The lovely Laurie at My Potential One True Love blogged a few days back about what she at one point in her post called BTGD (Being Thick Gets Dick). She’s uncertain whether this term is crude, so she didn’t title her post that – I think it probably is crude, but I don’t care. After all, my keyring says Cunt.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. I think it’s an interesting topic. Judging from what she said in her blog post, she and I come from similar backgrounds – homes where education and intelligence are valued, and where your opinions are listened to. For me, the same was true when I went to uni. True, I did a French degree, so there were way more girls on my course than there were boys, but the boys I did know treated me as an intellectual equal, even if, when they declared Madame Bovary to be romantic, my response was: ‘No it’s not, it’s shit.’
In fact, all the boys who’ve played a major role in my life – the ones I’ve slept with, loved, had massive crushes on, my friends – have been pretty damn intelligent. Of the five guys I’ve slept with, three have been Oxbridge-educated, although that’s not, *ahem,* a condition for entry. They listen when I’m ranting on about my views and opinions and they give the impression, at least, of taking me seriously. What’s more, they’re capable of taking me seriously over a glass of wine and then fucking me senseless later in the evening. So far, so good – I’m getting my dick without having to pretend to be in the slightest bit thick.
But here’s the embarrassing bit. Sometimes I like to play the ditzy woman in the company of men. I don’t mean that I pretend not to know stuff that I do know, more that I’m er, guilty of steering the conversation in the direction of subjects that I’m much less knowledgable about. In her post, Laurie used this quote from the ITV show Take Me Out:
“So, like, you seem proper intelligent, yeah. Like if I asked you, like a question, would you be able to answer it? Like do you know what the capital of Germany is then?”
Why is it always bloody Germany? Let’s just clarify at this point that I do know what the capital of Germany is, but when people (sometimes boys, sometimes not) catch me out on geographical knowledge, it usually has something to do with Germany. My Granddad, who used to sit me on the rug in front of the fire and quiz me about world capitals, would turn in his grave if he could see some of the howlers I’ve committed with regard to German geography. I told my mum it was landlocked (she reminded me it has a Navy). The boy and I once had a conversation about the countries that border it. I was doing ok, and then I ran out of ideas. I think he said something like ‘You must know what the other one is. It’s pretty big,’ and I replied ‘Er, Russia?’
To be fair to me, this is not entirely wrong, it’s just very out of date. It turns out that it’s easy to forget about the existence of Poland in modern Europe. I can’t remember if he laughed so hard he shed actual tears, but I do have a distinct recollection of watching his shoulders shake. And truth be told, I liked it – making him laugh was worth bringing my intelligence into question for.
And so I’ve not stopped asking silly questions, or at least phrasing my questions in a way that makes it sound like I’m about to ask something really stupid. Lying in a hotel room with him, watching postcoital BBC World (the sexiness of my life knows no bounds), a report came on about the Central African Republic. I said ‘Can I ask a question about the Central African Republic?’ He smirked. ‘Are you going to ask where it is, because I’m going to give you five seconds to decide you don’t want to ask that question.’ That wasn’t what I was going to ask, and I could have protested that he doesn’t take me seriously, but really, where’s the fun in that? Far better to squeal in mock indignation at his meanness, because it’s true – that is the approach that’s far more likely to end in laughter, and ultimately, more sex.
But he’d fuck me either way, as, I’m sure, would other guys, so why do I do it? I could get laid and maintain some dignity. Well yeah, I could, but here’s my theory. Clever girls never get to be the class clown. They’re too busy sucking up to the teachers, making perfect revision notes that get photocopied for the rest of the class (yes, I really was that obnoxious) and, if I’m really honest, trying not to get bullied. It’s only by the time we’re in our twenties and thirties that we’re comfortable enough with ourselves, secure enough in who we are, to want to draw that much attention to ourselves. It’s not that we think that we have to play thick to get dick – it’s just that we’ve always wanted the opportunity to try it. Most girls did it at fifteen. Me? I’m doing it now.