Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Death of Charm

At any time you may ask any woman in my life if I was charming.

And they will say, "indeed he was." 

Charm, I have to chalk up to my Uncle Jeff who, though a wonderful man, was very short and bald.  He had to develop his charm and he did to the point I would say he was the epitome of it.

He was sharp.  He was witty.  He was intelligent.  And he was a natural.  He always had the right thing to say to crack a smile in others AND (most importantly) it wasn't rehearsed.  He was smart enough and quick enough that he WAS charming so it came off as natural and genuine because he was.

Being a nerdy skinny kid myself in my youth, I started focusing my efforts to become like Uncle Jeff.  I would try to be witty, practice and form the art of dry wit.  TO this I added watching Cary Grant flicks, Humphrey Bogart flicks, and Jimmy Stewart movies, developing a repertoire of quotes no girl my age would recognize as plagiarism.  And sure enough, over time, growing taller, learning to dance, lifting weights, working out, riding motorcycles, etc.,  I developed into the devastatingly charming man that I am today.

Again, if you don't believe it, ask any woman who knows me.

However, like many other things, I have taken "charm" off of the table and now reserve it only for women I deem worthy of it.  My girlfriend, my female friends, and old ladies I happen to run into at coffee clubs.  And the reason this charm has been taken off the table is twofold.

1.  Most charm is not appreciated by my contemporaries or younger.  Older women will always get the  "who are you really and what were you before" line and they LOVE IT.  My female friends will always appreciate me purposely underestimating their age.  And the girlfriend will always appreciate the clever and witty inside joke hidden within an otherwise unremarkable statement.  But most women simply do not get it.  THey are not cultured enough, nor have the vocabulary to appreciate it.  Most witticisms will go over their heads and worse, they may see you as simply as nerdy, goofy, or just plain creepy.

2.  You have to earn charm.  Just like chivalry, just like respect, I don't hand it out for free anymore.  If I'm going to expend the calories of energy in my little brain to say something entertaining and cute that will improve and enhance (albeit minorly) your life, then you better have done something to deserve it.  Not necessarily benefiting me, but you better have proved yourself to be a good person, a person I find agreeable, and somebody deserving of charm (or respect, or chivalry). 

While this may address why myself and other genuinely charming men have in a cartel-like fashion limited the supply of charm, we cannot lay the Death of Charm solely at the feet of women.  For while there is no limit to the Disney-Channel-Justin-Beiber girls-cum-ladies now entering society who may demand it (or feel entitled to it), their male counterparts are hopelessly incapable of charm. 

Lacking any fatherly discipline, let alone guidance, let alone role models, young men today have no concept or clue of charm.  Hats are still being worn backward 20 years after the plague hit society, "hawt" is still being pronounced, and the behavior is so uniform the word "douchebag" now has a VERY precise Urban dictionary definition, defining young men who can only be described as well...douchebags. 

Few men know how to dance, few men know how be witty or creative, none of them have any culture beyond X-Box 360, and nearly none of them could even mimic Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant because they have no clue who they are.  This is not a call for them to "man up" but rather to point out the current crop of men are incapable of charm, thus further limiting the supply.

Because of this, we once again delve into the world of economics to explain what is happening in the courtship market.  With demand for charm being relatively constant, and the supply of charm dropping, charm comes at a premium.  The price of charm has gone up.  And if you want charm, then you better be a girlfriend, a good female friend, or a charming woman yourself to get it.  Because if you're not willing to pay "P2" in this market, there is no charm for you.

(PS-you would deserve charm if you could explain what "P2" is or could just explain the chart above and not tell us who Kate Perry is dating right now).

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