Messin’ with a Housemate

Meet the Elvis of the Muslim world.  The reason you’ve never heard of him can be summed up by explaining that his innovative (and vigorous) pelvic thrusting resulted first in his ritual castration under sharia law, then the lighting of his tremendously flammable hat.  Dark humor, anyone?

Anyway, as one member of our community left last week to establish life with her husband, we found ourselves welcoming someone new to our house.  Today she came over to finalize room arrangements and get acquainted with some of the ‘habits of the house’.  

Of course, I proceeded to totally mess with her.  I even had her convinced “that we have a tradition called ‘funny hat Thursdays’, so I hope you have some outrageous headgear”.  

It was going to be hilarious when she came home on her first Thursday in a fez or something, but then Katie lost it and laughed.  No matter.  It looks like we may start up a “sombrero Sundays” tradition anyway.  I pity the fool that won’t comply…


How to deal with rejection…

When I offer a girl a date, they don’t often say “no”. In fact, having dated over 50 girls in my life, I can count on one hand the number that’ve turned me down. Of the handful, three said they had boyfriends, and I respect their honesty (I’ve also had girls with boyfriends want to date me).

So tonight I met girl-with-boyfriend #3, and it was a good thing. Reminds me I’m a mere mortal, and gives a taste of what most guys have to deal with regularly. Even with my history of success, it stung for about ten minutes. I know men girls fawn over who nonetheless have difficulty approaching women. I’ve been asked by many such guys (several more handsome/stylish than myself) how I do what I do. Here are some of my tips and tricks for conquering that fear of rejection that paralyzes so many:

1. Get comfortable with approaching women. This doesn’t mean you have to ask them out. Begin by complimenting a girl, and then leave. Be genuine; don’t use some smarmy pick-up line or seem like you’re out to get something. Learning to walk away–and to move on YOUR terms–is one of the best ways to build confidence and simultaneously create attraction. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been able to go back later and get a number/date after having coolly, confidently walked away the first time.

2. Practice does make perfect. You are going to have to face rejection before you ultimately find the right girl. Welcome to life. Michael Jordan missed tens of thousands of shots to reach mastership of his craft. He still misses shots. Free your self image and confidence from circumstances beyond your control (i.e. the inconstant emotions of the fairer sex).

3. Frame your “rejections” in positive terms. This technique was one I had to use tonight. She didn’t say she didn’t want to get to know me, or that she found me revolting (in fact, I approached her because she was sending the vibe so heavily a friend also pointed it out). She said she had a boyfriend. That leads me to presume (rightly or wrongly) that the answer would have been different had her status been so too…

4. Don’t dwell on the past or the recent situation, look to the future. I reestablished my confidence tonight in part because I was able to say, “Well, I’m one girl closer to finding her (or to being reunited with her, as the case may be).”

5. Fortune favors the bold (and the humorous). Women don’t respond to looks in quite the way guys do–you can accomplish more with confidence and humor than the typical Adonis. Play off the misguided female interest in “bad boys” by being confident and cocky, but be playful about it. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and make it clear to her she shouldn’t either. This is easier said than done by the time you’re in a committed relationship, and she does really own a piece of heartside real estate.

6. When it does sting, when you do get emotionally sucker-punched, used, or knocked down, get back up. Remember the story isn’t over, and don’t make the next girl suffer because of the mistakes of the last. You wouldn’t want to try building the next relationship on the old one’s bitterness, so why would you bring memories of the last rejection to your next attempt at getting to know someone?

And as a word of advice, if a girl says she “doesn’t want to lead you on,” that’s pretty much proof she IS leading you on, and on some level knows it.  She’s trying to assuage her sense of guilt. There’s a time to be nice and a time to tell the truth (and the truth will set you free). Don’t be the nice guy and help her get away with self-deception.

Appreciate the girls that are honest or self-aware enough not to lead you on…like the pleasant young lady I spoke with tonight.

Memorial Day

I approach this Memorial Day with several thoughts on my mind, some precipitated by a bumper sticker one of my housemates has put on his car. It reads, “War is a defeat for humanity”–Pope John Paul II.

