History Class

the friend zone

This tag is associated with 2 posts

Timing’s a Bitch in Limbo

DC in a nutshell: The Waiting Place. Where people are waiting for things like a Yes or No, the fish to bite, a Better Break, or Another Chance.

No, seriously: she really is.

In love, as much as the rest of life, Timing is a bitch. Nothing fun happens when she isn’t there, it’s all about her, and we all love to hate her. But we also need her. Because, without Timing, your efforts are futile and will likely land you in some sort of purgatory.

If you had sent in your resume right at 9am Monday, instead of dicking around with the semantics of your cover letter, then you might have had a chance to be in the first 50 applicants for that new job in a Hill office. Instead, you agonized over the perfect wording to properly present just how fantastic you would be for the grunt-position of constituent correspondent, or whatever dirt-level job is open. Congratulations, you are the 300th applicant! As a wonderful prize, you will receive an automated rejection e-mail in 2-6 weeks, long after you have forgotten you even applied, and will only serve to remind you about just how pointless job hunting is! [Related: job hunting is also a bitch.]

Correction: This is a gender-neutral message, my Brobi-Wan Kenobi. Evidence: Ted and Robin. #HIMYM

If you had leaned in to kiss the girl even an hour earlier in the night, she would have realized it wasn’t just a late-night decision based on alcohol and hormones, but something you’d wanted to do the entire day you spent with her. But instead, because you waited until too late (and we all know nothing good happens after 2am), your night ended with a “we should probably go sleep it off” tragic dive-bomb into the Friend Zone.

This is not a discussion of the Friend Zone– that will have to do for another day. But I will say this: I don’t do well with ambiguity. I strive for a fair equilibrium in my life, and manage to juggle pretty well on my own two feet. I prefer knowing where I stand in the world, so I’m intensely unsettled when outcomes hang in the balance. Uncertainty is a part of life, and I accept it, but the whole point of life is to take change and push that uncertainty in a specific direction. Namely: forward. Only you can decide which way is the right forward for you, but don’t be a wishy-washy bitch about it, Charlie Brown. [More on Charlie Brown and life in the Friend Zone in my next article.]

So for me, those are the moments when Timing is the Ultimate Bitch. We’ve all been there. [If you haven’t, then you clearly haven’t lived, possess all the luck stolen from Ireland, or are possibly a-sexual.] Timing blows enough as it is for those of us on the job hunt, but being the bitchy busybody she is, she has to go and stick her nose into our love lives as well. And here in DC? People rarely give the Time of Day, let alone giving away their Free Time, because Time is Money. And there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the same goes for Time. Right? That seems to be the attitude here, myself included.

I’m nowhere close to an exception to the rule. I use the excuse “I just don’t have the time” for everything from dates I’m just not feeling or parties too far out in suburbia to visiting family and friends or going to job fairs. Sure, sometimes we really are too busy– but most of the time we’re just posturing. Whether it’s for propriety’s sake or procrastination, Timing is the butt-end of countless excuses. So is she really a bitch, or simply the universe’s scapegoat?

In this case, I’d say Timing’s being more than just a scapegoat– she’s a Grade-A Bitch.

If you need good timing to find a job or date, why not adopt a make-your-own-destiny mentality? Yes, both the professional and romantic worlds have a multitude of levels, each with their own factors influencing the outcome. But at least with this mindset, you can eliminate a few of them. Don’t go for the guy/girl who is clearly recently single and burdened with baggage, or contact HR for a company that is downsizing and obviously not hiring. Timing gets blamed for what are actually a lot of failures in common sense. The true Timing situations, like  crushing on your roommate/boss/best friend/etc are genuinely sticky situations. More than Timing, those are issues of social taboo. We have protocols to follow, and most people toe the company line. But it isn’t Timing’s fault, it’s your decision. So fess up and take responsibility for your life; and if you want to change it, take charge.

At the end of the day, you can cave to the concept of fate and surrender. Or you can woman-[or man]-up and show Timing who’s boss. If she’s going to be a bitch either way, scapegoat or not, then I’m going out to make Timing my bitch, and use her help any way I can.

Want a [Smart] Cookie?

I’ve heard multiple guys here, when talking about the type of girl they like, state that they want to date someone smarter than themselves.

Is that a joke?

This just blows my mind. In a place where most people are highly ambitious, highly educated, and highly assertive, this is a tall order. Not because there aren’t women smarter than said guys– they have countless women to choose from here in Washington. The issue is for these guys to accept the fact when it looks them in the face. When they DO meet an intelligent woman, do they thank God for granting their wish? Or do they just find a flaw elsewhere that renders her impressive intellect void.

The second problem with this is on the female side: speaking as an intelligent woman, I don’t want to date a guy that’s dumber than me. Clear and simple. You want to date someone smarter? Well, I want to date someone just as smart as me. Not someone who thinks their brain is more capable than mine, nor one that puts me up on a pedestal in some Ivy Tower that I never attended. Intelligent women want someone who can be their match, their equal. We want to challenge each other, but in the end, see eye to eye on even ground.

I understand the sentiment, but it’s flawed. And I’m telling you right now, if a guy told me that he liked me because he wanted to date someone smarter than himself, he’d be deported to the friend zone faster than he could process his mistake. [I would later explain this error, once I adopted him and took him under my wing. I’m a fantastic wing-lady.]

I’ve been there, and it doesn’t work. I dated guys dumber than myself in high school and college– and I’m no longer in either of those places because I was smart enough to graduate.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask to find a guy that did the same.

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