The Foolish Destiny of a Delusional Egomaniac: i.e. The Art of Denial

I am unfit for companionship.

It’s not that I’m terribly unattractive – I have two eyes, teeth which point roughly in the right direction, and I smell okay on most weekdays – it’s just that somehow, somewhere in my past, it entered my head that I’m destined to be a martyr on behalf of single people everywhere.  And unfortunately, an idea, like some cruel virus of the mind, is a difficult thing to shake.

Such it is that I jeopardize my romantic prospects before they’re even prospects, using awkwardness or ineptitude as a conscious scapegoat to hide the delusional truth: I actually believe in some bizarre yet essential destiny for myself, a reluctant destiny of emotional destitution, about which I find myself asking Fate, “Why?  Why must a fulfill this role in the world?  Why did you choose me, of all people, to bear this awkward and terribly unnecessary cross?”

Sometimes, perhaps for practice, I envision a break up with no one in particular, in which I say, “It’s not you.  It’s not even me.  It’s a condition of the universe,” and then, instead of explaining myself, scuttling away Zoidberg-style such that the last memory she may have of me is one which frees her of any desire she might have ever felt.

But in reality, I could be having a lovely conversation with a beautiful woman, when suddenly my imaginary spiritual leader descends from the heavens and says:

– No, Quack.  It’s not your time.  Your time will come later.  You must preserve your purpose in life.  Initiate CockBlock Sequence 104B.
– Awww… do I have to?  I like this person!
– Yes, Quack.  Yes, you must.

“…sorry if it starts smelling funny here.  I just farted.”
“Uhh… okay…”

– Are you happy now, Destiny?
– Tee hee… yes.  Yes I am.

But why martyr?  For what purpose?

I suppose I do this out of spite for the dating game.  As I approach my later twenties, I’ve noticed air of fatalistic impatience surrounding courtship.  People have enough life experience to know what they’re looking for in a partner, and dates proceed accordingly like reluctant yet cordial job interviews where both parties are at once the interviewer and applicant, checking traits and idiosyncrasies off an imaginary compatibility checklist before consulting the business partners (i.e. friends) and having a conference to discuss the applicants, whose differences are often trivial and meaningless.

“I just watched a movie with Applicant C.  It turns out he likes romantic comedies, which is a +1, but also pops his collar, which is a -2.”
“That still puts him ahead of Applicant F [who lives with his mother], doesn’t it?”
“Applicant F does listen to punk rock though, which I also happen to enjoy, and he makes me laugh.  Making me laugh is a +3.”
“Can they both be moved to the next round?”
“I suppose, but only if neither of them finds out.”

Jenna's Dating Eval

It’s this sort of calculated analysis combined with the fatalistic need for companionship that makes the adult dating world particularly intolerable.  That is to say: the whole, “I’m 25 and single, so by the end of this month, I will be in a relationship with whoever has the highest score over +10,” and thus by the 31st, Applicant B with a +16 shall summoned to some movie where he shall lean in for the kiss and not be rejected, as is the custom.

Because God forbid anyone be single for any length of time in their twenties.

It’s almost as if, by this age, people suddenly feel the need to fulfill some greater destiny and partake on the Great Ritual of Courtship, and whoever happens to be tolerable and available at the crossroads of desire is He/She Who Shall Be Mine, Forever.  I’m just not ready to accept a reality in which my entire future is determined by intersection of complete random chance and opportunism.

It’s this kind of sober and objective determination combined with this generation’s ever-growing desire for matrimonial eternity that makes me nostalgic for the bumbling awkwardness of teen romance, when dating was confusing yet exciting because no one had any idea what they were doing, so everything was fair game (to an extent).  Expectations didn’t exist because they didn’t have a past to which to be compared.  People did what they wanted to do, whether or not it actually did anything good.

Ah, teen romance.

