The Wearin’ of the Grin

Attention,  nice guys of the world. Modern Science has something to say to you.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

That’s right. In yet another chapter of Science You Already Knew, researchers have demonstrated that women tend to be attracted to – get ready for this – jerks.

OK, that’s not exactly the conclusion that Canadian researchers reached in their latest study. But it’s close enough. Released in the psychological journal “Emotion,” the study found that smiling made men less attractive to women.  In short, nice guys finish last.

Now, I could have saved these scientists a lot of time and money just by giving them the short version of my high school years. We knew the guys whom girls made friends. And we knew the guys whom girls made boyfriends. A lot of times, the two didn’t have a lot of overlap.  It was sort of like seeing someone buy a “fixer-upper” from a real estate agent, only with more weeds and less return.

Admittedly, I could sit back and gloat to these bygone bad boys about my 13-year marriage and the similar experiences of my smiling friends. But let’s be fair. Let’s take the study seriously for a moment. To be darn-it-all handsome, what do you need to do?

* Be Sullen. Because nothing says sexy like an expression that says “The world can go to hell.”  Or maybe it says “I have terrible intestinal discomfort.”  Think James Dean or Elvis Presley. Preferably before their early deaths.

* Be Arrogant. Hey, it works for James Bond. Of course, anyone who falls in love with James Bond is doomed to either die at the hands of an insane supervillain or else live to be the guest host at sci-fi conventions for the rest of her natural life, so there’s a down side.

* Be Ashamed. You know the look. The Labrador retriever look that says “I’m really embarrassed about what you just caught me doing. And I’ll do it again. But come on … PUPPY DOG EYES!”  Not to be tried around ladies with large supplies of newspaper.

* Be Sparkly. Or don’t. Please, heaven above, don’t. One vampire that looks like Rainbow Brite’s unfortunate older cousin is more than enough for one lifetime.

Yes, with the right sort of effort, any woman can end up spending her declining years happily married to a grumbling guilt-tripping twit of a pretty boy. What joy!

Or they can sigh. Settle for second best. And marry some smiling boy next door who probably likes to bring them flowers instead of mooning over existential angst or his new Camaro.

What can I say? It’s a rough job.  But someone’s gotta do it.

And Modern Science will be forever grateful for our contribution.

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