Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Falling Between Two Stools

Do you ever get the feeling that you are being subject to the dark arts of the marketing demographics men? That faint paranoia when you receive special offer coupons for a product you bought only once, over a year ago, or online recommendations for items “you might also like...” I find that unsettling, but I can’t work out if I’m uneasy because I think my actions are being observed, or if it’s just my ‘inner git’ which dislikes being categorised.

When I am slobbing in front of the television, if the adverts during the breaks are all for Clearasil or Heat magazine, then I begin to suspect I should be watching something more edifying. Conversely, if they are about equity release mortgages or health insurance, I reckon I have gone too far the other way, and need to lighten up a bit. If the ads are for chocolate, or cat food, then I know there is no point trying to discuss the programme the following day with any male friends.

On other occasions, I have the opposite problem, when it seems like I am in no-woman’s land in marketing terms. If I read ‘chick lit’ I’ve started to feel like the sixth form prefect supervising the spirited, younger girls - I can remember what it’s like to be discovering sex and fashion, but it would be embarrassing to join in the conversation. The more chronologically advanced ‘hen lit’ seems to be full of miserable elderly relatives, stroppy older kids (I’m only familiar with the junior version), but worst of all, heroes in ‘crisp linen shirts’. I’m just not ready to start fantasising about a man in a crisp linen shirt – the image is too clean, safe and predictable. Maybe the average hen lit reader looks across at her nose-picking, stained-vest-wearing husband and dreams about men in crisp linen shirts. Perhaps I am just heading towards an age where the greatest indicator of a person’s suitability for steamy sex is supposed to be their personal hygiene, or their choice of smart leisure wear. Alan Titchmarsh anyone?

Before it all gets too depressing, I am finishing up the remains of last night’s Chablis.
I reckon that with women’s fiction, I am ‘falling between two stools’ - and I’ve certainly done enough of that in my time. It seems that I must identify with either the sassy, young girl-about-town who gets it on with her rugged alpha boss between shopping sprees; or the brittle, well-preserved forty-something in her gilded cage, whose desires are awakened by the sensible, clean chap who likes children.
I think I need the wine goggles.


The Secretary said...

Oh god, I'm 40 something and I hadn't noticed the gilded cage.....maybe that's something to do with the pink gin I'm 40 something.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Secretary, did you know the angorstora (sp) bitters that makes the gin pink is poisonous?

I think we 30-somethings that fall twixt chick and hen should just read each others blogs - blog-lit, anyone?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I need some wine goggles for looking at myself in the mirror. Don't you find the older you get the more you quite fancy getting it on with the rugged alpha boss? The young, rugged alpha boss who is not wearing any shirt at all. But I guess he would need thick and dark wine goggles? I'm pretty sure you can get those wine goggles duty-free on the cross-channel ferry. I'm quite taken by the wine goggles, can you tell?!

dulwichmum said...

Come on sweetie, we are in between two stools! Sassy thirty somethings in our fabulous gilded cages who get it on with our alpha husbands in between shopping sprees - to Tesco Metro clearing the shelves of the last of their Finest Chablis? N'est pas?

Anonymous said...

Yay for blog lit! Good idea Mutterings!

Mind you, a clean chap in linen shorts does it for me, I must confess - maybe I should give this 'hen lit' a whirl!

debio said...

As a 'well-preserved forty-something in her gilded cage', I can honestly confess that my desires would not be awakened by a chap who likes children, whether he were clean, sensible or otherwise.

Ladies want lovers who are interested only in them - well, mainly - and who indulge their every whim and fantasy. This is a no-go area for child intrusion.

Oh well, at least we can dream...

rilly super said...

drunkmummy, I am impressed at your searching back to find that 'beer goggles' news story, weren't one of the research subjects were you, and if so I can only assume you were the one doing the drinking to try and make some poor chap seem more attractive and certainly not the person who the other participants were getting sloshed so as to find them desirable..

Stevo said...

Drunk Mummy,
No crisp linen shirt, I'm afraid, just rather worn pyjamas. Just been put onto you (so to speak) by Dulwich Mum, as I sit hit nursing a broken leg. Started a blog, brokenlegdiaries, and enjoying forays into cyber world. Instead of falling between 2 stools, what's wrong with rugged alpha boss ripping door off gilded cage?
Chin chin,

Drunk Mummy said...

Secretary - I can just imagined you sipping your pink gin - you don't own a yacht as well, do you?

M&M - Do you suppose one poison in another means they cancel each other out - in the way that two negatives make a positive? Just hoping......
I think you may have hit the nail on the head with the blog-lit - all things to all people!

Pig - If you find any wine-goggles on the cross-Channel ferry, get me a couple of pairs - I know a few women who need them in order to sleep with their grotesque but wealthy husbands.

Dulwich Mum - as always, your optimistic outlook is an inspiration to us all (or is it too much Chablis?)

Spymum - I fear for your sex life. Have you been drooling over Mr Titchmarsh yet? If not, then there may be some hope for you yet.

Debio - I am glad, it means you have not fallen fully into the demographic of the hen-lit target audience.
However, I am concerned that your interest in a hero who indulges a woman's every whim and fantasy puts you squarely in the literary genre of science fiction.

Rilly - I must confess to once owning a T-shirt which had "Drink until he's cute" plastered all over it. That was, of course, a long time ago (sigh).

Hi Stevo! I think worn pyjamas are a lot more 'earthy' than the crisp linen shirt.
You didn't break your leg ripping gilded cage doors off hinges did you?