Having read this interesting little piece on MSN, I was curious as whether or not these were things women really liked in their men, or if it was simply the twee fantasies of a pair of middle class media types out to make a bob or thousand in the shit book market. Being currently long-term single, I decided to ask my good friend Barry from down the pub to run his rule over their slightly specious looking list of rules.
10 things you didn’t realise she liked about you by Penny Isaacs and Sarah Lockett 1. Your baked seabass. Eating out is hugely enjoyable and you both love a delicious hot curry on a Friday night after work. But, what she really likes is when you go to the trouble of making her your special foil-wrapped sea bass baked with teriyaki sauce and fresh ginger. Women love being cooked for because it shows you are capable and sophisticated. We also appreciate it when some thought has gone into choosing a tasty dish which will appeal to the calorie conscious. If you are a beginner in the kitchen, get a good quality ready-prepared fish dish and follow the instructions. Plus a pillow pack of salad. You know she hankers for fantastic fresh cream chocs for dessert though!
Barry - I did have a look at doing the Sea Bass, or some other fancy dish, like steak pie & chips. Since all I have is a calor gas stove and a three bar fire, I decided it was best to splash out on a tin of Heinz baked beans & sausages for tea. I put some pepper and dried parsley in it to tart it up, with a few slices of toast on the side. This was washed down with a bottle of Lambrusco from Lidl and followed by a couple of those nasty, gelatinous individual trifles. Audrey's making those "Go to bed" eyes at me, but I have bowel rupturing gas and have to make my excuses. Not a good start. 2. You bought her a DVD of Casino Royale. You were neither threatened by, nor made fun of the fact that she ogled Daniel Craig and openly declared her undying devotion to him when Casino Royale came out. In fact, you rather like him too! Well, you would like to be him yourself, so you bought her the DVD the day it went on sale and you have watched it together about 100 times already.
Barry - Well, I didn't have the money to rent, never mind buy Casino Royale. That said, my mate Nasty Dan did get me a copy of Bukkake Royale for the price of a blank disc. I very much identify with the male lead in this film, and see him as a role model worthy of emulation. Sadly, Audrey thinks he's a hairy fat bastard with a curiously deformed penis. She claims that shagging him would be only slightly less pleasant than sharing a bed with me. A qualified success.
3. You get somebody in! She enjoyed watching you gamely try to help her dad jump-start his car but she admired the fact that after 5 mins you got out your mobile and called the AA. She finds your candour about being unable to replace a wheel, fix a drain or do anything handy about the house quite refreshing. Changing a fuse/lightbulb/battery is about as useful as you get but you don’t pretend to be Ray Mears and have the telephone number of an all purpose Mr Fixit pinned to the fridge.
Barry - Not a good round. Me and her old man hate each others guts. Honestly, if the old prick was trying to jump-start his car, I'd be busy trying to cut his brake cables. This is where I have to take exception to Penny & Sarah. I'm no handy man, but have you seen what tradesmen charge these days? Fucking crooks the lot of them! This is why I take care of these things myself. That I currently have no running water, no gas and half the lights in the house don't work is neither here nor there. 4. You never flirt with other women in front of her. You sensibly keep your opinions about other women to yourself. Women do not like their date to flirt with another female. They particularly dislike it when another woman plants herself at their boyfriend’s feet, kitten style, peering upwards, all doe-eyed. Nor do they like you to compliment someone enthusiastically on their appearance/success. It is bad form to bring this up with your girlfriend even once you have got home.
Barry - I have to say, I fall flat on this one. After eight pints of wife beater, three V&C's and only a packet of KP dry roasted to line the stomach, I find it hard not to let my crotch do the talking, and more often than not I can be found in the snug, on the way back from the bogs, sticking my tongue in the ear of some old dear that's done up like a christmas tree. I must say though, I do take Audrey's feelings into consideration my doing any drunken fumbling well out of her sight. 5. You let her hog the bathroom. She appreciates the fact that you shower and change in ten minutes flat so that she can spend hours doing her toilette before you head out for the evening.
