Episode 29: Boys don’t cry

He says:

Why are women always the delicate darlings? The cry-babies.

Think about it, women display grief like it’s a work of art.

Haven’t you seen many an argument automatically swing in favour of the woman simply because the poor baby cried?

The audience vote always is in favour of the woman who is crying, irrespective of whether she’s right or wrong.

Why does this happen? Because, men don’t cry or break down. Instead, the more upset they are, the more they frown or the angrier they appear. Now, we all know women are more attractive than most men. And, nobody feels sorry for an angry man. In fact, the angrier he gets, the uglier he looks, the more despicable he appears. What choice does he have really? If he cries, they’ll call him sissy. They’ll say he’s wuss. And it’s not really macho. So he does what he has to. Pretend he’s got buffalo-skin.

Women, aided with a few drops of tears, have no problems appearing convincingly victimised.

The way men and women handle grief is very different. Women think of grief management by getting it out of their system, indulging in self-pity and then rationalising that now that they have been victimised, they have to think of emerging out of the whole situation stronger.

Female bonding and such self-help groups help them achieve liberation.

Men, take the easiest way out. The ‘escape’ route. A boys night out.

They laugh out the blues over a couple of drinks by poking fun at the situation. Or just Movies. Games. Work. Or just other girls to take their mind of the current problem. They probably cry secretly in the privacy of their bedrooms if need be, but largely, they find ways to escape the situation. They let something else occupy their mind-space.

And before they know it, the tragedy of epic proportions is forgotten or looked at objectively, with a new perspective.

That’s because Men don’t take their lives as seriously as women do.

Which is why they travel light. They don’t think ‘Once bitten, twice shy’. In fact, they like the adventure, they don’t hesitate to visit old ghosts. They face life with new confidence and optimism.

The scars remain as a mark of the courage they displayed under grave circumstances. The scars that remind him that he’s a warrior in this world sympathetic to the female of the species. And he will survive.

She says:

Saying all women sniffle sadly into delicate lace handkerchiefs every time things go wrong, is like saying all men hate to ask for directions. (Oh. Wait a second. All men DO hate to ask for directions. So lets just say you can’t generalise with women.)

Just because everyone knows a couple of wet mop women turn on the waterworks at the slightest provocation, that doesn’t mean every woman you ever meet is going to be that soppy.

The truth is that most women are far tougher than men. Take their thresholds for pain, for example. Whether it’s enduring a waxing session at the parlour, or having a baby, women just grit their teeth and get it done with without complaining.

On the other hand, have you ever seen a man with a cold? He’ll bring the house down, shuffle around groaning mournfully and sniffle sadly over hot soup as he mentally draws out his last will and testament. For men are the ultimate Drama Queens. The whole ‘I’m so macho I open beer bottles with my teeth’ image is just a front.

In fact the last time I saw a man open a beer bottle with his teeth (to impress some young thing in too much lipstick of course), our hero bit through the bottle, cut his mouth and spend the rest of the evening holding a hanky over it and shrieking like a just-crowned Miss World.

And why do people always assume it’s the women who cry at movies?

I’ll never forget watching Titanic at a movie theatre in Mumbai. As the ship went down, its brave band began to play. But I was looking elsewhere. Because on either side of me there were men crying so hard they could have probably re launched the Titanic.

When a friend of mine got pinched at a mall, she turned around and walloped the guy who did it, though he was twice her size. Another petite friend charged at four whistling morons to shut them up, brandishing her helmet and scared them half to death. At a party, I heard a pretty young thing tell her friends how she ran after and kicked down the bicycle of a man who was kept following her.

None of them cried. It wasn’t even an option.

For women realise that collapsing into a teary heap doesn’t help anyone, least of all themselves. So they pull themselves together and work out ways to survive. Besides tears can really mess up your mascara!

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Episode 28: Bad boys bad boys

She says:

He has a snarling tiger tattooed across his gasp-worthy biceps. His hair hasn’t seen a shampoo bottle in weeks, and looks like its been chewed by his pet dog (who’s probably called Tarantula). He wears a black leather jacket that’s evidently seen happier times. And zooms about town on a wicked-looking bike.

Of course, he’s irresistible.

