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The Public Ineffectual

For entertainment purposes only.

Monday, August 30, 2004

If everybody wants you, why isn't anybody callin'?

Last night, we celebrated 3 x 50 years of Will Straw, Marty Allor and Sandra Buckley. Predictably, we were trawling the eighties music and Geoff played "Gloria" by Laura Branigan. Then Will said that she just died in her sleep of a brain aneurism. I listened to the lyrics more intently than ever before and I thought she was singing about a woman dealing with schizophrenia! I just had a look at the lyrics and, um, I'm happy to report that I don't think she is. "Gloria" contains the line above which is some pretty choice wordsmith-ing. Rest easy Laura.

My post on men in Montreal has been in draft for nearly a month now, mostly because I want to be proven otherwise. Claire told me to post it a while a go to make certain the Universe knows it needs to prove me wrong, so here goes.

I am having difficulty parsing my thoughts here and please, Universe, prove me wrong, wrong, wrong. I DO KNOW though that I hear my sentiments echoed in the women I talk to. The men in Montreal I'm talking about are probably more indicative of the petrie dish I live in and the swab thereof that I take. But I have been hearing women muttering over and over about the state men of this city are in. These are women I work with, women I study with and women I live with. Men just don't know what they want or if they do they don't act on it, they keep telling me. They are flakey and basically just chicken. *

This disturbs me because:
a) I'm in the same dating pool.
b) These things have a flow-on effect - the more people get on with Business, the more Business there is. (Mathematical equation forthcoming...)
c) This isn't the Montreal I used to live in, is it?

Were men always this cautious and I neither knew nor cared because I was in a relationship or semi-relationship for most of the time I've lived here? What is going on with the collective unconscious of the guys in Montreal? I'm toying with the idea that it is just me and the problem will go away once I move to Toronto. All the nubile men in Montreal will catch a whiff of change in the air, cautiously peek their heads out of their little neurotic shells, grow a backbone and venture out on to land once the threat of running foul of me is neutralised. How do you spell martyr again?

Twenty year old Walter was seeing a girl recently that made everyone, including himself, ask how he managed to snag such a stunning female specimen. I think I know how. Walter is the Perfect Gentleman. Not in in an overbearing sexist way but in a gentle way that says, "I am happy to be here with you. I recognise and respect your womanhood." Now, there is nothing romantic going on between us - I'm his noona ("big sister" in Korean) and our relationship mostly consists of me offering unasked-for advice. Extrapolating his attitude though spells good things for the propagation of the species. Montreal men could learn a lot from my man, Walter. The Art of Flirting is a Lost Art. And those that are flirting seem to be the ones that have already their action waiting at home. To quote Claire here for a second, if they were cabs, their dome lights should be OFF!

Is there some kind of sexual politic that prevents men from stepping up because they don't want to appear sleazy and be confused with that seething morass of men that smart women refuse eye contact? There is a middle path that needs to be tread, I understand. I would like to put the blame on the slacker/hipster ethic but I'm sure there is nothing in that dog eared handbook about how cool it is to go befriend beautiful women and how much inhibition really turns them on. Is it because I'm getting older and people around me are also getting older and thus self-conscious? We're supposed to feel more comfortable in our skins, not less. I'm always shocked at how dry the terrain is in Montreal. My friends are hot, yo!

Update: Upon further investigation, I don't think I'm going to follow up on the Friendster guy. The other one, Fancy Frenchman, I will likely call mid-week. This gives me at least 3 days to figure out what to wear.

* Not just me, I swear to fucking god.


At 11:39 AM, Blogger soylent said...

I had such a long post i started to write, and then I realized, unfortunately...I'm at work and that I um, well, had work to do!

This is such a good conversation piece to explore because in some ways, yes you are right...Men that you are looking at / into are not like Walter.

And there is one main reason...


For better or worse, I was very different at that age. Yup, sure, I take less risks than I did at that age (and many times to my detriment)....but I'm also a better person, most interesting individual and well, let me say modestly....probably much better sexually than a recently post-pubescent man!

So, let's all deal with a new reality...we'll try not to be "flaky" or "chicken"....and you all can try to be a bit less "aloof" and "gameplaying"....


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Oblivia said...

Thank you, soylent, for your always welcome and insightful comments. As I said to you earlier, this is not the place you will find balanced opinion and reasoned thought.

I think we agree that men and women both are all too guarded. I have to concede that women have a hard time giving off the air of sexual availability in a way that doesn't feel like they're slipping into tacky territory. And it seems like when we are, we're choosing the subjects that are just not up for it out of circumstance or just plain unavailability.

You also mentioned the generational aspect that probably deserves another post....

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gender issue is an interesting one. Why, in this supposed post-modern society we live in, is it the man's role? Just food for thought...

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Oblivia said...

I will consult my girl-posse (they should have calmed down by tonight) and get back to you. It will likely be a stand-alone post.

Last night, they were ready to riot!

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out .....


At 12:13 PM, Blogger Oblivia said...

I'm way ahead of you...

At 11:40 PM, Blogger fredead said...

Is there some kind of sexual politic that prevents men from stepping up because they don't want to appear sleazy and be confused with that seething morass of men that smart women refuse eye contact?

Yep- there is- the agressive, sleazy Montreal man has ruined it for the rest of us- we make casual, lingering eye contact and try to groom ourselves well.

Bizarre observation- when I wore these big, black painter/intellectual glasses all kinds of women would come right up to me and introduce themselves at parties, bars, ect- and i always met exactly the kind of woman I liked- smart- sassy, ect.
Now that I wear contacts I'm just some good looking guy- and i meet more strippers than grad students...

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing with your entry is that... I do not understand it.

I'm completely aware that might be because I'm not a native english speaker, but the message you want to carry doesn't reach me at all. I'm still trying to understand.

I think in the end, I'll ask Nika.

Karl, karl@la-grange.net.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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He says:

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She says:

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