Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 55, Tuesday, July 26, 2005



the perfect package

Envision this: Prince charming arrives in his flashing, white steed, sweeps you off your dainty glass slippered feet and carries you off into the sunset, whereupon you'll live happily ever after.

"Back in the days," aunts would begin to reminisce once in a while, followed by the most nostalgic of sighs, "us girls devoured Barbara Cartland novels, lost ourselves within the folds of pages that carried the most perfect men -- Dukes of royal blood, brooding, dashing, pensive, tall-dark-and-handsome, that would make a pretty young thing of his fancy pine away for him, till he declared his love for her. Ah, but we would be swept away as well…if only…"

The rest is ominously left unsaid, eyes slightly glazed, while they quite evidently lose themselves in their mysterious, romantic, pastoral worlds. I can only try and picture them -- teens in love with the idea of love, hair tightly braided into two pigtails, lying flat on their stomachs as they swooned, and dreamt, and sighed while they waited to be rescued…

No doubt, Harlequin romance novels had played a large part in the conception of a few addled female brains…'back in the days'! Many bed side tables and book shelves must have simply groaned under the weight of gargantuan collections of Mills and Boon, and the most lurid looking romance novels -- covers painted with waif-like women with flared bosoms, leaning back helplessly, as their 17-inch waists were being tightly clasped by the strong, hairy arms of a burly, barrel-chested man.

Ironically enough, not much has changed over the years. As we sift through glossy magazines, as we flip through the umpteenth channel on cable, we are literally bombarded with much of those same notions -- of the perfect man materialising into our lives one fine Sunday morning and, well, sweeping us off our feet!

Teenage girls swoon over 'rock stars' at 'underground concerts' in Dhaka, or fantasise about television / film actors with perfect jaw-lines, sculpted bodies, and flawless charisma to match. For twenty-somethings, looks perhaps are not as important, but there is no denying the fact that they secretly crave for a man who has it all -- relatively good looks, relatively well off, witty, sensitive, charming… the works. Who are we kidding -- even women in their thirties discretely and diligently, fill up quizzes inside magazines that promise to help the lovelorn seek the 'Man of [their] dreams'.

The Internet is an entirely different ball game; online dating services, chat-rooms and the like have naturally cashed in on the love-game, feeding illusions of impressionable as well as older, mature, yet desperate minds.

Calling all 'hopeless romantics', dreamers, 'desperate housewives', calling all or most women…wake up and smell the coffee beans! There is no such thing as 'The perfect package'. Let us not get sucked into a vortex of clichés. No man can be witty, funny, kind, sensitive, charming, charismatic, an intellectual, drop-dead-gorgeous, wealthy, all rolled into one. Truth of the matter is, if you get a combination of any of these 'qualities', so to speak, you will be one hell of a lucky woman. For example, a man may not have that impressive pay-check or car; he could be about as interesting as a brick wall, may not even share the same creative / professional interests as you do, but he could be understanding, faithful, mature and dependable. Your man could be chubby, balding, but he may have that great sense of humour, have that remarkable ability to make you laugh when you most need to, is a good friend, and most importantly, makes you feel good about yourself. Now 'that' is what we could call a perfect package, or rather, the perfectly packaged couple!

There is certainly no harm in un-harnessing that colourful imagination of yours once in a while, but unnamed fantasies, dreams of delectably good looking men and prince charmings are best left within the confines of a woman's grey matter. It is when illusions are allowed to concretise and reign supreme that dissatisfaction rears its ugly head, resulting in many a frenzied, love-starved, secretly unhappy woman.

To realise that there is no such thing as the perfect breed of males (after all, in defence of men, there is no such thing as the perfect woman either), to finally end the miserable wait for the so-called 'man of one's dreams' to transpire, to show up at any given moment at our doorsteps, is to set ourselves free….at last!

By Rubaiyat Khan
Photo: LS Archive

checkout checklist

Every female you meet is secretly sizing you up and the way they 'check you out', is infinitely complex. Because we like to make life easier for you, we'll let you in on exactly how we glance at your entire appearance, during the first few seconds we come into contact.

The dude's duds: Clothes bespeak the man, and a brown belt with black shoes says no woman has ever loved you enough to make you presentable. But….if your outfit is all perfect, she'll look down at her simple outfit and assume that she could never please you. . She needs to see some vulnerability, some signs that you'll need her. So it's all about striking the right note. If she doesn't like your style, the scan stops there.

The proper props What you're carrying with you might not seem like such a big deal, and you can bet that she's scanning them for a deeper meaning. A book says: "Wow! I read! I'm probably even sensitive!" (If it's something she's read, and liked, it screams: "I may be your soul-mate!") Reading the newspaper? You're guaranteed to be a good conversationalist. A worn, soft, leather bag or briefcase is a total turn on -- the closest a modern man will ever come to carrying a saddle. It shows that you're a hard worker. But a fake leather bag with strips peeling off to reveal the white synthetic material underneath, means you're cheap. We're not always right, but we have to start somewhere.

Windows to your soul? "Eyes are highly mobile and convey a lot of information." We'd probably say we're looking for 'honesty' or 'sincerity' in your eyes, which sounds like nonsense…but it's not. Your eyes can tell her about your smarts (do they look active or glazed?), how healthy you are (are they clear or yellow or bloodshot?), and even how turned on you are (pupils dilate when you're interested).

Face off! A recently published study found that most women prefer men with feminine features, such as a slender nose, 'Cupid's lips', a cute chin, and a light brow (hence, women's attraction to the likes of Johnny Depp, and Michael Owen). If you look like a girl, She'll want to look at…
your hair. If you have the standard man haircut, get rid of that hideous parting. Do people compliment your long hair? Do women ask to touch it? If not, think about a haircut. Beard? Moustache? Opinions differ here, but your safest bet is to go without.

X factor: Do you walk the walk and talk the talk? What makes you stand out, makes you different from that average Joe? It's that extra oomph that's hard to define, but very important.

Bling bling: Accessories are pretty iffy. Most women find jewellery gaudy, but then there are some men who can carry it off pretty well. Bottom line, make it work for you, or just go without. One bit of bling that could make or break our love: if you have a significant ring on your finger. "Women are after a relationship; men are looking for a moment," says yet another wise man. "So signs of attachment will instantly turn women off."

A little afterthought...once we've checked you out, and decided you're worth approaching or being approached by, we're going to want to start a conversation, and watch your mouth, because the first thing you say might just well be your last. Mispronunciations are jarring, as are overdone accents. So keep it natural, but a little polish could go a long way

LS Desk



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