As the girlfriend of a ‘City Boy’ as well as a cynic when it comes to all men that work in finance, or any position offering enough disposable income to form delusions of grandeur, I feel like I’m in a bit of a sticky situation with my attitude towards the stereotypes.
One thing I will say is that stereotypes are not always accurate, admittedly. And I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush, but they don’t come from nowhere. Here’s what I class as the stereotypical City boy:
He wears a suit, no tie. Flashes his cash distastefully on overpriced champagne, the majority of which ends up down the front of his Hugo Boss shirt as he spends most of the night swinging it in the air in a ‘look at how much money I have’ kind of way. City boys, in their natural habitat (somewhere that serves alcohol within a cigar’s throw of their office) are loud, brash and unintelligibly drunk. Darwinian instincts have evolved and the territorial behaviours ensue in a compelling display of survival of the richest.
Beer bellied, balding and desperately clinging to a lost youth, many city boys are shocked to find that they are older than they behave and lonelier than they thought possible. But it’s ok. They have a ferrari.
I’m not saying they are all like that. If I believed that then I’d have a different boyfriend. Although I have just received a phone call saying he’s going to the Cricket (it’s 1.30pm) as someone in the office had tickets (on expenses no doubt) and he’s been drinking champagne since lunchtime. After sending a tongue in cheek message cheekily hinting that this is why he doesn’t have a six pack and will undoubtedly result in high blood pressure and impotence, his response was ‘I’ll just get myself a 21 year old blonde PA with benefits.’ Just when I’m making a vain attempt to shatter the stereotypical illusions…
If, said 21 year PA was anything other than a far fetched delusional figment of his inebriated imagination – I wouldn’t have laughed quite so loudly. But it was an admirable come back, if not convincing.
There’s no denying that on entering any bar within a mile of liverpool street, the testosterone hits you in the face like heat walking into a sauna. Thursday nights, friday nights, in fact any night, there will be suited men, arms draped around each other, stumbling into strip clubs where they will throw cash at women in thongs who, no doubt swing round their poles pitying the idiots who are excitedly paying their wages. They fall asleep in the taxi home, dribbling into the dawn. Tipping the taxi driver more than necessary (he’ll claim it back) and stumbling to bed.
I do have to hold onto the notion that they can’t all be like that, surely? Not every trader, broker, banker [enter job title here]… can presume that because their pay packets have grown at the same rate as their waistline, that that gives them any sort of credibility? Disposable income, flash cars and easy women (yes, I know they can add fuel to the fire) makes it all so easy for the City boys to be led astray and I can see that.
After a night out in the city with said boyfriend last week, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The guys were polite, generous and a good laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a fly on the wall so I know that there may have been a certain element of ‘toning down’ for our benefit, but neither myself nor my friend were groped, we had fun, and there seemed no obvious plan of getting us out the way to hit Stringfellows. We were the only girls in the bar, but it was nice to not have to queue, the toilets had paper and they had a bar tab.
So I suppose in the way that not all blondes are dumb and not every Scot is a kilted whisky guzzler, there are a fair few that are. It’s the same with City boys. I wouldn’t let the stereotype put you off, there are a few good ones out there. And if you don’t catch them, the 21 year old imaginary PA, might just pip you to the post.