As usual, Mrs. Linklater just can't get enough of minding other people's business. So, once again, she lets an advice columnist try to set someone on the right path. And then she butts in and saves the day.
Tales from the Front -- Cheryl Lavin
Published December 13, 2004 Chicago Tribune
Dear Cheryl: I'm a divorced mom in my 30s. I'm open to dating and potentially marrying again but am having some difficulty meeting men who aren't intimidated by my intelligence. I've discussed this with male friends and most of them agree: Many men want to be smarter than the women they date and marry. I work full time and am getting a graduate degree part time at a really top school. (Most of my classmates are married.) When I meet people and tell them where I go to school, they often seem impressed and sometimes intimidated.
Yet, I'm not the typical hard-charging, career-driven overachiever that often comes out of my grad school. Still, I'm probably smarter than your average woman. As a single parent, I don't have much free time to socialize or join clubs to meet people. I've attended church, but there wasn't anyone there to meet. Short of joining Mensa, do you have any suggestions for meeting a guy who's OK with being with someone at least as smart as he is or potentially smarter? Sometimes I wonder if I should dumb myself down initially or not mention my grad school in the hopes that after getting to know me, a guy won't be as intimidated, but I don't really think this is the best way to go. So far, though, the being-smart thing seems to make men run away.
-- Smarty Pants
Dear "Smarty Pants": I'll give you the same advice I'd give to anyone -- male or female, young or old, rich or poor, smart or not-so -- who wants to meet people: Go to the places you enjoy, do the things you like to do. That way, whether you meet someone or not, you'll have a good time. In your case, try book signings of authors you enjoy, discussions of current events, etc., etc. There are probably dozens of lectures every month just at your school. You'll meet people with your interests.
By the way, you think the reason you're not meeting men is because you're too smart. Other women think it's because they're too tall or too short or too old or too fat or have too many kids. Men think it's because they're too bald or too fat or too old or too poor or drive a too-beaten-up car. The bottom line is it's just hard to meet someone to spend the rest of your life with. Hang in there
Blah, blah blah. Mrs. Linklater butts in and slaps Ms. Smarty Pants upside the head. Yo -- grad school girl, get over yourself!! Enough of this pretending you’re not an intimidating, hard-charging career-driven overachiever. Sounds like the first thing out of your mouth after you tell someone your name is where you go to grad school. Hi, My name is Smarty Pants and I go to the top school in the country. And you don’t.
That’s always an icebreaker.
So let’s take stock here. First of all, there are plenty of guys who like smart women. As for finding them, you may have to go outside the box a bit. Take flying lessons. Go on a river-rafting trip. Join an adventurer’s club. Hang out in the cafeteria of a hospital [worked for one friend].
The real question is – do you have anything else going for you? A personality, for instance? A sense of humor? A hobby? A nice wardrobe? An attractive, well-toned body? Anything? You may be smart, but nothing else. Time to get real about what you have to offer besides your SAT scores.
You may also be under the mistaken impression that anyone who didn’t go to a grad school as good as yours couldn’t possibly be as smart as you are. So you aren’t even giving those guys a chance. That’s kinda dumb, Smarty Pants.
The next time you meet someone, remember, it’s not a job interview. Your resume doesn’t count. Your social skills do. Engage a guy in conversation, show genuine interest in who he is and what he does and, trust Mrs. Linklater, he’ll think you’re a genius. Isn't that what you wanted in the first place?