April 13, 2009

The Laws of Man & A Note Concerning the Tactical Kindness of Women


I'm still thinking about this one, for some reason, thanks to Diana, Clisbee, and Mr. & Mrs. Perm.

Say you are a single, heterosexual male living/staying with another single, heterosexual male. And your roommate finds himself at a takeout restaurant of some kind, like Dairy Queen. He's there to buy himself a delicious Blizzard. And then he thinks, "Hey, you know who likes Blizzards? My roommate back at the apartment, who I owe no favors to, and buying him this Blizzard will be a kind gesture of friendship." So he buys it. Comes home. And presents you with the Blizzard that you did not ask to receive, nor expect. Is that weird? Is that your roommate coming onto you?

And yeah, that's a little weird. It is. And the reason why I can't shake it is because I think it's weird that I think it's weird. In that same situation, I would think, "Hey, free blizzard" then take it and my thought process would go from that to "Better eat this quick before it melts" not pondering the possibilities of this being a sexual. And if I were the person at Dairy Queen I would never buy the person a Blizzard out of kindness, not because I'm afraid of the Rainbow Hand and it being thought of as a sexual advance, just that I wouldn't be thinking about my roommate at that time. If I did think of my roommate and think, hey he'd like a blizzard, would I buy him one...probably not because Blizzards aren't cheap, but if I'm in a good mood, flush with cash, I might get that blizzard...I'm just not sure.

Then I started kicking around that idea thinking about clothing. Like would buying clothes for a roommate be weirder than food and to what degree? But clothes would be okay, if it was a joke shirt, but not penis related because then your roommate is out thinking about how you dress and your penis simultaneously and well...that's just not gonna work. I talked with Jorge and Dan about this in Mankato. Then the politics of men's bathrooms had to be discussed, such as proper and improper urinal etiquette and the complexities of it. Like on the trip home, I was confronted with one I had yet to encounter....when going into a men's bathroom, assuming there are multiple urinals and not a trough, you always take the urinal furthers from the door. If that one is occupied, you move to the urinal furthest away from the occupied urinal. So I go into this rest stop bathroom in Minnesota, there are three urinals positioned next to the sink. The problem: the one furthest from the door is the kiddie urinal, you know, it's positioned lower on the wall than the adult ones...and the one closest to the sink was occupied. Now, do I break urinal rules, pee in the middle urinal, which would be shoulder-to-shoulder with the occupied one, or do I piss in the kiddie one. Stalls were not an option in this scenario. So, I went to the kiddie one. It was awkward, but rules are rules.

Sorry for the digression, but the problem of the buying an ice cream for the roommate sent me down this rabbit hole, but then I got to thinking more about the women in this situation.

It is assumed that women would be more likely to buy their roommate a Blizzard in that "just thinking of you" kind of way without it being a sexual conundrum. Or at least less weird. Now, they might tell you it's because it's this whole gay/not gay worry that guys have that women don't. That they are somehow above this kind of petty naughty parts problem. While that may be true to a degree...the reason why a woman would be more likely to buy that Blizzard is relationship politics.

If woman roommate A buys the Blizzard for woman roommate B...woman A has the upper hand until the favor is returned in kind or somehow bested via a larger gesture. Therefore, woman A has an emotional/tactical advantage over woman B in all arguments/bitch sessions that may arise later, particularly if woman A is kvetching to her friends who don't know woman B, so woman A could say in all honesty, "And I even bought her a Blizzard once, and did she say thank you? Well, she didn't mean it because the next day the dishes were still dirty...including my can opener that she always uses...without asking!" Woman A clearly has the upper hand here. Oh, the women will tell you it's kindness, but that's baloney...it's all about positioning, future politics, emotional dominance shown via food purchasing. That may not be what's in the forefront of their minds, maybe they really are thinking, "ZOMG!, Sienna would love a Chocolate Cherry Blizzard!!!" but I'll bet you a dime that if needed, that Blizzard kindness will bite woman roommate B in the ass if woman roommate A ever decides it's time for fighting. Then it could even get down to what size of Blizzard was purchased to, like does getting a small Blizzard mean that woman roommate B is fat? Certainly a large one would, so she'd have to get a medium that roommate B could put in the freezer for later if she doesn't finish it (this is assuming, of course, that woman roommate A purchased the same sized Blizzard, which she would, because any size difference would really get out of hand)...which in turns gives roommate A even more firepower because she gets to say, "Well I got a medium because I knew Sienna would think a small would feel like I was calling her fat and same with a large and I didn't want her to feel that way!! ZOMG!"

So, there. While we guys might be leery that we might want to start sleeping with our friends if they buy us food or stand too close to each other while we pee, at least we aren't subconsciously making emotional maneuvering for future dominance assertion during our gestures of kindness...we just want to fuck our friend is all.

viva el mustache

ps...and yes, my couch is quite comfortable to sleep on.


Big Perm said...

Actually, here's why Roommate A buys Roommate B the blizzard: because women are not allowed to eat. Or, we are, but it has to be accompanied by guilt. If Roommate A buys a blizzard and eats it alone and then goes home to Roommate B who hasn't eaten, then Roommate A feels really fat and out of control and like a not very good woman because she ate. So, instead, she brings home Roommate B a blizzard, so they can both eat and share the guilt and tell each other everything will be okay, they'll just be on the elliptical longer tomorrow. But they'll do it together.

In fact, now that I think about it: Roommate A doesn't buy Roommate B a blizzard. In fact, she just buys a small blizzard, a teensy one--no! she buys a small vanilla soft serve cone!--and then she takes it home and SHARES it with Roommate B. That way, they share the calories, half the calories, and neither one gets fat and neither one feels guilty.

Bryan said...

Wait, they share it. That's totally gay.

Jorge said...

I think the real reason is because women roommates/friends think about each other more than guy roommates/friends.
It's that simple. I just don't give a fuck about my roommate. If I had one, that is.
And you made the right move with the urinal situation at the rest stop. Who cares if it's a kiddie pot. Pot's a pot.

Big Perm said...

Thank you, Jorge. We are more thoughtful.

Diana said...

I'm writing an essay about this very thing (which is why I didn't read your post or the comments--I'll wait until my draft is done) but what's extra fascinating to me is how EVERYONE I've talked to about it has an opinion. I even posted about it on my book blog and a few people (all female) sent me emails about it. It's so interesting. I can't stop thinking about it, either.