Diversity Just Shelley

Older, Taller, Richer, Wiser

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My divorce has been final for over a year, which means I feel that it’s now “safe” for me to consider dating again. And as much as I think my weblogging male friends are the most wonderful, sexiest, interesting people in the world, I don’t want to snuggle up to a warm monitor on a Saturday night.

Dating again – this is something I haven’t done since I was in my 20’s, and I’m not sure what’s changed since then and now. What are the rules today? Do women ask men out? Who pays? Is the first date too soon for…

…holding hands?

(What did you think I’d say, you nasty minded folk.)

Years ago it was all so much less complicated – women simply followed the older, taller, richer, and wiser rule.

Men are Older

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship, who’s the older – the woman or man? Chances are very good that the man is the older, a trend that transcends cultures.

Back in olden times, the rule of the man being older than the woman made sense; after all, women tended to die younger due to childbirth and attendant complications. Additionally, men were considered unstable when they were younger, and women wanted a man who had “sown the oats” – was ready to settle down and be a good provider, father, and mate.

However, today, women have more control over childbirth and statistically have a longer lifespan than men. In addition, women come into their peak sexually at an older age, men at a younger age.

So, based on these considerations, should I be dating a younger man? Or should I continue with the tried but true older man? How about a man exactly my age?

(Scratch the last one – limiting myself to men who are exactly my age is going to decrease the available selection rather harshly, and being a woman in my 40’s already makes me more likely to be hit by a meteor than to meet someone more intelligent than an amoeba.)

I’m not interested in dating men who are ready to retire to the rocking chair; however, the thought of dating someone much younger leaves me cold. What’s a fair age difference today – plus or minus ten years? Twenty? Should I just be happy that they’re still breathing?

Of course once the issue of age is resolved, next comes…

Men are Taller

As far back as recorded history, men have historically been taller than women – at least within western civilization. Genectic selectivity most likely ensured this as women looked for men who are physically capable of protecting them as well as performing the manual toil necessary to support them.

Of course, as with the issue of age, men being taller – or stronger – than a woman is no longer the necessity it once was. Who needs protection through a man when one has a warm gun, to quote the Beatles. Still, old habits die hard.

Now, height isn’t necessarily as much of an issue as age because the average height of a woman is 5’8″ tall, the average height of a man is 5’10”. However, this is changing. Over the last two generations the average height for men has remained relatively stable while women’s has been increasing. The Age of the Amazon is upon us.

Of course, with me, the Age of the Amazon is already here – I’m 5’11” tall. In other words, I’m taller than the average guy. (Please, no jokes such as, “How’s the rain up there” – I’ve been known to spit on people and say “Not bad. How is it down there?”)

Rather than lurking about professional Basketball player locker rooms, I decided to do away with the “man must be taller” years ago. Just too many interesting guys who were shorter than me. Of course, the gentleman in question must also be beyond worries and considerations of being shorter than the woman – I wonder if this is more likely than me being hit by a meteor?

Men are Richer

When I was younger, the thing among us young babes was to marry a “successful” young man someday, have 2 kids, station wagon, dogs, the whole bit. Then we got older, and a hell of a lot smarter, but the image of “marrying success” still seems to linger here and there in and amidst different cultures.

The necessity of marrying well is very understandable when you consider that in the US, as with most countries, women were restricted in regards to profession as well as ownership of property. For the most part, women worked as teachers, maids, or prostitutes. Additionally, women were considered property of father, brother, or husband. If a woman had wealth through her father, it became the property of her husband when they married, or was managed by a male relative if the woman was single.

The best a woman could hope for was marrying a man who didn’t beat her, who could support her and the children, and didn’t screw around in front of her.

As the song says, the times they are a changing. Now both men and women look to marry well so that they can have twin BMWs parked in the driveway to impress the neighbors.

For myself, I’d rather date a man who’s interesting and fun to talk to than one who’s rich. And I’m more than willing to pay my own way on a date – as long as the guy assures me that we won’t be hit by a meteor while we’re out and about.

