Janice Edman

            There seems to be a well-circulated notion that the “dangerous” members of the opposite sex contain a mysterious, irresistible quality.  A recent letter to the editor here in the Mustang Daily bemoaned the fact that most girls would rather rev off into the sunset with a motorcycle-driving tattoo artist instead of driving the speed limit in an unassuming Hyundai with a nice, level-headed engineer from Poly.  Furthermore, in a male commentary in a recent issue of Glamour, the writer deadpans, “I found myself drawn to women who practically wore sandwich boards that read You Can’t Count on Me.”  And it’s not just guys who recognize the bad boy/bad girl appeal.  My own roommate admitted, “I need a guy who will blow off a stop sign every now and then, who will break stupid little rules.”  Ahem, those stop signs are there for a reason, Jane-

            I, for one, have never been even slightly attracted to a bad boy.  For one reason, I scare easy ” let the cracked out homeless guy outside 7-11 smile a little too long when I hand him some change and one of my strongest, most intimidating looking guy friends is instantly speed dialed to protect me. But the attraction, for many people, is there ” so let’s try to figure out why.

              It’s a mantra so beloved that Paula Abdul wrote a song about it:  opposites attract.  If you were raised in a middle class home in suburbia, with a white picket fence, loving parents and a blemish-free driving record, it makes sense that you might be drawn to someone who represents the opposite of all those things.  A chain smoking high school dropout with a shaved head and anger management issues may appeal to you instantly as new and exciting.  But don’t be fooled ” there’s a reason he can’t drive himself anywhere other than work and he gets very panicky at the sight of a cop car.  He’s bad news, and he’ll only drag you down with him.

            Of course, some people see the appeal in chasing the bad boy or girl to change the person into a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen your father would be able to talk mutual funds with.  Girls are often more guilty of this sad scheme than guys, but (and this may be material for another column altogether) ” you can’t change a person.  Try as you might, by this age we’ve pretty much let every outside source influence us to such an extent that there’s no clean slate to go back to.

            The writer of the Glamour piece concluded that his constant attraction to bad girls was in direct correlation with his fear of delving into a real relationship and getting burned.  Admittedly, it is easier to carry on a wild, unpredictable lust whirlwind with a metal head or stripper because come on, it’s only fun.  You don’t intend to spend the rest of your life together, so just strap yourself in for a wild ride.  But a few spins on the roller coaster should be enough to learn you’ll only feel like vomiting afterward. 

            So take heart, to all those nice guys and girls out there who feel they lack the appeal of someone with fewer morals and more run-ins with the law.  Eventually the folly of attempting a relationship with such low-lifes becomes painfully obvious, and the nice guys and girls can get their “I love (insert scary moniker here) forever” tattoos removed together on their first date with another sensible, prudent goody-goody. 

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