Saturday, April 18, 2009
My Perfect Woman #3: Brains
A great body is nice, but it's just empty packaging if she's slim on smarts. In part three of My Perfect Woman, I turn to the intellectual merits of a mate. By the way, Mira Sorvino (pictured above) graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. It's not my fault she's gorgeous too, so no complaining about the example photo for this one.
For me, there is nothing so enticing as the natural tension between two clever people. An entire genre of film (Screwball) was built around the interplay of words and ideas. These proved so capable of creating the necessary romantic tension that the overt sexual references which are so common today were completely unnecessary (I recommend the classic film His Girl Friday for a perfect example).
My perfect girl would be clever. She would be obscenely, absurdly clever. But whereas for most people wit, insofar as they have it, serves as a veneer for personal deficiency, hers would be profound thought and rational consideration given a charming, breezy form.
My perfect woman would be a deep thinker. She'd have an opinion on the major issues of the day, the great existential questions, and the inscrutable mysteries of the universe. And yet while she would have given these subjects serious attention, they wouldn't weigh her down or induce an unbecoming severity.
An ideal mate would have the kind of thorough education that leaves one well prepared on any subject, confident in their abilities, and eager for further intellectual enrichment. This is less a matter of degrees per se, though those are nice too, but it's really about the mindset common (but neither universal nor unique) to those who have spent several years in the acquisition of expertise in a particular field.
I would also want my perfect woman to be faintly protective of the relevance of her preferred subject, to a degree inversely related to its practical applications. If she could have a Ph.D. in philosophy, that would be particularly appreciated.
Few deficiencies make conversational partners more tedious than a tendency to use the same word excessively, or to finish every sentence with a particular phrase (such as "you know" or "basically"). My perfect woman would have a versatile and even, to a certain extent, excessive lexicon, but one she would employ with becoming self-restraint.
Oh yeah, and she would also acknowledge the linguistic efficiency of the word "hella," and be no stranger to its use.
Finally, my perfect girl would have certain practical intellectual capabilities that I'd find useful in every day life. Chief among these would be flawless spelling, echo location of parked automobiles, and eidetic recall of phone numbers, names, and other incidentals of social interaction.