Saturday, June 28, 2008

About Men

Whenever I've been away from blogging for a while, I always find it difficult to pick one thing to write about out of all the stuff that has caught my attention during my hiatus. This entry has been buzzing in my head for the past two days.

I got off work early this past Thursday; it was only 8:00 pm. I decided to take advantage of my early release by stopping at the CVS on my way home to spend a lot of money picking up necessary (soap, shampoo, body lotion,hand lotion etc. ) and unnecessary items (new foundation and concealer which I didn't really need at this time but I had coupon for $3.00 off on Revlon products). I tend to wander through the entire drug store just to see if there are any items that I don't need that I can add to my shopping cart. Yes, I use a full size cart at the drug store; I never know how much stuff I may not need.

So as I wandered among the cotton balls and lip glosses, I made eye contact with a gentleman who appeared to be also shopping in the CVS. Southern courtesy means that you don't just pass someone without acknowledging that person's presence, so I smiled and said hello and he did the same. I continued on my journey, managing to walk past the entire selection of L'Oreal nail polish that was on sale without buying a single bottle. I passed the same gentleman a few more times, and each time we nodded and smiled and continued on (once you've spoken the first time, subsequent passes only require a nod and a smile). When I got to the checkout counter, there was one person, a woman, at the counter but the gentleman with whom I had a nodding acquaintance was standing off to the side. Not wanting to be rude, I asked if he was in line to checkout.

"No, I've got a little problem. Could you let me have twenty cents?"

I'm not going to deny anyone twenty cents, so I reached in my wallet and handed him two dimes.

"Thank you, miss."

I smiled and turned, intending to place my many items on the counter, when it hit me that it was likely that he had only one item as I didn't see a cart of any sort.

"You can go ahead, I've got a lot of stuff."

"Thank you, I hope that you don't mind, but I needed the money so I could buy a beer."

Up until that moment, I hadn't notice the 40 ounce bottle of beer in his hand. I'm not certain what he expected that I would do, perhaps insist that he return the twenty cents and give him a lecture on temperance?

Instead, I laughed, and said,"Sir, who am I to judge you?"

He paid for his beer, and stood by as I began loading all my goods onto the counter.

"Miss, can I ask you something?"

Whenever a person asks this type of rhetorical question, I always wonder what he or she would do if the response was, "Hell to the no." (I learned that little phrase from Whitney Houston. She used it on she and Bobby Brown's reality show.)

"Sure."

"Are you married?"

Fortunately, I was not drinking any sort of beverage or I would have certainly spewed it all over anything and anyone within ten feet of me. As it was, my laughter just sort of bellowed throughout the store. When I got myself under control, I was able to muster a response.

"No, I'm not married, nor do I want to be."

He shook his head ruefully, and turned to go out the door, then he paused, lifted his beer in salute and exited.

One of the things about men that fascinates me is that it is rare to meet a man who doesn't believe that he has something to offer to any woman. Woman are born with an insecurity gene. My friends that are beautiful women by anyone's standards, fret about the size of their thighs, jeans that make their butts look too big, breasts that are too small or too big; in the words of Gilda Radner's Saturday Night Live persona, Roseanne Rosannadanna, "It's always something." It's rare that women are ever convinced of their own attractiveness.

On the other hand, none of my male friends have ever asked me, "Does this outfit make me look fat?" Do men ever ask each other, "Do you think that my gut is too big to wear my speedos at the beach or would a hair transplant make me look younger?" Is it arrogance or just healthy self-esteem that allows men to more easily assume that they are desirable no matter what? I know, some of you are thinking that I'm generalizing way too much, that men have their insecurities too. I'll concede that but even at their most insecure, most men still have more self-esteem than women.

When I was on e-harmony, there were the guys with the movie star good looks who didn't bother to even address their looks in their profile, their pictures said it all. However, more likely was a profile in which the guy identified himself as attractive, good-looking, a nice looking guy, above average in looks--terms that didn't necessarily match the photograph that accompanied the profile by any stretch of the imagination. I never based my decision as to whether or not to favorably respond to a potential suitor on his appearance because in my experience, a man's physical attractiveness grows on me as I get to know him. If he's warm, funny, and kind, then I will come to find him attractive.

I've had it on reliable authority from my male friends that this isn't typically true for men. Attraction is either there from the start or it never develops. I don't know if this is an absolute or not, what do y'all think?

Perhaps I'm just too demanding. The guy in the CVS who didn't have any obvious means of transportation and lacked enough money to buy a two dollar bottle of beer, had enough chutzpah to inquire as to my availability. Of course, I can't help but think that what he really wanted was a source with more beer money for the evening.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Men are like this because women have taught them that they can get away with a multitude of physical sins and still be attractive once they are shown evidence of compensatory traits like being funny, monied, senstive, of some kind of combination of the above. When they see the Bob Newharts of the world with beautiful wives or girlfriends, they say, why not me? They see a woman will choose the Seth Rogen over the Chippendale dancer 90% of the time, and though they can see they're not hardbodied headturners, who doesn't think they're funny and interesting, "once you get to know them?"
I find it fascinating that you made zero reference to the attractiveness or lack thereof of this man, but I suspect he wasn't an obvious vagrant and perhaps not without a certain something. This is what he depends on. He knows, from experience, that if he comes on to enough women, he's going to find one lonely enough to consider ignoring his impoverished alcholism in exchange for some attention and affection. Unfortunately for him, he didn't know who he was dealing with.