|Olive Oyl with Popeye in Hot Pursuit... A Life Aboard in their Future?|
"Looking for love in all the wrong faces..."
At the rough end of the waterfront, there are a lot of lonely bachelor guys. They don't want to be lonely, most of them; they want to find a woman. I spent a time among them. I feel their pain.
So here are some observations and advice to the lovelorn sailorboy:
On nice days at the dock, likely as not you'll find a gauntlet of scruffy scalawags lining the bull-rails, shooting the breeze. Along comes a woman. Conversation lags. Eyebrows lift, waggle, scrunch. Eyes narrow, roll, turn away, follow. Mouths curl up or down. Nostrils flare or snort. Judgements made and verdicts expressed in the minutea of body language.
Once she's passed, talk may return to whatever subject preceded her passing. But it could just as easily turn to her. They may be so crass as to rate her with a 'score', scale of one to ten.
My friends, has it occurred to you that this behavior doesn't up your own score? Do you think that one of these women might stop, single you out of the line-up and initiate a friendly conversation? The kind with a future? Or might she not just hunker down and hurry past, avoiding eye contact. Bridge burned.
And there's a deeper problem, of which this scenario is a mere effusion of symptoms.
I used the adjective 'scruffy'. I don't mean it pejoratively; it belongs, in some measure, to the Life. But how is it that you rubber-neck after women dressed to kill, made up to the nines, young and 'commercially beautiful'. How is it that the next woman - shoulders broad, hands calloused, hair disheveled, clothing as robust and practical as your own; scruffy, in a word - how is it that she doesn't kindle you? Make you think, "That's my kind of woman!"
We all suffer from the torrent of corporate media. It's the bull-rail writ large. Ten Sexiest Men; Ten Sexiest Women. Rating after rating, nuance after sledge-hammer. Be this. Look that. Tuck. Tone. Dress. Drive. Buy, buy, buy. The standard of beauty is squeezed down toward anorexia and heroin chic. Nobody wins but the shareholder, and even they scramble for self-esteem in the 'friendly environment' that's been created to hustle product.
My advice? Open yourself to beauty. Open wide. Question the packaging and hype. Find your own standard of beauty that wells from deep within each person. Find that connection between inner and outer beauty. Don't be part of that process that herds so many women deep into the bell curve; into comfort zones far from the rough life on the water.
Approach women as persons. Is it so hard? After all, they're our species. Get to know them. Work beside them. Enjoy their company. This goes for all women, from Hot-House Flowers to the Wild Roses.
But it's along the fringes where we Water Rats choose to live. Friends first, partners if and when. Love and partnership aren't guaranteed to follow. But if you can't learn to find beauty among wild and wind-blown women... well...
There's always a spot on the bull-rail for you.
PS. Please forgive the hetero assumptions lacing this post... I didn't have the language skills to make it both inclusive and readable.