Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Big deal

A dear friend has declared she is out in the market. She is attractive, successful, well-travelled, articulate, funny, reads poetry, has great taste, has a great cook, and is a great human being.
Now, why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good life like that, I wonder. She reasons that she doesn’t want to feel like she didn’t try. So she is on a dotcom hunt for a suitable man. She reasons she deserves a good shot at finding Mr Big, after having been with a few not-so-good insignificants. She recently met a Not-so-big in this scenario, but something’s telling her to hang on. There just might be a Mr Big lurking around somewhere, she thinks. As for the candidate in question, she was his Big, a scenario though flattering, isn’t exactly the optimum one.

We all want to be with men who will sweep us off our feet, know jazz and wine, fill a room, cook us a great meal occasionally, have out-of-the-box travel ideas, are capable of being angry and sad, kill us with their voice, and be just the right level of romantic (more about levels in another column). And of course be successful, suave and desirable. In short, we are looking for the great Indian oxymoron.

I don’t know anyone who has found their Big. Yes, they might have been in trying relationships with him, or they are yet to meet him, but most of the women I know have ended up with Not-so-big, and are still in a good place. This is not to say that my friend should settle for less, but may be just continue with the greatest love affair of her life — the one with herself. When that happens (and it often takes a while), the Bigs get drawn to you like magnets.

But if I take a quick roll call of the singletons in my life, the number of interesting women far outweighs the number of interesting men. And yes, men might feel that’s unfair, but take a piece of paper and list five interesting single men and women you know, and write to me. We’ll do the math.

My paradigm for an interesting woman is—if I were a man, would I date her? If the answer is yes, she goes into the list.

The basic difference between men and women, or at least the men and women I know, is that women make the most of waiting for Big. They get makeovers, they work on their look, they straighten or curl their hair (depending on what they have), they travel, they trek, they go on spiritual journeys or look for inner peace, they change careers, go wine tasting, they learn salsa and belly dance and capoeira.

Men whine. They whine that they have no interesting women to take spiritual journeys or salsa or capoeira with. They whine that there are no muses to dress up for. Basically what they want is to be rehabilitated, and they hope that they can be their slouchy selves and someone will just come and whisk them away.

In the meanwhile, they can continue their torrid affairs with their large-screen televisions.

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