A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I pointed out that statistics disprove the media myth of an excess of unmarried thirtysomething females, complained about the parallel emotional indoctrination of women by commercial interests, warned of the uselessness of online dating services, and described a good evening out I’d had instead of going to a singles do organized by such a service. Yesterday, The Times published another one of those articles from an unmarried thirtysomething woman moaning that men are shit. I’m sure there’ll be more of them as that great sap-suckering festival of Valentine’s Day approaches. The sub-headline states, somewhat innaccurately, that its author, Laura Nolan believes that thirtysomething men won’t marry (her) because they are “selfish, mixed-up, man-boys chasing no-strings sex”.
My romantic ambitions extend to asking a woman out for a drink and having her turn up. When I do and a woman doesn’t, I don’t infer that she is a lesbian, frigid, or mentally disturbed; I simply conclude from her not spending time with me that she does not want to spend time with me. That’s us men for you: literal to the point of autism. Just as no one owes me a living, no one owes me a date (though a prompt and polite “no” is usually preferable to being messed around at the last minute).
The best bit of the article is the part where Ms Nolan recounts her bad experiences with past boyfriends who wouldn’t “commit”—and remember: this is a piece that rants against male navel-gazing. She writes of them:
All were thirtysomething, bright, successful bachelors. They had all had therapy. They all talked ad infinitum about their “ishoos”.
Here, I wanted to point at Ms Nolan’s bellybutton and tell her to give it a good hard stare. She is after all a female who thinks that a male who willingly subjects himself to psychoanalysis and unironically refers to his “ishoos” is in any sense marrying material. Does she want a man for a husband or a gold-plated jessie?
When female friends come to me looking for insights into the behaviour of males—which usually means the males they are about to, are currently, or have just been going out with—I point out that most of the ones I know are simpler than Duplo™ and that no imaginative and sensitive interpretation of their actions is necessary.
“He hit me last week . Do you think that it might be because he’s still be upset about his sister dying when he was twelve?”
“No. It’s because he’s a coward and a bully. Dump him. (And please let me be the one to give him the bad news.)”
The typical man is as complex and multilayered as any one of Snow White‘s dwarves. Generally, we are so inept at disguising our natures that we might as well have mobile hoardings floating above us saying things like “kind-hearted”, “unreliable”, “generous”, “bastard”, “affectionate”, “bashful”, or “Sneezy”.
If you get involved with crap bloke then don’t be surprised when he continues to be crap. He won’t be Transformed By Your Love. Though if he is immature enough to fall for decades-discredited middle-class pseudoscience or if you are deluded enough to believe that the sort of man who has to pay someone to listen while he talks about his emotions at excruciating length will be any cop as a father of your children then you deserve one another. What is most amazing about the banners floating over the majority of men in Britain is that some women remain (wilfully?) blind to the 600-point Helvetica, even as their best mates are reading it out loud. Will Laura Nolan’s gf please drag her down to the optician’s?