Saturday, September 29, 2007


So I live in England now, with a girl. As my grandmother would say “in sin”. What can you do? Living with your girlfriend is quite like living with a flatmate, except that they are generally cleaner, much fussier, and require more to make them comfortable. Bath mats, for instance.

Living with a girl is not like living with a pal, because you can’t say things like “Dude! Look at this video I found on Youtube of a dog having sex with a cat!” If you do, it’s more likely that they will ask you why you are wasting your time looking at videos of interspecies sex on Youtube rather than working on that novel you’ve supposedly been writing for the last two years? Which is, of course, a good point.

You also have to watch what you eat around them. If they knew the full extent of the foul takeaway foods that students and other idle young males indulge in on a daily basis, the chances are she’d run a mile. Your best bet is just to eat what they eat and sneak out for a kebab when they’re not looking. Also it’s important not to drink too much in their presence, especially not in your boxer shorts in front of the TV or videogames console, lest you risk being called a “scrub”. This is a girl word for bon vivant.

Toilet etiquette: girls get funny about toilet seats for some reason. They have invented some kind of weird equation which states that since all women-doings are done sitting down, while one of a man’s doings is done standing, the duty of putting the toilet seat down is the man’s responsibility. Why the seat needs to be put down at all is a mystery to me. The solution? Leave the seat down and do your business anyway, pretty soon she’ll be the one putting the seat up after she’s used the crapper. Slambango!

Girl bidie-ins do have their benefits though. You are far more likely eat at least one good, hot meal a day and will often find that when you come home your underwear has been de-loused and smells of flowers. Nothing a man ever washes, no matter how many expensive powders he uses, will ever smell of flowers. Your general health and physical appearance will improve. You will find yourself becoming respectable pretty fast. Possibly, you now also think the bath mats were a good idea.

To top it off, girls are soft and smell pretty good, and every day you get to pet and cajole one another in the way that if you tried with your old flatmate, you’d probably have to have a quite serious talk about personal boundaries. As much as I have fond memories of my old flatmates, the idea of having tickle fights with them does not really have much appeal.

So, my conclusions: girls = good; cohabiting = not evil like the bible says. It’s a pretty sweet deal all round I think. Women are something of a civilizing influence on us dudes. I know many people will call me “domesticated” and “house-dude”, but it is true. Living with a girl gives us reasons to do things like clean our bodies and wash dishes. In the olden days, dirty dishes would pile up and pile up until we were eating beans with a pencil out of an old boot. For want of kitchen roll, I would wipe up all spillages with a slice of bread so I could save it for later. That sort of shit won’t wash with a woman in the house. No sir. Thank you, womankind, for saving us from ourselves and implementing domestic equilibrium.

I am on my own in the flat now. My sweetheart has gone down the street to buy some kind of kitchen implement that I have no knowledge of, or perhaps a vegetable that I would be unable to identify. That leaves nothing for me to do except watch that video of a monkey flagellating itself on Youtube. I am, after all, still a dude.

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