lundi, avril 30, 2012

Dating & Working-class guys: what no one will talk about

 Sitting in the bathtub last night, I had one of those "d'oh" moments.

I'm about to wade way into politically incorrect territory right now, so feel free to talk back at me. 

I would have slapped myself on the head, but then my hair would have gotten wet, and since the purpose of taking a bath is not to get your hair wet...

Then the inner light-bulb glimmered on.

I finally figured out part of the reason online dating has been so frustrating for me.

 The majority of men I encountered online had either blue-collar jobs or work that was white-collar but ruled by routine.  Mechanics. Factory workers. Plumbers.

Again, and again, they would put in their profile a sentence about how they were eager to retire.

The yearning for the condo in Florida seemed quirky to me -- why on earth would someone contemplate giving over the last twenty or thirty years of their life to golf and beers with the buddies?

Then I realized something -- many of these guys have very, very tedious jobs.

I'm not talking craftsmen.  I'm not talking artisans. I'm not speaking of creative folk who simply never got around to the college degree.

How would you like to do a task of stupefying boredom, day after day, month after month, until you hit your golden years?

Right.  Recall it was a bunch of intellectual revolutionaries who glorified that kind of labor -- and consider where it got them.

The work a pipe-fitter does is valuable and crucial -- more so than the work that many of us do. And some of them are paid very, very well (as those of us who can't fix our own plumbing know). Unions have lifted wages for many working-class jobs beyond what some of us genteel poor people make.

And yes, social workers, teachers and many other professionals aren't well-compensated. They aren't bored to death, either.

But that doesn't make retiring guys good partners for me.

Unless forced to by matters beyond my control, I can't see retiring for decades.  Life is way too interesting.

And the thought of having a guy around, frankly, expecting to be amused, simply terrifies me. Been there, done that (with children).

So I don't see dating a guy with sand and a putt (or a motorcycle) on his mind.  But I do have empathy for them.

Presidential candidates will make a heavy pitch for working-class voters this fall. Expect hypocrisy much. 

If we really believed in the nobility of the assembly-line, we'd pay the men and women on it enough to give their kids all the advantages that ours have had. 

But then they might be competing for our jobs. 

Better, and cheaper, to praise them. 


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