Do Vancouver Men Suck?
It looks as if the Case of the Vancouver Male is a perfect storm. Which doesn’t help women when it comes to coping with this unsatisfactory situation, but they have found partial, individual solutions. Barbara bowed out of dating altogether, likening it to eating junk food. Marci is enjoying “the land of manly men,” as she calls Nova Scotia. Alicia is going to more art openings than bars and sporting events; she finds the company more interesting and the art world’s looser ways with liquor laws more conducive to mingling. For sexier, less introverted men, Amanda recommends frequenting the Francophone Centre and Latin dance clubs. Jillian also pairs up with men from elsewhere-”Imports for me.” Her current partner is a Brit who opens doors, doesn’t start eating until she does, orders the wine, and does “the little things that classically make you feel somewhat cosseted, in a way that elevates both of you.” Her advice to single people: “Men need to take more risks and women need to shut up.”
And what about the men? I asked at least a dozen to respond to the charge that Vancouver males were passive and inattentive to simple courtesy. For a long time I got no response, and I could hear women all over the city saying, “I rest my case.” Finally, I got Dan, a doctor in his late 30s, to answer my questions. He’s lived in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Victoria, and he agrees that women here often seem aloof, while men tend to wait for some “invitation” or welcoming body language.
As for the decline of politeness, he sends the ball back where it came from: “I really think it applies to both sexes. Women seem to be unaware of basic dating etiquette: turn your cell off, Lululemon pants are for the gym, and please return my call even if our date didn’t go very well.”
But that’s another story.