What is it about ‘bad boys’ that makes women go weak in the knees?

Logically, why would anyone want to date a man who knocks out people’s teeth as often as your friendly neighbourhood dentist? A man who gate crashes parties and then needs to be carried out horizontally – probably clutching a bottle of rum and singing all the way. A man who is probably as difficult to bring to heel as a puppy who’s just found the cookie jar.

Why do all romantic books and movies feature men who are arrogant, head strong and difficult?
Because men like that are exactly what make romance so interesting.

Nice boys are boring. They get up at 5 a.m. and jog, for heavens sake! That should be enough to put you off them for life! They have important, responsible jobs, like banking. Yawn! And once they manage to tear themselves away from their computers, they probably spend the evenings doing exciting things like Sudoku. Or watching reruns of Desperate Housewives. Or making new friends though Stamp Collecting communities on the Internet.

Life with tattoo man, however, will never be boring. First of all there’s the challenge of keeping him interested, which should apply to all women who ‘like the chase better than the kill.’ Good boys can be taken for granted, while bad boys keep you on your toes.

Then there’s the fact that they surprise you with delightfully impractical ideas: organise a post-party basketball match at 1 a.m. on the way home, or book tickets to Alaska and take off for a month of madness. You don’t always have to listen to them, but an impromptu bike ride at midnight can be unforgettable.

Besides, life with the Muscled One will always feel a safe, in a deliciously unsteady way. Because when one of those letches, who always seem to congregate at discos, tries his lousy lines on you, the Boy’s not going to just frown dissuadingly and complain to the manager. He’ll stand up and plaster the creep, and his friends.

And that’s why biker boys will never be short of girls.

Of course, keeping up with them in the long run can be exhausting. But, for a while at least, go ahead and date that bad boy for a while.

After all, you know the old saying: Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.

He says:

Now that it is official that bad boys are cool, I reproduce below the abridged confessions of the original bad boy (the actual ones had to be censored heavily for the sake of children who might come across this space).

Dear Shrink,

I know I’ve been visiting you more off late but the truth is your receptionist makes me go crazy every time I call her to fix up an appointment with you.

Yes, I’ve been seeing her for a while now. That’s given me unlimited access to her diary that has the numbers of all the other flaky chicks who visit you.

Given my obsession with being bad, I’ve dated almost all your patients, within the last few months. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t take much to get these women.

A daily trip to the gym has won me even women twice my age, so much that I completely enjoy the experience. Of gymming, of course.

The tattoo and the leather jacket I got in high school have always complemented each other. With bad girls showing great interest in tattoos, my jacket comes off too often these days.

Being a bad boy has given me the licence to drive miss Daisys, Roses, Jasmines and Lilys, all at the same time, simply because they like the challenge of keeping me interested in them.

While the first few dates used to cost me a beer to get an excuse to drop her home. These days, they invite me over for the free drink, dinner and dessert. Sometimes, it ends with breakfast on the house. Interestingly, I’ve learnt a lot about the kind of furniture they invest in, during these midnight surprise parties I gatecrash into. And my basket-ball games have never gone score-less.

It’s not like I like the street-fights. That’s pretty much for the same logic as why dogs guard their territories fiercely.

I live a dog’s life. And my day comes very often. All a dog needs is a bone. And I don’t mind making a few extra bucks doing Full Montys for the Hens having a night out.

Party animals live by the wild rules of the jungle.

I wouldn’t say I cheat, I’m just commitment-phobic and high on life. I’m just there for the ride.

Besides, it’s not like I promise them a happily-everafter ending. I’ve always been nice to her friends because I know that they are just waiting for the day I break up with her and soon enough, my web gets more Mary Janes than Spidey’s ever found hanging upside down.

With all my lunches and dinners being taken care off, all I spend on is my bike and gym subscription. My roomie sorely misses me because I’ve not gone home in days. That’s also the reason I don’t get a chance to shampoo my hair.

Oh that reminds me, I got to get home to my roomie so that she can give me a Thai massage. But the real reason is I need to check if she’s washed my clothes.

Like chick flicks have demonstrated, it pays to be a bad boy. By the way, change your receptionist dude. I’m getting bored of her. Or let me make this easier for you, I’ll get myself a new shrink who lives next street.

