May 18, 2007

When women take classes in tennis, wine-tasting, sailing, etc., in the hope of meeting men.

They don't find them.
Yet in New York City, in many (if not most) adult courses, the women are numerous and the men are few — for approximately the same reason that men behind the wheel don’t ask for directions. It goes against the male grain to acknowledge ignorance about a subject, said professionals who organize classes....

Thomas Dare-Bryan, the manager and a wine buyer for Morrell & Company in Rockefeller Plaza, said that the makeup of the shop’s wine-tasting classes changes weekly but that they, too, mostly comprise women, some of whom have told him they wish there were more men. “They have actually come out with that statement,” Mr. Dare-Bryan said.

He offered this explanation for the disparity: “It’s argued that women are better tasters of wine than men. A higher percentage of women have more taste-bud receptors.” So maybe they are getting more out of the class. But, echoing others who lead classes, he added: “It may also come down to the fact that men think they know more about wine anyway, so they don’t need to learn more about it.”
You want to explain the behavior of the people who are not doing something, so... why not ask the people who are doing it? Talk to the women and the educators who attract them to find out what's motivating the men who aren't there. Because, after all, you know that if you're going to explain gender difference, you've got to assume that whatever the women are doing is good, and it's the men who have the problem. So: You know those men. They think they're so smart. You can't tell them anything. They won't ask for directions.

But it would be so easy to turn that around and present the male side as positive.

Men prefer to look at something they have decided to do and figure it out on their own. They like to observe, analyze, and discover. They accept the risks and enjoy the excitement of trial and error. They don't like sitting around having someone tell them what to do, and they aren't intrigued by the prospect of meeting women who spend so much time doing something they loathe.

Now, I just made that up, but it was no more made up than the explanation in the article.

ADDED: Thanks to Glenn for linking -- with one of those lines that made everybody have to click. And I should say that yesterday, I listened to the Glenn and Helen Show episode about "The Dangerous Book for Boys," and I'm sure that was affecting my mind when I wrote this. Actually, one of my commenters, Kirk, says "Now you're channeling Dr. Helen." So let's look at some more comments.

Hey says:
Classes typically don't work for men's schedules, especially the high earning/high potential men these women want to meet....

Classes for physical things are less helpful to men (much higher chance of some past experience than women) and in things like yoga it just highlights the differences between the genders. Some guy you don't know is likely going to turn you off when he's sweating, grunting, and inadvertently displaying assorted hair or body parts, especially in a yoga class (yoga pants are almost speedolike in their clingyness) where he's 2 feet away and you have to look through him for the pose.

Most classes are also not welcoming because they're set up as "safe" spaces for women. Hard to make contacts for a guy, not geared towards his style of learning, unwelcoming of male interaction with teacher and classmates...
Yoga pants... speedolike in their clingyness... 2 feet away and you have to look through him... You know, I think women like yoga -- in part -- because they think they look sexy wearing clingy clothes and contorting their bodies into positions dictated by instructors. And, theoretically, they want the guys there, but when they see them there, similarly dressed and contorted and following instructions, they find it hard to control their revulsion. Tragic!

Most classes are also not welcoming because they're set up as "safe" spaces for women. Does the classroom these days suggest the standards of avoiding sexual harassment and "a hostile environment"?

JohnH said:
My wife accuses me of being a typical man and never asking for directions. However, she wants me to do all the navigating, while she doesn't know North from South.

If we get a new computer, she won't read the directions to use it, but she starts talking right away about signing up for a computer class, or having a consultant come over to show us the way. I don't get it. Our minds work in different ways.
I'm seeing a lot of comments about men being willing to read maps and instruction manuals. So this thing about men and directions may not be so much about men thinking they already know things, but that they don't want another person explaining it. If women won't read directions, maybe they shouldn't criticize men for not asking for directions. The gender difference may be more about help-seeking and face-to-face interactions.

Roux said:
Why don't the women try going to a shooting range instead?
Good idea, but there's something a little frightening about meeting strangers where the very first thing you know about them is they shoot guns. On the other hand, they will know you do too.

There's also a lot of talk in there about wine-tasting, and it provokes Smilin' Jack to say:
How can there be a class on how to taste wine? Just unscrew the top and pour it into your mouth, and you can't help tasting it. What's next, classes in breathing?
Well, that yoga teacher is probably telling you how to breathe, if you can see her past that guy's thinly veiled genitalia.

But go in and read all the comments. And don't miss "just about the best straight line I've heard in a long, long while."

129 comments:

Pogo said...

Re: "Now, I just made that up..."

Actually, it was pretty much dead on.

If the wine-taster teachers really want to attract men, sell it as a chance to meet women, like bars do, having "Ladies night" with cheap drinks to attract women, and so guys come in to check it out.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo... "sell it as a chance to meet women..."

Then it's a meat market, lacking the subtlety women want. We want it to seem like we aren't really doing what we are doing. To just walk right in and say choose me... can't do!

Graham said...

In my field (computer administration) it's pretty much accepted that if you want to learn something, you have to dig in and figure it out for yourself. Training is at best a starting point.

Because if all you know is what you learn in training, how will you ever figure out a better way?

The Drill SGT said...

Ann you (women) can't have it both ways.

- whine about not enough men to meet

- whine about not wanting to advertise it as an opportunity to meet women even if that would increase the number of men wanting to meet women.

that's why men don't understand women. Cause -> effect. not enough effect, go increase the inputs. makes sense to men ;)

Ann Althouse said...

Drill: I know. I'm just saying...

Ann Althouse said...

If only women did that learning by doing thing...

Roger said...

Then its a meat market--and your point is?

Men are easily satisfied: all the woman has to do is show up naked, bring beer, and dont touch the remote.

Ann Althouse said...

But we keep reading the instructions...

ricpic said...

Classes in tennis, wine tasting, sailing. Could it be that men are just less dilettantish than women?

rightwingprof said...

Wine-tasting classes? And men don't go? Somebody's missing the great big elephant in the middle of the room.

Telecomedian said...

You know, if you love downhill skiing, you don't go to Iowa.

If you love mountain climbing, don't go to Florida.

If you love ocean breezes, don't go to Colorado.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. said...

What Graham said. Maybe men are playing tennis, drinking wine, and going sailing...and not paying money to have someone tell them about it.

And the thought of a woman hoping to meet a man in a wine tasting class!

vet66 said...

Wine tasting is for people who like wine and enjoy taking the time to concentrate on the experience. The cognoscenti among wine shop owners know that wine tastings are money makers. Several of the wine shops I frequent have sitting areas where the wine can be served with cheese and chocolate. I note that many coffee shops also have sitting areas where conversation is encouraged.

It is so civilized to have conversaton with fellow wine enthusiasts, including the ladies, especially the ladies, as the joy of a shared wine opens up all sorts of other possibilities!

Don't ask for merlot, though, with apologies to the movie SIDEWAYS!

TMink said...

Ann wrote: "We want it to seem like we aren't really doing what we are doing."

You just made that up too!

And you are two for two.

Trey

Independent George said...

Once again, life is explained by South Park.

Dude, that's just really, totally gay.
-too many episodes to enumerate.

Pogo said...

Re: "Then it's a meat market..."

Only if sold as such.
You have two very different groups here.

