hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

An Anthropologist In the World of Men

Hanging out with Mr. 46 has opened a previously secret world to me--that of men, their culture, and how they relate to one another. Perhaps it's just because we are so disgustingly open with one another, but I feel like he's been more willing to share with me little stories about what men do with one another and how they communicate, and simply what it's like to be a middle-aged divorced man.

My favorite example of this is the story of how he acquired his stereo speakers. Mr. 46 is a stereophile. He owns all sorts of old receivers and amps and cd players. He's a musician so such matters are terribly important to him. Several years ago he was visiting the house of an acquaintance when he spotted a pair of enormous wood speakers. Such objects of beauty these were that he asked his host about them. The host asked him if he wanted to buy them off him. Mr. 46 thought about it for a second and decided that yes, he did want to buy them. Mr. 46 also had some knowledge of the speakers and knew that they went for several grand a piece. He offered his host 800 for set and the host accepted.

What impressed me most about the story was how it very clearly illustrated a dynamic present among men that is clearly lacking between women. Sure, women compliment one another all the time, especially on things like handbags and shoes. But such compliments are often a form of social currency--often intended as a ploy to stay within one another's good graces.

His story has inspired me: next time another woman compliments something I am wearing or something I own, I am going to ask her if she wants to buy it. Just to see what her reaction would be. Of course knowing women, they'd take it as some sort of passive aggressive snark when really I'd just be operating with a different set of social currency.

Speaking of disgustingly open, Mr. 46 did something rather dumb. He told former crush about us. Apparently they've been friends since forever ago and Mr. 46 feels the need to tell former crush every minute detail of his personal life. Former crush did not react well to the news and told Mr. 46 a bunch of completely exaggerated facts about me. Where former crush gets off dragging my semi-good name through the proverbial dust is beyond me, but it incensed me beyond belief. Yes, I might have acted a little odd towards him, but it was only because he was being confusing and not communicating with me. So apparently he now thinks I'm nuts--further evidence that he drove me to insanity and that it's best that he's out of the picture. Only he isn't because he now seems intent on ruining a good thing. His whole involvement seems perfectly unnecessary. Can't he just "say something nice or not say anything at all"? And why I care about this so much is really bothering me as well.

But here are some more positive actions from Mr. 46 that I encourage my male readers to try with the ladies.

-Make her breakfast in the morning. Nothing says "thank you for a lovely night and morning" like a homemade breakfast. It needn't be fancy. Today I received a slice of thick white bread from a Japanese grocery store slathered with good butter and sprinkled with fish roe. I know, you're probably thinking that we're both insane. Apparently it's popular in other parts of the world. I pride myself on eating weird foods and I'm used to eating non-breakfasty foods first thing in the morning, but this was a little difficult for me to swallow (ha!). It tasted good and all, but it was somewhat intense for first thing in the morning. But in the interest of impressing him, and in showing him my appreciation for him, I downed the whole thing. Must satisfy stupid American palate later today with a cheeseburger and fries, however.

-Drive her to the Metro. Even if you aren't yet ready to leave for work, take 5 minutes out of your demanding day to drive her to the Metro. She *will* appreciate it and you probably aren't so important that your professional matters can't wait 5 minutes (yes, even in DC). Unless you're a doctor of course, and then you can disregard this one.

-If she's the type of woman to drop 30 bucks on a pair of ridiculously frilly lace underwear, please take a moment to compliment them. That's it. No need for a long monologue. A simple, "those are nice" will do.

-If you happen to be rather grumpy in the morning, it's perfectly acceptable to send her an email later in the day apologizing for being a grump. In fact, doing so may solidify your position in the boyfriend hall of fame.

-Invite her to run away with you to Argentina. This seriously happened to me last night. I was all like "wha...?" And he was all "think about it."

Can you imagine?

5 Comments:

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I'm sorry to hear that the former crush is proving himself to be lame, but it seems that things are progressing nicely with 46!

(And if I complimented a woman's accessory or article of clothing and she asked me if I wanted to buy it, I'd totally feel mocked and get pissed. :) )

5:35 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'd feel mocked, too, if a woman offered to sell me an article of clothing, but I do operate under a similar set of rules as the guys, I tell women where I got it. If they seem really interested, I'll quote the price, tips on securing it and similar items.

5:40 PM  
Blogger lorelai236 said...

The next time you wear your hot jeans with the butterflies, I will be giving you a compliment...

;)

5:54 PM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

HP, very interesting post. I must admit that the exchanges between males over objects in their possession does seem a bit different.

Are women jealous of another's tweeters or do men just happen to think it's generally cool and if you aren't putting 'em to good use...then let me take 'em off your hands?

Are men more possessive of possessions? (Legitimate question).

What on earth could you do in Argentina (besides being Pampa'd on the Pampa?)??? That sounds cool as does Mr. 46.

As I write this, I reflect on his actions that you list as "good moves" and think that perhaps this is not one of those men who's learned to keep ramming his head into the wall expecting a different result each time. He sounds like a man who's learned from life and you, my dear, may be the beneficiary.

Fingers crossed for you. Sounds like a hell of a good time.

11:24 PM  
Blogger gn said...

Ooh how exciting. This relationship seems to provide a different kind of drama: Not the up-down-up-down confusion, but more like the makes-other-women-want-to-live-vicariously-through-you blog material.

8:10 PM  

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