"Why," I mused on the bus to the Scottish Poetry Library, "would I ever be interested in a man who did not show much interest in me?"
You may think this a moot point for a married lady, but actually this morning I had one of those funny surreal dreams in which this sort of thing is an issue.
As I watched B.A. crawl around the floor trying to make our British Telecom "home hub" work, I felt sorry for him until I remembered that he loves challenges like that. It's one of the many Unabashed Generalizations you can find throughout my blog: men love challenges.
I suppose women love challenges, too. I am learning Polish after all. But when it comes to matters of the heart, there comes a point where you realize that for the sake of your dignity, you must call it quits. When climbing Everest, there is no shame in realizing that if you keep climbing, you will die, and therefore it is time to return to base camp. Better to realize that and quit than to die of asphyxiation. No, seriously. Many people start to climb Everest and when they cannot get to the top, it is not their "fault." It is just how it is. It could be the weather. It could be genetics. Climbing Everest is a bit of a lottery.
Anyway, I was thinking that when young men are interested in women, they usually do something to make the women notice them. They brag about something they are good at, or they show off their dance moves. I don't think older men do this as much because--a theory here--they can already tell if particular women like them or not. They are better at reading faces and body language.
As a young woman, I was very unobservant, so I couldn't tell when young men were interested in me. This led me to think they weren't when indeed they were and other people could tell. But even worse, I couldn't tell when young men weren't interested in me. I just hung around my crush objects, daydreaming and hoping for the best. Maybe I could win their love by my obviously first-class (except for the math dyslexia) brain and sparky spirit. Alas!
I think men like women who are challenges, which is to say, I think men like women who don't look desperate for love, or sex, or a drink, or heroin, and would only ever pay attention to a guy they thought was great. Being chosen by such a woman would be flattering.
However, I must say that if I were a widow, I would be interested only in men who were obviously interested in me already--interested in the point of showing off their skillz and inviting me to the opera. I just don't think I could ever go back to hanging around crush objects and daydreaming. Goodness, I hope not.