Hi everyone! Thanks to reader Janice Sperry for today's Ask-A-Dude Question!
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Q: Do high school guys prefer being single or having a steady girlfriend?
A: In order to answer this question, we need to step back in time. How far back?
All the way.
That's right, the answer to this seemingly simple question takes us back to the Big Bang and the creation of the universe itself.
|Now did I turn off the stove or not?|
Those of you who are giggling because I said “Big Bang” are guys and so you already know the answer and you might as well step outside with the Creationists and, I don't know, go for pizza or something. Mommy and Daddy need to talk Big People Words for a few minutes.
Okay. Let's begin.
Prior to the Big Bang, there was nothing. Then there was the Big Bang. After that there was everything.
With me so far? Of course you are. Things go so much faster when we send the boys out for pizza.
Churning in that early cosmic soup were the building blocks of all matter. And inextricably bound to those building blocks were the properties of the universe, physical laws none of us can break. Nothing goes faster than the speed of light. Entropy increases. Your checkout lane is always gonna be the slowest one.
One of these properties is called quantum entanglement. Basically, when two systems have interacted and then separated, the quantum state of those two systems is co-mingled and indefinite until measured.
There's a great thought experiment that helps illustrate this idea called Schrödinger's Louboutins. Yes, yes, I know it's actually called Schrödinger's Cat but the original thought experiment calls for killing a cat with poison gas. Who the fuck goes around talking casually about poisoning cats?! Also, I think we can all agree that the destruction of a pair of Louboutins has almost the same emotional impact.
|Hallowed be thy sole|
If the vial of acid does not break, the Louboutins are safe and you can go back to lighting candles in your personal shoe shrine.
But if the vial does break, the Louboutins are ruined forever.
The really eerie part of quantum entanglement is that, before the box is opened and you actually look inside, the Louboutins are both ruined and pristine, wearable and unwearable. How’s a girl supposed to plan for Friday night?
Okay, fast forward 14 billion years. Yes, 14 billion. I’m sorry, sir, did you not take a bathroom break with the others? Go now. I think there’s pizza.
Getting back to guys and their preference vis-a-vis dating, think of this superimposition of states as the condition in which male teen brains exist. All guys want to be happy. Singlehood makes them happy. So does going steady. So just like your Louboutins, males exist in a co-mingled state until observed.
Let me put a fine point on that: IN THEIR MINDS, GUYS THINK THEY'RE BOTH SINGLE AND DATING!
Until you look in that box, guys will exist in that superimposed state and generally behave in a way that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” A lot of people think he was talking about quantum entanglement. Nope. He was explaining why he didn't get laid enough. That saucy old cockhorse.
For writers, capturing the entangled nature of the way guys think allows them to add authentic and complex behaviors to their male characters.
But for those of us in the non-quantum macro world, how do we deal with such stupidity?
First option, look in the box. Force the guy to collapse into one state or the other. You can do this by simply speaking to him.
You: Hey, are we dating, or what?
Guy: Or what.
You: Not an acceptable answer. Either we’re dating and I do that behind-the-ear tongue thing that makes you shudder or we’re not dating and you can go back to feeling up Donny’s man-boobs.
Guy: You know about that?
You: Everyone knows about that.
Guy: Um, okay. I guess we’re dating.
You: You guess?
Guy: We’re dating, jeez.
You: Which means we’re exclusive, right?
You: Tongue or man-boobs?
Guy: Tongue. Jeez, tongue.
Besides talking to your guy, the only other option is to hope the cosmologists who came up with the Vacuum Metastability Event Theory are correct. According to them, our universe exists in a false vacuum that will tunnel into a lower state and end the universe as we know it while giving rise to another universe with different constants and fundamental properties.
Did you get that? Guy logic is so weird and intractable, the only way to get around it is to destroy the whole effing universe and start over.
For some of you this might actually be the easier of the two options.