Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Milt Stevens, Simi Valley, CA

Challenger #27, Zenkitty has done an article that is sure to get lots of comments. Since we frown on arranged marriages, dating is one of the most basic activities in our culture. However, things have changed quite a bit over a mere couple of generations. For instance, Zenkitty mentions the expectation of having sex on the first date. I don't think most of us males who started dating back in the fifties expected to have sex on the first date. You had to sort of organize a campaign to get anywhere. There was also the consideration that if it was too easy, it was too dangerous. Venereal disease before AIDS may not have been quite as final, but it still wasn't good news.

Only one female in my experience insisted on going dutch treat. I felt insulted by that. Since she seemed like the oblivious sort, I don't know whether she even noticed that I withdrew the invitation and never made it again. It may have been a way of giving me the brush-off, but there are better and more effective ways of doing that. A woman saying she is currently dating someone else may be a lie, but it gets the job done without any hard feelings.

Dating gave me an opportunity to do things I wouldn't do by myself. I have always eaten out a lot. For years on end, I would eat out every night of the week. I've always known of many reasonably priced restaurants that had good food. For a date, I wanted to go somewhere flashy and expensive. Going dutch treat wouldn't allow me to do that. Without looking over the woman's tax returns before a date, I'd have to choose a moderately priced restaurant instead. I never felt like doing that.

I think some women really believe that all men want is sex. We would be very easy to understand if that were true. Actually, we have all sorts of motivations, and most of them have nothing to do with sex. Women can get really pissed off if you're dating them, and they realize you aren't interested in them sexually. I recall a situation back when I was in high school. There was a girl who was socially acceptable to me and the people I hung out with. She wasn't tremendously fat, but she was plump enough so I would never be sexually attracted to her. We dated some and hung out some. We actually got along pretty well. After a few months, it began to dawn on her that I wasn't being restrained. I was just plain disinterested. Talk about Hell having no fury. If she knew where I was today, she probably still wouldn't be speaking to me. Oh well.

If I was capable of going out for the sake of going out, I reasoned that females were probably doing the same thing. When you want to go out every weekend you probable will date some women you don't find particularly attractive or even interesting. Which doesn't mean you might not have sex with some of them. Unfortunately, adding sex to nothing still leaves you with nothing.

I very much enjoyed your account of the 1986 worldcon. I recall it as the time I spent a week inside the Krell computer. The atrium in the Marriott Marquis was quite something. I recall one time I entered an elevator at about the 40th floor. I was sharing the elevator with a very large, very slovenly excuse for a homo sapien. The excuse wondered if he could cause the brakes on the elevator to fail if he jumped up and down. He proceeded to jump up and down. I realized this guy was just as dumb as he looked. Somehow, I calmly suggested to him that he shouldn't do that, and he stopped doing it. I didn't even have to kill him.

On the plane trip to and from Atlanta, I took the opportunity to read John Varley's novel Millennium. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's about time travelers from the future snatching people from doomed airliners. OK, so I've always had an odd sense of humor. Today, I wouldn't dare do such a thing. They may have a list of books which are not to be read on airline flights. I don't think I want to find out what might be on the list. I'll just watch the movie instead.

Airport? Airplane? The High and the Mighty?

Although I didn't know it at the time of the 1986 worldcon, I wouldn't be to another worldcon for ten years. My next worldcon would be Los Angeles in 1996. I noticed a funny thing about this ten-year gap in my worldcon attendance. Nobody noticed it. Worldcons are so large that people assumed they just hadn't encountered me. They didn't assume I hadn't been there.


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