Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Five Types of Girls You Date in College

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a primer/reminder about the university women ALL college dudes, inevitably, end up courting


“ I thought of that old joke, you know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken.’ And, uh, the doctor says, ‘Well, why don't you turn him in?’ The guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.’ Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; you know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs.”

- - Woody Allen
“Annie Hall” (1977)

“Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat…college.”

- - Same Guy
Same Movie, Same Year

The absolute best movies about male-female relationships - “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “8 ½,” “High Fidelity,” and of course, “Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman” - all tell us pretty much the same thing: most of our romantic affairs are utterly pointless, insanely detrimental to our physical and mental wellbeing, and ultimately rendered completely meaningless by the passage of time. Alas, as Alvy Singer remarked, it’s something we just HAVE to keep going through, because…we’re masochists? Yeah, probably.

Some folks have their first real girlfriend in high school, but I think most normal people (or at least, normal considering the demographics of this blog, anyway) probably don’t experience their first serious boy/girl courtship until college. In fact, when you walk out of university, you’re effectively handed TWO sets of diploma; one for your academic achievement, and an unofficial, invisible one that acknowledges you were somehow able to do all of that academic achievement while toiling through failed, doomed and unsatisfying relationship, one after another. For more on this theory, I would suggest listening to the sage words of one Dr. Richard Pryor, particularly this lecture I’ve conveniently linked to right here.

I’m pretty sure all guys have the exact same experiences when it comes to romantic affairs in college. In fact, I think every successful male college graduate goes through five necessary developmental phases when it comes to the matter of  young amore - meaning, ostensibly, that all of us end up dating five very particularly types of girls throughout our university stays.

The specifics, most likely, will be different, but the fundamentals we’re talking about here are fairly static. If you do it right, you’ll see yourself sweeping through this evolutionary process, as you drift from checkpoint A to checkpoint B. If you’ve already gone through the gamut, than consider this an opportunity to reveal in what once was, and if you haven’t, consider it an omen of things to come. Your results may vary, but for all intents and purposes, the following are the five types of girls EVERY guy, at one point or another, dates during his collegiate years…

The One (That Totally Isn’t)

For four years, you slogged through high school, awkwardly fumbling through failed courtships, delayed romantic endeavors and a general, profound lack of getting any. College, however, is an entirely different beast, because now, people will actually WANT to interact with you socially (pending you don’t smell like a dead Tauntaun, anyway) and some of these people may in fact be members of the opposite gender. Now, if you’re like me, your experiences with females in high school was limited to top secret make outs with overweight goth chicks and that time you ALMOST talked to that one girl you kind of liked on the bus once; now that you’re in higher education, however, you’ve actually got girls that want to study with you, have lunch with you, and even, by Job, go out with you. And the shocking thing? These aren’t just your typical skanks and skeezes - some of them are pretty, and witty, and in some instances, hyper-intelligent. In other words? All of that stuff you couldn’t find in high school, you’re getting in droves when you’re a freshman undergrad.

So, you’ll “talk” to a few of them. You keep thinking about pushing the proverbial “let’s go out” button, but you never do. It’s just too…new…of an experience, I suppose. And then, you meet a girl that is - seemingly - everything you could ever desire in a member of the female race. She’s intellectual, she looks decent in high heels and you can talk to her for more than five minutes without wondering if she’s on drugs or something. And the fixer here? Not only is she all of the above, she actually LIKES you back, too. As in, she wants your tongue in her mouth, and sooner rather than later.

So, you go out with little miss Everything-I’ve-Ever-Wanted, and that whole platonic friendship nonsense soon gives way to some truly inspired make out sessions at the local Cineplex and, if you play your cards right, a literally-paved-for-you off-ramp to Camp Second Base. It’s an utterly indescribable experience, at first - someone you genuinely “like,” that “likes” you back, that would additionally “like” to jump your bones. And so, those dying teenage hormones, mixed with your fledgling sense of social egotism, gives flight to this wild and kooky idea: not only do you really, really like this girl, it feels so great being around her that you believe you just HAVE to be in love with her. I mean, it’s arguably the greatest social feeling you’ve felt thus far in your young adulthood, and it’s pretty hard to listen to your prefrontal cortex screaming “YOU’RE NOT READY, ASSHOLE!” while the voluble sound of her giving you the most awesome hickie in history resonates throughout the hinterlands.

