New Year’s Eve 2009 was a very educational night for me.
Due to certain circumstances beyond my control, I found myself in the company of five lovely ladies. My problem? I was the only bloke.
Of course, there were lots of other people at the party we attended but unfortunately they were all in their own groups and my particular group was me (a sack of potatoes dressed in a tuxedo), Mrs PM and four of her friends, to whom I shall refer in this post as N, B, A and J (to protect them but most importantly myself).
Here are the lessons I learned.
LESSON ONE: Always tell a woman that she has to be ready at least ten minutes earlier than she actually needs to be. That way you stand a good chance of her being ready on time.
We had to pick up the four girls at 7:30 and Mrs PM, being a woman herself, knew that if she told the girls to be ready for 7:20 then there would be a good chance that they actually would be raring to go at 7:30. In fact, they weren’t. But had we told them to be ready for 7:30 I reckon that we would have missed the pre-meal drinks.
LESSON TWO: When women are going out, they are unable to walk for five minutes because the shoes they wear would cripple their feet.
The girls were all staying at a flat in the city centre about five minutes walk from our venue. When I suggested that they walk Mrs PM looked at me incredulously.
“Have you SEEN high heeled shoes before?” she said, her eyes telling me that she considered me to be a dumb muppet.
I still don’t understand why women have to wear shoes that give them so much pain. However, one of the girls, A, actually had a little bag with a small pair of flat comfortable shoes to walk home him. These shoes folded in half and fitted snugly into her bag, meaning that she could wear her uncomfortable shoes at the party and then walk home in a sensible pair. There is hope for womankind after all.
LESSON THREE: Never give a woman a hard time about how long it takes them to get ready because she will not let you forget it on the one time that you are late.
It usually takes me no time to get ready at all. I was still wearing a towel (having just showered – it was not a pretty sight I can assure you) when Mrs PM called a cab. Usually it takes a cab fifteen minutes to arrive but in this case Murphy’s Law applied and I was still battling with my hair, cufflinks and bow tie when the bugger turned up. Suffice it to say, for once it was me who was late and Mrs PM didn’t let me forget it for the entire evening.
LESSON FOUR: When a woman sends a text saying she will be ready, don’t believe her.
On the way Mrs PM sent a text to say we would arrive shortly. We received a text saying that the girls would be ready and waiting. They weren’t. After waiting for five minutes two of the girls, A and J, arrived and we left because N and B were having a stress moment and would see us there – despite shoes.
LESSON FIVE: When a woman has her hair done, there is a good chance that she won’t like it and will start again at home.
N had had her hair washed, styled and prepared earlier in the day. Unfortunately she wasn’t happy with the results and decided to start all over again at home. So she wasted her money and her time at the hairdressers. This was the reason for her stress moment. I hate my hair and I only took five minutes to quell its rebellious nature (though I had to bow to Mrs PM’s wishes and use a product). Mind you, my hair isn’t long – if it were I would have a problem I can assure you.
LESSON SIX: When a woman says she will do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she will.
N and B were going to walk to the hotel in high heeled shoes. I remarked on this in the cab and the driver shook his head and chuckled as if to say “Is this man a bloody idiot or what?”
Some things are better left unsaid.
LESSON SEVEN: Whenever you get a free glass of champagne, always get your missus one as well.
Mrs PM was queuing up to order wine for our meal while I took our coats to the cloakroom. On the way back, I picked up a complementary glass of champagne and joined Mrs PM in the queue. “Where’s mine?” asked Mrs PM indignantly as A and J laughed – “You haven’t trained him well have you?” said A.
With my tail between my legs, I sheepishly returned to the waiter to get another glass. “I forgot the missus,” I said. He smiled politely but looked at me as if I were an amoeba trying to crawl out of a primeval swamp. When I returned to the wine queue, just about everybody within earshot was laughing at my expense.
LESSON EIGHT: Women are very perceptive creatures.
A and J remarked that I was very brave for coming out with five women. “You’re terrified aren’t you?” asked J.
I nodded. Women can read me like a book.
LESSON NINE: Women take so long to get ready because it is a fiercely complicated business.
I listened with interest as the five women talked about the trauma involved in getting ready. All of them looked lovely and I remarked upon this. I was told in no uncertain terms about the amount of work that had gone into their preparation: showering, scrubbing and exfoliation were just the start (there were other things involved in the showering process but the words used were meaningless to me). After that, there was hair preparation involving products, hair dryers, curling tongs and all manner of bizarre implements. And then came the make-up and actually getting dressed, before examining the look in the mirror and adjusting for maximum beauty effect.
But, once the job is complete, there is a period where every bulge, every nook, every cranny, every hair, every square centimetre of exposed skin must be examined in order to make the total effect 100% stunning.
There can be problems however. Take Spanx for example. One of the girls was wearing a pair of Spanx body shapers. Girls can wear these things to shape their body and make any odd bulges disappear. The only problem is that the bulges are not contained and flattened; they are redistributed outside the jurisdiction of the Spanx underwear and this can sometimes cause odd bulges elsewhere. This was the cause of B’s trauma.
So what are Spanx? Here is an example:
When this was all being explained to me, I got lost shortly after the sentence “Well I had a shower …”
LESSON TEN: Women are fully aware when lecherous men are staring at their boobs.
