I’ve been tempted to write this blog many, many times but have held off for various reasons, mostly because I’m afraid that the analogy I want to use won’t be understood by most. However…it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want! Hang in there with me, please.
It’s no secret that women love, or at the very least are attracted to, “assholes”. Men know it and lament their luck constantly. How many times have you heard a man sadly end a story with “Well, I guess it’s true. Nice guys finish last”. Women sometimes try to deny their affinity toward the asshole trait. “I’m just looking for a nice guy!”. Yeah, whatever. In the end we should be looking for the nice guy, but for some reason, to a lot of us…the “asshole” will always finish first.
I’ve thought about it a lot, wondered why I’m always left standing with my heart in the hand, and wished for a nice guy to come sweep me away. But somehow, some way…I’m always chasing. Endlessly chasing. Running after an “asshole”. I would take the time to detail for you every relationship, attempted relationship, and sad ending to the asshole-chase, but honestly..I can set the scene for you by telling the story of one man, a University I love, and my continued chase after him.
After many, many years of dedicated service to the University of Tennessee, we kicked our time-tested, loyal but boring and worn out coach and got a brand new, young thing with attitude. Lane Kiffin, youngest coach in NCAA history. Lane Kiffin’s previous job was with the Oakland Raiders, and he had a losing record. In fact, he was fired by the Raiders in a huge media-storm and Al Davis, Raiders owner, pretty much called Lane an asshole. How does he keep getting these jobs, you wonder? That’s the classic part. His daddy is a good coach. I love it.
Most fans didn’t like the looks of him, but I was smitten. Young, good-looking, and within days of coming to work, he was in trouble. UT had a recruiting violation a few weeks after his tenure began, and all of a sudden The Lane Train is on TV calling out other coaches in the SEC for their own misdeeds. As it turned out, the accusations were false and Lane was reprimanded by the SEC commissioner sternly and warned against future missteps. Our very own bad boy! I was pretty giddy, and quickly filled my decorative spaces with photos of the new ‘love of my life’.
It got better, as time went on. Lane continued to stir the pot, piss off everyone in his path, and womanize. He bent rules, told white lies, and winked at the cameras. His record at UT wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t bad either. He was average, but I defended him like he was winning championships. He wore sunglasses, refused to tuck in his shirt, and disregarded most traditions. He crashed the company car, most people in town alleged that he spent his hours off the football field with young college girls who most definitely weren’t his wife.
And then one day, after 14 months of happy times for The Lane Train and I…he left in the middle of the night.
He packed his bags for another school, one he thought was prettier and probably one that put up with more of his shit. He left in the middle of the night, didn’t say goodbye. In the days after dumped, er, quit coaching UT, he made it clear that he didn’t really care for Knoxville in general. In fact, he said, he was always planning to leave us. He just found someone else quicker than he thought he would.
I wish I was kidding when I say I was devastated. I really threw all of my “big orange pride” into this relationshi….sorry, coaching agreement. I had a crush on the man. And I put a lot of trust into his coaching abilities. I made excuses for his rude behaviors. In fact, I kind of liked his rude behaviors. Traditions I had held close since I was a child, I was willing to part with…because that’s what he wanted. I liked that he was brash.
And he just leaves? In the middle of the night? Oh hell no. HELL NO.
If I could’ve chased after him, I would have. But as it stands, unlike boyfriends, you can’t chase after asshole coaches. So what am I left to do but be bitter? I watch his Twitter feed and sulk at the fun he’s having with the new school. I hope he loses games, hope he gets fired, hope he gets hurt like he hurt us! And I can’t stop talking about the situation. I can’t let it go! He screwed me over!
Alright, so my asshole celebrity was a football coach. Maybe that’s not your thing. Let’s try this one. MEL GIBSON. What an asshole, right? I mean, he lures you in with his good looks and charm. He’s funny. Braveheart is excellent, then he’s in some funnies like What Women Want…and all of a sudden he’s a screaming, misogynistic racist? How do you rectify those feelings? It’s impossible. Someone you really, really wanted to liked…turns out to be an asshole. I’m going to guess if he ever gets a movie contract again, women will go see the movie. We want to like him. We want him to be likeable.
There seems to be an element of this dynamic in everything that’s happened to me before and since in every relationship.
I could sit around and wonder why I like assholes, or I could take the lesson from the story I just told you. I liked Lane in spite of his flaws. I liked that he was young, had a bad track record, and little experience. He could make a name for himself using my school! (I can fix him!). I like that he talked a huge game, made enemies easily, and wanted to stick up for something despite knowing very little about it. He was cocky, sure of himself. And he looked great in a suit, but whatever. It applies to the boyfriends, crushes, and general interests I’ve had over the years, too..
I fully believe that there are some psychological traits that all assholes share–they’re almost all extroverts, extremely open to new experiences, a little narcissistic, outgoing, and downright charming. It’s all very appealing. They’re exciting to be around. They charm you and make you want to believe in them more than you actually believe what they say. And it’s not that these characteristics are bad, really. It’s okay to be extrovert. It’s great to be open to new experiences. Maybe it’s not so great to be a narcissist, but hey…if you don’t believe in you…why should I? Being an asshole actually comes from actions like hurting people physically and emotionally. But that’s probably not exclusive to people who are charming, outgoing, and extroverted. I’m sure plenty of nice guys have intentionally and unintentionally emotionally hurt their lady, right? I’d venture to say if you, like me, have been left standing there wondering where your sweet asshole went…it’s less because they’re an asshole, and more because they weren’t emotionally ready to commit to us.
The unwillingness or inability to commit brings that urge to chase something you want. The chase and challenge are particularly appealing, and probably what draws most women-moths to the asshole-flame. Why wouldn’t you want to be the one to change someone? Why couldn’t you be that girl? And if you even get the tinge that someone is saying “You’re not good enough”, doesn’t that make you want to try harder?
I guess at the end of the day, assholes don’t really finish first. People who are true assholes, who are a little psychotic, who hurt people physically, etc., they’re almost always considered dangerous and undesirable. But guys who are cocky, confident, brazen…fun… They usually seem to finish first with the ladies, especially me. I think it’s more of a flaw with the ladies than the men, though. We ladies are victims of the chase. Something we know we shouldn’t do, but still run after anyway.
I’m sure this is a topic I’ll visit with you again and again. But its food for thought for you to consider…