Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

Men of Portland, I love you.

The college basketball tournament started today and March Madness is in full swing. The squad headed over to The City, a sports bar in downtown Portland, to grab some lunch and catch one of the games. The place was crawling with men and I was reminded of how much I love guys when they're doing "guy stuff" and how much I especially love the men of Portland.

A couple of years ago I had the chance to be on the market floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was amazing, and probably one of my all time great life experiences. A group of traders spent a few hours with us, letting us watch as they made trades and taking us around on a tour. By "us," I mean 5 girls. By "tour" I mean showing us that the NYSE is made up of 99.9% men. I don't know if we were on display or if they were, but I suspect it was a bit of both. It was a complete high seeing guys hang up the phone, shove aside their fellow traders and come out of their respective places in "the garage" to check us out as we walked by. But after a while it got old and started to feel a bit like we were New York Strip Steaks about to be devoured. (That's actually a complete lie, it never got old. I just like to tell the story whenever possible). What is it about guys being guys that's so incredibly sexy? All of that testosterone, the focus and energy of men being assertive and doing what they're passionnate about whether its working, watching a game, driving a fire truck, shaving, whatever ... is it getting warm in here?

I had to leave The City before the rest of the squad to get back to the office in time for a conference call (damn you work!) and wound my way through tables and chairs and groups of guys all by myself. I was afraid one of two things would happen. That said men would either a) be irritated that a chick was on their turf or b) be all pervy due to the many beers consumed in the middle of the afternoon. And that's when it hit me how great our Portland men are. Everyone chivalrously allowed me to pass, smiled and gave me an appreciative (not icky) checkout--like "that's kind of cool that a girl is watching sports on her lunch hour" or it could have been "wow, that chick has a massive piece of spinach in her teeth" but I prefer to think it was the former.

Men of Portland, I'm sorry if I sometimes forget how incredibly cool you are. Thanks for letting me enter and exit the elevators first, for opening my doors, for keeping an eye out when strange men in Starbuck's are standing too close while holding large stuffed penguins. Thanks for watching sports and not caring if a girl invaded your space. Forget the Sweet 16, you guys are the real champs.