Monday, December 04, 2006

Everything I've Been Taught By Men

Here is the COMPLETE, UNABRIDGED and ALPHABETICAL list of everything I have learned about from my four serious boyfriends over the last 15 years:

Acid house, Isaac Asimov, avoiding being killed by hippos, Belgian hardcore, canoeing, class As, football, Joseph Heller, the internet as a metaphor for the hive mind, investment banking, making jewellery, the Mandelbrot set, MMORPGs, object-oriented programming, pool, science fiction tropes, RPGs, skiing, Neal Stephenson, techno, Visual Basic, Kurt Vonnegut, when to change gear.


UPDATE: Well, I never considered this would become a meme, but lots of other people have had a go, and the resulting lists are incredibly eclectic and endlessly fascinating. Have a look at Chaucer's Bitch, Extemporanea, Great She Elephant, Loganoc, Realdoc and Spinsterella, for a start...

57 comments:

Lorna said...

Wow - that's quite a list! So far, I've only learned about wine, hurling and Podge and Rodge from my Young Man. I'm now feeling rather cross that he doesn't know anything about hippo avoidance!

Annie said...

What a lovely list.

*Goes away to have a think*

belladona said...

I'm not sure that is a lot for fifteen years. I shall have to compile my own list.

belladona said...

Amps, Daniel Clowes, Futurism, Lukas Moodeson (though clearly not how to spell it), Swedish Christmas, The Marx Brothers. Over 11 and a half years. Ok. Fair enough. I need more young men to teach me things I think.

Anonymous said...

I like to think that the month I wasted on Felix the Twat is somehow rendered less pointless by him teaching me how to skin a clove of garlic properly.

Anonymous said...

this would make a great meme. start tagging people!

Valerie said...

That's a pretty good list. I don't know if I could get through mine really. Up until meeting Rob, though, it was mostly Thai food, the Replacements, Yellowstone National Park, Adrian Belew, gomashio, Anchor Steam beer, and vi/UNIX tricks.

Either that or I've blanked it all out.

Definitely mostly food and music... Hrm.

patroclus said...

Lorna: What is Podge and Rodge? To be fair, I only learned about hippo avoidance from ex-Mr P because being at the front of the canoe he was marginally nearer the safari guide, and could therefore hear what said guide was frantically shouting at us. Which was 'paddle like fuck, there's a hippo underneath you!'.

Annie: It sounded like a lovely list in my head, but written down, it looks a bit depressing.

Bella: Ah, Futurism, the art wing of Fascism. Which would be more sinister had its output not been so comical. I don't know anything about the others, though.

Albert: I must have missed Felix the Twat. But back around teatime, when this post had a point, it was indeed going to be about how even bad relationships can have good aspects.

CB (and anyone else): Feel free to steal!

Valerie: I like your list, although I have no idea what 'gomashio' is.

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless...investment banking! Also RPGs aren't they guns or something? My list would be much shorter, might nick this, I love a short post.

patroclus said...

Nick away, realdoc, I'll look forward to seeing your list. Will it include 'early prototype x-ray machines'?

RPG stuff here.

Both ex-Mr P and his psycho predecessor worked (indeed, still do) in IT for investment banking outfits, hence that area of knowledge.

GreatSheElephant said...

Credit derivatives, football, giros, calming down extremely angry men, that you can get over anything eventually, how to choose a tie, what to do with your arms during long distance running, a certain amount of Scots vocabulary.

Eh, depressing.

patroclus said...

>>what to do with your arms during long distance running<<

Windmill them around, while shouting 'Wheeee! Look at meeee! I'm running!'?

No? That must be why I always came last in the cross-country.

You did well there GSE. I never understood credit derivatives, or how to work out percentages.

GreatSheElephant said...

I'm not entirely sure the lesson about credit derivatives stuck frankly.

Relaxed yet close to your sides is the answer.

And I forgot to mention the works of Elmore Leonard.

Mangonel said...

There once (a long time ago) was someone I thought I was going out with, only it turned out I was a beard - would that count?

WV - veiinemi - 'I'm coming!' in Drunk Latin. Did you know that the equivalent of 'to come' in Spanish is correr - 'to run'?

Mangonel said...

Albert - good heavens! The garlic thing is easily worth that month, I don't care how miserable it was! Just that trick alone has made your life easier and tastier by far and will continue to do so for ever! Bugger, I've run out of exclamation marks! Oh - no I haven't.

patroclus said...

Mangonel: I dropped out of the Spanish course before we got to that bit.

Also, I was going to ask Albert to share the secret of how to skin the garlic clove properly.

james henry said...

