There is a supposedly humorous e-mail doing the rounds at the moment: “How do you make a woman happy? Pamper her, cherish her, listen to her, spoil her, love her, adore her, value her, and respect her. How do you make a man happy? Show up naked. Bring food.”
I don’t think men realize how traumatic those three little words “Show up naked” can be! Most women can cope with the “Bring food” aspect of a relationship – we all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (although, in my opinion, we are aiming 6 inches too high!) But the very idea of nakedness is enough to strike fear into the stomach, hips and thighs of every woman alive.
Take my friend, Sam, for example. Sam had been seeing Romantic Rob for about 3 weeks when they decided to go away together. After a particularly lazy day on the beach with knowing glances being exchanged over the suntan oil, Sam decides to relax in a bubble bath before getting dressed for dinner. It is at this point in the story that her eyes widen and she swallows furiously at the memory.
“What happened”, we all ask in wide-eyed wonder, expecting the worst. Sam leans forward and whispers, “Rob comes into the bathroom and asks if he can … get into the bath with me!” We are horrified. Nakedness is one thing. Nakedness without passion is horrific!
It gets worse! Relentless Rob, totally oblivious to her distress (typical), disrobes right next to the bath – seemingly unaware of the fact that his … um… crown jewels … are at the exact eye-level of poor Sam who is frantically doing stomach clenches in a last ditch attempt at a flatter abdomen.
Just managing to avert her eyes from Rob in all his glory (and he is, apparently, quite glorious), Sam realizes that she will have to scoot to the front of the bath to make room for Rob behind her. But this poses a serious problem – it is almost impossible to have a flat stomach when one is scrunched on top of the plug!
Revolting Rob lowers himself into the bath and places his hands on Sam’s waist to gently pull her back towards him. In absolute horror, she flinches as his fingers touch the rolls of fat that have now shifted from her stomach to her sides. She hurriedly moves back and gingerly leans against him, curving her spine to place her head on his chest without crushing anything they might want to use later! She lifts her feet and places them on either side of the tap, hoping that gravity will suck the fat to the underside of her legs.
This has a rather pleasing effect. She now appears to have thin thighs, a flat tummy and … with a gasp of horror, she realizes that her breasts have flopped to the side – giving her an almost flat-chested appearance. In desperation, she squeezes her arms to her side, thereby propping a breast on each arm.
This is now too horrific for words. Her neck aches, her stomach muscles are tired and her lungs are bursting with the breath she has been holding for the past five minutes. So, Sam does what any sane woman in her position would do. She tells him that the water is cold and they should get out.
To her absolute dismay, Repulsive Rob decides that he will stay in the bath a while longer! Sam is frozen in mental agony. To get out first would mean standing up, naked, in front of him, giving him a full panoramic view of ….. her bum!
No woman should have to endure such humiliation. Holding back her sobs, Sam stands up, swings to the side (to look thinner), sucks in her stomach, props up her breasts on her forearms, reaches for a towel and hurriedly steps out of the bath. With cheeks flaming with embarrassment, she seeks the comfort of a toweling robe and vacates the torture chamber.
We are all horrified. Sam leans forward and whispers, “And that’s not the worst part!” Apparently, not only does Rodent Rob stride into the bedroom while Sam is bending over her suitcase, stark naked, bum to the breeze, but he then proceeds to ask her what she would like to EAT for dinner!
We are all totally aghast. Any man worth his salt would know that, after the bath debacle, Sam will not eat (in public) for the next two weeks and will only allow him to see her naked when she is under the covers with the light firmly off.
Sam demolishes the last of her blueberry muffin (Mugg & Bean, of course) before heading off to her therapist. I mean, women have taken Valium for less…