Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Potemkin Women

When I first moved to my current home and started establishing a rapport with the bartenders at the local pub that would become "my bar," I remember meeting two uppity 30 something women.  They were sharply dressed, boisterous, laughing and certainly the center of attention.  One was very attractive while the other was average.  Because they frequented "my bar" it was inevitable I would establish a relationship with them also.  This relationship was business in nature, but also short lived.

They were in the "house staging/fashion" business and wanted me to help them with their finances.  I agreed, but found it difficult to consult them for they would constantly bail at the last minute, change meeting times, just plain forget or just plain not take my advice.  They were too busy and having too much "fun" with their business and details like "accounting" were deemed non-critical.

Admittedly I was 1/4th attempting to get some kind of angle on the hot one, but after being stood up for yet another meeting I decided to end the business relationship and replace it with a "Minnesota Nice" relationship (one where you hate the other person, but fake being friendly so as not to disrupt the over all social environment).  It wouldn't have mattered anyway, because the hotter of the two made it very clear she was looking for a sugar daddy to take care of her.

For the next couple of months they would come into my bar and some of the other local ones, always talking about their business loud enough for people to hear, and always ordering the priciest of drinks to further prove they were successful.  It was almost as if they were 20 year olds trapped in 37 year old bodies, who somehow made it seem "house staging and fashion design" was all about drinking, partying, networking and wearing fancy clothes.

Then nothing.

They disappeared.  They were gone.  And nobody took note, for it was the absence of annoyance that made things "normal" again, meaning you don't remember the moment you recover from a sickness, because that's the way you're supposed to feel normally.

It wasn't until 6 months later that for whatever reason or another a neuron fired in my skull reminding me about the loud duo and so I asked the bartender,

"Hey, whatever happened to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb?"

The bartender laughed as he was cleaning out a wine glass.

"I don't know what happened to Tweedle Dee, but Tweedle Dumb (the hotter one).  That's a funny story.  She would come in at another bar I work at across White Bear Lake and just get hammered.  She'd then start crying about how miserable she was, how should couldn't find a guy to marry her, and how her business was losing money.  I think they went out of business, but I haven't seen them in months."

And thus was my first conscious observation of a Potemkin Woman.

If you don't know what "Potemkin" is, it is a reference to a "Potemkin Village," a trick the Soviets used to make things look better than they actually were in Soviet Russia.  With poverty, lack of production, no bread, lines, and all the other wonderful benefits socialism brought them, the Soviet leadership hid this fact by making fake "villages" to make it look like everything was just hunky dory in the USSR.  So when journalists and tourists visited, they were shown the Potemkin villages, not the gulags or everyday Soviet misery.  It was nothing more than a ruse to make things look better than they actually were, and is the precisely same tactic many American and western women use today.

You might ask why somebody would engage in such trickery, acting more important than they actually are.  But there are good reasons women use such a tactic, specifically it allows them to attain something that they personally cannot achieve or are too lazy to achieve.  Usually it is a higher status/richer man, but it could also be undue and undeserved business, undue and undeserved reputation, undue and undeserved attention, and undue and undeserved status.  And thus, very much like their midlife-crisis banker male counterparts, they put on the flashy clothes, talk a big game, act all independent, and scoff at people who are actually better than them.  Unfortunately, it is just a bluff.  A bluff that time and real life inevitable calls.  But unless you are aware of it, you can very likely fall for it and (like I did) waste precious time and resources dealing with such women.

First, understand that Potemkin Women have been with us since they were little girls.  Middle school girls actually.  If there is an example of a Potemkin Village in America, it is middle school.  Nothing is real, it is all fake, and the most popular girls rule the roost by essentially faking it into college.  They have the fanciest clothes, they have a clique no one else can join, they have the latest gadgets.  However, if you've ever had the misfortune of dating one of these girls, you'd know they are typically psychological messes underneath.  Of course, this is rarely known or figured out because their ruse is so effective it intimidates boys (and girls) from ever approaching them, let alone dare questioning their legitimacy.

Second, understand Potemkin Girls never mature into women who shed the fakeness and the ruse.  They merely become "Potemkin Women."  It worked so well as a child, why not continue the strategy?  They go to college, earn some worthless degree, go out and "partay," they dress sexy at night clubs and do the faux lesbian thing, only to reject the naive boys and men who dare to advance.  The ruse is so effective and society is only more than accommodating,  a lot of  young women actually start to believe their "Potemkin Life" is a real one.  They actually think they're that smart (when a 3.8 GPA as a Communications Major is laughable), they actually think they're in demand (while most 20 something men just want to have sex, not marry them), and they actually think they're going to succeed in life (as media, parents, colleges, government and every other facet of society lies to their face).  When in reality, they are merely setting themselves up for a spectacular failure and accruing debt at a pace of 4 $10 Cosmo Martini's a night on a 23% APR credit card.

Finally, after getting married, divorced, and having no real skills to fall back on, not to mention, they're getting older, the 30 something Potemkin Woman puts on her best act.  She wears the clothes she can't afford, starts the business that has no hope, parades a reputation that has no truth, all in the hopes of being given one more chance at attention, money, love, and/or status.  However, here reality has reintroduced itself to the Potemkin Woman and I have seen it up front, close and personal.  And the difference between the show the Potemkin Woman puts on and her insecure self is stark.

There was the salsa dancing 42 year old who WAS hot for her age and wore the most provocative outfits.  Of course she would only dance with the most accomplished salsa dancers.  But she broke down, crying one night at her house because her children hated her.

There was 29 year old lawyer who made junior partner in record time and wouldn't even consider dating men who made less than her (including yours truly), only to end up alone at a bar a decade later with a mean scowl on her face that would scare away any man. 

There was the former model who at 48 still wanted to go to "night clubs."  She broke down crying as it looked increasingly likely her house would go into foreclosure. 

And of course there's Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. 

Now I could go on retrospectively identifying all the Potemkin Women I've ran into, but the point is, especially for men (though women will also have to interact on a non-romatic or business level with Potemkin Women) is to realize just how hallow and miserable their lives really are.  The more posturing, parading and bragging you see, the more likely it is they go home and their lives are miserable.  That the woman who laughed at you in front of her friends when you offered to buy her a drink, goes home that very same night in a drunk stupor and cries herself to sleep because "she can't find a man."  I don't say this because I "want" it to be true or that I'm looking for some kind of "revenge" for women that spurned my advances.  I'm telling you because it IS true.  I've seen it.  I've seen the Potemkin Woman at home all by herself at 3AM, out of the public view...

and she ain't pretty.

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