Dove Magazine

MAN TALK: What a girl wants…

It’s great for men to set standards about the quality woman we want, so why do we resent women who do the same PHOTO FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

It’s great for men to set standards about the quality woman we want, so why do we resent women who do the same PHOTO FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

I met a real material girl. A living, breathing one. You hear songs about this type of woman. You even read about them in novels and see them portrayed in movies where they wear scarves around their heads and big, big sunglasses, and are whisked off to faraway islands by ageing mobsters who listen to Frank Sinatra.

In Summary

  • If anyone is to put a ring on this finger, “- she raises one beautifully privileged, manicured finger, which we all stare at like it’s the Holy Grail – “the ring should be not less than half a million shillings.” And that’s just the engagement ring.
  • Turns out she wants to settle down and get married. And have kids. The whole nine yards. I want to roll my eyes.
  • It’s easy to judge a woman who says she doesn’t want a struggling guy. It’s easy to dismiss her as a gold-digger.

You can almost see the wads of crisp bills in small boxes hidden amongst shoes in their closets.

You hear romanticised tales of these women’s coldness and their relationship with money, and the chaps who provide these monies, and it all sounds a little mythical. Well, I met one. She even invited me and my friend up to her penthouse suite.

In the suite where she lives, the Material Girl motions me to her bar and trills, “Help yourselves.” Then, like an outer-universe spirit, she drifts off into the inner rooms, leaving me standing before this beautiful shrine, reading the exotic names of single-malt whiskies I’ve never even heard of.

Finally, I settle on one called Aberlour, a 12-year old that has a rich, woody taste. If the word “tremendous” had a taste, it would taste like Aberlour.

DOMESTIC DECORATIONS

She has gadgets strewn carelessly around her living room: a professional Canon camera, a gadget that looks like it might shut down the power in her entire estate, expensive nuggets picked from many travels, a slick, sexy hour glass, a thick rug, a huge painting of The Great Wall of China at sunset, then, at the other end of the room, a masterpiece: A sculpture of some naked Greek god, shriveled nuts and all, staring longingly at this domestic orchestra.

My friend and I sit on a settee and listen to music from her formidable Bang and Olufsen speakers as we sip on ‘tremendous.’

Finally, she emerges, in tights and a fitting t-shirt. She keeps herself well, spends time in gym. She’s fit, great skin, hair that looks expensive (It’s not a weave… wait… I doubt. Ok, I can’t tell.) And she wears lipstick in the house.

She has a great job. She rakes in some decent dough. She travels. She knows her wines and she even knows her cheese.

I don’t meet people who can hold a conversation (more like monologue) for 15 minutes about cheese. She can, for 20 minutes. If you don’t stop her. In fact, don’t stop her. She’s sophisticated but she isn’t snobbish. Actually she’s quite hilarious.

I mean, like laugh-out-loud funny. She manages to treat these trappings of life she finds herself with as necessities. Like how you would treat a comb.

WOMEN WITH STANDARDS

“I don’t do broke guys,” she’s saying, curled there on her couch like a pampered cat. “I just don’t do broke.”

As a man sitting there, your first impulse when you hear this statement coming from a woman is to judge her. And we do. I raise an encouraging eyebrow and egg her on, “Oh?” which follows with her riposte, “Why should I, Biko? I pay my own bills with my own money.

I pay rent here with my own money, I do pretty much everything on my own, which means the man coming in has to be doing better than this.

If anyone is to put a ring on this finger, “- she raises one beautifully privileged, manicured finger, which we all stare at like it’s the Holy Grail – “the ring should be not less than half a million shillings.” And that’s just the engagement ring.

Turns out she wants to settle down and get married. And have kids. The whole nine yards. I want to roll my eyes.

It’s easy to judge a woman who says she doesn’t want a struggling guy. It’s easy to dismiss her as a gold-digger.

But then when you go home and you turn over the events of the day in your mind, you are forced to think it through soberly.

Men say what we want from women all the time. We say we want a size 12 who isn’t soft around the waistline and who actually picks a newspaper once in a while and knows Tony Blair isn’t a prime minister any more, and who is good in bed and a lady in the streets, and who your mum likes and can cook. So why should an educated girl who earns good money say she wants a richer man?

I asked my pal if we would be having this conversation if we were guys who are able to buy half a million shillings worth of an engagement ring.

Turns out we were sore because we are not the sort to afford that ring, and because she held up inadequacies to our faces and we hated her a little for it.

Which means we are a bunch of hypocrites. But at least we are a bunch of hypocrites who appreciate decent whisky.

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