Jan 27, 2008

Blind Date Blindfold

My good pal MA posed this hypothetical question: “If you were to be set up on a blind date and could choose who you went out with based only on their occupation, what would be your top five occupations?”

Any assertion suggesting that one's job choice is self-defining is commonly met by blushes of timid unease; especially in a town where outsized costs of living require all sorts of aspirational compromises. Though many people relate to those blushy moments few could deny that the choice to spend a majority of one’s waking hours fulfilling a singular work function doesn’t say something, if not a lot, about who they are.

Quick draw answers I've heard to this "what if" dating psychology question fall into a few simple categories. (1) Occupations that describe a particular physical archetype: professional football player, yoga instructor, exotic dancer, or underwear model. (2) Jobs that typify a specific lifestyle or socioeconomic status: investment banker, travel journalist, art gallerist, or bass player for a well known rock band. (3) Careers that exemplify a certain brand of intellect or creativity: architect, philosophy professor, sculptor, or film director. There’s also the separate question of whether you generally seek a “partner in crime,” someone with similar creative/professional inclinations, or a person who you believe is your complimentary contrasting opposite.

My own answers combine ideas mentioned above with two addendums which I'll briefly describe. The first is what I call "Reincarnate Regret." It's the idea of being drawn towards people who chose a path you pursued in a former life, once considered, or still now consider. My other choosing variable is a hybrid of the response categories listed above. Based on silly generalizations (this is a somewhat silly exercise after all) I start with the world view, aesthetic sensibility, and physical appearance desired in a mate then interpolate to careers where one might find a high density of these idealized characters.

My top female blind dates knowing only their occupation:
1. Comic Book Illustrator
2. Hatter / Milliner
3. Contemporary Dancer
4. Furniture Maker
5. Field Anthropologist

{Extra credit list}

If I had lived during the 1920s:
1. Switchboard Operator
2. Hatter / Milliner
3. Confectioner
4. Costermonger
5. Bluestocking

If you'd care to indulge me with your own lists be aware that answers like French Maid, Slutty Nurse, or non-English speaking Pool Boy Hunk don’t apply. Sorry MA.


leenabean said...

this is like MASH!
1. Master Cabinetmaker
2. Inventor/mad scientist
3. Professor (something practical like economics or engineering--not English)
4. Genius Musician (must be successful and totally devoted/faithful to me)
5. Fine Artist/Painter (again, successful, devoted, etc)
**4 and 5 may not exist

hos before bros said...

I believe a milliner would be cooler than your standard hatter, but that perhaps may just be my prejudice. Either way, I'm sticking with it. With regards to your bonus round: I think a bluestocking would be a more intriguing blind date than a contemporary dancer. I demurely suggest you reconsider your final list. As for my own list, in no particular order:

1. Glassblower
2. Linguistics Professor
3. American Sign Language Interpreter/ Landscape Architect (The ASL would only be something he did on the side, because he has a deaf brother and believes in the power of helping others communicate—he would make his living as a Landscape Architect.)
4. Stay at Home Dad
5. Owner of his own business (his business can be anything as long as he’s passionate about it, and it’s not “importing & exporting.”)

Modestmerlin said...

L -

Master Cabinetmaker? Good luck with that one. I think "Mad" Scientist falls under the invalid "French" Maid category of answers. Is #3 a Freudian association?

Modestmerlin said...

V -

Glassblower seems like an interesting answer but I have no idea why. I like ASL/Landscape Architect minus the Landscape Architect bit. What do you have against import/exporters? They play a critically important role in the global economy.

leenabean said...

i didn't think my list would be critiqued! (and yes, 3 is a little creepy). but while we're at it, have fun with your contemporary dancer. they're usually a laugh a minute.

Kevington said...

These guys:

1. Vegan Fine Dining Chef
2. Collagist
3. Film Archivist
4. Font Designer
5. Stormy, Spanish heir/ surfer/ acoustic guitar strummer

Modestmerlin said...

K -

I'm guessing those answers weren't off the top of your head :)

karen. said...

i guess if i was on a blind date (oh the horror!) and blindfolded (terrible). I would be very lucky to be with a person that had a career i found even remotely interesting.

karen. said...

oh. re-reading this i understand I wouldn't actually be blindfolded on the date. that's better.

nyc popfest xo said...

by the way, it's Naughty Nurse ... not slutty nurse.

get it right ;)