Thoughts on a conversation in a pub

When having a lengthy conversation with someone you know only slightly, it’s not really easy to know how much to believe of what they say. I had such a conversation today with a person I’ve known on a first name basis only, over four or five years.

The conversation took place in the pub where I’ve seen him and said hello to him over the years, without saying all that much in the past. This man was drinking beer, I was drinking coffee. ‘Joe’ (not his real name) invited me to sit and chat for a while, after the meeting I’d been having with a friend/colleague broke up, and she went home.

Joe told me a little about what he did for a living – registered nurse in an Intensive Care Unit. I hadn’t known this, I hadn’t ever thought about what he might do for a living, in the past. Joe went on to talk about the other nurses where he worked, politics and gun laws.

Much of what Joe said seemed to me to be sexist and racist, and he certainly seemed not to like women much, or the government, either the current one or the opposition. Joe professed to only liking one politician, Gough Whitlam, who’s long gone.

I’m not sure what Joe’s level of inebriation was, but I certainly don’t think he was particularly drunk. I also don’t know Joe well enough to know whether he was talking the truth as he saw it, or was just seeing how far he could go, to judge how I’d take it.

After talking for a while, in response to a question, I told Joe I was married and had been for nearly 27 years. I also indicated I love my husband and wouldn’t go against the vows I made when I married. There was a lot more to the conversation than this, and I’m not sure where further conversations might go, but I’m glad that most of the times I’m at this hotel in the future, and there will be many times, my friends will also be there…

Joe indicated he found me attractive, and I find that statement puzzling. Why on earth would a man say that to a woman who has indicated she’s not available, and who has given no indication they are interested in anything more than a friendly conversation…

Life is a curious thing – men are odd creatures! Thoughts from others on this are most welcome!


19 thoughts on “Thoughts on a conversation in a pub

  1. johnlmalone says:

    I am a man, C\arolyn as you may have noticed 🙂 All I can say in response to this is that men are just as complcated and enigmatic as women are said to be 🙂


  2. Thank you John, What you say is true. I was surprised at the strength of Joe’s bad feelings about the non-white nurses he worked with. He judged them as being all the same, and all there for reasons that had nothing to do with helping to heal patients.
    I’m not a nurse, am rarely in hospitals, I simply cannot believe that every non-white nurse in the hospital Joe works in is the same as he portrayed them. I like to believe well of people, and I found his ideas somewhat distasteful, but I simply don’t know enough about it to know the ‘truth’ if such a thing exists!


  3. johnlmalone says:

    it seems like that from what you say our ‘Joe’ is a rather prejudiced young man — but then again it is hard to find anyone on this planet free from prejudice; the best we can do is acknowledge it and not be swAYED BY IT in our judgemenents


  4. He’s not a young man, he said he’s been a registered nurse since the seventies, nearly forty years. He’s about ten or so years older than I am. I’m considering his words, but without proof of any of his claims, I’m not going to just believe it all, without knowing more.
    He made many sweeping generalisations and called me naive, because I didn’t agree with all he said. If he was actually trying to pick me up, he’s technique certainly was never going to work!


  5. It certainly seemed like he wanted a forum to say some things that troubled him. I’m happy to be there to listen, up to a point. I got a little annoyed when he called me naive when I didn’t agree with him wholeheartedly… I don’t know the facts of what he was saying, but I don’t believe everything he said was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We ended the conversation in a pleasant enough way.


  6. johnlmalone says:

    there used to be a thing called ‘Soapbox Corner’, I think, somewhere in the city where people like this chap could stand up and publically ‘vent’. One of my friends, Terry Hewton, did it for decades; now he writes ‘Letters To The Editor’; perhaps that’s what your ‘friend’ should apply himself to, instead of taking it out on innocent bystanders 🙂


  7. He actually had something he wanted to talk to me about, but he got so caught up with his rant, that he left it right until then end. He does graphic art and thought I might be interested in his stuff. A part time graphic artist, who collects different copies of Tess of the d’Urbervilles.- he has ten or eleven different Tesses on front covers. I suspect Tess is his idea of the perfect woman. Maybe I should dig up my copy and have another read.


  8. He knows Helen and I are working on the latest Poets at the Pub anthology, so maybe he was going to eventually see if we’d be interested in having him involved. I don’t really know, and he hasn’t get back to me at all, which is maybe a good thing! I’ve actually sort of known him for a few years, the way you do if you go to a hotel regularly. Every last Sunday of the month, I’m there and he sometimes is too, and I go there other times too – the Adelaide Plains Chapter and Verse Writing group meet weekly at the Prince Albert Hotel.


  9. johnlmalone says:

    I’ve left quite a comment to your thoughts on my ‘Love’ poem. You might find it worth a read. Geoff Goodfellow is mentiioned


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