Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Writing Rocks, Reason #981

... You get to read about all kinds of stuff just because it sounds interesting/off-beat/might-want-to-put-in-a-book-or-article-one-day, and it's called "research".

And then when you find yourself standing on a yacht deck one fine, starry evening, fizzy cocktail in hand and the sequins on your dress catching the moonlight, you get to inject otherwise boring cocktail party conversation with nuggets from this so-called "research (e.g: Did you know that The Palms Casino and Hotel is owned by the Maloof family, fifth-generation Lebanese dynasty founded by a common peddler? No? Well...)

Or, say, in someone's backyard in Winnipeg, a Molson Dry in hand, swatting mosquitoes with the other. It's all good.

I bring this up today because I've just returned from an adorable indie bookstore down the street with a book I'd flipped through before, wanted to buy, but told myself I own way too many books as it is, and so begrudgingly put it back.

Until today, when I proudly returned to the store, and bought it.

The book is entitled "The White Guy" and is a tongue-on-cheek look at your regular, beer-guzzling, football-watching, spending-too-much-time-at-the-office-to-have-a-normal-sex-life kinda guys. In other words, the kind of guys I know all too well, am considering writing about in considerably more depth in my current novel, but am afraid of venturing into cliche territory. You see, I've spent far too much time thinking about one of life's most mystifying unanswered questions: when you ask a man what he's thinking about and he says nothing, could he really mean... nothing? Would that not imply that men don't think of anything, ever? Or are they hiding something from us, which just might be the key to all the misunderstanding between the sexes?

In the course of all this heavy thinking, I did make this one important observation: white guys are a lot more likely to be thinking about "nothing" than non-white guys (and by "white" I strictly mean of the North American, Western European, non-Mediteranean variety). Ask a nineteen-year-old Latino guy what he's thinking about, and he is far more likely to say "how hot your boobs look in that top" than "nothing". Same goes for Arab guys. A French guy might recite you a poem, but the French are generally odd anyway, and a race unto themselves.

So, to rephrase, could the white guy be suffering from an acute inability to communicate, as compared to, say, his Latin brothers (in other words, is the white guy also busy thinking about your boobs in that top but cannot articulate that thought), or have beer, sports, long hours at the office, equating emotional IQ with gayness, taken their toll on the white guy through a slow process of cultural evolution, bringing us to a stage where the white guy thinks that thinking of "nothing" all the time is perfectly normal?

As I said, it's question for the ages.

And to my Winnipeger blog readers, married to quintessential White Guys (I know you're reading this even though you are too lazy-ass to comment), you might be interested to know that the author is a white guy from Winnipeg.

I'll be sure to share my findings with you once I've had a chance to review all the data and make an informed conclusion. Or, maybe you can read all about in my next novel ; )

1 comment:

Marilyn Brant said...

Nadine, you've been blogging so much I can barely keep up with you :-).

However, I had to comment on this post, too, because I ask my husband (definitely a "white guy") what he's thinking all the time. I get "nothing" as a lame response, also (this, after 15 years of marriage!)--and it's usually accompanied by a shrug and a semi-mystified look. I JUST DON'T GET IT! I'm ALWAYS thinking about something. And he can discuss at great depth and length many complex subjects when he wants to--so I've been led to suspect some kind of male mental block with this particular question.

I've often told him to "make something up"--I mean, just humor me. And the stuff he makes up is even more lame than the "nothing"... (sigh)

So, I implore you to please solve this problem. Write and research as much as necessary. I could use an answer :-).