I should point out I also know thirteen ways to kill a man and make it look like an accident, but there's no real advantage to teaching this to anyone else to be honest.

james henry said...

Also, ooh, ooh, is that thing where you bash the clove of garlic with the flat of the blade first, thus loosening the skin? Because that's quite handy.

LC said...

Whenever I attempt to impart wisdom to my GF she just laughs at me, and then gives me a sort of pitying look.

Smat said...

umm,
Mr Smat - how to produce a set of accounts; Sunderland's Greatest Ever Footballers; rules of football/cricket/rugby (and how not to embarrass yourself while watching same); curry; wine (both cheap gutrot and decent stuff). A bit of a sad list really - you need the last two to cope with the first couple.
Previous/Others - how to get served in a pub while under-age; obscure 90s bands; why it's not a good idea to sleep with either your boss or your boss's best friend. (all good, useful stuff)
My Dad - parenting, DIY, how to tell jokes deadpan. (bless, he's brill my Dad).

james henry said...

Obviously that's also one of the ways to kill a man, although the 'making it look like an accident' bit on that one is quite convoluted.

james henry said...

The garlic thing I meant, lots of people have posted since.

I'll go away now.

Anonymous said...

You did so much better than I.
I learned nothing from your boyfriends.

Anonymous said...

James - well done! That is indeed the trick FtheT taught me, and handy it is. P, you did meet FtheT very briefly when he came round to cook me Thai Green Curry, but he is rather forgettable.

belladona said...

Lukas Moodysson (Show me Love is about a teenage lesbian and is all scandinavian and intellectual which should please everyone)
The boy James should know Daniel Clowes

Tedward's Missing Ear said...

Podge and Rodge are Irish puppets of two extremely dirty old ginger men who live in somewhere not unlike Ballykissarsehole and say filthy things a lot but are very funny.

My list isn't good: Gram Parsons, pilot ships, Ted Hawkins, the ego of z-list NI comedians, how to cook vegetarian food, being a single mother, the underrated virtue of kindness, not being a single mother,

The last one is my favourite.

belladona said...

Elucidate. I sense a story.

violetforthemoment said...

Off the top of my head, learnings from my current and only serious Gentleman Friend: how to cook, that Lord of the Rings is actually quite good, what the heck the Holy Roman Empire was all about, that fresh vegetables are cheaper than even economy ready meals, that I don't actually prefer women (he wrote in to FHM and won an X-Box***), how to make coffee in one of those plungey things, to worry less about whatever I think my 'image' is. Really interesting post, Patroclus. Food for thought and all that. Cheers.


***Not really.

cello said...

What fun. I've learned so much: authentic orchestration, Bolshevism, Bunuel, canasta, lepidoptery, Nabokov, off-side rule, periodic table and, of course, Rameau. They are just the tip of the iceberg and just from one man too as it's far too long ago to try and remember the three before him.

Making a list makes me realise how enriched I have been. Whereas all I've taught him is how to clean a loo properly and how to roast a chicken. Pathetic.

BiB said...

Are we allowed to mention the physical, if ya hear what I'm sayin', or would that be poor form?

patroclus said...

Mention away, BiB, there's no form here.

Tim Footman said...

I must ask - if this is what you've learned from your serious boyfriends, what have you picked up from the flippant ones who wore Homer Simpson underpants?

patroclus said...

Umm, to exercise better judgment in future?

BiB said...

No, better not. I'm more awake now.

Erm, happiness and misery. Love and hate. English folk songs. Double declutching (that it exists, I mean. Not how to do it). Buckwheat porridge. Probably a gazillion other things. Can't think, can't think. But I discovered blogging all by myself!

Billy said...

My list would probably be something like: onion bagels, jusy how bad my sense of direction really is, nail polish, jane austen, jacobean revenge tragedies, aussie power pop.

And about 5 million tedious in-jokes that seemed funny at the time.

It's too soon to do the "current one" I think but I'll have a think.

Spinsterella said...

There is a link to a picture of Podge and Rodge somewhere on my blog. I can't for the life of me remember why it was required.

I am going to have to have a think about this one...

Betty said...

Having an ex who taught you about Belgian hardcore can't be bad.

Hmm. The main thing I've learnt from men is that nothing is more important to a man than his football team. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

I like to think I've tought THEM some things too. Can't really think what though. Hmmm.

patroclus said...

Betty: I actually started to doubt the existence of Belgian hardcore, seeing as it wasn't listed on Wikipedia. I figured that if anyone else in the blogosphere knew about it, it would be you. Also, I sense a certain amount of bitterness and past misdemeanours relating to football.