Apparently, she’s 24 and has a young clientele. Heard she likes cats and dogs. Time to get a new pet. Will call her Tarantula. If she’s younger, I think even a simple Pussy-Cat would do.

After all, the new saying goes: When bad girls go through hell, bad boys find heaven.

Episode 27: Why men like chick flicks

He says:

It is a big myth that chick-flicks are for girls.

Men dig the genre too. But for different reasons.

But before we get into that, what is a chick-flick really about?

There’s always this goofball, simple girl-next-door every girl can relate to. She’s down on luck because the guy who holds the torch for her is the original fruitcake, and the guy she likes happens to be the wrong guy.

She, post makeover, transforms into the hottest thing on heels and before you know it, she nails her man and after some minor misunderstanding where she catches him with another girl and takes off sobbing, he pleads with her, goes down on his knees and locks lips for a `happily ever after’ ending.

So why do the guys like these movies that show guys doing the most wuss things? Simply because, they watch these flicks for the chicks.

The girl always has a scene or two where she’s at her hottest best. Watch The Sweetest Thing and you’ll know what I mean. That one scene alone is more value for time than what they show after minutes of waiting patiently surfing FTV shows.

Besides, the things a girl wants from a guy and plausibility of the romance cracks him up.

Also, chick flicks are easy on the bad guy.

In a chick flick, you can be however bad you want, be with how-many-ever girls you want, be a total jerk too, and you can just say sorry with a long speech going down on your knees and be sure as hell that she’ll forgive you.

With that sort of moral encouragement, sex appeal, and of course, the unintended comic relief generated out of the mush and corn soup, chick flicks make for great entertainment.

But the biggest reason men tolerate these films is because they are perfect for the date. What better time for romance than when she is, Ahem Ahem, in the mood for love?

After all, romance comes alive when it’s dark.

Post Script: What do guys without dates do? They head out alone to the halls playing movies like Ek Se Mera Kya Hoga.

Psst: Do check the paper for exact show timings.

She says:

It’s a big myth that chick flicks are for girls.

After all, who wants to identify with some loser babe who never seems to wash her hair and is perpetually slobbering over a jock with great abs and a rotten attitude.

If you believe these movies, all women can be neatly divided into two categories: geeks and bimbos. Because, if you’re svelte and sassy, you can’t possibly be capable of reading a book — unless it deals with the art of eye shadow — or even adding up your shoe shopping bill without help.

If you’re a geek, you just have to display braces decorated with yesterday’s lunch and be incapable of wearing a pair of high heels without tripping over your own feet and landing unglamorously on your dowdy behind.

For heaven’s sake, they’re just high heels, and walking a straight line is hardly brain surgery.

Chick flicks assume women have no powers of judgment whosoever. Show us a hunky man in a leather jacket, and even if he’s a convicted mass murderer, we’ll dissolve into wimpy, lace-handkerchief wielding Mills and Boon heroines, according to them. And when they cheat on us — and being hunky and leather jacket clad, they must cheat — all it takes is a sad song, or a bouquet of roses to have us jumping up and down like bunny rabbits spotting carrot cake.

Smart women realise that chick-flicks are ridiculous. They also realise that the original fruitcake in huge glasses is the same guy who’ll probably pass out of MIT and run a fancy corporation.

Chick-flicks are really for guys, so I agree with him there. But it’s not just for the scenes when the loser girl dramatically manages to shed pounds, her glasses and voluminous clothes to become her `hottest best.’ (Let’s not even go into how shallow these storylines are!) But also because they let all the dumb jocks believe their fondest dreams can come true.

That there’ll come a time when all girls will look like Cameron Diaz. When mini-skirts will be the only way to dress. And all it will take to `get the girl’ is a soppy love poem read with the expression of a puppy that has just misplaced its chewy bone.

Go ahead, fill up on your two hours of cotton candy and popcorn soaked euphoria. Just remember, real life is nothing like the movies. And Bridget Jones — far from being the role model for millions of single women world over — was just a girl who ate and smoked too much.

(A fortnightly column on the battle of the sexes)

Sho-Buzz

October 2006
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