Contributed by Amad Ahmed
If you’re having girl problems, Jay-Z feels bad for you. In The Black Album, Jay lyrically emphasises that of the 99 problems that trouble him, ‘bitches’ aren’t one of them. Boasting about this is unnecessary – capitalism would go through an existential crisis if the hottest chick in the game wasn’t wear’n’ his chain. However, Jay’s empathy is lost on the Average Jawaad, who’s having major girl problems. Despite the countless positive adjectives that can be used to describe him, Jawaad’s having difficulty in finding a woman to settle down with. Magazines should be helping, but they’re too busy focusing on the needs of a menopausal or perverse demographic to be of any use. Luckily, like a postmodern antithesis of Carrie Bradshaw, I have an abstract analogy to help Jawaad and other twenty-something year old men who suffer like he does:
“Be the pizza”
In the same way that a pizza must have fundamental components – a base, tomato sauce and cheese – before it can be recognised as a pizza; women look for fundamental components in a man if he is to be recognised as a potential suitor. Though it may seem strange to have such a practical approach to love, this UCAS generation of women realise that entry requirements makes the selection process easier to deal with. The following paragraphs are insights learnt over dinner with a truly remarkable woman, a monolith of perfection, regarding the male characteristics she deems ‘fundamental’ in a partner.
Demeanour: A smart man lets his demeanour and etiquettes speak for him – he knows that chivalry, good speech and proper elocution say more about him than anything he can say about himself. Hugh Grant and his posh twattery have given good manners a bad name, but if the balance between authority and politeness can be struck, that’s what dreams are made of. A useful adage to remember is ‘if you think you should be doing it, make sure you’re doing it’. This gung-ho spirit channels good instinct into action; if you think you should be carrying her laptop bag and offering your arm as support so that she can balance in her too-high-heels, politely insist and kudos will cascade toward you. This shows that you’re sensitive enough to be aware of her needs and masculine enough provide them for her – that’s like telling her that you’d build her a wall and make her a perfectly raised soufflé if she asked you to. The ‘dreamboat’ achievement will be unlocked.
Engaging: A pleasant disposition is quickly branded as lifeless if there isn’t engaging conversation to go with it. By never letting there be a lull in conversation, Jawaad makes sure that women enjoy the time they spend talking to him. Pop/low cultural references are easily picked up but high culture needs more work. It takes time and effort – dense books and blogs must be sought out and read. This purpose of this is to help form opinions on a range of topics. The payoff comes when Jawaad’s opinion clicks with hers – that’s what chemistry is built upon and is the foundation to a lifetime of stimulating and enlightening conversation.
Spiritual: When Socrates is quoted as saying “the male libido is like being chained to a mad-man”, I like to picture him red faced and fumbling with his tunic, explaining himself to a woman he’s wronged. The Monolith is of the opinion that had Socrates had been a more religious man, his spirituality could have acted as some sort of psychological chastity belt, reigning in his thrashing libido. Whilst this takes away from the greater purposes of religion (gettin’ to heaven an’ that), the principles and morals religion imparts are constants, irrespective of the peaks and troughs in life. Ethics that are grounded on a greater context than the self lend credibility and stability to Jawaad’s character, making him a reliable, ‘safe’ man to be with.
Fashionable: The importance of ‘immaculate presentation’ was stressed several times over dinner, making me agonizingly aware of the creases in my shirt and the tom yom soup splatters that was now decorated them. Most men don’t go shopping much because they don’t know what they’re looking for – but there’s a minimal effort, quick fix solution. First, Jawaad must find a retail store that sells clothes that reflect his style best, easily done with a quick look at the online catalogues of major labels. He should then visit the store during a quiet period of the day, find a sales assistant that looks friendly and confess to her that he have no idea what he’s doing, has no eye for fashion and would greatly appreciate her help. That’s about as hard as it gets; he now has to nod, umm and ahh as someone employed because of her good sense of fashion does the hard work for him. Though this may seem like an unnecessary upheaval, the transition from scruffy to sharp has a tremendous impact on how Jawaad is perceived by the fashion conscious women. Buying a few Gatsby shirts and a pair of shoes that need to be cleaned using leather polish rather than a damp sock makes an immediate positive impression, one well worth making.
Physique: Having received and used a free day pass at the gym when I was 16, I got overexcited with how much weight I could squat and overdid it. It tore through the muscle fibres in my leg and had I was left crawling around the house for the next three days. A realisation occurred to me at that tender age; I decided that there’s no woman whose love is worth crawling around in agony for and I never went back to the gym. The Monolith describes my physique as ‘vulnerable’, accuses me of being selfish and tells me having eyes that look green in direct sunlight doesn’t compensate for the routine of tweezing and concealing, dieting and detoxing women put themselves through. ‘E for effort’ she says as dessert arrives. I say dessert; what came was a bowl of fruit.
By subscribing to these expectations, Jawaad isn’t being disingenuous; these are the hoops he has to jump to be in a position where he can share his divine light with his partner. These expectations are not specific to the one woman I had dinner with, they’re be broadly true for a vast majority of women. If Jawaad can fulfill these reasonable expectations, he’ll flourish with the liberty and luxury of being scrupulous in finding the perfect person for him, be confidant in a marriage that starts with fundamentally appealing to one another. By subscribing to these expectations, Jawaad stands to spend a lifetime with a requiem of perfection, who’ll understand that life is transient and the material world is all but an illusion – together they’ll recognize that only love and the gleeful adventure that loves brings is real.Filed Under girl problems, jay z, man stuff