To be fair, perhaps the objective-analysis approach to the dating game is a little better than the early-twenties “College Bro” approach:

Art of Seduction

Such it is that I somehow believe I’m fighting the Good Fight: some silent and frustrating war between the accepted conventions of dating and whatever ideal I feel should exist in spite of not actually knowing what that ideal would look like.  And therein lies the fundamental problem with my foolish battle: I don’t know what I’m fighting for.  I know what I’m fighting against, but I can’t figure out the end goal.  What’s the point in martyrdom if it has no vision?  Why am I doing this to myself?

No really, why am I doing this to myself?  Why am I allowing myself to be blinded by talk of these senseless and lofty ideals – this elevated talk about ‘martyrdom’ and crusades against accepted conventions?  Why can’t I just admit to myself that it’s all a front, an elaborate psychological front to keep me feeling noble and proud in my distractedness from the truth that I’m nothing more than afraid?  Afraid of what?  Afraid of finding out that I’ll be disappointed with my future, unless I accept one that’s intentionally jeopardized in advance on behalf of some ‘noble cause’?  Were my naively idealistic expectations for adult companionship so unbelievably high such that I have to defend myself from growing disillusioned with their underwhelming realities by not allowing myself to partake in their joys?  Am I afraid to find out that maybe my future isn’t some star-crossed destiny, but rather is the trivial result of random chance encounters at a convenient time?

Art of being an Arrogant Loser

Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to avoid vacuuming my apartment.

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About Doctor Quack

Just another bonehead with an internet connection.
This entry was posted in Autobiography, Editorial and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Foolish Destiny of a Delusional Egomaniac: i.e. The Art of Denial

  1. Want to know the truth? Of COURSE your life probably won’t match up to your pie-in-the-sky expectations! Could be better… might be worse, ultimately – you’re in control of that.

    Now, go vacuum.

  2. desi83 says:

    Sadly, you speak a lot of truth here. As we grow older (wiser, more jaded, less excited), dating is like a business. Some people compare it to prostitution even (ew). I hate dating lol but I like to think one day I will meet “the one” in a non-dating/non-pressure situation and we’ll develop something out of friendship because we will be “awkward and inept” around each other to the point where we appreciate those things about each other and can laugh about it. Maybe that is what is supposed to happen? Let’s hope.

    • Doctor Quack says:

      I hope that too. I’ve been waiting to meet people in an “organic” manner and let something spin out from a situation that has no stigma or expectations, but it gets harder and harder to meet available people, and immediately the expectation seems to be there when they are.

  3. Jeff J says:

    I find that organic meetings are exceedingly rare at our age. It is a vicious cycle of sorts. The expectation that people are only meeting for romance means that even if you are not meeting for romance, everyone will assume that you are anyway. That being said, might as well only go after people for romance.

    I too long for a situation where you can build up slowly at a comfortable pace as opposed to the necessarily relentless drive forward that seems to be inherent in dating. Sometimes I feel dating is like a corporate operation. You got to meet your quarterly projections and demonstrate constant growth!

  4. Eric says:

    I’m 21 and feel the same as you. I’m somewhat jaded because I’ve read too much of online game strategy for dating but when you pair that with a crippling anxiety and depression it makes things really hard…I feel like nothing will ever come my way despite the fact that I do interesting things with my life. Being a compulsive exerciser and therefore very fit, and relatively attractive is not enough. Niether is being a well-reviewed artist and writer. I still have it in my head that I’m not worth talking to and the prospect of rejection prevents me from even trying most of the time. When I do try, I have so little comfort in my sexual nature (which I’ve repressed) that I struggle to maintain attraction because I fear someone being repulsed by my touch. I truly know how you feel. Hopefully something will switch in our heads telling us that we are worth getting to know.

    Being in your late twenties though, you likely will have better chances soon enough at finding a partner who is a contemporary of yours, and even moreso someone younger than you. Women your age are starting to listen to the biological messages telling them it’s time to settle down before they lose the possibility of procreating. Younger women will see you as mature and interesting because you by definition have a relatively high status…So at least if you can move forward somehow without the self doubt, you have a pretty good chance of finding companionship.

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