5.30.2008

Deep Doo-Doo

I hate “deep” people.

Please notice the quotation marks on that, because that’s really what makes the difference, here.

It’s actually not a bad thing to be Deep. In fact, it’s a nice compliment to be told that you are, and thought of as, Deep. It seems to say that you’ve got character, quality as a person… more to offer the world and someone special than just outward appearances and superficial qualities.

Now, I’m not going to start talking about how tough it is to be so Hot in this world (how would I know?)… because we’ve all looked at one of the “Beautiful People”, and seen them get perks and benefits, thought, “Gee, must be nice” while we dream of punching them in their privileged face… with the sharp end of a rusty crowbar… with a grenade taped to it… filled with battery acid… and my pee. (Or is that just my daydream?) But we should always take a second to look at the other side of it… if nothing else then for the fact it’s a nice thing to do.

For one… I think a lot of “Beautiful People”… don’t think of themselves as such. In fact, I bet a lot of them are looking in the mirror, and seeing nothing but faults. In fact, one of them may even be looking at YOU and thinking, “Wow, they’re so beautiful… lucky bitch/bastard. Must be nice to have it all.” Yep, we’re a species of fairly low self-esteem. Even if we look at ourselves and think, “Yeah, I look/feel beautiful!”… we always look at someone else as looking better and having more. Goes back to the whole “grass is always greener”-thing.

For another… “Beautiful People”… usually aren’t taken very seriously. Because whomever they're talking to is either looking at their boobs/butt/6-pack abs/shapely legs/body/pretty face/whatever… (in either a positive or negative way) and not bothering to focus on the concept that there might actually be some grey matter helping to run that biological system. (I’m talking guys AND girls here) If they do think there’s the possibility of a brain… well, it must obviously not be the most important thing about them, otherwise they wouldn’t have focused so much energy and work on the boobs/butt/6-pack abs/shapely legs/body/pretty face/whatever… Yeah, it’s very 1-dimensional kind of thinking, and not really grounded in reality… but we’ve all done it at least several times in our lives. We usually do it during first impressions… when all you have to go on is outward appearances and the first words you hear out of their mouth. (Where some people believe that if you’re not automatically quoting Kierkegaard, or reciting a poem by Browning [either one],… then you don’t have the intelligence gene, and henceforth consider you an idiot, regardless of your diplomas)

I’m not saying that all Hotties in the world are also undiscovered geniuses… No, there’s some great fools out there. But I’ve also seen a lot of Ugly people that are pretty F’in stupid themselves. In my experience, there seems to be NO connection or correlation… inverse or otherwise… between brains and looks. I’m saying that even those Beautiful People that *are* stupid… still have the presence of mind to love the idea of being called Deep.

Dumb or Smart, Beautiful or Ugly… being Deep transcends ALL of that and more. It goes past your skin and outward appearances, sees through your book knowledge and reasoning… because it is directly referring to your SOUL. Previously, the only things in life that could literally touch your soul is Music… or your favorite poem… or that really neat line in that movie that came out a few years ago starring that guy and that girl… but all that… is Art… and the connection of your soul to that art is via your interpretation of it… not necessarily what the writer/artist/etc was thinking at the time… now you’ve gotten evidence of an actual person… a physical human being in front of you, that is claiming to be able to look in and actually see what no one else has been able to… definitively knowing who you really are… a deep soul. And if they can see that in you… then they too must be a deep soul… a truly empathic person on your wavelength… that long-lost person that can actually understand you and everything about you. (*and* they’re good-looking! So, it must be genuine!)

That’s a connection we’d all long for.

Only one teeny tiny little hitch to it:

It’s complete and utter bullshit.

How do I know its bullshit? And why my possibly irrational hatred for these “deep people”?

Well… we can thank the other members of my gender for that. Yep. I blame Men for this one. Completely and totally. The ideas that Women get about being “Deep”? Yeah, they came from being sweet-talked by Men. You know, the guys that play head-games-that-don’t-seem-like-head-games… and say the stupid pick-up-lines-that-don’t-seem-like-pick-up-lines? (As most of you women know, there are some crafty MoFos out there) You see… I don’t call this an “irrational hatred”. This is a thought-out, consciously-realized, impassioned contempt for the whole “Deep” issue, and that pieces of crap that perpetuate it… and there are so many types.

