Thursday, November 03, 2005


That was subtle.

This post is a follow-up of sorts to last night's late night ramblings. A conversation has been going on about if girls intimidate guys (I blame Saule). The concensus has been, no, girls don't intimidate guys much. But then the girls scream back with "But that's the reason I've been given for not dating, that I'm intimidating." I've stayed out of the conversation as far as comments go, but it has made me wonder as this is the reason I've been given countless times. (Okay, it's only countless because I can't count to save my life. Today in class I started to count down from 10. I stopped around 7, only because I distracted myself with another thought. One of my students said, "I knew you couldn't do it.")

So here's my thought: is intimidation just an excuse we allow ourselves for being un-datable? Or for simply not being with the people who would want to date us?

Back to Saule. In the infamous car ride home from a Halloween party, Saule and I were chatting. He asked about my job and then (tactfully) asked how much I was making. I make more per hour than most student on-campus jobs, so I usually refrain from answering that question. I reluctantly told him, more out of embarrassment than anything else. ("I'm a good girl, I am.") I'm not sure if in the back of my mind I was worried about intimidating him, but he interpreted it that way and told me--as background--that he's a guy not easily intimidated. He then asked why I thought I would be intimidating. I didn't give him a complete answer then--I got sidetracked by one of my many tangents--but I've been thinking about it.

Reasons (I've been given in the past) that I (might) intimidate a guy:
1. smart. I'm smart. I didn't choose to be this way, but that doesn't mean I choose to act stupid.
2. grad student. Just try telling this to a guy back a year from his mission who has finally decided on a major.
3. job. I know I'm just a grad student instructor, but I received a similar response when I was working for BYU Magazine last year. They are jobs that aren't terribly easy to get and ones that carry their own weight on a resume.
4. smart. Still smart. Maybe it goes beyond the "smart" label. I write. I enjoy cultural events: theatre, plays, etc. But as you've seen on this blog, I don't stick my nose up at not-high-brow entertainment. My only need is to analyze them after the show is over.
5. size. I haven't wanted to put this one, but it's part of me I can't ignore. I'm not huge or anything, I'm just not tiny, petite, doll-like, whatever. I'm tall-ish with a frame I (unfortunately) inherited from my dad's side of the family tree. But I'm comfortable in my body 98% of the time and I don't plan on changing. . . not sure how I'd do that anyway.
6. attractive. This is excessively confident, I know, but this is something my second boyfriend (who really shouldn't count) told me. He compared me to a character in a book (that I still need to read) who was beautiful, but thought she wasn't because she was so beautiful that guys were afraid (dare I say intimidated?) to ask her out. I keep that analogy in my pocket for rainy days.

But does any of this really intimidate guys? Or do I just keep myself barricaded? Or neither? Maybe I'm just un-date-able.


Anonymous said...

I could add:

7. Shower - It's not like I run 5 miles a day or anything, but do I really need to shower on a daily basis?

8. So his Dad asked me out once. What's the big deal? It's not like I kissed him after that first time.

9. You tell me how a "MOM" tattoo is intimidating -- (it's "WOW" upside down afterall)

10. And the fact that I was a better missionary than him....or was the only sister in teh history of the mission to be given the priesthood-- C'mon!!

11. Knowing that I'm worth at least $100 per date should be a bonus -- not intimidating.

Thirdmango said...

I've somewhat stayed out of the conversation because girls usually don't intimidate me. Maybe if the girl was 6 foot 7 or taller, but I don't run into them often.

I think intimidation is an excuse that both males and females use. I have a bunch of things that I have that are intimidating such as big hair, I'm a huge fellar, I'm tall, I know more about movies then most people, I critique stuff a lot and I'm not afraid to disagree with people, I'm sometimes too forward when I think you're cool, or too backed off if I think you're pissed. Plus I have aspects that are a bit unintimidating, such as never having dated anyone, having quite a bit of college left and playing video games.

We'll also have to see which one of us gets paid more, I too have a high paying job so I usually don't tell people how much I make. I work with mentally handicapped children and have done so for a long time so my pay is pretty high.

Honestly, I don't think any of the reasons you gave would intimidate me, unless you want me to say number 6. :) Just hold out a little longer.

Etelmik said...

Perhsps it's because men say "I don't find women intimidating" as a general rule, but then they always get that way in the relationship, because it's different. Or they say it's not you, and it really isn't--it's just women in general.

A few particular women I find extremely intimidating. Most I don't.

Saule Cogneur said...

I always have too much to say, but lucky for you, time doesn't permit it this morning. I will say this however:

The average person, by definition, has an IQ of 100. There are quite possilbly a lot of average people in your ward and all around you. Most guys you talk to about his kind of thing are probably not average.(I realize this doesn't apply to your collegues, but...TO BE CONTINUED)
*skampering off to work*

erin said...

Funny I started writing a post the other day about this very thing. Maybe I should finish it...

Fun to see you last night for a minute.

erin said...

That pic is in the British Library. I have a picture sitting there too. Lucky!

editorgirl said...

PhPh: I do shower. His dad was cuter than he was--and had more hair. Since when is a tattoo intimidating? It's art! Didn't serve a mission and the priesthood thing is just a rumor. Am I down to $100 now? Oy vey.

3M: I don't find my paycheck intimidating. It's more that I was raised in a house where money was not discussed. Period.

TO: Which few? Just for reference.

SC: I tend to find "skampering" intimidating. But please continue.

Duchess: Enjoyed your post on the matter. And that pic is from when I was with ARC in London. That's the infamous Josh in the picture.

Everyone: Yes, I did, in fact, manage to use the word infamous twice in this post/comment section. *takes a bow* Oh wait. Was that intimidating?

Saule Cogneur said...

Infamous? Twice? That’s about as intimidating as the word “scamper.” Now if you used “fainéant” or “avuncular” twice, you might be a bit intimidating. But if that were the case, you’d have bigger things to worry about.

Bottom line, put two people living in different worlds in the same room, and you probably won’t see much chemistry. Put people from similar worlds in the same room, and your chances are better. If you want to date the masses of Provo, you’re probably out of luck. (I know I‘ve said this elsewhere. Sorry to repeat myself).

I can only speak from my perspective here, but who in their right mind is going to see a $1000 dollar TV on clearance for $100, and be like, “Sorry that TV is just too good for me. I better take my $100 and buy a piece of crap.”

If you’re really insecure, you might be serious when you tell a girl you can’t date her because she’s too smart/pretty/rich/successful. However, I think the intimidation card is a front as often as it is the truth. When a guy doesn’t like a girl, it’s usually because there’s something that doesn’t sit well about her personality or good old fashioned lack of adequate physical attraction.

editorgirl said...

Saule, dear, are you saying I'm on clearance?

Saule Cogneur said...

Ha! Don't I wish. As far as I can tell, you're still full price.

Clearance is the only way I could afford you, but trust me, when that happens, I'm going to be happy I got such a steal, not insecure.


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