Ask Dr. NerdLove: Waiting To Start

Hey Dr. Nerdlove.

I have a question for you. I’m a kinda short, black teenager in high school and this year (junior year) I decided I want to dress in matching clothing and have some style as much as possible. So basically I’m not a “socially-inept nerd” but I am a sports playing nerd. I can match my clothes but being in style is hard. I would like your tips on style and maybe some of your style. Thanks.

Jumbled-Up Junior

My first rule about high-school is: try not to worry too much about high-school. It’s a giant morass of surging hormones, social Darwinism and a whole bunch of proto-sociopaths who’re busily sharpening their metaphorical knives on anyone and everyone around them where the rules of engagement seem to have been written by people who spent twenty to thirty years in the high-security wing of Oz (and I don’t mean they were trying to find ruby slippers for the Wizard).

Now that having been said, high-school is a place for laying the groundwork for who you will become later on. The sooner you master the basics, whether it’s with social interaction or sartorial mastery, the easier you will find that aspect of your life later on when it does start to count: in college.

So with that in mind, I’m going to advise you that you don’t worry too much about your personal style yet. Start off by making sure you have the basics down pat. This means making sure you’re wearing clothes that actually fit rather than trying to hide any flaws you may perceive in layers of clothing.

Next, keep some simple rules in mind.

  • Don’t go overboard with flashy clothes; stick to one piece of clothing that’s the center-piece of your outfit. Everything else should be basic, otherwise you start to make yourself look overly busy. Same with accessories: keep it simple and minimalist. The more attention-grabbing a piece is, whether it’s a hat, jewelry, a flashy watch or a novelty belt-buckle, the more it’s going to overwhelm everything else. Think of it like a point system; the flashier it is, the more points it’s going to cost, therefore you will have less room for other accessories.
  • Jeans should be the work-horses of your closet; they can work with any outfit, provided they’re good quality and fairly minimalist in design. The more holes or unusual washes (sand-blasted, for example), the less you can do with them. Dark washes are ideal, as they will work with damn near everything you own and can be dressed up or down. And no decorations on the back pockets. The early 00s have many fashion sins to answer for.
  • The last thing you put on is going to be the first thing people notice. Keep this in mind, especially now that fall is slowly turning into winter. Never underestimate the power of a cool jacket.
  • I’m a big fan of keeping displays of nerdery simple and understated1. Graphic tees reproducing comic covers or X-Men fight-scenes tend to be too much; something simple like the S-shield or the symbiote white-on-black Spider-Man logo are iconic and classic, especially when that’s your centerpiece.
  • Athletic shoes are best used for being athletic in order to keep them from wearing out too quickly. Keep some casual shoes for every-day wear, whether they’re Chuck Taylors, Vans, Addidas or what-have you. You also need one pair of shoes that goes with a suit.
  • Your belt should match your shoes.
  • White socks are best for working out. Dark socks work best for every other occasion.
  • Track suits are for warming up before exercising or lounging around the house when you don’t give a damn who sees you. Period.
  • Dr. NerdLove tees make you 100% cooler.

You may notice I didn’t say much about style here. This is because style is an extension of who you are and at your age, your identity and archetype is going to be a moving target. This is a good thing; you should be experimenting with different aspects of your personality and identities as you try to find out who you really are. Find styles that speak to you and people who can serve as a fashion role-model. Just don’t try to lock yourself into who you think you should be or let other people tell you who you are.

This is also a good time to start learning how to shop for clothes properly. Start learning to take advantage of sales and where to find discounts.  I’d also recommend signing up for daily sale sites like JackThreads ((I have no affiliation with them, nor do I get anything from recommending them)), which can help you score some cool clothes on the cheap.

More often than not, when it comes to clothes, you get what you pay for – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get it for cheaper if you’re smart.


Hey Doc!

Long time reader here – finally decided I had something to ask you.

You mention in your articles that part of getting out there and meeting people is changing up your routine – and one of the things you suggest is to get into better physical shape. But what if you’re someone who’s currently struggling with that very thing?

