Monday, May 29, 2006

The Mysterious Distance ...

After a lot of conversations about this in the past week and I guess over the last month, I finally came across what seems to be a sound theory about the mysteries of male and female relationships over a basket of greasy french fries and onion rings at Cheeburger Cheeburger on Friday night.

The theory goes like this:
Girls don't understand guys because they can't believe it could ever be that simple;
and guys don't get girls because they don't think it could ever be that complicated.

The incredulity of the simplicity or complexity of the opposite sex is the main reason for the misunderstandings.

A good friend came up with the first part of that theory, and I just extrapolated the second part. To a certain extent of course, it's an overly simplified (male) theory. I know that as a woman I see a certain stigma created by men surrounding the complicated nature of women. I suspect that the media has heavily added to the stereotypes that say it's necessarily impossible for a man to understand a woman and vice versa. I have to agree with that a little bit. My brother quotes a guy he heard in an acting class one time, the writer for "Home Improvement", which is probably one of the best examples of successful gender stereotypes on television. The gentleman said "the premise for the show was this, and only this: women and men theoretically should not be able to get along together in relationships... but they do. Why is that?" and that simple question provided many seasons of material.

Men and women were created as companions for one another but there is complexity on both sides. When I brought up in discussion the theory and followed it with the question: "Does that mean that all a guy needs to be happy is food, sleep and sex?" The guys chuckled softly and thoughtfully and said "that sounds pretty awesome". Naturally, I was crushed. It couldn't be true. It couldn't be that any human being, such complex creations, could not want anything more than the basic functions of life. Then I thought of the theory... perhaps it's just not possible for me to believe that. The guys were probably subscribing to what is the cliché male response for laughs but when they thought about it, a life that simple seemed kinda nice. I don't think any of them really believe it could be that simple, but is that due in small part to one prong of the triangle of existence (food, sleep and sex) involving females?

I've been trying to conclude this discussion with myself for about a week now, and I keep coming up with different ideas and areas that should be explored in order to present a balanced argument and a full perspective on the theory. It's basically a master's thesis waiting to happen. The only thing I guess I can add is that sometimes that mystery of not understanding, that reason we just don't get something about another person can be captivating. Perplexing in a way that makes us want to know more. Sometimes it's the complete opposite effect. The differences between the female and male characters are just incredible and a reason to glory in creation, as far as I'm concerned. That people do find a way to fit with someone else who is so different and so incomprehensible is amazing and an adventure. But the subject with which one undergoes this study must be chosen carefully, of course.

It's true. Women are not simple. But personally, I don't think any human is. We're complex creatures with capacities above those as animals for a reason. Men are complex too, maybe they are just less obvious about it. In any case, I always look forward to the mystery that is human interaction, regardless of gender.

Some great lyrics in the song from which the title was gleaned:

I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman
No I could never take a chance
‘Cos I could never understand
The mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman

You can run from love
And if it’s really love it will find you
Catch you by the heel
But you can’t be numb for love
The only pain is to feel nothing at all

Bono is always so clutch. Totally lovin' the World Cup promos.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

5th Cousin to General Lee

I'd like to take a moment to introduce one of the most colorful characters in my day-to-day life: Harry. He works the 3-11pm shift at the hotel, sometimes the night audit shift (11pm-7am). Harry is older, very set in his ways, and will talk your ear off as long as you let him. He's rockin' the 4-hair combover most days. The first time I saw him drive up to the hotel, he made a good impression because he drives a '91 white VW Golf 4-door. Almost my first car. I went with the red two-door with the CD player instead.

Right now Williamsburg is abuzz with the hum of sporty polo shirts, crisp khakis, white visors and polite clapping. The LPGA's Michelob Ultra Open is at Kingsmill this week. We're hosting a number of the golfers and supporters of the event at the hotel. Yesterday, as I was leaving, Harry made it a point to mention to me that I should not be going to the gym as I usually do after work, I should be sticking around in my nice work clothes and try to "snag one o' dem golfers" because he knew I was "in the market". Harry means well, but his old Virginia ways and his archaic view of what courtship is today are not really parallel to my own. More like perpendicular. Also, it's the LPGA... not the PGA. So, that might be a problem too. He said it because there were a lot of male golfers checking in at the moment.

Harry, if you give him long enough, will be the first to tell you that he's 5th cousin to General Lee. I don't exactly know what a 5th cousin means. I'm sure if I asked him, he'd have a family tree in his back pocket and he could show me. But it's obvious that Harry still thinks that women should put on their "mos puhlaaat Vuhgiiiinyuh acciiiints" and bat their eyelashes at men who play golf (read: men who have money) so that they can marry well and be content with their lives. I have noticed wonderful qualities in the old Virginia gentlemen that I have come across: politeness of days long passed, devotion and kindness to others that is rare. But I can do without the Scarlett O'Hara approach to chasing men.

Harry also asked me why I bothered to get a degree. He says I have an education but I don't have any experience, and an education "don't count for nothin'" without experience. I'm not really sure how he's managed to make me a feminist and an uneducated debutante in the twice-weekly 30 second conversations we have (where I am constantly trying to get out the door and make it as short as possible). He's just direct I guess.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Starting Out

Arial, such a go-to font. Too predictable.
Perhaps Courier? It's a little typewriterish, not terrible though.
Georgia, my Grandma's from there. Great peaches.
Lucida Grande, doesn't look much different.
Let's see about Trebuchet. Better, closer, warmer.
Times, I feel like I'm writing a paper. No can do.
I think I used to really like this font. not so sure about it anymore.
No one will understand webdings.

I think it's important at the outset of an undertaking like a blog to establish a theme which you enjoy and which doesn't have to be changed a lot. I have been thinking about starting one of these again. The main impoetus for actually doing it was finding out that I'll be going back abroad to teach English to French high schoolers starting in October of this year and going through April of next. I liked keeping a blog while I was in France, so I decided to have another go. I'll be able to post pictures on this one, which is good because my environment will be slightly more picturesque. I'll be in the Caribbean, specifically, Martinique. Now, maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be in photos. I have some experience living in a touristy town (Williamsburg, VA and Paris) and it has its ups and downs. But I've grown to love it. So hopefully, its status as "the little flower of the Caribbean" will negate the fact that it's only 1,060 sq km (approximately 420 square miles).
More fun facts about Martinique.

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