RE: "Portland's Dismal Dating Scene" [Letters, June 19], in which an anonymous over-60 reader pleaded for good places in town to meet single men in the same age bracket.
DEAR ANONYMOUS—Every time my wife and I go to the Tea Zone and Camellia Lounge, the crowd is entirely over 40 and the music is decidedly non-teenager. They have jazz on Fridays and Saturdays at Living Room Theaters, with sultry sirens mostly over 40 and a crowd that is generally older, likely because of the types of films they show at Living Room, which are mostly not those that teenagers would want to see.
Chris in the Cultural District
DEAR MERCURY—Indeed, I'm 60, a WM professional who reads your publication, wears skinny jeans, sometimes the canvas funky tennis shoes. How open minded is the lady? So many of my peers, formerly daring carefree hippies, are now as old and crusted as the parents they once disdained. Get out to Doug Fir, Dante's. I know it's awkward mingling with people almost a half century younger, but you'll be entertained with good music, and if you dress a bit hip, the younger set will look at you with admiration. And please, when I ask you for a dance, don't reject me. I've had more women such as you turn me down than the young set. I'm asking for a dance, not marriage. You state, "You do not look as good now." Few of us do. However that's no excuse for the obesity that's out. The ladies I know over 60 who have boyfriends/dates adhere to all of this. Us singles just have to get out there and try harder. Suggestions: Music on Main Street concerts begin middle of July, Cascade Blues Association, and Meetup groups catering to a diverse age group.
RE: "Street Harassment" [Feature, June 19], in which authors Cienna Madrid, Anna Minard, Mary Traverse, and Emily Nokes suggest some female responses to being sexually harassed on the street.
DEAR MERCURY—It's never a good idea for the Mercury to encourage any woman to threaten to take a box cutter to some stranger's scrotal sac. It's also unhelpful to advise women who feel they've been subjected to inappropriate drive-by remarks to call a police hotline and make up lies about what happened. These are not "snappy comebacks," they're hostile attacks. If you're going to go that route, here's a better idea: just recommend whipping out a small handgun and placing a few shots directly in the face of the stranger whose misguided attempts at flirting have gone horribly awry. We need to practice and teach more civilized peaceful responses to unwelcome behavior. Women are equally capable of inappropriate aggression, as this article clearly demonstrates.
DEAR MERCURY—Maybe, just maybe, people need to teach their kids/peers to not to harass people in the street/public in the first place. I say "people" because not just women get harassed by men on the street or in public. Before the [men's rights activists]/others get all uppity and shit on me, there's a difference between "That's a cute outfit" vs. "That's a cute outfit, but it would look better on my bedroom floor!" I can take a compliment, but I can't take blatant sexual harassment. If someone wants to tell me I have nice tits, do so in the privacy of my/their bedroom where all dirty talk is allowed and supported. Don't shout it out at me in public where I more than likely will glare and not be so friendly about being called out on my epic breasts.
I just wanted to give a shoutout to the authors of the "Street Harassment" article. I've experienced it, I've hated it, and I've had a snappy comeback or two. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to a scary situation you've been conditioned to ignore, but public stances like this are amazing and we need more of them. Loved the drawings, too.
YOU'RE WELCOME, Andrea! Glad you enjoyed the piece, and may we just say that you seem like a lovely and spirited woman. Now then, how about two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, a great place to go on dates with perfect gentlemen.