Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Bad Boy’s Guide to the Good Girl’s Heart

It has just occurred to me today that I am no longer in the sort of job where my blogging propensities can be made public to my co-workers. But since so many of my ideas come from co-workers, and context may at times be necessary, I shall have to find more creative ways of reference. It will have to be enough to say that I lunch with several co-workers every day. Frequently we talk about work, but occasionally we talk about fluffier stuff – TV, movies, and the not-so-fluffy President.

The other day, one of the female co-workers, we’ll call her Martha (because she’s a good baker), was sharing a story about a guy that she “met” at a bar. And by “met” I mean saw across the bar and thought was attractive.

Martha is a good girl. Absolutely no question. One day at lunch, though, we discovered that we shared the same affinity for Wentworth Miller of Prison Break. And I subsequently learned that Martha also liked tattoos. Regardless, plenty of good girls find tattoos attractive. Annyyway, back to the guy at the bar. The guy at the bar actually works at this bar. And he apparently exudes an aura of someone who has, oh, I don’t know, been behind bars. And when I say “behind bars” I’m not being tongue-in-cheek, punny, I mean spent some time in prison. That is when I learned that Martha is actually attracted to bad boys.

“Every girl loves a bad boy!” Marth attempted to defend herself when I professed my surprise. “Come on, don’t you?” Well, there are bad boys and then there are baaaad boys. Martha admitted that a little law breaking goes a long way. “No Class A felonies, though,” she insisted.

I, generally, don’t love a bad boy. They’ve never done anything for me. Messed up guys? Sure. I, like many girls, have been drawn to the idea of “saving” someone, though the luster is pretty much gone from that (“saving” usually leads to “taking care of” and I have enough problems taking care of myself). But felonies? Not so much.

So color me surprised when I found myself oddly attracted, not simply to Wentworth Miller, but to his mildly sociopathic character on Prison Break. Background: Prison Break revolves around Michael Scofield (played by my new boyfriend, Wentworth) who is a structural engineer. Michael’s brother, a two-bit crook, gets arrested and convicted of murdering the Vice President’s brother. He’s sent to death row. Michael comes to believe that his brother is innocent, gets himself arrested and sent to prison in order to break his brother out. I know the premise is dopey, but seriously, the show is riveting.

Michael has this sort of damn-the-consequences, I-don’t-care-who-gets-in-my-way attitude that I find, well, very likeable. As Entertainment Weekly described him, “His Michael Scofield has the silky voice of a sociopath, the resigned stance of a long-distance runner, and the deadpan delivery of Macaulay Culkin at his Uncle Buckbest.” Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

But why? Why a bad boy? What’s the allure? I suppose a part of it is, as Martha stated, the recklessness and dangerousness. But a big chunk of it for me is the idea that underneath all that, there is goodness and heart. Of course, in the real world, that’s not true. Underneath the bad boy exterior is more…. bad boy. Maybe you’ll find some of the pathos to explain the bad boy, and that is always interesting, but there’s no way of changing it. A good girl’s fatal flaw is her belief that she can heal the bad boy. But she can’t.

So now that I find myself attracted to someone as messed up as a Michael Scofield, I must once again purge myself of such dysfunctional radar readings. And in the meantime, I can continue to love Michael Scofield, because thankfully, he’s fictional.


  1. I will put on my psychobabbalist's hat and propose an answer to why good girls like bad boys. I think that it is because bad boys, because they are "bad," are not in a position to judge a good girl for having a sex drive. A good boy may judge a good girl for having a sex drive even though said boy also has a sex drive. That is the double standard society we live in. But a good girl can get into a relationship with a bad boy knowing that boy is in no position to judge that girl.

    That it what I think.

  2. Speaking from a bad boy's perspective here - well, I am not sure what I can contribute because girls don't like me much. But when they have in the past, chicks seemed to dig my 1000 yard gaze and my scars. And my cycle, I mean chopper.

  3. OK, you've managed to talk me into Prison Break.

    I think girls like Bad Boys because they know all the good bars.

  4. Anhabelle10:31 AM

    In last night's Laguna Beach (you know this is going to be a gem, right?), in talking about Jason, Taylor said (and I am paraphrasing) "Girls like bad boys because they want to be the one who saves them. They want to feel as though they are someone that is worth changing for."

    Never thought I'd say it, but ... maybe Taylor has a point!