I was talking to a friend about assholes while we were weeding at the chicken sanctuary. Why do we like them, why are we so drawn to them?

I remember her description of the first guy she slept with. She said something like “he was an 18 year old refugee from Palestine and I couldn’t resist his pathos.” Except I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “pathos” that she used, but you get the idea. Most people try to convince themselves that there is this underlying goodness to the people they fall for, but my friend was not one of them. “No, he was really an asshole. I couldn’t resist him despite that.”

it was halloween, i promiseSo what is it about these assholes? I don’t know anything more than what I already relayed about that one particular guy, but she said that her current boyfriend has asshole tendencies as well. He’s actually one of the nicest, most helpful guys I’ve met in a long time, but the asshole tendencies come through in other ways. Nice assholes? Sincere assholes? Is it weird that we can see someone as both nice and an asshole?

“Maybe it is their honesty,” was my thought.

Do you have to be an asshole to be honest? Nope. But what exactly makes us consider them assholes? And how many more times do you think I’ll be able to use the word asshole in this post? TBD.

My thought was that these people are honest, and not especially caring of whether their opinions are shared by others. So they don’t coat them in all the social niceties that would make it more acceptable to us.

It is sort of the same as being blunt, but not exactly. It isn’t the general kind of blunt honesty that might come if you ask someone whether they liked your food, and they give a short no. I mean, yes, that is blunt and it is honest, but I suppose I’m thinking of deeper things. I can’t explain it very well. (And the picture is from a halloween party, I promise!)

Then again, maybe it really is the pathos we like, and I’m just trying to come up with some other more logical reason. There are certainly plenty of assholes who are just assholes, and not even especially honest ones. So mostly I’m probably not making any sense, yet I’m reminded of ani’s song, hypnotized:

You were no picnic, and you were no prize.
But you had just enough pathos to keep me hypnotized.

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