Monday, March 15, 2010

"You're young and high maintenance."

By most standards, I'm neither of these. Perhaps relatively speaking, I could be both.

I will first start with the age issue because that is more clearly defined. I'm heading for "late twenties." I wouldn't call that young. If you're older than me, that makes me younger than you.

Now on to the main point. What exactly does it mean to be high maintenance? According to Urban Dictionary, the top two definitions are as follows:

1. Requiring a lot of attention. When describing a person, high maintenance usually means that the individual is emotionally needy or prone to over-dramatizing a situation to gain attention.

2. A person who has expensive taste (re: clothing, restaurants, etc.). This person is never comfortable because he/she is constantly concerned about his/her appearance. This person feels they are better than most people and usually judge others based on outward appearances.

Let's break it down from the beginning, one point at a time.

  • Requiring a lot of attention
    You can say this about a lot of things: babies, pets, antique cars. Does that make these things also high maintenance? Sure, I can see that. I can also see why this might prevent some people from investing in such things. My take on it is that if something doesn't require a lot of your attention, it probably isn't worthwhile, especially if you're unwilling to give it the attention.

  • Emotionally needy
    This one is a little vague because it's really subjective and unique for different people. Where is the line between normal and needy? Expecting to speak with your significant other on a daily basis, a need to spend time with a person at least a few times a week, constantly calling/texting/emailing - some things are clearly needy while others lay in the murky gray area. It really depends how an individual defines it.

  • Over-dramatizes situations to gain attention
    I didn't realize attention whores were the same as people who are high maintenance. Enough said.

  • Expensive taste (clothing, restaurants, etc.)
    Who doesn't like nice things? I guarantee you that any female, if given the chance, would not willingly turn down a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. NOT ONE. That doesn't necessarily mean they are all high maintenance. All it really shows is that women like nice things, especially those associated to labels. It also does not mean that she will only purchase branded items. ...and if, in fact, she will only be satiated by expensive things, then by all means, stamp her as high maintenance; I will approve.

  • Always uncomfortable because s/he is concerned about his/her appearance
    Do you really know somebody that is like this? Can't have a good time and is always uncomfortable because s/he is worried about how s/he looks? Seriously? This one is too easy. Figure it out yourself. *shaking my head*

  • Thinks s/he is better than most
    This isn't high maintenance. This is a superiority complex. Just going by the definition, folks.

  • Judges others by their physical appearance
    This reminds me of the age-old adage: "Don't judge a book by its cover." We all do it. Come on. You're telling me that you've never been attracted to a magazine at the grocery store checkout based on its cover? I bet you can't deny it. Humans are visual creatures. Looks and appeal are what you first notice across the bar. It's what prompts you to "make a move." Granted, you make judgments based on the entire package including what's on the "inside." Regardless if you do or don't, judging someone by physical appearance alone makes you shallow, not high maintenance. Again, just going by the definition.

My final take on this is that while yes, some may consider me to possess several of these characteristics, I think very few people who actually know me would categorize me as high maintenance. Truthfully, I *AM* high maintenance. However, I don't require the "maintenance" from anyone else but myself. I treat myself with the utmost respect, I buy myself nice things, I attempt to look good for myself. While it's nice to receive these things from someone else, I am not dependent on it. So go ahead. Call me high maintenance.

You can also call me young, too, if you can call yourself old.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Have you ever been on a date that actually turned out to be a non-date or vice versa? More and more frequently these days, I have received several perplexed communications (from both men and women) wondering if they're about to go on a date or if it's "just a friend" thing. I have also fallen victim to this confusion on more than one occasion. What is the tell-tale sign that one is on a date?

I have been informed by a very good (male) friend of mine that a man will only ask a woman to dinner if he views in her a romantic light (i.e. he's asking her out on a date).

Based on personal experiences, I am inclined to disagree with this assumption. I have gone to plenty of dinners with male friends in a one-on-one situation and those were purely platonic. Upon closer inspection, though, I would have to admit that many of these dinners were my suggestion. Regardless, I'm sure there have been times when the other party has suggested the outing.

My friend states that yes, of course, there are times when he will have dinner with a woman with only friendship in mind, but those are far and few between. He also said that should dinner occur, it is usually appended to a different social meeting and it just so happens that it ran into dinnertime. He argues:

Socializing over dinner is a female thing. It's not like I ever call up my buddy, Joe, and say, 'I haven't talked to you in awhile! Let's catch up over dinner!' NO! Of course, not. Guys like to 'hang out' or 'shoot the shit.' Socialize over beer or go watch a movie or go shoot some pool. Listen, if a guy is asking a girl out to dinner, it's because he wants to go to dinner with her. Otherwise, he'd say, 'Let's hang out. Let's have a drink/watch a movie/shoot some pool.' We don't do dinner, do we?

Well, explained that way, I can see that. And he's right - we don't do dinner, at least not since we dated. (Another reason I am predisposed to believe what he says especially when there's an outright connection to where we stand/once stood). However, I am not convinced. This is a la He's Just Not That Into You, but I do believe that if a man is attracted and interested in a woman, he will let her know. Nothing will be vague - it will be crystal clear: THIS IS A DATE.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

There's something about you that makes people really like you. You're magnetic.

About a year ago, a friend said something similar to me. At the time, I thought he was just saying it to be nice. I've always considered myself to be rather shy, slightly introverted, and somewhat of a wallflower. I do well in one-on-one or small gathering situations, but thrown into a larger group or party and I tend to shut down. In many circumstances, I attempt to make a good impression on people, but I leave feeling like I've left a fairly mediocre to no impression at all. I often believe that people forget about me soon after meeting me.

Needless to say, I was extremely skeptical about people being "drawn to me" or *really* liking me. In the last few months, however, I have been told much the same from various people, including friends I've known for quite some time and others I had recently become acquainted with. So when yet another friend made the aforementioned statement to me last night, I decided I should sit up straight, pay attention, and take her word for it.

If I take it as truth, though, I have to try to understand the reasoning behind it. Why do I attract people? What am I doing or saying that makes people take such a liking to me?

"[My] first impression [of you] was that you are really cool and nice."

This was a nice albeit vague thing to hear. But I think I get it:
  • I'm easy to talk to because I listen. I'm also, therefore, down to earth.

  • I have a wide variety of interests so there's a high probability I have something in common with most people.

  • Oh yeah. And I'm nice.

When did nice people become a scarcity? A week ago, I volunteered to bring my friend soup, orange juice, and medicine because he told me he was starting to get sick. I thought I was just extending a courtesy any friend would put forth, but he seemed surprised by it. He told me I was sweet to offer to bring him a care package. Again, I thought I was just being a good friend.

I like being nice, sweet, and a good friend. Maybe people are drawn to me because that is rare to find these days.