Friday, August 19, 2005

Gentlemen's Club

The wife’s off on an overnight trip so I’ll be fending for myself this evening.

You know what that means, don’t you?

I’ll have the remote all to myself as I search in vain for something worth watching, hammering away at the buttons with Dorito-encrusted fingers.

And I will be terribly, terribly bored.

I was never a very good bachelor. Well, I was in the sense that I never got the hang of dating. My relationships always grew organically out of my friendships with women. Of course, a lot of my dating reluctance had to do with shyness and fear of rejection and the fact that women make me terribly nervous. But part of it was also that I sensed that I’d never hit it off with most people. I can remember my poor mother trying to fix me up and my reassuring her that “it wouldn’t work.” I meant that I didn’t seem to have a lot in common with most folks. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that I must have sounded like I was trying to gently break the news to her that I preferred more masculine company. Poor Mom. She must have wondered.

No, I was never a very good bachelor because I always instinctively needed/wanted to be partnered. I always liked being part of a couple, having a partner in crime. I always felt more fully integrated as a person and as a part of the world. And, with the exception of a few years, I’ve always been half of a larger whole. Which is why the whole “speed-dating” concept makes me laugh. A date with me usually lasts for about 10-20 years.

Well, except for that girl with the money. That lasted about a year. That’s how long it took her to figure out that I probably would never have any money. No, that’s not fair. Actually, she was unlucky enough to catch me shortly before a wave of severe depression came over me and she found it hard to deal with. I don’t blame her. She was young and didn’t feel the need to be attached in the way that I did.

By and large, I think these relationships have lasted as long as they have because they were knitted together strongly in sympathetically emotional and intellectual ways first. And usually my partner and I both held sexual stereotypes in contempt while generally preferring the company of the other sex. I had a natural dislike of locker-room talk and their clichés about women and usually enjoyed being in the company of women more than I did men. Men were predictable and didn’t seem to want to talk about anything but cars, sports and money, which bored my merry tush off. And of course, women were…women, and I’ve always been deeply in thrall to them in ways biological, animal, and mineral.

The wife, interestingly, is a dedicated feminist who loves men and the company of men. Her taste in music runs along the lines of The Dictators, The Ramones, and the Beastie Boys. You know, music your average adolescent male would enjoy. I, on the other hand, have my little piles of Poindexter music, CD’s that marry quirkily poetic lyrics to musical car accidents. The wife also has no patience for women who like jokes about how stupid men are when they leave the toilet seat up, etc. In the end, we both have trouble with men and women who see each other as adversaries rather than friends. A Guy or Girls Night Out doesn’t hold much appeal for either of us. Parties that break up into sexually segregated conversations about the opposite gender baffle us.

So we figure either we’re both gay or we’re doing something right.

I had a dream once that I never forgot because it seemed to express something deep and true. I was supine and surrounded by women who could instinctively see that my heart was helpless before them, but who promised not to take advantage of that weakness. It was understood who held the power and who would gladly do anything he was asked.

Welcome to my gentlemen’s club.


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