Shelf Policing: How Books (And Cacti) Make Women Too ‘Spiky’ for Men

As a preliminary note, PG will remind one and all that he doesn’t necessarily agree with everything he posts on TPV.

From The Guardian:

“How to avoid turning your home into a MANrepeller”, the Daily Mailproclaimed from atop the mountain on Sunday. “Interiors therapist reveals the items that could be making your abode offputting to men.”

It could be forgiven for wanting to jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon, but the twist obviously had to be that the gaze you must please is not your own, but a man’s.

Femail’s nominated manrepeller was a journalist named Liz Hoggard, and her salvation came in the form of life coach Suzanne Roynon, whose mission is to “clear your past and present clutter to create a new relationship in your life”.

How does it work in practice? Well, there are a number of rules. You should not have too many paintings of “strong, iconic” but single women in your home; cacti are bad because they’re “too spiky”.

. . . .

Speaking of bedrooms – books apparently aren’t allowed in there, as they are a room for “sleep and love”. This raises some questions. Does it mean that if you like reading a book in bed you must then go put it back elsewhere in the house just before falling asleep? Is one book (singular) in the bedroom fine but two or more forbidden? What if you do find a partner thanks to your attractive new flat and he also enjoys reading in bed, does this create a loophole? Should you read this singular book together at the same time? Any word on Kindles?

Roynon doesn’t expand on these particular quandaries, but does offer more advice on books. As it turns out, a single woman in search of companionship should not own novels with “depressing titles” like Little Deaths or The Suspect.

. . . .

Or maybe put Normal People by Sally Rooney in a place where he is sure to spot it. Not only is it a good book, but it will subconsciously tell him that you are, in fact, normal. Just a normal woman, looking for a normal man, so you can be a normal couple together, living in your normal house. Normal, normal, normal. What’s not to love?

Link to the rest at The Guardian

15 thoughts on “Shelf Policing: How Books (And Cacti) Make Women Too ‘Spiky’ for Men”

  1. Too many idiots, not enough bats.

    I’m not sure what she means by “too many paintings of ‘strong, iconic’ but single women in your home”. Are there really that many out there?

  2. Thanks PG, I needed a good chuckle.

    I think someone was overthinking this piece of fluff as your average guy doesn’t care – unless he’s unsure about her and looking for warning signs.

    No books in the bedroom? Never seen it myself – but then again I’m a strange one – or so I’m told. 😛

    I’m reminded on a movie ‘First Monday in October’, where the wife’s parting quip was that he didn’t even know what type of wallpaper they had on the walls after all their decades there – and he didn’t … 😉

    • Your average guy indeed does not care. Once he gets into her apartment, literary taste is not the quality he is looking for. But perhaps she isn’t looking for the average guy. I won’t say that I never, in my younger days, always looked to literary taste when considering that apartment visit. But it certainly made a difference in whether or not this was a girl to introduce to mother.

    • Interesting, Valerie.

      I have a couple of watches I wear for ceremonial occasions, but I find myself forgetting to put them on more frequently as time passes.

  3. Actually, a cactus in the house would suggest to me the lady is sensible and practical. You can eat cacti in tough times. 😉

    • SOME cacti, Felix. Many varieties are pure poison.

      Myself, if I were still in the market (which would be a sad thing, at my age!), I wouldn’t care whether the woman had books in her bedroom or not. Dead tree ones do tend to be dust collectors. Now, I would definitely find an excuse to exit if there were no books in her house at all (although that is harder these days, as noted, with Kindles – she might have hundreds of titles hanging around as electronic ghosts).

  4. Thanks for the tips, weird article writer! I’m going to be redoing my bedroom, and anything that makes it less likely for a man to be there is a good lookfor me. LOL

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