She may be your first love, and it’s almost a 115 percent chance she’s going to be your first heartbreak, too. The biology here is just working against you - when hormones override common sense, bad things are bound to arise - and truthfully, neither of you are old enough to really grasp the enormousness of something as comprehensive and life-entrenching as “love,” anyway. You’ll dig her so much that you concoct the most elaborate lie this side of The Loch Ness Monster to impress her parents (who, assuredly, will hate you guts for merely existing), and in the fog of all of that frenzied French kissing and stroppy fondling, you’ll tend to overlook the fact that, at her core, she’s actually a downright horrible human being, basically a junior Ayn Rand in pineapple flavored lip gloss. Give yourself about five years, and when you reflect on her, pretty much all you will be able to recall is just how incredibly naïve you were to think she was something different or special or unique or really worth squandering all of your time and disposable income on. Alas, she’s your first, and as we all know, it’s the first “loves” - whether or not it actually WAS love to begin with - that does the most damage to you. Things - much sooner than later - will inevitably come crashing down, and you will be a miserable, sopping mess for the foreseeable future. And with the one that wasn’t officially out of the way, it’s time to drift ahead to the next tragic romance of your college tenure…

The Best Friend (That’s TOTALLY Platonic, For Sure…) 

You’re still reeling from what’s-her-name, and the last thing you want to do is LOOK at another girl for at least the next year and a half. This is a strategy that you will proudly adhere to…that is, until the girl in the back of your English class catches your eye.

Generally, the “rebound girl” isn’t necessarily your typical “rebound girl,” when you look at the overall schematics. In fact, you will go out of your way to make this fledgling courtship so Platonic, you won’t even hold hands with her when she starts scratching at your knuckles at the movies. What you have with her, clearly, is a genuine, honest-to-goodness friendship, devoid of all those pesky sexual overtones that made the last relationship with the opposite gender such a draining and taxing experience. And if you’ve ever seen “Some Kind of Wonderful,” you know EXACTLY how this one’s going to end up.

I don’t know if it’s some kind of subconscious decision or what, but it seems like steady college girlfriend #2 is ALWAYS the exact opposite of the first one. If your first college sweetheart was a born-again straight-edge Christian, than the next girl in line will most likely be a hardcore pagan ecstasy-user; all in all, you’re looking at a completely different kind of experience here, and while it lacks the emotional intensity of your first college romance, it more than makes up for it in the physicality department.

You can try to be “just friends,” but it’s an impossibility. She’ll date other guys, and you’ll get jealous…even though, you know, you totally don’t like her like THAT, of course. And if you even look at another girl, she’ll shoot you a stare so icy your testicles might turn into ice cubes. So this unexpressed, mutual admiration goes on, and on, and on, until like a volcano, it just explodes one night in an awesome shower of sloppy open mouth kissing and, depending on the libertine proclivities of your gal pal, some good old fashion casual doin’ it.

Of course, you know it’s not going to work out. She’s too much of a buddy to be long-term girlfriend material, and you kinda’ want to bone her too much for her to stay just a friend. You might have your “friend with benefits” phase, but that doesn’t work out, either - surprisingly, sexual forays are only comprehensively fulfilling when you love, not just like, the person you’re with. You’ll have plenty of fun with her, and maybe even a poignant moment or two, but you’re fully aware that the long-term potential here only extends to about next week. And so, you drift apart, which will now doubt steer you into the next romantic acquaintance…

The Completely, Utterly Random Girl (In Fact, Several of Them) 

By now, you’ve pretty much given up on finding love, and emboldened by your prior escapades with the last romantic conquest, you feel as if it’s your prerogative to go out there and have as much unconditional fun with the female kind as you can. Some people call this your “Man Ho” phase, and yeah…they’re kinda’ right, I suppose.

With some minor redactions to protect the innocent (well, mostly innocent, anyway), here’s a brief list of the myriad females I took out on at least one date as a sophomore in college:

- This one girl that was really into anime and Fleetwood Mac, that also had an aversion to kissing, but absolutely ZERO qualms about second base whatsoever. I don’t think I ever learned what her last name was, but her perfume smelled nice, at least.

- This “spiritualist” older student (read: cougar) with an addiction to Farmville and Victoria’s Secret lip balm. You know that line in “You Oughta’ Know,” where Alanis Morissette talks about “goin’ down on you in a theater?” Well, apparently…that kind of shit DOES happen in real life, folks.

