The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 January 2006

Lonely weakened

The Snitchmeister recommends that I read this book, and of course I shall, since it fits neatly into an ongoing research project, something along the lines of "If I'm so wonderful, why am I stuck at home this Friday night?"

Short answer: "The Hornets are playing the Wizards."

Entirely too long answer:

To borrow a phrase, I live with dust on my heart. It's uncomfortable, it impedes breathing, and it probably smells funny too. It is not, however, particularly lethal.

This paragraph by one of Glenn Reynolds' readers has been getting lots of play this week:

As a 48-year-old never married single man still in decent shape, successful and now retired, and having weathered the "feminist" cultural storm still raging since my teens, I can tell you that even your having read Norah Vincent's book, you STILL have no idea of the anger, the hatred, the vengeance and the pain so many otherwise attractive and available women are afflicted with. It is an epidemic of conflict and self-distortion that begins and ends with an impenetrable sense of entitlement, based on a false sense of victimhood, and for which not just any man but every man must pay forever for the restoration that's never good enough.

As a 52-year-old once-married (score that as a fluke) single man in suboptimal condition, hardly successful and a long way from retirement, I can tell you that while I have no doubt that some such women may indeed exist, I've never seen one: at least I've never been subjected to lengthy expositions of said anger and hatred and vengeance and pain, and I went to the trouble and expense of buying Maureen Dowd's book with the expectation of actually finding one. What I got was snark and petulance and more snark, which is something less than endearing, I suppose, but hatred? Not even close.

So maybe it's just me? Certainly I don't suffer from an exaggerated sense of entitlement:

My birthright, so far as I know, is to draw a finite number of breaths, and that's the end of it; anything else that happens during the interim is a matter of chance.

Nor do I buy into the notion that there's someone for everyone: there is a certain amount of symmetry in the world, but not that much.

But sometimes the simplest explanation is the most plausible. Love is two souls moving in the same direction; my particular path, torturously winding and lacking in both definition and destination, can be safely presumed to be of no interest to anyone but me.

Had I that sense of entitlement, I could rail about the general unfairness of life. But Babylon 5's Marcus Cole has the better argument:

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.

There is no one for me, and there is never going to be. I accept this situation with approximately the same composure, even complacency, with which I accept my utility bills; I may complain once in a while, but the only rational response is to write the checks and live another month.

And, of course, to catch the Hornets game. (They're playing the Wizards tonight.)

Posted at 6:09 AM to Table for One


Chas,

I generally agree with the caveat that occasionally I catch a raging feminist speechifying on C-SPAN. Otherwise, the most prevalent image is an artist's rendition, sort of like the alien beings some people claim they see.

I'd also guess that Glenn's reader/commenter is a blue-stater.

Posted by: mike pechar at 6:36 AM on 20 January 2006

You're probably right Mike. It does tend to be a blue-state, specifically urban animal that's being described here. They may certainly exist elswhere, but if you walk into any NYC establishment and encounter women, you will certainly find many examples of the species. One commenter mentioned LA as a prime stomping ground, and of that I have no doubt.

I'm not bitter about it (really), but (having married one once) I am keenly aware of the nature and (rather hopeless) extent of the problem. Such women can be avoided if one knows what to look for, but one does wind up steering clear of so many women for this reason that one feels as if all human females must be avoided.

If you read through all the remarks, what one hears over and over again is the phrase "sense of entitlement". It's palpable.

WIthout dredging up this whole thing (I wrote a very long post as it is), what really strikes me is how many men carry this sense of injustice around with them (at least in, again, the bluer parts of the country). Aside from the usual partisan political diatribes, I've rarely seen blog comments so passionate as Glenn's/Dr. Helen's post inspired. And I'm pretty sure I've never heard male after male after male go on about women that way. I always imagined a lot of guys carried this around, but I never thought I'd live to see it come out.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 7:49 AM on 20 January 2006

There was a song written by Steve Taylor that had these wonderful lines.
"When we don't get what we deserve, that's a real good thing. When we get what we don't deserve, that's a real good thing."

That has helped me through a lot of times. That, and "It could be worse, it could be raining."

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 8:47 AM on 20 January 2006

Uh, you live in Oklahoma.

The worst of the hyennas leave OK and settle in New York City, particularly in the West and East Village.

These harridans do exist. You can find thousands of them here, nursing their grudge at Daddy.

They are called "fag hags," and you are very lucky that they left town.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas at 2:13 PM on 20 January 2006

There is no one for me, and there is never going to be. I accept this situation with approximately the same composure, even complacency, with which I accept my utility bills; I may complain once in a while, but the only rational response is to write the checks and live another month.
With that attitude you are right.
Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
I'm ready for a cute one-liner comeback, but you know it's true. You show a terribly defeatist attitude when discussing your personal life.

Posted by: Jason at 9:55 PM on 20 January 2006

Obligatory cute one-liner comeback:

"I also anticipate that the sun will rise tomorrow, though I am disinclined to take credit for it."

And anyway, I think we're using different definitions of "personal life," which I define as "that time during which I am not required to report to 42nd and Treadmill," approximately 120 hours a week. The mere fact that I spend this period alone does not mean that my "personal life" is a shambles, and I do not believe that solitude is a Bad Thing: it's just, well, awfully lonesome sometimes.

Sometimes.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:06 AM on 21 January 2006