Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What Men Want?

Beer, Basketball, Porn, Babes, Cars, Gadgets, Bachelorhood?
That's all?

I told in my last piece that I will attempt to flip the question on the 'Men' side and here I am, struggling, yet trying my best.

Guys, all that I write here is the best distillation of all that my friends, cousins, classmates, colleagues, kith and kin have allowed me to see so far. I, and many more women, would love to hear, be corrected, be enlightened if you could build up on this litle piece of answers.


What do men want?

Let's try the catechism approach.

There is not much mystery, but something worse about the question on 'what a man wants?'.
Myths. There are a lot of assumed or overcooked conclusions from the sorority for the fraternity. When it comes to this question, guys don't puzzle girls, they irritate girls. At times, I wonder, how many of these myths actually hold true for the androgynous species. Let's try the most common questions any woman around is likely to have for the man in her life:

  • Arrgh! Why is he glued to that darn TV and that damn sport called Cricket all the time?

Ok, before I grope for the answer, a question for you girls (or to be precise, for us, girls). What's the problem here? Are you upset with the game, which in an Indian home, would be cricket and in somewhere west, would be Baseball or Basket ball. (But no matter what genre it is, that nettling game who hijacks your guy stays in the house, and in the blacklist of every woman).

So is it the choice of the game that bothers us?

Is it the oblivious number of minutes (sorry hours) he spends on it, blissfuly forgetting that 'you too exist' irrespective of proofs like your 'shouting', 'fighting' or 'sobbing'?

Dear Femme Fatale, let's learn to accept the rock-solid truth. Guys married sports and TV before they married you. The first love is impregnable. And does it really matter if your guy wants to slop into a couch after a hard day out? If he can relax with a 21 or 29 inch box without any word for hours, what's the deal?

Does he get so worked up or vocal about your time to relax at the beauty parlor or spa or shopping? Why worry then?

Cash the opportunity. While he is happily tied up with TV, make the most of the time, do that long-telephone goss with your friends, or enjoy yourself in the kitchen or take a nice 'do-not-disturb' nap. What more, you can call him anything, vent out anything, while he is hardly listening but still nodding.

  • Why does he not understand me?

Aha! Now we are very very clever at this one. Take a test yourself. Try to note down just one interpretation from a blank picture in a frame while she gazes at you with no help, no clue, but deep-mysterious eyes. And even if the audio -function is on, can you manage to translate anything when a confused, chaotic, multi-directional bulletfire is on?

Sweetie, if you really, really want him to understand you; first be sure at any one point that you want to be understood.

Be sure of at least one reason when you shed those precious tears?

What is causing these tears...a bad day at work, a bad bargain with the sabjiwallah, an argument with some monster-in-law, a date in your lovely calendar that he forgot today, a cue he did not pick up, a glance he could not read, a dress or recipe he forgot to compliment...what? Help him understand you. He may be dumb by your standards,.... so what, go out help him learn your syllabus.

  • Uf! His ever-wandering eyes

Yes, guys do have a roving eye.

Why? Boys, at least keep a check on it, when your lovely lady is along. And she would know it, no matter how dumb or careless she may look to be. So beware.

As to girls, well, even we can't help a sigh when a George Clooney or Vinod Khanna passes our eye. Well said.... your guy is not the Adonis. Same goes for us. It's ok if he ogles, as long as he does not googles;)

  • Bodyguard-cum-wardrobe manager

Don't wear that short skirt? Don't talk to strangers? I don't trust that colleague? Call me once you reach? Dress appropriately. I will come along............

For many girls, these lines are quite familiar. And for almost every man in their life.. They only travel from person to person..... From father, to brother to boy-friend to chubby-hubby.

Yeah, why do boys get so possesive and martinet-toned? I really hope to believe here that behind all that tough-stalin-hide lies a real concern for protecting their woman in this big-bad-world. May be, guys know it best how many rascals out there their breed has who can not be ignored. Am I right? Or is there more to the answer?

