Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (or, Tim On Love & Relationships)

It is always amusing to look back at your earlier self, and to be able to laugh at various follies you once indulged in. And, as October/November seem historically to be the time for “introspective Tim”, I thought I’d pull something out of the archives, so we can all have a good chuckle at young, naïve & foolish Tim.

Back in late 2003, for a bit of a laugh, I decided to create a 100 question online quiz to see if someone was suitable to go out with me. All my friends ended up doing it (and, to protect their careers, I’ll refrain from mentioning names and scores). The test, alas, is now gone, but it actually was quite an accurate predictor of how I felt about people, and a few days after I put it up I wrote a short note explaining what was some of the thinking behind it.

Now, note this was back in 2003, and I have changed quite a lot since then. The whole protesting, pot-smoking, hippy part is most probably a relic of the past… but other points…Perhaps the most dissapointing thing for me, in fact, is how little I have evolved as a person since then. At times I feel 2003-2008 I was stuck in a personality-freeze. But that is a topic for another post.

Anyway… decide for yourself… and laugh with me at young, naive and rather silly Tim.

Now that this test has been posted onto the internet, not an hour goes by without me being mobbed by hordes of screaming girls, throwing their bodies at me, screaming “Tim! What do I need to do to be the one for you? Tell me, oh great one!”

Well, perhaps not quite. But I did think it a good idea for me to write some notes at least on what I am looking for in the female species, and, more specifically, to explain what exactly my perfect girl would be like. Firstly though, allow me to make one note. The current average score in my test is in the high fifties. The highest girl scored is 77. The reason for this is that, in my opinion at least, many of the things I look for are somewhat mutually exclusive; if you do well in one section, chances are, by the very nature of the way humans are structured, youll do badly in others. I seem to have a somewhat warped taste in what I look for! The following paragraphs are rambling, and unstructured. Perhaps I shall, one day, convert the free flowing crap here into something coherent. Perhaps not. We shall see.

The greatest problem for me, however, is what I doubt [sic] the Marx Factor. Graucho Marx had the famous line that hed never want to be a member of a club that would have him as a member, and I think that that applies somewhat in my situation. By definition the person who Im looking for would, in the vast majority of circumstances, be repelled by my sort of personality, or fine me dull and boring, or something like that. There is a long standing joke in the Young Liberals that I want to go out with a dirty leftie (hence the pun on Marx Factor), which is, well, rather accurate, but unfortunately, I doubt many dirty lefties would want to go out with a rabid righty! But more on that later.

I think the greatest problem with the female species is that too many of them are perfectly nice girls, but, well, pleasant and thats all there is too them. There are so few people out there who can actually capture me, can stimulate me, can actually think! There is a vast gulf between those who are smart in the traditional sense, do well at school, are perfect parrots and so forth, and those who actually know how to think. For me, an intellectual challenge is important, and a girl may be better than me academically, but if there is no challenge provided, no stimulation, then what is the point? A relationship should be a living, moving, evolving thing, where you grow off each other, yet, if it is static, how is this to occur? Without the passion, fire, and brimstone involved, what is the point? Yet so many people are content to sit placidly, to smile and nod demurely, and be content with their own mediocrity. I realise that this may well sound incredibly arrogant, but bear in mind that Im not saying being a nice person is bad, but rather, not what I am looking for.

I think thats why I generally prefer people on the political left “far more than many Liberals. Liberals are, by their very nature, generally conservative, whereas Im an intellectual radical. I look at protests and think thats cool”; most other Liberals shake their heads in shame. A perfect example illustrates this. I was walking down Newtown with Scott one evening, and there were a group of lefties smoking some pot on the roof. My reaction? thats cool” Scotts? For shame. Hence in a large way I am drawn to people of the political left because, I would argue, many of them do hold true passion and conviction, and are willing to fight for their beliefs, and not swallow what they are told (this is genuine lefties Im talking about, not the Trendoids).

It ought not be a great surprise for anyone to discover that Im attracted to artsy type, green-voting, Newtown-living girls. The reason, of course, should be rather obvious, ie the fact that Im attracted to the part of my own personality that I wish was developed, in many ways Im attracted to the type of girls who symbolise who I would like to be, as opposed to who I actually am. The part of me that would have liked to have done a BA, studied literature, was smart enough to appreciate poetry, watched theatre more and so forth. One of the problems, of course, arising from this is that the girls who are attracted to me (and yes they exist, even the moment surprisingly) can not, my definition, be attracted to the latent part of my personality, and thus lack that which I seek. The whole Groucho Marx thing of not wanting a girlfriend who would have you as a boyfriend as mentioned previously. . But that is beside the point. Even if I wasnt to go out with artsy type people, I nevertheless would like some friends who are like that. Because I need something different from the usual liberal/school/law crowd. The question is, how do I find them? And I honestly dont know.

