While I was in Paris I hung out with a girl who was a self-proclaimed member of the “beautiful people.” Her membership rested not only on being an physically attractive person (which she was), but also being an engaging and interesting one. Given that her history included both marriage to a Pentecostal minister and a cocaine addiction I thought she qualified on the interesting axis.
Having never having had a member of this elect deem to pass some time with a plebeian such as myself before it gave me pause for reflection.
I’ve debated in my mind for a while what it is morally correct to believe about divisions of people. I think that the most compassionate people can appreciate the beauty in most everyone. I feel a bit tainted when judging and ranking people. To declare a class of them “beautiful” and by proxy the rest “not so beautiful” feels either elitist or depressing depending on whether I’m classing myself beautiful or not.
Beautiful is a bit misleading I think. It lies too much in the physical plane. The way I think about it is to think about reading a history book. Eras and cultures can be summarized in a few sentences, but there are a few exceptional people, the great leaders and creators, who were enough outside the norm to warrant mention beyond their peers.
Not that one is either destined for the history books or dreary trodding life of mundania. I do think though that the general concept of people being more or less interesting is one that holds up to scrutiny.
An article I read a little bit ago had this quote: “I remember the guy at my 30th high school class reunion who looked over the people there and remarked, ‘I can’t believe I came in person, while everyone else sent their parents!'”
Some people forge their personalities more so than others. This makes them more interesting. At least it does for me who is only mildly talented at beholding the beautiful soul in everyone. I know deep down that if I were a noble and magnanimous person (or perhaps simply secure) I’d not compare myself to others and judge myself better or worse, but as it is I seem unable to stop and accept it as another of my flaws.
This issue is one which is poignant currently because I recently achieved one year of celibacy. Granted it was not an especially difficult achievement since for half of it I was dating Steph and the other didn’t exactly see my door beaten down with women attempting to ravish me.
I’ve just been feeling a bit lonely in the last couple weeks and contemplating a relation amoureuse with the fairer sex. Seeing the new group of trainees come in really marked the passage of time. Traveling, as well, left me with lots of time to miss the company that I didn’t have. Also, in the last couple days I’ve talked to Steph a bit and that sparked memories of what things were like when we were together.
The idea of the beautiful people works in here because I am pretty picky. Once upon a time I was as enamored with the idea of being in a relationship as I was with the actual person that I was dating. It was just good luck that saw me into a string of relationships with solid women. Going out with Steph though the first time I really did it in the long term (4.5 years) and in that time I had ample opportunity for the glamor to wear off and to come to terms with the gritty reality of what entwining your life with another person’s really is.
So, now I like the idea of being involved, but not enough to do it without really being taken by the woman.
It begs the question of “how beautiful/interesting am I?” I figure this is an essential point to ponder since if I am going to set my sights it is best to set them realistically.
So far things have not been going especially well. Much of it boils down to a Jungian shadow sort of deal. I’ve got some good qualities, but they all seem exaggerated to the point of becoming flaws. Intelligence to the point of over-analysis and detachment. Dynamicism to the point if inconstancy. Confidence to the point of arrogance and condescension. One of the reasons I’ve not been writing was the onset of a general “I suck” funk wherein I couldn’t see myself as having much of anything to offer the world. A bit dramatic, granted, but I am, after all, passionate to the point of dramatic. =)
With my friends and acquaintances I am understanding and amiable. I’ve got relatively few requirements and am generally content to leave people follow their own paths. With myself and my girlfriends I am not so easy-going. I feel the press of life slipping away and the urgent call to do something meaningful. I can leave others to follow their own paths and wile their lives away, but I have to go somewhere. Consequently, if there is someone traveling with me she has to be going somewhere too or else I’m just dragging her along.
Now, I am aware that being a critical person does not necessarily make one the ideal partner for a relationship. When I’m in a condemnatory mood it is not especially entertaining to be me, let alone to be around me. So far as stopping though, I have a hell of a time shaking the fear that I’ll wake up one day 80 and wonder where exactly my life went and why I didn’t do more with it.
Anyhow, I just needed to talk a bit. I can’t see any of this mattering a whole lot currently since I do still live in Africa and my options, given I can’t talk intelligibly with 99% of the population, are pretty limited. There’s a French goddess who walks among us occasionally, but an unfortunate bit of miscommunication (I told a secret I didn’t know was a secret and it got told back to her) dashed my already slim chances. There’s another girl who is possibly interesting, but I haven’t yet been able to excite any response from her other than a friendly smile.
I read somewhere that around 15% of people would estimate themselves to be of below average intelligence. (Meaning 35% of people are wrong in their estimation.) I personally would think myself at least close to average attractiveness: a bit odd, but in an intriguing sort of way. Perhaps I’m a bit odd in a “let’s just be friends sort of way.” Maybe I’ll start polling people. That’d make for some uncomfortable moments…
I’ve waxed self-examinatory long enough. I reckon I ought to give up on this day and go home since I’ve been here for eight hours and have managed to accomplish nothing. Thanks for listening though.
P.S. In poker you have “tells” or unconscious actions that a player will do that reveal information about their hand. I was watching myself with this potentially interesting girl the other night and found myself looking over my glasses at her. I do this at no other time and with no other people except occasionally for effect in a conversation. So far as doing it unconsciously though, this is the only time. Just thought it was interesting.