- This one undeniably skanky chick that kinda’ looked like a cross between Lisa Loeb and Rosie O’Donnell. I almost thought about kissing her good night, but she had this overpowering lobster smell on her clothing that was so severe, I just couldn’t allow myself to touch her. By the way, the place we were eating at DIDN’T serve seafood, of any kind.

- A chain-smoking punk rocker Wiccan girl that wanted me to join her shitty death metal ensemble. She almost kissed me once, in front of her boyfriend, no less. If I was sober enough to find where her lips were, I probably would’ve gone ahead with it.

- A Mormon girl that was really into LOLcats macros and pancakes. I STILL don’t know how that one ended up happening.

- This one girl that wanted me to join her trivia team, because I won her and her three friends a free plate of nachos once. I honestly can’t remember her name. Like, not even the first letter.

- Several sex-starved friends of a friend that attended a Christian college and clearly did not give one iota of a damn about their reputations anymore. The less said about that, I assure you, the better.

I know that sounds like a lot of quasi, semi and pseudo-romantic affairs for hardly a year’s time, but when you really look at it…well, no, I guess it’s still a lot. The reality here is that while this phase is fun, it’s also pretty empty, emotionless and - outside of the occasional free movie and snogging session -  utterly unfulfilling, through and through. Most people with human souls could probably only keep this up for about a year, because it’s just so cold and passionless, sort of like eating refrigerated, unflavored gelatin. Yeah, it has calories and shit, but it doesn’t really count as much of anything else. My advice is to have fun here while it lasts, use protection if needed, and try to make sure none of the girls you temporarily commingle with are stark-raving lunatics, lest you end up drawing the ire of a scorned 20-something that’s one part “May,” and one part that chick from “Audition.”

The Almost Girlfriend (That For Whatever Reason, You Never Make a Move For) 

So, after your pell-mell year of dating up a storm, you’ll end up a little put off by all of this “seeing people” business. It’s around this point that you’ll run into a girl - heck, she might even be one of those completely random girls you were quasi-dating for a while - that, for whatever reason, you just like. Maybe she has a nice smile, maybe she tells funny stories about work, maybe her eyes get this twinkle whenever she’s talking about sea mammals - there’s something there, and you kinda’ want to get to know her better. The thing is, neither one of you seem to want to make that first amorous move towards the other party. All in all, it ends up becoming sort of the romantic equivalent of trench warfare - you just stay where you are and she stays where she is, and you hope you don’t choke to death on mustard gas while waiting for Armistice Day.

Remember your best friend from earlier, the one you said you’d never hook up with, but you did anyway? Well, the “almost girlfriend” is pretty much the successful realization of that, because the most sexually-charged thing you’ll most likely end up sharing with her is that time your fingers grazed for like, a second, when you opened the door for her at McDonalds. You will go out on dates, but you really don’t consider them “date-dates.” I mean, you might go to amusement parks and movies and eat dinner, but you never really feel like you have a romantic thing going on, at all. It’s not that you don’t like her - you do - it’s just that the grand forces of the cosmos simply keep you from feeling the urge to convert that bituminous friendship into any sort of romantic energy whatsoever.

The funny/tragic thing here is that it is apparent - glaringly apparent - that she likes you back. She might even invite you over to her place - basically, the equivalent of tapping out “please kiss me at least once, you dope” in Morse Code  on your forehead - but…you still just can’t do it. Eventually, the stagnation will get the best of you, and one of you will seek greener - or at least, more amorously adventurous - pastures, and as it has happened so many times before, you’ll just kinda’ drift apart, as if you never knew each other at all. And the best part? You’ll talk to her a year later, and she’ll just flat out tell you that she would’ve made out with you on the second date, if only you would have had the wherewithal to hold her hand at the movies. And somewhere, the dying tones of a Katy Perry song can still be heard, echoing throughout the foothills of the kingdom…

The One (That Totally Is)

Well, it’s come to this. After a good three or four years of disastrous, delayed or denied relationships, something utterly unexpected happens. You’ve been trying to find Ms. Right for half a decade, and in the process, been to so many Nicholas Sparks movies that your will to continue on this seemingly fruitless quest for lifelong love and companionship seems just about nil. Girls come, girls go, and you just want to lay down, and not think about any of them. Love is great, love is grand, and when it keeps eluding you - through whatever means, self-inflicted or out of one’s control - it’s enough to make a dude think about growing a mountain man beard and moving to Alaska. You’ve gotten to that point where the last thing in this world you care about is finding a girlfriend - even a temporary one - and it just seems like you’re destined to be forever alone in this crazy, callous and increasingly frigid world. And then? You meet the girl that changes absolutely EVERYTHING about your life, and for the better in ways you couldn’t possibly have imagined just a year earlier.

