Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm ( )ER Than You!

What is it about us guys? Some of you ladies are equally guilty.

Why do we gotta be (________)ER than everybody else?

Pick something... anything... and some dude is likely to be better at it than you, or he will proclaim it so.

Loud? I'm louder. Fast? I'm faster. Cheesy? I'm cheesier. Smelly? I'm smellier? Bald? I'm way balder. Sexy? You guessed it, I'm way sexier. Dumb, I'm dumber. Dumber, I'm dumberer.

You were sick last week? I was sicker AND I went to work!

I recall when I was in college having the following conversation. To set the scene, I had entered the office of my favorite economics professor. He and I would often have conversations about sports or philosophy, occasionally we'd talk economics, but since he was better at that subject, it would never really be a conversation.

Anyway, I entered on this particular day and he was engaged in a "conversation" with a former female student of his. She was a former student, not the victim of a sex change. I add the quotes because this wasn't much of a dialog, rather a monologue with "uh-huh."

She: ... He is going to graduate next year summe cum laude.

Prof: that's difficult to do.

She: well he's super driven on account of his daddy owning (some company). The dad is a really nice guy and so is his son.

Prof: uh-huh.

She: he's picking me up later in his Mercedes and we're heading to the family cabin in the mountains for the weekend. I should have him stop up and introduce himself, I know you'll like him.

Prof: I have classes all afternoon, so I might not be here.

She: I'll have him wave to you wherever you are and if you're at a stopping spot you can meet him.

It is at this point that my professor gave me "the look." I don't need to explain the look to most of my readers. It is part "sell crazy down the hall, because I'm all stocked up" and part "for the love of all that is good, save me now." He was brilliant subtle about it and she never caught on.

Me: So, what's his time in the hundred?

She: (head almost visibly whipping off like some alien life form who has realized there is another snack in the room) What?

Me: what's his time in the hundred?

She: what are you talking about? You mean like running?

Me: Yes. (her perturbed attitude was beginning to fuel me just a little, but then I can be assholier than thou. I wanted to slow my words down, but I thought that would have been a little obvious, so imagine it as if I did say this much slower than how you read it) How fast can he run the one hundred meter dash?

She: I don't know, what difference does that make?

Me: Well, to Carl Lewis and the United States, that's very important.

She: I don't know that he cares. He did play high school tennis, so he's probably pretty fast.

Me: I'm not sure you can make that correlation. I'd say he knows if he's fast or not. I'm pretty fast. I've only lost (at the time) four foot races in my life, of course my high school didn't have a track team, so I'd be guessing a little. Maybe when he arrives he can track me down in class and I'll race him?

She: Why would it matter?

Me: Well, I have a theory that God created all men equal. I can tell you that one of the races I lost was to a guy who was astonishingly smart, but he was shy around women and I saw him mowing his parent's lawn in the rain. It all kind of evens out.

She: But he probably doesn't care about the hundred meter dash.

Me: and I drive a beater Honda and don't care about ever having a Mercedes.

It was at this point that she lost interest in the conversation and in winning my affection for her boyfriend. She said her goodbyes to our mutual professor with little less than a head nod in my direction and went her way.

Several minutes later after our schoolboy mirth had partially subsided, he chided me for my rough, albeit funny handling of the situation. I explained that people who think they're better than you in sum total really piss me off.

And then he said something that was wicked smart, of course he was a professor, so my expectation of his smart was high. That in combination with being my favorite teacher made him smart...natch. His question pointed more to the philosophical when he asked...

Prof: Was that conversation about her, the boyfriend, or your possibly fragile ego?

I entertained that thought for a while and for a while longer and for a while after that. I think what it boils down to for me is that we as men draw a very narrow line between being supportive of ourselves by believing the best about ourselves and being protective of ourselves (and our fragile egos) by tearing others down a little. Either way, it's all about me.

What really ended up on weighing on me was the irony of poking fun at the boasting girl who was, though obnoxious, really supporting her man. In doing so, I was being protective of my own ego at the same time.

I may need the counsel of peers to convene and in what will undoubtedly be another fit of irony, tell me that I was right. You were going to say that, right? You were because you're nicer than me.


Dude Write

Since Dude Write appears to be happening for another week, I highly recommend you click on the button here and visit. While you're there, read a few other dude's posts.



  1. "assholier than thou" - zing ;)

    That's gold.

  2. Your professor sounded awesome :) Not just your professor - but the way you looked up to him and appreciated him. I just love that! It stood out so much that I've forgotten the rest of the story ;-) Not really - but sort of.


