I’m in Montreal several days for a wedding, and it’s such a turn-on to be here.
Part of it is the ‘feedback’. In Montreal, people look straight at you. And if they like the way you look, they show it. Men or women. It’s not that they’re saying they want to sleep with you, or even know you – necessarily. Just that they don’t have a problem with open appreciation. They’re comfortable with it. So you, the recipient of this cultural gift, get to feel good. How lovely.
Regardless of age, grey hair, too thin, too fat, whatever you are, there’s a good chance you’ll get to feel appreciated.
In Toronto, as in most Canadian cities and towns, when we grey-haired or heavy people go looking in trendy fashion stores, most sales clerks act as if they’re thinking, “Why are you here?” They seem to feel there’s something indecent about a person beyond a certain age or weight wanting to look attractive. And men are even more conditioned to think of this as ‘un-manly’.
I notice on every visit to Montreal, that many older men – let’s say white-haired 70-year-olds — dress with panache and have interesting, attractive hair. Outside of Quebec, on the other hand, we’re more likely to find the “age appropriate” idea dominating their clothing: nondescript shirts, short conventional haircut, wide ties, standard dress slacks.
Here in Montreal, they take it for granted that older men and women enjoy the sensuality of life as much as anyone. You are simply doing what men and women have done for thousands of years. They act as if nothing would be more fun than finding some special little number for you that would make you feel sensational. Or perhaps a little playful tweaking – a belt, a beret, a scarf….?
Of course when you analyze the ‘chic’ more deeply, you realize it isn’t so much about appearance as it is about spontaneous, lively self-expression. And it’s about the confident body language. We seem to move more stiffly in Toronto – ‘properly’. Montrealers seem to move in an ever-so-slightly sensuous way, as if they enjoy the feel of their bodies.
The ‘feedback’ itself is not that obvious if your focus is elsewhere – on your thoughts, or perhaps intense conversation with someone. But having grown up here, when I come to Montreal, I know I want some of that. It’s the famous “je ne sais quoi” of Montreal. Reminds me of wanting to breath the salt air by the sea – it’s a part of why I’m here.
Once again I’m remembering that I should come more often. It does me so-o-o-o much good.