one of the side effects that comes along with intentionally branding yourself as “a person who knows things¹” is that most of the people i interact with care far more about my opinion of things than they do about me. mind you, this isn’t a complaint. my thoughts on gas ovens and the evolution of aziz ansari’s character on parks and recreation are much, much more interesting than anything i’d have to say about anything that’s ever gone on in my life. plus, not having people express polite faux concern about the daily minutiae of my existence means that i don’t have to lie as much as most people do.
basically, a win/win for all.
with this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you when i say that in the past three weeks, at least two dozen people (give or take 20 or so) have greeted me by asking for my take on the (seemingly) ridiculous romantic requirements expressed by rozonda “chilli” thomas on her VH1 reality show what chilli wants. when i let them know that i haven’t actually seen the show (although, admittedly, i’ve heard and read enough about her “list” to know that she apparently said that she wouldn’t mind dating a wealthy pedophile as long as he didn’t eat pork–or something like that), they press on, attempting to bait me into a discussion by making a connection between chilli’s ridiculousness and unrealistic black women and their respective and equally ridiculous requirement lists.
at this point i usually change the subject to mike brown’s substitution patterns or the surprisingly nice looking 2010 ford tauruses. if i were to answer, though, i’d probably say each of the following things:
1. anyone who’s been famous for half of their life (as chilli has) isn’t normal, and it’s silly to base your feelings about a collective group on the actions of one baby-haired extra-terrestrial.
2. she (and anyone else) can make lists however she chooses to. the title of the show is what chilli wants, not what everyone thinks chilli should settle for. with that being said, we just need to understand that with concrete requirements come consequences. basically, if you limit your options…your options will be limited.
3. the problem with her (and pretty much everyone else’s) list isn’t that it’s too specific. no, most lists actually aren’t specific enough.
i imagine that number 3 is a bit surprising. i mean, isn’t having arbitrarily specific height, weight, and salary requirements exactly what’s wrong with, well, everything?
well, vague specificity doesn’t actually say sh*t about you or your particular tastes, which makes things even more difficult, which is why its so important to be f*cking exact. what’s the point of going through the trouble to make a mental requirement checklist if you’re just going to fill it with the type of half-hearted indistinctions found in a fisher-price boyfriend template instruction packet? think about it. “6’3”, dark-skinned, and handsome” describes idris elba as well as mr. ed.
for instance, while saying you’d like someone “smart and funny” is cool in a mildly retarded way, admitting you desire someone smart and funny enough to wittily articulate exactly why the season three premiere of the boondocks wasn’t really that smart or funny at all is much more sensible, practical, and meaningful.
sure, pretty much every woman would like a “strong and physically fit” man, but strong and physically fit in the “i just want him to look imposing enough in his suit to scare away census workers and jehovah’s witnesses” sense or the “while wall-straddling him, can he hold a camcorder in one hand while keeping me in place with the other?” sense?
i’ve even began to alter the wording in my own preferred mental list. vanilla terms like “considerate” and “curvy” have been replaced by “someone who’ll at least wait until after the game is over to pick a fight about me buying the wrong color place mats” and “do i catch old men sneaking peaks at her *ss when they think i’m not looking?“. even deal-breakers like ”excessively needy” have given way to “if i go 70 seconds without returning her gchat message, will she say “hello! hello!” in caps repeatedly?”
this type exactness and expression might seem frivolous, but its purpose is to narrow down exactly what makes you happy and why. and, if you can’t give any contextual and practical reason why “he must make six figures” or “she can’t weigh more than 140 pounds” is on your list, it’s probably not as important to you as you think it is.
anyway, i’m curious: people of vsb.com, forget about “tall” and “sexy” and “sexually adventurous” and the rest of the aggressively unambitious and meaningless sh*t on your half-assed lists. with the importance of exactness in mind, be creative and tell me, what the hell do you REALLY want?
¹”the weirdo who tries to find meaning in meaningless sh*t nobody cares about” would also fit here