I just found this in my ‘Notes’ folder in my email (thanks to my phone, again). I wrote it a couple of months back, but found it today when looking for a note which contained some genuinely useful information. Since it actually made me laugh out loud, on the train (I should probably be embarrassed about that for a whole host of reasons), I thought I’d put it out here. Low-effort blogging is the way forward.
Here is something I don’t understand. Ask a friend, male or female, what they think of these trousers, or should you wear this dress or that dress, and you will probably get an opinion, expressed in complete sentences, and if you’re lucky it’ll be with reference to colours and lengths and cuts that suit your figure, and if you’ve chosen a less well-informed friend it’ll at least be something like ‘you look more grown-up in that’ or ‘perhaps it’d look better with your other shoes’. It doesn’t seem to affect the validity, informedness or accuracy of the verdict reached (if there’s an objective standard for these things) whether who you ask is a man or a woman; you’re equally likely or unlikely to get something reasonable out of either gender.
And then you go and make the mistake of sleeping with one of them. Men, that is; I can’t speak for women – and suddenly questions about clothing choices are met with staggering, pre-verbal nonsense. It’s as if the moment a bloke has seen you in your knickers he’s no longer capable of formulating a sentence longer than three monosyllabic words or, at worst, merely ‘boobs’.
And yet were you, say, his housemate, it’d be all ‘oh isn’t that a bit Lanvin circa 1995’ or ‘that would look great with the leather jacket you were wearing the other day’. Furthermore said men seem still able to have conversations with one about, say, Afghanistan, or Harry Potter, or cookery – so it’s not as if I’m some mythical monster who lobotomises her victims in their sleep or, worse, during sex, so that they turn into gibbering, sex-crazed pubescent imbeciles. If I was I’d either have sex a lot more often (assuming that if I was such a mythical creature I would have a completely different/nonexistent moral code) or never (assuming that, being me, a reasonably normal human being, I don’t actually want to lobotomise the men I sleep with).
So I have to conclude it’s partly a show. Men a) wish to flatter their woman by being attracted to her, b) wish to make it known that she should be either naked or dressed like a Bond girl at all times, and c) can’t possibly appear so unmanly as to have Opinions About Clothes in front of the girl they fancy.
In all fairness, it is kind of flattering for the question ‘what should I wear?’ to be met with a cheeky boyish grin and a hesitant ‘that one… Because… Tighter?’ But equally, you’re seeing me get dressed. You’re best placed to have an actually useful opinion. And you have put clothes on before. Would, say, conjunctions, nouns like ‘shoes’ or words for colours really be pushing it that much?!