All five women wore fantastic dresses. One of the girls commented that Mrs PM’s dress showed off her boobs perfectly. “All the men will be talking to your boobs,” remarked B.
I felt that I had to defend my gender.
“We can’t help it,” I said, standing my ground. “Men are programmed to enjoy the sight of a beautiful woman. We can’t help looking at boobs. It’s our nature.”
I then realised that I might have put my foot in it. I quickly added – “I have to make sure that I look at your faces when talking to you this evening. But if you DO catch me looking at your boobs, you should feel proud.”
Thankfully, my quip made them all laugh.
LESSON ELEVEN: It is fine to complement a woman but don’t overdo it – unless you are good looking.
I remarked on the fact that all five women looked gorgeous (and they all did) but then I added “Women like complements, don’t they?”
“Yes,” said J, “but if you are dribbling and drooling like a pervert and keep saying it in a lecherous, leering way, it isn’t good at all.”
“Although, if you are good looking you can complement me all night,” added A.
LESSON TWELVE: Do not tell Mrs PM how much you fancy Beyoncé, especially in front of her friends.
The musical entertainment was a swing band with three singers called “The Brit Pack”, obviously pretending to be “The Rat Pack” and performing songs by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior and Frank Sinatra. However, in between performances, the stage was handed over to a DJ who played modern nonsense.
“OOH! I love this one,” said B when “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé appeared. I rolled my eyes and said “Who is this then?”
Mrs PM said “Idiot! It’s Beyoncé – you know the video; the black and white one where she is dancing with two other women.”.
And then I remembered. And then I forgot that I was with five women. And then I forgot I was with my lovely Mrs PM.
“Oh yes!” I said, momentarily thinking I was out with the lads instead of the girls. “She’s bloody gorgeous. I could watch that video all day – with the sound down of course.”
The expression on my face told a story that mere words couldn’t convey. All five girls were staring at me in disbelief. Mrs PM had a thunderous look on her face.
“I don’t believe you just said that,” said B. “You’re so dead!” said J. A and N just shook their heads.
I had allowed myself to momentarily mutate into a lecherous old git like the one so brilliantly portrayed by Les Dawson:
Mrs PM eventually forgave me when I laughed it off as a joke but I had to use all of my charm. It was a very uncomfortable ten minutes when I thought that the knives on the table would be used for something more than just cutting food.
This is what got me into trouble. Guys – watch with caution if your missus is around.
LESSON THIRTEEN: When a woman asks you dance, never refuse – even if you loathe the song.
Another song that almost got me into trouble was “The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. I had been warned earlier that I was the “token male” and that I would have to dance. I steeled myself for having to endure some pure tripe.
What I didn’t realise was that N’s favourite film was “Dirty Dancing” and that she simply loved “Time Of My Life”.
When it came on, I forgot myself and stepped on my soapbox. “I HATE this song,” I said. “I hate the bloody film too. It is sugary nonsense and bilge from the opening credits to the grotesquely syrupy ending. All those eighties films like “Officer and a Gentleman” and “Pretty Woman” are all soul-wrenching trash and the plot is more predictable than the four seasons.”
I turned around mid-rant to find N standing next to me with her hand held out.
Mrs PM stared at me and said one word. “Dance!”
“I HATE this song,” I said.
“DANCE!!!” snarled Mrs PM.
N took matters into her own hands. Before I knew it, I was doing my own impression of Patrick Swayze with N in front of a bunch of other similar men who didn’t want to be there. I was tempted to utter the words “I hate this song,” to N but all I could say was “You like this film don’t you?”
“It’s my favourite,” she agreed.
I said nothing more and danced away.
LESSON FOURTEEN: If you are the token male, you must dance with all women in your group.
Having danced with N, I had to dance with Mrs PM. And then, of course, I had to dance with B, A and J as well. At the end of the night I was knackered.
LESSON FIFTEEN: If you as a male get a chance to go to a New Year ball with five women, grab it with open arms. It is scary and you have to be careful what you say but ultimately it is a fabulously rewarding experience.
I am a people watcher and I love seeing the reaction of others to various situations. The one thing that I got from this particular experience was seeing the looks of envy on other guys faces.
I was the only male on a table of five lovely ladies. I danced with each woman in turn and noticed the looks of amazement on the faces of some of the guys.
I can imagine the thoughts running through their minds:
“How’s that butt ugly baboon managed that?”
When New Year came in, I was on the dance floor surrounded by women and singing “It’s Up To You New York New York!” at the top of my voice alongside “The Brit Pack” and many envious guys.
It was a fantastic night and I had a fun-filled, interesting and very educational evening. I definitely managed to tap into the female psyche and learned a few things that will help me on my quest to understanding women.
Mrs PM said that, despite a couple of foot in mouth moments, I somehow managed to scrape through my crash course.
I’d like to thank Mrs PM, N, B, A and J for a great night. For one night only I was the envy of many blokes and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I will try to use the information wisely, dear reader. I just hope that I don’t have a relapse.
I have to go now because Valentine’s Day is six weeks away and I need to work out how I can get through that without buying a card and flowers and spending a wad of cash, while at the same time, making Mrs PM happy.
Bring on the next level.