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June 04, 2009


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When I grew up in the midwest, both were nearly a constant this time of year, but I did happen to notice that these fabulous thunderstorms brought out a crap load of mosquitos, which I most definitely do not miss from my childhood.

Friendships are a common casualty of divorce. People with whom the couple had been friends not uncommonly draw away from both the man and the woman once the marriage is over. In other cases, friends will stick with one of the now-former spouses, and leave the other one behind.

Guys do that to me too. I wonder sometimes if it has something to do with meeting a woman who is comfortable with herself, isn't constantly self-shaming, or even just a physical display of comfort in herself. I dunno. But it happens everywhere, on airplanes, in bars, with new friends. Five minutes after meeting a guy, he tells me about the worst parts of his character, terrible things he's done.

I wonder if part of what these guys generally "like" about women is they're always putting themselves down and it gives them a sort of aspirational model of self-worth. They have to live up to the woman's desire to present herself "well." Guys don't bother to try to impress me because I'm clearly not trying to impress them. Instead, it brings out these confessions. They don't have a model for conversation with women that is merely truthful and normal. All they've got is "impress her!" or "tell her the worst possible thing!"

It's weird. I used to say that I just brought out the worst in people, which might be true. But why?

I absolutely love thunderstorms, which is one of many things that will likely keep me from ever leaving the midwest. As a child I feared them (like my mother did and does), until I met someone who loved them - I don't think it occurred to me until then that one could enjoy storms. I now thoroughly do, and swear I feel a physical sense of release when a really good strong storm system moves through.

Weather! We had weather! In JUNE!

Your coast is the weird coast.

Kelly, if, for some reason, you want to leave the Midwest but not the thunderstorms, head to Miami - epic storms, all the time, 6 months out of the year. Just FYI.

They don't have a model for conversation with women that is merely truthful and normal. All they've got is "impress her!" or "tell her the worst possible thing!"

I suspect that a lot of it is relief at being able to say certain things to a woman that one is not normally able to say (because one is trying to impress, or one is intimidated).

Alternately, talking to a non-sexual* woman may simply trigger an otherwise-suppressed confessional streak.

Or, option 3, if the guy really is trying to impress, he has you pegged as someone who'd be impressed by "honesty," which he is defining as "self-humiliation."

* in the sense of not performing sexiness

I would guess option 3 -- the guy is trying to signal that he has actual feelings and character.

But it could also be a gender-dependent style of conversation -- he's sharing these confessions with you because you're a woman, and therefore more likely to be supportive.

I can also see it as serving a screening function -- if you hear the guy describing his 'worst possible things' for awhile, and stick around and remain interested in him, he's got some basis for believing that you'll tolerate bad behavior from him.

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