Lessons in selecting a mate as learned in the Sacred Monkey Forest of Bali
When the book and then the movie Eat, Pray, Love were wildly popular desolately single women went en masse on tours to Bali. They yearned to be told their fate by Ketut Liyer, an ancient healer and lady-fate predictor, get overnight spiritual transformations and meet sensitive and adoring (yet manly) men.
Men wanted to go anywhere but Bali. They (probably rightfully) feared drowning in waves of estrogen flowing from the fate-and-mate seeking women.
And the Balinese were split between enthusiastically pandering to the influx of eager transformation/spirituality/penis seeking women and abhoring any mention of Eat, Pray, Love.
Blonde and Brunette were in Bali not long after the success of the film version of Eat, Pray, Love. We were there to eat, swim and snark. However, we did briefly inquire as to the location of the beach where Javier Bardem frolicked. We innocently hoped to get some of the same water on our bodies. Our inquiry added suspicion to the expectation that we were horny spiritual pilgrimettes on a quest to live Hollywood’s version of life in Bali, rather than sophisticated international travelers. In reality we were neither.
Once we learned that Javier’s bay was too far away to be worth it we changed our plans and visited the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud. The monkeys in the forest are Crab-eating Macaques. This indicates that they were named by someone who never saw them or knew a thing about them as they were only seen eating bananas, the basic fare of even the least original cartoon monkey.
But, while witnessing male monkeys battling for bananas, we realized that this activity provided useful information for ladies evaluating potential monkeying-around mates. Ladies, you are not going to get Javier Bardem or even his monkey equivalent. Embrace reality and follow along as we teach you the observational skills needed to select a mate.
One moment everything in the monkey forest was relatively calm. At least as calm as it can be with hundreds of monkeys running everywhere, grooming each other, throwing things and occasionally hissing with bared-teeth. The level of monkey semi-calmness ended abruptly when a guard carrying a basket of bananas showed up beside a small pool.
The male monkeys suddenly paid attention the way a group of heterosexual men in a sports bar do when a female with large silicone breasts enters the room. They all wanted the same thing.
The monkeys didn’t care about the quality of the bananas/breasts – just about being the one that got them. They also didn’t care that tourists fed them thousands of bananas all day every day, just as men who have unfettered breast access elsewhere don’t care about that in the sports bar moment. (In order to not overly belabor the analogy you’re going to have to do you own banana/breast mental substitutions for the remainder of this post.)
An astute woman could easily observe the young male monkeys exuding clouds of monkey testosterone, displaying dreadful manners and exhibiting undesirable hygiene practices in their efforts to deprive each other of goodies that none of them needed anyway. The young males fought, clawed, bit, screamed and did monkey cannonballs into the pool. They were willing to fight to the death for bananas identical to the ones tourists just wanted to hand them.
The girl monkeys rolled their eyes and left together to get monkey mani/pedis.
Most interesting of all was the older male monkeys. They’d learned to stay on the edge of the water and let the young whippersnapper dudes fight so bitterly to destroy each other that neither one would end up with the banana. The old dudes were relaxed, dry and had their drama days behind them. They would saunter down to the water, watch as the younger guys fought, scoop out an acceptable banana and enjoy it as the other monkeys remained caught up in their competition.
What is the lesson here? It’s knowing what you want from a mate. Maybe you value youth, passion and a complete lack of sense. Or perhaps you prefer a calm maturity that isn’t easily fooled. If you’re having trouble choosing between several prospective mates throw a banana (or a large breast) in front of them and then observe.
Once you’ve made your preliminary selection it’s a good idea to make sure everything you need is “there“.
This process doesn’t ensure happiness but it’s as least a good a method as others women commonly employ to select their mates.
JLo wants the young, stupid, feisty monkey.
The rest of us want, well, the monkey with the most assets – one kind or another.