Friday, December 10, 2004

A rose by any other name

A few hours ago my friend Mega rang me. My friend Mega of the eunuch status, i.e., he is male but not really because I have known him for so long he’s become an honorary girl. Knobless, as it were. He is in a complicated relationship, prospects are bleak, denial is acknowledged but flies high still. The conversation left me feeling I’d been run over by a lorry. It wasn’t an easy one because I, it seems, am to blame for male predicaments across the globe and why do I have to be so difficult, I am too picky, how can I be so picky, honestsly, isn’t it high time I settled down [mind, I don't even get this from mother], why weren’t X and Y good enough, they never stood a chance did they, how big is that requirement list of mine, no really, I’m impossible, I am, I know that don't I, what do I want, we’re all the same you know, we’re never happy with what we have, seriously, we should tell him what we want, he's known me for ages and still doesn’t understand what I’m looking for, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO I WANT FROM A MAN?

Well Mega, it might have helped if you'd let me talk. And even though I understand the need for some carefully chosen displacement activity and the creation of white noise, bugger you and the mare you rode in on, now I will finally say my piece and feel much better for it, you monologous git.

These are my impossible requirements from a man:

  • Intelligent and with a sense of humour. This is an absolute must as dull, dense people put me to sleep. No, actually they make me want to put them to sleep. A man who is threatened by my intelligence isn’t worthy of my time. A man who can make me grin and laugh till I cry is a thing of wonder and it's never boring.
  • Manners. Can’t stress this enough, ill-mannered men are the pits. Nothing spells hormonometre like chivalry. If you think manners are outdated, well, you don’t know what you’re missing. You’ve been spending time with females of the threatening variety with unshaved legs and armpits, perhaps? So yes, open doors, hold chairs, take the outside of the pavement, offer her your coat. Politeness makes the world go round in a most soul-warming manner, and it certainly is hot.
  • Eyes. Men don’t need to be pretty. In fact, I don’t like pretty-pretty men, I tend to find them blah. I’m very particular, I like men who are indeed that [homem que é homem], no sissies, men who are intense, men with [sorry for the Barbara Cartland:] smouldering eyes, eyes which take you places when they're aimed at you or make you wish you were there already. Men who do not look harmless. Case in point, the singer of Maroon 5: not pretty, but on the This Love [brill song, brill lyrics] videoclip he looks edible because of the way he looks at the camera. Eyes are sexy, loads.
  • Mouth. Hugely important. I don’t much care for a man’s butt, never really notice it right away, but the mouth? I like luscious mouths and unlike what the word might imply it doesn't mean it has to be full - to me, obviously, the English language might disagree. I’ve met many men with luscious mouths who had thin but sexy lips bcs they looked carved. That’s the word, lips that are well-defined. Yes. Luscious is a carved state of mind.
  • Readers. Men who do NOT read are an absolute turn off and may God keep them at bay. Oy, and men who say No, never read that, too thick leave me in no doubt they are describing themselves and not the book. There is nothing like a man saying Did you read X? You must, it’s brilliant. It’s foreplay really.
  • Smell. One of the most important things. Not much to be done here, it boils down to physiology and chemistry but it absolutely needs to be there. Pheromones pave the way and I for one I could spend the whole day with my face buried in the right man's neck. In fact, I react so strongly to smells that I would probably be too weak to get up anyway. Smell, YES, and thank God for the 5th sense.
  • Cheeky man, daring men, men who surprise me. Men who let me know in no uncertain terms they like me. Men you fancy who look at you like they want to eat you up? Very effective. The surprise bit is very important, if I feel I’m in control at all times I may still be in the relationship but it will certainly not be for very long, who wants to be Master to a Servant all the time, no relief?
  • Men who love English as much as I do. Men who have fun with languages and understand my linguistic jokes, who laugh at BlackAdder and Monty Python every single time. I have many foreign friends and I am so enamoured of English that it is inconceivable to be with someone who doesn’t master it because frankly, English is fabulous and if he doesn’t know that he simply doesn't know enough.
  • Renaissance men. Men for whom Human Rights matter, men who vote, men who give a damn, men who are so sure of themselves in the proper way that they can be generous, kind, empathetic, men who are willing, men who volunteer, men who know what’s going on in their country and the world.
  • Men who I feel can protect me. No bras to burn here, bras are pretty. I am very independent [an effective male filtering device as I’ve discovered, took me years to realise I scare men off in droves], I am more than used to standing on my own two feet and I don’t need a man so I can know who I am. I need a man so I can be happier knowing it. I like to know - no, I need to know he’ll be there at all times. I need to know that he’ll offer me comfort if I’m sad, that I can curl up on his lap and he’ll make it all better. That he’ll love doing it. That he’ll let me cry as much as I want or rant as much as I need without ever feeling threatened by me. That he’ll put up with my pouting and sulking [yes, unfortunately I’m the original princess in The Princess And The Pea and therefore easily slighted] and will, in fact, make fun of me [as he should, it's embarrassing] thereby disarming the Ice Queen and infuriating me. That he’ll not take any rubbish from me ever (and sadly I can behave in ways you wouldn't believe), I need to be able to always respect him. That he’ll be there at all times, just as I will, because I matter at all times, just as he does.

