I had a funny message from reader Michael, who took up social dancing after all our deliberations at "Edinburgh Housewife" on the subject. In short, he was a hit with the girls and other men around didn't like it.
Male competition for female attention is a funny thing. In one Italian-Canadian/Italian-American subculture, it was once customary for an envious man to chase a stranger away from "his" crowd of women by marching up to him and bellowing:
"Is your name John Deere?"
"N-no," the stranger would say.
"Then stop cutting my grass!"
My friend Valentino, an Italian-Canadian poet, once wrote a very funny post about this, and it stuck in my mind. I cannot help but contrast this stag-like challenge with the whining of the Swiss (or German) young men in Michael's story:
This story is as follows. I took [very seriously] the advice of Alisha and the others to start dance. I even overcome my motor difficulties to learn how to dance.
If there is a Christian dance night close by, I usually go. [I go also] to the ecumenical dance night of the campus ministries at the neighboring university town, some 60 km away. My good female friend, the same age as me [at 33], is a PhD student there.
Some 2 months after the last dance night, two young guys approached her and complained about me: that I look older than 35, that I have last-minute-panic, that I go to dance night to find a girl, that I dance with different women all night and that I even danced with a young girl who is younger than 25!
The latter was actually about 23 and after she told me lots of jokes while dancing. I asked her only for her Facebook [friendship] but not for her e-mail-address.
Also they [thought I was] a womanizer, which is very far from true. But [I think I understand why they thought this.] I wanted to [promote] dancing in saying [that] there has to be an intermediate stage of communication between men and women which is neither talking only or the other extreme [i.e. sexual intimacy]. Instead of [understanding me] to mean dancing was "intermediate", they [thought I meant] preliminary….
In the end it looks [as if] the boys, who didn’t want to dance themselves at that time, were a little bit [envious of] me. Happily, my friend and another girl defended me!
I really feel that men really need time to mature. We are maybe 6 years behind the girls!
What do you think about it?
What I think is that it is probably safer to have male rivals go whining to your female friend than marching up to you, flexing their biceps and yelling "Is your name John Deere?" I also think the male rivals are cowardly not to ask the girls to dance, especially when almost all girls at social dances are dying for the guys to ask them to dance. My mother used to say, "Faint heart never won fair maiden!" (Or was that Marilla Cuthbert in the Anne books? Ah well, same difference. That reminds me, when a Scotswoman denied any knowledge of the Scottish tradition that there must always be cake in the house in case a caller drops by, I realized that this wasn't Scottish, this was Lucy Maud Montgomery.)
Update: By the way, are any of my beautiful, Catholic, Single female readers tangueras? Just asking.