Denmark is a land of extremes. Extreme weather, extreme political parties and extreme men. There’s incredibly bad … and there’s incredibly good. The middle of the road here doesn’t really exist.
Now generalisations are easy. Individualisation is not. If you’d encountered some of the dates I have, you’d understand why I build certain boxes to put men into … which leads me to my first story.
A few weeks ago at 8 o’clock on a Thursday night I embarked on my first ‘blind date’ in Denmark. Dating Danes ‘unblind’ is hard enough, so I was more than tentative.
After seeing a confused looking guy in the café, I figured it was him. He seemed normal … at first. But then the first warning sign went off when I paid for the drinks.
The second warning sign went off when he told me he wanted to be a pilot … but at this point in time he was studying to be a bus driver.
“I figure when I have lots of kids, I’ll be able to drive them all around easily,” he added – and he wasn’t making a joke.
The third warning sign went off when he entered into conversational territory that shouldn’t even be crossed until well after the fourth date.
“When I was 23, I lost my virginity,” he blurts out. “Really,” I said, wondering what I’d done to deserve this information. “Yeah, my sister was 26, my older brother was 24 and my younger one was 21.”
Yes, I am totally serious. I not only heard his sexual history, but his whole family’s. I didn’t ask if it was on the same night.
Now people say the Danes are closed − but when they do open up, it’s extreme.
But for every 200 Danish men who are odd, confusing, rude and reserved, there is that rare one at the other end of the scale. And I met one.
We’ll call this guy the ‘Great Dane’. You see a lot of Danish men think it’s all about the big gestures. But it’s not and it never has been – the Great Dane knows this.
Take chivalry for example. About 99.9 per cent of Danish men don’t even know what the word means. The Great Dane, however, lifts my bike, holds my bag and even lets me wait in the car while he gets ice off the windows.
Or let’s take ‘play’. Most guys here don’t realise that play isn’t spelt c-a-r-l-s-b-e-r-g. The Great Dane does though − he even lets me play with the ultimate toy: his car. Despite the fact I drove the wrong way down a one-way street and didn’t manage to stay in my lane, all I got was a reassuring “That lady over there is just being rude.”
So I’m left with a dilemma. Two extremes don’t make a gross generalisation about the Danish male population. So despite my past conclusions, I’m simply left to say this: Danish men, no matter how good or bad, can’t be placed in boxes.