Things that all men do
Men aren’t mysterious creatures on the whole. Yes, we may be from Mars as opposed to Venus, and sometimes our love for our football team confuses even us. But on the whole, we all do the same things.
Grow a beard. And then when they choose to get rid of it, they will shave it into a Hitler moustache. This will be followed by posing in the mirror, right hand stretching to the sky in some Nazi-esque fashion, and if the man has hair that is vaguely floppy, an overenthusiastic head wobble will cause the hair to fall forward, thus completing the Hitler look. There may even be the odd selfie taken though that will rarely be revealed to anyone. Of course, in normal everyday Britain this would be racist, but in a man’s own bathroom, it’s nothing more than an amusing wheeze.
Do what they can to get out of shopping. Especially clothes shopping. Every sane man knows that no good can ever come of him having an opinion about the clothes a woman wants to buy. You girls may well think otherwise, but lest we say what we truly think, it’s not worth the week-long punishment of sniffy attitude, strange silences and pseudo-mental torture that results. Young men learn the hard way. A rite of passage. They reply honestly and eagerly “I don’t like that,” helpfully adding “it makes your arse look…” and then depending on the IQ level, finishing the sentence with either “big” or - and we should hold a seconds silence here - “even bigger”. They learn quickly that saying everything looks good is not the correct thing either. Eventually, as older guys look on and grin at the sheer incompetence of these younger folk, realisation dawns. Every now and then, throwing in a “I prefer the XYZ dress as it really accentuates your figure in a way that ABC dress doesn’t” is as close to an easy life as one can get. Who knows, this may even lead to permission to go to the pub.
Wee in the shower. Ladies, if you had a semi-accurate handheld weapon that you could discharge at the plughole as you showered, trust me when I say that you would. There isn’t even a need to worry about splashback, or covering the toilet seat with urine. The shower simply washes all evidence away. In fact, I bet if you put something in the toilet for us to aim at, the rim-splashes would be a thing of the past. Oh, and your sinks aren’t safe either, though only if we don’t use that sink to shave. That’d be gross.
Scratch and sniff their balls. Dark, dank and sweaty. Trapped inside tight-fitting cotton-based garments. After half a day being held back, there’s not a man alive that won’t get home, stick his hand down his pants (underwear if you’re American) and firstly have a play with his meat and two veg, and secondly, remove his hand and smell it. The latter part may be a movement that is done subtly. It may even be that several minutes pass between the cupping off the balls and the subsequent sniff test. But it will happen. Even though we know what it smells like. Even though it’s not especially nice. It’s almost an unwritten rule.
Have a vast difference between reality and fantasy sexual conquests. For example: “I wouldn’t sleep with Jennifer Lawrence, she has too many eyelashes on her left eye” (she doesn’t by the way, she’s perfect) but then you catch them with a one-legged, fully bearded woman with a tattooed forehead and bingo wings so large that when they flap in the breeze they sound like a helicopter taking off.
Tolerates your friends. Especially the ones you’re really close to. The ones that you share all of your secrets with. They are the friends that have the subtlety of a brick when they come round, post-argument, and look at us with a disdain that could only be worsened by telling you that we made a pass at them on New Years Eve, when everyone knows it was the other way round.
Round everything up. Sexual partners, the weight of a fish caught, penis size. You name it, they round it up. A night out with three half shandies will turn into tales of an epic night with several pints of strong lager, shots and NekNominate challenges. This is, of course, the opposite of women who routinely round down dress sizes when in casual conversation, their number of sexual partners and the cost of any item bought in the sales.
Hate red-hot food, but never admit to it. Any curry that can only be eaten in a ratio of one forkful per half pint of freezing cold lager is not enjoyable. One should never measure the success of a plateful of food by the deep shade of red that it can turn a man’s face, or by the sheer volume of sweat that drips down his forehead. Not that a man will ever turn down the chance to gain internal third-degree burns brought on by chilli consumption. Certainly not in the company of other men. In fact, it can often become one-upmanship. Guy 1: “I’ll have the hottest vindaloo you have, please.” Guy 2: “I’ll have the same with a side of scotch bonnet chillis and horseradish, please.” Guy 3: “Same here… Do you have any napalm?” The only time a man is likely to choose a mild dish is when with a woman. Even then, he will claim that he either doesn’t want to spoil the romance between you when you kiss, or possibly he will launch into an anecdote about the last time he gave oral sex thirty minutes after a spicy curry, using the descriptive term “two sets of burning lips” before commencing the chorus of Sex On Fire at the top of his voice.
Try to never cry. Stubbed your toe against the bed in the middle of the night? There’ll be swearing. Possibly some quick breathing. Maybe an exclamation asking who put the bed there. But no tears. It may be chauvinistic to say it, but modern man has been brought up not to cry. Yes, granted, you may see tears well up when the firstborn arrives in this world, but they aren’t proper tears. You may even experience something similar to crying when his football team gets relegated, but just remember that football stadiums are very dusty places. Those tears are just the eyes cleaning themselves. Honest.
Not have an opinion and mean it. The question “What do you want for dinner?” is a minefield when posed to a woman. “I don’t mind.” will be the reply, and then follows a thirty-minute dance where the woman declares what she doesn’t want to eat in response to anything that the man suggests, and the man can only sigh silently and suggest something else. This is because he loves the woman and doesn’t want to upset her. Also, because he’s hungry and wants dinner, and he knows that any deviance from the path of the “Don’t want that” dance would incur the wrath and lead to an even longer wait.