The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which ended Saturday, is a disgusting psycho-sexual battlefield filled with desperate men chasing, badgering and harassing every female in sight. And don’t think your steady girlfriend is excepted from that.
The uglier and less-respected-in-Washington you are, the more sweaty handprints are going to be imprinted on your girlfriend’s lower back while you stand two feet away. If she loves you, she’ll drop the “Yeah, I haven’t been responding to your texts because I’ve been spending so much time with my boyfriend” line within the first ten seconds (though, in fairness, if he’s a high-earning lobbyist don’t expect her to crack that one out until he’s had his arm around her for a couple songs and they’ve exchanged private dialogue in each other’s ears because the music is just so loud).
At the end of the day, Washington is a city that confirms and emboldens every beta male’s worst nightmares about how male-female interactions really work — all the ones that you kept swearing to yourself weren’t going to be true anymore after high school, or college, or your internship, or the first couple years of adulthood. It’s just a fact: the only things that matter are money, status and looks.
Fortunately, most of the dudes at CPAC have none of the above. Here are the five guys who hit on your girlfriend at CPAC in front of you:
1. Your girlfriend’s best friend from 2 years ago, apparently
Did you know that your girlfriend’s best friend in the year 2011 was a nerdy little guy who does PR for something called Young Americans for Fiscal Responsibility? I bet you didn’t know that because they haven’t talked in many months but they’re still going to privately convene somewhere and he’s going to be showing her all kinds of hilarious things on his phone and reminiscing in her ear so he can hear her because the music is just so loud.
Threat level: Tame. This guy’s attempts to reconnect are pretty harmless and he lacks a killer instinct: he’ll still shake your hand and drop you a business card on his way out to let you know that he lost.
2. Guy who continues spitting game even after she introduced him to you
This douche has had a few drinks, his shirt-button situation is toeing the line of appropriateness, and he came over with an agenda. “Please meet my boyfriend” she will say almost immediately within a toxic cloud of Old Spice Swagger. But this junior lawyer isn’t going anywhere until he’s given it his all – just like his Delta Chi training taught him. Does he have a private suite a block from here? Can he totally introduce your girlfriend to Rick Perry because his boy from college works with him? If so, your girlfriend will be hearing about it while you stand there and sip your gin and tonic.
Threat level: Don’t worry about it. This isn’t Syracuse University anymore.
3. The congressman
Guess who casts a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and ALSO is totally throwing back Amstel Lights in the VIP room? A vast cross-section of the Republican caucus, apparently.
Threat level: Potent. Women looking to mix the “Zoe-and-Frank” dynamic from House of Cards with the social media generation’s increasingly pathetic sensation of quasi-celebrity are practically jumping out of their heels for this guy. You know how you and your girlfriend play that game where you get “free passes” if you happen to meet certain celebrities? In D.C., no-name congressmen might count for that in her book. Keep her sequestered.
4. The old guy who can help her career:
Hey, hey, THIS 51-year old guy used to work on the Senate Judiciary Committee and you know what? Out of the kindness of his heart, he’s willing to help your girlfriend’s career, give her some advice, maybe introduce her to some people. The thing is, he needs to tell her about it in her ear because the music just happens to be so goddamn loud. It’s tough being a professional Good Samaritan.
Threat level: Mild. A young boyfriend with potential is usually held in higher esteem than a veteran who made it moderately high. She’s not that impressed, though she’ll keep his email address.
5. The young guy who can help her career:
He’s got the perfect in, this tall serious Senate staffer with the luscious head of hair. Why? Because he can keep up the “we’re just talking shop” facade for a really long time, and she can pretend to believe it in front of people for a really long time. And how can you justify not letting him give her his number? Do you NOT want her to succeed? After all, she’s flirting with this 29-year old Princeton grad for the both of you.
Threat level: CODE RED! CODE RED! DANGER! Make sure you steal her cell phone out of her purse and check to see if they’re already texting. This is not a drill.
Ultimately, guys, just remember: paranoia is poison in any relationship. Learn to have some trust, and these sweaty dudes won’t faze you. But if you’re nervous about it, just take a few steps away from her and flirt with a young woman or two in a visible spot while not looking back at your girlfriend. You know, like Machiavelli would. Or Nixon.