Only a few minutes ago, we’d been standing together drinking beer, when the other guy made the dubious and drunken decision to put his arm around me.
What happened next was awful, confusing, and I wanted it to stop.
These insurmountable standards of beauty can largely be credited to the fact that there are more women than men.
The disintegration of male hygiene and work ethic that occurs when there is (by some counts) a 3:1 female:male ratio should be noted by anthropologists worldwide.
I had female friends who had no idea they were apparently someone’s girlfriend.
The American teachers at my language school had a phrase to describe dating Russian men.
After the punching finally stopped, Anton walked up to me shirtless and sweaty, caked with blood and dirt, his arms outstretched in an unmistakable gesture of victory. Pistols at dawn seemed a ludicrous symbol of male egotism, and I longed for men in tailored suits, who solved arguments with Woody Allen jokes and New Yorker references.Having grown up in New York, I had taken for granted that people were always striving for something, or at least striving to be striving for something.In Russia, most of the guys I met were engaged in some sort of dubious import/export business in electronics; the rest were involved in “business” (if you ask what kind of business, and there is a marked pause followed by the word “business,” you should refrain from asking any more questions).But what I mistook for a smile was actually a grimace. But then Anton hugged me, heat and sweat rising from his torso, his arms wrapped around me in a promise of eternal protection, inhaling me in that way men do to show they’re grateful that you’re safe.And in that strange and romantic moment I thought, “One day I’m going to put this in a story to explain my convoluted relationship with Russian men.” I should preface this story by saying that I am Russian.