Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Death of Charm

At any time you may ask any woman in my life if I was charming.

And they will say, "indeed he was." 

Charm, I have to chalk up to my Uncle Jeff who, though a wonderful man, was very short and bald.  He had to develop his charm and he did to the point I would say he was the epitome of it.

He was sharp.  He was witty.  He was intelligent.  And he was a natural.  He always had the right thing to say to crack a smile in others AND (most importantly) it wasn't rehearsed.  He was smart enough and quick enough that he WAS charming so it came off as natural and genuine because he was.

Being a nerdy skinny kid myself in my youth, I started focusing my efforts to become like Uncle Jeff.  I would try to be witty, practice and form the art of dry wit.  TO this I added watching Cary Grant flicks, Humphrey Bogart flicks, and Jimmy Stewart movies, developing a repertoire of quotes no girl my age would recognize as plagiarism.  And sure enough, over time, growing taller, learning to dance, lifting weights, working out, riding motorcycles, etc.,  I developed into the devastatingly charming man that I am today.

Again, if you don't believe it, ask any woman who knows me.

However, like many other things, I have taken "charm" off of the table and now reserve it only for women I deem worthy of it.  My girlfriend, my female friends, and old ladies I happen to run into at coffee clubs.  And the reason this charm has been taken off the table is twofold.

1.  Most charm is not appreciated by my contemporaries or younger.  Older women will always get the  "who are you really and what were you before" line and they LOVE IT.  My female friends will always appreciate me purposely underestimating their age.  And the girlfriend will always appreciate the clever and witty inside joke hidden within an otherwise unremarkable statement.  But most women simply do not get it.  THey are not cultured enough, nor have the vocabulary to appreciate it.  Most witticisms will go over their heads and worse, they may see you as simply as nerdy, goofy, or just plain creepy.

2.  You have to earn charm.  Just like chivalry, just like respect, I don't hand it out for free anymore.  If I'm going to expend the calories of energy in my little brain to say something entertaining and cute that will improve and enhance (albeit minorly) your life, then you better have done something to deserve it.  Not necessarily benefiting me, but you better have proved yourself to be a good person, a person I find agreeable, and somebody deserving of charm (or respect, or chivalry). 

While this may address why myself and other genuinely charming men have in a cartel-like fashion limited the supply of charm, we cannot lay the Death of Charm solely at the feet of women.  For while there is no limit to the Disney-Channel-Justin-Beiber girls-cum-ladies now entering society who may demand it (or feel entitled to it), their male counterparts are hopelessly incapable of charm. 

Lacking any fatherly discipline, let alone guidance, let alone role models, young men today have no concept or clue of charm.  Hats are still being worn backward 20 years after the plague hit society, "hawt" is still being pronounced, and the behavior is so uniform the word "douchebag" now has a VERY precise Urban dictionary definition, defining young men who can only be described as well...douchebags. 

Few men know how to dance, few men know how be witty or creative, none of them have any culture beyond X-Box 360, and nearly none of them could even mimic Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant because they have no clue who they are.  This is not a call for them to "man up" but rather to point out the current crop of men are incapable of charm, thus further limiting the supply.

Because of this, we once again delve into the world of economics to explain what is happening in the courtship market.  With demand for charm being relatively constant, and the supply of charm dropping, charm comes at a premium.  The price of charm has gone up.  And if you want charm, then you better be a girlfriend, a good female friend, or a charming woman yourself to get it.  Because if you're not willing to pay "P2" in this market, there is no charm for you.

(PS-you would deserve charm if you could explain what "P2" is or could just explain the chart above and not tell us who Kate Perry is dating right now).


Cara said...

Love the chart. Nice touch!

Pax Empyrean said...

Ladies want charm. Women want men. Girls want swag.

Glen Filthie said...

Charm is merely a superficial affectation IMHO. I throw it out there with careless abandon.

Consideration and respect are the commodities I trade in; and I will throw them out there the same way...but I watch like a hawk to make sure they are reciprocated. If they aren't, I take them off the table too.

I will pit my honest respect and consideration against your superficial charm any day of the week Captain, and although I might not get laid as often - I will separate the women from the girls in half the time you do.

Rich said...

Why would a guy pay a premium price (charm) for a sub-premium product (most women)?

Anonymous said...

Hey captain, since my official economics education is non-existent, you think you could whip me up a similar chart for how "bad behaviour in public places drives out good", according to the theory as follows :

When acceptance for bad behaviour in public increases, the most well-behaved people will stop visiting public spaces, and thus lead to and additional increase in average bad behaviour.

Or maybe one needs some sort of equation to find the equilibrium-point in that one. Actually, if I think about it the equilibrium-point is reached when there is no one left in any public space that have any manners. Which should be happening

// Hpx

mackPUA said...

Half of pickup is knowing who to screen ...

Who deserves your attention, your lines etc.

Thats how you avoid making pickup & game a numbers game

Charm & charisma aimed at the right person, who knows how to appreciate charm & charisma in the first place ... is a deadly combination

Anonymous said...

A little help from Woody can fill in the details.

kurt9 said...

Understanding charm requires perspective and depth of character. These traits are largely lacking in people under 40. This is partly due to a lack of life experience. It is also due to most young people today growing up in very sheltered environments.

mackPUA said...

Girls can cruise by with a default negative demeanor, so they don’t have to own up to the fact that their social skills are terrible. -Roosh

Unknown said...

Aaron, you write often about the decline and such.

What I'd like to know is how do you see the US progressing socio-economically in the next 10 years. Yes, I want to start a family, yes, I want a house, yes, I'll work for those things. How will this impact me?

Whether we like it or not, there will be a lack of qualified workers in the future (retirement and some dying off). Would this improve the job-market? I see Asia rising and I can't see how they'll keep flooding the country with even more consultants on H1-Bs in white-collar jobs, people will not want to constantly leave their home just to make a better life when they can get that at home.


Anonymous said...

Why do you assume demand for charm is price inelastic? As you describe it (and I agree with your description) it seems more like non-linear. There are a few women who are capable of appreciating charm, and there are a number of others, mostly young and raised on a diet of smartphone and Gossip Girl, who simply don't have the social intelligence to recognize charm when they see it.

-- Chevalier de Johnstone

Legion said...

Captain Capitalism: Charm Nazi. No charm for you!

Anonymous said...

Spot on Captain! One is grateful for you and your ilk. The chart is a good touch.

Captain Capitalism said...


You are correct, I only assumed inelasticity to simplify it.


Anonymous said...

It's spelled Katy Perry.