Stereotype

“You took me out to wine, dine, sixty-nine me, but didn’t hear a damn word I said.”

Thus sang Alanis Morissette, whom I remember fondly for a multitude of reasons.  Chiefly, her music.  Additionally, she crazy, girl.  Super-additionally, she was in Dogma and clearly doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Before we go any further, I would like to point out that her song ‘Ironic’ does point out a number of situations which are, contrary to popular opinion, ironic.  They refer to what is known as situational irony, which is notoriously difficult to qualify as it depends very much on your perspective.  ‘Ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife’ could be hugely ironic, as in a cutlery drawer containing ten thousand spoons, you would be forgiven for expecting to find some forks and knives in there as well.  Given certain assumptions, all of her lyrical examples could be justified as Ironic.

So there. Rant over.

In a stunningly seamless non-sequitur (almost alliterative), I was out for dinner a few weeks ago with a very good friend of mine, when I chanced to hear the conversation at the table next to me.  I was not ignoring my dining companion by any account, for we both held our conversation to drop eves upon the quite obvious situation occurring next to us.

It was evident that this pair (I hesitate to say couple) were on a date of sorts, which from their exchange I had to presume was their first.  Exchange might be a trifle over-generous, now that I think about it, monologue would probably be better suited.

A gentleman sat with a lady (again, both terms are stretching my generosity), where he listened (very generous) to her regale him with the story of her life (a most generous telling).  Then again, it might simply have been the events of the Tuesday previous, it was hard to tell and contrary to the image I have painted of my friend and I ear-wigging, we weren’t so much listening as observing in amazement.

As a rule of thumb, I am not in favour of gender stereotypes, let along stereotypes racial, sexual or any other kind of ‘al’.  On the other hand, here I had stereotype ‘man’ sat ‘listening’ to stereotype ‘girl’ and quite stereotypically he had engaged the full-on smile and nod approach while she quite stereotypically nattered on about something stereotypically inane.

Neither I nor my dining companion could quite believe what we were seeing*.  Over desert, we agreed that we had witnessed this spectacular display of stereotype man-wanting-tail and self-obsessed-girl.  Over coffee, we agreed that he absolutely deserved to get laid; after listening to that amount of drivel and picking up the tab, it was only just that he get something for his efforts.

I guess stereotypes have to come from somewhere…

*This is dramatic conceit, evidently we were watching it happen therefore if we couldn’t believe it, I would be telling you about something that I didn’t think had occurred.**

**Which it did.

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