I don’t want a glamorous life, a thrilling one. For me beauty is found in solid, small things, everyday things. In white spaces with clean designs and sober lines. I dislike clutter, I dislike frills, I dislike ostentation. I want to one day live near, but outside, the city. Where the birds can be heard and you can grow rosemary and basil on the windowsill, where the air is so crisp it stings your nostrils and your animals can run free and chase butterflies in the walled garden (so you never worry about them). I want to have bushes of the miniature Rosa 'Cecile Brunner' (Sweetheart rose, Rosa de Santa Tere*sinha), a scent so intoxicating it fills you with primeval beauty.

I want pillow fights, lazy breakfasts on the weekends with the sun pouring in from big windows and his eyes lighting up when I walk in the room just as my heart goes bababoom. I love the idea of spooning till you fall asleep, of going to sleep with the same man every night, of knowing every angle and plane of his face, every bone and nook in his body, of growing old together (even if it scares me a bit). I want to always feel grateful that I have him, and always know he feels the same.

I believe it is possible to have exactly THAT, and I will not settle for less - and THAT is why I haven’t settled down yet and started breeding like a prized cow. I want a Knight, yes, and why shouldn’t I have him.

He is sanctuary - or nothing at all.

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At 10/12/04 09:38, Blogger brooksba said...


I LOVED this post. You described the things that I know I look for in a man and it made me feel so comforted to know that there are others out there valuing the same things. You deserve the man you describe, he is out there.

I also love how you made a point of saying that you'd like to be protected, but that you would offer the same protection. The one thing that I want for all my friends is that they get the world. The world may be that person that makes their knees go weak and their hearts soar. I've always thought that any friend who deserves "the world" that the person who can give it to them is deserving of the same treatment. If there is someone good enough for my friends (which I consider you a close friend, even if we've never met and live an ocean away), the person for them must be as equally as great.

Thank you for this post. It helped me and warmed my heart.


At 10/12/04 10:04, Blogger Ana said...

Dahling, I loved this post. And the Barbara Cartland reference was priceless. All men should be like the ones in her books (I came to realize I read to many of them in my teenage years, they're total garbish)
Oh and I totally agree with the comment on the singer of Maroon 5. Very edible in that particular clip.
I hate female men (read Leo DiCaprio and such).

At 10/12/04 10:14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FACT: You will only find the man of your dreams if you dare to dream him first.

Your prerequisites are all sensible and attainable, and most importantly, deserved. Have you ever noticed that when you see a new word or hear it in conversation, that it seems to pop up over & over & you think "huh, what is it with that word!?! I've heard/read it everywhere lately."

May the same thing that happens with a word happen with a suitable mate for you.


At 10/12/04 11:14, Blogger Ed said...

'There is nothing like a man saying Did you read X? You must, it’s brilliant. It’s foreplay really.'Have you read the poems of e e cummings, especially his collection '73 poems'? Especially 'No 10' which is one of my favourites.

Nothing like being obvious, huh?

'A man who is threatened by my intelligence isn’t worthy of my time.'Your intelligence scares me witless so that rules me out.

Which is just as well, really.

At 10/12/04 11:54, Blogger Ana said...

Is there a way to edit your onw comments? I meant to say "feminine men" instead of "female men". I should have stayed in bed today.

At 10/12/04 11:56, Blogger Ana said...

See what I mean? Now I wrote "onw". I am definitly going back to bed now.

At 10/12/04 15:59, Blogger Ed said...

Yes, I wanted to edit my comment too, because the italicised lines were supposed to be separate paragraphs - I'm sure they were when I previewed it. Oh well...

At 10/12/04 22:32, Blogger Sue said...

Hello Lioness,

I started to write you a comment but it got rather long, so if you would be so kind as to look at Ed's site then you will see my response.

At 10/12/04 22:57, Blogger The Lioness said...

