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Worldwide Ace » Attraction Faux Pas

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Attraction Faux Pas

19 May, 2008 (10:43) | Social Commentary

One thing I love about Boulder is that it’s prime ogling territory. In Boulder, the ratio of beautiful and healthy people is incredible. If I’m not getting my facts wrong, Boulder remains the skinniest city in the skinniest county in the skinniest state in the country. And while often that means the women wandering around here are too skinny for my tastes, there are plenty who are gorgeous and just right.

SIDE NOTE: I wasn’t always this way. For a long time, I thought it was disrespectful to stare at women. In many ways, it’s objectifying and reduces them to meat to (as Ironman likes to say) be filed away for the “spank bank.” For a month during my senior year of high school, I experimented with just staring at women I found attractive. I wouldn’t break my gaze if they turned to look at me but I would apologize if they approached and tell them I was enraptured by their beauty and that I would stop staring. Sometimes, they would wander away with strange fearful looks on their faces. More often they’d smile as they passed or complain directly to me or a friend with them. Regardless, when the experiment was over, I went back to my respectful ways (though it factor into my choice to give one random person a compliment at least once a week).

When Spring rolled around my Freshman year at CU, I couldn’t help but spend some warm afternoons staring out the window of my dorm at the bikini clad ladies who lay on the lawn beside the building. Still, I tried not to stare or be untoward. It wasn’t until I spent a lot of time with Ironman that I began to believe that my admiration of beauty wasn’t some kind of insult. If anything, I think it should be seen as a compliment.

Ironman introduced me to “rubber necking,” the act of turning sharply while driving, riding, or walking past a beautiful woman to get a longer look. Ironman and I would go to Old Chicago’s, where the wait staff was often full of beautiful girls. Sometimes, we’d even make rude comments, though never loud enough to reach passed our own ears, that would send us into laughter–and occasionally shame. To me, my ogling days didn’t truly begin until I had Ironman as a mentor.

Since work at Barnes & Noble is such a demanding and time consuming job (see: irony), I spend most of my time pacing back and forth in my department prison thinking. Because the music department has the highest loss and the lowest profit for us, we’re required to have an employee there at all times. This means that I have a lot of down time. The wall around the department stands 5 and a half feet, so at 6’2″ I can easily see over. Often, I watch as the beautiful women pass or wander, sometimes following on my side of the wall the full length of the department. I’m certainly not the only employee who does this, as many of the staff comment on our customers’ beauty in the break room and several of my coworkers make an effort to come point out beauty in all forms.

Yesterday, with the mid-shift calling out sick, I was on my own nearly the full day. Most of that time, I spent ogling the local beauties. But as I watched this one lovely blonde in a blue sun dress, the moment I had dreaded happened. That’s right. She walked up and began to browse the Christian Inspiration section.

SIDE NOTE: The Music Department at our store is located on the East side of the store, but our entrance is flanked by New Age/Spirituality, Bibles and Christian Inspiration. Much to my chagrin, the vast majority of beautiful women available for ogling spend their time browsing here. And while it offers the best views of their beauty, it also is a constant reminder that physical beauty simply isn’t enough for attraction.

Wandering the Christian Inspiration books or leafing through the latest Sylvia Browne books is one sure way to instantly turn me off (which, while at work, is as much a blessing as a disappointment. I’d hate to walk around the department constantly adjusting my oversize pants to hide my erection). Picking up Hindu or Buddhist or Jewish books aren’t as bad, but I constantly worry about the sanity of said individuals. People always talk about bookstores being a great place to meet intelligent people, but I swear I was stuck in exactly the wrong area.

Between the 30 some odd girls who browsed the Christian Inspiration section and misscapitalistas post on assholes and why they’re an instant turn off, I spent the majority of my day yesterday contemplating exactly what will instantly turn me away from someone. Since I already posted about what I look for in a woman (albeit a few years ago), I figured a list of things I can’t stand (most of which run for both sexes) is in order.

Peeves of an Admitted Perv
(in no particular order)

  • Smoking – One of my least favorite habits is smoking. It yellows the teeth, makes the person smell, and ages you incredibly. And while I certainly admire a nice body, beautiful eyes and a stunning smile are the two most attractive features on anyone, regardless of what else they have going for or against them. The minute I see a cigarette heading towards the lips of a woman, she immediately takes 2-10 steps down in my eyes.

    I do make an exception for smoking pot every once in a while, since I don’t think it’s that bad If using a vaporisor or cooking with pot is an option, I prefer that anyway, and it helps avoid the nastiness of smoking.

  • Heavy Drinking/Drug Use – My mom’s an alcoholic. It’s an issue I grew up with and have tried to deal with right along side her. As much as the fear of alcoholism is in me, this is more about what I like to do for fun than it is about the habits themselves.

    I don’t like to go out to the bars and drink. I don’t like to drink heavily. I smoke pot occasionally, but being stoned a lot isn’t any better than other drug use. And it’s far worse when I have to babysit, as I often did Freshman year. I don’t mind if she drinks sometimes or likes to go out with the girls, but if a woman can’t use in moderation, remain lucid and coherent, and spend time with me sober, I don’t want to be around her. And if she’s using any hard drugs, well fuck that completely.

  • Stupidity – Which brings us to stupidity. I fully believe that heavy drug use is a subcategory of stupidity a lot of the time. And if there’s one personality quirk I look for in a woman, it’s intelligence.

    We all make mistakes, so there’s a lot I’m willing to forgive. I generally don’t expect a whole lot from people, so getting a little goes a long way. She can be ditzy or slightly slow, but as long as she can hold down an intelligent conversation or argument every once in a while, I would be hard pressed to call her stupid. Still, some people just don’t get it, and if that’s the case, why should I bother even talking to them?

