Don't Hate the Game

Maybe this is a game we're not intended to win. If there weren't women in this world, I would be a filthy, unshaven guy, sitting on a beach, eating doughnuts -Chris Isaak

I heard an interview with Britney Spears this morning (I was in the shower and couldn't get to the remote fast enough to turn it off). In it, she used the word "awesome" about five times, and, of hosting Saturday Night Live, exclaimed, "I almost fell off my pants."

I'm not sure what that means, but I think she intended to express enthusiasm (when in actuality, it just reinforced the likelihood that she just might be as dumb as a bag of hammers).

This is a couple days after I sat in a room full of people with their eyeballs glued to the tv for her Pepsi commercial, kinda like the cartoons where the wolf's eyes pop out of his head and the accompanying sound effect is "ahhhhh-oooooogah!!!!" - and readily confessed their willingness to line up for her forthcoming movie (a room filled with people with names like Shev, Chim, Moose, Flick, and the Ass Brothers, albeit).

Now... I understand Biology.

Admittedly, I failed it (twice) in college, but I paid attention during the good stuff. (I just nodded off during "mitochondria" and "asexual reproduction.")

So, yes, I understand that there are fundamental differences in the brain chemistry and physiological makeup of men and women.

I understand that, on some level, we're all evaluated as breeding stock (e.g., child bearing hips and plus-sized lactation devices).

Still, this is an issue I visit - over and over and over - with my buddy Rockford.

He insists that I can be a little too unforgiving about the whole "wonder twin powers activate!" response that men seem genetically programmed to have to certain physical specimens.

And yet I amaze even myself with my ongoing ability to be continuously disappointed when the guys I know make complete fools of themselves over grotesquely inappropriate girls half their age.

Maybe the fact that I love 'em is why: 1. I expect and want better for them, or 2. (more realistically) I'm so relentlessly self-absorbed that I somehow consider their errors in judgment to be a poor reflection on me.

Most of the time, they're like having 11 or so big, surly, overprotective brothers around (and I especially love it when they come over and change all my lightbulbs in the ceiling fixtures, like last week). But sometimes they give me a little too much insight into Man's baser nature.

That's why one of the things I love and admire most about Rockford is his taste in women.

I've known him for at least half a dozen years now, and he's almost always been hooked up with smart, funny, professional, ambitious women.

He's been known to break up with girls for nothing more than their inability to sustain an intelligent conversation.

If you can imagine.

I applaud his high standards and refusal to settle.

Sure, from the outside, it could look like arrogance, but as he puts it, "don't confuse my disdain for others with an admiration of self."

One ex-girlfriend, in particular, looks especially good on paper (beautiful, well-educated, speaks seven languages, extremely well-traveled, outdoorsy, power job in a power city) - but she was dull. He still complains about the fact that she backpacked Europe and came back without a single decent story. He said, "hell I go to Kroger for milk, and I got a good 30 minutes right there."

At my Christmas party this year, I walked into the kitchen just as he was beginning a sentence with, "so, at the autopsy this morning..." (ahhhh, my conversational duties as a hostess suddenly lightened.)

We were having a long talk the other night about why things didn't work out between me and somebody else who looked good on paper, and my biggest complaint was, "hey, I broke out my A game for this guy," and it was all just wasted. I didn't even know I was a spinner until him. OK, in truth, I didn't know what a spinner was until my evil party twin told me, and by then, I wasn't one anymore.

My pals argue we'd have been a decent couple if he'd come equipped with his own political advisor, who'd have pointed out the landmines, but I think that's being a little hard on me. True: I didn't speak to a favorite wingman for two months last year after he blew off my birthday party - until a peace was brokered by our pal Necker. But the only thing the peace required was an apology and some pancakes. It was just a principle. I could've held out for jewelry. He knows where I'm registered.

Rockford's more sanguine than I am. "Oh I lost my A game a long time ago," he says matter-of-factly, lamenting his move to an apartment in the suburbs. "I'm Larry on Three's Company," he moans.

I consoled him with my opinion that he has more game in the suburbs, living alone, than he did in a cool house downtown with a roommate.

I think privacy is one of the many factors chicks evaluate when contemplating any prolonged stays in HibbityDibbity Ville. (Chicks who aren't in the porn industry anyway.)

For example, I haven't unexpectedly run into a strange guy in the shower since collegeand crazy as it sounds, I don't miss it.

In real life, I am not any of the girls on Sex and the City (or hell, for that matter, Will and Grace), and my idea of a three-way would be one guy who did my laundry while another sanded my floors.