Monday, September 22, 2008

In Defense of Vanity


All this talk about how much I enjoy gorging myself right before bed has led me to ponder why I don't continue the gorging. The answer, I think, is vanity.

It's not really a concern about my health. My short-term craving for shoving my face would definitely overcome any attachment I could develop to a long-term plan for health. And it would also overcome some attachment to an abstract ideal like self-respect. I think, in the end, it's just vanity. And vanity, to my mind, only means one thing for a (straight) guy: appealing to a particular woman, or women in general.

That's right: the only reason I don't gorge myself every night, is that my vanity has managed the spectacular feat of overcoming my gluttonous desire to do so. Put more simply, I just wanted my wife to like me more.

Strangely, losing weight didn't achieve that (but that's another story). But at least I can content myself to some small degree with the idea that however plain I might look, I'd look worse with more weight on. Or something. Hell, I'm not even really conscious of what's going on in terms of motivation, now that I think about it.

But let's just say it is common old vanity. If so, I like it. It makes humans bathe and stay healthy, brush their teeth, be polite, perform feats, do things which others will praise them for. In that sense, vanity clearly has survival value. Maybe we'd all be dead if our ancestors weren't vain.

I know I'd certainly be a lot chubbier!

24 comments:

Su said...

You could call it "vanity" or if you wanted to, "increasing your chances of reproductive success". At least from a proximate viewpoint, that is what it may add up to. However, it would appear that you've done your bit (meaning all that you personally can do)for reproductive success.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest calling it a "by-product" of the evolutionary drive for reproductive success. It doesn't switch off, even when you've, apparently, succeeded in that regard. I guess it proves that there's a glitch in the system, or the idea that being a social animal has a massive influence on our continued, er, um, "vanity".

Stacey Lau said...

Just finished reading Walter Isaacson's book on Benjamin Franklin (is it vain of me to say so?) and practical Benjamin thought that we should actually thank God for our vanity, along with the other comforts in our life.

~Jen~ said...

well I'd like to order myself some vanity please...?? ebay? amazon?
I NEEEEEEED some....

Anonymous said...

If your wife doesn't like you as much as you want her to,why not go for couple's counseling.
Having a large family as you do,perhaps she has to spend a lot of energy on the kids and there is not a lot left over for you?
I agree with someone who left a post on your Santa sunject...you would probably be help a great deal if you had a job during the day,rather than being at home most of the time.When couples are together 24/7 it often causes problems.We all need our space...your wife too.Lots of girls nights out.

Anonymous said...

You said: Put more simply, I just wanted my wife to like me more.

Strangely, losing weight didn't achieve that (but that's another story).


Well there's your problem right there. Funny how people can't see what's right in front of them.

Appearance has to do with attraction.

Love is about all of those things you can't see, like things you have in common, and shared values, shared morals, things that make you tick, things that make your heart shrivel up in your chest,things that make you gasp with longing, or because they are so damn beautiful you can feel them...the things that make you intrinsically the person you are, and no other. The things that are uniquely you.

Focusing on the outward appearance as if it's going to fix all of that other stuff is like attacking Iraq when you're trying to find bin Laden in Pakistan. ;)

And that's the truth.

Tal said...

To First Anonymous:

I'm gone all day everday Sugar, working on a book plus taking full time classes towards a master's degree at the University of Victoria. But thanks for your ignorant, snide comments - the ones you would be embarrassed by, if you had any shame (oops, strike that - the fact you post anonymously must mean you have *some* shame...just enough to make you look even worse!).

By the way, what marital problems we have had, have far deeper sources than a *work schedule*. How stupid.

Also by the way, I have personally arranged for, and participated in, counseling on numerous occasions. But I don't think I owe the likes of you any sort of sensible response, so I think I'll end now.

lily said...

Tal,
It is great to hear that you are writing a book and studying for a Master's degree. Is it in political science?

Off topic, would you give us your take on Canadian election?

lily

Anonymous said...

From Sugar...Dear Idiot,I am a male who used to live on the same street as you.,Sugar. You always were an asshole.Why do you think your family don't want to be around you.

Anonymous said...

Tal,your rant against anonymous...the one you call Sugar makes you look really stupid.There was nothing wrong in anonymous's post.
You show a pattern of having problems taking offense to what seems to you as a critical remark.Nothing in that post was critical.I would bet your Masters is in pshchology.I am guessing you are trying to help your own problems.You need to look up personality disorders and paranoia.I am saying this with the best intent.People often post as anonymous as many get unsolicited emails from others when they leave their contact info in guestbooks,etc. Calm down,for heaven's sake.

rachaelpachel said...

Dear anon:

Where does his response to Sugar make him look stupid? It seems to me, that you have to have a few brain cells in your head in order to go for a masters degree.

Sugar made a snide, ignorant, and yes critical remark, (people cant see what's in front of them ), based on a few commments, that clearly indicated there was 'more story' behind it.

