Matt Forney
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The House Always Wins

This is a guest post by Kid Strangelove. Kid originally published this article at his own blog on November 20, 2013, but he deleted the site a while ago so he could focus on other projects. He asked me if I’d be willing to re-post some of his articles on my blog and I said yes.

I have been staring at this subject line for a little bit now. For now it says “untitled.” It might not for longer. Who knows? I’ve been thinking about the conclusion of this article since I came up with it yesterday. Is there a point? Is this a positive lesson or a negative lesson? Am I happy or sad? I don’t know. At least I didn’t get crushed to death. I guess that’s as good of a place as any to begin a story.


“Little help?”

I managed to let it out before I noticed the bench press bar had rolled down to around my stomach and every last bit of my strength was being used to hold it up. A dude in the distance ran over and helped pull the bench off of me.

“Thanks for the save, man.”

Well, that was embarrassing. But what did I expect? Yesterday at the gym, I experienced the culmination of the last few days of my lifestyle, or rather my attempts to return to an old one. Shit, this is gonna leave a bruise. Oh well, that’s what it feels like when a fighter takes a serious body shot, I guess…

I have been crushing it in the gym recently. Strength, technique, endurance: all have all been fueled by my cleaner, more energized lifestyle attributed to No Nothing November. With my newfound lack of vices, the gym was slowly becoming my second home, the perfect place to let my energy and aggression out, the perfect place to—for lack of a better word—get high. The gym became my new drug.

Then last Thursday rolled around and it all went to shit. It wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t think it did. As late as yesterday, I wrote about the positive experiences of my drug-fueled positivity. But what really happened is that I stayed up ’til about 7am, got the tiniest amount of sleep, and spent the whole next day in a weird haze. Saturday night I ended up getting drunk, Sunday I ended up being hungover, and Monday I was puking out either the remains of a hangover or some bad food I ate during said hangover.

That bench press was doomed from the start.

And what did I do that for? Look at what I sacrificed my almost drug like euphoria of fitness for?

For a chance to show off my progress and maybe get someone else to appreciate it. Big mistake. Maybe the biggest mistake.

When I walked into the club on Thursday, with my swag shoes and cool-looking brand name button-up—and swagger to match—I wasn’t anything special. What I saw were meathead guys: just big puffy dudes who later told me about their steroid cycles. I saw tall guys: at six foot two, I don’t see many people on average taller than me, but here it was a constant. I saw fashionable guys whose stylish hair clothes made me wonder if they were fashion pros, and we were all in this outdoor smoking area, solo.

We all outnumbered the women in this club, and we were trying to jostle for position to holla at ’em. We were figuratively fighting for scraps. I saw a girl with a fat roll hanging out of her crop top being surrounded by three guys. And this was in the middle of the Meatpacking District. What the hell was going on?

Saturday, I decided to take it to the next level.

Incredibly stylish dress shoes. Designer jeans. Designer shirt. And to top it off, a $1,500 Armani suit jacket (which I paid $30 for in a thrift store, but still). I was giving off the highest levels of swag possible. There was no way this night was going to be bad.

It was. It felt like every other guy was dressed as fashionably as I was and that this bar probably hosted a basketball tournament or something,because at six foot two I was being dwarfed again constantly.

Nothing I did seemed to matter.

The fact that I went so hard on a CrossFit workout once that it tore the skin off my palms, and I covered it with athletic tape for a week: that did not matter. The facts that I can speak three languages fluently, once rigged a reality show for fun, have a close, tight-knit family and am working on my own business do not matter. The fact that I wore a fucking $1,500 jacket did not matter. Everything I did to improve myself went out the window, because it seemed like everyone else there was doing some variation of it too. Or at least looked like it did. The night ended in another sausage fest with mediocre girls getting all the attention from these fantastic men.

And they say we live in a society where men have it easy.

No more.

How much better would I have done at these two places if I didn’t go through these changes? If I were weaker, fatter, less charming, less stylish… what would happen?

Well, it couldn’t have been worse.

No more.

This rejection, this burning need inside of me to grow and become a better person: it was started because of failure, particularly failure with women.

But now I see that I wasn’t just failing. I was set up to fail from the beginning. It was like being in a casino: the house always wins. You might win a few games, you might even clean up from time to time or even become a professional gambler, but the house always wins.

I love the person I am and the person I am becoming. I know that I am an attractive person. I know from experience, given I was hooking up with a beautiful ex-ballet dancer last week.

The only way to beat this female-run dating casino is to open your own.

Yes, American women routinely believe that they are on the short end of the dating stick. But instead of trying to show them what real hardship looks like, we should examine why they believe that way. For them, it is the same casino. The house always wins. So every guy inside a sausage fest, no matter how fit, rich, fashionable, tall, or charming is a loser because he has to try. They all pine for that guy who is the product of a favorable environment—the athlete, the celebrity, the CEO—not realizing that without these external factors of environmental validation, they are just some other well-dressed guy in a sausage fest hitting on them.


Now imagine the above guy hitting on a girl in the sausage fest known as Midtown Manhattan (or the guido club heaven, Cielo). First off, he is short: at five foot seven, there are plenty of girls that won’t even give him the time of day. He has a really high hairline. He is dressed in a really basic polo shirt. He has absolutely no visible muscles to speak of. He looks soft and unintimidating.

Let’s give this guy a makeover, shall we?


That’s more like it.

If you’re wondering, that’s Andres Iniesta, a man who plays for Barcelona, arguably the best football club in the world, and the Spanish national team… arguably the best national team in the world. He is rich, he is successful, he is athletic, and as I have shown, even he would be lost in a shitty sausage fest.

So what’s the solution to this latest problem of mine? I guess it’s twofold:

1. Create as many favorable situations for yourself as you can.

Remember, women still believe they have the short end of the dating stick. Put yourself in situations where you have no choice but to be perceived as a standout. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. But all of the time, the payoff is great.

2. Stop trying to mack in extremely unfavorable situations.

Don’t do it. No matter who you are, where you’re from, what situation in life you are currently in… you will likely lose and it will bruise your ego.

I’m glad I made sense out of these thoughts. Who woulda thunk it? Especially since when I started writing, I had no title and no conclusion. I guess I really am changing for the better.

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