lundi, septembre 12, 2011

Between she and thee: do smarts matter?

Recently I spoke with two guys on the phone.
One of them was very highly educated -- so well-versed in erudition that I frankly confessed (not being an intellectual) that I couldn't keep up with him at times.
Last week I chatted with another guy -- he had one advanced degree, but his area of expertise was practical. Highly practical.
We couldn't stop sharing opinions --rather unusual for me in a first telephone conversation. Quickly we found similarities in the way we saw the political world, environmentalism, and even religion.
In other words, we drew sparks, but I didn't feel that I needed to race to keep up with him -- or draw him back from the Ptolemaic universe (or whatever universe in which the first man likes to spend quiet hours).
As I've said, I prefer a mix of smart and grounded, e.q. and i.q. And that doesn't have to mean that they've graduated college -- I hope we are moving past the time when the sole measure of intelligence is that degree on your wall (and where it came from).
I've wondered, however, what guys my age are looking for.
Back in the days before our culture became slightly more egalitarian, a number of men dated and often wed women who weren't quite the sharpest tools in the shed.
Did it help them feel more secure?
It certainly was not the case in my family -- no self-respecting female would look demure and be quiet when a man was talking. Don't think badly of the Jackson women -- we'd let the guy get a sentence or three out before we contradicted him.
When I read dating profiles, lots of men say that they are seeking intelligent women. And many of them find such women.
On the other hand, lots of men happily settle down with women who have concrete instead of abstract skills, stay in the bullpen, and tend to let their men do the original thinking for them.
It's very possible that these guys, as smart as they may be, end up very happy.
Or, perhaps, some of them end up wondering what they have missed.
As much as I fantasize about the calm, stable, concrete thinker, I know I'd miss the give and take -the spark, the dance, the engagement.
Am I dreaming? Notice, I didn't say he had to be rich or gorgeous, too. Told ya I was a realist.

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