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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Saucy Cow's Guide To Men - That Are Not Irish

Moving to a new county is always scary. Especially for a young woman braving this new adventure all by her lonesome. If you're naive and have lived a fairly sheltered life, (or in simpler terms, if you're Irish) you may expect to fall in love with some mysterious foreigner and bring him home to relish the two weeks for which you will be the talk of the parish. Of course, many of you may have difficulty trying to establish a relationship with someone who is not Irish. Because I am so well travelled - that's right, I have been to Wales - I decided to impart some of my very very helpful advice upon you all.  

As regular readers will well know, I suffer from crippling insecurity and social anxiety issues with the opposite sex. The only thing this ever really proves good for, is as an endless source of blogging material, but I digress. These mental problems were helped in no small way by my attendance at an Irish Catholic all-girls school for the duration of the six poignant years of my adolescence. This was the kind of place where our only exposure to a male figure was our school priest, the crowd of boys in the christian brother's school down the road, and the character of Pádraig from An Trial. None of these provided useful reference points, particularly the boys from the CBS. We mixed with them rarely, usually when we were sent to learn Engineering at their school for a week, and they in return came over to us to learn Home Ec in an effort to keep those damn Parish liberals happy. These visits were kept strictly controlled by our teachers, for fear they prove detrimental to our precious teenage pregnancy rates. We mixed long enough, though, to learn that they were even more clueless when it came to sex than we were, which led us girls then to mistakenly assume we were some kind of sultry vixens who could reduce a group of pubescent boys to a quivering mess. 

Irish people are never brilliant at being sexy anyway, and it's strongly believed Colin Farrell was a prototype created by the Irish Catholic Church to falsely convince the western world that we fornicate regularly. We have a hard enough time (wahey!) trying to philander between ourselves, never mind adding the stress of one person not being Irish. It is for that reason I have compiled this helpful guide for any ladies heading out there into the wild wild shores of the UK, or someplace even further afield, if you're feeling chancy.

The Saucy Cow's Guide To The Difference Between
 Irish & International Men

1.  Accents
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. Your first week in your new country, you may make the same tragic error I did. 'Oh my god, oh my god!' you will innocently think, 'It's finally happened! I have turned gorgeous!
No, you have not. If anything, you have gotten less gorgeous. Now in your new foreign surroundings you will probably look pale and Irish and uninteresting. However, interest in you from boys will go up approximately 3,000%. This is because for some inexplicable reason, men absolutely love the Irish accent. I mean, they really love it. I feel it is compensation from God for the whole economy thing. Do not rejoice.
If a boy takes you home, you don't want it to be because he wants to sit you on his bed and make you say 'thirty three and a third' over and over again into the early hours of the morning. This is something you never have to deal with at home, with Irish men, because we all can't stand the sound of each other.
No matter how flattered you are, it's best not to engage in the 'Oh my god, I love your accent!' zone. Not as easy as it sounds. From 20 years of being perfectly resistible, I found it quite the power trip to finally be able to assert that at least one part of me was attractive. Resist the temptation, ladies. It clouds their judgement and you will be the anecdote they tell people about how an accent can make you fancy anyone... 
When talking to foreign boys, be wary. If, when you say something, his eyes widen and he leans forward and says 'are you....Irish?!' take immediate decisive action.
Furrow your brow in confusion, look disgusted and reply ''
He'll feel so awkward he won't bring it up again.

2. Communicating
Texting: one of the few technological advances Irish people embraced with open arms in the nineties. Contacting someone without actually having to face them? Yes, please! Ladies, we all know how well versed we are in the texts from our native males.

Him: Wel.
You: Hi :)
Him: Ne news?
You: Nah, you?
Him: Nah. 

We like our strong, semi-silent men who are economical with their vowels. Foreign men vary in certain ways. There is one major difference, beside actually making conversation, that is:

Him: Ok well, I'll talk to ya later?
You: Sure, cya then :)
Him: Ttul :) XXX

^Gaaaaaaaaasp?! There must me some massive archeological error which has missed the huge connection between Irish people and pirates. Pirates are the only other race of people whom actively react to an 'X' in a way similar to us. You've heard of horror stories of cultures where petting someone's turkey means your married to them, or something like that. This is kind of the case with Irish people. Leaving an 'x' means you must be morbidly serious with each other. We don't throw them in willy nilly like the Brits. This was a cause of massive confusion for me in my earlier days when I sat and stressed about how I had unwittingly entered myself into a recognised relationship, and how was I going to tell my parents. Turns out they send them to each other all the time, even the men. I know! I KNOW!

So perhaps it might be simpler to communicate in person! Perhaps indeed. Be prepared to keep a glossary of phrases with you at all times to avoid extremely awkward social situations. More awkward, than changing your relationship status just cos someone sent you an 'x'. A 'shift' to them is a period of work done in exchange for wages. All you sluts better be prepared for people to cast aspersions about you Irish being absolutely mad for a bit of work, and is the economic situation really that bad over here?
Also, be careful with how you address a group of people. To them, walking into a room of girls and saying ''well lads?'' is roughly the same as saying ''HELLO ALL YOU BIG UGLY MEN!''.
And don't even get me started on how long you'll be waiting for him to 'grab something out of the press there, will ya?' Try to have patience if he comes back with newspaper clippings.

3. Socialising
A 'date' is not only a dried fruit which your nan used to sometimes put in Christmas cakes. It's a social occasion when a man takes you out of the house, to a place, where you both talk for a while and get to know each other. This has been known to happen even before you shift. Mad!!! If he asks you to go on one, do not be alarmed. Simply proceed with caution and just take notes of all the madness you can regale Ciara with when you finally get the time to Skype each other.

Out and about: This is not Ireland anymore. If you meet some talent out, you will both not eventually run into each other in the post office. You do not already know everyone in the town. Therefore, when he asks you for your phone number, don't respond with a suspicious '...why?' This wins you zero points in the 'Ideal Date!' category. He is not going to report you to immigration.

4. Clothing
You know what, there aren't enough hours in the day or adjectives in the world for me to even begin to truly scratch the surface here. One tip: Do not empathise with the fact that his clothes dryer seems to have shrunk all his jeans to drainpipes, or accuse him of stealing your skinnies. Also, don't be jealous that they look better on him. You get used to it.

5. Don't laugh when he tells you he has a GHD
He's not actually joking.

6. They're going to try and talk to you.
I saved this one for the end because I didn't want to alarm you too much, or put you off going. I know you're used to the tried and tested method of getting really drunk and staring at each other until you shift at home. Things are different now. The boys over here try to build a foundation, talk to you, get to know you, often even sober. In nightclubs, they use chat up lines and other such arrangements of words.
At first, of course, I assumed they were all psychopathic Welsh killers, examples of which my mother had presented in a collection of newspaper clippings in the 6 months prior to my departure as a warning. Turns out they're just normal people. Go figure.

The Saucy Cow


  1. I love your posts - you're hilarious! Also, think having an Irish accent gives you an unfair advantage in Wales? Try going to the States. I actually think I went a bit mad on the power after a while...

  2. Thank you! :) Hahaha so I've heard! It's dangerous stuff really, isn't it? All fun and games until you come back to Ireland and get knocked down about 12 pegs when the boys aren't exactly queing up for you...

  3. I found in my brief London life that 'alright how's it going?' when I spoke to people on the phone was informal and not appropriate for work peeps. But my accent got me through because no one actually knew what I had said.

  4. How far does a Canadian accent get ya?

    Great post, as per usual!

  5. Haha! Brilliant post. As an Irish girl who has recently moved to Edinburgh after becoming single I will be using the accent to my advantage ;-)


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