Allow me to explain. I’m in my late 30s. I’ve been told by some women that I’m cute, but I don’t really give my appearance very high marks – largely because I am rather overweight.

I’ve actually started taking steps to try and remedy the situation – I’m watching what I eat more, taking vitamins, and trying to exercise when I can.However, one thing I don’t seem to be doing is meeting any women. And I think know why.

I’ve had it in my head for quite some time, that someone in as poor shape as I am shouldn’t bother trying to meet anyone. I’ve always thought to myself, “If I just lose X amount of pounds, then maybe I can think about it”. After all, a big part of attraction is physical, and right now, I’m not cutting it.

Another factor is that I do suffer from depression, and this makes things all the harder. To give you an idea of how hard: I haven’t had a girlfriend since late 2007. 

Now for the twist – I’ve recently resumed regular counseling sessions, and am on a decent regiment of meds – so I’ve actually started thinking about meeting women again. But here’s the thing – I’m still pretty hung up on my weight, and not sure whether I should bother trying, or wait until I’m in better shape. 

So, Doc – what’s your take? Am I completely wrong-headed here?

–Unhealthy and Alone

Now before I get into the meat of your question: congratulations for going out and trying to get your life in order. Better nutrition and more exercise are always a good thing – not just for aesthetics (more on that in a second) but also because of the way it will make you feel. Doing something good for yourself will make you feel better and learning to enjoy some form of exercise – whether explicit exercise like running or weight-training or activities like sports or rowing – help get your endorphins pumping, which will help with the depression issue.

I should know; I’ve dealt with depression issues most of my life and a combination of healthier eating and activity (as well as therapy) helped immensely.

Now that having been said: your problem isn’t in your waistline, it’s in your head.

Your biggest issue is your self-image: that you can only be attractive at X weight, for whatever value you’ve assigned at X. You’re letting your weight become a self-limiting belief and it’s going to be a millstone hanging around your neck. When you keep telling yourself that you’re too fat to be attractive, you’re going to miss out on the fact that there are people who do find you attractive. Hell, they’re even telling you to your face that they think you’re cute… but you won’t let yourself believe it.

I know that the media tells us that only men and women of a certain body type are attractive, but the fact of the matter is: there are plenty of women for who will quite happily date fat guys. Hell, there are plenty of women (and gay men, for that matter) who really dig big guys.2 Kevin Smith’s been happily married for 13 years now, as has Patton Oswalt. Lots of women find John Goodman incredibly sexy just for his voice and personality alone. You’re letting your hang-up get in the way of meeting and dating some really awesome people.

You definitely should start looking into meeting women even if you’re not at your ideal weight yet. Putting up artificial barriers (“I can’t start dating again until I’m X pounds”) is just a way of excusing yourself from getting out there and taking some emotional risks. The closer you get to your goal, the more oh-so-perfectly-legitimate reasons why you can’t possibly date will keep coming up: your car sucks and you need a different one, your job just keeps you too busy, you’re still in therapy… there will always be another reason until you decide to make your stand. You’ve been out of the dating scene for a while and the more social you get, the more comfortable you’ll become in interacting with women – even if you’re not at the physical ideal you hope for.

Talk with your therapist about your self-image issues; they’re in the best position to help you get past the idea that you’re somehow undeserving of dating and nobody could possibly find you attractive.

Good luck. Be sure to write back and let everybody know how you’re doing.

  1. says the man with an Arashikage clan tattoo and sporting a custom Green Lantern ring… []
  2. There are also plenty of dudes who are into big beautiful women. []

Comments

  1. OP 1: the best hint someone could possibly give you about style is fit. Clothes that fit look instantly better than clothes that do not. and (though this applies more to girls than boys) size numbers vary from brand to brand and store to store, so try things on.

