Monday, March 22, 2010

The Men - Part 1

Young Love at Wilson's Prom
It must be a syndrome. A syndrome with a name. Well of course, all syndromes have names or else they would not be syndromes. But you know what I mean. I'd google the syndrome but where would I start? Not with its name, as yet unknown, that's for sure.

In any case, I have it - the yet-to-be-named-and-catalogued syndrome. As a "placeholder" for now I'll call it, "the finding-atypical-men-syndrome". Sort of.

Let me explain.

A few hundred years ago I met my first love and we had a very intense love affair. Let's call him the Oxford guy. Oxford UK, that's where he did his "masters".

Now this young man was clever, depressive, handsome and wild looking. All those things that any young girl would fall for. And rich. Correction. His family was rich. Well, his family was rich by Australian working-class (my) standards.

But did the Oxford guy take advantage of his inherited wealth? Did he do anything about it? No, he despised it, the bourgeois-nessed-ness of it. So, he left the loot in Australia in the bank, having allowed his mother to bring it all over from the UK (where he was born) to OZ when the aussie dollar was at an historic low. Notice how when even writing about him I write "an historic". As in "an hotel". English. Pathetic. But women accommodate, men charge.

Yes he left the money in the bank. The Oxford guy had PRINCIPLES! So very un-English.

Consequently we lived like paupers and eventually broke up somewhere in Golders Green, England around 1971. My move.

I moved on to my next lover. I think I was single for about 48 hours. Efficiency is one (of my many) strong points.

At the house of the domesticated Dutchman
This next guy was an aussie through and through. Tall, bronzed, sporty, with an accent as broad as a broad bean. A basketballer. A reader. Excellent taste in books by the way. What could go wrong? Well let's not go there. But, and it is a big but - as aussie as he was, this man would NOT drink in pubs with his mates, would not stay behind after the footy matches (he was a player in a country league) with the other footy men, would NOT join the CFA (the Country Fire Authority - a voluntary organization de rigeur in the OZ outback). Nope. Not he. He was a pro-active feminist. Plus he wore an olive green corduroy jacket to work in the local primary school in rural Australia, leading the locals to suspect in their rural aussie wisdom, that he was gay.

My true-blue Aussie.

The locals ostracized us, but we stood on our principles. We were the righteous people. I suspect in hindsight that we may have been a tad obnoxious.

Then there was the Dutchman. Solid (in more ways than one). Being Dutch he didn't believe in marriage. So far so good. So far so Dutch.

But did he smoke grass and watch sexy movies? Did he want to chuck it all in and travel the world like the other Dutchmen? No, not he. He wanted to stay at home and renovate the house. In a leafy suburb. A domestic Dutchman.

It must have been around this time that my brother, known by my "Letter From New York" fans as "TJ", said a very revealing thing to me.

"Sis," he said, "there's something seriously wrong here. Watching you is like reading a book where the heroine keeps making wrong turns. 'Oh no' one says to oneself, as one turns the page. 'Don't let her ... oh no she has!'"

Of course my brother didn't call me 'Sis' back then. I think he called me "You". Whatever.

After the Dutchman there was the American. And what do you think my American had, did, was?

ASIF I'd tell you now. Some of you may guess. But I doubt anyone will get it right. What do nearly ALL Americans have that mine did not?

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I think it's time for an autobiography, Kate.
'Cause I believe you have been the protag in your own life's story. Did you see yourself as a fictional character in a novel not once but many times? Did you indulge in literary self analysis?
And the Yank? Is he a character in a novel? Hopefully a novella - very ella, I hope. And what did he have. Children? A wife? Herpes?
Kate, is your rut getting deeper? And do you really love NY? I can see where it would be very addictive; solitude when you want it; apart and not part of unless you want to briefly join in.
Ah, struth, I'm analysing myself.
Cheer up, Spring is y'comin in, loud sing cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

And today it's raining cat 'n dogs. Water flowing down the street, the desert washes are filling. Gloomy day.

Jaded NYer said...

"ASIF I'd tell you now. Some of you may guess. But I doubt anyone will get it right. What do nearly ALL Americans have that mine did not?"

uh, a circumcision?

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