Monday, December 18, 2006
GONADAL TIDINGS: Sexual Politics and the Holiday Dinner
I met the bffs—you know them as R&R, don’t you—on Friday night for our annual bff holiday dinner. The night, very rapidly, (d)evolved into an interesting study of sexual politics. After ordering appetizers and entrees at a swanky JC eatery, R had just started to share a fantastically entertaining story that was, ultimately, heartbreaking at its core, when a man wearing a festive red sweater appeared next to me. We were startled.
Could he join us? Would we let him sit in the fourth seat at our table and order us drinks? His buddies—he pointed to the long table directly across from ours where his twenty or so mostly male colleagues sat—had bet that we wouldn’t let him join us. We asked if there was money riding on the bet. $20, he told us and proceeded to plead his case. Obviously, the stranger saw this as a test of his masculinity and an opportunity to reinforce his alpha male status—he was their boss, a claim that was confirmed shortly thereafter by his inebriated colleague—in the group.
But the three of us weren’t going to sit aside and be docile little pawns in this game of testicular strategy. R announced that he could sit with us if and only if he paid for our meal. We were confident that this man, who would later introduce himself as Gucci, couldn’t refuse our proposition. Refusing would result not only in his losing the bet but also in a sort of financial emasculation by which he would be left a virtual economic eunuch before a trio of females.
And, so, needless to say, he agreed to our proposition and scrambled into the fourth chair when we nodded that he could join us. Gucci, his sozzled director of human resources and the rest of the merry band of engineers across the way from us—I happened to be the one facing them, so I felt obligated to wave every once in a while as they craned their necks towards us in various stages of drunken curiosity—provided us with endless comedy relief all night. The pair eventually left us to our meal, allowing R to continue the amusing tale of her via dolorosa to the realization that, in the end, all men are the same. We laughed and asked our waitress for the dessert menu. At my suggestion, we ordered the dessert sampler; our waitress, who assured us many times throughout the meal that the Gooch was, in fact, paying, nodded her approval.
The sampler, before and after shots of which are pictured above, was absurd. We savored it thoroughly and, yes, I confess, we blushed a little each time the Gooch dropped by to say hello.
The Gooch successfully paraded his alpha masculinity before his buddies but he also lost $160 for the $20 he won.
We enjoyed a ridiculous $160 three-course meal free of charge, affording us the opportunity to extravagantly tip our sweet but clearly overworked and pregnant waitress.
I think the women won this one.