B, I did think you'd like it. ;)
A., you FREAK, you mean you actually read them??? Actually, i'll confess to reading Sabrinas/Julias/Biancas during my medicated baths bcs a) if it falls in the water who cares; b) it's nice to bathe w men w slate-grey eyes and a cleft chin. Also, v handy books during exams bcs I can't afford to read real ones or i'll do nothing till i finish and these you can start reading at any page, always know the plot and the ending. V reassuring. Also, you think you might need more sleep? Oh I did ove the female men, I thought it was on purpose, v handy expression actually. And DiCaprio is a good one, yes. What abt *shudder* Rob Lowe??? IAIKS! OR that one who looks like a filho de marceneiro, Brad Pitt? What's w B.P., women? Never got it.
B., I already liked you but you're sweet, really.
E., :DDDDD Would you believe it took me awhile to get the joke? I genuinely thought you were asking in earnest. Witless you'll never be, regardless.
S., I've read and commented, thanks for the visit!

At 11/12/04 00:12, Blogger Ed said...

Sorry if I had you worried. I hate using :) or lol when posting or commenting. I always prefer to try to get humour across just on phraseology but sometimes it can get me into trouble.

The question about E E Cummings was half serious, though. I figured that you probably would like his stuff and when I was reading your poems the other day they reminded me a little of his 73 Poems.

But I wasn't meaning to proposition you or anything and I'm sorry if it came out the wrong way.

I can't believe Sue posted that, though....

At 11/12/04 00:17, Blogger The Lioness said...

No, you didn't understand, when I said I thought you menat it I meant I thought it was only really about literature and only realised it was a joke a while later, sorry if I had YOU worried. I will now look into it, loads of people have been recommending him. And don't be silly, you think I'd think you were serious? Now I know you DO NOT appreciate my intelligence, I did read your blog you know. And any married man leaving such comments im ernst here would be banned, too disgusting. As for Sue's post, just bask in it! And Ed, you do it re her on a daily basis. That's the line that unites it all.

At 11/12/04 00:19, Blogger The Lioness said...

replace "im ernst" w "for real", that was german, I am lango-shortfusing it would seem.

At 11/12/04 02:49, Blogger Ed said...

OK, confusion all round, but sorted now.

I'm still in a befuddled state after our 'Office Party' this afternoon. And not from drink, either.

At 11/12/04 21:33, Blogger Ana said...

Did I read them?? No, in fact I read brazilian translations which had 128 pages each (yes, every one of them had exactly 128 pages. Not the originals though, just that brazilian colection).
I used to read them when I had insomnia because I knew I would surely be asleep after the 128 pages and wouldn't risk staying up all night with something interesting.
You should try them for your insomnia, even you would be bored to sleep! I can lend them to you if you want, my Mom has over 50 of them.

At 12/12/04 03:14, Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love this post. This was wonderful.

I agreed with everything you wrote about men. This is what I've been looking for. And why I've been celibate for 7+ years instead of settling for the losers I usually end up with.

Barbara Cartland. Now that brings back some memories. I shudder to think that I actually read a ton of her books in my teenage years. They drove me crazy. I seriously think she had several dart boards set up with different concepts and would toss darts at them blindfolded to figure out what the next book would be about.

Sort of like this - red/blond/brunette female runs into Lord/Prince/Duke after escaping from brutal childhood/abusive work situation/Napoleon.

Blech. Give me Nora Roberts any day.

Intelligent men are a turn on but not so much that they think they are better than you. Yeah, I read Nora Roberts but I also really enjoy Shakespeare. So bite me. Bastard.

I have no idea who I'm talking to. Sorry.

Anyway, long comment. Love you much. Have a good night.

At 12/12/04 03:21, Blogger The Lioness said...

E. TOO MUCH info!!! This is a sex-free area, mind.
A., oh yes please, and then maybe we could meet IRL and really really HATE each other??? [THAT's my big fear regarding blogosphere, that i meet you and i find you hideous and you find me horrid, or worse: I LIKE you and you can't stand me!] But it CAN'T be Cartland, that's too much for me, must be S/J/Biancas.
DM, You had me laughing out loud w the "don't know who I'm talking to sorry"! So typically you, luuuuved it!

At 19/12/04 22:09, Blogger squarepeg said...

oh dear, lioness, how distressing to see my list -- yes, MINE -- plastered on your blog. not just mine, apparently, but too many women's list. too many women want exactly, precisely that: intelligent, funny, surprising, protective and always there (except when you need to be alone), a reader with luscious lips and naughty eyes ... and sadly, so few men who actually embody the package. we can stay proudly alone or settle for one important item on the list, maybe two or three, perhaps one you hadn't thought of that you now acknowledge as a V GOOD FEATURE. and you put up with smart but not surprising, faithful but boring, not a reader but talented with making money, etc... it's THE nightmare scenario in your 20s, but things look very different in your 50s ... not necessarily better, but certainly different. no matter, BRAVO to the anti-settling brigade! may you be one of the lucky ones to catch the dream.


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