logo: 28Barbary.com - a blog about Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin

August 21, 2022

"A Frisco Disco"
commentary for scene 3 of #book1

JUMP TO: Plot Summary - Cultural References - Locations - My Thoughts

TAGS: #book1 #MaryAnnSingleton #ConnieBradshaw

Link to the text: A Frisco Disco (starting on page 18) (Scribd membership required)

still shot from the scene

Plot summary: Connie takes Mary Ann to a club called "Dance your Ass Off." Connie immediately heads out to the floor to boogie, while Mary Ann has a seat and "tries to take it all in."

While seated, Mary Ann is approached by a long-haired guy in a "Greek peasant's shirt" who makes a less-than-graceful attempt at picking her up, but Mary Ann shuts him down and heads back to Connie's place. A few hours later, Connie comes home, but she is bringing along the same man (who earlier tried to pick Mary Ann up). Mary Ann pretends to be already asleep to avoid awkwardness.

Cultural Refences:


My thoughts: Re-reading this scene made me think about how Armistead got his material for this scene --- did he go to straight clubs to scope them out or was it all second-hand experience?

Other random thoughts --- The issue of sexuality for Mary Ann is an interesting one. She is obviously put off by guys who come on too directly/creepily/etc, but she is also no prude, as we know from not only later happenings in this book, but also from her complaints a few scenes later to her future landlady about being frustrated that so many of the guys she is interested in, turn out to be gay.

I kinda relate to her contradictory nature, because when I was her age I was even more confused. For me, by my late 20's and early 30's, I was no longer committed the ideal of avoiding premaritial sex, but I also was not yet able/willing to express what was I wanting. In other words, I was ready to jump out of my shell, but only wanted to go so far out of that shell, which meant I was having a lot of fantastic friendships with women, but I wasn't having much sex.

As for the creepy guy at the club --- this might be my autism speaking, but his overtures were creepy, not because they were direct, but rather because they weren't direct but still sexually assertive (sending a weird mixed message - "I'm not making a pass"). Instead of saying bluntly, "hey I think you're cute. Do you want to get to know each other better?" instead he goes into lame lines about horoscopes and then goes into making assumptions about what she might want (walks on the beach, lemon-scented candles, etc.). Obviously this didn't go well for him. Frankly, I think it would have been far better if he had even said, "hey I'm looking for someone to take home tonight. Are you interested?"