If your boyfriend is a manwhore, you should dump him

I stayed up late last night finishing The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld. I hadn't started out liking the book that much. Fifty pages in I actually caught myself zoning out wishing I was done with it so I could hurry up and start another book. But then the girl got to college and she was socially awkward in a way I totally understood. I’m very good at awkward. Then a really nice boyfriend turned up. The sort of boyfriend that's so nice you want to take his girlfriend aside and tell her not to ruin him for other girls by screwing him over because you just know he’s one cheating wench of a girlfriend away from never being that nice again.

The thing that lingered with me about this book was the ability of smart girls to be really stupid about boys. One of the other boyfriends in the book is a total manwhore. He even tells her he is. Seeing that he will never be faithful she makes up a list of rules for him to sort of make his cheating more palatable. Like he can sleep with any girl except a hooker but never more than twice. And he's supposed to shower afterwards. Hygiene being important while fidelity is optional. Right. So I guess the rules helped her feel better about things. A little more in control. But she's a really bright girl. How did that seem like a good plan? I’m like stupidly incapable of grasping how you talk yourself into that. I’m not saying I haven’t talked myself into some stupid stuff. Because I have. I once watched a tourism ad for South Dakota and for like three full minutes had myself completely sold on the idea of just up and moving there. And three days ago I bought a useless 4 foot long 3-D foam alligator at Target. Talk about stupid. But this girl obviously had low self esteem. Which is fine. Whatever. We’ve all had moments. But come on. Does the chick not watch Oprah? It boggles the mind.


Jurgen Nation said...

Oooh, thanks for the recommendation! I agree - women (myself included) make some really, REALLY bad choices. I can't wait to read this. I liked Prep, too.

Also, hi! Welcome to JN. Thanks for commenting. :)

AmyBow said...

I would have had to stop reading. I have an over-developed sense of empathy and would haev been squirming the entire time, being embarrassed and uncomfortable for the main character. Although, you are right, it would have been hard, because - darn it! - you want her to turn out to be less of an idiot.

a happier girl said...

JN - I haven't actually read Prep. But since I liked this one I think I'm going to have to.

amybow - I did feel really embarrassed for the girl. At one point she even took the manwhore boyfriend home for a family wedding and he acted like a manwhore there in front of her family. Talk about uncomfortable.

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