I recently returned from the Far East where I discovered something amazing: The Ex-Pat community. The internet defines “expat” as: a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing.
Through interacting with this community I made a discovery: NY men are WHACK as HELL because they are lazy. There I said it.
I have never been interested in dating foreign men. I guess coming from a different country myself and being an “immigrant” in the US, American men were enough of an “other” for me. I have friends that collect rendez-vous with foreign men like stamps on their passports, but it just wasn’t my thing. I may have to reconsider this stance, though.
I met Philippe at a dance club in China. He is a 32 year old French business owner currently living in Hong Kong. Now, I know what you are thinking: “A bar isn’t a place to meet a man” and you are absolutely correct. But I was on vacation, so I wasn’t looking for a life partner, just somebody to flirt with and maybe have a little dance. Difference number 1:
This motherfucker can DANCE and I LOVE to dance. My number one pet peeve about NY men is their resistance to just letting loose and dancing (I feel like I have to sell a kidney to the black market to convince a guy to get on the dance floor with me.) Unless, of course, they are blackout drunk and THEN they want to live out some fantasy of being a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Newsflash: When you are drunk, you lose the ability to be coordinated….so you are actually flailing around like an idiot and possibly threatening to knock some helpless girl down with your brilliant drug/alcohol induced “dancing”. There are exceptions to this rule, but that usually involves me going to an urban dance club.
But Philippe was so fun on the dance floor and sober enough to still offer some charming conversation. I don’t think I have danced that much with someone in over 8 months. They literally turned on the lights and we were still hoping the DJ would play another song. Ex-Pat 1 :: NY Men 0 Difference number 2:
This man was a man of his word. My motto in life has always been: “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Period.
I don’t know how many times I have had a situation where a NY man will say something like: “Let’s catch a movie next Tuesday”...cut to next Tuesday and they are ghost—nowhere to be found. No follow up. No confirmation. Nothing.
Listen, you are not doing me any favors by asking me to do something you have no intention in actually doing. I have plenty of things to fill my schedule with. But when I carve time out of MY busy schedule and then you completely flake out on a plan YOU initiated…well that’s just plain disrespectful. But somehow, I now expect this to be the norm and not the exception. I actually overbook my schedule and plan backup events because I have stopped believing that men will show up when they say they will.
So when Philippe had to fly to Shanghai to visit one of his manufacturers and promised to return before I flew back to NY to take me on a “proper” date, I took with it a grain of salt and went about the business of enjoying my vacation. Don’t you know, that despite being held up in Shanghai longer than he planned and trying to book a flight on a sold out holiday weekend, Philippe waited at the airport to fly stand-by and managed to keep his word and take me on an awesome date on my last day. So if this man can jump on a two hour flight to keep his word, you can show up to a goddamned movie! Ex-pat 2 :: NY Men 0 Difference number 3:
This man was so comfortable in his own skin that it allowed me to be comfortable in mine. NY men (or maybe American men in general) are obsessed with what defines them as a “man.” So much so, that they are actually homophobic--deeming anything that doesn’t fall into their definition of a man as being “gay.” I dated a guy who would drop the phrase: “that’s gay” so much I felt like we couldn’t connect on any level with the things I enjoyed doing. So, watching a rom-com with your girlfriend: Gay!, going dancing: Gay!, watching a play: Gay! and on and on the list goes...I know he was an idiot. But how can you create intimacy with someone who dismisses things that he deems “feminine” because he’s afraid it is going to make him less “manly”. At the end of the day, I’m woman….what do you think I’m going to bring to the table?
When Philippe asked me one thing I wanted to do on my last day, I was scared to be honest with him. The truth was, I wanted to get a facial. It sounds silly but they are SO affordable in Asia that there was no way I was going to miss out on getting a $275 facial for $50. I tiptoed around the issue and then shyly confessed to my facial desire. I half expected him to say, “Ok, I will go to the bar for a beer and we can go to dinner after you get your facial...because getting a facial is gay!” Instead, he looked at me, smiled and said, “That’s a wonderful idea. I could probably use a facial myself.” We went together and had an awesome time at the spa.
That moment of acceptance set the tone for the rest of the date. He accepted me and the things that I wanted to do without judgment and it opened the door for some wonderfully honest conversations.
So, if I have to sit through a freaking soccer game and hear you yell (like you are on the field and they could actually hear you) at “your” team for not scoring a goal without judgment, you can come and get a damn facial with me. Ex-Pat 3. NY Men 0
So, ok, I know I can’t make blanket statements and call all NY men WHACK. Frankly, it would be unfair to the NY men out there who want to be or even are “good guys”. All I know is this: the bar has been raised. Things with Philippe may not go anywhere and they don’t have to. What he did was present an alternative. An alternative that maybe I didn’t think was out there or I even deserved. That I am worthy of someone who shows up when they say they will and respects the things that I value. Wow. What a concept. Isn’t that Being a Descent Human Being 101?
Maybe my “international-loving” friends WERE onto something. I guess I have always been a late bloomer.
Bonjour.Posted by Lisa Loveless