The Irritable Man Remade

10551-485-500I was cruising around the net and came across something that made me laugh and go Oh Yeah at the same time: IMSIrritable Man Syndrome.

Did you hear that?

It was the noise of female eyes rolling combined with a little to the ceiling head movement. Probably there is a faction that opines IMS is a condition not unlike ADD. Sure, it has a name now, but in the old days it was just “fidgety”. Irritable man? Redundant.

Now, I THINK the article was sincere, but I just snickered and headed over here with a thought to write about it. I didn’t read the whole thing. If you want to, Go here.

I’m sure there are lots of scientific and medical justification. I don’t know any of that. I’m just a man, I’m irritated, and while some problems are caused by things like socks that are too constricting, stores inconveniently closed when I want to shop and cable television in general, nothing stirs the hornet’s nest like attributing all irritations to women, and so, reaching into the bottomless grab bag that is my life, I will now describe for you why everything that makes me remotely annoyed to insanely angry originates with women.

Now, if you are reading this, are in or have been in my life, and feel you recognize yourself in something I’ve written here, I assure you, it’s not you. It’s someone else.

    • Symptom: Chronic Fatigue – I used to sleep well. Very well. Late on Saturdays. Then I dated The Sleep Jackal. Settling down for the night, she’d listen for the tell-tale signs of my breath slowing and then just as I passed over into the Land of Nod, she’d ask me something. The first 40 or 50 times each evening I’d be polite and do my best to answer. After that I’d get irritable.
    • Symptom: Confusion – “Men are such pigs.” We hear that a lot. For those of us who aren’t, we hear it anyway, feel it imposed upon us like a toppling cinderblock wall and we become more piggish in a Can’t Beat ‘Em So May As Well Join ‘Em kind of reaction. And the next time a woman in a low cut top bends over to ask me a special favour in a little girl voice, if she has issue with my visual appreciation of her décolletage, I will get irritable.
    • Symptom: Depression – Nothing is worse than checking the balance of your joint account and finding it leaner than the Leaf’s playoff chances. Well, maybe it’s a little worse when you listen to boasts of restraint, of not spending more than $50, then seeing 10 separate purchases of $49.99. Irritating.
    • Symptom: Uncommunicative – I have never been literally blue in the face, but I frequently get there in a figurative manner. It doesn’t help that I have a compulsion to be clearly understood. That only makes the end result more frustrating. I take Great Pains to be clear. My ability to put it into writing probably stems from just this. So any time something diametrically opposed to my words and intent is presented starting with “Oh, I thought you meant…” I know, deeply and purely in my heart, that I was never listened to in the first place. Me? Not communicating? If I don’t, it’s because there is no point. And that is incredibly irritating.

With all the tribulations that women have rained down upon me it’s probably no wonder I’m single. Of more wonder is my dissatisfaction with being single, so there is likely a flip side to this story that I am conveniently ignoring here.

And true, if women get on my nerves so much, I could just hang out with men more often.

But you know what? They’re irritating.


Now, I have quite an attachment to my hair. Always have. To understand you have to realize I spent 11 years with pretty much this hair cut:


As you can see from the expression, I was not fond of this. Keep in mind it was the 60’s and people wore their hair like this:


A further complication came in the form of my father, probably from some sort of “how hard can it be?” urge that has been passed on genetically. I have yet to exercise that urge on my own hair, and I will probably get through this life without trying. You see, with a pair of electric clippers, my first haircut was traumatic, resulting in a large chunk of my ear being detached from my head. Okay, it wasn’t HUGE, but I was much smaller then:


I do attribute to this trauma my lifelong… hesitance to seek coiffing. Even though many stylists have expressed surprise that such injury could be inflicted with clippers, such injury was, and at a young enough age that the damage is elemental. So when presented with any sort of procrastinatory choice between getting a haircut and, say, a fish hook caught under a thumbnail, the haircut will always lose out to the more pleasant option.

Inevitably, cranial weed whacking was going to be part of Kathryn’s process. She knew, she told me, a marvelous and exclusive stylist who was willing to do missionary work. For those of you who have been following, this is of course Veronica, of Veronica’s Hair Shoppe. Unknowingly, we had a brief association when I served as her bodyguard one tense evening at Joe Kool’s. Here you can see Veronica and I reacting to Kathryn’s manscara idea:


My head emerged well tended. This was lucky, as Veronica made a point of discussing her avoidance of “clients with attitude”, which I understood as shorthand for, “don’t give me any lip, Hairboy. I’m holding scissors.” She had no idea at this point that, because of the ear maiming, there is no place I am more subservient, docile and timid than a stylist’s chair. Manual or electric, I respect the blade. And on Thursday, in Veronica’s hands, the blade served me well.


The Black Hole of Fashion

I fully expect, at some point in the image consult process, to be told that I am terminal, that there’s no hope for me. Perhaps it will come later this week when I get the results of my body analysis. Once everything is punched in to Kathryn’s computer program I expect that something will be spit out like the following:

  • You are not proportional unless you’re a platypus
  • No clothes in existence match your body type
  • You may not use the word “style” in a sartorial sense
  • “Colour”, as a concept, does not work for you, so;
  • Wear a lot of black, and,
  • Stand in the dark whenever possible. Alone.

I’m getting a little concerned for Kathryn. It’s all right for me to be an amorphous blob, as I have been one for a long time now. In her case, she quite innocently agreed to this idea prior to meeting me, assuming that I was not a grotesque and misshapen freak of nature. I imagine that she has been calling all her image consultant friends, who then express disbelief when she recites my body statistics. A partial list of their suspected comments:

  • “Kathryn, you’re such a kidder!”
  • “I think your measuring tape is broken”
  • “Were you drinking?”
  • “Is this a platypus?”
  • “Oh. My. God.”

Full on face transplant has not yet been discussed. I presume she imagines that attention to my hair will address the crime that is my visage. This is a head of hair that has sent many otherwise competent stylists weeping. I don’t know why. It seems like nice hair. I wash it daily and pretty much leave it alone otherwise, as it has proven to be uncooperative with my efforts, doing whatever it wants regardless of my persuasion to do something else. I pick my battles.

The sum total of my experiences so far have been thus (I wanted to do three bulleted lists today, and I will not be deterred):

  • Williams Coffee Pub has good takeout coffee
  • It’s been a nice, sunny day each time I’ve met with Kathryn
  • The view from her studio is great
  • There are improvements available to me to be made
  • Kathryn thinks she can make them
  • I have an unholy love for sleeveless t-shirts and bandannas
  • I’m afraid. I’m very, very afraid.
  • I can’t turn back. I need material.

Compelling? Perhaps not. But the juggernaut is in motion. All aboard the Platypus Express.

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 8:39 am  Comments Off on The Black Hole of Fashion  
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