It's funny – AOL did some big homepage feature about the 11 deal-breakers in a relationship. My gripe has always been the tendency of women to cherry-pick these deal-breakers.

It's not unheard of for “must be a good listener” to take a back seat to “must be well-accomplished” (read: assload of money). Hitting closer to home, I'm not exactly shocked to see that “must have sense of humor” isn't on the deal-breaker list. It's the first admission from any relationship “expert” that such a thing has never factored into relationships.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not being fair, condemning women for their relationship choices from high school. But I notice that certain high school behaviors didn't stop in high school.

I just kept seeing the same themes pop up in college and then in my 20s. I guess it always bothered me that people would say that having a sense of humor was an asset, not realizing that it was more of a liability. The tendency of women to treat me as some sort of clown reached its apotheosis right after we graduated high school, at the celebratory beach week.

I never shied away from having the reputation to make people laugh. By the end of high school, I'd actually enjoyed it. It opened a lot of doors, certainly in the extracurricular world, and I found it to be a convenient shortcut to get people to like me.

The end of high school was anti-climactic for me in every sense of the word, having not come close to achieving much success with women. I had one last summer to try to make something happen before I went off to college, but I soon found that it would be no picnic.

Beach week was how we kicked off the summer before college. Everyone headed to the beach and rented a place with their buddies. We'd drink during the day then get loaded at night.

There were two encounters that took place over the course of the week, which not only summed up the whole trip, but perhaps my high school experience itself.

There was a sophomore named Tara. Throughout the year, she'd been somewhat of a flirt with me at parties, but each time, I never really made a move.

This particular night, she was looking extra sexy. There I was, stretched out on a double bed, after a day of alcohol and drug-induced debauchery.

Then, Tara walked into the bedroom. She closed the door and slowly made her way to the front of the bed, never losing eye contact with me.

“Deliver me,” I thought to myself, as my young heart started to beat just a little faster.

Tara continued to look at me, and then, she started to lean forward, arching her body as if she were about to leap into the bed. Everything seemed to be in slow motion. Then, she stopped herself, said, “Psyyyccchh” and laughed as she left the room.

That, my friends, is a textbook definition of “cruel.”

It got even more ridiculous a couple nights later. A friend, Caleb, was having trouble with his off-again, on-again girlfriend, Sophia. They were on their worst behavior and in their “off” phase, when she decided to come up to our place uninvited and crash the party.

Her idea was pretty simple: She threw on this real skimpy bikini, in order to get Caleb back. Once she had him wrapped around her finger, she treated him rather poorly. The foul treatment was reciprocal: He fought back her browbeating with new ways to neglect and ignore her.

Sophia finally got pissed one night when Caleb was more interested in fondling the keg than fondling her. The night wound down, and everyone was ready to go to bed.

Unfortunately, all the beds were taken. I had no choice but to grab myself a nice space of floor.

Caleb and Sophia soon laid themselves down on the floor next to me, her in between Caleb and myself. Sophia, feeling vengeful because Caleb had been ignoring her that night, decided to try to vex her semi-conscious beau by hitting on another guy. With Caleb inches away from her, Sophia began to wrap her arms around me.

Life throws tests at you from time to time, and this was one of those times. It was the ultimate temptation being dangled in front of my face.

I did the right thing. Well, the right thing for me, anyway.

I pretended I was asleep and ignored her advances. She only hit on me because she thought I was such anathema to what she wanted in a man that it would make Caleb feel small.

That's probably what made it easier to ignore her. Sophia choosing me in that moment was not a compliment to me, not an epiphany on her part, not a realization that she was turned on by a cute lovable little guy like me. Her rubbing me and grinding her body up against mine was, in fact, a total mockery of everything that I was.

In many ways, Sophia's actions were much worse than Tara's cruel tease. Tara was just an immature dipshit. But for Sophia, feigning affection was a manifestation of how little she really thought of me.

Both of them treated me like that because they were programmed to view anybody who liked to make people laugh as little more than a pitiable, foolish jester.

I guess that's why I gradually became more peeved over the years, when someone would advise me to use humor as a way to get people to like me. It seemed that in this instance (and many others), it had quite the opposite effect.

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