Men are Wiser

Discussing the classic work, The Tale of Genji, Jonathon writes:

Genji’s friend To-no-Chujo tells of a lover who bore him a daughter but who, ironically, lost his affection through being too meek and accommodating. The ideal woman, they conclude, “does not try to display her scanty knowledge in full,” nor does she “scribble off Chinese characters,” rather she shows taste and restraint and is prepared to “feign a little ignorance.”

A thousand years later, and not a lot has changed – the concept of dumbing down in order to attract guys was far too common when I was in school; the fact that women are disproportionally under-represented in the hard sciences today leads me to believe that this nasty little rule still lurks about.

Frankly, I’d rather curl up against a warm monitor for the rest of my life than to dumb down to attract a guy. End of story on this one.


Since the reliable older, taller, richer, and wiser rule just doesn’t work for me, I guess I’ll have to settle for dating people because of who they are rather than what category they fall into. It may not be as simple, but at least it promises not to be boring.

Of course, I could always get hit by a meteor, first.

Just Shelley

I want my DSL!

(Begin of minutia minute)

The fight continues to try and get my DSL connection to work. I’m impressed with the amount of time and effort that Earthlink is expending on the problem – I was in conversations for several hours on Wednesday with two technicians, as well as a detailed conversation with an advanced troubleshooting technician yesterday.

My problem is that I’m suffering from weak signal strength – having a signal of 6.5 when a signal of at least 9 (what?) is needed. And since we’ve eliminated the radio towers as a problem (they’re over 1/4 of a mile away), as well as the fact that I don’t have an alarm system or a digital TV system, all that’s left is to check the physical connections. Yet another technician, yet another conversation.

The modem isn’t bad, but I need a faster and more reliable connection for work I’m trying to do on multiple servers. Grrr.

Update: Busy little elves were hard at work because I have DSL today!

(Image of Shelley doing wild, ecstatic, naked dance around her laptop, hoopin’ and hollerin’. World is concerned that perhaps Stavros is having a very bad influence on the Bird.)

(End of minutia minute)

Legal, Laws, and Regs

Pledge III

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Much discussion about the Pledge of Allegiance ruling. Many people believe the issue is much ado about nothing, while others are mildly or strongly supportive of the ruling. Of those who dislike the ruling, it seems that there is a strong belief that without religion, we will flounder about, without moral guidance and support.

A friend sent me a quote in an email that I find apropos in regards to the necessity of religion to provide a foundation for morality:

“Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.”

The author? Adolf Hitler from a speech he made during negotiations for the Nazi-Vatican Concordant in 1993.


MT and Trackback

This is the first posting with Movable Type’s Trackback incorporated.

Ah, I love the smell of new technology in the morning.


The lost art of courtesy

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Along with our respect for freedom and our sense of humor and perspective, seems we’ve lost something else in this modern age of connectivity – our courtesy. And in its void, we’ve replaced it with various guises of non-courtesy masquerading as courtesy.

For instance, there’s the lost courtesy of the client who filled up so much of my time just before I moved that I had to hire help to finish.

Or the phantom courtesy of those who request help or information and who chat away, chat away, only to fall silent when their needs are met.

One of my favorites is the A-list courtesy demonstrated by the person who doesn’t respond to a personal email, not because they don’t have time, but because they don’t deem the email to be important enough.

Token courtesy is asking someone how they are and not really wanting to hear the answer; or expressing sympathy or compassion or caring, not because they’re genuine emotions but because there’s little cost to saying the words over the Internet.

How about the anonymous courtesy of the anonymous commenter. Weblog graffiti. At least the street artists have skill.

Artificial courtesy: the weblog posting, comment, or little note that gleefully points out flaw after flaw, ignoring the possibility that amidst the mud and the dirt and the garbage is a tiny perfect gem – a lovely phrase, a clean sentence, and genuine sincerity.

Finally, in this list of non-courtesies, there’s the null space courtesy:

I’m one of the luckier webloggers who has decent readers who usually stop, and take a moment to drop a comment or two. And I love them to pieces when they do. However, I go to weblog after weblog, and see the infamous zip, zero, nada comment count because those who read, appreciate, and run don’t have the courtesy to take a moment and drop a line. And yes, that’s me in this bunch because I’m just as discourteous as the rest.