Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

I love this woman. March 20, 2009

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1155201977/bctid16993792001

Just the other day, Grad Student and I had a talk about mentoring. He said that one of the problems today was that men simply didn’t have male figures who would take a young man aside and set him straight. I said that’s the same of women in general, too — that in a culture of youth, where an older woman is expected to compete with a younger one for sexual and economic favours, older women simply don’t view younger women as protégés, but as competition. And so mentorship, which was a key part of navigating society not so long ago (in the age of guilds and apprenticeships), has fallen away. And the world, in my opinion, has become just a little meaner, a little harder, for everyone. Old people deserve a soft place to land. And they deserve to be listened to, after a lifetime of hard knocks. Why does the next generation always think we can do things better if we don’t listen to the previous one?

My students insist that an embracing of sexual access is a demonstration of female empowerment. It’s Third-Wave Feminism, they say; it’s New Age Feminism. I remain increasingly skeptical. If a woman is able to make a lot of money by using her body, that’s fine; but we are definitely not in an age where that kind of work is considered generally socially acceptable. No one introduces themselves as a “stripper” or “prostitute” or “escort” to someone else’s parents, or friends, or strangers, with the same kind of pride as someone who says that they are a CEO or an executive VP, or a financial analyst. Until we get to that point, saying we are living in an age of Third Wave Feminism or post-feminism is so much wishful thinking.

I also had a conversation with my roommate yesterday, and he was talking about corporate greed. He remarked on that familiar statement that Corporations, and thus, CEOs and Boards of Directors, are sociopaths. And he stated, “you know, people need to understand that buying into the American dream of making money, regardless of consequence, negatively impacts everyone. People need to make this kind of behaviour unacceptable: this outsourcing of labour and creation of new slavery, raping of the environment, and generally that sense of entitlement: ‘I’m getting mine, so I must be good, and screw you guys’ is what is screwing us all over.”

I’d like to agree with him, but I pointed out that if I were honest with myself, I would most likely grab the brass ring too, given the opportunity, and figure my karma could be worked out later. Greed and self-interest are powerful motivators, and unless there are absolutely no rewards for monetary gain, I don’t see how we can avoid having people who exploit, manipulate, and capitalize (pun intended) on the system in place.

And I think that’s why I love Michelle Obama’s statement: it doesn’t chastise or restrict, but encourages what could be a concurrent practice — you can be greedy, but you also have a responsibility to pull up the next person behind you. Not a bad idea for thinking about how to practice ethics.

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Adults will do what adults will do… February 27, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 12:37 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My friend The Artist called today to ask to meet with me. When I saw her, she was agitated and looked like she had something on her mind. She told me it had to do with her roommates and how they were driving her crazy; but when I talked to her, it really seemed like an inconsequential problem.

So I was kinda wondering what else was happening with her?

Then she told me.

She’d spoken with my friend The Grad Student (remember him?) and told him that she’d told me what happened between the two of them. She asked me how I felt about the two of them dating, and I told her that I had no problems with it, but that I didn’t want to see her get hurt, and that I felt that his behaviour was pretty shifty from what she’d told me so far.

She told me, “well, actually, he told me that he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now; that he can’t handle one at the moment.”

I said, “And that’s ok with you?”

“Well, as long as he doesn’t mean that he won’t go running off in the opposite direction the minute something gets a little serious with the two of us. I mean, I have to have a talk with him and let him know that I’ve been hurt in the past, and that I won’t put myself in that position again. If he wants to date me, he has to be prepared to date me, not to run away the minute I say I want to date him.”

That was a mixed message, admittedly. But it also put my mind more at ease.

I told her, “Listen, I just want to say that I was hoping that the two of you would get together at some point — that’s why I introduced you to each other. I mean, I told him you thought he was cute the minute you met him and told me that.”

She: “Really??”

“Yeah! I mean, I think it’s great if you two want to get together. But I didn’t think it would happen so fast, and I thought that he was being kinda shady by not telling me what happened between the two of you the night you both kissed. I told him that you’d just broken up with your boyfriend, so I thought he’d have understood to hold back a bit.”

“Well, really at this point, it just feels so great to have so much attention from all of these men. And to tell you the truth, The Grad Student is a real catch. I mean, he’s smart, and really good-looking, and so much better than my ex. I can’t even tell you. So right now, that’s just making me feel even more convinced that I did the right thing.”

That seriously made me happy. I had a huge smile on my face.

“TA, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!!”

I gave her a big hug.

And I said, “one last thing. If he hurts you, I will break his neck. You can tell him that. Seriously.”

She laughed.

And then I went off to meet up with The Grad Student to attend a lecture that he’d invited me to that evening. And I told him exactly the same thing: “If you hurt her, I will break you limb from limb. This is not a joke or a threat. It’s a promise.”

He, after joking around a little bit, said, more seriously, “well, I mean, how am I not supposed to hurt her? I mean, unless we end up getting married and stay together for the rest of our lives, it’s pretty impossible not to hurt people.”

I didn’t have to say much. I turned to him and said, “You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s about acting on ethical principles. You know her headspace, and you know what I mean.”

End of conversation.

And end of my matchmaking and guidance.

Now I wish someone could do the same for me…