What I probably want is an old school, absent minded kind of intellectual. Someone who does still see the value of academia, and isnt just in it all for the rat race. But that is more a flighty fantasy rather than something real. Most importantly though, someone with whom I can genuinely converse. But, if this makes sense, not some sort of wishy-washy vague emotional type, I do want a strong woman as they say. Someone who will argue, and be domineering and independent. Not a push over. I yearn for the fire of challenge. The Bristow cartoon on my webpage says it all really.

It all comes down, I think, to my quadrant theory. Under this theory, there are two axis (well, in the proper theory there are three, but that gets juts WAY too confusing…). X is the intelligence one, Y is the “fun” one, and so, obviously, you get 4 quadrants upon which everyone can be placed. The problem, however, here is twofold. Not only is it rather difficult for me to find a girl who is genuinely intellectually stimulating & smarter than me, it seems to me that a good score on X and Y are, well, somewhat mutually exclusive. The amount of +/+ girls out there are, well, very rare I think. Although I could be wrong, and ‘fun’ is, of course, a very relative term… I’m thinking of doing another test for Quadrants, but it hasn’t been created yet…

Perhaps what makes it more depressing is that, for a long time now, there are virtually no girls I know who I am interested in pursuing. There are girls I would probably go out with if pressed, as better than nothing, but, as a general rule, there is no-one out there who I know upon whom I should even exert an effort in trying to seduce, which, I think, makes it a lot worse.

The side effect here is that pretty much the vast bulk of my social life these days revolves around member of the Liberal party. Now, dont get me wrong, I love all these chaps, but DEAR GOD A WANT A BREAK FROM THEM! Liberals, despite their differences, all share numerous similarities. And I want a change, a break – some friends who arent so f**king conservative! Even my school friends, my law friends, all share that one characteristic. And, quite frankly, I need an outlet for the side of me that wants something else.

But, cest la vie.

Anyway, cant be bothered expanding upon this. Will do it at some later date though. If you think you fit the bill, drop me a line!”

Much has changed since then, but the Marx factor of seeking the unattainable, the unlocking the latent personality, and the distinction between who one is, and who one wants to be, has not.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

(PS: If anyone has the temerity to write something so God-awful in comments like “you’ll find someone one day”, then they shall be permanently blocked from my blog. Just saying)

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13 Responses to “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (or, Tim On Love & Relationships)”

  1. sonieee Says:

    Oh Timbo, don’t worry! You’ll find someone one day!

    Teehee 😀

    (Oh cmon! Somebody was going to do it! You know you’re not going to block me because you know I’m just teasing!)

    (And if you block me then I’ll never speak to you again!)

    (So ner!)

    (What was the point of this comment again? LOL)

  2. Tim Andrews Says:

    You’re just jelous because you got a low score :-p

  3. Jake the Muss Says:

    You will find someone someday Tim. Unfortunately it will be because you have settled.

    She will be a loyal Liberal Party girl; enough intelligence to spout enough one liners and cliche’s to get through a conversation at the local Branch Meetings.

    I’m sure the experience will be quite mediocre.

    Perhaps your mate preferences are merely a manifestation of desired personality traits that you have repressed for the sake of conformity. Perhaps you should listen to punk music, dye your hair, and smoke some pot and see where it takes you.

    Then you can give me some.

    Introspective Tim is the best kind of Tim. Normal Tim is a bit of a dick.

  4. Tim Andrews Says:

    Jake – I hate you. I hate you with all my heart. With all my spirit, my mind, my body, and my soul. I detest you with every fiber of my being.

    So yeah, you still are the gal for me 🙂

  5. sonieee Says:

    I guess that means I have good taste then 😛

  6. Tim Andrews Says:

    Jake – just as a reminder – I still hate you.

  7. B. P. M. Says:

    I think it would be very sad if Jake’s situation came true… you’re too intelligent for that, Tim, and it would really be a case of you setting!

    At the same time, I do see his point on repressing certain elements of one’s personality to conform – see it frequently in the Libs and have been known to do it myself on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d done it at some point too.

  8. B. P. M. Says:

    Sorry, that should read that you’d be ‘settling’. And speaking of settling, I think you’d be massively frustrated down the track if it happened.