One, women who want to learn about wines and, perchance, to meet men of a certain type.

Two, men who want to meet women of a certain type, and wouldn't mind learning about wines in the process.

The genius is the one who figures out how to get the two markets to come together (and meet ≠ meat). It's all in the presentation. "Ladies night!" won't do it for either group, to be sure. Separate ads might.

But I suspect the wine taster folks don't want to admit to themselves that their female customers want some male attendance, and that males haven't been attracted by their ads. So it's easier to blame the men for being dull and obstinate.

The Drill SGT said...

Vet66,

I consider myself a winelover and if not expert and least educated in wine having had classes in both Vit and Oenology at UCD arguably the best wine school in the world and imbibing a lot of wine over the last 40 years. enough ego. now.

I recommend merlot to rookies that order red wine in bar/restaurant settings. regardless of Sideways, which wasn't a great movie either. Why Merlot? Its a mellow wine that doesn't have a huge tannin base in its early years like Cabs. Most restaurants don't serve mature cabs (at least not ones you could afford). The cabs on the menu are too young and too harsh. Merlot is most often most drinkable in the timeframes you'll find on the menu.

Pinot Noir you ask? The good Burgundy's are pricey, the bad Burgundy's are horrible. You can get some very good pinot in Oregon and California, but the grape is hard to grow well and there are lots of opportunities to make bad pinot. In stat terms, the variance of merlots is low and pinots high.

MadisonMan said...

I'm a big fan of sangioveses.

Merlot is good for making sangria and that's about it.

vet66 said...

Drill;

I tend to stay away from mellow wines like merlot and sauvignon blanc because they are used to make an adequate cabernet taste better.

My favorite cabernet is the Beaulieu Vineyards, George LaTour, private reserve, Napa Valley, of most vintages. The varietals of Zinfandels and Pinots are best produced, as you suggest, in the central valley around Santa Maria, Oregon and Washington.

A great Chardonnay should taste and feel like granny smith apples coated in tropical vanilla caramel.


Wines should be ripe and luscious on the tongue. Lingering and memorable, it should invite the taster to come back for the explosion of flavor and the long finish!

Any questions?

You are correct about UCD! Next topic should concern cigars, chocolate, cheese, and bread.

Zach said...

The age range in this article seems awfully late for guys beginning particular activities. I don't know anything at all about wine, so maybe wine enthusiasts might get interested later in life. But I took several years of tennis classes -- starting at age six. I doubt that would be any benefit to mid-30s women.

If one wanted to be strategic, it seems like later-life sports such as biking or triathlons would be a better target. (Ironically, from my perspective, the triathlon club is almost the only activity I do that has any female participation.)

Victor said...

That article is on point. In several different classes (yoga/spanish/swimming) I've taken over the years I am always amazed at how are always so many more women than men. Those are reasonably good common starting points.

aughtSix said...

Or, (from the male perspective) you can marry your high school sweetheart and get to use your hobby time for something you actually enjoy doing, but don't have the best odds for meeting single young ladies. Like rifle competition. :)

Hey said...

Rather than go to classes, go to events. Join the club and play in (mixed) tennis tournaments. Volunteer to crew at a local yacht club (don't need to be a member, especially a woman, just be willing to help out and sail with anyone - it's only 2 hours and then everyone repairs to the bar). Go to a wine auction, dinner, tasting.

Classes typically don't work for men's schedules, especially the high earning/high potential men these women want to meet. Competitions either start later (men's league games are frequently 9pm-12am) or can be used as a networking event (sailing), whereas its much harder for men to duck out of work for a class that starts at 6.

Classes for physical things are less helpful to men (much higher chance of some past experience than women) and in things like yoga it just highlights the differences between the genders. Some guy you don't know is likely going to turn you off when he's sweating, grunting, and inadvertently displaying assorted hair or body parts, especially in a yoga class (yoga pants are almost speedolike in their clingyness) where he's 2 feet away and you have to look through him for the pose.

Most classes are also not welcoming because they're set up as "safe" spaces for women. Hard to make contacts for a guy, not geared towards his style of learning, unwelcoming of male interaction with teacher and classmates...

eCurmudgeon said...

On the topic of men not asking for directions, that has more to do with the fact that most of time when we do, we get wrong ones.

Personally, I'd rather consult a map instead.

Mike said...

It goes against the male grain to acknowledge ignorance about a subject, said professionals who organize classes....

What a load of crap.

Sorry. Had to say it.

Jerry said...

"Men prefer to look at something they have decided to do and figure it out on their own. They like to observe, analyze, and discover. They accept the risks and enjoy the excitement of trial and error. They don't like sitting around having someone tell them what to do, and they aren't intrigued by the prospect of meeting women who spend so much time doing something they loathe."

You made this up? It's the whole answer. It's the Man Thing...that's all.

JohnH said...

My wife accuses me of being a typical man and never asking for directions. However, she wants me to do all the navigating, while she doesn't know North from South.

If we get a new computer, she won't read the directions to use it, but she starts talking right away about signing up for a computer class, or having a consultant come over to show us the way. I don't get it. Our minds work in different ways.

rastajenk said...

Like Yogi said, if men don't want to come to these things, you can't stop them.

Sissy Willis said...

I like it. As the pop singer Lesley Gore advised in "That's the way boys are," "Do the things he likes to do."

Roux said...

Why don't the women try going to a shooting range instead?

David said...

I am a sailor. We place a huge emphasis on finding a good wine that has a screw on cap. (With the worldwide cork shortage we are optimistic about the future...)

Most women I know who want to get into sailing hang out at marinas and yacht clubs, not classrooms.

TabithaRuth said...

I teach a special interest computer class and these observations seem spot on to me.

Most of the women are married so they aren't looking for men (I hope :)) but they really want to learn step by excruciating step.

The men who are interested just ask me for a handout and then go home and figure it out. The only way I know if they get stuck is if their wife rats them out.

I have also wondered if it is generational--the younger students are much less intimidated by the unknown and will charge ahead.

Rahul said...

Why do women attend classes in tennis, wine-tasting, sailing?

Very simple.

These are activities associated with high status males, for whatever reason. Ironically, high status males usually have plenty women to pick from, and would often go for girls younger than the ones showing up at tennis, wine-tasting, sailing.

But, for the young guys - these places might be perfect for picking up cougars!

Kirk said...

Now you're channelling Dr. Helen...

:-)


... not that there's anything wrong with that! (I.e. I happen to agree with of you about this subject.)

Matthew said...

The reason these women can't find men is because they are total idiots. Some kind of Darwinian force is at work here.

Tom said...

God Bless you, Ann.

You nailed it, and let me add the corollary to your point.

Intelligent men also know that these sorts of classes attract woman who think way to highly of themselves and avoid them like the plague. Seriously, what man would want to hang around a wine tasting with woman who worship sex in the city.

Rob said...

Drill Sgt and Vet66: are we here to talk about womens' insistence that the pursuit of men be sufficiently coy they can deny they're doing it? Or are we here to argue about wine?

