- This may have been tangentially brought into being because of some of the reasons behind Ana Mardoll's proposed Muppet movie. It doesn't matter. Just go and read that because it's awesome. I say that as someone who isn't even a Muppet fan (my favorite Muppet is Yoda and as far as I know he was never on the show.)
- If you're unfamiliar with the Nice Guy(tm) phenomenon, mindset, and so forth have a footnote. The idea behind the piece is that the male character is unfamiliar with all of these things but has recently had contact with Nice Guys who assume he is one of their number.
* * *Our players are a boy and a girl though those terms are used loosely. Anything from high school age to early thirties would work.
They're sitting beside each other facing forward. They're looking at something. It doesn't really matter what. They could be sitting on a curb watching traffic patterns. They could be sitting in seats on the observation deck of a space station watching the gas giant they're orbiting. They could be sitting on a log watching a sunset.
They are neither particularly close together nor are they far apart.
Girl has recently started dating someone, but that is neither here nor there. Though "there" could be the zombie apocalypse, which they could be watching, provided they're doing it while sitting beside each other looking at something (in this case some indication of the zombie apocalypse) that is situated in front of them.
Boy: Can I ask you a question?
Girl: It's never been a problem before.
Boy: But the mere fact that I'm asking if I can ask you a question surely indicates that the question that I wish to ask, but will not ask without prior approval, is sufficiently strange, weird, or awkward as to change the usual dynamics of our traditional question asking.
Girl: If I ever forget why we're friends, just repeat that sentence.
Girl: Ask away.
Boy: Is it somehow strange that, while I do find you attractive and think you're a great person, I'm not particularly preoccupied with, or indeed interested in, the concept of our relationship becoming physically and/or romantically intimate?
Girl: No. It's called "friendship" and it's perfectly normal. It is, however, strange that you'd be thinking it might be strange. What brought this on?
Boy: The third person in a week said, completely out of the blue and in a way that completely threw me off to the point I had difficulty hiding the fact that I was suddenly freaked out by them, that they had sympathy for my obvious and horrible plight of spending so long being your friend without ever being allowed to be your boyfriend.
Boy: There may have been other, less than complimentary to you, words thrown in as well --which could account for me completely failing to be reflective on the first two times-- but when it hit three people I started to wonder if my utter inability to comprehend whatever it was that they seemed to think so clearly bad about the state of our relationship might mean that it was me, not them, who was strange.
Girl: They're assholes.
Girl: Your inability to understand assholes might not, but then again might, be completely normal, but it's definitely not a deficiency in any way that matters.
Boy: Sometimes I worry that maybe the fact that...
*as he trails off, boy briefly looks at ground*
Boy: Sometimes I need someone else to tell me that I'm not, in fact, as strange and and wrong as people always seem to think I am.
Girl: You're frequently strange and sometimes wrong but rarely, if ever, wrong in the sense you mean right now and generally strange only in ways that range from good to neutral.
Girl: But the whole being my friend without wanting or expecting to have sex with me thing? Completely normal.
Girl: What kind of friend would I be if I let the assholes fuck with your head when you specifically came to me for head fucking-with checking?
Boy: I'm not sure, but I'm glad you're not that kind, and I think my phraseology is rubbing off on you.
Girl: It has been for years.
[Original Work Index]
[Original Work Index]
* The thing about Nice Guys(tm) is that, in spite of self identification to the contrary, they're not nice guys. They're manipulative predatory jerks who think that if they rack up enough friendship points with a girl/woman they automatically win sex (even if they never ask) and when that doesn't happen they feel they've been betrayed and dumped into the dreaded "friend zone". Not only are they not, in fact, nice people, they also don't seem to, fundamentally, understand nice people or indeed believe such people exist.
Strongly gender essentialist, the most common Nice Guy(tm) mindset is that males are incapable of wanting to be friends with females and thus the only reason that a boy or man would hang out with, be nice to, or act like a friend toward a girl or woman is if what he really wants to be paid for his troubles with physical intimacy of a totally non-platonic nature.
Continuing with the gender essentialism, they think that all women know this, and are aware that there's a transaction taking place where the male offers up "emotional intimacy" (fake friendship) as part of an unspoken contract to get physical intimacy (again, of a non-platonic nature; non-sexy hugs and neck massages do not count.) It therefore follows in this really, really fucked up view of humanity, and perhaps other species as well (I dare not ask), that a female would only be "friends" with a male she didn't intend to have sex with if she were manipulating his naive nature and leading him on in order to get him to do shit for her (things that most people might interpret as, you know, the sorts of things friends do for each other.)
The name "Nice Guy" comes from the idea such people put forward that nice guys finish last while women date jerks. Except that the key terms "nice guys" and "jerks" have been warped beyond all recognition. Hopefully you've got an idea what Nice Guys mean by "nice guys", "jerk" just seems to be a catch all term for anyone and everyone who skipped the fake-friend scheme and simply started a romantic relationship.
Could be the "jerk" was upfront about intentions and feelings and asked the girl/woman on a date, could be that the girl/woman asked the "jerk" out because she was attracted. Doesn't matter. By skipping the fake-friendship insert-niceness-tokens-in-exchange-for-automatic-dating phase that Nice Guys assume is supposed to come first, the person was marked as "jerk who doesn't really respect [girl/woman]."
The above was brought on by imagining Nice Guys offering an actual nice guy condolences on being "friend zoned" by someone the actual nice guy only ever wanted to be friends with, said condolences being brought on because she again started dating someone who, unlike actual nice guy, wanted to date her and whom she wanted to date.
(I'm going to mention the word "implicature", both for the obvious reasons and because I like the word and the having a word for that specific concept.)
(I like these two.)
(Sorry for being monosyllabic again.)
You don't have to be sorry for that.Delete
Given the option between you having a monosyllabic and polysyllabic response I'd prefer the second because it would probably give me a better sense of your experience, but a monosyllabic response is worlds better than no response at all. So if all you have is a monosyllable there's nothing wrong with that.
Thanks for responding.
I really liked this!ReplyDelete
This is very excellent, and very verbose, as well, which makes it even better, because a genuinely nice guy in confusion is going to bring all the terminology he can to bear on the problem.ReplyDelete