Sunday, January 04, 2004


Men wish they were from Mars I wish B and I were in the same city. That way, I can track every woman he falls in love with, and see for myself how he gets himself into such strife, and nip the next crush in the bud before it becomes the next crash. I can also distract him with beers, touch rugby, kayaking, bookshops, DVDs, coffee, broadband internet access, suppers and driving around aimlessly. That would mean that same city would have to be Singapore, no less. I can eavesdrop on his occasional conversations he has with the objects of his affections on his mobile phone, and glean from them the type of women they are, what they want from him and whether they are open to the idea of dating him or whether they just want to be good friends with him. Because all women want a good friend or six. And a good male friend is worth six female ones. A good male friend gives a woman the perspective from a male point of view. It empowers her with the working knowledge of a man's mind. Or so she thinks. That good male friend would fall in love with her at some point, the consequence of which may be one of three: lasting friendship, lasting relationship or lasting animosity. That good male friend's judgment on matters brought to his attention by the woman remains clouded by a) lust, b) resentment, or c) disinterest. Still, she thinks him valuable, because she is unsure of herself. She likes him to ratify her own decisions, which she has made way before she asks him for his opinion. It just gives her decision (mostly to do with men) the weight she thinks it requires. And, she also likes the attention, and the little tinge of excitement that comes with the possibility of that male friend actually liking her romantically. She milks it for all it is worth. By saying she misses him. By saying how valuable his advice is. By saying "if I wasn't in love with him, I might be in love with you". He responds, thrilled at the very words. Stupidly. I miss you too. And no matter how painful it is, says but you're in love with him and not me. Woman 1, Male Friend 0. B, I reckon, has scored many own goals this way. My job, were we in the same city, would be to make sure he doesn't do it too often. Yes, it is a given that we Male Friends are on the losing side. A bit like Arsenal playing Klang Valley United. My job is to help B minimize damage, and maintain dignity. Why is a man like B so susceptible to strife as this? Because not all men qualify as Male Friends. If a man were out and out straight to the point, he disqualifies himself. The woman knows this man cannot be her Male Friend. 1) The Male Friend knows no absolutes. 2) The Male Friend knows not himself. 3) The Male Friend is kind. 4) The Male Friend is giving. 5) The Male Friend is considerate. 6) Most important of all, the Male Friend listens. Article 1 of the Male Friend Creed requires the Male Friend to be always open to suggestion, and it is no surprise that many Male Friends are not obstinate people. Article 2 is a pre-requisite that not many realise. The woman likes a Male Friend that asks her for her opinion about himself. She thinks it demonstrates trust, but sub-consciously, she knows she's got him eating out of her hands. Article 7, which is unwritten, is the article in the creed which is not often talked about, and I risk life and limb revealing it here. It states (and I am paraphrasing) that the Male Friend may be from time to time, called upon to deliver services, possibly of a carnal nature, which he would normally prefer to be in the context of a loving relationship, and not complain. Most Male Friends don't complain about Article 7. And if they did protest, they score an own goal again. As you can now imagine, a man like B would be very much sought after as a Male Friend. He embodies and upholds the Creed like few other. And I won't even talk about Article 7. Notice that nothing in the Creed speaks of honesty. A Male Friend can be all of the above without being honest, for that is not a pre-requisite. Because why? Because the woman likes a bit of veil play. A Male Friend presenting himself to be platonic and at the same time masking badly his romantic intentions turns a woman on as much as a hot-blooded straight out passionate encounter. It gives her confidence. In fact, it empowers her whereas the latter may subjugate her. So how would I help B maintain dignity? How could I possibly, you may well ask? I don't know for sure. But we Male Friends do stand a chance of survival in this mad, bad world. If only we didn't fall in love so.


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