What Happened To The Tango?

There are places where it’s illegal for teenagers to have sex because the authorities are worried it might lead kids to the tango.  The tango is Adults Only, any way you slice it.  It takes sophistication and patience to understand the sensual rhythm of two people moving with each other when they’re barely touching.  Exotic?  Erotic?  All of the above?  Unfortunately, in our time, we don’t tango all that much.  We let the professionals do it and watch, as if it were pornography.  Why?  I blame the “relationship.”  This nasty euphemism has not only ruined the tango for ordinary people; it’s responsible for most of what’s wrong with love in the 21st century.  Here’s the deal:

1 – What the hell does “relationship” even mean?  Unlike love, there’s nothing special about a relationship.  We all have relationships with any number of people, from our colleagues to the kid who delivers the pizza.  Push comes to shove, I have a relationship with my houseplants: they’re beautiful, and I water them.  If I don’t, they’ll crisp up and croak; then we both lose.  Personally, I think using the same word to describe what’s going on with the love of your life and your $19.00 bougainvillea is just a bit dismissive.

2 – People are always talking about taking their “relationship” to another level.  Look, (nudge/nudge, wink/wink) we all know this means sex.  Folks, love is not a video game with orgasms.  You don’t collect points for getting the dinner reservations right or remembering an anniversary, then cash them in some rainy night when you’re feeling lonely.  That’s not how it works.  Trying to figure out sex is difficult enough.  Turning it into a Reward Challenge is just sick!

3 – “Relationship” words all suck.  I want to “be with him.”  I have “feelings for her.”  Who are these people talking about — their grandmas?  You can’t sterilize passion.  Once you do, it isn’t passion anymore.

4 – People are always working at their “relationships” as if they were some kind of emotional salt mine.  Honestly, if it’s that difficult, why bother? After all, love is supposed to be fun.

5 – And finally, being “in a relationship” sounds like you’re bunking in for the weekend (or maybe slightly longer.)  The extraordinary connotation of the “relationship” is it’s temporary.  It has a definite beginning, a middle and an end.  I’ll grant you, few of us mate for life anymore, but I, for one, think love is valuable enough to at least give it a try.

People fall in love.  We can’t help it.  It’s marvelous and messy, but we shouldn’t try to institutionalize the romance out of it.  When we do, we lose beautiful things like the tango.  We don’t tango anymore because we’re too busy working on our “relationships.”   We haven’t got time to see the person right in front of us and realize they’re hearing the music, too.

Women Get Stuff

I am painfully aware that writing about gender in these troubled times is like being the goalie on a javelin team, but I’m going to do it anyway.  Stereotypes be damned!  The truth has to be told: women get way more cool stuff than men.  Yes, I realize there’s the whole punitive underwear problem and, beyond Barbie, toys for girls generally suck. But look around you: women have tons more fun with life than men do.  Why?  ‘Cause they get all the good stuff.  Here’s a selection of evidence to prove it.

Sleeves — Women get more sleeves than men.  There are bell sleeves, cap sleeves, raglan sleeves, lily-point sleeves, bishop sleeves etc., etc., etc.  In fact, according to one source, there are over 40 different sleeves available to women.  And what do men get?  Long sleeves and short sleeves!

Hats — Put a hat — any hat — on a woman and you’ve got instant sexy.  Put a hat on a man, and unless his name is Indiana Jones, Humphrey Bogart or Che Guevara, you’ve got a candidate for Geek Of The Week.

Colours — Women get all the colours.  Men get several shades of mud.  Don’t believe me?  How many men do you know who are climbing the corporate ladder in a 3-piece, electric-blue hounds-tooth suit with ruby red shoes and matching belt?

Hair — Even Stephen Hawking can’t calculate the infinity plus one number of things women can do with their hair.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the chromosome patch, men have the faux hawk, the man bun and bald.

Shoes — I’m not even going to touch this one.

Stories — See a well-dressed woman dining alone in an expensive restaurant and there’s an elaborate story there somewhere.  See a well-dressed man dining alone in an expensive restaurant and … he just got dumped … like, 20 minutes ago.

And finally:

Girl’s Night Out — Girl’s Night can range from a drunken pub crawl through the streets of Maribor, Slovenia — where someone ends up with her panties in her purse — to Ramen Noodle Night with sweatpants, jasmine tea and vintage Ryan Gosling videos.  On the other hand, since the beginning of time, Boy’s Night has always involved a game, junk food, alcohol and the eruption of various bodily gases.

I rest my case!

Gender Vacations?

I’ve said it a million times: “I’m so pissed that I’m never going to view my own time as history!”  I’m getting close — after all, the moon landing was 50 years ago — but naaaah! — it’s not quite the same.  History is what you don’t remember.  Anyway…  Of course, the other side of that coin is I’m not going to be around for all the cool future stuff either, and that pisses me off even more.  Imagine! – 3D social media, teleportation, interspecies communication?  Too cool!  But the coolest thing about the future is there’s going to be – Gender Vacations.  Yeah, it’s gonna happen!  Trust me, some enterprising young person is going to figure out how to do it, and they are going to be richer than Bezos because there isn’t a single person on this planet who wouldn’t pay huge coin to take one. 

Think about it!

Hey, girls!  Tired of doing 4 jobs every day — underpaid employee, wife, mother, self-appointed care giver?  Why not take some time off?  Why not get away from it all with a two-week vacationas a man?  That’s right!  For two weeks, forget about the long lines at public toilets: there won’t be any.  Put away your punitive underwear, and just pick a side.  Scratch whatever you want, whenever you want!  Feels good, doesn’t it?  Isn’t it time you pampered yourself and had somebody else make the sandwich after sex?  Plus, for two weeks, you can be as assertive as you like — disagree and even argue if you want to — with no social ramifications.  You’ll be able to go to a bar and have a nice, quiet drink without a parade of losers hitting on you.  Waste an afternoon on the sofa, watching a ballgame with your hand down your pants.  Even go out on a date with a quick shower and a comb through your hair — because as a man you’re not a wrinkled crone – you’re rugged!  You know you’re curious.  Why not make the call?

Hey, guys!  Tired of getting blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world, tired of walking the tightrope between macho and wimp every day, tired of half the world looking at you as if you were an apprentice stalker?  You don’t need this stress.  Time to take some me time with a two-week vacationas a woman.  Throw away that wooden suit you’ve been wearing, add some style and let somebody else open doors, for a change.  Discover how an adjustable neckline can get those grunt jobs at work done — without lifting a finger.  At home, harness the awesome power of “Yes, dear!” to hang a picture, wash the car, rearrange the furniture and so much more.  You’ll be able to tell jokes again, say hi to children and even give people compliments – all without fear of somebody freaking out and calling you a pervert.  And speaking of freaking out?  Go ahead! – anytime you like.  You won’t be held responsible.  Remember, you’ve got hormones now, and they’re always to blame.  So, maybe it’s time you stopped twisting yourself in knots trying to figure out what women want and try being one for a couple of weeks.  You’ll be glad you did!

Operators are standing by!