Case in point, I was sitting in a bar on Tuesday, having just endured hands down the worst ballet of my entire life. I was with two of the other artists here on residency and we were shooting the shit about god knows what.
Somehow the topic of mommy issues came up. I love talking with guys about men and mommy issues. You use the expression and women know exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes it takes men a second. While most are in stanch denial that such a thing exists, others have this moment of reckoning when the little light bulb goes off above their heads and they cheer, "That is what my wife has been complaining about!" It is hilarious.
This evening was a particularly great conversation because not only did my fellow artist recognize the existence of mommy issues but they were postulating on all of the different versions and causes. After my second Red Stripe they had deduced that it all comes down to birth order. These guys have a couple of years on me so they were really getting into bestowing their fatherly wisdom.
"You don't want to date a baby of the family because obviously nothing you do will be as good as their mother." Creepy and yet so true. At this point the bartender, the owner and the guy sitting with his laptop at the bar got in on the conversation. I was greatly outnumbered and therefor had to up my game.
"Well, the oldest is just as bad," I said. "Nobody is gonna top a mothers first born." They greatly disagreed with this. Apparently all oldest sons.
"No, you want an oldest," they all agreed, "Particularly if he is the oldest of brothers. Because after the other sons come along the first one is completely forgotten about."
"What about middle sons?" I asked. This was getting good.
"They are the worst!!" "Never date a middle son!"
"Is that because they are all deprived of their mother's attention and therefor seeking to make up for it by being giant man whores?" I asked.
That did it.
"Man Whore? Man Whore? What is a man whore?" railed the guy with the laptop. "Have you ever heard of a man whore?" he asked the owner and the bartender.
"Sure," said the owner, "I was a man whore."
This went on for twenty minutes. The laptop guy and the bartender aghast because they had never heard of such a thing and were not really convinced that it was even an appropriate condemnation. They went on and on, asking me to describe in detail what defines a man whore and if there is such a thing can there also be a man slut and if so what is the difference.
These are the type of conversations I get sucked into when it is just me and a bunch of middle aged men.
Finally, the straw that broke it was when someone mentioned Davy Crockett. I am not sure why or in what context he was mentioned but it only felt right to throw him into the mix.
"I bet Davy Crockett was a man whore," I said lightly.
You would have thought I threw out an ethnic slur. The bartender got silent and the owner turned on his heels and left.
"You can't say that about Davy Crockett," said laptop man, "He was a TRUE American."
I am glad I didn't make a joke about the coonskin cap.