We’re #2 – We Try Harder

I’ve noticed a trend lately. I always seem to be the ladies second choice. Oh, I might be the primary target of interest for a season, but it seems they always go back to an old boyfriend – or in the case of a couple of ladies – they figure that someone they met on Match.Com or PlentyofFish or eHarmony is just a little cuter, a little funnier, a little more yuppie or a little less adventuresome.

They meet me — and get interested in me — as I am and then want to change my clothes, my hair, my apartment, my job, my thinking, my cigarettes or my diet. Then when they find I’m like Popeye (I am who I am), they hook back up with the boyfriend that stole their meds, their ex-hubby who has now quit drinking or someone they met on Match.Com who might be boring, but at least they’re “safe” and predictable.

I was setting in Tupelo Honey recently. With me was a cute blond that works in a local bank. She and I had hung out a few times – nothing serious, just two people who liked to be around each other. Three tables over was a guy and – I assume – his wife or girlfriend. The guy had on khaki’s, Dockers, a short sleeved button down white shirt, a crew cut and a red bow-tie.

Somehow the subject of dating and finding the “right partner” came up. She said something that seemed to be pretty accurate. She said, “Women want to date guys like you Jerry, but they want to marry guys like that” pointing to the guy in the red bow tie.

Back in the 60s and 70s, there was a car rental company called Avis. When they found out that they were the #2 car rental company in the country – only Hertz was bigger – they used that in their marketing and came up with the slogan, “We’re #2. We try harder”.

They had that slogan emblazoned on all their marketing materials and TV commercials. It was all over the place – and this was before the Internet. The slogan worked. Before too much longer, they were #1, having taken over the leaders spot from Hertz.

Maybe I could take a page from Avis’ playbook. Except with my stubborn attitude my slogan would have to be: “I’m #2. I don’t try at all”.

Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist living in Asheville, North Carolina. He has traveled the world documenting the tears, joys, laughter and lives of people everywhere. He currently focuses his camera on the same topics in America. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as USAToday, CNN, Upsurge, Dream Row and others. A portion of his income from each photo shoot is donated to organizations that help the homeless in the communities in which he works. You can see more of his photography by clicking here.

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