09 July 2010

Typical Guy (or Girl)

Today I was talking with a friend of mine.  Let's call her Nell.  Last week, I saw her with her sister, whom I'll call Dolores.  I couldn't help but to notice that Dolores was not a happy camper.  Actually, she's looked that way the past few times I've seen her, going back a few months.  I gently reminded her that she has my phone number and e-mail address, and offered any help she wants.  She thanked me, but I knew that she probably won't take up my offer.

For some time, I've had the sense that Dolores' husband was cheating on her.  I had no specific evidence or reason for my belief:  It was just something I felt strongly.  Perhaps if I were a different sort of woman, I might have said something about that to her.  But a few of my experiences have left me with a strong aversion to getting tangled up in other people's relationship woes.  What good would have come of telling her, anyway?

Well, today Nell confirmed everything I'd suspected.  Dolores' husband indeed cheated on her.  In addition to his regular job, he's a D.J. "on the side."  For a man of his temperament, the DJ's microphone is a bit like the key to the distillery for an alcoholic. 

In any gathering of any size, there's bound to be the sort of woman who preys on weak-willed men.  That, apparently, is what happened.  She probably flattered and pretended to empathise with him.  Perhaps his new paramour saw him as "henpecked."  If she did, she would have been at least partly right:    As much as I like Dolores, I am very happy that I've never had to live with her!   Still, he had no right to yield to whatever temptations the other woman offered.  Call me Puritanical if you like.

The cynic in me snorted, to myself, "Typical!"  More specifically, I sneered, "Typical guy!"  

But later I asked myself, "What is a 'typical' guy?  Do they all cheat on their wives?"   For a long time, I believed that every male was a potential philanderer and worse.    Now I realize that the truth is a bit more complicated than that, to say the least.  The funny thing is that I was less willing to acknowledge that when I was living as a man than I am now.  Dolores soon-to-be-ex is no more representative of the male race than I was.  

That is not to say, of course, that all men are wonderful and supportive.  But it also makes no more sense for me to hate them simply for being men than it would for me to blindly trust all of them, given some of my experiences.

But, even after the experiences of  my previous life, I still can't tell you what a "typical" guy--or girl--is.