“The bedrock assumption of Type of Guy Theory is that identity exists independently from behavior; you are a type first, and you behave accordingly. For my money, the ne plus ultra of Type of Guy Theory is this letter to Slate’s sex advice column, in which a woman who describes herself as ‘repelled by heterosexuality politically and personally’ but ‘also really into dick’ asks where she can find men who want to have sex with women but are not heterosexuals.”
I stumbled across this essay after enjoying Brooks’ insightful take on NFTs
and then discovering we apparently crossed paths years ago on the poetry scene. Small world!
I’m still digesting it, but I’m intrigued by his core premise’s subtle game of semantics: “My son didn’t blow off his science worksheet because he’s a fuckup; he fucked up because he blew off his science worksheet.”
Do our actions explicitly and irrevocably define us, or do we choose to be fuckups and have room to make different choices?
Similar to Brooks, I was convinced in my 20s that I’d never have kids or get married and would become the “favorite drunk uncle” my father effectively became for most of his 3os and 40s. I believed it and lived my life accordingly, and every “choice” was simply a reflection of that underlying truth. It didn’t really occur to me that I was making bad choices that had put, and kept, me on that path, until I met my eventual wife and started making different choices.
“I fucked up because I thought I was a fuckup” definitely feels like a weak excuse, even though it’s not one I ever consciously used. My 20s were such a mess!
NOTE: I’m waiting for my behaviorist wife’s take to season my own thoughts on this, as I often do, often without her realizing it. She hadn’t gotten back to me before I wrote this, so hopefully I didn’t just embarrass myself! O_o