Girls love to talk about men. In our impressionable years, its about the ones we snagged and those that got away, boo hoo. When we're in our 40s, it's about the ones we are aiming to snag for a favourite niece, younger colleague, cousin...(we're still too young to matchmake for our daughters so I'll let that be) and occasionally ourselves. Jane Austen was right, with some minor editing. Every young man in possession of his wits and a certain undecipherable charm currently called the 'cool quotient,' must be in need of a girl friend!
I should know. I plead guilty to this form of sexual harassment. For years I have tried to get a close single friend paired off, to every conceivable and some inconceivable candidates in our vicinity. Fortunately she's still gloriously single and about to turn 40 this month. Which should tell you something about my track record. It isn't great. But when did that stop Emma, pray?
My latest victim is my comely 25-year-old niece. I use her as much for a demographic study of her race (20-something inhabitants of youngistan) as to occasionally hone my skills as matchmaker. She loathes, in no specific order:
-Funny accents..namely those who turn opportunity to awe-ppaur-tunity and content to cun-taint
-Guys who think Stephen Spender is a management writer but can't quite place the how-to book he wrote (pardon her, she's an Englit type, she knows not what she wants)
-Shabby shoes, dirty toenails
-Bong men (except when they are family but then she doesnt have to date 'em)
-Conversations that begin with dude, babe and other similar endearments
-Men dripping brands
-Men who can't laugh at themselves and at her jokes
And finally...BOYS...too cute for their own good.
If a casual glance down that list makes you despair, imagine my plight. Only I realise our gen wasnt all that different in our men talk either. One close friend liked smart talk, another, a whacky sense of humour..as for me I had (and still retain) a weakness for the bespectacled of the species. My single friend likes 'em strong and silent. And a favourite cousin likes hers metrosexual -- pink shirts, peace beads, earrings, et al...So each gen to their gents...and as Aisha has proved at the boxoffice, sometimes even the best-plotted scripts go awry. I should know...I am guilty of that too.
What hasn't changed in 15-odd years, though, is how much time girls spend talking about guys...those in their lives, those out of their lives, those in and out of their lives. And then there is the eternal love for the artistic type (guys, if you can sing, strum a guitar, splash some paint on the canvas or generally act dark and brooding as sensitive souls are wont to do, you're in clover). Not to mention the disdain for 'safe guys'. Heck even Deepika Padukone sniggered at a 'safe' Farhan Akhtar...who in their right mind would want a square squire? Till, you actually walk down the aisle with one, you'll probably do a Padukone.
But the most enduring complaint of all times is, 'Where did all the good ones go?' My niece says the sexiest ones are 'older' and 'mostly taken'. My friends, the single ones that is, say the same. When we were doing the dating drill, we said pretty much the same thing. Moral of the story: It hasn't rained men in a long long time....'
Maybe they all took a one-way ticket to Mars...