Men are from Mars

I always think of myself as a very feminine person. I had an older sister and generally have always only ever had close girlfriends. I tend to empathise and associate best with females. I have never been one of those girls who gets on better with men, or who has had lots of guy-friends. To be honest, most of the time I believe men are an entirely foreign and somewhat bewildering species far removed from everything I know to be true.

Compound this with the fact that I haven’t had many close male relationships other than one with my father who, as anyone who knows him can say with authority, is a man very much in touch with his feminine side. As a household it was a calm, girly, estrogen-heavy environment. Nobody really played (or watched) sport and shopping wasn’t seen as a chore. My dad, who basically had to sink or swim with two girls and a strong-willed wife, probably knows more about curtains than cricket.

So when I met The Boy, I was as caught up in the rush of romance as I was intrigued to finally become best friends with a real, proper boy. We’ve been together four years and while The Boy is far from a dry-wall breaking beer slugging boorish alpha male type, he is the closest I have ever been to a member of the alien species.

The Boy rocks my world on a daily basis; everyone who knows us knows we are a somewhat annoyingly happy couple. I have so enjoyed getting to know my first male best friend, but often there have been moments that have ranged from gentle bemusement, the kind that leaves you with a gentle self-smile to utmost hair-splitting tear-inducing jaw-clenching frustration. I have come to the conclusion that all this comes from the fact that as I had always suspected, Men are from Mars. God Bless them but they are utterly mad.

I like lists. So here is a list of my top ten mad observations of things I never ever will understand about men. Most of these are from My Boy, but I’m sure all men exhibit these behaviours in some form or the other.

Things I never ever will understand about men

1. What is it with men and the bloody Playstation/Xbox? I have seen my very intelligent and engaging Boy turn into a googly-eyed silent thing with super-twitchy fingers. I get that men like video games because it gives them an alternate reality where everything is good or evil and mindless violence has a great deal of purpose…but what I refuse to get is why on earth four hours at a time without food, sleep or communication with humans, gets whiled away in front of this wretched contraption without so much as a grunt in response to your well-meaning questions. To The Boy’s credit, he tends to buy the latest game (often about 5 seconds after it is released to the general public,) play it like a maniac within the first 2 days, clock it and move back to being a loving caring talking husband. I tried to get involved and play a game once (Little Big Planet 2 for the record) but it all moved to fast and I got all stressed out because I kept dying and he got all stressed out because I kept hitting A when I should’ve been hitting X, and it all just went a bit west. So, men and video games…I just don’t get it.

2. I can remember our first date, our first holiday, the first time someone addressed us as “Mr and Mrs Boy”, the dress I wore on our 8th date etc. etc. He, like most men, often can’t even remember his own birthday. I am constantly reminding him of social dates for the diary, family birthday’s, even pay days! You’d think, right: men have bad memories. Not True. What year did Messi get scouted? When was the last time England got to the semi-finals of a World Cup? What were you doing at the exact moment Beckham missed that penalty? The answers to all these questions and several other thousand useless ones are taking up very important and premium space in men’s brains. No wonder they will never remember that you committed to your friend’s sister’s neighbour’s engagement party  the day of the Champion’s League Final.

3. I went through a phase, when I was a fashion student, of wearing mostly Vintage finds from a super cool warehouse deep in the East End. It got me through fashion week and almost every day of being surrounded by far more fashionable people at college. I still look back and think of my authentic 80’s bomber jacket, my 50’s tea dresses, my dominatrix black leather corset-waist belt and my grandad cricket jumper with the kind of fondness reserved for one’s first born child. The Boy thought each and every single item was utterly mad. He would often go from shaking his head to full on laughing his head off at my finds. I was even forbidden from using the word “vintage” for a while. Palazzo pants, Harem pants, Midi skirts, High-waisted sailor shorts, Block-coloured platforms, Blue eyeliner, Tuxedo jackets…all very haute according to the fashion powers that be; all deemed utterly repulsive by men. They just don’t get it. And for that, I just don’t get them!

4. Hi, I’m if i had six minutes to live, and I’m a beauty product-aholic. I have a somewhat chronic makeup/bath and body product addiction. My room is absolutely filled with every single type of beauty product ever invented. I can’t help but pick up every single shiny new bottle when I stop by Boots…it is a problem I am seeking help for. My Boy is very intrigued by my potions and lotions and is always eagerly buzzing around my dressing table to see if there are any items I suggest he should use. He always pretends to be really nonchalant about it but I can see his face light up when I suggest he should moisturise or exfoliate…they would never buy their own products but find it perfectly fine to pinch ours, claiming to “test it out to make sure we aren’t getting poisoned”. Right.

5. We go on a lot of drives. I always feel perfectly safe with him at the wheel but I will never understand why somewhere, deep down inside even the most sensible boy, there is a racer-boy at heart. I have often caught my Boy driving like he is on the Monaco Grand Prix track, cornering country roads in our tiny Aubergine Mazda 2 as if on rails. I believe Top Gear may be to blame for this phenomenon but answers on a postcard are welcome with your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

6. Men often say the wrong thing. My well-meaning Boy, like hundreds before him tends to have foot in mouth disease sometimes. Whether it is my makeup, my weight, my volatile relationship with a particular girlfriend or a problem I encountered at work…if men aren’t careful sometimes those ‘inside’ thoughts come outside without so much as a pause for breath and you’re left shocked at the impact of that casual but so hurtful (and often irritatingly spot on) remark. “Yes maybe that dress isn’t the most flattering option” or “why pay £100 for a gym membership you never use?” or “maybe she hasn’t called because she doesn’t have much to say to you” or “he probably was being short because you did it wrong”. To their credit they are mostly apologetic and often very soothing after the incriminating foot-in-mouth comment has cleared the air…but sometimes it might still mean a night on the sofa.

7. The Boy and I have many things in common like our love for Nando’s, bad pop music and scented candles. One thing we most certainly do not is our taste in movies. I will never understand why American bullshit comedies make him laugh till he literally cries, and movies about Robots that turn into cars are given epic status when to me they are and always will be, the most hollow depths of Bad Hollywood and a general bane to society.

8. Now I don’t know if this is just The Boy, or men in general, but they bloody eat LOADS and very fast. Sitting for a meal with my Boy is like being on one of those ridiculous burger-eating competitions on telly, you just eat as much as you can, as fast as possible and need to be reminded to chew. It doesn’t help that his hearty appetite is matched by a very slender frame, whereas I’m pretty much the other (and wrong) way round. One word: un-freakin’-fair.

You have to give them credit where it is due though, they may be frustrating but they are a whole lot bloody simpler than women. Once you come to terms with the above eight points and some variations therewithin, you often don’t encounter much more complexity.

So, as always, I sign off with a quote:

“The greatest truths are the simplest: so likewise are the greatest men.”- Julius Charles Hare

May many violent  PS3 games, bad American comedies and useless amounts of football trivia be with you,

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