Sunday August 12. 2001

the type

We were walking into one of Montgomeryville's anonymous strip malls when I asked my mom, "Have I told you about The Type?"

"The Type? I don't think so..."

"I couldn't sworn I did...anyway. The Type. The Type is the kind of man that I am frequently attracted to but should never be in a relationship with or even date."

Some years ago, maybe 3 or 4, when I was chatting online with a friend, he asked me, "What kind of man are you attracted to?" I really had no idea. Which isn't really surprising, considering my experience with men at age 17 did not even extend to a peck on the lips. But I made up some sort of schlock about being sensitive, listening to my feelings, good sense of humor. The usual crap you find in the personals. Then, I had no adequate answer. Now I do. In painful, excruciating detail.

I had been thinking about this very question recently, going back through the people I've been involved with, whether it an actual physical relationship or simply a long or short term one-sided futile crush. Trying to find some pattern, mentally cataloguing each one. Yes, boys, you've been catalogued. Live with it.

This is the type of man I am attracted to. This is also the type of man that has always been bad for me, emotionally and otherwise. I do want to note that John is none of these things. He was the one discrepancy in the catalogue, for that I am grateful.

The Type

1. The Type is very insecure, but will take extraordinary steps to make sure you never know it.

2. The Type will never compliment you directly or say something nice about you to your face. You will always find out how he feels about you through other people.

3. To show affection, you will frequently insult or make fun of the Type. He will do the same to you.

4. The Type will often make you feel like you're worthless and stupid, but probably doesn't mean to.

5. The Type has no problem with recreational, no commitment sex. You do.

6. The Type will often belittle or take no interest in the things you love and are passionate about. You will adopt and become interested in the things that The Type likes, through you will often have no interest in them.

7. The Type has problems expressing how he feels, about you or anything else. However, you have no problems expressing how you feel to The Type, thus leading you to feel vulnerable.

8. Despite the fact that you confess anything and everything to The Type, when it comes time for gifts of any kind (Birthday, Christmas, etc) they are usually generic or completely off base in terms of your interests and likes.

9. The Type will often try to assure himself he's cooler/smarter/hipper than you are, through any variety of ways, playing a constant game of oneupmanship. See #1.

10. No matter how it's been since you've slept with The Type, or even if you've never slept with him at all, there will always been this weird sexual tension.

11. The Type is best utilized as a good friend.

12. In the end, The Type is not a callous jerk. The Type does usually care about you and your feelings, he just has a bizarre and backwards way of trying to show it.

Optional Coda

I've been perusing the self-help section at work off and on for the past few weeks. It's a rather depressing section. I pick up The Rules or The Rules II or all that Surrendered Wife crap and flip through them, and shake my head at the stupidity of it all. Men must be decieved and persuaded to have a relationship with us. That's the subtle insinuation in all the "how to get a man" books. Because of course they are too busy have promisicous sex to actually settle down with us sensible women. We must rope them and sit them down and grow them up and teach them to be a good husband and father. We categorize people unmercifully these days. Probably because most people can't bear the thought of not labelling everyone around them.

I think that's why the above bothers me. I can't quite believe I wrote it. But I'll let it rest.

I couldn't resist this...

One Year Ago:
"We filled that day with eating penny candy, listening to Joni Mitchell on vinyl and an Ani DiFranco concert that night. I held her hand, hugged her, put my arm around her, and kissed her on the cheek during the concert."