I am not sure how or when it developed, but sometime around high school I gained a hypnotic charisma, despite my speech impediment. It envelopes a person in a soothing feeling of inferiority, and they know on some level that this is the most real experience they will ever have. I exude confidentiality and non-judgmentalism with an overtone of authority, much like O’Brien from 1984. Maybe it’s partly the way I look at someone when conversing, but people like to share their secrets with me.
I am 24, and since finishing high school, I have friend-zoned at least four close female friends who were not fat, androgynous, or out of age, three of whom explicitly told me they wanted to date. The friend-zoning only made them want me more.
This charisma is not a game technique; it is a way of life, and I use it with everyone. One friend recently told me, “You’re the only person I don’t feel like a moron when I’m talking to you,” right after saying, “Every time I talk to you, I feel like I’ve learned something.” People either love this or hate it—and sometimes both—but they are almost never lukewarm towards me. I could advocate any amoral ideology and have them thinking I was still a decent guy. I understand how Hitler came to power.
Nor am I entirely sure what I am doing. This is especially remarkable since women have generally avoided me until I was about 21 or so.
Why am I not married yet, then? A wide variety of contingencies I don’t wish to share here. Suffice it to say that I’ve experienced many unique things in the last six years (some of which you can find out about in my book, The Death Of Ideology).
In the city I lived in before moving to law school, I met Dianne on OKCupid. She said she wasn’t interested in getting married soon or having a long-distance relationship, and since I was moving soon, we decided we would just be friends. She didn’t have many friends even though she more or less grew up there, and I was in extreme social isolation, so it was very good for the both of us. We hung out at least once a week.
She might have been good wife-quality under different circumstances, but she was very screwed up emotionally. Perhaps good short-term dating quality. You could milk six months of happiness out of being with her, but you wouldn’t want to give her your commitment.
Even though I enjoyed our friendship, I quickly discerned that I should be very careful about showing her backstage Blair. There are a few smart liberals who can defend their beliefs with a trajectory of logic, and even if you disagree, you can tell that they are trying to leave out all the loose ends. But Dianne wasn’t one of those. She was blinded by white guilt and female chauvinism (although she generally wasn’t sanctimonious about it). She actually left the Episcopal church because they’re too conservative.
She was also very quiet, which naturally led me to doing most of the talking when we first met (she assured me she preferred it). So I found myself initiating all of the conversations, and she would build off of that.
Any kind of Blair is extremely charismatic, especially one-on-one. But there are a few different kinds of Blair. There is fascist Blair (impassioned Mussolini), clown Blair (arrogant Gaston), Russian mob Blair (calmly dominant Michael Corleone), renegade Blair (vulgar Daniel Tosh), and artist-philosopher Blair (dreamy Nietzsche).
This is why I am really good at getting phone numbers, even if I can’t figure out how to set up the actual date. About one out of ten women grow addicted to me, even if they have no interest in dating me (such as my married best friend in that city).
After about a month, Dianne and I had a text message fight. I refused to apologize. She backpeddled and assured me that she didn’t really think I was racist [guffaw] and that she hates arguing in general. Next time I was over at her house, after an hour or so she starts telling me about her rape. Starts crying just a little. She’s also got a restraining order against her father (who wasn’t the rapist—I’m not sure what happened with him, but he was about to lose his ordination in the Methodist church). She’s telling all this to a guy she barely knows whom she just had a fight with.
Around this time, she cooked me dinner. I think it was the time she told me about the rape, but it might have been the next time. I could tell Dianne was crushing on me hard. Of course, she never admitted it, and she certainly never knew the backstage Blair. But you could tell in the way she’d light up around me. She would bloom like a flower. She felt a deep sense of comfort, more like a woman spending the night with Putin than eating chocolate with her gay best friend. We stayed Platonic, but I’m sure I could have banged her if I wanted to.
She’s the one who introduced me to contradance. She let me borrow a skirt to wear as a joke. Women love a guy without shame.
Her Episcopalian mother adored me because of the way I could explain Orthodox Christianity. Another strong strength of mine is explaining complex ideas in a simple and engaging way. Her mother suggest I become a pastor [another guffaw].
Two months in, we had another text message fight. I had sent her a joke about how some girls on internet dating have a picture of a flower instead of a picture of themselves. She said something about how men are pigs. I took offense to it. She told me to quit arguing because it reminds her of her dad. Then I really took offense, since that man was such a bad person in her mind. She didn’t apologize. I didn’t text her anymore. She took the hint and didn’t text me either.
Next time I saw her at contradance a few weeks later, as we pass each other in the dance, she says, “I just don’t want it to be awkward between us.” You could tell she was emotional, like a child who had lost his dog three weeks ago.
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