DEAR EXENE: I was on a date with a guy recently, and something happened that forced me to question my shallowness when it comes to dating. We'd just left a restaurant in downtown Fullerton on a Saturday night, right as the whole place starts to turn into a drunk fest around all the bars. On our way out, my date—a guy I met through an online-dating site—accidentally bumped another guy on the shoulder. The other guy, who was a bit taller and burlier, made a big deal out of it by picking a fight with my date. As he apologized and walked away, the guy followed us down the street and threatened to kick my date's ass if he didn't turn around and face him. He sounded pretty belligerent. My date, however, started forcing me to walk faster to the point where we were almost running back to the car. "Don't look at him," he said. Eventually, the guy gave up and just yelled out, "Pussy!" so everyone around us in the parking lot could hear. My date just kept walking with me and didn't say anything back.
Afterward, I couldn't help feeling a little turned off by him and how he handled it, and I've been making up reasons to dodge him ever since, partly because I'm embarrassed at myself for feeling this way, but also because, frankly, whatever attraction I had for him kind of just went out the window because of the incident. Trust me: I know how wrong that sounds. Later on that night, I could've invited him to spend the night, but I didn't. As a woman, I'm sure it's encoded in my DNA that a man is supposed to protect me, which my date was obviously trying to do—but is it totally wrong for me to have judged this guy so harshly as a potential partner?
Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. If you want to ask the legendary vocalist for adviceon your love life, politics, your musical career, filial relationshipssend an email to email@example.com.
DEAR CHEYENNE: Who needs DNA when there's so much brainwashing? Your guy could have done a lot of things. He could have stalked off to his truck and crashed it into the crowd, hoping to kill the bigger guy. Or he could've gotten in a big, bloody, senseless fight, resulting in arrest and jail, or yelled back and been shot or stabbed, etc.
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Males are conditioned to be violent. And these days, there's lots of random violence going on. Walking away, however emasculating it appeared to you, was the smart, strong, infinitely more evolved choice. He was protecting you by walking away, which makes him stronger than the asshole guy. It's not shallowness; it's a grand misconception. So what if your date had fired back at the asshole guy and made him back down? Then he would be a potential partner, and you would have rewarded him with sex? Why do you want to be the helpless princess in a pornographic fairy tale?
My advice to you:
You are looking for strength. Find it in yourself.