(Old fashioned typesetting isn't the most efficient way to print, but...)
As we walked to Mel's Diner, her phone kept ringing. Not the typical I'm-in-LA-and-I'm-popular ringing, but more of a your-house-is-burning-and-I'm-trying-to-notify-you ringing.
"Do you need to get that?"
"Oh no," she replied, without taking the phone out of her purse, "it's just my ex-boyfriend."
Five minutes later, the phone was still ringing.
"How did you meet this guy?"
"I met him at a club. I didn't really like him very much, but he kept talking to me. When I would leave to go to the bathroom, he would find me again."
"And you gave him your number?"
"Well, I didn't want to. But he kept asking me over and over again, so I eventually figured if I gave him my number he might leave me alone."
"But he didn't?"
"No. He kept calling and asking me out. Finally I decided to just go out with him to make the calls stop."
"But they didn't?"
"No. The date wasn't very good, but he kept asking me out again. Eventually I became his girlfriend."
"And now you've broken up with him and he keeps calling you?"
Amazing. I never saw this girl again, and I'm sure she doesn't remember me, but I think about this interaction all the time.
It shows that stubbornness can be more effective than tact. Back when I went out all the time, I prided myself on having a lot of finesse. I could sense the mindset the girl was in and respond appropriately. If she was getting bored I'd suggest going somewhere else. If she didn't feel comfortable I'd back pedal a bit, slow down, and try to connect on a human level, instead of joking around. But if she didn't return my call, I wouldn't call back. Too proud.
A friend was asking my advice about a girl he was trying to see. She flaked a couple times and my advice was not to call her anymore.
"Yeah," he said, "I know that's the right move, but it sure feels like losing."
He's right. Brute force persistence may not work every time, but at least there's some chance of success. Not calling conveys all of the right things: I'm not desperate, I'm not too attached to this, and I'm not needy; but almost certainly won't result in ever seeing the girl again.
Seeing this annoyingly persistent guy succeed gave me the same feeling I get when I see scammy internet marketers making hundreds of thousands of dollars pushing worthless diet pills. It's not quite jealousy, and it's not quite inspiration. The best I can put it is that I realize that I'm not doing things the most effective way, and I begrudgingly accept it. It's the intersection of drive and personal standards, seeing the way to getting what you want, but being unwilling to do it.
This post could have been about the triumph of stubbornness, and its close cousin, persistence. If the guy from the story was retelling it, it would probably come out that way. But to me it's a reminder than winning isn't everything; how you play matters too.
Great post !
It makes me realize that each time I jeopardized my values, it turned bad ..whether I achieved my ends or not ;)
The point is to know when to persist and when to move on without going insane.
@Violin Thanks, I agree with you. I have two big projects I'm working on, so my focus hasn't been the blog. I do have one really good post coming up, but I need to make some video for it.
Usually love your blog, but your posts haven't been very inspiring, or inspired, lately. Just looks like you're restating what you've already said in old posts. Working on a new project that precludes you from having new stuff to write about? :P
Also, I liked it more when you were doing the "one post a day" thingie. These last posts look like they've had more thought behind them, but aren't really that much better because of it.
Hope the feedback helps!
Try combining persistence (when neccessary) and tact. Like if she flakes for a legit reason, wait 2-3 weeks and get back in touch.
everyone is taking her words way too seriously. she probably did like the guy initially, until she didn't, at which point she backward rationalized that she didn't ever really like him and only let him move things forward because he was so persistent.
this post was lame. an excuse not to face reality as it is because of some bullshit principles no one cares about. at the end of the day you either win or lose. if people are stupid enough to voluntarily give you money for shady weight loss pills (or whatever it is) then why wouldn't you take their money? it's not the job of a business to tell people what they should want, it's to give them what they do want as evidenced by what they're willing to spend their money on.
I was waiting for the, "then I had sex with him, just so he'd stop pestering me." part. He could have got there. Good stuff man.
I agree with you that this guy did not reach his personal goal with this girl. Although that "goal" may have changed over the course of their relationship. It may be sexual at first, but then it may have become one of self esteem and self desirability in other's eye. Either way, I appreciate persistence in a noble goal. Based on the story, however, I am afraid that this may not have been the case...
i loved this post, especially the ambivalence. Being overtly persistant is a way to get what you want, but that path can be quite ugly, effective but without tact.
This is a continuation of the story, How I Became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 1. If you haven't read that already, you should do so before reading this article.
Papa was notorious for being in contact with everyone in the pickup scene. I couldn't blame him, either - he was the business side of "Real Social Dynamics", a company that taught seminars and workshops to aspiring players. Not surprisingly, he was the only person at the seminar that I knew.
In order to extract every last precious second out of my experience, I had gotten on the earliest flight to Chicago that I could book. I called Papa when I arrived at the hotel at 10am. I could hardly make out his voice. He'd been out in the clubs until very late and was still sleeping.
“I see them in my dreams. Not their faces. There are no faces. Just the masks. A sign of the sickness. And I am very ill. I don't remember when it started. Maybe it never started. Maybe they were always there. Waiting just for me, to remind me that I am sick. That I must find a cure. But I haven't found one, even after years of looking. They are growing impatient with me. And I know the consequences. They work on me as they have so many others. The want to find a cure. The cure for the sickness. They have only ever found one, but they haven't given up. So it is either them or me. Either I cure them and myself or they will show me their cure. I've seen the bodies.”
It rained today. The worst rain I've seen in a long time. Last time I saw a rain like that was on the old farm. Hated that place. Made me see things. It rained today. In sheets. Was lucky. Could have been worse. Worse drivers. Worse roads. Had the wipers on full but still could barely see anything. There was something in the rain. Rain was too thick to make out. When I was younger I remember a story I heard. About a girl left at home during a storm. Story was called “Rain Thing.”
Was returning the doctor. Said he was seeing steady progress. I'm opening up. Doctor has no idea what he is talking about sometimes. We all hold back a little. Forget a little. It's for the best. Mind wants to protect us. I remember the farm. I remember the horses. Haven't thought of them in a long time. There was a old mutt on the farm. Smelled funny. Looked funny. Seemed to be happy about everything. Hated the thing. Wouldn't leave me alone. Should have left me alone.
Driver in front of me turned on his hazard lights. Slowed nearly to a stop. Deep puddle forming on the side of the road, rushing up the side of his car. Saw something in the rain. Thought about the farm again. The day it rained. It rained too much. Was back in the present. The thing in the rain walking along the side of the road, wind wiping something wet hanging off of it. Was dark. Like seaweed. Or ferns. Was seeing things. Seeing things wrong. All the therapy. Thought of the story again. Rain thing.
I thought of the dog...he was big and kind. Wanted nothing else but to be pet and rubbed. But I was a kid. And it smelled funny. It looked strange. So I didn't like it. It had one eye. Something had happened to the other one. And he always seemed to roll in something. My cousins didn't seem to mind it, but I hated it when I would leave the house and the thing would rub against me, asking to be pet. I acted nice. One time I yelled and it and my parents made me pay for it.