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Rancid chip-fat (where ‘chip’ means ‘french-fry.’) 16th of November, 2006 ANTE·MERIDIEM 12:41

Reading a couple* of incidental web pages lately, I started musing on women and how they interact with the world†. And then Dervala comes up in my feed reader, describing her peers at school:

‘… we tested our collective worldview through a fog of rancid chip-fat and condensation, we adjudicated that having sex might be okay as long as you were in college, really in love, and had been together for x months or years — where x took as long to solve for as the quadratic equations in our copybooks.’
And it occurs to me that I probably didn’t miss much in school.

Which is interesting. I enjoyed the last few years of secondary school; today, I’m not over-certain of why, but I remember randomly smiling while I was walking down corridors, I remember early sixth and fifth year spent working on musicals or plays, essentially hanging out with socially-adept people for two afternoons a week. I suppose part of it—certainly sixth year—was focusing on something I was good at; part of it too was that the inventive jeers that were the norm earlier were something I was then good at, and able to respond to in kind (apparently one of the main results of streaming in my year and school was to improve the quality of insults in the streamed classes, which—since it’s not something that came that naturally to me, and it’s not I normally find useful today—is a life skill that I can accord to the Irish standard educational system, up there with reading, the words of various worthwhile poems, a good understanding of latitude and longitude, calculus, Irish, and so on.)

But one thing that depressed me was, despite a mixed-sex school, that I didn’t have any sort of girlfriend there, and never saw any realistic prospects for it. And in my head, the important thing about a girlfriend was sex—personal interaction with female classmates was distancing and slightly uncomfortable, and I got on a thousand percent better with my male fellow-classmates, even those interested mainly in cars, so why else would one start something?—and without that happening, for me then, it would have been a total waste of time.

[Which is] (← see the cutesy repetition, whee!) the main reason why I have no real understanding today of how Irish women—and, unfairly, I mean comfortable-with-heels-and-makeup women’s women here, because understanding engineers and those who roughly think in male patterns is minimal extra work if you already understand men—function as romantic partners, and why I probably never will. Best work harder on the foreigners then. It helps immensely that sex is not remotely so central in my head today, yes.

Word of the day: ‚die Tide‘ is German for tide, and is cognate with both English ‘tide’ and German ‚die Zeit‘—the word itself in this meaning is from Platt, like lots of terms in German that involve serious expanses of water.

* Blog written by a woman who died of cancer, so posthumous criticism is unlikely to be welcome over there.

Actual details of that not the contents of this post, in case you’re wondering.


Funny, I was thinking along these very lines myself this week. Must be somthing about the time of year.

Ste, yeah, I had started writing the above before Dave’s post and independent of it. Maybe it’s the weather; it’s lately as capricious here as at home. Hurry up and snow, Germany! :-)

Odd little spate of reminiscences, eh?

Your post certainly makes me feel better about not having gone to a mixed school, if only because it’s good to know that I probably would have been just as inexperienced and inept in the ways of the boobied ones regardless of what school I went to. I’m staring at the little wedding photo on my desk and grinning like a twit now.

By the way, this - (C = 2ΠR, C/D = Π. What is D/R ?) - is EVIL.

By the way, this - (C = 2ΠR, C/D = Π. What is D/R ?) - is EVIL.

Nah, D/R × 9 × 37 is EVIL. Anyway, you managed it, right? And I’m sure it wasn’t because all the questions and their answers have been in your inbox for months :-) .

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