  4. That was awesome. We do have a tendency to do that, but it sounded like she needed to be taken down a few notches.

  5. Thanks Brett, I agree that she was riding a little high, but clearly there is a tipping point of proud and obnoxious. We both rode that crest.

  6. I'm glad that you appreciated that. I lost touch after school and this post made me wonder if he is still around. You must be an educator by your comment?

  7. It's even better if you pronounce it with less S and like the holly tree... Try it, people won't even know you're making a dig.

  8. Sometimes women define their worth by the people they are dating. By building him up, she was building herself up, and yeah, she did need to be taken down a notch. I am with Brett.

  9. Yea she definitely needed to be put in her place, so well done.

  10. Interesting take Nellie. I hadn't thought her self-worth was wrapped up in this guy.
    It was a few years ago so I've probably matured in my thinking some.

  11. Thanks Youngman. I don't think of myself as a "putter in placer" kind of guy, apparently I have a little spine.

  12. The Duke of DorkJune 22, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Man this is genius! I wish I had the cajoles to pull something like that off.

  13. The Duke of DorkJune 22, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Cajoles? What the heck are cajoles? Stupid spell check and me not paying attention.

  14. Lol, according to the interwebz, Cajoles is
    1. To persuade by flattery, gentle pleading, or insincere language.

    Which can be used in that situation for sure! Thanks nonetheless.

  15. I loved this post made me laugh and made me think that I would love to think that fast on my feet or in my case my bum since I spend a lot of time sitting down why becuase I do deal..............................ok uncalled for Jo-Anne the man isn't attacking your settle down girl.................ok back to the post and I have forgotten what it was about oh yeah I remember anyway I was going to say have you ever walked into a conversation have no idea what they are talking about so you say "sorry I farted" "does it smell"......................

  16. Of course you were right. She was just an annoying braggart and needed to be cut down a bit.

  17. Totally right, man. And well done. This was an excellent post and I'm sure it will be getting one of my votes at DR at the end of the weekend!

  18. I don't have an education myself - but I've had the opportunity of working with children on a volunteer basis. My experience has been that a strong and positive teacher/student relationship is the key to education.

    Anyway, it's just very uplifting to see how you value him :)

  19. Michael G D'AgostinoJune 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    I call those conflicts "man-offs". And I can beat that for a story on being an asshole. Stay tuned.

  20. I see what you did there! (and I'm better at seeing and doing what you did there)

  21. Thanks PJ, stiff competition again this week.

  22. You're just saying that cause you're nicer than me.

  23. Your inner monologue is escaping (mine is escapier you understand) lol. I may just have to try your fart line. Thanks for the laugh.

  24. Great post. Gives me lots to think about. I am going back to bed now, because my ego needs a lot of stroking.

  25. Hahaha I got skillz, obviously.

  26. I despise the people who are fact I despise them even more than you do.... LOL

  27. I see what you did there. Despier than you!

  28. Brilliant!

    I must confess that people like that naturally rub me the wrong way too. The quickest way for me to leave a room/conversation is for someone to strike up a cigarette or if some douchebag (or douchbagette) starts rambling on how awesome they are or how much their dogs jeweled encrusted sweater cost.

    Clearly a man of my stature and sophistication deserves better treatment and conversation. If they can't recognize my true awesomeness when I'm in their presence, then to hell with them. There are tons of people out there just begging for the chance to be near me, a rare chance to touch my sleeve, or perhaps if the mood favors, include their name in a meaningful conversation.

    Way to put her in her place Wily. The world needs more awesome people like us! ;-)

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

  29. Though my post was better than your comment, it was closer than I feel comfortable admitting. I laughed through your comment (likely to keep from crying)

  30. Jay - Dude of the HouseJune 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    My 2 year old claims to be "faster than fast". I can't really argue with that.

  31. Somedays they seem SOOO much faster than we are.

  32. Michael G D'AgostinoJune 24, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I'm better at doing what I did there.

  33. Well played! I probably would've done the same and more, but that's probably because my ego is fragil-er (?) than yours? Good post!

  34. Oh, I see what you're trying to do... Well, let me tell you...I'm humbler than you. So and way humbler.

  35. Does your professor now see you as a hero? He should! Way to come in and save the day.....while putting her ego in check!

  36. Nothing was said directly regarding his appreciation, but he gave me "the nod"

  37. Yikes, she probably ate a whole tub of ice cream after that while berating her man for not being a fast runner. I say you did an excellent job!

  38. Thanks CC. Ice Cream, that's such a stereotype. Probably true though.




All Time Most Read