  2. dichotomousprime says:

    @Unhealthy and Alone:

    I largely agree with what the Doc has said: don't fall into the trap of using your insecurities to stop you from going out and meeting new people! As the saying goes, it takes all kinds, and plenty of people find bigger guys damn attractive. Now, here's the part where I deviate (if only slightly). The Doc has acknowledged that the feeling of self-consciousness is a mental one, eating at your confidence due to body image issues. He's brought up in numerous articles how negative self-directed thoughts can come through in body language/hurt your chances. My point in saying all this is that, if losing weight WOULD make you feel more confident/good about yourself? Hey man, go for it!

    As the Doc mentioned in his response, the endorphins will do you wonders, and looking in the mirror and seeing the disparity between how you want to look and how you actually look shrinking is a POWERFUL incentive that'll keep you wanting to progress and keep trying. Now, knowing that this might get me some flak from other commenters (especially given the response to last week's article), I'll put a disclaimer:

    What you're working towards should be what YOU want to look like/how you want to feel, not what others/society tells you to want. It's super-hard to separate the two sometimes, I know. So basically, whether you're looking to just be able to have more energy and maybe go for the occasional run, or looking to slim right down and pack on some serious beef, both are equally FINE, so long as the person you're progressing towards is someone whom YOU'RE happy with. Because when you're content in your own skin, THAT'S when the confidence shines through, and, say it with me now, "CONFIDENCE IS SEXY."

    Good luck, my friend. I have been there before and wish you all the best in coming out the other side. :)

  3. That second question was definitely helpful. But I have to ask where exactly would you find women who are into bigger guys? Is it just a matter keeping your eyes and ears open or are there places that make it easier to find them?

    • I don't think there's any specific place where women with those tastes are going to be more concentrated. This is one of those traits that one woman in a social group might have, while her friend has the opposite opinion.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      You find them the same way you find dates in general. You meet them at parties or in class or at the bar or get set up by friends or start an online dating profile and messaging people who seem interesting to you.There'll be women (or guys) who are *really* into big guys and they'll usually self-select and put it out right up front. There will be the ones who don't care one way or the other; you won't know until youstart a conversation, you charm and delight them and ask them out on a date. Same way you find out whether or not she's into bald guys or not, into gingers or not, into guys with facial hair or not, into guys with glasses or not, into Jewish dudes or Irish dudes or African-Americans or Latinos or any other permutation of attributes you care to name.Some women may not be into big guys but are into *you* specifically. Some may not REALIZE they're into big guys until they give one a try.But you have to go and put yourself out there to find 'em.

      • I once had a crush on a big ginger guy with facial hair. He might have been gay though. I could never really tell. All I do know is that he made me feel wonderful when I was around him. He was warm, funny, fun, always smiling, and always making sure the people around him were happy too.

        Great guy.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        The first sentence of the second paragraph there. My current girlfriend's type can be pretty much summed up as "not me". In my case, she likes bigger guys and I've got that Jack Skellington build. In our case, types didn't even come up until we'd been dating a while. Take a chance. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, don't let it cripple you.

  4. in b4 "you mentioned weight loss= you are fat shaming" comments start showing up.

    • Surely you can undertake the difference between normalizing weight loss as a universal goal and how that is harmful to fat people (last article) and telling someone that thinking they can’t date because they are fat is a self-limiting belief (this article). Or maybe you are just a moron.

      • or maybe I'm a 270 pound, 46 year old female who's sick of people telling me what to be outraged over.

        • I'm confused, who's telling you what to be outraged over?

          • yes, you are confused. Or maybe you are just…

            nah. too easy. Oh, I know. Maybe you are just answering a week old comment by derailing it rather than address the fact that you called someone whose circumstances you didn't know a moron for daring to mock your earlier SJ flipout in a way some others found humorous.

      • also: way to assume, and thanks for the name calling.

  5. Chromantic says:

    I dated a big guy for nearly ten years and during that time I found I was primarily attracted to guys who were heavier – I crushed on a lot of my ex's heavier friends. Lots of girls prefer bigger guys because they can make us feel small and feminine – something that some geeky girls especially are not accustomed to feeling.