My hat's off to Drill Sgt for his time at Davis - I learned about wine the old-fashioned way from my grandfather and oenologist great-uncles (all of whom were friendly with Winkler and Maynard and Amerine and the rest of the crew at Davis). My grandfather always said a gentleman should understand wine, tobacco and women. In old age, he allowed that he was comfortable with his knowledge of tobacco (he smoked pre-Casto Uppmans), knew something about wine (after 75 years in the family business), but that, despite being a lifelong student of women, he learned something new in every encounter with one.

I'm probably more reluctant than DrillSgt to recommend merlot to anyone, but I can understand that a lot of people prefer its accessibility to the promise of a young cabernet, which (if it's any good) will be much more chiseled and tannic.

Of course, great wine is great wine, regardless of the grape, and mediocre wine is not saved by being made from a particular varietal. That said, my California-trained palatte was leavened with quite a bit of good Bordeaux and some good Burgundy, so I have never been as much of a fan of the "monster" styles in California as many people, preferring balanced wines rigged to age well.

Though I am only an amateur, I confess I prefer to talk about wine with professionals who are tasting to decide what they'll buy, or for their own pleasure, to talking with wine enthusiasts generally. I can't stand the pretension that goes with a lot of semi-social tasting, and I like to compare notes with people who have broad experience and good taste memories. How do you seriously evaluate a given vintage of (for example Vet66's favorite Beaulieu de la Tour Private Reserve) unless you know the life cycle of the major vintages of the wine over the past several decades, having tasted it (preferably) in the barrel with Andre T, when it was bottled, when it was first released, and then at 3-5 year intervals until full maturity (which ranges from 15 years for a decent year to 30 years or more for great vintages like 1941 or 1970).

Instead of that sort of a conversation, I'm going to show up at some wine-tasting class with a bunch of women who are learning about fresh fruit flavors? Break out the brie, give me a grand cru Chablis (my own preference in a Chardonnay), and save me from the currently popular tropical fruit juice!

Sailing classes? I agree the guy who suggested the girls sign up as crew at a reputable yacht club and learn by doing. If you're interested in learning how to sail, read a book first, watch the guys (and girls) who've been sailing all their lives (like my daughters have been) and learn by doing over time. If you have a good attitude, a little apttitude, and are reasonably attractive, you'll be in demand and meet plenty of eligible guys.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soldier's Dad said...

If one looks back to the time of "Hunter/Gatherers" no woman would want a man that can't go out into the jungle, fetch dinner, and find his way back to the cave. Lions and tigers don't give out directions, they were probably quite efficient on cleansing the male gene pool of men that needed to ask for directions.

Andy Johnson said...

Men explore and find questions, frustrations and a wall of ignorance. Books, classes and tips fill in the gaps and enrich the next experience. You also get to ask intelligent questions and have a conversation about the topic. Attending classes with no questions makes it all "nice to know" but irrelevant. Driving Straight There eliminates all that stuff around it. Life is not a series of questions to be asnwered and experiences to be ticked off some list... Learning is more than just filling the void with knowledge...

Rich B said...

Ann-

I notice that you didn't get many comments from women (excluding yourself, of course).

Roger said...

I enjoy wine, consider myself fairly knowledgeable but for the life of me have never figured out the relationship of wine taste to the other "comparison" tastes. Until, that is, someone recommended starting with blackberries, chocolate, licorice etc and THEN tasting the wine. it was much more effective.

The high point of our local oeneological society annual calendar was "the blind leading the blind" where we blind tasted several different wines and tried to identify them. That exercise separates the pros from the amateurs--try it sometime to see who talks the talk and who walks the walk.

Joe said...

Just speaking for myself, I ask for directions when appropriate, but usually just ask for an address. Why? Mainly because most people can't give directions. However, by looking at a map I get a contextual picture of where the place is and it sticks with me longer. It also has the practical benefit of letting me know alternate routes in case one is blocked off.

The point is that it's not just the joy of discovery, but that that process leads to a greater understanding.

(By the way, there is another practical explanation to the classes issue. Many of us men have long learned that women who bitch about not finding guys will bitch no matter what the circumstances. So, we men finally show up and get rejected by all the women anyway. I've actually been in social situations with several highly eligible men and listened to the women present bitch and moan about how they can't find any guys who are interested. No, what they can't find are guys masochistic enough to listen to the woman nag and whine all the time.)

Kirk said...

Roux,

"Why don't the women try going to a shooting range instead?"

Bingo! The most recent event I went to at my local range had 15 men and 1 woman in attendance. I can assure you my wife certainly approves of that ratio.... Uhh, that is, I attended, she didn't. :-)

Roger said...

Rich: thats easy--women are actually working; guys are screwing off at work and reading the blog. Duhhhh :)

Smilin' Jack said...

How can there be a class on how to taste wine? Just unscrew the top and pour it into your mouth, and you can't help tasting it. What's next, classes in breathing?

Mike said...

Joe said: Just speaking for myself, I ask for directions when appropriate, but usually just ask for an address. Why? Mainly because most people can't give directions. However, by looking at a map I get a contextual picture of where the place is and it sticks with me longer. It also has the practical benefit of letting me know alternate routes in case one is blocked off.

Exactly. To use one example; my girl friend couldn't give clear directions if her life depended on it (I pray that it never does). She's very intelligent, but she can not give clear directions. Don't ask me why.

Roger said...

My theory on directions givers: there are two basic types: the ones that take you thru every intersection/stop light/etc in excruciating detail OR the ones that get you to a major, easily found landmark and then the rest of the way to the destination. I deal better with the latter style. I think its a Myers-Briggs kind of personality thing.

Mike said...

It helps if they understand north, south, east, and west, as well. Most people don't.

George said...

That was a pretty funny article.

A few observations:
I find most "experience" learning classes to be fingernail-pulling dull. If I want to learn Photoshop, I buy a book and begin. If I want to learn to dive, I sign up for a proper certification course. If I want to learn to drywall, I get a manual and work my way through it.

I am NOT interested in an two hours at computers with ten other people (most of whom will be far below my general ability level) to learn the basics of a specific program. I am NOT interested in a "discovery" scuba course where I go down 10 meters and stay within a couple of meters of a hand-holding guide. I am NOT interested in going to Home Depot for an afternoon and watching people who can barely hold a hammer struggle through the finer points of applying joint compound.

If these women want to find men through an activity, their best shot is to actually go and PARTICIPATE in an activity that tends to attract men. This will also let men do something that they love to do: take the time to EXPLAIN and HELP a woman through a process. MUCH, MUCH likelier to attract a guy that way than both of you sitting like logs waiting for an expert to instruct you!

Peter said...

If these women want to meet eligible men, they should try taking a computer course at NYU. I took four and I could count the number of women in all the classes on one hand with my thumb left over.

But nah, learning Java doesn't sound as thrilling as learning sailing, does it?

technogypsy said...

Hmmm. Have they tried flyfishing, skeetshooting, or woodworking classes if they want to meet men?

I know a couple of ladies who are single and turn wood. Both swear their social lives have never been so good.

K T Cat said...

Like the situation at the ski resort where young women were looking for husbands and husbands were looking for young women, the event was not as symmetric as it seemed.

:-)

Anthony said...

How can there be a class on how to taste wine? Just unscrew the top and pour it into your mouth, and you can't help tasting it.

Heh.

But then you can't show off your panache at dinner parties by saying stuff like "It has a slightly nutty aroma, but with a slight hint of pear" with a straight face.

