Archive for the men Category

GEOGRAPHICALLY CHALLENGED

Posted in love, men, relationships, women, writing with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by kimmy

It was nearly three months since I last talked to Diane.  At the time, she was nearly giddy, just having met the man of her dreams on e-Harmony and spending every available moment on Skype.  She fell in love, and off the radar, into what I hoped was well-deserved domestic bliss.

So imagine my surprise when she called me on Sunday, interrupting my otherwise placid Mother’s Day luncheon with sobs and an urgent plea for advice.  Through her tears, she explained that Prince Charming had scuttled the new-formed relationship before taking it out to sea.

“He refuses to meet me,” she wept. 

“Uh, he refuses to greet you?”  It was a little hard to understand Diane when she was in the middle of a crying jag.

“No!  Kimmy, he won’t even meet me for coffee!”

I admit I was a little puzzled.  Had they had a lovers’ quarrel and the Prince refused to kiss and make up?  Apparently not, I soon learned as she hastily brought me up to speed.  It seemed that despite their torrid exchanges via webcam, they hadn’t actually met in person.

“He says I live too far away.”

It made perfect sense to me.  Why else would they lurk on Skype?  Romance is difficult enough without the challenge of distance.   

I tried to remind her of this as she bemoaned her fate.  “Didi, you can’t exactly meet at Starbucks if you live in New York and he’s in L.A.”

There was long pause.  “Kimmy, he lives only 20 miles from me.”

Oh, one of those predicaments.  I didn’t know what to say to her; it seems that even the most desirable women are not immune to the scourge of poor location.  Of what value are charm, grace and accomplishment if the lady at issue is not conveniently located?  It’s not enough that we must be attractive, fit, solvent, employed and sexually adventurous.  If we’re not within easy reach, we don’t merit the effort.

It’s a bitter thing for a woman to hear.  Nobody wants to be judged unworthy.  But esteem issues beg the real question here:  Just how lazy have men become anyway?

I remember one such fellow years ago.  After a few preliminary dates, he announced in a rather self-satisfied way that he was pleased with me.  Not because I was an interesting female, but that my apartment was conveniently situated between his home and place of work.  “Now, I don’t have to go out of my way to see you,” he said blithely.  Needless to say, that acquaintance ended badly.  If a man is determined to torpedo a budding or established relationship, all he need do is mention his partner’s lack of specialness.  The world is full of unremarkable people; to be lumped in among them is the kiss of death.

It was little comfort to Diane, who insisted that her life was over.  “This is worse than high school when my boyfriend dumped me for the head cheerleader,” she mourned.  “Her locker was right next to his.”

I agreed that his behavior showed an absence of vision, but cautioned her.  “Maybe he’s just not that enamored of you, Didi.  If he was, wouldn’t he move heaven and hell just to be with you?”

“Yeah, I guess he would,” she snuffled, “but only if hell was next door.”

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CHARM SCHOOL

Posted in men, musings, relationships, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2008 by kimmy

During a bitch session with some girlfriends, the subject of manners was raised.  Or rather specifically, men’s manners and the absence thereof.   The ladies gathered around the table were complaining that contemporary men lack not only finesse, but common social graces.  Someone suggested that the ‘gentleman’ was going the way of Vista. . . down the toilet in short order. 

My own father was very attentive to courtly mannerisms.  He always held the door for my mother, helped her into her chair and on with her coat.  He knew how to dance, which fork was used for the seafood course and how to engage people in conversation.  He rarely talked about himself, unless he had a few too many martinis, and always deferred to the other party.  In short, a real gentleman although he was almost completely self-taught.

Which brings me to the point.  If man like that can pull himself up by the bootstraps and transform from country bumpkin to polished gentleman, what’s preventing today’s men from doing the same?

Might I suggest motivation as being a factor?  There’s no real incentive for men to be gracious.  On the job, they are hired for bottom line ability and not elegance.  It is, however, somewhat disquieting to watch an otherwise adept man behave like a boor at luncheon, especially when he is entertaining clients.  The only entertainment value would be the colorful display of food agitating in his mouth.  It’s strange that, in the interest of business, one has to overlook these offenses.  After all, raised pinkies have nothing to do with job performance.

Or off-the-job performance for that matter.   It’s become a buyer’s market for men.  They are not held to the same standards as their fathers because nobody demands it.  Why should a man court a woman when there is another willing to lie down with him for nothing?  If all he wants is a port in a storm, then any random female will suffice.  It’s not her character that interests him. 

However, I would argue that slovenliness and ill-bred behavior are an affront.  If he hasn’t the decency to behave with decorum at the table or in the bedroom, what guarantee do you have that he will do so away from it? 

I once read that there are two things in life that, if not performed properly, will be held against you but never openly discussed:  grammar and manners.  Unbeknownst to IT specialists, business majors, corporate lackeys, contractors, hip-hop wannabees and self-styled players, their behavior is being examined and judged whether they like it or not.  It doesn’t matter if you are a genius in your field, if you behave like a slob, you will be labeled.    

It may come as a surprise to some, but culture and liberal education do have a viable place in society.  That it’s not patronized as it should is an indication of how poorly it is regarded.  Yes, we must be industrious and work for a living, but so do all creatures.  If we’re no better than animals foraging and rutting, then we should dispense with the pretense.  There’s no shame living like a knuckle-dragger; more and more people do it everyday.

FENCE SITTING DEMYSTIFIED

Posted in men, musings, personal, relationships, social commentary, women, writing with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by kimmy

It is astounding how long one can perch.  If all creature comforts are provided, one could in theory stay up there for an entire lifetime.  How marvelous it must be to sit in judgment above it all and watch people scurry below.  Being removed from the action gives one a sense of purpose, a smug satisfaction knowing that the trifles in life need not ever be a bother. 

Tedious colleagues at work?   Try selective hearing.  Annoying relationship difficulties?  Pretend the other doesn’t count and go about your business.  Eventually, your indifference will be interpreted as wisdom and people will flock to you for advice.  That you have none to give is irrelevant; people always admire the fixed and unassailable.  You could tell them virtually anything and they’d believe you.

You need never reveal the true reason for withdrawal.  You could blame the other party, the environment, the economy or karma.  We are such a litigious society that blame is not only expected, it’s rewarded.  So, go ahead!  Blame somebody else for your woes.

With time you might even forget the reasons why you’re sitting on the fence.  You may actually come to believe the lies you’ve told yourself.  All those niggling self-doubts are forgotten, blanketed under a thick cushion of inertia.  It can become so deep, there’s no way of knowing what’s underneath unless it’s stripped away; something that will never happen since you’re so vested in maintaining appearance.

So, sit back and relax.  You can bide your time, endlessly if that’s your choice.  Nobody is forcing you off the bench and into the game.  You can watch it from the bleachers and make snide comments about the ineptitude of the players.  Of course, never having actually played the game, you’re in no position to judge, but who cares?  If somebody calls your bluff, you can lie about that as well.