Barry - My bog's fucked. You don't stay in it any longer than you need to unless you fancy catching cholera. 6. You never go clothes shopping with her. You understand that men and women have different ideas about the shopping experience. Men know what they want and buy it. Then go home. Women regard shopping as a leisure activity and can spend hours trying on every item of clothing in the shop. You let her get on with it.
Barry - Well, I once made the mistake of going to Primark with Audrey to buy her summer wardrobe. The security guard wouldn't leave us alone and rudely interrupted us as we were stuffing a five pound blouse into her bag in the changing room. Our protestations that we were simply putting it there until we got to the check-out fell on deaf ears and we spent a night in the cells. We used to end up in Littlewoods or What Everyone Wants, but now they're gone, the only other option is the charity shop circuit. It's not too bad though, she looks for dead peoples shoes and stone-washed denims, I check out the records and tapes section for the latest Suzi Quattro and Shakin' Stevens releases. 7. You are charming to her parents. According to the old saying, ‘my daughter is my daughter for all of her life; my son is my son until he gets a wife’. She loves the way you engage with her mum and dad. You treat them to the theatre, offer them lifts to the garden centre, buy her dad books on famous dictators and you haven’t yet complained that he has repeated the same lame joke about stamp collecting - ‘be like a nun- get in the habit!’– six times now.
Barry - I have a restraining order keeping me away from her parents. They failed to see the funny side of things when I pissed through their letterbox one Christmas eve on the way home from the pub. I mean, take a fuckin' joke!! 8. You take her to the sun. A girl likes to get into a bikini and worship the sun god for at least two weeks every year. She has also told you a hundred times that Mama Mia has made her lust after life on a Greek island. You realise that sun and sea are essential to her mental well-being. A fortnight under campus in rain-sodden Devon is not what she really hankers after in July, so even if it is going to be Torremolinos you make sure that she gets her annual beach fix.
Barry - Sadly, Audrey has been banned from every Spanish beach we've ever been to. Let's just say she makes Donatella Versace seem alluring. For this reason, we end up at Pontins, getting minced on cheap wine and spirits and entering Lambada contests with couples from Larkhall with matching King Billy tattoos and 'UVF' Indian inked across their knuckles. 9. You bring her coffee and toast in the morning. Women can be slow starters in the morning, especially after a big night. Once we are fully alert we can beaver away like dynamos until late at night but those initial waking minutes are painful. How fantastic then to rouse to the aroma of a strong cup of coffee and hot buttered toast! It is one of those small but significant gestures of affection and appreciation which makes her love you! Ditto bringing her a cup of tea when she looks exhausted.
Barry - Due mainly to the lumpy mattress, soggy quilt, rising damp and the lack of heating, Audrey tends not hang about in the mornings. I do remember once bringing her breakfast in bed, but I tripped on a pile of Exchange & Marts, sending her bowl of cornflakes all over the shop. Just as well I suppose, the milk was on the turn if I remember right. 10. You indulge her interest in chick lit and chick flicks. There are few things more irritating than having a partner expressing patronising views about our choice of light entertainment. We do not want to have our ‘cultural’ preferences ridiculed particularly if our partner’s tastes run to more esoteric and heavyweight intellectual literature and film. But, to your credit, you do not smirk when she goes to see the latest ‘bonnets’ film or slushy rom-com. Nor have you been sniffy about all the self-help/chick lit/cookery/horoscope books she devours.
Barry - Audrey's not one for Chick Flicks, and all she reads is TV Quick & the Star. As long as a film has Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal or Vin Diesel in it, she's happy as larry and randy as a goat. No complaints here.........
So, there you have it. The verdict on the ten things men didn't realise their women liked about them. Barry knows exactly what Audrey likes about him.
Three cheers for Penny & Sarah!