Dear E. Jean: I’m a physician—ethnic, well traveled, and the daughter of Berkeley intellectuals. Unlike a lot of the pretentious NYC types I’ve dated in the past, my new boyfriend is a little bit hillbilly, with a goofy sense of humor, a simple vocabulary, and even simpler tastes. He’s Midwestern, has great values, an excellent career in finance, and I’ve jumped on board with the country music and the football. But our last fight happened because I was incredulous over his love of wrestling on WWE. I absolutely panicked! I can’t imagine the father of my children watching WrestleMania.
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I know this is snobbery. He’s good to me, and I wish I could be a simpler girl who doesn’t love obscure references and librarian glasses—it would have made my life a lot easier in high school! What should I do?—Not Into the SmackDown
Doctor, Doctor! Bah! What woman doesn’t feel superior to a man? But you’re in New York. This is the Big Time. You make a mistake with a sweet chap in this town, girl, and you forfeit your right to chase men and are remanded to California.
Anyway, you’re wrong about wrestling. Your Auntie Eeee once spent a mythic summer-long odyssey following a small town troupe of professional wrestlers, and I defy the faculty of Berkeley—hell, I defy the whole of the East Bay—to produce such violent, intellectual combat, such heroic rewrites, such Shakespearean dialogue, such Freudian costumes, such Kafkaesque plots, such Homeric sulks in dressing rooms, and such broken kneecaps in audiences. Wrestling is the Louvre for dudes.
Put on those librarian glasses, Doctor! Look at what you’ve got here: a fine, goofy, high-earning chap, an absolute flower of manhood who would be, in all likelihood—oh, lovely chance!—a wonderful husband and father. If I seem a little short-tempered, it’s because I lost one half of the morning answering e-mails from women clinging to chumps who are no good for them and the other half answering women dumping chaps who are good for them. I don’t need to tell you which category you fall into, do I?
This letter is from the E. Jean archive.