Normal History Vol. 233: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 29-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

My online dating profile, and the information I give in it, is fine. This is, of course, just another instance of you correcting, educating or otherwise putting forth information that is better than what I can concoct with my pea brain. Would you even notice if I was kind of smart, too, or are we all just one huge, wriggling mass of stupidity to you?

You may be surprised to learn that my negative evaluation of you had to do with your extremely detailed story about the last woman you got together with, how you got her to show you her bum on Skype and your assessment that she’s quote: totally crazy.

You told me her name. Her whole, entirely googlable, name. From this I can deduce that if I was intimate with you, you’d be out blabbing to near-strangers about me. Jean Smith this and Jean Smith that. Trust and intimacy go together. Trust is what makes intimacy possible.

And if you really consider that explaining Adolf Eichmann’s Zionist proclivities to me while I sat there saying “I did not know that” was the “height of our congeniality” … well, there’s some excellent screenplay material right there.

You could stand to tone down all the proclamations of your incredible brilliance in favor of a compliment or a token amount of flirting. Having dated a few geniuses, I understand the social ineptitude that is often part of the package. It’s frustrating to me that all that brilliance goes to waste when romance is at hand.

Tell her you like the way her left eyebrow arches delicately like a crescent moon beckoning. Or her earlobe—tell her of its decidedly sumptuous color, like a sand dollar on the most beautiful beach in the world and that you wish to be the gentle wave lapping at its … Something. Anything. It’ll go a long way.

I trust you won’t mind my continuing.

Women like to laugh. When a woman laughs, maybe don’t make her explain what she’s laughing at. Say some more funny things that make her laugh more. Simple.

Show interest in who she is, what she does. If her profile says she’s a singer in a band, I guarantee you its wording isn’t an accident. It is contrived to give the man the opportunity to say, “What kind of band? What sort of music?” If the man doesn’t ask, the woman may question his motives. If he was really looking for an ongoing relationship, surely he’d want to know if it was opera or country ‘n’ western that was going to dominate every conversation in his life from that day forward.

Showing interest in a woman is way more important (and effective) than bragging about your latest conquest (especially when a woman may feel intimidated that the last woman you were with was a Harvard-educated doctor who posed naked in Playboy, that it was your first experience with silicon breast implants and the best sex you’d ever had). I myself felt somewhat less keen to take off my clothing with you knowing what I was going to be compared to (and I have a very nice body).

You don’t need to ask a woman if she’s ever thought about her purpose on the planet while openly presuming that she has not. Women don’t want to feel they need to defend themselves—or prove themselves—at every turn. Drop some of the condescending arrogance. It’s insulting.

“Excalibur,” from Who Shot Elvis? (Matador, 1997; Smarten UP!, 2009) (download): Excalibur.mp3