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The bad boy attraction

Updated: September 5, 2013 4:33PM



Today we hear from Valerie and Trudy, two women who are here to say that the appeal of the Bad Boy is not a myth.

VALERIE: When I was about 13, I was attracted to the Leader of the Pack, whom everybody called Cheetah. He was about 15 when I first met him, but he looked and acted older.

He was handsome, always had money, and had that air of mystery about him. He dressed better than other boys and flashed a wallet full of cash for meals in restaurants, but his parents were working class like everybody else. Nobody knew where Cheetah’s money came from. That was part of his mystery. His gang allegedly ran a chop shop for stolen cars.

The most mysterious thing about him was how he always seemed to outsmart the law. Other boys would disappear for stints in the juvenile justice system, but never Cheetah. Fortunately for me, he had absolutely no interest in me at all.

About a year later, my dad got a job in city hall, and I went to visit him. Imagine my surprise when I saw an elderly lady going from office to office sobbing about how her poor grandson, Cheetah, was once again a helpless victim of the police, and how he deserved to be set free .

She cited his many arrests and dropped charges as proof that he was a pitiful victim of the law. Knowing what Gary, Ind., was like at that time, as I do now, I can assume she was passing out cash as she walked.

That incident unmasked the Bad Boy type for me, just as Toto unmasked the Wizard in the “Wizard of Oz.” So whenever I met a macho, bad boy, I saw the sobbing grandmother, begging for pity. As for that air of mystery, it was solved.

TRUDY: In my experience, the more uptight the girl, the greater the attraction of the bad boy. She knows she’s going to marry a straight arrow like herself, like her father, like her friends. But before she does, she’s pulled like a magnet to the guy who has nothing to offer except the chance of adventure.

My bad boy was constantly in trouble with the law, minor stuff, but my parents forbade me from seeing him. This happened the summer before I left for college and he left for the Navy as a way of staying out of jail.

I would sneak out at night to see him and we would drive and then park and make out. We never went anywhere because he didn’t have any money. I was totally in love with him.

I left for college, joined a sorority and started dating fraternity boys. My bad boy surprised me one weekend. He was so completely out of place that I was embarrassed to be seen with him. I broke up with him that weekend and was never attracted to a bad boy again.

Have you fallen for a Bad Boy or a Neurotic Chick? Send your tale, along with questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.



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