Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Alike Than Unalike

...We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

from Human Family by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou writes "we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike" while Ms. Angelou was discussing different races and ethnicities in her writing, this same idea can be applied to men and women.

The other evening I happened across an episode of "The Pickup Artist" on VH1 where Ms. Angelou's idea was being illustrated.

"The Pickup Artist" is a show where several men who have little or no luck with the opposite sex are schooled in the art of picking up women by a young man named "Mystery". I am clearly not the target audience for this show because not only had I never heard of this gentleman, I couldn't see what entitled him to school anyone on the "art" of picking up women.
Off I go to Wikipedia to get some information. Here's what I found:

His name is Erik James Markovic. He's 36 years old. Markovik was, by his own account, unable to attract women in his teenage years, at one time a Dungeons and Dragons player. He has also described himself as a "late bloomer", having not experienced puberty until the age of 16, and not losing his virginity until age 21. As a result of his sexual frustration and loneliness he traveled to nearby cities over a 10-year period and approached women. Over time and after thousands of cold approaches, he developed a routine based system for successful approaches which he called the Mystery Method.

Okay, I stand corrected.


The episode I watched had seven men; every one of them to my, not-the-target-audience eyes, perfectly attractive and personable. True, they weren't stepping off of the pages of GQ any time soon, but then neither is Mystery.

Anyway, all of the men were given makeovers which included piercings, hair being dyed, and really unfortunate wardrobe choices and then had to accomplish "tasks" while being watched on camera by Mystery and his "wing men". One of the tasks involved having to wear a Speedo (a truly evil piece of clothing that NO man looks good in) and attending a pool party filled with attractive women.

The men are were all shapes and sizes; we see their discomfort once they are presented the swim suits and told they have to wear them. Here is the really interesting part, the man who was shaped like a teddy bear was the least self conscious in the Speedo, the one with the big biceps and flat stomach was so distressed and self conscious that it was painful to watch.

Needless to say, the larger man won the "task" which was to engage the women at the pool party. It was not hard to see why; he was funny, charming and a bit flirtatious. It made me wonder why he was there. In fact, all of the men were able to get past their discomfort and have a better time than they thought possible.

When Mystery debriefed the men before announcing the winner of the task, one of the things he mentioned was that the ability to engage the women had nothing to do with how they looked. Wow! The men all seemed to agree but I don't think they really heard what Mystery said.

I believe there's "a lid for every pot" and while it might take awhile, sometimes a long while, the person who can see the specialness of you does exist. I hope that ultimately these men learned that lesson.

Every person, no matter how beautiful has experienced moments when they just don't feel enough. Lack of self esteem is no respecter of persons, it hits us all. We are more alike than unalike.