Obviously, being married, I need to tread very carefully here. I’ve already forewarned my wife of the nature of this meme and she laughed that laugh that women laugh so well: outwardly lighthearted but with a hard nugget of explosive steel at the centre and ‘joked’: “so this is where you come home tonight and ask for a divorce when you’ve listed your top ten ingredients and realized that I don’t possess any of them... ha ha ha!” Which I heard as “if there is one ingredient on that list that isn’t already within my genetic make-up then you’ll be sleeping in the shed until Christmas.”
So without further ado (about nothing) here is my top ten ingredients that would, if Dr Frankenstein were alive today (or indeed, ever alive), enable him to create my dream femme fatale. Keeley Hawes, Alice Roberts, Katie McGrath, Lucy Griffiths, Nigella Lawson and Uma Thurman please take note: my wife already has all of these in spades. (Happy now, dear?)
1) Must find astigmatism sexy. I’ve worn glasses since I was 5 and will do so until the day I die (unless of course my death is caused by me not wearing them). Oh I’ve dallied with the idea of contact lenses but something in me is highly resistant to the idea. I’m a spectacle wearer and proud of it. It’s part of my identity. If the thought of gently caressing my spectacles with your tongue is a turn off then you and me is just not meant to be together, baby, innit?
2) Must be brunette. I know, I know, there are millions of gorgeous blondes and red heads out there and every now and then one of these breeds will turn my head and indeed I have been out with blondes and gingers in my time but it is the fabulous brunette who truly floats my boat. The darker the brunetteness the better. Eye colour is unimportant. Breast size is unimportant. Dress size is unimportant. It’s all in the hair. Must be black or dark brown and of a length that I can run my hand through. As a teen I dreamed of Goth / Emo girls but never did manage to go out with one (I simply wasn’t suicidal enough)... maybe I am just working through a vestige of that time?
3) Must not only give me space and time to write but also must make time to read what I have written and critique it sensitively. I admit this is a big ask and is liable to be the only serious component on this list. Writing has been my bag since I was 7 or 8. I have to write. I have to. My wife will back me up on this, I am sure, but I become a foul tempered swine if I am unable to write for any length of time.
4) Chocolate. I love chocolate. This love must be reciprocated in my perfect partner. But not too much. Not to the point where they have the last slice of chocolate cake. That must default to me. I know they say that love knows no selfishness but poppycock to that. This is chocolate we’re talking about.
5) Sex. Let’s not beat about the bush here (oo-er), physical compatibility is a must. Appetites must be matched. To have it otherwise leads to stress and trouble and heartbreak and a visit to Miss Sasa’s massage parlour and then a painful stagger to the STD clinic where your giggle-stick is scoured with a red hot poker. It just ain’t worth it. Make the right choice and you get to eat a McLove burger every night – mess it up and it’s a clap pizza to go. Don’t get me wrong, personality and spiritual compatibility are just as important but don’t underestimate or downgrade the important of the horizontal folk dance out of mere embarrassment or an erroneous sense of decency. We all need the right person to be indecent with.
6) Healthy gene pool. Yes, this one took me by surprise too. I’m not for one minute trying to give off the vibe that I am a neo-Nazi looking to breed the next master race but when it came time to settle down and I was thinking about having kids I cannot deny that people with leprosy, congenital disorders and genetic diseases suddenly became less attractive. I found myself seeking a field with good healthy soil in which I could drive my plough. Strong legs and child bearing hips also had a bearing but I can’t work them into the field analogy.
7) A good sense of humour. Or for those of you that use dating agencies: GSOH. Almost a cliché but it is the most common element that we all look for in a prospective partner (or even in an existing partner). In fact, I’m amazed that dour, miserable, humourless people are ever able to breed. I don’t mean that the perfect she should be able to deliver a 40 minute Frankie Boyle-esque routine full of rapier-like wit and gut puncturing satire but to be able to laugh uproariously at the same jokes is an absolute must. Or just to be able to recognize when I have told a joke and laugh at it regardless of how unfunny it is would be a help. Us men find even nervous giggles attractive.
8) The ability to not talk during films or TV programmes that I happen to be concentrating on. This is a real bugbear. If I’m watching something or listening to something I hate being interrupted or otherwise disturbed. The house is burning down? Throw a wet tea-towel onto it. The kids are falling out of the bedroom window? Throw a cushion onto the patio. These are not valid reasons to interrupt my viewing of Mock The Week.
9) Christ. 10? Why does it have to be 10? Why can’t it be 8, eh, Emma? I’m struggling here. OK. What other fine traits does my wife possess? Oh yes. Must appreciate / grant permission to whatever childish hobby I like to indulge. All males have a childish, slightly geeky hobby though we ourselves would never describe it as childish. Childish is a word used by the outside world, in particular the women who are not our partners. Be it comics, cigarette cards or, in my case, Lego, Mrs Right should be supportive and become appropriately interested in this hobby in order to maintain the relationship and ensure its continued stability. This interest may be faked. We men don’t really care as long as you leave us alone to play with our toys and don’t laugh in our faces about it.
10) Must not like Eamonn Holmes, Russell Brand, Cliff Richard, Sting, Timmy Mallet, the Conservative party, meatloaf, Meatloaf, rhubarb, runny fried eggs, gristly meat, country music, soap operas, documentaries about prolapsed orifices, The National Lottery Live, The X Factor et al, televised sport, football (especially the World Cup), Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Leonardo Di Craprio and anybody that dares to denigrate me.
I wasn’t going to tag anybody but then I thought sod being nice for a game of soldiers, I’ve put some considerable work into this why should you lot get off scot free? Hence, I hereby tag: Note From Lapland, Readily A Parent and Old Cheeser (let’s see if I can get you blogging again, OC)!
P.S. My wife has this evening pointed out that I have not adequately conveyed her utter saintliness and wishes me to make clear that she (mostly without complaint) puts up daily with my OCD about tidiness and health & safety. I wish to add at this juncture that any woman who finds herself affiliated to me can expect to live in a safe environment where she will never come to any harm and where everything will be tidied away for her. Sounds like a bloody good deal to me. Come and get me, girls!