Expectations ruin everything. If I tell you Iron Man 3 is the best film ever made, and you go see it, you’ll likely be disappointed and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Which is a shame, because Iron man 3 is actually a pretty good movie. You might have liked it a lot more if I hadn’t messed with your expectations.
I’ve come to believe that dating is the same. In the greater Los Angeles area, there’s over 17 million people. One fifth are the prime dating age, 21-34. Of those, about half are single at any given time. That’s almost 2 million single people. Half are men, half women, so let’s say a million each, give or take.
If I categorize them based on hotness, on a scale of 1 to 10, there’s 100,000 men and women on average for each level…1’s, 2’s, 3’s…and so on. But in reality, it’s probably more like a bell curve…lots of people in the middle, few on the high and low extremes. Still, this should be good news, because by definition most people are average, and thus there should be hundreds of thousands of normal people out there who are our physical equals and eager to date, mate, and marry.
And yet, it doesn’t feel like there’s hundreds of thousands of decent partners out there for us. Sometimes it feels like there aren’t any. How is this possible?
Faulty expectations. You want people who don’t want you. Worse, you feel you deserve people who don’t want you. Your expectations are too high. When your expectations aren’t met, you become distressed, lonely, and frustrated. Why can’t I find just one person in this whole city that I like, who also likes me back?
My solution: Get your heads out of your asses, Los Angeles! Or, to put it more specifically…YOU’RE NOT ALL “8”s.
I understand your thought process. You think you’re being quite reasonable and honest with yourself. You’re happy to acknowledge you’re not a perfect 10. After all, you bite your nails sometimes. Nobody’s flawless! In fact, even a nine seems a bit high, in a city where Reese Witherspoon is “alright looking.” So you’re happy to call yourself an 8. That can’t be too high, right? After all, 80% is the equivalent of a B- in high school. You know you’re not a B-. You’re more like a B+. So let’s call it 8.8.
I repeat, delusional Angelenos: YOU ARE NOT A FUCKING “8”.
Let’s start from the top: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are 10’s. No argument there, I assume?
Now, I’m going to be generous and say that average looking TV stars (let’s say, The Office’s Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski) are 9’s, although to be honest I feel a little weird putting them that close to Hollywood royalty like George Clooney, Tom Cruise, or Katherine Heigl…all 10’s. But let’s say that John and Jenna are way up there as 9’s for now, and no lower…for your sake. And let’s go ahead and add in all the professional athletes, Playboy centerfolds, multi-millionaires, etc.
Then who does that leave as 8’s? Wait…you think it’s you? HAHAHAHAHAHA. I just laughed so hard I trickled pee into my Spider-Man undies. You, an 8? Pfsht. 8’s are the non-famous, non-rich, but still mega-hot regular people of LA. Truly gorgeous men and women. Fashion models. Future rock stars. CEOs of record labels. People who used to be on The Hills. Stars of The Bachelorette. Daniel Tosh.
Now we’re at the 7’s. I guess some of you are here. Really good-looking people. People who have no trouble hooking up with the hottest guy/girl at the bar (well, a West LA bar). People with awesome jobs. Nice cars…Audi A5 or better, please. Very funny, smart, or sexually gifted, and probably all three.
Now the 6’s are where a lot of you folk should be classifying yourselves. Don’t worry, nothing wrong with being a six. It’s definitely above average. Nice looking, smart, funny. Good job. You were popular in your sorority or fraternity (but not that popular). Able to get laid, with some regularity. But not with Victoria’s Secret models.
5’s: Average looking. Maybe you have nice boobs or a girthy penis. You sometimes can hook up with a 7…if they’re completely wasted. You dream of being on a reality TV show, but your level of celebrity hits its peak when you were interviewed about a local shooting on the ten o’clock news.
4’s: You’re overweight, mediocre looking, or sort of a douchebag. You are not smart, and the only people who think you are funny are your friends, who are also 4’s, and also not funny.
3’s: You were made fun of by other kids when you were young because of the way you looked. In truth, I can’t blame them. You think of yourself as a 5. You are wrong.
2’s: Bad news, 2’s: You are devoid of personality, which is odd, because people as ugly as you are supposed to develop a sense of humor or smarts to compensate. But for some reason you didn’t. Good news: There are still tens of thousands of people in LA left for you to reject with confidence (see below).
1’s: Hey 1’s! How ya doin’? Doin’ good? It’s fun to talk to a normal person, huh! So, just a quick update: you are virtually un-dateable to 95% of the world. But there’s always other 1’s, including circus freaks and radioactive mutants, who are equally hard up. If you guys can figure out the mechanics of sexual intercourse, I say, go to town! Everybody deserves somebody. And the funny thing is, at the end of the day, there’s as many people out there in your target range as there is for a perfect 10, when you think about it.
So as you can see, we’re all woefully misguided about where we rank in this town, and that in turn destroys our expectations about who we deserve. On average, you’re bumping yourself up 20% too much. I know why you do it…you’ve got the “intangibles” that go beyond physical appearance, money, or fame. You’re “hilarious.” You’ve got a “special charm.” You’re “great at volleyball.” You’re working on an “amazing screenplay.” Here, let me help you factor those intangibles into the equation. Think of all your qualities other than looks and income, rank them on a scale from 1 to 10, write those numbers on a piece of paper, and then shove that paper up your delusional ass. You’re a 6. Just deal with it. The sooner you come to reality, the better off you’ll be. You’ll never be happy looking for an 8 when you don’t realize they want nothing to do with you. Especially if they’re delusional too and think they’re a 10! What 10 is going to marry a 6?!!! See how many problems this is causing? In economic terms, we are experiencing rampant price inflation in the meat market. And it affects the ugly and beautiful alike. No wonder George Clooney won’t settle down. He’s probably looking for a 12!
But in the end, it is not our own minds, but rather the times we live in that are to blame. Your ancestors of 40,000 years ago lived in small tribes, 150 people at most, including children. Now out of that, how many single people? Let’s say 80. 40 males and 40 females. Everybody knew everybody else. If a “6” caveman was aiming for a “9” cavewoman, she just rejected him, and he moved on down the line. By the time he got down to other 6’s, there was probably only three or four to choose from, and what with competition from other males, he was probably happy with whatever he got. The whole process probably took a week or less. It reminds me of my childhood days in front of the TV…before we had cable, we basically only got 10 channels. If “Three’s Company” was on one of them, I was happy. These days, with five hundred channels to choose from, I’m never happy. I just keep on clicking and clicking and clicking, hoping “Casino” is on, which it never is. Meanwhile, on one of those five hundred channels, a perfectly good episode of Three’s Company is going unwatched.
Anyway, I hope this clears everything up. Now quit walking around Hollywood like you’re better than 80% of the people in the bar. You’re not. You’re better than 60%, at most, and that’s if there’s circus freaks and radioactive mutants having a beer. But don’t look at your demotion as bad news. It actually might be the best thing that ever happened to you. Would you rather continue to be a lonely 8, or a happy 6 in a loving relationship?
And in the interest of full disclosure: I’m a decent looking, reasonably successful screenwriter who drives a 4runner. On a good day, I’m an LA 6.5. (But then again, I am funny, and I do have a blog…so let’s just say 8…)
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