Ladies! Let’s play a little game I like to call ‘Who’d You Rather’. It’s very simple; you have two options, Door #1 and Door #2: • Behind Door #1 stands a very attractive gentleman with what seems to be the ideal combination of humor, intelligence, confidence, success etc, etc. He is commanding, dominant, aggressive – a true man’s man. Showing non-masculine emotions such as pain or sadness? Not him! Crying? Impossible! He doesn’t even have tear ducts. Feeling frustrated? That’s why God invented Tusker. But rest assured, he will protect you from any type of physical harm and can always be relied on to carve the nyama choma. Yup, one thing is for sure, this guy is all testosterone, strength and unbreakable masculinity topped with an oh-soirresistible, devilish smile.
• Behind Door #2 stands an equally attractive, intelligent, successful gentleman. Though brimming with self-confidence, you may not realize it initially as he is reserved and non-confrontational. His strength lies in integrity and the ability to actually look at you straight in the eyes while talking about the art gallery he’s been meaning to visit. He may even be openly in touch with his feelings, shamelessly shedding a tear or two during a sad movie, or surrendering himself into your arms as he grieves the loss of a job. He carries a handkerchief, just incase you ever need it, and has already begun preparing the five-course Valentine’s Day meal he has planned for you.
The question is: Who’d You Rather? The unemotional, stoic superhero or the vulnerable, sensitive soul? Bear in mind that who you’d rather isn’t merely a matter of who you would initially be attracted to, according to your own subjective ideals, but who would ultimately satisfy your wants and/ or needs. A macho man sure sounds attractive, but how long can you withstand feeling, like you’re talking to a brick #1 and Door #2 may seem overtly exaggerated and unrealistic (surely you’ve come to expect nothing less from me I hope), a close friend and I found ourselves confronted with this very dilemma. I had selected Door #1, and soon after the very familiar whining cassette tape begun playing: “He’s so emotionally unavailable!… He doesn’t communicate with me!… Why won’t he tell me how he feels?!…. Is he listening to me?… He doesn’t acknowledge my needs! He doesn’t care about me!!! I don’t understand him!!… What’s wrong with him?!? Why can’t he understand ME??!!!… WWWWWHHYY??!!!….”
Ladies: We have all been there.
My less neurotic, but equally confused friend had selected Door #2. Things seemed to be proceeding reasonably well until she was faced with a terrifyingly awkward situation; having to console an uncontrollably blubbering adult man she barely knew. To say that she was speechless, uncomfortable and irrevocably turned-off would be an understatement. The logical solution to this dilemma might have been for us to simply switch doors. But simplicity and logic are entirely overrated, so instead we handled things like adults; we indulged in copious amounts of red wine and ice cream, then proceeded to spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy trying to figure out why it is so difficult for men to be that ideal balance of masculinity and sensitivity.