Through deliberate provocations of memory we relive events and reacquaint ourselves with people and ghosts from our past. Google is great for this, although most of the people I knew prior to, say, 1993, are nowhere to be found in the Googlesphere.
Sometimes, however, people and events from the past randomly trickle up from the mental archives, through the bog of daily cerebral activity and into the light of awareness. And sometimes it isn’t pretty.
Like this morning while I was making coffee. Out of the blue I had a flashback to a conversation I had about eight years ago with a guy I worked with at the time. Let’s call him Bob.
Bob was a nice enough fellow, and good at his job. But when it came to dealing with women — particularly with regard to personal relationships — he definitely had a (shall we say) “old world” mentality. It wasn’t any sort of defiant anti-feminism thing; he was just completely uneducated on gender issues and seemed blithefully unaware of the changes that have taken place over the past three decades with regard to gender roles. A bit odd, given that he was barely 30 years old himself.
Anyway, Bob was a bachelor, and a he certainly got around. He was thinking about maybe settling down and getting married but he wouldn’t consider any of the women he dated because they were all “too loose.” (On the other hand, he wouldn’t consider dating anyone who wouldn’t “put out.”)
Incidently, he also had a hairy back, but at least he got it waxed.
One time he took a solo trip to a resort in the Dominican Republic. He later told me of his surprise at finding that almost everyone there was black. Not exactly an expert on post-Columbian Caribbean history, I think he was expecting to find an island full of booty-shaking latinas. An equal-opportunity horndog, the ethnic flavour of the island didn’t bother him — he just couldn’t understand why the only chiquitas he saw were bananas.
One night, during his trip, he went to the Vegas-style befeathered girly show put on by the resort, and lucky him, managed to pick up one of the dancers. (Despite his shortcomings, Bob was quite “successful” with women, primarily because he was very forward and uncomplicated with his intentions. Apparently some women like that.) Back at her room, she introduced him to a box of condoms. He was rather put out by this, and was reluctant to use one. She pulled the old “no glove, no love” line and he finally capitulated and capotulated.
The part of the story that randomly surfaced in my head this morning was the conversation I had with Bob while he related this story. I said “Bob, what were you thinking? Why wouldn’t you wear a condom?” Bob shrugged, and without a hint of irony or sarcasm replied “Why would I need a condom? I didn’t even know the girl!“