Saturday, September 11, 2010

High Fidelity

I recently saw "Get Him To The Greek," and if you haven't, you really should. I mean, I can't be the only one who thinks that Russell Brand is the secret love-child of Jesus and Devendra Banhart. (Not only am I sure I just severely blasphemed, I also admitted I have a thing for odd men-- as previously stated, the Joker; my strange fixation with Ted Nugent-- I mean, really, THE NUGE--; and I would happily eat animal organ meat for the rest of my life and live in sinful bliss with Anthony Bourdain. Is my dating life really any wonder now?) ...And yes, I know this photo is from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

In any matter, it was a hilarious and poignant movie about the music industry. Scenes between Jackie (the salacious ex-girlfriend, played by Rose Byrne,) and Aldous (Brand basically playing himself,) were unexpectedly sweet and nouveau. In their relationship, Brand played the dweller, making nostalgic 3 AM phone calls and wanting to re-hash happier times. Losing his characteristic British snarl iconic in nearly all his scenes and interactions with Jonah Hill, he pleads, begs, wheedles, and waxes romantic to his ex, now living with Lars Ulrich, otherwise known as Metallica's drummer. I don't know. You may have heard of them.

In one scene, however, he and the recently broken-up-with Hill are discussing their respective relationships with women when after Brand's slam of the drudgery of monogamy, Hill brings up the fact that Brand spent 7 years with Jackie and professes to love her, yet was living the rock star lifestyle and banging nearly everything else in sight.

"No, I slept with other people, but I always told her about it," Brand says. "Monogamy!"

This line stopped me cold. Could this really be the evolving definition of monogamy in the 21st century? In the time of sleezy sleeping around and gray areas between friends and lovers and friend's lovers and what you said last month to your S.O changing to what tune you're singing this month, is monogamy really on the same out as BP's corporate team and last season's embellished shoulder trend?

Only less than 5% of all male animals in the world are actually monogamous. Off the top of my head, I can name penguins, wolves, bald eagles, beavers, and gibbons-- a very small, very cute monkey. At that rate, with 5 species down, it doesn't seem to bode well for us. Exactly, because the other 95%, including humans, are not naturally monogamous. Even wolves can stray from monogamy, though the alpha male of the back chooses one top bitch. But, just like in the animal kingdom, if you're not top bitch, you're fucked. Or rather, fucked over.

Let's have some more stats to back this up. How about:
- That the "sexual pursuit" part of a man's brain is two-and-a-half times bigger than a woman's. Hence the serial male dodging of monogamy.

But you know, it's not just all about the men. (After Tiger and Letterman and Jesse James and Bill Clinton and Michael Jordan-- YES. MICHAEL "AIR/SPACE JAM" JORDAN A CHEATER, and after all those fond childhood memories of him!--and Usher and Kobe Bryant and Jude Law and John Edwards and 3 of my exes, it can be hard to remember that they aren't the only sex.) Women cheat, too. Contributing this could be:

-That the more genetically diverse a woman is, the greater her number of partners will be. People are attracted to mates who are dissimilar to themselves (I know in the case I were to ever procreate, the father of my unborn children would need to have cheekbones and a chin genetically dominant enough to make up for my lack of both), so the more variation in a woman's DNA, the more appealing she is to a broader range of men. In humans, pedigree doesn't matter. We prefer good ol' Heinz 57 American mutts.

- That researchers have discovered that high levels of the hormone oestradiol make women more likely to cheat. Why? Because it apparently creates bigger breasts and smaller waists. As a result, these women tend to get more attention, and therefore, have more opportunities to stray. Now, I won't be shy. My 36C cups literally runneth over, and I have a 25-inch waist. That's an 11 inch disparity between my chest and the middle of my waist. That's nearly a foot. It may not be Jessica Rabbit proportions, but those are some curves. But despite all the "sexual opportunities" this presents for me, I still more or less manage to stay monogamous. So what's your excuse?

Regardless of how many facts can back it up, sentiments about monogamy or un-monogamy seem to remain the same, from men to women; to women and the Other Woman; to the way your and your friends discuss it. A letter to the editor of Glamour magazine from August 2009 charts the thought process that I guarantee you, is the same the world around, regardless of breast-to-waist ratio, ethnicity, hormone levels, or rock-star status: "Ten things that we are thinking when a guy cheats: 1. You have no self-control. 2. You have no willpower. 3. Well, obviously it just happened, you tripped over the rug and landed on her and...whoops! 4. You can't think with two heads at once. 5. You are a weak man. 6. No, hang on, you are not a man. 7. There are women who have the same sex drive you do-- but can actually control it. 8. Polygamy? Still not an excuse. 9. You are totally selfish. 10. Please bring her home and I'll make her dinner...laced with arsenic."-- Julie Worley

Which begs with the question: How do you deal with infidelity? Because I'm pretty sure the arsenic ploy can be considered Murder One, and though the sex may have been great, I highly doubt he's worth going to jail over.

So. Here are a few things that are perfectly within your rights if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having found one of the 95% of living male organisms who think that sticking to one female is a waste of wild oats: Ask for answers, because you deserve them. Ask your S.O if they can understand how you feel, because dragging them over into your shoes makes them have to acknowledge the hurt that they caused you, and no one can be glib about that. KNOW you deserve better-- it's not your fault; it's theirs.

Meeting the Other Woman: It may happen. I know it's the stuff nightmares are made out of-- Will she be prettier than I am? Funnier? Smarter? More interesting? More outgoing? Have a better body? A better job? Better hair? A better smile?-- but if it happens, be NOTHING but nice. No cat-fights. No slapping and scratching. No hair-pulling. Know that she now has to deal with him, and that's not exactly a prize. If you want to say SOMETHING, a mild "I've heard so much about you," will suffice and let her know the jig is officially up.

I have one friend who was immensely surprised when a girl she didn't know existed contacted her and told her her boyfriend had also been sleeping with her. They ended up both dumping the chump and becoming great friends. A woman wrote an article for the July issue of Cosmopolitan about going home with a guy and finding another woman's new make-up remover in his bathroom. She left a note under the cap telling Make-Up Woman what her boyfriend had done and that she really should leave him, and peaced out herself. Men don't put enough stock in woman reaching out to each other.

I've become more or less Zen about this whole infidelity thing. The best advice I can give you is this: She is not a massive bitch. You are not a massive bitch, either. I highly doubt either of you is doing this to the other purposefully. Your common denominator, therefore, is the guy in the middle, the maestro to your diabolical little 3-part orchestra. That's the area you may want to apply some major thinking to, not another girl who may or many not even know if you exist. It's not worth your time, energy, or karma to hate on another victim if they're also innocent.


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