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from Chris Wayan's 1996/8/12 journal

Cover of 'Weirdo' magazine #25, by R. Crumb: bald man holds a rose and a copy of 'Weirdo' as two beefy joggers mock him. Click to enlarge.

My friend Mark's obsessed with dating right now--studying it like a science. He showed me two how-to books this week. They're methodical, in that American way--spelling it all out. Mostly common sense, but my bullshit detector goes off when one book explains how to play hard to get, to arouse interest, how to lay siege to someone you're attracted to who's not interested...

Now maybe the average person, with a wide field of similar people to choose from, finds difference and unavailability alluring--but weirdos like me don't. Teasing-games make some sense if you're working to distinguish yourself from (and sort through) a crowd with values, minds, and characters pretty much like yours--at least all in a known range. You're fine-tuning. And what you want usually isn't someone with your exact values, but someone who cares--who goes to some effort.

So sure, play hard to get. It IS just play.

But for outliers on the edge of the bell curve, playing hard to get is silly: hardly anyone shares even my general values, interests or perceptions. Life's done that basic filtering for me! Only a tiny minority will come even close to compatible. "Hard to get" is a hard reality. Playing games to distinguish you from the herd are silly if you're way outside it... and know that.

So for weirdos, the hunt is quite different. They're looking for exceptions, knowing that most weirdos stay under protective cover so the humans don't harass them. And the only way to encourage potential weirdo mates to drop their cover is to let your own freak flag fly.

So the next time you think some weirdo lacks social skills and just can't play the game, ask yourself: "What if I'm playing basketball, and they're playing chess?" Admittedly, some of us weirdos are social idiots, unable to play at all.

But trust me. Some of us play chess.

So... check.

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