I had the pleasure of taking my son out for breakfast this morning, before bringing him to a summer pottery class. The class was in downtown Sioux Falls, so we ate at the “Diner”, a popular, retro, chrome-colored restaurant that serves comfort food and old-style soda-fountain items. My wife works downtown, and there are a number of restaurants we occasionally eat at it the area. I’ve never eaten breakfast downtown before until today, but noticed the same disturbing pattern that I often see when I meet my wife for lunch or otherwise eat downtown during the day…the large meal meetings of horny, egotistical, old white men.
Not exactly a new topic for me, but as an (ever increasingly older) white man, I cringe when I see schools/flocks of this demographic downtown. Why? Because it seems like the only real goal in life of these testosterone-laden meal meetings is to 1) be a visible as possible, and 2) try to make yourself look as important as possible, and 3) act like a testosterone-laden teenager with sexual angst that is just bursting to find an outlet.
Today, my son and I sat down at a quiet table, when a group of four HEOWMs (Horny, Egotistical, Older White Men) walked in. They were FAR too important to actually wait for the waitress to seat them, as is the custom at the Diner. Instead, they marched immediately to the largest table in the place, right across from my son and I. They seemed utterly shocked that the waitress would DARE to move them to a smaller table (more on that later). However, to overcome their embarrassment when she forced them to move, they joked to the waitress that it as “OK”, as long as they still got the service of the prettiest waitress in the place.
Blergh. If I’m that waitress, I’m already cursing them out under my breath.
The waitress re-seated the group of 4 directly behind my son, and I had the distinct “pleasure” to enjoy their adolescent conversation, and adolescent treatment of the waitress. Clearly the breakfast “meeting” wasn’t unique, as they continued to tease/kid/flirt with the waitress, calling her by name, and continually repeating how fortunate they were to have her as their waitress for the day. As is the custom with meetings of HEOWM’s in Sioux Falls, their conversation was spoken using the loudest, most booming voices possible, as if to announce that THIS particular group of HEOWM’s were the most important group of people in the building, and that all other diners should have the “pleasure” of hearing what they had to say.
And what did they have to say? There were two topics, and ONLY two topics…women, and golf. Now, I didn’t get to see the fingers of all 5 of the men (#5 joined part-way through breakfast), but for the two I did see, there were definite wedding rings present. You wouldn’t have known it by their behavior though. When the waitress was present, HEOWM’s try to out-do each other in terms of who can “out-flirt” the others. When the waitress WASN’T present? Well…while the language never got TOO crude, there were certainly plenty of conversations going on that I’m glad my son was quite oblivious to.
Who KNEW that there’s one cashier at Target who had the “biggest boobs” in Sioux Falls?
Who knew that HEOWM’s actually DARE to be seen in such a low-brow shopping establishment as Target?
My son and I did have a great morning, but I have no doubt the HEOWM’s behind my son noticed either my scowl, or my rolling eyes, at certain points of the conversation. The other topic of conversation? Golf of course! A rich man’s game! The discussion was half-dominated by bragging about miraculous shots made by the HEOWM’s present, with the other half talking about the latest PGA tournaments. Being HEOWM’s, they of COURSE referred to the PGA players by first name, as if they spoke regularly with them. Of course there’s “Tiger”, but there were also discussions about “Rory” and “Phil”, who I could tie with a last name, but also a “Jason” and “Luke” that I had no idea who they were.
But then again…I’m just a (O)WM, not a HEOWM.
All five DID agree that they would “do” whoever the hell it is that Tiger Woods is dating.
It was a nice reminder that while men grow up, far too many of us are still pubescent, egotistical punks with an inflated view of our own importance in the world.
My greatest pleasure for the morning was also a source of dismay. The one large table that the group of HEOWM’s were kicked out of? About half way through their breakfast, a different, older, and larger group of HEOWM’s came in and sat down at the table. Watching the group of five HEOWM’s sitting behind my son, I was immediately reminded of scenes from Grease, where rival gangs circle each other, suspiciously eying each other and trying to gauge strengths and weaknesses. I almost expected both groups of HEOWM’s, who obviously weren’t familiar with the “other” group, to get up and start rumbling or something, with the winning group picking up “Jess”, the waitress, and carrying her away as a trophy.
Good times. I just hope that the behavior of HEOWM’s doesn’t forever stain the reputations of us (few?) men who don’t behave that way. But alas, I think the die has already been cast, and unfortunately…the characterization of “HEOWM’s” is 1) far too evident in the real world, and 2) an extremely accurate representation of how men often act.