Friday, February 20, 2009

Writs of Mandamus? Personal Jurisdiction?…What Male Law Students Really Talk About

My last class of the week is Crim Law from 1 to 2:20 on Thursdays. After that, people usually run to the library to get started on weekend reading or go home for a ceremonial nap before bar night.

Yesterday, however, I did neither of these things. I planted my tuchus squarely on a chair in the student commons (a.k.a. the law school watering hole) and waited to see what conversation would befall me.

As luck would have it, three of my male peers moseyed on over. We’ll call them Guys 1, 2, and 3 to protect the innocent.

Their presence was odd to me, simply because my interaction with groups of males is so very rare. I’ve never succeeded at being “one of the guys.” I am disinterested in organized sports (both playing and watching), greasy food, action movies, gambling, large quantities of beer, cars, video games, and big-chested women. Additionally, I went to an all-girl high school. The male psyche has eluded me ever since early adolescence.

So yesterday afternoon was quite a surprise. I felt like part of a psychology experiment entitled “Measuring the Motions of the Law School Male Mind.” The first item on the conversation/test trial agenda— women. At least it wasn’t the big-chested kind.

“I just can’t ask her out.” Guy 1 turned and nodded towards a girl sitting a few tables behind us. “She looks like a liberal.”

Guy 1 is a Texan. To him, “liberal” is tantamount to “wack-job.” Maybe even “cannibal.”

“How do you know she’s a liberal?” I asked.

“She has short hair.”

Before I could point out the gap in logical reasoning between short hair and progressive political leanings, Guy 2 chimed in that short hair on girls is fundamentally un-sexy. Guy 3 liked short hair. “Depends on the person and how she carries it off.”

My hair is not short, but it’s certainly not long. Were they telling me that I’m middling on the attractiveness scale? I probably didn’t want to know, but I asked anyway. “Well, how short is ‘short’?”

“Chin length is okay,” said Guy 1.

“Chin length is not okay,” said Guy 2. “But short hair isn’t a deal-breaker. Tall is a deal-breaker.”

Ironically, Guy 2 is 6’4”. Still, he won’t look twice at a tall girl. Mainly because she’d be too easy to look at.

“I can’t stand eye contact. I’m used to looking down at women. If a girl can look me in the eyes without moving her neck it’s….it’s…”

“Off-putting?” I suggested.

“Very off-putting.”

Well, I guess at 5’2.75” (first thing in the morning, on a good day), I don’t need to worry about being anybody’s “tall girl.” However, the whole thing seems backwards to me. I’ve always thought guys resented looking down into the part in my hair. At the very least, I’ve always resented looking up into their nose hairs.

Soon, Guy 3 started complaining about the pressure of paying on the first date. “It’s nice if she offers to pay for herself, but you know you’re sunk if you let her do it.”

Guy 1 took the bait. “But if she orders the most expensive item on the menu, then she’s sunk. That’s just rude.”

Guy 2 nodded his head.

And what did I do? I asked a pertinent question! “But is it okay if she orders a salad? Isn’t that a red flag that she might have an eating disorder?”

They all looked at me like I was talking Klingon. They intimated that they were more concerned with a date being a vegetarian or a (God forbid!) vegan than an anorexic.

In my experience with the female gender, anorexics have a propensity to hide their disorder in vegetarianism or veganism so as to whittle their food options to practically nothing. But that would be a downer to say, right? Even though I don’t interact well in male environments, I’m not completely challenged. I wasn’t about to fail this science experiment.

So, since they were talking about their preference for steak over soy, I brought up a recent news story— the Burger King body spray that is supposed to smell like flame-grilled hamburgers. “Who would actually wear that?”

Guy 2 smiled. “I would.”

Bologna. Or more accurately, low quality ground beef. So I bet him. “If you wear that to bar night tonight, I’ll buy you a drink.”

“I don’t own the spray.” He actually looked disappointed for not having wasted five bucks on BK cologne.

“Too bad,” I said.

“What if I find another way to smell like burger?”

“I guess that would work.”

I never made it out to the bar night. I was too tired. However, I now chuckle at the thought of Guy 2 rubbing red meat under his arms. He didn’t even get a free drink out of it. I guess that’ll show him not to discriminate against chin-length hair.

On a side note, I could really go for a Happy Meal.

1 comment:

Yaz said...

Absolutely brilliant! I love how your question left them stupefied. Its as if "vegetarian" is a synonym for "I have leprosy"