Marisa Mackle: Irish men must be born with thick skin
Irish girls can be extraordinarily bitchy. Luckily, most Irish blokes find this out at an early age. Probably around the same age that sees them at Irish college for the first time, asking a pretty girl to dance, and then her sister, and then her friend.
When they all say no and he does the long, lonely walk of shame back to his pals, it probably hits him that not every female in life is going to think he's quite as great as his mother does. But he may as well be prepared. Because if he's not, life will teach him that Irish women are far too fussy and self-entitled to be wasting their time flattering him.
There is only one Brad Pitt in the world, and he's already spoken for. Now we have to make do with the rest of the men out there. The only problem is that our list of requirements is so long that most mere mortals won't even tick a third of the boxes. My friends are divided into two groups: those who always have partners and those who don't.
The friends who cannot understand what's going wrong. They sit in every weekend moaning that there are no men out there. But there are plenty. They are out there, talking to the women who have gone to the trouble of dressing up, braving the cold going into town, and making the effort to chat to them.
Men often tend to end up talking to whoever is standing next to them, so bars are a very good idea if you're on the prowl. But if you're sitting in watching X Factor, wearing an old tracksuit, your chances of meeting anyone are nil. Anyway, you don't deserve to meet somebody great if you're a lazy slob.
It makes me laugh when I hear women saying they want to meet someone rich, gorgeous, fit, funny successful and generous when they are none of those things themselves. People usually like somebody who is like them. So Angelina Jolie is a good match for Brad Pitt.
It's rare to see couples who are unevenly matched, and when we do we are mildly outraged. We automatically presume an ugly man dating a stunning woman must be rich. We don't really believe it's because he has a good sense of humour.
Maybe it's because I've travelled extensively, but it never fails to astound me just how nasty Irish women can be to men who take a vague interest in them. I have joined the ranks of Irish mammies who think the world of our boys, and God help any woman who sets her sights on my Gary one day.
I'm dreading his first disco when some little madam will look him up and down and say "no thanks" as her friends titter in delight. It pains me to know I won't be there to tell him: "You're too good for her anyway." Have you seen that dreadful TV3 show Take Me Out, where 30 women decide each week whether they want to date one helpless chap? The insults come hard and fast. "I don't like gingers," said one girl cockily.
Insulting men seems to be a national sport. "State of him," is what you would hear on most nights out among girls who are presumably on the lookout. On Take Me Out, men are openly dismissed for not dressing well, being bald, and too old. Come on, girls, take a good look in the mirror and be honest. You're. Not. All. That.