One too many times I've seen a fortysomething single man refer to his "soulmate"... and he INVARIABLY is referring to a young 20-something attractive girl. (They never seem to refer to that 80-year old neighbor as their "soulmate"… I thought true soul connections know no age barriers? Or does that only work one way?) Seriously... I've seen that exact situation more times than I can count. A man in his forties… who brags about how he has a body of a guy in his thirties (we don’t need the shirtless MySpace pictures of you doing a full split! No one cares, it’s pathetic!)… trying to get with a young woman in her twenties… using the emotional relationship logic of a teenager… and throwing tantrums like a child in the single digits. (In the Regression Games, these guys are freaking Olympiads) It's a pathetic mid-life-crisis situation, where way too much drama ensues for everyone involved. So, alarms start sounding off with me when they always refer to a "deep connection" with this girl less than half their age.

There's too much of a difference between someone who's had 20 years to think about things... and someone who's had 45 years to think about things. The difference isn't so big if you're talking about a woman who's 50 and a guy who's 75... because you're "speed of emotional change/maturation" has tapered off to about 5 mph... while the speed of change is more like 95 mph in your twenties. I myself went through such major changes between age 20 and 25... and even more changes between 25 and 30. (I *still* feel like I'm going through changes) I don't care how "mature" you think you are (usually another red flag)... actual real-time and experience counts for a lot more than that. So the "deep connection" the middle-age guy is referring to? Yeah, that's based more on a visual, biological, "insert-Tab-A-into-Slot-B" type of connection rather than one based on maturity.

I've also seen one too many comments on ladies' MySpace pages of guys telling an attractive woman, "You have a beautiful picture, and yet I also see such a depth to your soul" or "Your poetry and blogs are very deep" (oddly enough, ALSO on the page of a girl with a cleavage-showing picture or model-quality looks).

I’m hereby calling: Bull.

Makes me want to puke. I find it so insulting to the WOMAN. And what astounds me so much more, is that a lot of women seem to fall for it. Why do they fall for it? “Because he’s so deep.”

You absolutely, positively can NOT tell how Deep someone’s soul is by a picture. Or reading one blog or poem they wrote… or even 100 blogs and poems. To imply that you can is insulting to everyone involved (whether they have a brain or not). Being “deep” is very easily faked. Many guys Act “deep”, even fooling themselves into thinking that they really are Deep (the first victim of a liar, is the liar himself), because they come up with such wonderful, poetic, Existential thoughts *all* on their own… despite the fact that those ideas have already been around for 100+ years. (The fact there’s even the *label* called “Existentialism” should be your first clue to that) No, you don’t get credit for coming up with it “all on your own”(if you really did)… that just means your philosophy is 2 centuries behind.

Does this mean there’s no truly Deep people in the world? Hell, no. There’d be no museums, no good music, or decent books and movies if there weren’t any (Or much of anything, really). But they just don’t act the way we seem to think “Deep” people would act. They don’t sit around, brooding, acting miserable and listening to the Cure… or saying how everyone that doesn’t like them “is an idiot, and obviously doesn’t understand me”. I’m willing to lay money down that Robert Smith of the Cure doesn’t sit around just saying, “I’m so sad.” He’s too busy writing songs, cutting an album, touring… and doing everything he can to channel any actual misery he has into something productive. (I don’t even *like* the Cure.)

If we’re truly going to consider the quality of being “Deep” to be a good thing… then we at least need to figure out what the hell it actually means to be so. I don’t buy the argument of “Either you are or you’re not… you can’t put it into words, you just know if someone is Deep or not”. Sorry, but the English language is varied and expansive… and we have concepts like metaphors that help us to explain the things that “you can’t find the words to”. (Hell, using words from OTHER languages can help) The word “Deep” itself IS a metaphor. “Depth” is a physical, practical dimension like height, width, and mass. Holes are deep. Oceans are deep. Canyons are deep. How does an intangible, spiritual idea have a dimension? Physically… it doesn’t. Metaphorically, it does.

So as I blab about what *I* think it means to get Deep… let’s get even more metaphoric:

Picture a hole in the ground. That’s your soul. The deeper the hole, the deeper your soul.

Fill it up with water, right to the top. We’ll call this your Character. You can’t have more character then the depth of your soul. Make sense? (I hope you’re nodding)

Now, like any lake or ocean… it’s impossible to tell how deep your Soul/Hole is just by looking at the surface. I don’t care how pretty your eyes are, how good of a picture you take… the appearance of deepness is not the same as actually being “deep”. You can put a sign by your mini-pond saying, “Careful… Deep Water!” But doesn’t actually make it so. Deep to a Hobbit is shallow to a Giant.

(Did I *really* just make a Lord of the Rings reference? *sigh*… I was doing so well… but the geekness always shines through, doesn’t it? Anyway…)

There’s only one way to find out how deep it is. By going in. Exploring around. Diving in and taking a swim. In reality that means to actually get to know the person. And you don’t get that from just one date. Talking to someone only tells you so much. You have to *experience* stuff with them. You need to see them on a bad day. You need to see them on a day when everything is coming up roses. How do they react? What do they do when YOU are having a bad or a good day? That takes time. A LOT of time. More time than a lot of people are willing to put into it. But if you give them the chance, put in the time, you’ll find that some people may be deeper than you think… or you’ll quickly learn if they’re shallow fakers.

