Thursday, August 12, 2010

Name your type and other trivia questions

Happy Glorious 12th! I hate to grouse (ho, ho) but am totally fed up of wet and damp as a weather default setting. However let’s get off Sydney’s weather, about which I have nothing positive to say, and onto something definitely more interesting.

Maggie Alderson, who is a columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine, (and another transplanted Brit), wrote a piece last week about people having a definite physical type to whom they are attracted, to the extent that they can end up with a series of near identical partners. As with all good theories I immediately tested this one on both myself and my nearest and dearest.

Being a male, Husband is much more predictable and definitely has a track record with blondes – though with variations in size, for as his father charitably pointed out when he started going out with me, “You’ve had a fat girlfriend, and a thin one and now you’ve got an in between one.” I recovered pretty quickly from this ranking, young love being a thing of great resilience. However twenty years on, I feel less benign towards Drama Queen No. 3, who when I was repeating this story to her today, said with interest, “So were you the fat one then?”

When I reviewed my own list of official and potential boyfriends – and for potential, read men for whom I yearned and tried, but failed to convert to my potential as girlfriend material, the one thing that stood out was the complete lack of any physical type whatsoever. Prime specimens included, in no particular order, a mousy haired chap, topping six feet with feet so big he had to have his shoes specially made, a small red head, tall and dark with curly hair (when I described this last one to the DQs they thought he sounded like the dog!), small blonde and balding and thin and dark like an emaciated Mr Darcy. I won’t go on, apart from anything else there aren’t that many, even with the yearnings included, but you get the general drift, you would never line them up together as look alikes in an identity parade.

We are off to a school fundraiser trivia night in a couple of weeks. Trivia nights are a bit like IKEA, doesn’t matter what part of the globe you end up in, chances are there’s one near you. I shouldn’t be too rude about IKEA as based on experience there is nothing to beat it when you land in new country minus any furniture and then discover none of the stuff lovingly packed in the ‘all at sea’ container is actually going to fit the new rented house. I am considerably less fond of trivia nights, mainly because we are so shockingly bad at them. Not only has popular culture and sport apparently completely passed us by for the last two decades but we are both such competitive con artists that we can’t resist blurting out complete rubbish in such totally convincing tones that it generally takes the rest of our team at least one round to spot us as the traitors in their midst. We are a man short for this particular event and the lonesome wife has suggested putting up a wanted poster describing her perfect man and waiting to see the response.

This of course has got me thinking what I would put on my own ‘Wanted’ poster – ‘all physical types considered’ would obviously be an honest start given my liquorice allsorts track record on the types of male I find attractive. I came to the conclusion that the key driver for what I find attractive in a man is a mix of two factors; interesting conversation, I love that moment when you suddenly move beyond the commonplace with someone, secondly and probably most importantly, being able to make me laugh. There are obviously a range of minor factors such as being willing to share chocolate with me, and laughing at my jokes, but I don’t think it is any coincidence that I can always remember conversations I have had with people I find attractive but can never recall accurately what they looked like or what they were wearing – though candidates wearing socks with sandals will not be considered and bearded types will have to be pretty damm funny to get beyond first interview. Husband would also like me to point out the position has actually been filled!

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