    I would also point out something that a lot of guys seem to have difficulty believing, which is that looks really don't matter all that much to the majority of women. Want proof? Read "A Billion Wicked Thoughts" by Ogi Ogas and Sai Goddam, which is a study of internet porn and erotica and what turns men and women on and why. For most women to be attracted to a guy, she usually needs to find several features about you attractive, but looks don't have to matter all that much. She might love your passion, your ambition, your sense of humor, your intelligence, and the way you treat other people. In my experience, women looking to meet men might not express overt interest and you might think this is because of your weight, when in actuality she is paying attention, and watching for signifiers of "attraction" that matter more to her than your body type.

    I can't understate how much sexier positivity is in a man than flat abs or bulging biceps. When you're warm, optimistic, and making positive changes in your life, most women will see somebody happy, confident, and capable – 3 things that make a lot of ladies swoon. Not that you'll always feel all those things, but hopefully you'll bring them to the fore when trying to meet women. Try not to get discouraged. It doesn't mean you won't meet assholes in your search. It sounds like you have a lot of offer, so whatever you do, don't undersell yourself. One thing most women (and men!) would benefit from in their life is a partner who helps them live a healthier lifestyle and has the drive to help motivate them when the going gets tough.

  6. I think Jon’s question deserves to be addressed. Where would a guy go to find someone that’s not so hung up on appearences?

    • I think the answer to this is in most places–nearly everywhere!

      I'm a lady, and I don't have many specific standards about how a guy looks: tall/short, big/slender, bald/long hair, dark/light–I care not. Though I must admit, I do like it when a guy dresses neatly and appropriately for the occasion (see DNL's answer to Jumbled-Up above), though that is not necessarily a deal-breaker.

      For me, so long as a guy respects me, respects himself, and has something interesting to say, and I am open to the possibilities (or was when I was dating). And being geeky/nerdy–totally a plus. I have a lot of lady friends that feel the same way. I think any of us could have be found at any number of bars, cafes, bookstores, lines for concerts, internet dating sites, dog parks… anywhere in the world, if a conversation was struck up first.

      For myself, I've found the ratio of go-nowhere chats, bad dates, etc., to be sometimes discouragingly high when looking for someone that has the same values of insides over outsides, and to be a right match to boot. What I'm trying to say is that "where" matters so much less than "how often."

    • Chromantic says:

      Hmm…do you mean, is there a clubhouse we all hang out at? No, obviously, but I think it's two-pronged. He can meet people online using dating profiles, etc., and I think that works well for certain people. I've always been more attracted to people I've made friends with first, so what kinds of geeky hangouts are on offer in his neck of the woods? Are there Meetup groups in the area? Gaming groups? Local events that attract the sort of women he finds attractive. For most geeks, it's easier to to get a foot in the door using your shared media passion, so anything social. If I were him and I wanted to meet a bunch of ladies in the area, I'd tap into the groups I was already aware of and start up some kind of weekly or biweekly activity group. They could go on hikes, play Hitman or some other physical game, go swimming, or do some other physical activity with broad appeal. That worked in my hometown, because so many traditional geeky pursuits involve sitting still and eating junkfood and so it was a great break and a chance to connect with one another. A scheduled drop-in event where the goal is to meet friends and broaden your social network will give you the benefit of being involved with way more people. Some of those people will be eligible women, and some will be guys who know eligible women, or who might invite you to parties or other events and you can meet women together. With the added bonus that you will have committed to a certain amount of social and physical activity and that those who want to join you will see you as a positive, outgoing social alpha. Very sexy indeed.

    • There's not one particular place. Unlike, say, having traditional values or being highly educated, that's not necessarily a trait that's going to make women bond with each other or flock to a certain location. On the other hand, that means there are lots of places where those women can be found, even if it's not a sure thing with any particular one. The club scene might be particularly tough, internet would probably be a toss up (depending to some extent on the women being targeted), and places where women can see a bit of a guy's personality before he makes a move (a book club, an interest group, a class) might be a little better.

