Thanks to El Spunkarooni for the beta.
Chapter 3: Smart
"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
- Rene Descartes
Lindsay Monroe's Perfect Guy:
3. He must be smart.
Colt wasn't really what one could consider smart. He was in all the same classes as she was – the advanced, college prep classes – but he usually got Cs in them. She wasn't sure whether that was because he didn't understand the material, or because he didn't care. She knew that as long as he continued to maintain a C average, he could play football, and that was probably all that mattered to him. It didn't bother Lindsay at first because he was cute and fun, and she liked spending time with him. But it did get to be a problem whenever she wanted to talk about something serious and he would change the topic of conversation to something more his speed. She hated the idea of dumbing herself down for him, pretending that she didn't have anything other than her hairstyle on her mind, just like the rest of the girls in their grade.
He didn't seem to care about his education, and that bothered Lindsay, because she wanted to graduate, get into a good college, find a good job, and be successful – all that good stuff. She couldn't understand how there could be people who didn't want the same thing out of life. But all Colt cared about was his football scholarship. She tried asking him once what he intended to do if football didn't work out, and he was incredibly offended by the insinuation that he would not be drafted into the NFL. She dropped the subject and never brought it up again. She didn't want him to think that she thought he wasn't good enough. She didn't think he was good enough, but she didn't want him to think that she thought that. She learned so much about football just so that she could understand what he was talking about half the time.
It certainly wasn't smart of him to dump her the day after she lost her virginity to him. It broke her heart, and she vowed to never love again, but it also pissed her off. And a pissed-off Lindsay Monroe is a force to be reckoned with. When she found out he was taking Heather McCreevey to the prom, Lindsay broke into the chemistry lab, stole a bottle of liquid heat, sneaked into the boys locker room, and poured it all over his gym clothes. He had to go to the emergency room. It made Lindsay feel slightly better.
Dexter was smart; he just didn't apply himself. He always participated in the class discussions in their Criminal Psychology class, and he always had something intelligent to say. His remarks often sparked heated debates, and he could stand his ground in a way that Lindsay had never seen. But when it came time for the exams and papers, he put very little effort into them, and usually got Cs or even worse. He claimed it was because his ideas made more sense in person than they did on paper. She always assumed it was because he didn't want to have to go to the effort of actually writing them down. It didn't bother Lindsay at first because he was at least capable of intelligent conversation, but she soon started to wonder if this lack of ambition he seemed to have was a phase or permanent. She wasn't sure she could be with a man who simply didn't care. It also bothered her that he laughed at her if she didn't understand what he was talking about.
He couldn't be bothered to care about his education. It didn't "interest him" the way that other things did. He could be amazingly profound when it came to censorship and the inability of the government to create a viable economic plan, but he failed his economics class freshman year. He could talk for hours on the symbolism in a novel or the imagery in a poem, but he never read the novels or poems that were assigned in any of his classes. The only things he seemed to care about were his weekend plans. Lindsay liked a good time as much as the next girl, but for crying out loud, even Colt had a plan for his life. Dexter seemed more than satisfied to drift aimlessly throughout life. She had learned her lesson never to broach the subject of the future, and she didn't want Dexter to think that she was a nag.
It certainly wasn't smart of him to cheat on her with one of her suitemates. It broke her heart, and it very nearly shattered her faith in men, but it also pissed her off. And people should know better than to piss off Lindsay Monroe. When he actually had the audacity to suggest that she join them, she grabbed one of their kitchen knives, barreled her way down to the parking lot, and slashed the tires on his motorcycle. She could have been arrested, but she assumed that Dexter was too embarrassed to file a report. He didn't have the money to buy new tires. It made Lindsay feel slightly better.
Martin was smart. He was one of those people who could be classified as "too smart". Lindsay never knew there could be such a thing as too smart until she met Martin; then she understood. Martin knew everything, and he was very vocal about knowing everything. He often corrected her grammar or her pronunciation, seeming to forget that sometimes it was her accent that was causing her to say things a certain way, and not her ignorance. He would even correct her in front of suspects. It always annoyed her, but she never said anything about it. She didn't want Martin to think that she wasn't as smart as he was. She wasn't, but she didn't want him to think that. He was not only capable of intelligent conversation, it was all that he was capable of. Sometimes she wished he could be shallow for one minute. She might have found it easier to talk to him. He didn't laugh at her if she didn't know something, but he explained it in such a way that it confused her all the more.
He was obsessed with learning things. He never wanted to stop learning. She found it amazing that there were things he didn't know. She didn't think it was possible, thought he knew everything that a person could possibly know. On those rare evenings off together, they would watch "Jeopardy!" and she would not even attempt to answer, because Martin would laugh at her if she got the answer wrong, and then he would answer in a tone that suggested it should have been obvious. She sincerely hoped that she had not sounded this condescending while dating Colt or Dexter. All he seemed to care about was his IQ. She supposed it was because it was one of the few things he had that other people didn't. He could be smart, even if he couldn't be anything else.
It wasn't smart that he had no common sense when it came to her. There was no other explanation as to why he thought that those times she cried in the bathroom after they were together were because she was overcome with emotion. There could be no other excuse for why he couldn't see that she wasn't physically attracted to him. The fact that he was so blind to her true feelings pissed her off. When he proposed, she turned him down, because though she could honestly picture herself spending the rest of her life with him, she knew she would be miserable. It made Lindsay feel slightly better.
Danny was smart. She knew he had to be, to be a CSI, but she honestly didn't expect him to be. Maybe it was because he looked like a bad boy, and bad boys usually weren't known for their intelligence. Maybe it was because he didn't seem to have anything else on his mind other than sex – not that that was a bad thing. Maybe it was the accent. He surprised her, though, by having a thorough grasp of everything from chemistry to football to Greek mythology. It was refreshing to meet a guy who was actually quite intelligent but not anxious to prove it to everyone. He didn't correct her grammar, but he did love to try to prove her wrong. They often would bet each other over the results of their tests – split down the middle as to who won the most. He liked to rile her up by suggesting that she didn't know something; he got this light in his eyes and this little smirk on his face when she took the bait.
He wasn't just book smart, either. Growing up in New York City had given him a certain savoir-faire that she simply didn't have. He didn't make her feel like the world's biggest goober because she didn't always know what he was talking about; he would chuckle and call her "Montana", but he would good-naturedly explain the context without making her seem an idiot. He never corrected her in front of suspects or witnesses but would quietly do so in the car on the way back to the lab. She appreciated that he did that, but she wasn't about to tell him that. She would just roll her eyes and say, "Whatever, city boy." He would shake his head and mutter something in Italian – which he spoke fluently. He taught her a few phrases, but she couldn't quite get the pronunciation down. He'd smile as she stumbled her way through them, patiently repeating them until she eventually got frustrated and gave up.
He never ceased to amaze her with his seemingly bottomless fountain of knowledge, though she had to wonder how much of it was fabricated. So he almost played professional baseball and had a short-lived career in the music business, did he? Was he being truthful or exaggerating? She could never tell. She always meant to ask someone else but didn't want to seem like she was interested. She wasn't interested. She wasn't.
It wasn't smart of him to keep flirting with her. It wasn't smart because if he kept doing that, then she wasn't sure how long she would be able to resist, how long she would be able to maintain the illusion that she detested him with every fiber of her being. Because somewhere along the way she realized that she didn't detest him. In fact, she was dangerously close to liking him, and that simply could not happen. It wasn't smart of him to look at her the way he did, to lick his lips in that incredibly enticing manner, to stand so close to her while they examined evidence.
Danny Messer was an idiot.