Monday, August 6, 2012

How to ruin a conservation in 10 seconds

Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I sat down at a restaurant bar in the Burlington Mall for appetizers and to catch some of the Olympics on TV. We hadn't been there long when a young guy—probably in his mid-20s—sat next to me.

With all due respect to the sport of handball, the Olympics coverage was dreadfully boring. The guy next to me eventually broke the ice with a "What the heck are we watching?"-type comment, and we laughed. Several minutes passed as my friend and I chatted about other things.

The guy next to me broke in with another observation: "They're playing field hockey," he said, pointing to a different TV hanging over the bar. "That's unfortunate."

"Why's that?" I asked, unfortunately having a pretty good idea what he was driving at.

"I dunno. They should be playing real hockey."

Athletes in peak physical form, who are so skilled that they made it to the Olympics, competing among the best of the best in the world, are total sissies because they play a sport commonly associated with women. Or so says this dude, wearing a Red Sox cap, sitting next to me in a bar in a mall in suburbia.

Truthfully, I was a little taken aback by his comment. Did he expect me to agree with him? Yeah, bro, girls sports are so lame, like, get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, amiright? Instead, I uttered something to the effect of, "Um, okay."

And because the hole he dug himself wasn't quite deep enough, he added, "Well, that's just my opinion."

With that, I couldn't help but feel just so damn sorry for this guy. That sort of macho bravado is so ingrained that he likely didn't even realize he was making a sexist remark. Because, really, that's a stupid thing to do, especially to a woman you've never met, in a bar in a mall in suburbia. But that's just my opinion.