Most non-gay/metrosexual men find a wine, drink some, and if they like it they'll buy it again.

ExRat said...

I don't know about wine tasting or tennis, but I do know about sailing. I started by crewing on another guy's boat in a club race. I got the science of the sport out of a number of books, and the practicalities from crewing in races. The first time I took any lessons was when I joined a commercial sailing "club" and needed to document my skills to qualify to rent a boat.

I suspect that's how most guys learn about most things. It's not the most efficient way, but it's often the most fun.

Maddad said...

Dunno if it's been said yet, but no men are at that class because they are at the bar watching baseball and drinking beer.

JAM said...

There's a company that does speed-dating parties. These things are specifically designed to be "meat markets." I'm on their mailing list (single and looking) but I've never been to one of their events because of time issues, etc. Still, every time one comes up, it seems they are hard put to get enough men to sign up. They offer discounts, last-minute incentives, etc., to fill up the roster.

They literally have women lined up to meet men, and still they have trouble getting enough men to go. Why? I think men prefer a more "natural" setting in which to meet someone. Something like this (however effective it might be) just seems too contrived and artificial for most men. They probably expect that the women there will be desperate and needy. This article sort of reinforces that view. The women are on a manhunt. They just aren't very good at it.

Oops. Did I say that out loud? Still single, ladies...

Trudger said...

Did they think of trying things that men might like?

I don't think classes in wine tasting, tennis or sailing make a lot of top ten lists for guys.

I mean, if you want to catch fish, you have to go where the fish are. For instance, a body of water would be a good beginning. A desert... probably not your best bet!

Tom said...

Make it a wine tasting competition and men will show up.

Mike said...

Exrat said: I suspect that's how most guys learn about most things. It's not the most efficient way, but it's often the most fun.

There are few things I find more enjoyable than puzzling things out. It results in real pleasure when "the light bulb goes on". You really learn it, too. I don't think this concept applies to wine tasting, however.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

This coming weekend they ar ehaving a wine tasting at the local fairgrounds.

Last weekend they had a demolition derby at the same place.

Which do you think will draw the most young, eligible men?

Which one will draw the most women, actually looking for a man?

Lots of young women at the demo derby, but then this IS Redneck land.

MadisonMan said...

I know a couple of ladies who are single and turn wood. Both swear their social lives have never been so good.

Well, this is just about the best straight line I've heard in a long, long while.

Jake said...

"Most women I know who want to get into sailing hang out at marinas and yacht clubs, not classrooms."

Frankly, I've been pretty amazed how well women of little or no experience fare on my boat. I've had only one "crew-date" go south in ten years, and that was because of politics, not an inability to handle the rigors of the sport (bad weather, seasickness, etc). Other than the odd chatty cathy, sailing with new lady friends has generally been a pleasure.

MrHHH said...

As a single guy, I'd have to say wine-tasting sounds really, really boring.

Dewave said...

Two things that jumped out at me:

1) The idea that taking horseback riding lessons, learning wine tasting, etc, are 'improving yourself'. I find that a highly dubious claim.

2) These women are looking in all the wrong places. If there are no men in the activities you participate in, maybe choose some different activities?

Try going to shooting ranges, sports bars, computer classes, video game stores, or maybe a sci-fi convention. You'll find lots and lots of guys.

There's no point in eschewing male activities and then complaining you can't meet men.

The Drill SGT said...

Rob,

I had both Amerine and Singleton as instructors. I had done 2 years at Davis then 3 years on an Army practicum, then back to Davis. My first 2 (67-69)were as a chemical engineering major, when I got back I just wanted a degree and switched to econ. The wine stuff was a way to meet babes. this was 72-74. a great cheap date. my 240Z, pretty girl, trip to Napa to taste wine, over to the hills to watch the sunset over the ocean, then back to Occidental for cheap family style Italian food and home to Davis for more fun.

as for my merlot recommendation, remember I said that was advice to rookies wanting to order in a restaraunt.

My California choices: Acacia Chardonnay, Chalk Hill Chardonnay (used to be 10 bucks), Iron Horse Brut. My reds these days are focused on finishing a lot of French Cab we laid down before I cut most red meat out of my diet.


Going to Temecula for a family event in June, any recommendations there?

Anthony said...Most non-gay/metrosexual men find a wine, drink some, and if they like it they'll buy it again. that's the way it's best done for whites. Buy 2, taste twice, then go back for cases. tougher on Reds. In order to get good prices or find stuff that isnt sold out, you need to do barrel tasting, or know a wine merchant guy who does it for you and buy futures. You gets some very good stuff and a few turkeys that way.

Timothy said...

I go to classes like that all the time.

My girlfriend makes me.

(Except wine-tasting. I'd break up with her before subjecting myself to that.)

Synova said...

I do notice that women aren't commenting.

"Because, after all, you know that if you're going to explain gender difference, you've got to assume that whatever the women are doing is good, and it's the men who have the problem."

My daughter, just yesterday, looks at me as we were watching television and says, "What's with this stupid female superiority thing?"

She elaborated a little bit... no matter what the girls on TV were always right. Smarter, wiser, etc.

She seemed to be waiting for an answer so eventually I just said that I was impressed that she was that observant.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

If women want to meet guys on the more rugged end of the spectrum, they should get out the the range. Shooting range. Or hang around in the electrical section of Lowe's. Or sign up for a Missouri River Canoe trip. Vintage car shows. How about old tractors? Ever want to marry a farmer? Etcetera.

On the more intellectual or 'sensitive' end, howse about hanging around in a bookstore ... history, economics, wildlife. Avoid the guys rummaging around in psychology: they're probably all pansies. Used bookstores may be even better than joints like Borders.

Take up golf. After you've got the basics down (maybe a dozen lessons), head out the a nearby municipal course. You'll get grafted in to a group of two or three guys. Admit you're new at it.

Besides, if you pay attention you can determine immense amounts about a guy's character on the golf course, usually within nine holes. As in, how does he deal with failure or frustration? Is he a cheater? Does he let the last shot get in the way of moving forward? Etcetera.

But a wine-tasting class ??? Puh-lease. Pass me the barf bag.

You'll have much better luck with E-Harmony {dot}com.

The Drill SGT said...

Beer tastings would get you more guys, but maybe not the ones a female NYT reader thinks are the best variety :)

wine classes, zero men
wine tasting, some men
wine tasting competition, more men

Adjoran said...

So, the "meat market" has to be disguised, so the consumer (men) cannot recognize it as a meat market.

Interesting marketing strategy there.

