I’d like to propose a calendar of Diva Men—sensitive Portland hunks. Guys who can cry and change. Aren’t these the guys who make Portland Portland?
I have to say that male sensitivity here wears me out. This city is overripe with Diva Men who love their sensitivities. The overwhelming numbers of such men make the city a little weak and wussy.
A city godfather said to me a few weeks after the Sam Adams/Beau Breedlove tempest: “I wasn’t surprised about Sam. Stuff like this happens as all Portlanders know. What shocked me was the comment of Mark Weiner, a Sam Adams advisor, who lambasted Sam publicly. These two were close. It’s inconceivable Weiner didn’t know about Breedlove. And if he didn’t he should have confronted Sam privately.”
I was thinking about something Jane Austen’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, says to an adorable lothario who broke her heart. “I’ll change,” he promised her. She replied, in effect, I can’t love a person who changes, who one day is gentle and the next day distant. I want a man who has the character of his convictions and doesn’t easily forfeit them. Or some such.
A group’s IQ is the IQ of its stupidest member. So a city’s character has the fiber of its weakest and I don’t mean neediest. I mean the morally weakest.
So who would you nominate for Diva Man this month? My nomination is a contractor who was paid handsomely for work done for me, but welched on a small promise he made. When I challenged him to live by his word, he said, “I don’t want to work for you anymore,” as if I were to blame for questioning his change of heart. I should have known. When I shook his hand at the end of our project, a fish hand shook back. Not the strong grip you would expect from years of hammers and saws, his handshake was a boneless and slack.
Maybe rain makes men soft.