kick.

    I think Jacqueline should know that I pigged out on chicken tikka drumsticks, spinach with pine nuts, garlic, and tomatoes, and curry roasted vegetables tonight, and that furthermore, every ounce I gain from same WILL EVENTUALLY COME OUT OF HER TAX DOLLARS.

    Man, fuck your tax dollars, Jacqueline. I really don't appreciate you using the internet to promote online gambling and create more gambling addicts, but you don't see me getting all huffy about it, do you? So okay then.

    Seriously, I wish I could say I suspected this woman learned any compassion from having been beat up all over the internet last week, but I got a bad feeling she didn't. Sultan Knish is right: Very, very sad.

    Craig R. said...

    Well, J-Pimp is just an asshole, anyway. Here's a good example:

    I'm also not going to love and accept someone who is slowly killing themselves on *MY* dollar, which is what all the fatties driving up my health insurance premiums and taxes are doing. If they stopped demanding *MY* money to pay for *THEIR* self-induced health problems, then I wouldn't care, but as long as they are taking my money then I am going to try to make them feel deeply ashamed of it. If they don't feel bad about how they are, they have no incentive to change


    Hmm actually, even if J. *is* an asshat, in that comment thread *she* is being reasonable, and is getting pissed-off at the "libertarians" who are actually just being selfish pricks.

    The above quoted comment is not something *she* said, but something that a reader put into the thread.

    Anonymous said...

    Craig: No, those are JMMP's own comments. Comments are signed after the dash on her blog.

    Here's another gem:

    Do you have a medical bracelet that says "Please let my fat ass die if I have a heart attack?" Because if (when?) you have a heart attack or other fat-related health problem that renders you unconcious, you will be taken to the hospital and treated regardless of your ability to pay. At that point YOUR FATNESS is imposing costs on OTHER PEOPLE, and thus we have every right to tell you to GET OFF YOUR FAT ASS, QUIT STUFFING YOUR PIE HOLE FULL OF CUPCAKES, AND GET YOUR NASTY UGLY FAT JIGGLY ASS DOWN TO THE GYM, PIGGY!

    Yeah, no hatred there. Pure Objectivist Libertarian logic.

    ~JD

    Craig R. said...

    Anon --

    My apologies.

    I guess I was readng the thread markers incorrectly.

    Yeah, she (JMMP) *is* working hard at being a person who is worthless.