Yup, reminds me of a conversation from many years ago which many other men have also experienced:

ME: Is something wrong?
HER: Well, if you don't know, I'm certainly not going to tell you!

~~~~~~~~

On a completely unrelated note, a few of us husbands were sitting around talking about living with women, and a consensus was building about how much we hated "the silent treatment," until one fellow spoke up.

"I love the silent treatment! I can get done everything I need or want to do without interruption. Take my advice, and just enjoy it! The only problem is, once she realizes it's not 'getting to' me, she'll break silence."

The "silent treatment" has never been the same . . .

;-)

ballyfager said...

Ann,

Why won't most women, even when they're interested, make eye contact with a guy?

jane said...

Just did a bicycle tour through CA wine country with a group of friends, and there were slightly more men than women. There was agentic activity, read peddling, to appeal to the guys, and we even let them lead the way, which they loved. Tippling from the morn to late at night was a challenge for some us, however.

When I start dating again, I'll NEVER sign up for a class to meet a guy, although shooting ranges are a blast. My idea- just build it and they will come. IOW, facing two months of diet and exercise purgatory for someone's eventual amusement. Maybe even mine.

Hucbald said...

I think a beer tasting class would draw in a lot more men. I know I'd be interested. It would give me a chance to show off my expertise (My only coffee table book is The World Guide to Beer).

Of course, a lingerie class would work too, if organized properly. ;^)

jaycurrie said...

I just spent nine hours building a slightly AJXAY home page. It now works and I have learned some skills which will go to other websites. I became a "journalist" by, er, writing and being rejected. I certainly took sailing courses when I was a kid, but learned how to sail by racing dinghys around marks day after day, week after week.

Most men I know will beaver away at the beginning of something and then take an intensive look at a book or a very short course to kick their skills up several notches. The classic example being a tune up lesson at the beginning of a ski season.

The single best way I know for women to meet men and vice versa is to work as a volunteer on a political campaign. Win or lose you almost always get lucky.

The reasons are that you are arriving with at least one shared interest, it is not a business setting so asking to go to coffee is fair play, and there is tons of inside gossip. The unrevealed truth about men is that they love the "inside story" and love to "dish" just as much as women do. Call it a human trait. In a political campaign there is always something to talk about.

Norman said...

Why is it that most woman have a problem with giving verbal directions when reading from a map?

For some reason, they frequently reverse a turn -- they'll say turn left for an actual right turn, and vice versa.

Maybe they have trouble visualizing internally or something?

Synova said...

I remember when my brother was "looking"... he married for the first (only) time at age 38. Now, of course I think that my brother is the best ever. And I like the lady he married very much.

Some of the ones he dated, though. The independently wealthy PhD Anthropologist (or was it Archeologist) was nice but I think she figured the class difference was too great, my brother being a self-employed general contractor without a college degree doing repairs for real estate agents. And then there were a couple ladies who seemed to find fault that he wasn't ambitious enough for them. And then there was the "How can anyone *not* know how he feels?" girlfriend.

Taking a class of a certain sort hoping to meet a man of a certain sort...

I'd think that character would matter more, or ought to. But it doesn't. (That goes the other way too, I'm sure.) Not that anyone should marry someone who doesn't *see* them but only sees the package, though if they do they deserve what they get.

And these women taking classes should make friends with the other *women*, all of whom know single men who they are either related to or not interested in.

As far as *that* goes... best to find an interest or club with a high geriatric level and make friends with old people. Old people know an incredible amount of other people and *love* matchmaking.

Pogo said...

After reading the comments thus far, I have begun to wonder how children ever got born.

ANOTHER ANGLE –– Mrs. Bailey is calling up the stairs.

ANNIE: That's why all children should be girls.

MOTHER: But if they were all girls, there wouldn't be any . . . Oh, never mind. (calling upstairs):
George! Harry! Come down to dinner this minute. Everything's getting cold and you know we've been waiting for you.

Mike said...

The unrevealed truth about men is that they love the "inside story" and love to "dish" just as much as women do.

Not all men. I detest gossip. I find talking about other people's lives (meaning acquaintances) voyeristic and creepy.

Internet Ronin said...

As Bart mentioned above, and your blog entries for the past few days demonstrate, one place where women can definitely meet guys is a car show.

Rob said...

The Drill Sgt: Those were great days in the late '60s and early '70s in Napa and Sonoma -- I grew up in Sonoma Country. Only met Vern and Maynard a few times, mostly with one of my great-uncles who did a lot of experimentation with varietal crosses to find things that work better in the San Joaquin conditions without ending up alcoholic nightmares or as sweet as punch. Mostly spent time in Napa and Sonoma visiting wineries with the old guys, having lunch and tasting with the owners and/or winemakers and listening to them talk shop and tease me good-naturedly as I tried absorb their meanings and remember everything I tasted. Sometimes, I would get cross-examined to describe what I'd tasted on my last visit before they'd let me taste anything good.

When you were in Sonoma (Healdsburg) during the early 70s, did you ever get some of the '35 Simi cab from Isabel Haigh (what a character she was! used to make people buy several bottles of Carignane if they wanted to buy a bottle of the '35 cab).

Down Temecula way, I used to think the Callaway Chardonnay was nice and clean, but I haven't had it in a number of years. I confess I mostly drink white Burgundies now, they're better values on the East Coast where I'm living.

TabithaRuth said...

Norman, I think it has been pretty well documented that spatial skills are generally better in men.

I thought I was pretty hot stuff with a map until the hubby pointed out that I have to physically turn the map as I go along.

Did I mention I love my navigation system?

As for manhunting, if you are trying to meet a man who has similar interests then do what you want to do, not what you think this mythical Prince Charming will want to do. The worst case scenario is that you will be doing something you want to do!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Rich, I'm a woman and I don't get this either. Taking wine tasting classes to meet men? It seems that the men who would attend such a pretentious thing would not be the type of man that I would want to meet. If I were a man I would avoid these types of events at all costs. These women should get busy and do something productive, join a charity, a club, volunteer work, take up a sport.


I have to admit that I don't have the typical "woman" brain. I'm analytical and mechanical. When we get new computers, technology, dvd recorders etc. I am the one in the house who reads the manuals, sets the equipment up and programs them.

Christy said...

I won a beer tasting competiton once. And I hate beer.

Sailing bores me to tears. I usually can't wait to get off the boat at the end of the weekend.

I won a wine tasting competition once. And I never found a merlot I liked. I'd always buy it for parties, however, and then use leftover bottles as hostess gifts. Then a hostess served me my last bottle back at a dinner party and I loved it. Just wish I could remember what it was. I'm a Reisling and Sangiovese woman. Yes, I like the fruity stuff.

Yes there are lots of men on the ski slopes, but they will never ski with you the next morning. And if they do, they want to race you to the bottom of the hill, and how boring is that? (And I speak as someone with NASTAR metals of my own.)

I had season tickets to the Orioles for years, certainly a lot of men there. But men, I find, get a bit annoyed at my multitasking ability to watch the game and talk at the same time.

As for sci-fi conventions, well a Browncoat girl who prefers Bladerunner, Brazil, and Buckaroo Bonzai over Star Wars and Star Trek can rarely find happiness there.

Shooting is something I rarely do. Daddy told me a long time ago to say away from guns because I was so bad tempered. So I have, mostly.

Racketball! Now there was where I had the most luck. But, alas, it isn't fasionable any longer.

tyreea said...

