Monday, March 19, 2007

Sad news

Pretty Lady's friend from California called this weekend. "I have some sad news for you," she declared.

Pretty Lady nearly went into a panic. "Who died?" she asked, bracing herself.

"I have just been cleaning out my National Geographics," replied the friend. "And I have discovered that there are no single men on the East Coast."

Well, Pretty Lady's keen intuition had figured that out already. Her friend, and National Geographic, merely provided the statistics.

You see, the situation is very simple. Gentlemen, being pragmatic, pursue Good Jobs. Ladies, being frivolous, pursue Quality of Life. The result is that all the single ladies are living east of the Mississippi, and all the gentlemen are west of it.

Thus we have cozy Eastern Seaboard cities full of single ladies--strolling in the parks, attending concerts, visiting museums, hanging in cafés, and trolling the sale racks at designer boutiques. On Sundays, we go to brunch and compare stories about our nonexistent love lives. It is all very congenial.

Meanwhile, every single man in the United States is apparently working some technical job in Texas, Colorado, California, or Seattle. He sits in a cubicle for eight to fourteen hours, drives to his bland suburban ranch house in an SUV, and parks in front of the television of an evening, with a six-pack and a sandwich. We assume that he is content with this state of affairs; certainly he does not strongly feel the dearth of museums, concert halls, or brunch.

The side effect of this state of affairs is that single men who DO live in the Big City have a wholly inflated view of their own worth. They seem to regard the females as so many interchangeable parts; they do not engage in anything so tedious and demanding as Focused Courtship, or even Planned Dates. They wander out, whine, make propositions, and wander off again. Pretty Lady will have nothing to do with such degenerates.

At the same time, Pretty Lady is morally, pragmatically and personally opposed to Playing the Odds in the mating game. Uprooting her life, changing states in the desperate hopes of nabbing a suitable partner is Not Her Style. If it is madness to consider doing this for the sake of an extant, but neurotic and uncommitted (how typical!) lover, how much more so would it be to do so on the basis of a mere Statistic? Perish the thought!

So Pretty Lady formally announces that from this day forward, the City is her Temple. She will live the monastic life of the Pure Artist. She will banish unclean thoughts from her mind; she will contemplate only Higher Things. It is her Destiny; this much is clear. She is content.

17 comments:

EN said...

"They seem to regard the females as so many interchangeable parts.

And they are, so what's wrong with that? Your own description of the life eastern ladies live seems to confirm this.

My life isn't exactly as portrayed, but what you did portray doesn't sound half bad. It's simple and peaceful. We do lack museums, but the music is great, the wine is good and the festivals (of all types) and events are frequent. It never occurred to me that I was missing something and you didn't make a good case.

In someways what you're describing is perfect symmetry of a contented, and dying, society. Most of us who are single are well aware that the best odds are on wanting a mate and not having one rather then having one and...

prettylady said...

It never occurred to me that I was missing something and you didn't make a good case.

It is not Pretty Lady's responsibility to make a good case. She is done with all that. Ommmmmmmm.....

Crom said...

Well hell, darlin' - I guess this means you ain't gonna go where the men are?

But since I have been so adamantly forthright recently, perhaps a spell as advocatus diabolus will re-center my equilibrium. Forgive me, but Fisk I must.

"Uprooting her life, changing states in the desperate hopes of nabbing a suitable partner is Not Her Style. If it is madness to consider doing this for the sake of an extant, but neurotic and uncommitted (how typical!) lover

First, I would ask that you change your terminology. You are into visualizations and a benign form of will to power, so let's dispose of the word lover. Lovers are transitory, ephemeral and eventually historical. What you want is a partner or better yet, a husband. It's a matter of setting your goals. I would hazard you could find a lover inside of fifteen minutes, providing you took thirteen of those minutes to put on your shoes and leave your flat.

Nay, dear Lady, aim higher.

And what would you do to obtain that partner/husband/soulmate? Would you move to darkest Mississippi? Could you live in a town of under ten thousand? Would you have his children? Could you be content to listen to the frogs at dusk instead of sirens and traffic? All for True Love?

"neurotic and uncommitted (how typical!) lover

You admit in the 8th stanza that the men in NYC have a totally inflated sense of entitlement since they are outnumbered. If this produces neuroses and a concomitant inability to commit then the Ladies of NYC should look elsewhere.

