Last night I went to meet a friend of mine, Juan Carlos, in from Peru out at a gay bar in Palermo. We met in front of the bar at what we thought a reasonable hour 11:15pm. But then this is Argentina, and people are really just sitting down to dinner at that hour. The bar didn’t open until about 11:45, and we were the first ones there. As we had the place to ourselves for the first hour or so, it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere. We started talking about getting older, and the reasons for my trip these last couple of years. Juan Carlos is 38 and has a little anxiety about reaching 40 and what it all means. I assured him that it means nothing or anything you want it to mean, and not to worry too much about what society at large thinks. I told him that for me, it was a great opportunity to think about the experience of living and being (and not being), and how lucky I felt that these last 2 years had given me a completely new perspective. The bar started to fill up and we turned some of our attention to the collection of men in conversation around the bar. Juan Carlos had been talking to another friend of his here by phone who had told us about a dance party going on in another place, and Juan Carlos started asking around to find directions. At one point he asked some younger guy about the party, who looked at Juan Carlos, let out an audible if small gasp, and told him that yes, he knew about the party, but…it was going to be quite…young…and was Juan Carlos sure he wanted to go? Seeing Juan Carlos’ crestfallen expression, I couldn’t help but let out a giggle. Coupled with our earlier conversation, I could tell that this did not sit well with him at all. It was around 3am, which is past my usual bedtime, so I begged off while my friend, with a determined “I’ll show that little queen” look in his eye, set off to find his party.
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the help wanted ads here in Mexico this morning, to see what kind of work was on offer. As I was perusing the ads I noticed that many of them are VERY specific about “qualifications” that have nothing to do with the job in question. Many of the ads specifically state the age and sex of the persons they are looking for. Coming from the US, where this sort of hiring discrimination is illegal (at least on paper), this was a bit of a shock to me.