    • Look for girls who aren't overly concerned with their own appearance. Girls who put their energy into other things besides looking good are usually not concerned with their partner's looks either. Birds of a feather flock together and all.

    • goldfinger says:

      I don't think that a guy can find someone who's not so hung up on appearances–and I don't think anyone would want to. But I do think you can find someone who will be attracted to someone who doesn't fit societal beauty standards. They're everywhere–but a woman who dresses oddly or flamboyantly, or who looks unusual herself, might be a more likely choice.

    • I'm a fat guy who found love twice. I don't think either girl was a fat fetishist or anything (my ex's last bf before me was a jock). I met them both online, in now-long-gone chat rooms. Neither knew what I looked like until we started getting to know each other and we traded pictures – both liked what they saw. I think one thing about me that's appealing to girls who find me attractive is, I guess I'd call it cuddliness (the word "bear" tends to come up a lot). If you tend to be warm and affectionate, let it show (keeping social calibration in mind, of course). We may not be for everyone, but there's definitely a subset of women who think we're fun to hug.

    • Nope! Just gotta go looking for them. Also, there's a difference between "not hung up on appearances" and "will date a man with X physical attribute".

      Like me – I do have a thing for certain physical traits. I like beards, dark body hair, large noses and eye crinkles,.

      Would I date a big guy? Sure! I like potbellies. Larger than a pot belly? Absolutely! Skinny as a gazelle? Yup! Muscly? Not yet, but maybe. Have, in fact, dated men of a whole range of heights, sizes and builds, and both men who did and didn't tick the boxes on the traits I listed above. Attraction is such a random thing, and it is so easy to develop a thing for a trait JUST BECAUSE someone you like happens to have the trait. For about 2 years after one particular ex, I found guys and girls with buck teeth really cute.

      Consider this: Jon might buff his physique to action-movie perfection, feel amazing, see a woman he likes and make the move… only to be turned down because SHE likes balding guys and finds muscles off-putting. Every person you approach, you have no idea what they do and don't like. Only way to find out is to try.

    • OtherRoooToo says:

      I'm not sure how much of it is "finding a woman who's 'not so hung up on appearances'" — after all, there's already a ton of "nearly everywhere" advice here in the comments — as it is being a man who is not.

      As I asked a dude the other day who was struggling with his "rejection" rate — are you looking only for ScarJo & Mila Kunis lookalikes with Ivy League IQs and Plymouth Rock & Miss Manners pedigrees? Or is there a little more flexibility in your selection criteria than that?

  7. OP1: A couple of pitfalls that it seems like younger guys tend to fall into:

    1. Just because you CAN do something with your hair or facial hair doesn't mean you SHOULD. Some people can pull off unusual grooming well, but think over any extreme grooming choices and make sure you can pull them off.

    2. Find a happy medium when it comes to scents. Being clean and fresh is important, but contrary to the TV ads, girls do not drape themselves over guys who've doused themselves in Axe.

    • I don't want to disagree, necessarily, but just offer my own experience in this department…

      A lot of what a person is "capable" of pulling off is based on their own personality. Myself and my friend grow facial hair like bears and can pull off a variety of facial hairs, mustaches, etc as well as mohawks, bald heads. He is a crazy motherfucker, and I am less so but I can still pull them off with a positive attitude and a smile. I am also not the type of person (generally) who would get a tattoo. But I also have those and I get questions and thumbs up from random people.

      I am not a Casanova by any means; I am a nerd virgin even after graduating from college but if you can have fun with it, it is actually much easier to do it if you are younger. I would just say experiment and no matter what you do, be awesome about it.

  8. I think you missed an important point in your answer to the first letter: Don't go shopping with your mom if you can at all avoid it. Unless you have an unusually stylish mom, she's going to be more interested in finding bargains than helping you with style. Enlist the help of a stylish older sibling, a youngish aunt or uncle, a college-aged cousin, or a trusted female friend. If nothing else, ask the sales people at the stores for advice on fit and style.