  • Being the Bachelor

As much as any girl would be tempted to, I would restrain myself from calling the commitment-phobia a universal syndrome. What may be irritating and funny to womanhood, could be a big big worry sack in a man's head. The question mark is visible right till the last step on the aisle, right till the prenultimate moment of 'I Do'. I wonder why didn't they make a 'Run-away Bridegroom' yet?

At times, this question mark costs more than some harmless joke or a little fight...at times it could cost a lovely worth-pursuing relationship and even THE woman of his life.

So why the question mark? As much convenient it feels to believe amidst all the frustration, despair and anger for a woman, there should be a better answer than a short - "He loves his bachelor life" or "He is scared of commitment".

And even if that's a plausible answer, there's more behind the curtains. May be for a guy, marriage is not a just lovey-dovey turning point in life. May be for him, it's an abbreviation of all the bigger responsibilities and changes that his life would have to embrace with the wife he weds.

May be he is not confident enough that he has it within him (and with the ever-supportive and contented woman beside him he can make it successful) to be a great husband and a great father. May be.

  • The obnoxious Beer Orgies

His glass-friends, his intoxicated appointments and the heavy hangovers. Hmm. Why can't guy say Bye-Bye to liquor? Why do they 'Keep Walking' there?

Time to flip back to the previous para and spend a minute on 'bachelorhood'. Girls bond differently. Girls relax differently. Guys have a different mechanism. Period.

It's not just the peg that lures him. It's the talk, the chat, the B2B blabber, the loosening up etc etc that he gulps along with that Guinness. Your 'stuff' is different from his 'stuff'. Why bother tweaking Nature's ways? Why forcing the wrong 'stuff'?

Let him have his holiday yaar. What's the harm in a beer-with-buddies every Friday?

  • Guys don't feel

Wrong. Objection over-ruled.

Guys feel, it's just that they don't show. Or they do so in different ways.

Just because he doesn't say a 'I Love u'every morning; Just because he does not respond to schmaltz songs or memories; Just because he is not all hearts and flowers, doesn't mean that...you don't matter to him.

He may not be soft, but sensitive he is.

His love has a different syntax, that's it.

He can not cuddle up and hold hands all the time. That's not how he feels love.

But yes, for him, his love is 'your being around'. You may (and all fault of his) very well feel that you are all in the background while his job, his friends, or car or TV go upstage. But lucky lady, do roots ever show above the surface? And try taking off the roots and see how he withers.

He loves. He just doesn't show. May be he just doesn't know.

  • Why is he so so sloppy?

It's next to impossible. You want to train him to death....Go ahead.

Some day, some wonder-day you will have your always-clean socks, a laundry in order, a clean kitchen after (and if) he cooks, a matching tie, a watch-at-the-right-place. Some day.

It's so interesting and intriguing. Leave the same male species on his own, beyond any form of female scrutiny, and I have seen guys actually doing their cooking, laundry and other such stuff perfectly. I dont know about others, but when I am home, with my Mom around, I can beat any guy in being all lazy and messed up. Why would a Guy exert so much if they have a Mom or a Mom-like-figure (a nagging wife for cleanliness) around them?

The questions, the myths, the frustrated queries don't end. There's a lot unanswered between guys and gals.

To cut it short....

It's just a personal opinion. But I guess guys too need to have their 'guy' space. Be it the time they spend with you, the time they do not spend with you, and the time they spend elsewhere.

They may look hopeless, but they are not. Underneath all the reckless, callous, tough-skinned apperance lies a responsible nerve, a caring muscle and a tender ligament. Let your 'man' be a 'man' and don't force a woman's DNA onto him.

Next time you buy him gifts, please look beyond that Rolex, the Cufflinks, the shirt and the perfume. This time try a sexy Playstation, a smart accessory for his bike/car, a whacky Beer mug, a ticket for a Rock concert, or a special pack of Cigars.

You love him? Love him the way he is.

(And guys, please don't prove my answers wrong. Share more insight, if you can.)

Keep Talking.



Pratima H