Make Up Your Mind

By Mark Shearman – first published in the Female Focus Costa Blanca

Are men becoming too effeminate for women and vice versa?
When I left school I was on a mission to pull the type of female – I wanted. Rather than what my peers viewed as a babe or what my mother had in mind. She tried to sell me on: ‘A woman doesn’t need to be good looking just honest and hard working’ – really!? My criterion was specific: hair colour and length, body type, intellect level, which pointed to her being a compassionate Aphrodite with a PhD My subconscious thinking I have set my expectations too high, after all, what did I have to offer. I set out to become a chick-whisperer in order to bag her.
My main role model was my mother because of my father, being a Steeplejack, worked away a lot – indentured servitude for me it was. Mum would work late so the house had better be clean before she came in from work, tired, irritable, and ashen-faced because of her bloke’s absence.
Mr Sheen and the Hoover were my biggest allies. I learned to cook by trial and error, thumbing through cookbooks, because my mother would guard her techniques of producing cooked-to-death mincemeat, two veg and watery gravy with no seasoning a secret – it was the seventies. She did teach me how to iron, cut bread so it wasn’t a doorstep and regular personal hygiene. Turns out she was helping me to be self-sufficient in the hope I leave home as soon as possible allowing her to start her plan to take over the world – giving me plausible deniability.
I can remember trying to be more sophisticated by drinking red wine and thinking this tastes like vinegar and over the weeks kept on drinking until it stopped being nasty and I could tell the difference to actual vinegar.
All this, I thought, to make me more appealing to the opposite sex: “wow he can cook French, wow he used the air-freshener in the bathroom or his shirt is ironed on both sides.” Yet none of this bagged me my dream girl. The fact that I was younger, in her eyes, handsome, muscular and a rugged looking Steeplejack at the time was the attraction. She was not interested in a passive effeminate male.
As for my cooking skills, even though up to par by basic bloke standards. Being a head chef she wasn’t interested in my amateur offerings so that was a waste of time. In the supermarket, the bottle of Côtes du Rhône in my hand would be changed for Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Saint-Émilion. She was also slightly neurotic so I wasn’t allowed near the Hoover. Cleaning, in general, was taken away from me because I would have done a shoddy job anyway. All my attempts to get in touch with my feminine side were scuppered, there was one thing where I did put my foot down and that was in the sack. I insisted I do all the driving – how naive – I missed out there….
All that goes out the window when you start pushing fifty, the missus, even though she doesn’t comment for fear I’m fishing for recognition, like the fact I’m not shy to cook and serve her a meal, sweep up and take out the trash. She likes it when I make decisions as long as they are small ones.
She even lets me wash her car and change the brushes on the washing machine motor when it packs in, although I’m not allowed to use it and she prefers I don’t start messing around with her garden or touch the ironing because in the past I made a mess of things – now I’m learning – not so naive…!
It may not be a man’s world anymore, but it’s still a long way off from the widespread feminisation of western society. Some females are becoming more and more unapproachable. The only way to get a date is to be introduced by a priest or a premium dating service, have at least five thousand recommends on social media and be a perfect man – complete with a six-pack and porn-star genitalia. Then he’ll have to live with the fact she is earning more, has a higher pain threshold, got a tougher, sharper jawline, more tattoos, prefers aggro posturing and will always stand by the phrase: ‘A women convinced against her will is of the same opinion still’.
More and more men are giving up and waiting until the Pollyanna-optimistic views and expectations of the modern female have become more realistic. Usually around the age of thirty when they have started to lose their overall market value and take a decline in the looks department. Realised the two children she had with IVF, because men shun marriage, are starting to show signs they need a father figure.
For those men who are confused as to what they should morph into. I say somewhere beyond
feminine-masculinity and masculine-femininity there is a wilderness with caves covered in busty pin-up posters, loud cars, hunting and gathering and cold beer in cans – I’ll meet you there.

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