And if you do find that they’re “deep”? Well, you know what you find at the bottom of a deep hole?

Mud. Dirt. Muck. Probably some slime, mold and algae, too. (I know… romantic thoughts, right?)

In fact, the Deeper you go, the more of that dirt and muck you’re going to find.

That’s essentially what I think makes someone “deep”. They have dirt in their life. They’ve made mistakes… crap has happened to them. And they’ve had some pain.

But then just being “Deep” isn’t enough.

Because you have that hole filled with water… because if you make the hole suddenly deeper, the water level drops down… because you have the same amount of water in it, the same amount of character as before. So, you may be “deep”… but if you just sit there in your misery and brooding, never growing and learning… if someone DOES dive in, they’re still going to find that you’re pretty damn shallow.

So, you need to fill up that hole with MORE water/character. You have to learn from the experiences that made you so deep… and fill it up with the Garden Hose of Introspection… (Uh… okay I almost lost myself on that one. But stay with me…)

But that’s how you become a better person. So when someone is swimming around, with plenty of water to swim in, and they emerge back to your surface… they’re breathing fresh clean air, feeling free, refreshed, ready to dive in again. And you might have a good shot at being that person’s favorite swimming hole.

If you don’t learn? Then whoever you tricked to jump down in that hole isn’t having fun swimming in the shallow water… because all they see is mud and slime. The breathing isn’t too good down there… and they may be feeling pretty trapped, and wanting to get out.

I’ve known people that have been in prison. And many others who have been through horrible circumstances… some of their own making, some not. Some didn’t bother to change for the better… that’s why they remained shallow, nasty, out-for-yourself people… and ended up back in prison or whatever pit they were unfairly born into, or even dug for themselves. Others… learned from it. Decided they didn’t want to be like that anymore, and made a conscious effort to better themselves. I used to know one guy… arms covered in vulgar, tough-looking tattoos. Even had one right in the middle of his forehead. Looked like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to be caught alone with… and for good reason, because he had done some nasty things in his life. Hurt a lot of people, and did hard time for it. He was one tough, old sumbitch. But then when I got to know him… and talked to him for 10 seconds, I realized that this guy became one of the nicest, most polite, and gentlemanly guys I’ve ever meet. He readily admitted what he did… and he decided to learn from it. No, he didn’t quote Nietzsche, or do Art… he didn’t brood and act mysterious and miserable… he had simply become a quality individual after a life of mistakes… and his wisdom and life lessons made him one of the “Deepest” people I ever had the pleasure to meet.

So I highly doubt that young 20-year-old upper middle class kids with trust funds have souls that are "deep"... no matter how "angry" their garage band sounds. And the forty-year old pathetic freaks that put shirtless pictures of themselves online (*shudder*) may have had a lot of crap in their lives, and the holes may be "deep"... but there isn't a whole lot of water/character there, and their Soul Hole is uber-shallow.

So... to quickly sum up what I've been spewing here... "Deep" entails a lot of pain, and a lot of introspection to heal it. Though I think if I started off with that, it wouldn't have made as much sense.

Not saying it makes a lot of sense NOW… but… maybe a little? *shrug*

1 comment:

fritz said...

Maybe you should spend less time on myspace? Seems to make you angry =).

I followed your metaphors, and I agree that it's unlikely that a 40ish man would find a real soulmate in a 20ish woman. Not impossible, but not very likely. But if they're both equally shallow, and they think they're happy with each other, good for them.

I never really did the dating thing, so I don't have much personal experience when it comes to the dating bull. (Though there was that time in 8th grade when I already had a boyfriend, was about to move across the country, and another boy wanted me to date him at the same time, figuring it was his last chance ever. I suppose it was meant to be flattering, but it just seemed so wrong, I had to turn him down. Made for an awkward last couple of days, though.)

I learned that inside doesn't usually correlate with the outside, and that good and bad coexist in pretty much everyone from my older brother's friends. On the surface, they didn't look very nice. They didn't use nice language, or talk about doing nice things either. But outside of the pack, one on one, some of them were really decent human beings (at least in their treatment of me, which, being the younger sister, automatically put me in a subhuman category most of the time).

Then there's that whole, people change thing. My brother is a prime example of that. He evolved into a much nicer human being and a wonderful father. Still boggles my mind, especially when I recall what a jerk he was to me when we were growing up.