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The Men in Your LifeTimeless Advice and Wisdom on Managing the Opposite Sex
By Genevieve Dariaux
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Genevieve Dariaux
All right reserved.
Like a double-edged blade, the absence of a loved one can make you discover either that you can get along without him very well, or that without him even the Mediterranean sky seems grey. It is therefore indispensable to get away from the man in your life for a while in order to make sure that that is what he really is. But you must be honest with yourself. The absence of the man you love is a heart-rending thing, and not merely the problem of keeping your feet warm when you sleep alone; it is a constant sensation of bleakness, and not the discomfort of having to change your daily habits.
After many years of marriage, it is not a bad idea for couples to separate occasionally, if only in order to miss the mannerisms which annoy you every day and for which you will have greater indulgence when you accept them as part of your life. It is, in fact, the only way of learning that you cannot fall asleep without the lullaby of your husband's snores!
However, if you are not very sure of your hold on your husband, you must think twice before giving him a chance to see how much more fun life can be without you. Above all, if you simply have to leave him for a certain length of time, don't let him go home to his mother; delighted to recover her little boy, she will soon manage to reaccustom him to all the comforts of his childhood: his favourite foods, his clothes pressed every day, etc. -- comforts which you have had enough trouble trying to make him forget. If your absence should lead him to make comparisons, you must therefore arrange things so that they are all in your favour ... which means that he will have to suffer a little.
But if you feel in a joyous holiday mood the moment he leaves you alone -- if you are not too old, have no children and possess an independent income, I think that it is time to look for another mate, for he is no longer anything but a habit in your life instead of the half he ought to be.
There is no point in saying that 'clothes do not make the man'. They still represent one aspect of a man, and it is the one that determines what kind of first impression he makes.
And so, mesdames, since it is rare for men to buy all these trinkets for themselves and since they generally count on your generosity, lump together Christmas, their birthdays, and your wedding anniversary and give them only the very best of each type of article. Men are just as impressed as we are by a prestigious label, so remember that in the long run a necktie from Harvey Nichols costs very little more than one selected from the small shop round the corner.
Every women in the civilized world has her favourite actor. She is madly in love with him when she is very young, and a little more vaguely later on, when she has real-life love affairs to get her teeth into. But she often remains faithful throughout her entire life to the same type of man as the one who so impressed her as a child. This phenomenon is, moreover, identical with men, who always choose from the same category of women, simply taking a more recent model; in fact, it is always rather surprising that a man who divorces a dizzy blonde with whom he was miserably unhappy doesn't throw himself at the first Andalusian who passes by with blazing eyes, swarthy as a prune and steeped in sanctity -- but no, he inevitably chooses an exact replica of his first wife!
An actor therefore occupies a very important place in women's lives. He populates their dreams, even the ones they dream by day, and many a husband owes more passionate embraces to Cary Grant than to his own over-familiar charms. At the same time, the husbands are perhaps thinking of Brigitte Bardot in order to work up their courage.
An actor has already inspired so many sensations in you that if you met him in real life you would have the impression of meeting an old friend, especially if he has often been in your home when you were in your nightgown -- in other words, on television. A friend even told me that his mother, who is almost a hundred years old and a rabid television fan, complains of no longer being able to undress in her bedroom because it is always full of men!
It is therefore difficult to imagine that an actor is a man like any other, who makes an entrance on the stage just as your husband goes to his office, when to you he is the incarnation of Don Juan. You are, moreover, not entirely mistaken. A famous actor is not a man like any other. He is much more sensitive, but also much more vulnerable, and he is usually impossible to live with because he is completely egocentric. He needs compliments even more than an ordinary man, and that is saying a lot! Not only does criticism flay him, but silence scalps him. Like a foetus bathed in the amniotic fluid of its mother's womb, he can survive only in a pool of public adoration. From time to time he plays a comedy of passion for his own pleasure and tries to turn it into his best role, but he often tires of it long before the thousandth performance, and one even wonders why certain actors go to the bother of getting officially married each time. They are so used to imitating every emotion that from time to time they put on grand scenes of hatred or of vengeance as well. He knows that popularity, like fashion, is ephemeral and that he must ensure his future. . . .
Excerpted from The Men in Your Life by Genevieve Dariaux Copyright © 2006 by Genevieve Dariaux. Excerpted by permission.
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