Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Fair's Fair

I went out for grown up drinks last night with a couple of girlfriends I haven't seen in a while. The one (Jane) because she lives in Ottawa now, and the other because she's really Jane's friend, but that's okay with me - I can share.
We went to the Senses bar at the chi-chi, poo-poo Soho Metropolitan and Jane came in wearing a hat. Jane's like that - very chic; she has lots of hats including a vintage bowler and one of those big Russian hats the politicians wear that looks like it was made out of grey toy poodles, and she looks fabulous in every one of them.
(She just has the right sort of head. I myself have an enormous melon, the kind that Russian politicians have, but unlike Kruschev, hats are completely out of the question for me - they usually sit atop my huge head like the little boater Fozzie Bear wears on the Muppet Show. It's just not very Soho Metropolitan is what I'm trying to say...)
Anyway, to look at us all - drinking spectacularly over-priced champagne - and particularly with Ottawa Jane improving the tone considerably, you'd probably think we were pretty grown up. But all you'd have to have done was sidle over (easy to do, the place was as dark as a mine shaft - excellent for hiding over-priced champagne stains) and eavesdrop on the gab...
It all began with Dorothy describing her move into a grownup house.
It's true. There are grown up houses and then there are the places the rest of us live in.
A grown up house is generally the size and shape of your parents house, likely comes with two stories, a back yard and a finished basement. The stairs are wide, safe and solid and the kitchen is fully equipped.
The kind of places the rest of us live in are usually apartment-shaped, but if they have stairs, the stairs would be thin and steep and unbanistered - your basic baby-killers. My condo is old, funky, and completely impractical (rather like your faithful correspondant) with a gigantic bedroom, a miniscule kitchen (some people miss it altogether on the first tour) and the original 1920's plumbing which means the water pressure is so weak on your faithful correspondant's 4th floor aerie, she has to do her laundry five flights below. See what I mean? What grownup would put up with that?
But about being grownup: it's a notion I've been fascinated by since I was unquestionably not, and still am as I screetch into middle age, wondering when it's going to happen. Will I ever stop enjoying cartoons, junk food and playing with kids? Should I? Will I ever stop staying up too late (don't want to miss anything) and feeling put upon because I have to make my own dentist appointments? Could I?
Then, this A.M. as I read my morning paper (where I filch all my good ideas) I saw an article that made me sit up so fast, I nearly knocked over my Captain Crunch... what I saw (on page 3 of the front section no less) wasn't fair.
Fair. The idea your parents built into you as firmly as if laying down the foundation of a grownup house, then snatched away somewhere around your teen years, asking you who ever told you it would be? (You did!)
All those years of dividing up the cake (it's got to be fair) counting the cookies (ditto) getting to sit by the window (take your turn) ride a pony (ditto) comparing Christmas gifts (and knowing the price of everything in the Sears catalogue, so you knew precisely who got more or better than you) and doing the dishes (it's not my turn - I did them twice last week!)
But this - this took unfair to a whole new place, clearly illustrating the unfair advantages that will be forever stacked in the male of the species favour. Ooooh! Grownup or no, I felt like having a mini tantrum then and there and only forsook same because there was no one here save the dog to observe. And I had already sent myself to my room.
Headline: Sex may ward off prostate cancer. And beneath, in unjust detail, the recently gleaned scientific knowledge that frequent ejaculation may protect men from the dread disease.
As I read about the study that followed some 29,000 men (confirming a similar study in Australia - big surprise, eh?) detailing their masturbation, nocturnal emissions, and various and sundry other happy sexual exploits, a world of bitter jealousy rose within my bosom (which in order to be checked for cancer needs to be squished painfully flat in a horrible breast squishing machine - not much sexual titillation there) and I found myself mouthing the un-grownup epithet over and over: it's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair!
Why should you guys have all the fun? It's like prescribing french fries for weight loss, or chocolate for breast enlargement. Cheap (you guys are so!) easy, and always at hand (honey - I just want to live!) the uneven-handed nature of the prostate cure produced upon my phiz a scowl as red and pouty as a two year old at some other two year old's birthday party. (What - you mean all this isn't for me?)
I know - I should be happy for you all; grateful to the cancer Gods for sending you such a generous cure, but I'm jealous.
And who knows? Perhaps even now some team of scientific Amazons are testing the theory that foreplay saves female lives, or prevents wrinkles, or eliminates cellulite. If so, maybe there's a way I can put these envious musings behind me; perhaps find some common ground, a place where we might come together, so to speak.
After all, as I mentioned before - I may not act completely grownup, but at least I know how to share.

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