Male feminist: The day I learnt the meaning of ‘anti-climax’

Published: May 26, 2011
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I chose the most expensive place in town for the rendezvous. After all, my to-be-sweetheart was a banker and I had to flaunt the fact to my advantage.

I was hooked on to him ever since I read his profile. The ‘about me’ section proclaimed,”I am a male feminist.”

That sentence blew my mind. This was the guy I had been looking for high and low, and had given up all hope of finding.

It was high time I found someone. All my friends had successfully found (read: lured) wealthy, eligible and (kind of) cute bachelors. I felt like an outcast in their discussions which went on sometime like this:

“What shade of lipstick should I wear with my new black suit?”

“You know what? My guy gave me this imported brand of chocolates last valentine!”

(No, thank you. I don’t want to know)

“Oohs” and “aahs” followed.

I would manage to get by with a low “Arghhh”.

My friends would then shoot me venomous looks and accuse me of being overcome with that green monster called jealousy.

In a nutshell, I had had enough. But, with my high-strung feminist ideals and inclinations, I saw not a single silver lining in the dark clouds. So, while my friends had the time of their lives, I was on the verge of being hit by loneliness syndrome.

However, staring at the computer after finding aforementioned ‘male feminist’, I thought I had discovered my prince charming, ready to sweep me off my dirty, un-manicured feet.

Numerous chats later, we decided upon a date. I chose the most expensive place in town for the rendezvous. After all, my to-be-sweetheart was a banker and I had to flaunt the fact to my advantage.

At last, D-Day arrives and I realise the importance of wearing the ‘right’ shade of brown with the Sonya Batla I bought last week.

As I enter the restaurant, my kohl-rimmed eyes fixate on a handsome hunk near the counter, I think too myself: Is he the one?

‘Hello’ somebody says.

I look up. Yuck. He is fair and wearing (yikes) a shirt with a floral print! (That is taking feminist notions a bit too far. I prefer more masculine types, but then…)

“I am Faisal,” he says with a highly flossed smile.

I force one myself and we sit ourselves down on a nearby table. The usual exchange of niceties follow. After half an hour of meaningless banter, I decide to grill him. The conversation that follows went something like this:

“What do you think about working women?”

“They are amazing and are surely the women of today.”

(The floral print seems less sick now and no longer a threat to my aesthetic sensibilities)

“What should a husband do if the child does you-don’t-want-to-know-what in the middle of the night and the wife is sleeping soundly?”

“Simple. Do the dirty job himself.”

(I am falling in love)

“What would you do if your lady love is feeling down?”

“Make her an espresso.”

(I am in love)

Ecstasy. We turn our attentions to dinner and I start ordering everything on the menu before Faisal’s eyes start stretching. After we have both devoured all the culinary delights on the table, Faisal says:

“Umm..”

(I knew this was coming)

“Uhhh..”

(I can hear the wedding bells ringing)

The waiter comes and places the bill on the table. I look at the waiter with the hatred reserved just for your arch-rival. He disappears.

Faisal stares at that meaningless scrap of paper for a whole minute, studies the figure at the bottom and then looks into my eyes, which are all starry:

“Why don’t..?”

(Eternal marital bliss)

“Why don’t..?”

(I can almost see him with the coffee-machine)

“Why don’t you pay the bill?”

(Shucks… What?)

“I love your feminist approach. So why don’t we break this myth about men paying the bill. It is so insulting to women. As if she is somehow feeding off a man. You don’t want to be thought of like that, do you?”

(His lack of testosterone was never so apparent)

I manage to mumble a feeble “no”.

As he cues the waiter, the floral print seem ugly again. Extracting the money from my purse and cursing myself for the eating binge I went on half an hour ago, I learn the meaning of anti-climax.

Samreen Naqvi

Samreen Naqvi

The author is a digital marketer by profession with a weakness for the written word, fries, harry potter and tea.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.