Yesterday in the MTR, with my ipod blasting cheezy 80s music into my head, I had an epiphany. Cheesy 80s music does that to me you know. That’s why I have most profound thoughts on the walk back home from work. Also on the potty but never mind that.

So about my epiphany…

I have always been puzzled about my taste in men. Looking back on the guys I have dated, none of them fit my … erm … intellectual standards. True, none of them have been entirely dumb but neither were they capable of the heights of abstract thought that I could seriously admire. Most were not great readers, neither were they exceptionally articulate barring when it came to chatting me up. While three could be counted as ‘creative types’, two of them were largely prosaic.*

That is, one worked in production (ads) and had a passion for film (had watched Kieslovski etc) but apart from the time he was talking about film (where only ocassionally a truly interesting comment beyond ‘I loved that film’ was to be had), nothing challenging was forthcoming. The other was apparently an artist (the first time he said that to me I smirked because really, painting in your free time does not count as being ‘an artist’ though later I discovered one of his sculptures had been installed somewhere in the suburbs) and looked the part which was why I threw myself at him but he said things like ‘oh you studied English Literature. You can help me improve my English’ (I am immediately repelled by such statements. Literature is not grammer people! You do not read Shakespeare to learn ‘new words’).

Of these, the outstanding exception is one guy who was in advertising. But he was an experiment in boredom and not someone I genuinely found attractive but rather someone I was forcing myself to timepass with until I got tired of it.

This in itself is a case in point. I always thought I would land up with a brooding creative type, who would sit around smoking ganja and spout the likes of Satre. By my standards, advertising guy should have been it. But the grungy, unshaven, unhandsome-but-if-wear-dirty-enough-clothes-I-will-become-cool, lanky if admittedly well-read and ocassionally clever (people are never as clever or interesting as they first appear) guys just didn’t do it for me.

Instead I gravitate towards the somewhat sporty, boyish charmers who more often than not are allergic to reading. Why is this? Why have I elected to spend the rest of my days with a man who on several ocassions grabs my book, hides it and forces me to watch mindless television, who can only stomach a conversation that is not directly related to his or my daily living reality for less than four minutes, who works in a bank for god’s sake?

And then it hit me!

It’s because I spent so much of my growing-up-girlhood watching football. My older sister – maybe trying to compensate for the son my parents never had but also because she in naturally sporty – would watch soccer and develop crushes on the players and choose a crush for me to have to although I really had a crush on her guy (namely Paulo Maldini, former captain of Italy and AC Milan if anybody is interested). I did and aspired to do everything my older sister did. And so, despite myself, my taste in men was colonized and I began to have an eye for the slightly brawny types who looked like they could kick a ball. This also explains why both us so often had crushes on the same guy.**

OK this might not seem particularly insightful to you or even particularly interesting, dear reader, but the fact is it’s a question that has plagued me many a time and I am very proud of having found so elegant an explanation. So there!

*All this makes me sound like I had a long string of boyfriends but that’s not the truth – though of course I wish it was. I must confess that I have dated (if some of those ‘events’ can be called dating) five men in total, the last of which (whom?) I married.
**Only discovered much later in life amid much giggling.