A few years ago, a women website was looking for new contributors. The application process consisted of writing a piece listing 10 things every man should know about Irish Women. This is what I wrote and sent them. They never contacted me back, so I guess it’s not that good. It is also more directed at foreign men than Irish ones, but I just found it again and thought it was quite funny, albeit a bit caricatural!
So as we just celebrated International Women’s Day, I thought I would share it with you.
10 Things Every Man Should Know
About Irish Women
I am treading on dangerous grounds here, being French and all... but I often found myself having to defend my Irish “Sisters” and even listing all their assets to foreign visitors like, say, my darling, hunky, single, Parisian brother. Maybe he could find Love here, too? However, I needed to warn him about the less pleasant stuff too. C’mon, he’s my brother, after all... And some Irish men could do with a bit of enlightenment too. So, gentlemen, dear brother, here are a few things, good and less good, I found out about Irish Women after living here for 13 years.
10. They are all beautiful Irish lasses
I’m not talking about celebs, actors and models. You know the ones. But as the first impression count, you guys have a variety of beautiful Irish gals to choose from; be it adorable chubby blondes with smiling eyes, or fiery red heads with porcelain freckled skin, or blue-eyed brunettes with dimples that would melt your heart... I have yet to meet a truly, completely ugly Irish girl. Their beauty is varied, natural and, thankfully, durable. You should know that under the fake tan and a few fashion mistakes, lays a true Cailín bean.
9. They’re insecure
This kinda ties in with my previous point: where you read the “smiling eyes”, they read “chubby”. It’s not that they don’t want to recognise and flaunt their assets (as anyone out on a Saturday night will witness), it’s that they are genuinely insecure about what they see as imperfections. Unfortunately, this goes for other areas of their life: their talents, their professional potential, their motherly skills. They all doubt themselves and no amount of comforting cuddles and kind words from you will make a difference. Not until you are both grey and they finally realise that you’ve stuck by them all this time. So just bear with them and appreciate all their qualities, even if they don’t.
8. They understand lads
They do. Stop dreaming about hot California girls, sophisticated Parisiennes and sultry Italian chicks: nobody in the world will understand and accept the lads like an Irish girl. Even if you get a bit of nagging, a bit of sulking, the Irish woman KNOWS what you need: your mates, your football/video game/night on the tiles with your gang, your food, your books, your grumpiness. And she’ll let you have it, if you don’t abuse it. And if you are lucky, you might find that she can be one of the lads too...
7. They hold their drink better than you
Well, strictly speaking, this might not be true for Irish men. But for the others, watch out; If you have spotted the love of your life amongst a group of Irish girls in a pub, if they’ve let you approach them, chances are, they’ve had a few and will have a good few more before you start mixing languages. You might be intimidated by the volume level, the glitter and the outfits (or part thereof), but bring your nose down a notch and you are in for the true “craic”. Just pace yourself, even if they don’t: someone will have to call them a cab and hold their shoes. Might as well be you. A night out with the Irish girls is a night to remember.
Note: avoid hen nights, though. They are not for you.
6. They are simple
No, I don’t mean they are stupid, you silly! They are simple as in wholesome, no hassle, no psychological manipulation or mental torture. They are simple as in easy-going, uncomplicated, friendly, approachable. You’ve tried the exotic nutters with the cute accent, the murderous, jealous psycho stunners from all around the Mediterranean; now why not try a relationship based only on what you thought you were getting from the start? Whether it’s a one night stand, a future wife, a workmate, a friend, a soul mate... what you see is what you get. The Irish woman will never push you to the point of making you cry into your pillow. Unless that’s what you’re into, of course.
5. The other one in their life
No, you’ll never be the one and only. In their bed, maybe, but not in their life. I’m talking about their “other” significant other: it could be their Mammy, Daddy, sister, bff, gay friend, puppy, overweight cat, Robert Downey Jnr... Get over it. Refer to previous points 9, 8 and 7: Irish women are insecure and need time with their gang, vice, own self too. They’ll let you have yours, let them have theirs. This may mean a bottle of wine in your sitting room, tears, loud laughter and chocolate... just go for a walk.
4. They are better at sports
Even the ones who wouldn’t run to catch a bus often know more about rules, teams, scores, types of sports, etc. The most knowledgeable person about GAA I know is female. One thing that makes them internationally cool, wherever they go: they are brilliant supporters (you all know that by now) and successful (I couldn’t do a list without having Katie Taylor in there). But what you SHOULD know is that they are thousands others who hardly ever get credit or coverage for their achievements. So maybe it’s time to don your colours and support the ladies team, dude...
3. They love a bit of gossip
Boil the kettle; I’ll tell you all about it. So you bagged yourself your perfect Irish woman. Now you are comfortable enough with each other to brush your teeth at the same time and to lie in bed, last thing at night... gossiping! If you are foreign and haven’t mastered the art yet, just nod and interject with a few “ooooohs” and “haaaaas” and “no. way.” Trust me; you’ll get the hang of it quickly enough. In no time, your boss, neighbour, best buddy, mother, every single person in your life will have been grinded through that talk-mill. Also, be warned: some of the people she’ll tell you about are not real: she’s not going crazy and nobody she knows has committed murder/adultery/bank robbery... it’s just characters from something they call “soaps”. Tune into Irish television for more info.
2. They are fighters
Irish women don’t give up; it could be opposing property tax, water charges, surviving cancer, dealing with pay cuts, removing a stain on that carpet or containing a bunch of rowdy toddlers... no matter how big or small the task or the hurdle, an Irish woman will roll up her sleeves and get on with it. That makes them reliable, dependable and extremely annoying to you, males with the “that’ll do” attitude.
1. They’re the fabric of Irish Society
We are not talking silk, here but strong, tight woven linen. They are everywhere: as mothers on parents associations, on sports committees, local drama and musical societies, charitable organisations, tidy towns... they don’t necessarily occupy places on boards but they are the active ones running the show, making sure there’s tea when the thing starts, regimenting volunteers for fund-raisers and whispering brilliant, creative ideas into the chairman’s ear. Irish women are maintaining thousands of years of strong community spirit up and down this country. And that’s why I love them as much as you will when you get to know them.