    • The "finding bargains" part may not be true (it wasn't for me) but I only started figuring out my style when I shopped separately from my mom. They're more likely to be picking clothes for you, as they've been doing for years, than giving you honest advice on your own choices. And let's face it, you don't act like yourself around your parents the same way you do around your high school friends.

      • Definitely think about shopping with friends! But those outings will probably be low key perusals. I think shopping with your Mom can be unavoidable at a certain age, where, frankly, a teenager might not be able to drive/have their own car, and isn't paying for their own clothes. That's perfectly fine. Pick out some stuff, spend time in the dressing room alone, and get the okay before the checkout line. Frankly, when I was in high school my mother would have welcomed a little time to herself in a shopping area.
        Some advice for guys that the Dr. had probably already covered in other articles, but bears repeating- don't drown in your clothes. Even if you're into the baggy jeans and t-shirt style (and it works for some guys just fine), try a fitted jacket.
        Personally I'm a big fan of this style http://www.omiru.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/m
        which is pretty generic and shouldn't be to hard to find, but tends to be really flattering and work in a variety of situations. I think the silhouette is great for most body shapes as well, and you can always layer a hoodie underneath. I tend to think that the square toed dress shoe looks a little dated, and one of the worst things I've encountered from the 15-25 crowd is a tendency towards axe body spray. There's a medium between that and BO, and it's not too difficult to navigate. A big plus is a guy that smells good or on the neutral scale of odor less. The only rebuttal to the oversized outfit is the button up shirt- unless it's unbuttoned over a t-shirt, a button up should fit your body which means a closer fit.
        I also love a good sneaker. I'm of the personal belief that if you should shell out the money yourself for something that you're going to treasure- and that's part of why you'll treasure it. My favorite Supras? I saved up and paid cash for them. Sure, I may trash them a little in a midnight adventure with my friends, and I love those experiences. But the next day, I'll be spending the time to cleaning them with a soft brush because I want to make more memories in them.

  9. Quick note to Jumbled Up Junior: If you're short and want to look taller, dress monochromatic. Avoid wearing shirts and trousers that contrast with each other.

  10. Anonymoose says:

    I remember pulling off track pants in high school easily, though that may have just been because I have long legs and looked like a hippie anyways.

    I don't know how much high school has changed since then, but it always seemed like you could get away with whatever you wanted to wear as long as you looked comfortable in it.

    • Commonly known as X says:

      Wow. Maybe its not growing up in the US bu I never associated track pants with the hippy aesthetic… or high school with anything but a massive spitefulness for unconformity.

      I never thought I'd say it, but I'm glad we had school uniforms. Everyone was stuck in horrible mustard coloured sacks together.

      • Anonymoose says:

        I'm not American either. :)

        I used to think uniforms were a bad idea, but in retrospect they'd probably be a good one.

        • BritterSweet says:

          I am American, and my high school had uniforms. It really was better, in my opinion. No one mocked you for what you wore, because they all wore it too. And we were lucky in that the uniforms actually looked pretty good.

  11. re: the first question:

    Learn the difference between "hopelessly dorky" style and "hip cool nerd" style. Nerdy CAN be stylish, even overtly nerdy "Han Shot First" shirts and d20 necklaces. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/NerdyNecklaces, if you happen to know any nerdy females who need Christmas presents!) Nerdy girls do notice those little hints, and it can be a great way to be out about your nerdiness without letting the muggles (well, non-nerdy people) catch on that your shirt is nerdy after all. The trick is to find clothes that fit you well and flatter your body, and embrace whatever style that turns out to be. Baggy t-shirts and sweatpants don't look good on anybody.

    re: the second question:

    Do you feel attractive at your current weight? Do you think losing five or ten pounds (not fifty or a hundred, just a small amount you can do in a short time frame) would help? if losing some weight first would give you more confidence, then go ahead and focus on exercise and diet now. If it wouldn't matter – or if you wouldn't feel attractive enough unless you lose a LOT of weight – just start looking now and let the weight thing happen (or not). In the meantime, make a healthy lifestyle part of your "meeting people" routine – join the Sierra club and go on local hikes, go on some environmental cleanups (which are also often good exercise), join a bicycling club, take up tae kwon do, find a gym you don't feel out of place in, etc. Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of attractive women involved in these activities! Getting the chance to meet and be around these women will help motivate you to continue exercising, and will show them that you're really serious about getting fit and healthy. Many of these women may have been where you are now – overweight and despairing of ever getting the body shape they could have if they were more fit. The ones still hiking, biking, going to the gym, etc. are the ones who stuck with it and shed the pounds – and who know how hard it can be. They'll be rooting for you once they know you're serious, and they're more likely to look past the shape you are now (if it matters to them at all) and see the shape you could be in if you continue to do exercise-related activities together.

    • Commonly known as X says:

      But be very careful who you have the talks with! Lots of people don't want to talk about weight-loss, it can be boring if its not a problem for them and depressing or shaming if it is. If that is a route you want to go down, better to join a specific weight-loss forum or support group at a fitness club or on-line.

  12. Great advice all around =D

  13. Camelopardalis says:

    "[High school’s] a giant morass of surging hormones, social Darwinism and a whole bunch of proto-sociopaths who’re busily sharpening their metaphorical knives on anyone and everyone around them where the rules of engagement seem to have been written by people who spent twenty to thirty years in the high-security wing of Oz (and I don’t mean they were trying to find ruby slippers for the Wizard)."

    That never actually changes (Except maybe the surging hormones part. No, not that, either.).

    • Actually, if you're saying real life is no different than high school, I'd beg to differ. But I don't think you'll notice until your late 20s, when you look around and think, hey, most of the people I interact with regularly are pretty reasonable.

      • Camelopardalis says:

        Oh, I am well past my late 20's, now in my early 40's. Most of the people I knew in high school were really not bad at all, clique-y, sure, but benign. Whereas many people I know as an adult are ready with that metaphorical knife they spent their teen years sharpening – and this is true both at work and outside of work.

    • Commonly known as X says:

      But its so much easier to avoid the sociopaths when you get older! You're not trapped at home or in the same class as them, and they have to behave themselves better at work. I still remember how wonderful it was when I moved out of home to the big new city. Utter bliss.

      Also, I think we overstate the lust part of the surging hormones, and forget the anger, self-consciousness and volatile emotions. All the stuff we need to start differentiating ourselves but is so hard to experience at the time.

      • I agree. Some people are always going to be horrible, regardless of how old they get, but adults at least have the option to change jobs if coworkers are too disagreeable and I suspect that a lot of adult sociopaths end up directing their bad behavior toward their own children rather than their peers. There's also not an expectation that your coworkers are the pool that you have to choose your close friends or your dates from, so someone who's not buddy buddy with coworkers isn't going to be completely shut out of socializing or viewed as a lonely weirdo.

        • Camelopardalis says:

          It's not that easy to change jobs, and in some fields, the more you change jobs, the harder it is to get a new job b/c you are seen as flaky. Maybe the sociopaths also direct their behavior at their children, but there is no shortage of sociopathic work behavior. Sure, they have to be polite and civil at work, but they can and do politely stick that knife in other people's backs. Plus, there may not be the expectation of socializing with co-workers, but there is an expectation of building relationships with them, and when you don't engage in non-work chit-chat as a bonding mechanism, you do get shut out and viewed as a non-team-player, and it does have real repercussions on your career path.

          Anyway, this is verging on a derail, so I'm going to stop here.

  14. Cthulhu's Intern says:

    While we're talking about style, I have a question. I'm a tall guy, 6'4", 200 pounds. I have a really hard time finding good pants that fit well. Where can I find good pants that are 34-36?