On Marriage - Loving Your Man Anyway
[You may want to skip this post if you are finicky, some grossity (new word) ahead]
Now, I'm not one for dwelling on the differences between genders in terms of behavior, personality, or expected roles, but there are some ways I agree that men in general differ from women. There was this book I read in university, my then roommate was in the must-to-marry before I graduate mode, and I was in the read-everything-I-find mode. One point stuck with me, it was a chapter under the heading - You Marry A Man.
The author of the book went on to list some of the grosser things men are more prone to than women and encouraged wives to bear with men and not plan to change them outright. She noted that men were smellier, sweatier, are more liable to pee on the toilet seat by virtue of having a penis, that sort of thing. I went to a girl's school, and by then I had not had any serious romantic relationship, so men and how they functioned were like aliens to me.
My only live in experience with men/boys before then were my dad and my younger brother. My dad is one of those old school clean cut guys, he washed his own undies and clothes, he used moisturizer, kept his afro neatly styled, and never farted in front of the children. My more gunky adolescent brother who played football we got to see a lot of only during the holidays since we were all in boarding secondary schools, and then university. I'm saying all this so you understand how reading that book was an eye-opener for me.
Well, fast-forward about ten years, I met this guy, fell in love, got married and we moved in together. And yes, I married a man. Some things weren't such a shocker because on the message-board we had met, some funny topics meant that people shared some personal aspects of themselves, and because members were anonymous, sometimes they could be quite honest.
I remember one topic like that on male personal hygiene, this was before I started dating Atala, and someone mentioned how relieving and how much they enjoyed farting noisily while they were urinating. I found that so gross, but so real at the same time. OK, so I may not do them at the same time, but I did them anyway. Yes, I admit it. I am human. I even do number 2 :)
Anyway, I was having this discussion with Atala yesterday about whether marriage cleans up men and their funky - I won't say dirty - ways. I was of the opinion that it wasn't marriage per se but dependent on the guy's interest in women and dating. Then he asked if men were really grosser than women, after all he has seen me do the do, I sweat, I smell, I fart, etc. At the end though, we agreed that men won the grossity trophy. So for those who don't know, expect the following when you marry a man;
1. Men belch, not burp - Belching is natural process of digestion but lot of us women are socialized and trained to be ladylike. Don't belch, they tell us, or they give us "the eye" when we do. So we learn to burp. Unfortunately, men are not taught, or because they eat more food, they take in more air and have more to let back up. So they belch. What can you do?
2. Men fart, and loudly - Don't get me wrong, women do too, but I think men have noisier farts. I'm not sure why, it may be their digestive system or it may be the shape of their backsides. I'm not one of those that find this to be disgusting at all times, sometimes though, it is only courteous to go to another room if others are in the room with you, especially if you expect a smelly one.
3. Men are hairier - I don't mean on the head, women are the ones allowed to have long hair on their head. But all over their body, men have long, coarse hair. Their beards will scratch you when you kiss, their chest and belly hair the same, and I have seen guys who have hair long enough to do 'shoku' with on their backs, arms and butt. Unless you find that attractive, you may want to see a guy shirtless or naked before you move in together, or say 'I do'. But hey, maybe you can convince your man to have regular body waxing :)
4. Men sweat, a lot - Of course we all sweat. But sometimes when a man is very active, he can sweat buckets, literally. A nice deadorant specially for men can work wonders.
5. Men smell, and sometimes it gets funky - I think this is due to the higher levels of testestorone and also due to 4 above. On this one, I believe things are changing. Men are more and more metrosexual these days. Most men now know to have their baths daily, use body lotions and perfumes.
6. Skid marks on panties - Did I just go there? LOL...This is one of the grossest for me, surely one should be able to take the time to clean up properly after the do? Somebody I know said this is more evident in men cos they have by virtue of their body build, flat, bony, backsides while women have more padding. I don't know sha, but using darker undies and/or boxers should help out men who are always culprits.
6. Bad breath, and not just in the morning - A lot of us have bad breath immediately after we wake up, and some people can't help that they have halitosis. But if one likes eating stuff like onions, strong coffee, or if they smoke, it may be a good idea to have some minty sweets and gum around, or a mouth spritz.
Why do I say love him anyway? Because these are personal grooming details that can affect both men and women, and we women have our special body funk too. We all have the responsibility to ourselves and those around us to be as well groomed as we can at all times. It becomes even more important when one is dating or married, and sharing the same bed, same room, and everything with another person. Nothing, however, trumps unconditional love.