Loganoc: Oh yes, I'm sure we teach them a lot too. (Although in an echo of Violet's comment, James couldn't think of anything apart from 'how to make espresso'. Mind you, that's a very important skill for the writing classes.)

Cello: That was a great list, by the way. I think a tutorial on Rameau is in order for us poor philistines (well, me).

Billy: I like the combination of nail polish and Jacobean revenge tragedies. Was this the same person?

Smat: Your dad is indeed great.

Tedward's Ear: Yes, tell the story!

Lorna said...

Podge and Rodge is a rather twisted puppet show on RTE in Ireland: it's very much view-after-the-pub television. Dirty, filthy wee feckers. The Young Man has been trying guerilla tactics to Celtic-ify me, you see, which should also explain the presence of hurling (the sport, not the post-wine activity)in the list.

He did also teach me about semiconductors, but I don't want to boast about that :)

Billy said...

It was 2 different people. What a combination that would have been.

Arabella said...

When you mention Belgian Hardcore, do you mean music? I don't think I can do an internet search.

patroclus said...

Hardcore techno, yes. Don't ask me now what it sounded like, but it's what turned the First Serious Boyfriend from a gothic/grunge type into a raver, dragging me (rather unwillingly) with him.

james henry said...

That's not because you don't have much to teach me by the way, more because I don't really listen unless it's about food or hot beverages.

Anonymous said...

Crikey I must be rubbish at this 'lurnin' thing, but lets have a go... cricket, that I fall asleep by the end of the opening credits of match of the day, nirvana, terrorvision and metallica, a miniscule amount of html, how to avoid the painful truth and me and marriage don't mix! :)

llewtrah said...

I work in engineering - which means a workforce of 95% men. Since 2ndary school (an all girls school with female teachers) probably everything I've learnt has been from men!

Anonymous said...

On my blog I forgot how to tie a bow tie and chess.
I have realised that my list makes Mr. realdoc seem like an overgrown boy scout so to make up for that I have also learnt that some 40 year olds look good in Calvin Klein underpants (and no, he doesn't have any badges on them)

Post of the year so far I'd say P.

patroclus said...

James: Oh yes, if you would only stop thinking about tea and buns for one second, you would realise that I am the Yoda to your Luke Skywalker. Or possibly the R2-D2 to your Chewbacca.

Jools: I'm with you on the marriage front. But HTML skillz are always useful.

Llewtrah: For some reason I'm now imagining your life as a bit like in that film An Officer And A Gentleman.

Realdoc: Oohoo, that's put Mr Realdoc in a different light. I had this unfortunate image of Dr Alan Statham wedged in my mind. Mind you, Mark Heap is a terribly attractive man when divested of the moustache and stutter. NB my own favourite post of mine from this year was this one. It's been all downhill since January as far as I'm concerned, but do I let that stop me? Oh no.

violetforthemoment said...

I have just learned that 'those plungey things for maing coffee' are actually more commonly known as 'cafetieres'. Hooray for Him Indoors and his wordly-wise-ness.

llewtrah said...

Not many officers or gentlemen round here!

Anonymous said...

Plenty of officers near me..however I will have to question the gentlemanly bit after seeing one too many 'mess' dinners! :)

llewtrah said...

Tee-hee, we had an army captain on-site today (from North America) and he was hardly out of his teens! Either I'm getting old, or these captains are ridiculously young. Maybe he just went to the right school or had the right contacts. I was lifting heavier weights than he was (since we were shifting kit around for demo purposes). Me shifting heavy stuff is pretty common at work.

Arabella said...

Ive thought and thought about what I've learned from the men in my life and the thing that really stays with me is: "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey".

Tabby Rabbit said...

Hey stranger. Cool list. Almost six things learnt per bloke, probably not bad.

Does learning how to react to a naked man (DD) opening a door count?

Tabby Rabbit said...

PS Podge and Rodge is very entertaining. My Irish friend who introduced me to claims it's done by the same folks that did Zig and Zag.

patroclus said...

Tabby Rabbit!

Remind me of what the appropriate reaction is to a naked (and as I recall - not that I was there, I hasten to add - also semi-aroused) man opening the door?

Also, how is it that everyone in the world knows about Podge and Rodge apart from me?

Tabby Rabbit said...

Well, in the case of DD there was only the response of laughter. Then telling all your friends.

God, just remembered that time we (you were there that time) rang him up drunk from that party to insult him and forgot to dial whatever number you are meant to dial so people can't call you back.

Sorry, I digress.