ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Isn’t it obvious? It’s about comfort. It’s about danger.
ME: Danger?!? They’re not even real vampires!
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: That’s the comfort part.
ME: AAAUUGH!! Vampires are not comforting! Vampires are soulless devourers of innocence who exist to feed on the living or turn the living into one of them. These perfect-boyfriend life-challenged brooding emo unsuckers you love so much are like walking chastity testimonials -- they never try to bite you, they feed on blood substitutes, and even though they've been around for over a hundred years, they still only manage to have the IQ of a middle-school slacker.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Hey -- we like 'em dead and stupid.
ME: Well obviously. These guys are vampires the way tofu cooked to taste like chicken is real chicken. Or computer game football players are real football players. They’re Playstation vampires!
WISEASS MATTHEW: So does that mean the women who love them are all X-Boxes?
ME: Get back in your hole.
If they were real vampires? She'd be dinner -- not a dinner date.
ME: So let me get this straight. Brooding emo unsuckers are terminally pretty, terminally 19, and terminally tortured about
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: And that’s why we love them.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Look. Are you agelessly pretty?
ME: I used to be.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: But you got old. Who wants old? Strike one. Are you always going to be 19?
ME: In my own head? Sure.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: But not in real life. Strike two. And what are you tortured about?
ME: Working a day job when I should be writing more.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: How romantic. Let us put it this way. Do you ever think twice when you’re sexually attracted to someone?
ME: Are you kidding? I’m a guy -- I don’t even think once.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Strike three, pal.
ME: So, what –- looks, youth and unsex? Is that what women really want from a guy?
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Quiet; we’re watching the movie.
ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE: Oooo! New unblood!
Go ahead; you watch. Meanwhile I'll start making a list of what's really going on with y'all by employing false logic, invalid comparisons, and gross generalities. First up:
Not just bloodless, but lifeless. It's not just women and vampires; it's lively women and lifeless men, and it's been going on since Charlotte Bronte hit puberty. And you have to ask: do these spiritual zombies display recognizable signs of life while they’re single and on the prowl the way peacocks display their plumage during mating season? Or is it the old opposites-attract you-complete-me light-shines-best-when-it’s-next-to-total-darkness dynamic that, back when it was Manichean theology, got you a one-way trip to the stake courtesy of the Spanish Inquisition? Nowadays you’re lucky to get a free steak dinner from these brooding black holes. Because that’s what they are, and that’s what they always have been, ever since the perfect example of this species of male made his first appearance in a famous Gothic romance, a sullen, moody male who embodied the two primal female responses to his character in the words of his name –- anyone who loves him will either get lost on the Heath or jump over a Cliff.
Separated at unbirth.
In this view of the Perfect Man, Dracula's not evil; he's the guy who wrote suicidal poetry in high school -- the guy who composed suicidal love songs in college -- the guy who can wilt lettuce, bruise peaches, and suck the air conditioning out of a supermarket produce section just by walking past it on his way to the coffee aisle. And meanwhile every female within twenty feet of him suddenly gets the urge to take home a can of Maxwell House. Why? Because to the female mind, you can only be depressed because you’re grappling with deep emotional and spiritual issues -- you can only brood when you’re contemplating the meaning of existence -- you can only be dark and uncommunicative because what you feel is too big to put into words. To the female mind, if a guy is moody and depressing, then he's grappling with something deep and eternal, like whether or not to slake his thirst for blood by biting your neck. To the male mind? Moody and depressing is just how you are until you slake your thirst for caffeine by drinking that second cup of coffee. Which brings us to:
The shallowness of unsuspected depth. There is something about guys with unsuspected depth which causes even the smartest, least susceptible female heart to flutter like Scarlett O’Hara’s hand fan. Just like men fall head over heels for women they meet in laundromats, women fall like a ton of bricks through greased air for guys who read deep. Mind you, guys with actual depth? Forget it. Imaginary depth beats actual depth every time, because imaginary depth is all about potential, and potential is sexy. Actuality is not sexy. Actuality is like a spreadsheet. Which is why men with actual depth usually wind up with women who can’t fill out the job line on their income tax return without asking if lap dancer is one word or two.
GUY WITH ACTUAL DEPTH: How about sticking a hyphen between them?
GIRLFRIEND: Hey --nobody does anything to my hyphen until I see an extra hundred bucks.
It never fails. Put a man with a company credit card in a line-up with three tattooed ex-cons who can’t hold a job for more than five minutes, and the average female will sit there asking herself, “Tough choice. Do I want Sing Sing or Alcatraz?” Because it’s not just about deep or shallow or imaginary or real. It’s about heart. Heart with an extra T.
It’s about threat. All women are secret lion tamers. There is no stopping the female urge to stick her head into the jaws of a man-eating beast, and when bystanders cry out “No! Don’t do it! He’ll kill you!” smile and say, “Oh no. He does that to everyone else, but not to me. Because he cares.” This is why cheerleaders hang on the words of bikers, prison psychologists run off with mass murderers, and Wendy Hillers wind up on the arms of Bugsy Siegels. (True story.) Personally, I don’t see the thrill of falling in love with someone who, if he treated you like everyone else in his life, would probably beat the crap out of you with the butt of a Smith and Wesson, or drain the blood out of your body like someone who’s just been given a slurpy after spending three weeks in the desert.
And he'll also try to rape you. But you'll forgive him.
Because he has a SO-O-O-O-O-O-OUL!!!
Mind you, I totally get the underlying truth of the words “He’s different with me.” What I don’t get is that “different” means “real and true,” as opposed to “not normal.” Just the use of the word different implies that it’s the exception, not the rule. And to try to make it the rule? Well, we all know what that’s about, don’t we?
"I can be the one to change him." Three words: No. You. Can’t. You can’t change “different” into “normal.” You can’t domesticate wild animals without neutering them or draining away the wildness that attracted you to them in the first place. Or making them so crazy they’ll bite your head off. And you can’t turn a wading pool into an ocean, no matter how much water you pour into it. None of which advice will ever stop a woman from looking at a sullen loner smoking a Camel and thinking to herself, “I wonder what he’ll look like pushing a baby stroller.”
Bottom line: all changes in male behavior are possible, which is why they are all doomed to failure. Only the impossible never fails. Only the impossible gives a woman the satisfaction of knowing that success is just one right word away, one right move away, one perfect night away. Only the impossible -- like bringing the dead back to life -- like making a lifeless heart beat for you and you alone. Which is why all women are suckers for vampires. Because it’s impossible to change them, even if they want to change, without either killing them or making them mortal. They’re always out of reach. They’re always not quite there. They’ll always give you almost what you want. And there is nothing more seductive than that.
Except maybe chocolate.