Saturday, March 05, 2005

What Women Want

I'm going back to my roots. Leave Isb tomorrow morning at 7 am to go back to the "lands" as we call them here. Not an estate (too grand) or a farm (too twee). Just the generic lands. I have eight hours in which to transform myself from a gay professional into a reasonably bland "land" lord. I will get my feet dirty in dung infested fields, I will encounter extreme isolation, I will not have an internet connection, I will speak an urbanised form of Punjabi. And I will live to tell the tale.

Enough of what is to come. Something about what has transpired. Two of my bestest, greatest, attractivest women friends have come clean to me. They are infatuated with "M" who till now has remained a mystery to me. I have heard about him often enough, and given the extremely good reviews, he has become, in my mind, a hybrid between a greek god, an olympic medallist and a Cambridge don. The women in question, are attractive to the core, have had exceptional academic and professional careers and are generally good fun to be with. As friends of mine, they would have to be. Conversely, they have never bored me. I am never lacking for conversation, an idea, a thought or just pure undiluted, unconditional love when I am with them. They have come near enough for me to contemplate a conversion (reversion ?) to heterosexuality. You get my drift ? If they think M is sexy and the best thing after sliced bread, I have to take this seriously.

So I finally get to meet M. I will not go into the circumstances in which this meeting took place. Suffice to say there was enough Cabernet Sauvignon (I must find the bootlegger!) to oil the roughest patches. I was shattered. Ok. That may be somewhat of an overstatement, but (gentle reader!) the shock was undeniable. M is pleasant enough - but so is cough syrup when you've smoked too many cigars. There was no style- none visible to the naked eye. The conversation ranged from the banal to the downright puerile. There was the occasional shot of testerone/alpha male behaviour -sentences begining with "Take my advice" or "If I were you". (You will never be me - even if you enrolled for advance courses with a passion!) He was just Joe Average who would never have registered a nano-blip on my radar had my friends not been quite so complimentary in their estimates.

There is obviously a chasm (apparently unbridgeable) between what straight women and gay men perceive as the ideal. The optics are less important to women. The wrong socks, a misshapen tie, scuffed shoes ...these are minor details. Agreed. Lets cut the visuals from the script. Intellect ? Well, even an intelligent woman is willing to undergo some slumming. Yes, gay men slum majorly - but those of my acquaintance acknowledge the fact. In any case, rough trade usually lasts just one shift. It's back to life after that. So we have looks and intellects (brains and balls) out of the way. What does that leave one with ? The X factor.

I haven't been able to figure out the X factor. I do know it exists. M scores highly on the X factor. I don't have ovaries but I think he exudes a kind of hunter gatherer solidarity. If I did have ovaries I wouldn't mind his tending my child(ren). There is a quiet, unspoken confidence in his own beliefs. There is a belief in the future which is unwavering. X Factor man does not have any footnotes or second thoughts. He is decisive. He knows he is right. He exudes sincerity and solidity whipped together and baked into a wholesome souffle. All of this strikes me as dull as couscous. My kind of person must dress well, have an attitude, an intellect, a bon mot for the occasion, a sense of humour, a sense of the here and the now and the me. I want a cad, a rake, a bounder, dressed in Armani, with just a drop of SOB essence to him. I don't want comfort, security and ...well, the X factor.

In a nutshell: I pay the price of living on the edge. Ergo, I am single (for long spells). Heterofemme wants safety, security and (in particular) ovarian security. She is engaged (for long spells). Is all of this worth the angst ? I suppose levels of despair are algebraically connected to the height of one's aspiration. Would I change my life today for the comfort of cosy X-factored life ? No. But then again, Rhett darling, tomorrow is another day.


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