“You have got to have two out of three.” This is the lesson I was trying to hammer home as my girlfriends and I debated the merits of a friend’s suitor.
The aforementioned "three" are looks, brains, and what I term affability. (“Personality" is too vague. Jim Carrey has personality, but not the sort you want around all the time). The way I see it, you can afford to lack one quality as long as you've got the other two. You don’t have to be a Nautica model if you’re witty and sweet, and you can probably skimp on the intelligence quota if you’re both dashing and congenial.
If you've got just one thing going for you, or god forbid, nothing, you're probably destined to be alone. Luckily, one quality — affability — is conveniently in your control. (Unfortunate-looking morons, take note).
An aside: The Two Thirds Rule was first articulated in reference to dating, but I think it applies to people in all arenas of life. That girl at the office is righteous if she’s a gorgeous, sharp-tongued monster-bitch, but no one likes a homely meanie.
Although this rule was meant to elevate standards, our talk soon devolved into a discussion of which of the three traits we could do without, and what we’d settle for if we had to pick one trait to stand alone.
For me, it's clear. I insist upon affability. I would throw out intelligence first (an admission that caught me some flak) and if left after doomsday with only a handful of options with whom to continue the human race, I’d tent up with the good-humored simpleton over the awkward genius or crotchety Adonis without a moment’s deliberation.
A smart, decent guy who’s not much to look at? It’s certainly a step above the egotistical asshat that results when you blend good looks and intelligence but skimp on the character. But while well-meaning nerdy types might be some people’s thing, I can’t handle social awkwardness. (This is why I always say the best types of guys to date are engineers who’ve been socialized — preferably by fraternity pledgeship).
Hilariously funny but funny-looking is another breed of this particular twofer — it's totally acceptable for some, but I don't like to fight for the spotlight.
No, my go-tos are the Joey Tribbianis of the world. Good looking, and mildly stupid. I told my mother early on that I’d marry Joey, and she’s never let me live it down. I might still mean it — what would you fight over? Joeys aren’t bogged down by excessive self-reflection, they’re not the types to overanalyze (or analyze at all) and in the rare event an argument did erupt, you’d be sure to win with your superior vocabulary.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that you could uncover the elusive threefer — if you do, congratulations. You’ve snagged Tom Ford.