One: They ironically ride a RipStik, and you’re prepared to wholeheartedly support it.
The RipStik is specific to my particular case, but can serve as a metaphor for any nostalgia-driven performance art meant to prove you’re not too cool for school while simultaneously asserting the quirky individuality you wear with an air of superiority. Other examples include Razor scooters, Heelys, and children’s backpacks.
To be clear, it’s not the High School Musical backpack in itself that is problematic. High School Musical is an outstanding film franchise. Timeless and ageless. And I commend unapologetic public support of genuine interests; especially interests that are generally disregarded and belittled because of their tie to a young female demographic, but that’s a whole other article.
No, the issue lies in the need to prove your acceptance of fringe interests. It’s a paradox of thinking you're better than other people for not thinking you’re better than other people — something I am able to speak so passionately about because it is a flaw I recognize in myself. Prime example: the preceding two paragraphs in which I assert my own superiority for not feeling the need to assert my superiority in any way. Ultimately, someone who forces you to examine your own shortcomings is the ultimate c***block — to themselves.
Having said all that, I’m ready to RipStik off into the sunset. If you're reading this, RipStik guy, you can RipStik right into my heart.
Two: Your feelings don’t change in the face of a bad haircut.
Empirically, head-shape is a key aspect of physical attractiveness, and haircuts can make or break this. With very few exceptions, a drastic change in hairstyle can drastically change how you feel about someone*. Obviously, I’m very angry about one exception: the guy in my class last fall who dyed his hair platinum blonde and somehow came out the other side of that bleach treatment hotter than ever. That’s just not fair.
In fact, I’m so mad I’ve forgotten what my original point was going to be, but I think this one might be self explanatory. It’s like when my parents still loved me even when I had a perm for the entirety of seventh grade. The difference is they’re obligated to love me. There is no obligation to love your crush’s lil’ peanut head**, yet you earnestly do.
Three: Writing a relatively well circulated think-piece about them after just three weeks of knowing them.
Upon further reflection, this might actually be pretty telling.
* As a side note, this is in context of a crush, not a long-term relationship. Personal autonomy and being accepting of your partner’s right to that is essential to a healthy relationship.
** Lil’ Peanut Head: The Mixtapes dropping soon.