Men September 12, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Men, tell me honestly, do you enjoy the company of thirteen humans of your fellow sex for four days in a row uninterrupted by the fairer sex unless she is semi-naked, is paid by the word (rather like translators) and does not speak the same language as you? It’s too queer. And I feel almost compelled to attend a hen-do (alas, the ability to call these events -night has long since vanished. I think the stag/hen-dos now tend to be more extravagant than the weddings themselves) to find out in just what ways women go wild when in an equally exclusive group.
I think my only prediction which was vaguely accurate regarding the weekend’s festivities was on the way-hey front. Not that I did shout way-hey, probably not even once, but if we can count way-hey as very hearty laughter, then there was that in abundance. English men have an extraordinary capacity to find anything funny, and to make a joke out of everything. Which is, I suppose, only our version of small talk. Where was it I was reading recently about some ancient Frenchy who wrote of his travels to England and talked of this thing they had called, “Humour”? Indeed, I think we Brits are ourselves proud of our sense of humour – how often is a perceived lack of it taken as a chance to berate other nations? We’ll be sorting out those Czechs and Estonians sharpish, no doubt – but conversing in jokes is a queer thing to do. Frenchies and Germans don’t get it. I’m not sure I do.
Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy myself at all (or bray as loudly as the others at given times). The queer thing about all the bravado and banter and – yes, really – business talk (property prices, career moves, markets, the works!) and being perfect family types (for the most part, or soon aiming to be so) was that once you got them on their own for half a minute, you were soon able to morosely twist the conversation round to gloom, not a way-hey in sight, and have them pouring out their troubles. This was nicely reassuring. I suppose this was a fairly regular group of 30-something, middle-class Engländers (with a token Australian thrown in to spice things up a bit). A good minority have their worries. Another good minority said, in quiet moments, how they slightly despised having to go and sit in a bar with semi-naked females squirming onto their laps and paying 40 times the normal price to boot. (Darlings, an English tradition I had forgotten. The dreaded whip or kitty. Guaranteed, by some mysterious force of mathematics, to make any evening 80 times more expensive than it would normally be. Black holes.) (I still shudder with horror every time I log on to internet banking. “You mean I took ANOTHER 100 euros out that night?”) All were obsessed with bum sex.
Yet, darlings, sometimes, I have to say, I was ashamed. Ashamed. For a fairly regular group of 30-something, middle-class Engländers (with a token Australian thrown in to spice things up a bit), the behaviour was shocking. Shocking. I think this was heightened by the Brits-abroad factor. I couldn’t wait to leave one restaurant we went to. I think the staff were of like mind. Thankfully, we had a corner to ourselves. It ought to have been caged off. But at least the humiliation factor was low. The only thing aimed at total humiliation of A_ – the groom – was dressing him up as a clown, but he looked so sweet that I actually rather enjoyed that moment. And it was short-lived.
Again, I had the odd moment of despairing for England. But remembered all the while to think, “This is a rowdy rabble. It is not representative. Men talking about FIGHTING – yes, fighting, with glee, in their thirties – who, you then see from their e-mail addresses, are senior partners in such and such a firm, are a staggy blip. England is really wonderful and sedate and civilised. The men were just having a bit of wild fun. Really, BiB, don’t get so het up”.
But the thing is, I snuck off early – about 3am – on one evening to go to tbf(the beautiful friend)’s birthday party. Firstly there was the shock of his beauty to cope with as he opened the front door but then the different world of Germans sitting discussing things round a table. It was a touch like being fast-forwarded several significant rungs along the partying evolutionary ladder.
I mustn’t write more. This is too naughty. And I will be in terrible trouble if this is ever discovered. But men, in a group… Ouch!