I've started noticing that in every social walk of life there are classes and leagues. First, there's the dating leagues. Now, I used to not believe that these existed. Granted, the Jewish requirement severely limits the applicant pool, but other that, I didn't think I drew distinctions across guys being in and out of my league. Apparently, however, one needs not consciously draw the boundaries, because others will.
Case in point: When talking to a guy in a bar, one of the first questions that always comes up is what we each do for a living. I don't think I do anything particularly unnerving, but you should see the faces of most guys I meet when I say what I do. A doctorate in neuroengineering apparently produces a temporary void in their minds, and they can never seem to get out of the conversation quickly enough. The few that stay are that self selecting guys who consider themselves in (or at least close enough to) my league. Even if I don't define that the guy needs to be smart and ambitious, it's already defined for me.
That being said, I always wonder what the response would be like if I were a male. It seems to me that the higher you climb in the education/success ladder as a female, the smaller your class of potential male partners. Is this a male/female thing, or a common interest thing?
Just recently I've realized that my friends have classes too, albeit less obvious most of the time. I have my friends that I only seem to see on religious occasions, my going out friends, my friends I think will get along with most of my other friends, my family friends, my friends I tend to hang out with one on one etc. While some of these groups overlap and I encourage intermingling, I think I still categorize some friends into one particular category or another. It's weird to me, because I recently understood that my friends do it too, and some consider me only in the religious category or one-on-one category. This has made me rethink this categorizing- perhaps I am assuming too much. Maybe by labelling friends I'm actually insulting them as a person and needlessly limiting their potential friendship attributes. Where does one draw the line between ensuring the group has good dynamics for a given activity and offending those left behind?