Without a Word

I went on a date today.  The young woman in question was smart, pretty, and ambitious—stupidly ambitious, the way I was when I was her age.

Finally, I understood how my father felt all those years ago, dealing with me.  He, too, was ambitious when he was young.

The reader must know: I basically idolize my father.  I have repeated his sins, if they are sins, in terms of career overreach.  He is smart, and I am smart—but neither of us as much as we thought we were.  Hubris is in our blood—fitting that I come up against it behind a pretty face.

I like to think I’ve gained some wisdom from my journeys on the internet, the world, and work.  Some of this I dispensed today over lunch.

It was like talking into a vacuum cleaner.  I just kept talking.  Not in some socially awkward way—at Secret NRX Bootcamp the first lesson is “how to not be a frikkin’ weirdo”—but because who doesn’t like a pretty girl hanging on their words?  In some ways I stimulated the growth of what I hate—knowledge without understanding

But it comes to naught.   A man does not wish to be an encyclopedia or a self-help book, particularly to a woman.  He wants his words to be valued and respected, certainly, but he himself does not want to be valued because of his words—in fact he must not, because if he is only valued for his words, what when he must say things that are hard to bear?


  1. Cane Caldo says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what she thinks. If she likes you, she will find a way to decide your way is the “correct way”. Does she seem to like you?

  2. You of all people, I was hoping would comment. And yes, she does.

    1. But, you know, the me that is a fun conversationalist, not the one with outmoded ideas on marriage.

      1. I am generally of a mind to file it away, continue with my work, and ponder.

      2. jvangeld says:

        “not the one with outmoded ideas on marriage.”

        Have you actually told her about your outmoded ideas on marriage? Because if you haven’t, you don’t know this for sure.

        You will have to tell your wife the things that are hard to hear. It is going to be hard to say those things. So you might as well start practicing now with girls who don’t have the ability to divorce your ass. We are just servants of the truth.

  3. Cane Caldo says:


    Thanks! I’m honored if surprised.

    1. Does she obey her father and is she generally content to do so, trusting in his wisdom and generosity? That’s your prime indicator now and through the dating process. You want to know: Does she have the habit to rely on when she doesn’t feel like it?

    2. Aside from question 1 (which is itself outmoded) does she act out any other outmoded ideals?

    At some point you will have to make verbal your requirements, but I’d try to get an understanding of her relationship with her dad first.

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