Nathan Procrusteous

Ah, my friend Nate.

We hung out at the Eagle Hotel last night while the rest of the kids crowded Arooga’s.  Wasn’t our first pick, but there was no 45 minute wait.  We sat and caught up.  We’re both finishing up our respective degrees and are quite busy.  The wings were good, the conversation was good, we were having a great time.

And then Nate asked me an odd question… “What do you think about my watch?”

I hadn’t even noticed Nate was wearing a watch.  I don’t know that I’d ever noticed whether Nate was or wasn’t wearing a watch.  When I see a friend, the wrist is not usually where I look first.  But there on his wrist was a watch obviously made for a woman.  It was a sport watch, but it definitely had the characteristics of being made for a woman… thin strap, small face.

I looked at him, “That’s a woman’s watch.”

“Wait, you can tell?”

“Nate, why are you wearing a woman’s watch?”

“What do you think of it?”

“It’s dainty.”

Nate went on, justification in his voice, “Well, ok, so, how can you tell it’s a woman’s watch?  I mean, look at it, it tells time, it functons just like a men’s watch.  Besides, who says that machines have gender?  Why can’t this be a man’s watch?”

“Nate, I getcha.  The first clue is the size of the strap.  There are pink Nokias, and black Nokias.  I’m not going to carry a pink Nokia because it obviously was made for a woman, and I don;t thinkI could carry it.  So, I had the black Nokia.”

“See,” Nate said, “you moved to color.  How does that even relate to a thin band?  It makes no sense.”

“But it does.  Pink, strap size, material… it’s all about the design.  Some things are made, designed specifically for women… like a smaller strap because typically women have slighter, thinner wrists.”

“But it’s adjustable!”

Where did he get this watch?  He found it on the stoop outside of his apartment.  Seeing the watch, it didn’t cross his mind what gender this watch was made to accessorize… it was a working watch.  Nor did he think that he may just be wearing the remnants of a mugging.

Ah, Nate.  He wants everything to be efficient.  He even has an equation to find the perfect bed:

Bed efficiency= body area/ bed area

He is a smaller guy, and so he wants a smaller bed, like a twin.  He’s not sharing his bed with anyone, so why get a bed that would have so much empty space?

The thought behind him wearing the woman’s watch is that it’s more efficient… it’s lighter, and it doesn’t take up as much space.  And, though everyone has noticed it, and has noticed that it is indeed a woman’s watch, he finds nothing wrong with it.  It works just like a watch should (though he can’t figure out why there are three alarm functions.  He figures it’s for eyes, hair, and makeup).  Even him getting the watch displays his efficiency…

So, do machines, devices necessarily belong to the gender they were designed for?  Can a man wear a watch designed for a woman?  Can a woman wear a man’s watch?

(I’d asked about clothing, but I don’t want to offend those guys I do know who wear women’s jeans. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.)

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2 thoughts on “Nathan Procrusteous

  1. I have a “women’s” sport watch. It’s made by timex. I really like it, it’s much easier to use than the men’s watch of the same model, because the men’s watch is twice the size. I’m planning on using it for my triathlon. Erin makes fun of me, but I don’t care… she’s got a men’s watch for her heart rate monitor. When making my watch purchase it wasn’t just because that was what was cheapest, I actually did a lot of research and looking around. I knew I wanted a Timex, because I like their watches. I wanted a stopwatch/chronograph feature. I wanted it to be small and efficient for running/swimming/biking. There are some pretty fancy watches, but when they’re the size of an Eisenhower Dollar on your wrist, it gets really cumbersome. If I could pick, and if it only cost $15, I would have a stopwatch/heart rate monitor/watch surgically implanted in my wrist. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about whether it’s a male or female watch. It would be me. And I’m male.

    • I don’t think that wearing a women’s watch somehow emasculates anyone. But I’m hip. I wear a scarf.

      Is there a line though? Society, our culture, has definitely set up a boundary. ‘Cause I don’t think your watch is pink, right?

      And for Nate, it just adds to who he is… he found it on the street, next to a fleece cap which he then washed and is wearing, and his thought wasn’t about gender, but about it’s smallness. He once took apart his mobile so that it was only a screen and keyboard (which he had attached to the back of the screen).

      And as far as it being implanted… if you put it on your forehead think how handy you would be to have around. Of course, you wouldn’t know what time it is, but we could alwyas tell you.

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