My wife died three years ago and after a year I slowly started looking at women again. It never occurred to me to take a class to meet women. In most classroom environments the teacher leads the discussion while the students mostly listen. How was I going to start up a discussion about us while learning the finer details of coastal grapes? I wanted to find out about my future wife, and the only way to get that information was from her, not a classroom.
So I started asking a widowed friend of the family about dealing with life, children, jobs and bills after loosing a beloved spouse. After numerous evenings engaged in deep conversations without any distractions, we fell deeply in love and are now moving towards marriage. A classroom environment on grief would not have worked, I needed someone I could engage in a conversation.
I think classrooms that want to facilitate interpersonal interaction need to stress the ability the students will have to speak to each other. A wine tasting class could be an excellent way for this to happen, but most lecture based classes, or classes like yoga where the emphasis is on being quiet, are not going to attract many men looking for women.

JSinger said...

Another great line (even if he slightly botched it) is the guy who linked to you with "Guys don’t make passes at girls who take classes"

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

We want it to seem like we aren't really doing what we are doing. The truth be told, huh? Probably be an imbalance men/woomen the next wine tasting session now. Granache is good, Anguetac (?sp), an Argentinian wine.

Jeff Z said...

I'm not sure it's as deep as all that. I think many men would be interested in these sorts of classes -- on the weekends. I don't know why there is a sex difference, but the idea of going to a two-hour class after a full day at work, knowing that there is another full day ahead, is extremely unappealing.

John Stodder said...

But then you can't show off your panache at dinner parties by saying stuff like "It has a slightly nutty aroma, but with a slight hint of pear" with a straight face.

A guy at Costco pitched me to buy a Syrah using descriptions like that. I think it's supposed to have cinnamon overtones. But it was surreal beyond words to have a conversation like that in a warehouse where people are buying disposable diapers and cocktail peanuts in bulk.

T. said...

the organizers of the wine tasting classes would do well to avoid leading to default male responses.

were they to take a tack something alongs the lines of

'if you're a man who is bright enough to know that you don't know everything, you could have some fun in mixed company and learn about wine while doing so.'

they might avoid the default male responses, such as:

“It may also come down to the fact that men think they know more about wine anyway, so they don’t need to learn more about it.”

which is simple male bravura.

Palladian said...

"Well, that yoga teacher is probably telling you how to breathe, if you can see her past that guy's thinly veiled genitalia."

That's hot.

My advice to straight men: forget the women altogether. Hook up with each other. You have so much more in common. Women just want your cash.

Anthony said...

Maybe this is all just an experiment by our host to get some good ideas. First it's car posts, then one showing ample cleavage, now it's a "How to find a man" post.

Mmmmm-HMM!

Pogo said...

palladian,

excellent!
I was thinking the same thing aout those women at the class.

Of course, if the "lesbian wine chick" story got around, then guys would show up for sure.

bill said...

From Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon:

Randy grinds his teeth for about a mile, and then says, “If there is any generalization at all that you can draw about how men think versus how women think, I believe it is that men can narrow themselves down to this incredibly narrow laser-beam focus on one tiny little subject and think about nothing else.”

“Whereas women can’t?”

“I suppose women can. They rarely seem to want to. What I’m characterizing here, as the female approach, is essentially saner and healthier.”

“Hmmmm.”

“See, you are being a little paranoid here and focusing on the negative ttoo much. It’s not about how women are deficient. It’s about how men are deficient. Our social deficiencies, lack of perspective, or whatever you want to cal it, it what enables us to study one species of dragonfly for twenty years, or sit in front of a computer for a hundred hours a week writing code. This is not the behavior of a well-balanced and healthy person, but it can obviously lead to great advances in synthetic fibers. Or whatever.”







longer excerpt

The Drill SGT said...

Rob,

I'm in Northern Virginia now, trapped here by my Federal wife. We have been drinking a mix of California Chard, Italian Pinot Grigio, and Virginia whites. I think Gadino does some good things here and Sharp Rock sometimes.

Telecomedian said...

Christy-

Orioles AND racquetball? Wow...where were YOU when I lived in Canton or Homeland? Sheesh. I knew I left Baltimore too soon.

I'm now surrounded by squash players in Arlington, VA.

Fen said...

TabithaRuth: As for manhunting, if you are trying to meet a man who has similar interests then do what you want to do, not what you think this mythical Prince Charming will want to do. The worst case scenario is that you will be doing something you want to do!

Exactly. I've been "girl-crazy" all my life, and the only times I fell into relationships was when I quit "searching" [I think the women could sense the desperation] and just lived my own life and let the rest follow.

Males generally attend social-meet classes simply to hook up and satisfy our sexual appetites. We run away from the in Sex-in-City crowd, they over-analyze everything and talk too much. We have quirks similar to that whine about not enough men to meet, then whine about not wanting to advertise: we're tired of always making the first aprroach, but when a women does it we get suspicious [is she a slut or a psycho?] and back away.

Rob said...

Drill Sgt: on the East Coast, the best values in whites are often Muscadet Sevre et Maine (sur lies), and simple and premier cru Chablis if you like your whites dry and the better pinot grigios if you like them a little more aromatic. I can't remember the winery, but there was one Virginia Chardonnay I thought was good from around Middleburg - I have a good friend who lives in the hunt country (she and her husband are serious horse people) and knew the owner well. I have a friend who is a negociant and has some interesting Rhone whites that I like, but they're pretty pricey if you have to buy them.

As a Californian with wine industry roots into the 19th century, I find it hard to admit, but at least on the East Coast, most California wines are seriously over-priced compared to their competition.

Tantor said...

Truly attractive women need never search for men. We men are searching for them everywhere, all the time, around the clock, from puberty until death us do part. We have men positioned on alert around the planet in strategic locations ready to launch at a moment's notice should an attractive woman appear. A pretty girl can't go to the grocery store for a quart of milk without coming back with a date. Follow a pretty girl around for a few hours and you will find that she is constantly hit on by every man with a pulse. As far as providing our companionship to attractive women in need of it, we men have the Earth covered. There are no gaps in our coverage. None. If Gisele B√ľndchen needs a date tonight in the howling Arctic wilderness, we have men ready to go now to serve her need at their own expense and risk.

So if a woman and her girlfriends can find no men who will date them it is not because all the available single men have been sucked off the face of the planet and deposited in some faraway nebula. It is far more likely that they have overestimated their attractiveness in the dating market and rejected the invitations that any reasonably attractive, healthy woman receives in the course of a week. There is not a single woman alive who can fail to get a date by lowering her expectations, which are too often wildly inflated by conceit.

The fact that such overpriced women seek men by taking classes in tennis, sailing, and wine-tasting demonstrates that they are trying to cull out blue collar applicants for their affections and market their charms to the elite. We men are naturally wary of such women who think too much of themselves and stalk the rich.

It's also interesting to note the charming dysfunctional nature of female scheming in going to such classes, in which they have no natural interest. These Potemkin classes are designed to be thinly veiled meat markets where women can meet men. They fail to deliver on that implicit promise, yet the women keep coming like lemmings.

By contrast, single men don't go twice to a venue that doesn't produce single women. If there is any venue where attractive single women regularly show up, there will be a line of single men at the door and price be damned. If attractive single women set up a lemonade stand on the side of a dirt road next to a fertilizer plant, you can bet there would be cars pulled off helter skelter on the shoulder with single men standing around sipping lemonade and asking the women when they got off work.

