"You're a player," she sneered.
That was the accusation a young female co-worker made about me in mixed company a few weeks ago. Picture her: a snarky, loud-mouthed, fat-arsed little slapper, with bloated self-regard and Bolshevik self-righteousness, a veritable warthog in heels. In other words, a typical American girl.
"Moi?!," I replied in mock indignation. I hadn't considered it before. But I suppose it was true, if by player she meant a chap who likes the company of women. A lot. If so, guilty as charged.
But she explained that by player she meant that I see a lot of women and--here's the rub--that I talk about it. I don't hide the fact I have at times a rather full social calendar. I'm quite open about it, particularly when asked. Which I am, often, usually by ladies themselves. "How was your weekend?" I've nothing to hide.
I'm proud of the women I've managed to drag into my life then and now. Recall my marriage to a Middle Eastern hottie a few years ago, from a wealthy Levantine clan, whose patriarch escaped Germany after the war not because he was Bolshevik but because he was on the losing side. And take my most recent serious girlfriend: a beautiful California beach blonde who turned heads everywhere we went. And don't even get me started on the young Russian beauty straight out of that book by Lermontov.
No, what bothers my co-worker and other young women like her is that chaps can talk about it without stigma. And we do. Calling a man a player is a shaming tactic. For a man with choices, and who happily acts on those choices, is a threat to single women seeking commitment, and an example to young men. That's the danger they see. I get it.
Just the other day, as I strode past a group of senior bankers in conversation, one of the SVPs smiled and gestured towards me. "William, you walk around here like a fucking 27-year old stud."