Tuesday 20 February 2018

Men don't see themselves as getting older, fatter or unattractive

Justine O'mahony

THE FUNDAMENTAL differences between men and women have been well-documented down through the years. You'll have to forgive the next sweeping statement, but in general the differences are fairly obvious:

It's no big secret that men like to watch sport...... any sport. Women don't. Women like to shop. Men don't. Women tend to cry when they're upset. Men don't. Women like to talk about their feelings. Men don't. Women very rarely say what they actually mean. Men do. Men eat when they're hungry. Women eat when they're hungry.... and upset...... and hormonal...... and tired. The litany of differences between us goes on.

But one major difference which I hadn't registered until recently is that men are totally unaware of their own physical faults and failings. Whilst women obsess about the size of their backsides and how their pert boobs are a thing of the past, buried beneath their 80's legwarmers and ra ra skirt, never to return, men genuinely don't see themelves as getting older, fatter, or unattractive.

Case in point: I hate to sound disloyal but I'm going to have to spell it out. Himself has been going bald (ssshhh!) for quite some time now but insists he's not. He claims that his hair is just very fine, which is why you can see his scalp right through it. He refuses to even entertain the idea that he's losing his locks and casts withering glances at anyone who dares to suggest it.

I like bald men. I think they're sexy. Well I think Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel are sexy, not so much Matt Lucas and Kojak. Anyway I've told him bald men are very macho and far more virile than poncey fellas with floppy quiffs like Hugh Grant. "I don't know why you're telling me all this because I'm not going bald. I've loads of hair," he says, genuinely bewildered as to why I would be having this conversation. So I've decided to leave him off thinking he's next in line for a l'Oreal contract. He's happy in his own little world of denial and who am I to burst his bubble, (although if he starts doing a 'sweepover' we're going to have to have words!).

And anyway there are more pressing physical issues that he is in denial about one being his waist size. For more than a decade and a half, he has been a 34" waist, or so he thinks. In fact he should have long since bid adieu to 34" and said, 'Hello 36"' but he refuses to accept his burgeoning girth.

Being a woman, I'm only too glad to list out my physical imperfections. My rear end has dropped halfway's to the floor, my boobs are heading south too and what used to be classed as quirky laugh lines are now very definite wrinkles. Everytime I look in the mirror, I grieve for the body of my misspent youth.

Himself on the other hand thinks he still IS a misspent youth as he wrestles himself into a pair of jeans two inches too tight for him. "What?" he says, as he catches me staring at the overspill. " Those jeans don't fit you," I say.

"What do you mean they don't fit me? Of course they do. It's just that I've eaten my dinner," he says trying to suck his belly in again adding "I'm a fine figure of a man."

"Of course you are love. You haven't changed a bit since the day I met you."

And twenty years from now, he'll still be squeezing himself into jeans that are two inches too small. And he'll still be saying he's not going bald. Because in his own mind he's none of those things. He is totally oblivious to the fact that he's getting older and there's more of him in it.

Denial is not such a bad thing. Maybe for once us women should take a leaf out of the men's handbook of life. We'd be a lot happier!

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