Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Guide to Guys: Failure Is Always An Option

On the infinitely long page of “There are two types of guys,” the one you meet most often is about a third of the way down: “There are guys who want to do the work, and guys who quit the job the minute the word ‘work’ gets mentioned.” Or in other words, guys who try to succeed and run the risk of failure, and guys who try to fail, period. The second group is composed of males who are all divinely damaged. And are attractive to the kind of woman says “I can fix this!” when she walks into a moldy rat-infested shithole on Avenue A.

Sorry, honey –- it’s gonna take a lot more than spackle and Dutch Boy to turn this male crackhouse into a family den room. This is the guy who always loses because losing is the only thing he knows how to do. But he loses in a very special way: by making you think it’s your fault –- by making you feel guilty for not doing enough –- when any sane observer can see that there was no way in hell you could have done enough to turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse.

Dating this guy is a Mission Impossible episode where everyone dies, because the guy will fight you every inch of the way. In the 60’s this kind of guy was called the Guerrilla Boyfriend, or Victor Charles, because trying to live with him was like trying to occupy a country where all the smiling locals were actually your mortal enemies. And they were pretty dumb back then. But because dumb guys always evolve into smarter dumb guys (they have to just to get over, right?), they’ve found new and improved ways to fail, and make it look like the failure was all your fault. They’ve discovered Psychiatry! Which is why this type of guy is currently referred to as Therapy Guy.

Therapy Guy is the walking definition of someone who is just smart enough to be dangerous. He knows just enough about Freud to use it as an excuse for everything he does, consciously or unconsciously.

HIM: The reason I keep screwing up is because my parents hated each other, so I never had a good couple model.

YOU: Oh you poor thing.

HIM: The reason I keep driving you away is because I saw how my father treated my mother and I’m afraid I’m going to treat you that way.

YOU: So don’t.

HIM: It’s not that easy. [Tortured look.]

YOU: [Falling for the tortured look like a grand piano through an oil slick:] Oh honey.

[Hugs and kisses. Make-up sex. Pre-production work on the next screw-up. Rinse and repeat.]

This is the guy who says sadly “It’s not you, it’s me!” when he’s insecure and says calmly and logically “It’s not me, it’s you!” when he’s arrogant. It doesn’t matter if he’s always in the wrong or always in the right, because what he’s playing for is the point where you walk out on him, and he can either say “I told you so!” or “I told you so!” My advice? Never walk. Run. Run like the wind.

And don’t forget to watch out for the New Age cousin of Therapy Guy: Astrology Boy. This is the guy who uses planetary conjunctions and accidents of birth like Freud uses dreams about cigars and trains entering tunnels, leading to remarks like this:

ASTROLOGY BOY: You’re an Aquarius; I’m a Leo. We’re doomed.

ASTROLOGY BOY: Sorry, I can’t see you any more -- Mercury is in retrograde.

ASTROLOGY BOY: You’re just saying that because your moon is in Scorpio.

(To which the only sane response is: “You’re just saying that because your head is up your ass.”)

Or (on a lighter note) e-mail conversations like this:

GEMINI FRIEND: . . . yes, I’m moving out of the city, but it’s not like I'm moving tomorrow.

MATTHEW: Selfishly glad you're not moving tomorrow. :-)


MATTHEW: That's me -- I'm just sitting here watching all the women in my pride go out and hunt me down a dinner . . .


Bottom line? Whatever name he goes by -- Therapy Guy, Astrology Boy, Bad Excuse Eddie, Big Blame Bob -- his last name should be Trump because whenever he does something wrong, that’s the card he keeps playing. And in just the same way you have to add “in bed” to fortune cookie fortunes so they make sense, you have to keep adding “and it’s your tough luck” to the end of every one of his excuses.

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