Monday, June 6, 2011

WTF Wednesday: The DSK Effect isn't working fast enough.

So, funny thing happened on the way to Denver a couple of weeks ago. I realized more than ever, my husband is soooo right. When it comes to men... Don't talk to them. Don't look at them. Whatever you do, don't you f-ing DARE smile at them. In fact, pretend their faces are covered in their own stomach sauce if you want to survive emotionally unscathed. Of course, the minute I diverge one solitary step from the path of righteousness, I am given a 2.5hr lesson in mid-air discomfort.

The French and American cultures are not made from the same molds. When an American man sees me see him, he seems to be thinking "Hmm. Someone looked at me. Moving on.". When I glance for a fraction of a millisecond at a French man who notices, no matter what age, 18 - 80, it's as if Barry White starts playing in his mind and he's trying to figure out how to discreetly, but not too subtly, invite me back to his apartment where he'll douse himself in "Sex Panther", (you know what they say, 60% of the time...), and see where it goes from there. What IS that??

In short, I have learned the hard way that a friendly smile is interpreted as a whole different kind of friendly on this side of the Atlantic.

These are assumptions, based on cultural clichés, stereotypes, and personal experiences, which I realize is unfair to all those who are not at all this way. I don't want to make the case that *all* French men are perves -- this is far from true. The assumptions can get you into trouble, and not just French assumptions. I assssssumed, that American men were all on the up & up. Guess Again!

When a "nice" man struck up a conversation with me on the plane, his American accent didn't scare me off. I thought, screw silence, I have another 5hrs ahead of me on this flight, he's not French... I'm going to chit chat dammit!

We chatted. We talked about politics, about DSK who had just been arrested the day before, and numerous other chit-chatty things. Really, it was pretty classic plane-stranger-conversation, no red flags as far as I was concerned. I even talked about my husband and how happily married I am.

Unfortunately, I had to chose *that* day, to be seated next a moron of such epic proportions that he has earned his own blog. Normally, if someone is talking about how in love they are with their spouse, you wouldn't make an inappropriate proposition. Such was not his case. (F***wit)

I swear, for just a moment, I thought I was a victim of candid camera. I looked around, waiting for a stewardess to jump out from behind the first class curtain and laugh hysterically at me, but, alas, this was no laughing matter. Seconds lingered in the air uncomfortably. I felt like I was reading his mind. He seemed much like a flasher who realized he'd left his clothes on under his trench, but was stuck in a crowd and unable to escape with his flash-ee stuck behind him in line. Eventually I managed to politely turn down the offer to "rest" between flights. (Eeeeew, still gives me the heebie-jeebies.)

All over France, documentaries and newspapers are talking about the "DSK effect". They're postulating that the treatment of women, the innuendo and harassment will no longer be tolerated because of this historic arrest. Yeah. I'm still waiting for the effect to sink in.

In the mean time, the lung-butter-mask option works. I suggest you go with it until the rest of mankind gets with the program.

Has this ever happened to you? Share your grease-ball story in comments :)

11 comments:

  1. C'est vrai, Shannon. Didn't you know that ALL American women, by default, are sluts? Oouuuuii... keep those smiles and eyes to yourself.

    Consequently, the only time I've been flashed in my life was in Paris...

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  2. My biggest grease ball story is from when I was newly married and my husband was out of town. Being fresh out of college, I was used to going out with friends on a regular basis, so I didn't hesitate when one of my husband's so-called "friends" suggested we grab some dinner with a group of people who were meeting up. Everything was ok until he assumed he could come in the door when he walked me up to my apartment after dinner. I fended off the kiss and slammed the door in his face. He was one of like 10 people we invited to our very small wedding!!!! I couldn't believe his nerve! He was my husband's friend!!

    What is it with men? Do they walk around thinking about sex ALL the time??? It took some time for me to realize but I think the whole When Harry Met Sally thing is so true. Men and women simply can't be friends if a man thinks, "I bet I can hit that" every time he talks to a woman!

    PS. I love the Sex Panther reference!!! Thank God I was in the 40% category on the night of The Grease Ball Encounter. ;)

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  3. I just CANNOT believe that some people are actually able to ask that of a complete stranger!

    Hopefully you weren't seated together for the second flight!

    Love this blog btw :)

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  4. @sweet Of COURSE, silly me. I forgot I had my F*** me pumps and a mini-skirt on. Silly 'merican slut am I! (*slaps forehead*) lol

    @Melo That story is horrible, holy crap. I kind of agree w/ the movie philosophy.

    @Lize yes, people's stupidity has no bounds it would seem lol. I thought for a second he *was* on the flight home actually! Just turned out to be some other Indian dude who didn't make any advances thank god. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Well, I can tell you from personal experience that women are at least as bad.

    I am a gay man, and can't even begin to count the number of times I've been harassed by women. I once had a secretary come into my office, close the door and make advances. A female office manager, married by the way, tried to talk me into going for a weekend vacation with her. Then there's the gym, where I now wear ear phones so I can pretend I don't hear what women are saying, which usually starts by asking if I'm attached. The really fun part is when they get hostile after you make it subtly, politely clear you're not interested.

    I've found it's hard to be friends with American women, because they assume it's non-platonic from the get-go.

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  6. @diogenes So basically... we're all just animals baby? ;) Good point about us women being obssessed as well, ps you must be hot, maybe we can, i dunno, go away somewhere or meet for a drink?

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  7. Oh man, I am in complete agreement with you on this. I couldn't have put it better myself. A goodly chunk of what I moan/write about is French perving and general douchery. There is so much material that pops up on a daily basis here!

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  8. Ha I must tell you that this has thoroughly entertained me! Even the comments deserve a gold star!! Well, women and men are both just as bad as each other, and will continue to be.. some people do take it too far though, as you have mentioned :)

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  9. Love the story, it has never happened to me, but there have been times when I wanted it to (when I was single!). I am watching how this DSK thing is going to play out.

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  10. I am french and this is my first post here, so please, i ask you for a little leniency...

    In fact i really don't understand: this men just have "looked" at you, and just "asked" you for intimacy... If they stop immediatly when you say NO: what's the deal?? How do you want them to act? Do you want them never to talk to you, never to look at you ???

    For me, Dsk (who is still inocent at this time, do you remeber?) is largely another problem : If he is guilty this a RAPE problem, nothing to deal with just a look or a chat isnt'it?

    In fact, seriously, you are really scaring at me... I am going to NYC next fall... Hox do will have to act? Looking at my shoes all day long? Never talk to anyone?? Because i am french ??

    Please reassure me and another time sorry for my english grammar (i really have to work more on it ;)) )

    Regards

    yann Frat

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  11. @manshopping thank you for saying "douchery". that made me so very happy!

    @Villas Glad you dug :)

    @andi me too, very curious. I know people who've had him as a teacher, they speak highly of his intelligence but portray him as a perve... curious to see what happens.

    @yann You can look at / talk to women... just don't treat us like meat or we'll write you off as gross :) That's the general rule of thumb I think. I know he's not yet guilty silly pants, just saying that guilty or not, the effect is still underway & still too slow for the likes of me! Thanks for chiming in! :D Love getting a frenchie's perspective.

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