Monday, November 14, 2011
I Kant with the Mexican
Wait! Stop! Before you call me a racist, I am Mexican. OK, let us proceed. After a few weeks of chatting online with this guy, we decided lets meet up over at the local Starbucks, because lets face it, in these technologically advanced days anyone [gay guys] can doctor up a picture and profile. After all, don't you know ALL gay men have taken the Photoshop course on how to look flawless in 3 easy steps: blend tool, green filter, crop...oh and save. Starbucks seemed the logical choice, it's in public with other guys perusing Grindr, and we all believe in having something in our hands to keep them busy and not look awkward, insert your own Freudian theory here.
I keep it simple, no frills when it comes to my drink; passion iced tea lemonade, as it is, the calories in one is more than I need. As the barista asks my name, I wave over to the guy I met up with, and asked what he wanted. He refused to order. There we were in front of the barista waving back and forth, come on just order, I got it. He kept on refusing...great already fighting in front of my local barista. Fine, you can buy your own. Stepping up to the counter he orders his drink, Capn' Crunch...and I give a face. Not on purpose, it just came over as I thought, the calories, the sugar content, how much gay boy fitness I would have to put in to just have a sip. The marriage/one night stand I had built up in my mind was OVER.
As we walked around for a bit, the feeling to dig deeper to why he wouldn't let me buy him a $4 drink, came over me...so I asked.
Turns out the reason was simple, he doesn't like people buying him anything. He likes to be the one buying the things for the other person. Understandable, but at some point people have to let go of that idea and allow themselves the opportunity or idea that someone else might pick up the tab. People often say the person who invites should pay...I don't believe in that...too much. Unless he invites you to a very expensive restaurant, knowing that you probably can't afford it, but he wants to take you out, then it's all on him. Of course, I probably would have brought up a different restaurant where maybe I would be comfortable picking up my own tab. I think if someone wants to split the meal, then by all means do so.
Wait. Stop. Then I am no different than the guy that didn't want me to buy his drink.
That's what I thought at first, and then the Mexican stereotype dropped. I think I do it because it's the Mexican in me, to provide and take care of someone. Oh, that guy. Wait, there is more...I don't want to feel like I owe someone something or that they owe me.
This isn't the first time I have encountered this, both times from Mexican guys. Have we reached a point in the world or is there some unwritten code in the universe [or holy book of Gay], that I am not aware of, that buying someone something means you owe them something in return? I can't imagine all gay men think that if another man extends his hand out to help or buy him something he wants something back in return, and preferably in a sexual favor. Or is trying to tell the other person, look you can't do it on your own, and it's alright, that's why I [daddy] am here to help. Hold on to your seats because we are about to get philosophical and visit the world of Kant [insert slight giggle here].
Immanuel Kant described the Practical Imperative as an act to treat humanity, whether yourself or another, as an end-in-itself, and never as a means (please read with pinky out and nose tilted up). In other words one should never do something for another person as to attain some pleasure or means out of it. Either way I write it, I am sure you are reading this with sexual explicits. Let us continue. The Practical Imperative states don't use people in order to obtain your goals or seek an edge or unfair advantage.
This means that no satisfaction [control your giggle...now] must begot from the act. The minute that one feels fulfillment or the desire to be fulfilled for the act it becomes nullified, there is no moral worth. You are now acting out of want. For you see, the good will is the end-in-itself, for it is that good will that acts out of the sake of duty. Of course now we are left to define duty. Duty is that which makes us act out in reverence to the universal law. No, not the law that we shall not wear white after Labor Day, but the law of what is good. You don't lie, you don't cheat, you don't kill, you don't wear the same outfit as your friend knowing that he chose to wore the same thing and you called each other the night before.
The duty to lead a good life, which leads us to the Categorical Imperative, which is a rule (yes, more rules) that states what ought to be done is based upon pure reason alone and not contingent upon sensible desires; for the greater good is for the good of the people. Then again, all of this can be dismissed as a farce because the truth is there's no good for the people in buying someone a drink, unless frappicinos have become some type of moral cause that we have no idea about, which brings us to the point that the Categorical Imperative is moot, but buying someone a drink can be explained as a categorically unconditioned imperative. This is due to the fact that the necessitation of the action lies within the imperative alone, and the imperative alone does not seek to attend to the good, happiness, wisdom, or skill, or any other end that may set the action into motion...so what does this mean?
They want to feel in control of their own lives and take care of themselves...which is great. I love men who are passionate, have drive and enthusiasm...but put your Mexican pride aside and just let me buy you the damn over priced drink, so we can both have something in our hands and continue talking about frivolous pop culture and your love for Rhianna.
**Check out this site for a brief refresher on Kantian ethics