The kind of women who complain about the absence of men are the kind of women who complain about the presence of men. Complaining women are a form of Man Repellant. This is an important clue as to why these women are dateless.

If they want dates, these whiny women need to stop bitching, get a positive attitude about life, and do what makes them happy. They won't need to look for men. We men will find them.

And, by the way, all I need to know about wine is that any German white wine that says Spätlese on the lable is Good.

ALP said...

Being much more "lone wolf" and independent than most women (I'm a 46 yr old introvert) I have long been puzzled by MANY other women's inability to do anything, especially new things, without their BFF in tow or the comfort of a group. So that's my take on it: women simply need to have more support, company, what have you.

It confuses me too.

ALP said...

One more thing: I was a competitive weight lifter for a while...a hard core gym* is a great place to meet men. I think to meet men in a group setting, better to go to them then wait for them to come to you.

*defined as one with a greater number of individuals training for competition.

hdhouse said...

if you want a tennis partner go to tennis lessons. if you want a sailing buddy, take sailing...etc., these are specific things and isn't your mate, lover, etc., supposed to have more general attributes and commonality of interests?

just hang out in the humanities section of the library perhaps?

Joe said...

After reading statements by several women contributers here, it appears that this is the place to pick up women.

Freeman Hunt said...

Forget about places and activities for meeting men. Men are everywhere. The key to meeting men is simple: get into excellent shape. Then you'll meet them wherever you go.

Amelia in Texas said...

The kind of women who complain about the absence of men are the kind of women who complain about the presence of men. Complaining women are a form of Man Repellant. This is an important clue as to why these women are dateless.

That is so true! The kind of woman who gripes about how she can't find a decent man is generally the same kind of woman who finds so many aspects of men to be disgusting/offensive. What she wants is a figment of her imagination.

I have observed over and over that women who treat most men as either something distasteful that needs "civilizing", or as beneath her notice for being somewhat less than a perfect specimen - she's got a perfect recipe for failure.

Those kind of women make me embarrassed to be female.

I have never lacked for dates, even when I was 40 lbs. overweight, and I firmly believe that is due to three things:

1) I meet people with a friendly smile,

2) I treat men (as long as they don't give me the creeps) with polite friendliness even if I don't initially find them attractive - even if he isn't super cute, he could still turn out to be an interesting person. And who knows? He just might grow on me.

3) I don't sit around talking about how men are lousy.

It also probably helps that I play video games, enjoy crude humor, have an interest in power tools and like watching hockey... but I don't think any of that would do me any good if I acted like a snotty princess.

P. Rich said...

Merlot. Pomerol. Chateau Petrus. Forget "cool." World class is world class, irrespective of the grape. Move on.

Using anything other than specific appearance, aroma and taste descriptors for wine usually denotes a basic lack of knowledge and appreciation. If you can't do that, stay quiet and don't advertise your ignorance, or arrogance. Nothing personal...

Here are some options for women who want to meet men:

Poker. Learn the basics first.
Golf. Same condition.
Bridge. Same condition.

All have frequent mixed gatherings. Pick one you actually enjoy, or forget it.

Final option, like, just before you go over the cliff or become a lesbian:

Enter wet t-shirt, mud wrestling and drinking contests. This is marginally more sophisticated than standing on the corner naked with a cold six-pack as mentioned earlier.

Earnest Iconoclast said...

As another comment mentioned, I have also found that I met women much more quickly when I wasn't actively looking. I just did things I liked doing...

As an aside, I read a study once that found that men tend to give directions in terms of directions (n, s, e, w) and distance while women tend to refer to landmarks and relative directions (left, right).

EI

amba said...

I'm a woman, and I HATE asking for directions.

(Disclosure: a gay psychic once told me, "You were a boy many times in former lives." That must be it.)

I would much rather figure something out for myself than stop and engage another human being and have them tell me how to find it. It spoils the suspense. It's like solving a puzzle. To me, being social and solving puzzles do not go together. It's not that I don't want to be social, but not while I'm solving a puzzle. And DON'T give me the answers.

My husband, who is a man, is always nagging me to stop and ask for directions. He comes from the top of his society, and in his mind other people are there to assist and serve him. In this sense, I realized, real, secure, 800-year-old power is a kind of dependency.

Not asking for directions is all about compulsive independence -- the fun of it, the pride in it. I hated being a child, being at someone else's (my mother's) mercy. I still get a kick out of the fact that I'm free to go wherever I want and figure things out for myself. Why would I ask for directions?

George said...

It also probably helps that I play video games, enjoy crude humor, have an interest in power tools and like watching hockey... but I don't think any of that would do me any good if I acted like a snotty princess.

Oh, I'm pretty sure you'd get away with being a snotty princess.

My experience with women tells me that they don't really care to know how something works, they just want you to tell them how to use it, and pronto. Whenever I have tried to nudge them in the direction of the answer instead of a full disclosure, they get upset and nag me to just tell them already. Meh.

I guess I should take the advice to just stop searching for a woman and go do things I enjoy.

Anyways, forget the wine, give me the cheese and crackers and let's call it a night.

George said...

"I know a couple of ladies who are single and turn wood. Both swear their social lives have never been so good."

But...

do they get lathe?

Jim C. said...

Hucbald said "I think a beer tasting class would draw in a lot more men."

Maybe even better, a beer-BREWING class. :)

I think the reason women laugh at men who won't ask directions is that they're diverting attention from the fact they can't read maps. :)

To riff on Felicia Michael's line, there are lots of men who are interested in wine-tasting, but most of them already have boyfriends. :) (kidding! kidding!)

Eowyn said...

Tantor 3:59 -- The kind of women who complain about the absence of men are the kind of women who complain about the presence of men. Complaining women are a form of Man Repellant.

Can I get a WITNESS.

*sigh* ... when, oh, when, will women stop obsessing about security (which is all it is) and just BE?!?

When I was 19 I hit on the absolutely, positively, most perfect dating strategy ever. Tons of satisfying dates -- and now a mind-blowingly happy relationship (I'm 47) -- later, here it is:

Wherever I was -- mostly in line somewhere, like the DMV, or supermarket, department store, bus, wherever -- I'd say what was on my mind to whomever was next to me. Man, woman, old, young -- things like, Jeeze, I feel like I'm in a rabbit warren -- don't you?

My conversation target would agree, or be merely disinterested, and often, that was the end of it -- but MORE often, a nice conversation would get started, overheard by someone in line who thought I was worth looking into more, and whom I thought worth looking into.

It was simply astonishing how many wonderful people I met -- both to date, or just to be glad I spent those few minutes with.

My point? Go about life, and stop sweating about "getting a man." Start enjoying yourself WITHOUT a man, and watch how quick one wants to join you.

/2 cents off

Mike said...

Mary said: And is that healthy anyway? I thought you were supposed to call a doctor if his powers lasted for more than 4 hours...

That part doesn't freak me out nearly as much as the "If you experience a sudden loss of vision..."

Raging Toroid said...

Where women should go to meet men?

As they do so often, the Onion answered this first and best.

Woman At Farscape Convention Has Dangerously Inflated Self-Image
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30564

John Lynch said...

Hmm. Call me a left- brained problem solver, but if you're looking for men shouldn't you go where they are? And a wine- tasting class looks like an excellent place for men to meet women...

Some people want the world to come to them without having to change their own behavior...

James R. Rummel said...

I have just spent most of the day conducting a survey of my male friends and coworkers. Here is the result.

Most real men wouldn't take a class for cooking, wine tasting, or art appreciation. Instead, they would do a bit of research and then start to experiment and seek out experiences.

