Thursday, April 8, 2010


If I live to be 100 -- at which point, it probably will no longer matter -- I'll never understand my own sex. Although I recently was reminded of how puzzling men are in every country, the Argentine male remains, for me, the most puzzling of the species.

Last week, I was talking to the Argentine ex-boyfriend of an American friend, and he told me something that I didn't expect to hear. He's moving to Mexico for three months, for work, and he's looking forward to getting away from Argentine guys. The truth is, he hates them.

Interestingly, almost all of my Argentine friends, male and gay or female and straight, have, at some point, said the same thing. My American friends, however, are simply, like me, puzzled. I haven't yet reached the point of hatred, but sometimes I think I might be getting there.

Luckily, for the most part, 2010 has been mostly free of entanglements, and I spent nearly two months of the year abroad. But talking to my friend Rob (his ex is the one who hates Argentines), we finally devised a workable game plan for dealing with the Argentine male: Ignore him. As Rob pointed out, that's all they understand.

And if, deterred, they go away, they'll always come back. A couple of years ago, Rob met an Argentine guy who acted like he was the best thing since sliced whole wheat bread (like me, Rob is black). Once Rob caved and began to respond to the guy's attention, he fled the scene. He stopped responding to Rob's emails, and at one point, when Rob was in Miami, where the guy was living at the time, the guy seemed to make a point of not seeing Rob.

Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, he was back, more ardent than ever, begging for a chance to be Rob's "amante" (lover).

Excuse me while I vomit....

Okay, I'm back. Alas, I've been there way too many times, and I now know better than not to ingore such sudden changes of heart. And ignoring it has nothing to do with maintaining interest. Even if it works, I don't think that playing coy to keep someone circling your orbit is the answer. I'd rather end up with someone because we naturally gravitate toward each other than because I've won some silly love game.

So the other night when I ran into Gonzalo, a guy I've been interested in for nearly a year, and he invited me back to his place (after the kind of first kiss that only happens in the movies), why did I decline? Not because I wasn't interested, and not because I thought it would impress him into chasing me harder (so far, he hasn't).

The honest-to-God real reason: Because I was, well, you know, kind of exhausted.

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