Two of my friends over dinner discussing a third…
“I wonder if she’s ‘high maintenance’.”
Then he immediately adds, “She probably is. Women that pretty usually are.”
I quietly smiled to myself. Not because she was or wasn’t “high maintenance”—I hadn’t a clue either way—but because it reminded of a friend I had in graduate school…
[Experiments in maintenance]
It seemed every few months or so, he’d come up with a new hypothesis on social interaction. Like any good experimentalist—and unlike me because I was a theoretician—he would then apply that to his latest girlfriend. One particular time it was: “a girl just wants to know what you’re doing” and he’d call her before we’d go to lunch. (I forgot how that one collapsed.)
This particular time it was, “Terry, you should date ugly women because they’ll be low maintenance.”
That experiment failed.
Not only was she not “easy on the eyes,” over the summer she fell into the impossible dilemma of being “in love with two guys at once.” He was like, “Here, let me make this easy for you.” and dumped her on the spot. I was so glad when that happened. She was also dumb as a stump and she had a shitty personality—well shitty enough that I actually couldn’t talk to her with any civility. I need friends to gauge looks, but bad personality gets me every time.
The one thing I learned: don’t apply experimental design to create generalizations on social interactions because people are all over the place. I don’t know if there is a correlation between beauty and maintenance, but the instant you think there is, Murphy is going to screw you over with a girl who is ugly, dumb, boring, and unfaithful.