Bring on the Barrage
November 26, 2011 § 56 Comments
A few weeks ago Janey said she had been giving a talk to her twelve year old daughter. She had told her that the world has changed immeasurably since her day but that there are one or two things which never change. Controversially, she said that top of those things is that a girl/woman should never ring (text, email) a boy/man. Her divine student son was in the room at the time and he said to his sister that she should listen to their mother because, speaking as a man and wrong though it may sound, he felt she was absolutely spot on; the girls who had chased him, if they had had any allure for him in the first place, lost it completely if and when they themselves took the initiative.
Incendiary stuff, maybe, but I am afraid I agree with Janey and her eldest completely. She related to me what she had said to her daughter to emphasise her very firm stance on the matter, but did so all the more to persuade me to do the opposite in the case of Long Shot. She was trying to make it clear to me that, knowing him well, she felt he was the one exception to the rule; his character was such that he might actually be in need of a little goading. But is any man, really? When it comes down to it? I am not so sure. If a man wants a woman enough, he makes the effort, even if it means he has to overcome innate shyness, fear, indolence, arrogance, feebleness or whatever. I can’t help believing this, always have. So in my DNA is it not EVER to contact a prospective (unless they contact me first), that even with Janey and her dear husband’s blessing – and they are the wisest most wonderful pair in all Europe – I found myself quite unable to do so. The very thought thickened the inner lining of my throat and I just couldn’t.
It is a view, in 2011, which has its fulsome detractors, certainly. But like Janey I am strangely old-fashioned in this respect (even though in almost none other) and I am also of a certain age – as we know – so I find it hard to change and I am not altogether sure that I want to. A little light spinning behind the scenes is, naturally enough, permissible, but I want them to want me. One plankton I know says she will not lower her self respect to consider anyone who doesn’t pursue her. (She is not budging on this, and still waiting). Another friend I spoke to said she would find it problematical sexually if she had chased the man as opposed to vice versa and, shoot me down, but I am with them both to a degree.
Oh, I can predict the barrage already. People telling me women and men are equal and do I live in the Middle Ages and am I in fact an ancestor of Jane Austen herself and I have every right to ring a man as he does me and I am a reactionary arsehole and no wonder I am a pathetic plankton if I take this attitude and, if I don’t look to myself long and hard and change my medieval attitudes, then I am destined to be so for ever and beyond, and so on and so on and so on.
Well, I take your point entirely but it just isn’t me. I hold up my hands but I don’t suppose there is anything I can or am going to do about it. So it is I will doubtless turn into Miss Haversham herself, less even the blinking wedding dress because I don’t even have a proposal or anything near, sitting awaiting my turn to be out of the game in Shady Oaks (cf. yesterday’s post), with cobwebs covering every withered surface and ordured orifice of my being.