A new and very possibly spurious British study finding that men on average “spend one full year of their lives waiting for women” prompts Violetta Simon, a writer for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, to ponder “that glassy-eyed stare of into the distance of pure boredom”.
It may not be something you’ve given a lot of thought, but, according to Simon, one writer, Hamburg’s Moritz Petz, has “devoted a whole book to the subject of waiting for women — Warten auf Frauen — in which he works through his waiting experiences and calls excesses of this form of time-wasting an ‘unbearable condition’.”
There is also, she writes a gallery of online images called “Miserable Men”, full of “guys from all over the world – waiting”.
There are hundreds of them like this:
Simon insists there is a kind of poetry in this banal theme.
The waiting men are reminiscient of the two drifter characters in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. Just like Estragon and Vladimir, they are presumably pondering the meaning of their situations. But as everybody knows, Godot is never going to show up — unlike the woman behind the changing booth curtain.
Simon, who as far as I can tell (it could be lost in translation) does not have her tongue in her cheek, also relates some useful practical advice, with the help of sociologist Rainer Paris.
“Experts recommend avoiding this dynamic and making exact arrangements to meet up again within a specific period of time and in a specific place. ‘Many outlet malls have installed stuff for men to do while they wait,’ Paris says. ‘Or they can sit in the café and read the paper.’”
You might want to write this stuff down.