Posted by: 4pack | June 26, 2008

Australia Experiencing “Ideal Man Drought”…Aussie Women Disenchanted By Bubbas Down Under

Several Tasmanian forests have been pulped to produce the newsprint expended on Australia’s so-called “man-drought” but to my mind it’s as much a fiction as other media creations like metrosexuals, Rove McManus or how delicious couscous is.

The use of the word “drought” suggests there is an alarming absence of men on our shores, but to dispel that myth you need only visit a pub, TAB or the line-up in the surf at Narrabeen and you’ll find there’s plenty of us about.

What seems the essence of this complaint is that there is a “suitable” man-drought: a dearth of blokes who fail to fit some new set of criteria born of women’s magazines, Sex and the City and Diet Coke commercials.

So let me ask you this: if you were to order a pizza with 15 exotic toppings (extra couscous, please) and was told by the waiter, “sorry, we just have ham, pineapple, olives, pepperoni and capsicum” does the pizza fail to exist? …

It strikes me that women who want 15 toppings on their no-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, crispy-crust pizza or who claim there’s “no men in Sydney” are actually not looking for a meal or a person but an ideal.

As sweet and romantic as that is, it’s really not the pizza or the man’s fault if they fail to measure up to Perfect Man Syndrome (PMS).

Like its better-known acronym PMT, PMS is just as confusing for blokes because in both cases we’re left staring at gimlet-eyed girls wondering “what the hell has changed?”

Men today are pretty similar to men of yesteryear and though there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to guy’s attitudes – our dress-sense, bodies, hairstyles, personal hygiene and paycheques are pretty much what they’ve always been.

The ideal of the “perfect man” is the new kid on the block.

In most other walks of life idealists eventually become pragmatists once they’ve spent some time in reality and see how the world works: they – gulp – reduce expectations, take a look at what’s on the menu, and embrace ham and pineapple.

With many single women, however, this process works in reverse and, as they hit their 30s, their hunger, as well as their menu checklist, deepens.

From experience I can tell you most single men just want a woman they can be themselves around, who doesn’t nag them to death and enjoys oral sex and ballsports as much as they do.

Many single women, however, have a laundry list of virtues that cover everything from how much their ideal partner should earn, to how they look, dress, dance and the correct apportioning of body hair.

They might say “I just want a nice normal guy who makes me laugh” but when said specimen approaches clutching a schooner of VB, he’ll be dismissed because of his Holden Dealer Racing Team t-shirt and she’ll continue to moon over the property developer in the Calibre suit sipping Pure Blonde.

This is what I call the “player conundrum” – because if a guy has got it going on, is in shape, well-presented, earns a respectable salary and has a cool job, he’s not looking to settle down ladies, he’s shagging for Australia with gals ten years his junior.

Solid, entertaining, slightly smelly single men are everywhere in this country, you just have to open your eyes to possibilities outside of what you’re dished up by gossip magazines (and the social pages).

I am not suggesting women “settle” or date “Mr Good Enough”, perhaps just re-examine their expectations and realize that no one man (or pizza) is ever going to be perfect – though ham and pineapple comes close on rainy winter nights.

This column appeared in “S” in The Sun Herald on June 22.

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