Peter O’Sullivan gives new meaning to the phrase, “If you build it, she will come.”
While perusing the web, I stumbled across this story about a guy who, though he was single, decided that he was ready to settle down. So he did what any reasonable man would do (pshhht, right?) and custom-built a home to suit the needs of his wife and children – a wife and children he didn’t have yet.
O’Sullivan, the 44-year-old optimist-slash-visionary in question even estimated his hypothetical wife’s height to be around 5-foot-7, and therefore had the cabinetry accommodate a woman of that stature. He built kids’ rooms with lots of play space and bins for toys. He scoured the country for the perfect furnishings, worked with the finest architects, and took his time on the project. It was completed in 2008.
Photo Courtesy: Wall Street Journal
Right about now, if you were like me you’re wondering two things: A) Is this guy crazy or just really practical? and B) So did he meet a wife or what?
The answer to the latter, luckily for O’Sullivan, is yes. He met a woman named Nava Gabbay when the project was nearly finished, they got married and now have at least one child to play house with until the rest of his family blueprint is complete. The answer to the former? Well, that one’s not as simple, I’m afraid.
After reading his wife’s reaction to O’Sullivan’s project upon first meeting him, I couldn’t help but get stuck on the thought that there was a huge double standard at play here.
If a woman meets a man who seems mature enough and confident in what he wants out of life to actually gut renovate and create the perfect family home – more or less from scratch – then she’s impressed by him. But if it were a woman who did the same thing and partnered up with an architect to build her imaginary family home, any man she met who saw the same detail and forethought would think she was absolutely, certifiably crazy.
She’d be labeled desperate, a psycho, and he would immediately run and tell his friends about the Stage 4 clinger he just met who’s trying to will her ideal family into fruition. Am I wrong?
There are a million things that can be said about this story. Right down to the whole “self-fulfilling prophecy” thing and how, if we just make room for things in our lives and “act as if” we can force them into reality. People who believe in the Law of Attraction could have a field day with this one. But even though I think there’s merit in taking chances, it doesn’t change the fact that we have different views of a man who takes ownership of the life he wants and a woman who does the same.
Look no further than the excerpt, “In his master bedroom closet he created spaces for high-heeled shoes; in the master bath he made velvet-lined makeup and jewelry drawers, going so far as to wonder whether his future wife would wear hoop earrings or bracelets.”
Um, if a woman did that we’d all – maybe even myself included – think she was a few golf clubs short of a full set, would we not? Maybe it’s a societal thing, or maybe it’s because we view unmarried men as being that way by choice, but women who are alone as spinsters. Either way, the cultural implications here are plentiful, to say the very least.
Suffice it to say that the gentleman in question had more going for him than just a house, by many women’s standards (mildly shallow women, but still). I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he could afford a few Warhols, some Lichtensteins and a multimillion dollar property in one of the cooler cities in the U.S., either. Also, he might just be a really nice guy on top of all that, who knows?
But mostly, I’m amused because where Miss Wingman lives (i.e. NYC, land of the Man-Boy), finding that type of commitment and dedication is like finding a unicorn. You’ve heard it exists, but you’ll believe it when you see it. But I suppose the same can be said for those women who aren’t in any hurry to settle down and are having a blast in the meantime (good luck finding them, boys, we’re equally hard to come across I’m afraid). In any case, it’s nice to hear about someone’s happy ending, regardless of the double standards at play.
I’m not suggesting all men go out and pull an O’Sullivan, but if you say you’re ready to settle down – and really mean it – then you never know what the universe will send your way. Also, correctly guessing the height of your future bride means you might want to consider hitting up the casino on your way home tonight, too. Good luck, boys, keep the faith, and may you all find what you’re looking for one day.