My inaugural article seems an apt time to wish all a belated New Year. With the festive season now a happy memory, I can analytically reflect on what Santa gave to me.
I can genuinely say I am the happiest I have been in a while. I am proud that I neither overate nor overdrank this past festive season. While the national average is a weight gain of 5 pounds, I have in fact lost 1.
Popular belief in Santa has two variants. In one, he has forgone marriage and family to devote his life to making the children of the world happy, and in the other he is blissfully wedded to Mrs. Claus. The elves are their extended adopted offspring and they all live together in jolly, gingerbread-scented obesity whilst manufacturing toys in a beautiful workshop all year round.
That’s a nice story, but not a realistic portrayal of modern-day dating. Ignoring the health implications of their chosen lifestyle, as well as the idea of a woman happy to do nothing but please her man, the fact is life simply isn’t like that.
A recent blog post by The Wayward Graduate (aka Lucy Sanderson on LoveScene) certainly got me thinking. A very-well written and insightful exploration of what men may in fact truly want. But which rings several bells in my head – men prefer someone a bit simpler.
She conducted an experiment in online dating, in which she compared her own profile to a heavily edited one of herself, altered photographically and textually to make herself bimbo-esque. The bimbo received lots more messages. Thus proving the point that men like someone reasonably simple who they can have on their arm, who will laugh at their jokes, feed their egos and their bellies, and bend over backwards for them in the bedroom (both physically and metaphorically).
I am a complex individual. I cannot be put in a box or defined by a few simple adjectives. I too have been told I am intimidating, or at times that somewhat ‘softer’ word, feisty.
In my experience you get by in life by being strong, not curling up in a ball crying because of breaking a nail. And why on earth would I wish to perpetuate the female stereotype of feeble pathetic and emotional when such concepts are scorned? The women I am surrounded by are strong, courageous and passionate. That’s definitely worth celebrating.
I know I am fiery and feisty. Lord knows my hair is bright enough. But these are not the only things about me. I too, like the wayward graduate, suspect that my public persona is somewhat scary to men. But rather than change who I am, play a role, I would rather be me and if a guy wants to get to know me then maybe he will be worth it. Put simply, if I am too much woman for him, he is not man enough for me. I realise how that might sound. But being defensive is not my purpose here; this is just a statement of fact.
I meet guys. I meet a lot of guys. But it doesn’t always quite get there. I suspect this is pretty common. The last 2 freely admitted they were drawn in by my passion, fire and independence. I suspect the Italian wasn’t used to such things given the culture of women in his city. McGeeky Dick (formerly known as soul-scorcher) loved it but then tried to change me. Sod him.
Perhaps the men who can handle such women are either confident in themselves, or are nasty types who want to ‘tame the bitch’. Who knows. But if you like someone when you get together, why spend time trying to change them? The perennial question. But the real question is, what’s the point in trying to be something you’re not when the object of the exercise is to get close, love and be loved, for who you both are?
And kudos to the wayward graduate – she has the courage to put her face to her blog while I hide behind the anonymity of a pen (blog?) name. The irony is I am actually quite private publicly, so I suppose I too have fallen into the trap of saying things on the internet that one would not say publicly. But then being British, when do we ever discuss any such things in public (excluding the pub)? To make myself feel somewhat better about this, I remind myself that in several magazines there are the diaries of single women as they navigate the perils of dating in the urban jungle.
Fearing that being single over Christmas would be gut-wrenchingly depressing, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was easier, and perhaps even more joyful. Compared to last year, when my ex and I were on the road to no recovery. And it is with full frankness I admit that having more money during December was enjoyable too. But the greatest thing about it is I was able to do what I wanted, as and when I pleased. I was able to go to all the parties and social events I desired, and not feel guilty or get hassle about going – which made a pleasant change.
So thank you Santa (and maybe Mrs Claus) for what you gave me. Better than any material object I could find in my stocking.