One of these days, the stack of too many magazines on my dining-room table will topple over, and one of them will pop open to reveal something like this:

Dear So-and-So:
What do you do when you have no reason to dream? For a couple of years now, I've been fixated on someone who is what we used to call Geographically Unacceptable. For a while, she seemed to find me at least somewhat tolerable, though she never really showed any actual interest, but now she considers me beneath contempt. I can't blame her, since we both know I'm not good enough for her, but why do things always have to end this way, with me retreating into miserable solitude?

Scorned in Soonerland

Dear Scorned:
If she's as worthy as you think she is, then she's probably right: you aren't good enough for her. In fact, judging from the overall whiny tone of your letter, most of which was edited out as a kindness to our readers, you probably aren't good enough for anyone. In the first place, you have absolutely no concept of what it means to have this kind of relationship. Love doesn't solve all your problems. If you're really lucky, it makes your existing problems more interesting, but expecting some kind of Wagnerian redemption is incredibly shortsighted and more than a little selfish.

Women don't fixate this way. They evaluate the overall package carefully before deciding to open it up or to toss it aside. If you're getting tossed aside most of the time, it's very likely that there's a good reason for it. It may seem horribly elitist and undemocratic to say so, but some people are simply more desirable than others. Even in love, we're not children of Lake Wobegon: we're not all above average. And I don't care how many carefully-crafted sentences you can shove into a single paragraph, or how many eyes you think you've opened with your rambling perorations: you're somewhere on the cusp between dull and dreary, and anyone you think is smart enough to merit your attentions is going to be smart enough to keep you at maximum distance.

If you're wise (and I know that's a lot to assume), you'll forget about her and everyone else who's played a bit part in your daydreams. There is no shame in being alone, and just imagine how grateful these women will be when you stop thinking of them as potential companions and start thinking of them as...uh...well, actually, you probably should just stop thinking about them at all. No sense making your life any more difficult than you already have.


The Vent

23 March 2001

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 Copyright © 2001 by Charles G. Hill