I hear there are no men around. Quite frankly, I find this a little hard to believe. In the midst of a book launch offensive, everywhere I look there's a man (usually another woman's husband, out on loan), nodding acquiesce to mad plans, placating freakouts – walk around the Historic Precinct at the moment, you fair trip over them. What I think people mean is that, if you're my age and single, there aren't many of a certain kind of man to be had. Unmarried. Not mental. Baggage-less, somehow having escaped being horribly twisted by a previous relationship. These are few and far between, apparently.
Last weekend a friend of mine, Tall Gorgeous Blonde, had the most fabulous birthday party. It was SO good, noise control turned up. Sure, the volume at which Prince was being played was the result of the aging participants' collective deafness, but it was a win for coolness.
TGB is a marvelous hostess, her house striking envy and fleeting feelings of hatred and despair into the hearts of all who enter it, but you wouldn't want to mess with her. Think Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, Judgment Day. There's a pull bar fixed to the hallway lintel (for chin-ups) and her thighs are so strong, she could kick you through a wall. If TGB met the person responsible for cutting down the trees at Logan Park, she would punch him in the face. Me, I just whinge about it.
On this particular evening, TGB's kitchen was filled with hot single women, I mean seriously hot. “Extremely hot, extremely flexible women,” said the economist. True. All the single ladies were Bikram yoga aficionados, most taking part in a challenge that would see them do 30 classes in 30 days. “Yoga, yoga, yoga,” they said as I danced around the economist, like a Sioux warrior marking her territory.
I don't do yoga, having no time for a sport with so many zealots. Plus, I hear there's a lot of puking in the Bikram version. Big fan of the pants, though.
Not only were they bendy, the hot yoga ladies knew how to paint the perfect eyeliner flick and make red velvet cheesecake. They could quote Walt Whitman and do the splits. But where were all the men? Ladies this accomplished deserved to be waited on by buff, shirtless dimwits with foolish smiles. “They're either gay, married or insane,” said the economist, of the absent men. Also true. Census 2013 figures show the number of men is at an all-time low, and its especially grim for those of prime marrying age. For every 100 women looking to snag a New Zealand chap between 25 and 49, on average 9 will miss out. Chances are even lower on the Kapati coast, with only 82 men for every 100 women. None of the census figures take sexual preference into account, so there's every chance Mr Right is looking for a Mr Right of his own.
I don't know about insane.
“Yoga,” said the hot ladies and “Kale.”
Its different story among those under 24, where males heavily outnumber females. With young women – despite the fact that you could bounce a $2 coin off their buttocks – about as interesting as an air mattress with a Selfie addiction, the solution seems obvious. Unfortunately, the only 24-year-old male at TGB's party was busy filming the assembled women on his cellphone with a view to posting on the internet.
“Pervert!” yelled the hot ladies followed by “This coconut water is amazing!”
Mr 24 scuttled away from a potential cougar mauling, probably wondering, as was I, whether this yoga/kale/coconut water obsession was responsible for the man drought. “Problem is,” said the Tamster, who doesn't do yoga and therefore has a boyfriend, “these women have evolved to such a high level of physical and mental supremacy, men simply can't keep up.”
“Its demand AND supply,” said the economist, in what would be his last rational thought of the evening. “They're skeptical. And right to be (indicating himself). What man's going to yoga, that's collectable? Who wants to get into weird positions? Luckily, I don't have to.”
I felt momentarily affronted, and resolved to get the economist into an extremely weird position post-haste. To hell with his sore back. The hot ladies left early and clear-eyed (they had a class in the morning). The rest of us danced like the electrocuted for hours before staggering off into the night, late and loud. Waking to hangovers, a feeling of over-indulgence, and someone warm on the other side of the bed.