Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)”
I was reminded of this passage largely because the trailer for the movie Gone Girl was released today. The quote above is taken directly from the book on which the movie is based. The passage itself comes very early on, and it was the hook for me to keep reading, because the passage rang true in many ways. This is startling because I have read so few contemporary fiction novels in the last two years. At its heart Gone Girl may be a detective novel, but to me at least (for reasons that become clearer if you read the book), it is all about this passage.
Thinking about that quote again tonight also crystallised a few things. I write here when I am sad or mad, and not when I'm glad or happy. There's only one thing I'm sad about these days, and really, there's not much I can do about it. Since Valentine's Day (around the date of my last post) I've pretty much decided to forego active attempts at dating.
Yes, I've made such pronoucements before, but that was in the hope that by 'not trying' someone would fall into my lap. And I've actually followed through on this for two months now before telling the world this time. Previously, it was the whole 'something will happen when you least expect it' type thing. This time though I've not deleted accounts as a form of a grand gesture, I've just avoided visiting the sites because I'm Tired. So Tired of trying to find things that I can't ever find. As expected, when I'm not actively seeking someone, they're not actively seeking me either. It's been an interesting experience.
Which brings me back to 'The Cool Girl'. Prior to the online dating thing, that passage describes my ideal imaginary girlfriend. These three years have pretty much taught me that reality gives way to imagination. 'The Cool Girl' would never be interested in dating me for all sorts of reasons. Mostly because that passage describes the typical version of 'fun' and that is definitely not my idea of 'fun'.
The other thing that I've learnt is that I have a very minuscule chance of finding the person for me online. I realised this way too late. Also, the person I actually want is different to the person I think I want. I think I want two thirds of that 'Cool Girl' (you pick which third to leave out) and what I actually want is a pretty, smart girl who wants to talk to me about the things I love, and doesn't get bored of me being comfortable with my sedentism.
This both pleases and terrifies me.
Now that I'm at least 90% happy with how my life is turning out for perhaps the first time ever, I am even wondering why I even need a girl in the first place. Is it physical? Is it to inflate my self esteem, so I can say this to friends and colleagues:
Because we are together this pretty, smart girl thinks that I'm worthy of spending consecutive days with, never thinks I'm boring, loves me in spite of my disability, sleeps next to me in my formerly empty bed, and is someone I can invite to your momentous events so I don't feel uncomfortable and awkward.If all that is true those are pretty shitty reasons. And this is what I'm still trying to figure out. I'm 'lonely', but I've always been 'lonely'. I don't know what life feels like without 'loneliness'. Would the 'pretty, smart girl' end the 'loneliness'? If not, what then?
The answer to that terrifies me too.