It will seem pretty rudimentary at first. You’ve dated plenty of girls before, so you know what to expect. Movie, dinner, maybe a walk in the park. You might even take her to the town fair - you know, the kind where they do nothing but play AC/DC over and over again and everything smells like fried corn dogs - and there will be a magnificent moment where you almost want to hold her hand on the tilt-a-whirl. But more than that, you’ll feel an incredible urge to vomit, meaning that’s the last damn time you will EVER eat an entire bowl of fondue cheese before hitting up a rollercoaster again.

But, whereas most girls would simply ignore you when you kinda’, sorta’ puke on their new dress, she’ll actually KEEP hanging around you. You’ll go out on another date, see another movie, go for another walk in the park, and you’ll slowly, albeit surely, begin to wise up to how spectacular she is as a human being. She’s nice, sweet, insightful, caring and you’re actually interested in what she has to say. No, really! You’ll even start e-mailing her random news stories you find, just because you honestly want to know what her take is. And oh yeah, unlike the myriad girls before, she actually has the same interests as you, which means you CAN have a dinnertime conversation about “Escape from Freedom” and the philosophical overtones of “Rugrats,” they way you’ve always wanted to.

Over time, not only does she become your girlfriend - unofficially, but everybody knows - but your honest to goodness BFF, too. She’ll become your confident, your most trusted source for advice and your number one “Mario Kart” buddy. You’ll want to do EVERYTHING with her, from baking outlandish casseroles (the fact that she goes along with you cockamamie schemes is enough to clue you into the fact that you’ve got something MIGHTY special going on) to catching off-off-off-Broadway musicals to simply walking around town together. After awhile, the activities become utterly irrelevant; all that matters is that you get to spend time with her, you get to talk to her, and the downtime between your next visitation grows incrementally smaller.

One month becomes three months becomes a year, becomes two years becomes three. And it all goes by so fast. What’s amazing is how normalized the relationship feels - for the first time in your life, you feel as if you have something you just KNOW is going to be lifelong. And when you have something like that on your plate, everything else - school work, finding a job, finally beating “Gunstar Heroes” on the Sega Genesis - becomes monumentally easier for you. In fact, the love, happiness and togetherness you share with this girl (or young woman, let’s not piss off the Gloria Steinhams of the world) is so powerful and amazing that it genuinely seems to reshape you as an individual. Being with the girl you’ve always wanted to be with, somehow, transforms you into the man you’ve always wanted to become. It’s impossible to explain how, but once you feel it, I doubt you’ll really need an explanation for it, anyway.

It may take some time, but you’ll eventually realize that - holy cow - you really are in love with this girl. And not that bullshit, made-for-cable Def Leppard power ballad “love,” either, I mean the real deal, through and through, I’d-catch-a-grenade-for-her love that MUST have been what propelled all of those starving Soviet troops to defeat the Nazis. It’s something that feels so great, so fulfilling and so complete that it just doesn’t seem humanly possible - but it is, and it’s far and away the greatest sensation you will ever experience, times twenty, with a cherry on top.

So, your college quest began with you a lovelorn teenager trying to feel what being alive was like, and it ends with you becoming a young man porting about the greatest endowment any human being can receive - the conscientious awareness that yes, you HAVE found your soul mate. After oh so many Gwen Stacies, Felicia Hardies and Betty Brants, you’ve finally found your Mary Jane Watson, and you’re no longer just a Peter Parker; you’re a real, true and blue Spider-Man. [*]

[*] NOTE: Finding your soul mate may not ACTUALLY give you the ability to stick to walls and shoot webbing out of your hands. Trust me, I tried. 

Will you end up spending the rest of your life with this girl? Nobody can predict the future. You may end up in some Kevin Arnold - Winnie Cooper  on/off/on/off arrangement, or you might end up taking the June Carter and Johnny Cash together-forever route. But no matter what, you know she’s going to be there for you, and you’re going to be there for her. She’s far and away the best thing that will ever happen to you, and not for one second will you ever think about letting her go. You’ve got her, and you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. And in case you forget about what happens to the man that suddenly gets everything he’s ever wanted, I think it’s best to turn things over to our good buddy, William Wonka…

(skip to about 03:13, if you're of the impatient sort)

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