A post, making a judgment on an 'incomplete' story, is what looks ignorant here. How does Sugar know what goes on behind closed doors? How does anyone?

From here in the peanut gallery, it looks like someone has a bone to pick, someone who doesnt have the cahoonas to identify himself, save to say he lived close by.

Don't know why Tal even bothered to respond.


PS ~jen~, who posted on Sept 23rd. LMAO, that is a hilarious video you got there, he he he, thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Rachael sounds like Tal with a different name.

Bonni Louise

rachaelpachel said...

Hi Bonnie, wow, this is so interesting, I really don't get it, why post that comment? It looks like a schoolyard around here.


Lets say it was Tal (which it is not), does it somehow invalidate the comments, make them less impactful, because it came from Tal?

& to anon, why the hate on? Why even come here, I have to wonder, why do you not go somewhere where you 'like' to be? Spend time at a forum or blog where you can be positive, and instead of shooting venom, spread a kind word that lifts someone up?


Bonnie, I am a no one, an observer, literally, posting from the peanut gallery.

Click on my user name and it takes you to my You Tube channel.

Thats who I am, I have never met Tal.

actually, anon looks to me like the person with multiple identities...........just sayin,

Rach

Anonymous said...

For "Rachelpachel" -

There is more than one "anon" on here. Your post makes it clear you have mistakenly conflated several of them.

Anonymous said...

Seriously people, is this highschool?? Althought I am new to this, I imagine the point of people "blogging" is to give a point and then receive feedback/counterpoints to start a "discussion". Not sure why it needs to become a personal bashing on any opinion. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Tal'post to Sugar is what started any so called schoolroom antics.Are people just supposed to ignore his nasty rants?He has so many of them.Why should people have to take this as "feedback"?We can't just suck up to him because he's a so called celebrity.

Anonymous said...

well, it is Tal's blog so...it really is your choice to read/respond, etc. Life is about choices. I guess if you don't like it, you don't have to play. :S

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Anonymous,and the same thing applies to Tal.People are free to post their responses to his comments and if he doesn't like it,he doesn't have to play.If people post an honest response that offers advice for the problems he has posted that he has, they shouldn't have to be subject to Tal's
nasty, insulting, defensive remarks.Also, if a post is critical and Tal can't take it,he shouldn't play the game.He provides the game and the freedom of choice for people to comment.

Anonymous said...

To Anon: All I am saying is that you clearly are not fond of what Tal writes, says, etc so why are you here then? If it is just to try to take him down a notch than that is just pathetic. Agreed that Tal's repsonse was less than nice but again it is HIS blog to begin with. Get your own if you don't like it. There are better more positive things you could be doing with your time than hating. I don't think anyone of us here are "sucking up to him, because he is a so called celebrity"...

Anonymous said...

To Anon.I know Tal and I do not hate him.I read his posts because some of them are interesting.But sometimes he can be a jerk.I am not here to take him down a peg,just to remind him to be respectful to those with whom he may not agree.If you knew him, you would know what I mean.That doesn't mean some of his posts aren't interesting and I do enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic is a such a catch all word.I don't think Anonymous is pathetic.

Given Tal's political background, I would really like him to give us his take on the upcoming election and what he thinks it's results will be.I think Harper will win but I wish he were more liberal as to health care funding and help for the homeless and other areas of medical neediness ,such as mental health and drug coverage.

Anonymous said...

Vanity,they name is....me. I agree that a little bit of vanity is good for inspiring us to wash, and that is a good thing,LOL!

When we feel we look our best we get out and about more,take on projects, etc.

On days when I look in the mirror and feel I look like crap, I dread that I will bump into someone I like and they will think "Eeew, so that's what she looks like without makeup".

Jennypenny (currently having a bad hair day)

Tal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tal said...

For the last ten years, all sorts of people have posted anonymously on the internet claiming that they and I are "friends", or that they have "lived on my street", or that "they have often come over to Tal's house", or that they babysat me, etc., and in virtually every case that I have gotten any info about, all the stories about personal contact have been BS.

It is very easy - and I think, unbecoming - to post anonymously and announce that someone is a jerk (not that I'm denying it - there are a lot of ill-mannered people out there, and when you are responsible for protecing kids, and some neighbour won't respect your family's boundaries [like they keep bringing friends over for autographs], then yes, eventually I will tell them they're not welcome).

Anyway, the point is, if someone has something personally critical to say, I encourage them to post their names so I (and others) know the comments might have some credible basis. Otherwise, I can't take the comments seriously, and I don't think others should, either. (Especially when even my wife would tell them they're full of it on the subject of our marriage).

anne said...

I used to love snacking late as well, I think I no longer do it because going to bed feeling full just isn't very comfortable.

You don't look plain by the way, you are a very handsome man, deal with it.