    Given your professed like for radicals, and intellectuals, and the fact that by your own admission the standard Liberal cliche types (expressed poorly, but I think you know what I am getting at…) bore the hell out of you, settling would be a fate worse than remaining single purely on that basis.

    You and I have a fair bit in common, and love for academic people and a good intellectual conversation would fall under that category. I could think of nothing worse for myself than the scenario Jake outlined, so I can imagine, given the similarities in this regard, much the same would apply to you.

  9. Emma-Gai Says:

    Check your message inbox Tim. I have commented on your post. Thus, this post is significantly censored. Yes, Tim – evil censorship. I know how you love black-or-white thinking (or more aptly, how you have struggled to cast it off).

    As far as the right wing versus left wing discussion – I would like to believe that you are better than that Tim. Essentially you are just exchanging one label for another label. Neither label fits you… and you know it. I agree with Jake the muse – “Introspective Tim is the best kind of Tim. Normal Tim is a bit of a dick.”

    This post reflects the later part of you, the Narcissistic Tim I hate. Do not be offended that I use the term hate; you know it to be a term of endearment from me. For without deep affection and respect, there is no passion and consequently no hate. You say you were “”young, naive, and foolish”. Unfortunately, I know you better than that. You have always had both parts in you. This has always been your struggle. Your struggle to become more your self.

    To be honest, I hate neither part of you. I love both parts, in good measure, and your narcissism gives you a degree of charm to be truthful (and I think your readership would agree). However, why you continue to repress the “Introspective Tim” and wrap him up in labels like right and left – I do not know. You are, and always have been, and always will be an individual Timothy. The labels do not fit. If anything, you are a kind of anarchist (used in a generic, not political sense), an individual, a free spirit.

    There is a certain degree of vulnerability in authenticity, and great loneliness individuality. However, even greater is the pain and shame it causes a person with such strong passion and individuality to conform and repress his truth to escape this lonely state. I refer you to your recent blog – “The Fetish Of Happiness & The Damning Of The Different”. Take your own advice Timothy.

    This above all — to thine ownself be true;
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

  10. Tim Andrews Says:

    Miss. Gold – self-censorship is quite a useful tool. Often it prevents you from making a fool out of yourself in a public setting. Having read what you sent me, I can certainly assure you you made the right decision to to post it here! 🙂

    In any event, you are mistaken completely on two levels. Firstly, you miss the point of the initial 2003 post re labels and political ideologies. The labels were never intended literally, but rather symbolically, because of the connotations they had, and what they signaled. There is a very big difference.

    Secondly, you miss the point of this post – which is found in the title and the last sentence. The entire point of this blog post, and republishing the article, was a rather rueful look at the fact that it’s been over 5 years, and I’ve pretty much completely failed to grow as a person or come to terms with such inherent tensions. So it was more a ruefully amused self-depricating post, than anything else.

  11. Emma-Gai Says:

    Mr. Andrews. Your argument re labels and political ideologies is rubbish – and you know it. “Not intended literally, but rather symbolically”. Yes, Tim. That and everything else you do and say. I agree with you, there is a very big difference between being literal and symbolic – so start saying what you mean, and acting in accordance with it. I am glad that you are starting to express yourself more honestly and make fun of yourself. However, I still think much of what you write and say is ridiculous – and you know it. Make fun of yourself all you want, but in the end you are responsible for your failure to grow.

  12. B. P. M. Says:

    Emma-Gai said: “You are, and always have been, and always will be an individual Timothy. The labels do not fit. If anything, you are a kind of anarchist (used in a generic, not political sense), an individual, a free spirit.”

    Actually, that is one of the things I like most about you Tim, and one of the reasons I’m glad to have you as a friend.

    Emma-Gai also said: “There is a certain degree of vulnerability in authenticity, and great loneliness individuality. However, even greater is the pain and shame it causes a person with such strong passion and individuality to conform and repress his truth to escape this lonely state.”

    I’ll agree here as well, because from long personal experience, I know that to be the truth. I’m not sure exactly how accurate it is in relation to you specifically, but as a general statement, it’s undeniably correct.

    (For what it’s worth, the idea of a bland, conformist Tim makes me sad. I was thinking about all of the people that I like and respect most – yourself included – and there were common traits among them that stood out: proud non-conformism, individuality, intelligence, a love of learning, passion, and a refusal to compromise their values.)

  13. TerjeP (say tay-a) Says:

    Our thinking evolves and our habits change but I don’t see much evidence that personalities do much other than just persist.

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