A brief stint at the Playboy Club furnished me with a few fantastic females, but my best mate was still a boy. Now the boy and I have gone our separate ways I have started to realise that men and women really are fundamentally different in the brain department.
Different is not a bad thing in itself, obviously, but my experiences of the last week have left me seriously contemplating lesbianism. Thing number one: sunbathing in the garden with my flatmate only to notice our upstairs neighbour touching himself. I now wish I'd simply shouted "Jim I can see you", but sadly at the time I was mortified and simply discussed the options with Rose. The options were - stay here and essentially allow him to use us for sexual gratification, or go inside. We went inside. No-one wants to see a 70 year old penis on a sunny day, it can never be un-seen. Thanks Jim.
Thing number two: Having recently become obsessed with skateboarding, I've been spending all free time at the skatepark. Yes, I've basically been hanging out with 14 year old boys. That said, one of the unexpected benefits about the park has been the sense of community. It started with a shy smile, followed by the odd technical pointer or motivational speech,"have it!", but now there are friendships springing up. Some of the boys have commented that it's nice to see girls skating and overall it's been a great experience. That said, one 12 year old tried to manoeuvre me into a situation where he would be able to push me as I went to drop in (essentially throw myself down a concrete ramp). I also overheard his group of friends lamenting the fact there were girls in a skatepark. If I was a 12 year old girl that would have put me off skating entirely. As a 29 year old woman it made me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. I rectified the situation (judge me as you will) by informing the boy that if he ever pushed me or my friend down a ramp I would hurt him. I didn't specify how, but I'd like to think this vagueness just fuelled his imagination.
Thing number three: I wore a crop top the other day. Whilst my (male) friends commented on this, I took it in the good humour they were intended, as harmless flirting or general compliments. Too many compliments make me feel shy, but I've learnt my lesson from wearing said crop top. Comments from people I know and like are not the issue. The problem was on meeting Giles Coren for the second time. The first had been at a gin launch and we chatted and drank cocktails. The second time he looked me up and down and said "you were wearing something different last time we met. I had to imagine what you looked like underneath. Turns out I imagined right". This was laughed off by my friends (guys) as just another compliment. However, it was enough to make me say my goodbyes. I'm also learning that no matter how happily married, doting-on-the-kids a man is, sans femmes he apparently has no qualms about returning to the single state in his head.
On discussing men with my flatmate Lucy, I came to the conclusion that men are frightened of women and rightly so; we're a strong and capable bunch. I realised that women only need men for sex and lifting heavy things, although vibrators and artificial insemination have reduced the reliance so that left only the lifting of heavy things. Lucy made the excellent point that we could simply create things to be much lighter. Genius. Gentlemen, you have been warned.