  • Blind Religious Fervor – Once again, this could be a subcategory of stupidity. I don’t mind religion. In fact, I think it can be useful and neat a lot of the time. But some people don’t seem to take religion with a grain of salt. They don’t question or argue with tenets that make no sense. That blind religious belief is what gets to me.

    A few years ago, my friend izzzyy converted to Catholicism. At first, I was skeptical of this move, but the more I spoke with her about it, the more I realized that she’s intelligent and understands what religion’s role is in her life. I knew I could trust her not to try and convert me or force her beliefs on me since she’s compassionate and kind (despite the sometimes prickly veneer), and I knew she was making the decision for her own benefit and no one else’s. izzzyy is a shining example of when religion works right, and is exactly the opposite of the blind religious fervor that upsets me so.

  • Ethical Vegetarianism – I can’t stand ethical vegetarians. I don’t like animal cruelty any more than the next guy–Hell, the tattoo on my ankle has a representation of the Greek goddess of animal husbandry in it–but there comes a point where you shouldn’t be fucking up your life and/or diet for ethical reasons. It’s one thing if you don’t like the taste of meat or can’t afford the prices or are on a special diet for health reasons or simply don’t digest meat very well (like a lactard for meat), but if you become a vegetarian because you saw some exposé or visited some slaughterhouse, you might as well become pro-life because you saw a picture of a fetus.

    The human body requires certain nutrients, and while it’s certainly possible and can be successful to give them up, everything has its cost, but health wise and lifestyle wise.

  • Closed-Mindedness – One of the lifestyle costs of ethical vegetarianism is the ability to try new and amazing things. I admit that I’m loathe to pick up that hard boiled egg complete with half formed chick bones in it that they love in the Philippine Islands, but at least I can if I so choose. I would hate to miss out on an experience that is new and interesting and invigorating solely because I’m acting too closed-minded to try it.

    This is, perhaps, my biggest peeve. Often, closed-minded people come off as stupid simply because they won’t give things a fair shake. In high school, I worked really hard to get the drummer of my band to listen to more music than just Nirvana. He made some real strides, but is still limited in his tastes, which is fine, but at least he’s willing to give things a fair shot these days. Foods I know I don’t like I’ll still eat every once in a while just to make sure I don’t like them. With several veggies, my tastes have changed, and I would hate to miss out on them now simply because I was too closed-minded to give them another shot.

  • Fashion Sense – I love a woman with a good fashion sense. And, as I’m wont to do, I have difficulty with people who lack fashion sense. Dressing like a scrub every once in a while is fine, but I don’t want skanky women who show too much skin. As galactic dev and I have discussed on multiple occasions, looking comfortable is a big part of looking good as well. I know I said it in my rant on skirts that are too short. And I’ve detailed my issues with fashion at least once before. I’m not about to date a girl with a grill or who uggs up every time she want to wander around in her “juicy” sweatpants.

    When it comes down to it, she doesn’t have to be dressed in her finest greenery and primped and preened to an absurd level, but just trying to look somewhat good at least some of the time is important.

  • Country Music – Perhaps my most frivolous peeve is a love of country music. There’s some country I enjoy (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, alt-country), but the vast majority is simply the white trash gangsta rap. It lacks true emotion, plays on stereotypes, and is overproduced schlock with few exceptions.

    I don’t mind someone liking country, but when they adore it to the point of driving a truck and wearing cowboy gear despite having grown up in Los Angeles… I’m just livid thinking about it. Often, but not always, this love of country goes along with musical closed-mindedness. Of course, I’ve been proven wrong before, and I hope I’m proven wrong again and again on this one.

  • Compassion – The heart of misscapitalista‘s post on assholes seems to be a lack of compassion. One thing I look for in a woman is a kind heart and an ability to forgive. At the same time, an instant turn off for me is a lack of compassion. I love kids and I’ve found the best way to see if someone is compassionate is to see how they act around kids. If I see someone mistreating a child, I won’t hesitate to make my opinion of them known. I’ve lectured parents and teachers before, and I don’t care if it pisses them off. If they’re no open-minded enough to listen to some advice, they’re already on my blacklist.

    At the same time, simply because someone acts aloof or jokes about something doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to them or they don’t care. I often make jokes in poor taste, but when it comes down to it, the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone. In the end, without compassion, people are merely mindless selfish drones, and I don’t want to associate with them.

  • Prejudice – If you’re not seeing a theme yet, you probably haven’t realized that most of these points are related. Prejudice and racism is directly connected to closed-mindedness, compassion, stupidity, and often religious fervor.

    I can forgive people for a lot of things, but one thing I can’t stand is racism, sexism, homophobia, sectism, agism, or any other ignorant prejudice. I’m still having difficulty forgiving my grandmother for her racism against Mexicans and her homophobia, and she’s not even alive anymore.

    I’m certain I sometimes fall into this category because I make racist and sexist jokes a fair amount. Therefore, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially given how ingrained these issues are. Still, I tell these jokes for several (often unsuccessful) reasons. The first reason is to entertain. There’s nothing more beautiful than a smile and a laugh, regardless of the reasons for it. The second reason is to open a dialog. When I offend someone, it turns a minor joke into a frank discussion of race or religion, often culminating in my learning something, if not both of us. The third reason is to find out if people are prejudiced. If someone isn’t willing to have that post-joke conversation, then they fall into closed-mindedness. If they revel in the humor, they reveal their prejudice. Either way, it gives me a better sense of who they are.

This list is far from complete. There are plenty of little things that bother me about people, but most of them can be overlooked if they don’t fall into one of the big categories.

Perhaps I’m wrong to be discerning about these things, but everyone has their preferences and peeves. These just happen to be mine.

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