Do boys ever become men?

chicago blue line
Photo Credit: Amtrak_russ
October is always a ladies month in my mind. I mean the city lights in Chicago are pink for breast cancer awareness — even NFL players are wearing pink shoes and gloves in tribute. I’m not an extreme feminist by any means, but you got to have a bit of feminism as a lady. After all, I am one and this is a month to have some girl power. The irony of it all is that the month ends with Halloween where women are invited to be the slutty version of literally anything. Now that is empowering.

While I have all these great feelings about how far women have come — even looking at generations of women in my family — I can’t help but recognize how the ways women are viewed and treated by men in society has stayed so much the same. I think I hang out with some pretty upstanding guys, but there are a lot of guys in Chicago that are questionable.

I walked down Clark St. the other night between Addison and Belmont — the heart of Wrigley. There is never a time where people aren’t drinking there and football season is time for watching games in bars and drinking. In the span of 4 bars I passed, I heard 5 guys reference their own penis. It was just great, I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that?

Not me. Maybe I should just walk with my headphones in all the time so I don’t hear the truth in people, but I can’t help it. I’m fascinated in learning about how people operate in this city — what they say, how they look at others, how individuals interact. There is no better place than the L and I know I always write about things on the L. I can’t help it. I love it, because for even just three to five minutes, but usually more, you are captive with a group of people you probably don’t know. All you can do is observe.

I mostly take the Brown line, but I took the Blue last week. I have some romantic notion that I’ll meet some witty and intellectual guy one day while I’m on the Blue line, so I had my eyes open for this mystery lover guy and happened upon a conversation between a 45-year-old man and a guy in his late twenties. I’ll name them old guy and young guy.

Young guy was talking about how great this girl Becca was. She makes him laugh, she’s smart, she’s cute and old guy is like , “Yeah she’s a hottie.” Then I don’t know if young guy is trying to impress old guy, but he starts talking about Becca in less of a human way, but more like she’s a car type of a way. What happened to Becca the woman you like? Old guy asks young guy what happened to that hot girl he saw him with after work the other day. Young guy says, “Oh, that’s Allison.” Old guy says, “Does Becca know about Allison?” Young guy says, “No.” And while I know what old guy will respond, I hope for a second it’s not as generic as I imagine, but it is. Old guy replies, “You old dog.” I laugh a bit out loud, but not loud enough to be found out, so I keep eavesdropping.

Young guy says he likes Becca because he can have deep conversations with her; she’s smart and can keep up. Allison isn’t as smart and his friends get mad when he brings her around the house behind Becca’s back, but she’s hotter. Old guy responds, “That’s fair man. Conversations are good, but not what counts.” Young guy laughs. Old guy asks young guy what he’s doing that night. Young guy says, “I have a date.” Old guy says, “With Becca or Allison?” Young guy says, “Nicole.” Old guy says, “That’s my guy.” Really? Young guy says he’s going to pick up a bottle of wine. Old guy says, “Get two and take her to a tequila bar.” Young guy says, “Good idea.” Old guy says, “You always want to be prepared with enough alcohol.” Young guy says, “Yes.” I’m still there -getting more and more sad about guys. I’m wanting to warn Nicole about her horrible date ahead, but of course I can’t. I get off the train full of spite. Useless spite.

I hope the title I chose related to the subject matter of this column. However, I really chose it to fulfill my desire to begin my column like Carrie Bradshaw. RIP Carrie: you’ll always be in our hearts, but let’s face it, a come back will be difficult after SATC 2.

Signed,
a lady

About Caitlin Fitzgibbons

Caitlin is an UPchicago.com contributor with a bi-weekly column on people-watching in the city.

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