The Kiddie Pool

“Do not assume that because I am frivolous I am shallow; I don’t assume that because you are grave you are profound.” -Sydney Smith

A woman went on a date with a certain world champion of Magic: The Gathering, wrote about it for a website, and then the world ended. Or at least people on the internets seem to feel that way.

For the record, I disagree with her using his name in the article. Rejection, regardless of reason, is never pleasant and she made it more unpleasant by announcing to the world, his coworkers, friends, and second cousin Merville that he’d been rejected.

Magic cardsA number of critics, including this article and several commenters on the original post, allege that the author is shallow for rejecting a potential romantic partner based on his choice in extracurricular activities. I disagree.

First, pretty much all extracurricular activities are shallow. Mine are. I spend most of my free time running, going to yoga, cooking, baking, reading, watching TV, playing video games, and reading funny websites. There is nothing especially profound about those activities (especially since I’ve mostly been reading erotic vampire books lately). I’m not ashamed. Everyone needs distractions from working and paying bills and reading about terrible wars and famines. And everyone (except for maybe the Duggar kids) has selected or discarded a romantic partner based on extracurriculars. You spend a lot of time with a partner. You want most of that time to be enjoyable.

Secondly, I doubt she would have been called shallow if she’d rejected the current fantasy football champion or local marathon record holder. Magic is often considered dorky and therefore bad while sports are considered manly and therefore cool. I doubt you’d hear anyone calling her shallow for saying that she doesn’t like men with muscles or who are tall. Yet because society has deemed Magic dorky, she is shallow for not embracing it.

Maybe she is a horribly shallow human being. Maybe not. The act of rejecting a Magic player is not, in itself, a shallow act.

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