I don’t much care for such bumper stickers. I fear the pacifism such stickers seem to support, for pacifism has killed more people than it has saved, and probably cost the world more human lives than any war. In fact, as the ranks of pacifists have grown in Western society, there has been an increase in needless bloodshed, not a lessening of it. In part, it’s just simple psychology; bullies are at their worst when no one stands up to them. And so we can thank pacifism for the 30-50 million dead in the years of Mao’s Communist China. The deaths and casual imprisonments continue today. Russia too, under Stalin can claim 12-18 million murdered and millions more sent to gulags. The blood of those dead belongs (in part) on the hands of those who argued for peace, when war would have been less costly.

So I return to that bumper sticker, and I wonder if many of the people who own them have any real understanding of psychology, human history, or even the quoted statement within its original context. I think it more likely they are merely distorting it to suit their own ends. The sentence from John Paul II that immediately precedes the one appearing on the sticker is “War is not always inevitable.”

Certainly we should strive always to resolve situations without recourse to war, but as JP II’s statement implies, sometimes, war IS inevitable. It is not only inevitable, but also a lesser defeat than the alternative–“peaceful” life under a brutal tyrant. Sensible, peace-loving folk recognize the sometime necessity of armed conflict on Memorial Day, when we honor the soldiers’ sacrifice and courage won for us lives free from brutal oppression. Lives in which we, unlike the Afghanis under the Taliban, can dance and play music without fear of being imprisoned, can worship as we please, and are allowed to educate our daughters without fear of torture or public execution.

On this day, we remember the thousands of soldiers who fought–and continue to fight in Iraq–for the right of humanity to live free from despots like Saddam, who killed between two and four million, and tortured a million more. Those soldiers have witnessed truly to that highest of Gospel ideals, and shown what our Lord described when he said, “No greater love is there than this; to lay down one’s life for a friend.”

That’s Whack, Yo!

Graduation and the closing of the school have me totally occupied lately, but I thought I’d add a post and link to a disturbing article concerning China’s exploitation of African nations.  Didn’t help that centuries of European colonialism and a few decades of American irresponsibility paved the way for it.  A must read for any concerned world citizen (and incidentally not the first article of its type–both the Economist and several reputable books have covered this issue beginning over a year back).  


(The Moral Theology of) The Devil’s Burger

Conscripted into service as “grillmaster” at a friend’s recent party, I had to face once more the task of grilling the dreaded veggie burger.  Of all the things one can be asked to grill, the veggie burger is the worst, and I’ve taken to calling it “the Devil’s Burger”.  Oh yes, vegans may think it healthier and more environmentally friendly than the meat onslaught normally seen at BBQs, but consider the other characteristics of the veggie burger:

1.  Like the devil, it does not burn.  I demonstrated this characteristic conclusively at the BBQ, to the consternation and amazement of onlookers.  At one point, it looked like it had char marks upon it, but I quickly proved it had merely picked up the charring from the previous meatburger.  Which leads to the next characteristic.

2.  Like Hell, it subsumes other substances into itself, corrupting them along the way.  

3.  Dogs refuse to eat it, as do most sane people.  The reason is simple–the Natural Law abhors the veggie burger at a fundamental level.  

4.  The burger violates one of my “rules of food consumption”*; do not eat anything that, going in, looks the way it will coming out.  

Some may express intellectual doubts as to my claim.  After all, how could something composed of so many good things turn out to be such a hideous abomination?  Nonetheless, if you search your heart you’ll realize I’m right.  As Thomas Aquinas pointed out, evil is the distortion of something that, in its proper place and proportion, is itself good.  There can be no further doubt…these things will be served up by the score in Hell.   

*Rule #1:  Never eat anything larger than your own head.  Follow these two rules, and most of the time you’ll be okay.  

Amazing Spheroids

That’s “spheroids”, not steroids.  So the above pic is of a design made using a computer generated algorithm and a metal sphere.  Seeing the video of their actual production is somewhat interesting.  My balls are as equally–if not more–amazing, relentless, and majestic as those that produced this art.  Just saying…

Organs for Education

My school is facing a potentially fatal budget deficit.  Way I see it, I can go for the risky path of soliciting donations, or with my “ace in the hole”: organs.  Harvesting about 130 kidneys at $2,000 a pop should do the trick.  Hey, you can live without a kidney.  

And the liver is a renewable resource…like hugs!