I hate to say this, but I don't know any neurotic, unfaithful guys. Most of the "typical" men in my line of work are hardworking, intelligent and patriotic. These may not be traits that interest NYC ladies, but they are common among men of my acquaintance.

However! You have chosen the Convent over the Altar. Higher Things, get ready to be contemplated! The rain on your car is a baptism, the new you, Ice Woman, Power PL, your assault on the world begins now.

I will congratulate you on the New You, and silently mourn the loss of hope, love and greater expectations.

prettylady said...

Oh, shut up, Crom, I'm trying a little reverse-psychology on my karma, and you're making me giggle.

And surely you know that the more a lady does to obtain soulmates--the more sacrifices she makes--the more the potential soulmate comes to take her for granted, drive over her dreams like a tank, and then ditch her to marry a divorced ex-stripper from Queens.

This merely signifies, for Pretty Lady, the End of Pre-Emptive Sacrifice. Pretty Lady will not contemplate the virtues of Mississippi until she actually receives a formal invitation to move there, complete with job offer, marriage proposal and two-story farmhouse to restore by hand.

Desert Cat said...

...and two-story farmhouse to restore by hand.

Yes Virginia, there *is* a Santa Claus!

It's a very good thing I'm settled and half a continent away, with both Starbuck and the hapless Frenchman as object lessons to temper this gushing well that erupts in me from time to time.

prettylady said...

DC, neither Starbuck nor the Frenchman have any interest in contemplating the mystical experience, whatsoever. I'm afraid that if it were not for the existence of the inestimably lovely Daisycat, you would be in some danger.

EN said...

"Thus we have cozy Eastern Seaboard cities full of single ladies--strolling in the parks, attending concerts, visiting museums, hanging in cafés, and trolling the sale racks at designer boutiques. On Sundays, we go to brunch and compare stories about our nonexistent love lives. It is all very congenial.

I just keep reading that paragraph over and over. It's like watching a beheading tape, you can't turn away, but you wish you'd never saw it. You've always been wonderful to me, however...

prettylady said...

EN, I happen to know for a fact that there are at least four West Coast ladies scratching each other's eyes out over you. The grass, in your case, is NOT greener. Let me torture the Midwesterners in peace...

Morris said...

Got anything to torture us Aussies with? :P

Joe said...

Some harsh generalizations about East men vs West men! I think relationships are getting more difficult since it is now possible to survive without the need for a mate.. big cities make it that much easier. Lotta people to make you feel less alone while looking out your bedroom window.. alone. The brain is a funny thing. If you took me out of a big city I am sure I would latch onto someone.. the only problem left is communication attempting intimacy, and we have the internet for that..

prettylady said...

Relationships, my dear Joe, are exactly as difficult as they have always been. It seems to be Motivation which is signally lacking.

Crom said...

"and two-story farmhouse to restore by hand."

Mais, chère Lady - comment retournerez-vous jamais à la ferme après que vous avez vu Paris?

Heh.

MikeT said...

You forget two notable areas of the East Coast with a lot of technical work, Northern Virginia and Research Triangle in NC. The only catch is that if you meet a man in NoVA who does technical work, he usually cannot tell you what he does and who he does it for...

prettylady said...

comment retournerez-vous jamais à la ferme après que vous avez vu Paris?

Tres facilemente. La famile de mon ex-ami á eu une ferme-maison tres vieux dans le Midi. Etait tres, tres belle.

Seriously, if I had the capital I would buy old houses, fix them up and either rent them out or sell them. I enjoy this process so much that it would not matter where the houses were, as long as there was a Home Depot within reasonable driving distance, which in this country is just about anywhere.

prettylady said...

Yes, MikeT, the actual statistics as far as I can recall them broke down to--Chicago, New York, Boston, Memphis and Miami are top-heavy with single females. Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Denver, Seattle, North Carolina and Silicon Valley have the opposite problem.

And since I grew up in a household where my father was not able to reveal any specifics about what he was doing or who he was doing it with (he had an awful lot of meetings in Dayton, Ohio with Lord High Muckety-Muck, as I recall), the non-disclosure clause would seem normal to moi.

It's the lock-step conformist corporatism, and attendant smug blandness of character, that I absolutely...cannot...stand.

Desert Cat said...

I enjoy this process so much that it would not matter where the houses were

Holding...holding...

Joe said...

Motivation lacking? I agree. I can not tell you the amount of times I waited for a woman to make the first move and was disappointed in her lack of motivation. ;-)