A wee while ago (February 20th, if you want to check the archives) I ranted about a woman who claimed she wanted to become a Footballer’s Wife or Girlfriend. I said then – as I still feel now – that this is a pretty appalling approach to living, as it’a almost like chickening out of working for a living and expecting to be supported by someone else.
Now, it might be argued that my derision partly stems from the fact that – by virtue of my gender I’m less likely to be supported in this way. And I’d agree you might have a point, if it wasn’t for the fact that I increasingly hear tales from my female friends of men who are just as bad.
In recent months, I’ve heard some frankly appalling tales of men. So appalling that I think bullet points are appropriate lest I get lost inside some multi-claused and triple-parenthetical sentence and lose the sense of what I’m saying.
I have, then, been told about men who:
-Have not washed for a fortnight
-Have stayed at home and expected their partners to support them
-Have refused to even discuss the possibility that contraception might be their responsibility
-Have taken out loans against shared property, or taken sums from an offset mortgage account, without informing their partner (who has been co-owner in all these circumstances)
-Have peered over their beer belly at their partner and berated them for ‘putting on a few pounds’
-Have complained so much about their partner being away at work that their partner has given up the job, or (in the case of work which took them away from home during the week) changed jobs to be able to get home to him quicker
-Have decided that cooking, washing and tidying are all the woman’s responsibility
-Have blinked in ignorance at the idea that they might occasionally carry shopping bags or luggage for their partner
-Have worn the same clothes for a week
-Have not bought presents for birthday or Christmas or other occasions over a period of years
… amongst other things. Now, you might argue that this sort of thing is partly the woman’s fault for tolerating that kind of behaviour – and there might indeed be a scintilla of truth to the song ‘Chicks Dig Jerks’ by Bill Hicks – but it often rears its head after the relationship’s up and running, with the chap dropping the pretences (and perhaps even pretensions) that he put on as part of his ‘courting behaviour’, which is sneaky as well as pathetic, to my mind.
So, lest you think I’m some kind of sexist who thinks only women are capable of idiotic behaviour, or of thinking that the world owes them a living, I assure you I’m not; men can be just as pathetic – in fact, arguably more so, as they often try to mix this kind of loser behaviour with a weird kind of macho bluster. I’m actually very free of prejudice – I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, male or female, black or white, able-bodied or not, atheist or Shinto, whatever; if you act like a moron, I’ll say as much.
Though in a way, the existence of these loser guys gives chaps like me, who want to be decent, a bit of a clue; all you have to do is see what they do, and do the exact opposite, and you should find your relationships go along all right.
*To be sung to the tune of the chorus of ‘Stupid Girls’ by Pink.