All of those hobbies are highly subjective, and everyone agreed that people have to make their own decisions as to what they liked and disliked. Why pay an instructor to TELL you what you should like when you are going to have to find out on your own anyway?

The exception are the married guys. They would take a class, but only so they could get their wives involved in the hobby. It provided a way to get the couple out of the house and into a new environment, which both agreed that they would like.

But there was a fundamental difference in the perceived value of lessons. The wives thought that taking the advice of an expert was a great way to avoid making the usual mistakes to which beginners always fall prey.

The husbands figured that the snob appeal that comes from listening to an expert would be a great way to get the wife enthusiastic about the hobby so she wouldn't get discouraged and give it up when they both made the mistakes that beginners were going to make anyway, expert advice or no.

James

Consul-At-Arms said...

When my wife and I first arrived in Germany (where I had been stationed twice before) we attended a wine tasting/class.

It wasn't a class on tasting wine.

It was a tasting. It also provided explanations of how to read a German wine label and a chance to sample a number of different types of local/German wine.

It was a couple hours and a number of Euros well spent.

Since the missus is major fan of wines, but hadn't been exposed to any good German whites previously, this was more about getting her out of comfort zone of French and Italian reds.

I need no class on how to taste wine. I taste it just fine. I did appreciate the chance to try some different ones to see which ones I liked, not which ones I was supposed to like.

Oligonicella said...

I have a friend in Oceanside. He's a great guy; low-key, intelligent, my wife says he's cute, plays a helluva banjo -- and goes to wine tasting sessions because he likes wine.

He's usually one of few men there. The woman don't flirt, they don't really even talk to him or the other men.

Perhaps it's all a load of bull to begin and that women are complaining about not meeting 'enough' men at these events. At least the reason they give is bull.

Maybe they're really complaining for the same reason little girls complain about not being able to get little boys to attend their pretend tea parties -- they have no idea that they're boring the little boys to tears when they do attend.

It's not about meeting potential mates or even conversational partners. It's about getting the little boys to play their games as if they were other little pieces at the table.

Laika's Last Woof said...

"Browncoat girl"

Unif'cation day!

(You're not holding a pool cue, are you?)

PatCA said...

I have friends who used to attend these kinds of classes, and then they would criticize the few men who actually were there! Go to a football game, I'd tell them. But they really were ambivalent about meeting someone, so they didn't.

I've been to wine tastings that are really just get-togethers that give you something to think about when you meet each other than "are you the one for me." Lots of men attend and are happy to teach you a little of what they know about wine.

I would recommend classes with pro instructors though for physical activities (after breaking my wrist skiing, trying to keep up with a wonderful, well-intentioned male friend).

Hey said...

PatCA: Classes are great if you're looking to gain a skill, especially for skiing and snowboarding. They just simply are not good places to meet men - the critical point of contention here.

I should revise the statement - classes are a great way to meet dates when you're a pre-teen/teenager. Skiing classes, sailing classes, racing seminars, are all great when you're 12-18. After that age, not so much.

PatCA said...

"They just simply are not good places to meet men - the critical point of contention here."

True.

Emy L. Nosti said...

Sailing clubs (UW's included) are a great place to meet men. Sailing clubs are about 60% social (drinking) and 40% sailing (while drinking). Only problem I see is that the sailing culture can be intimidating if you weren't raised into it (and I don't mean wealth--sailing can be shockingly cheap/practically free if you do it right). But maybe that's the thing...it's a lifestyle and a family tradition, not usually something people break into with no prior experience.

Anyway, I'd like to see a man who has never sailed before try to learn without help though...e.g., there's a long path between reading about mooring and proper sail trim and actually doing it well..or without causing damage. It's possible, but it's far more trouble and risk than it's worth.

Therefore, I doubt the reason for sailing is either 1. men prefer to teach themselves (hey, maybe this is why women are starting to outnumber men in universities!!! Talented theorist I am, maybe the Times should offer me a job!) or 2. men aren't interested in sailing. Lessons when you're 30 are just not a good or common way to enter into the sport, regardless of gender.

Brook said...

Possible explanations:

* Men are at home with their wives and families.

* Men are at sporting events with their friends.

* Men are at sports bars watching far-away sporting events with their friends.

* Men are at home, keeping away from the shrill Hillary-esque biz-women they have to contend with at work everyday. (Who are probably asking them, "would you like to go to a wine class with me tonight?" every other freakin' day.)

* Men are out dating their girlfriends that don't like going to "classes."

* Men don't take classes in things they learned to do when they were younger. (E.g.; play tennis, sail, etc.)

* Men actually go to classes to learn things, not meet people, especially women who go to classes just to meet men. (There's something intellectually dishonest about taking a class to ignore the content in favor of some other agenda. Men don't dig that.)

* This whole thing really plays up the idea that women don't understand men--and don't want to. It's bloody obvious where the men are. The women just don't want to go there.

Honestly, this whole "going to classes" thing is so urbano-centric it makes me ill. Out here in flyover country, women know that to meet a good man, you only need to go to church.

Rick H. said...

I've actually gone to wine classes to learn more and make new friends -- sadly, the ones I've gone to have been run in a way that discourages socialization. But, I find claims that these activities are lacking in men to be highly suspicious (unless I'm the only straight guy in the country who is into these things, in which case I should not be single according to this story).

I do think it makes a lot of sense for women to do activities that they enjoy in the hopes of meeting someone who shares the same interests. After all, many guys dream of meeting a gal who is into football and can discuss the finer points of the infield fly rule.

JimDesu said...

I used to know a woman who lived in Vallejo, CA, who was so convinced of her own social superiority (due to having a failed gold-digger marriage to a public defender followed by real-estate success in a rising-tide market) that she went to all kinds of these sorts of events and completely dismissed anyone not of her self-perceived status.

In real life this situation is utterly repulsive.

Letters to Han Solo said...

"Why don't the women try going to a shooting range instead?"

I actually tried to sign up for a local shooting class recently (I have no experience with guns so I didn't feel comfortable just "going" to a shooting range). I did not approach this as an attempt to meet a special someone--not because I have one (I don't) but because it's a pathetic waste of time to do anything JUST BECAUSE you might find a boyfriend doing it. It's more fun to just go on living your life, and doing the things that interest you, be it shooting, shopping, farting, whatever.

Back to my shooting story. I decided to take up shooting after graduating from college and working in some crappy temp job that bored me. I had six months of grace time before it was time to start paying back the student loans, and plenty of free time and energy. When I called up the shooting range to ask about classes for beginners I was directed to the "Women's beginner course"--there was a regular adult beginning safety course; but it seemed to be for men only. When I pressed the young man on the phone to let me into the regular adult beginning safety course he accuses me of trying to take a shooting class to meet guys. Horror!

Sure, this is just one dumb guy at one shooting range, and I could have patiently gone through the "Women's beginner course" and then gone back later as a more confident shooter, but frankly the whole thing irritated me and was twice as expensive as I thought it would be. But this is all besides the point--the relentless quest to secure a mate is a boring relic of yesteryear. It's bad enough to take a class expecting to find a man, but then to complain that you wasted your time because there were none?!! Good gravy!! Get a life!!!

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